Tania Willard, Secwepemc Nation and settler heritage, works within the shifting ideas around contemporary and traditional, often working with bodies of knowledge and skills that are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Indigenous and other cultures. Willard has worked as an artist in residence with Gallery Gachet in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side, the Banff Centre's visual arts residency, fiction and Trading Post and as a curator in residence with grunt Gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’s curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (2012-2014), co-curated with Kathleen Ritter, Vancouver Art Gallery (touring), featuring 27 contemporary Aboriginal artists. Current curatorial contributions include co-curating Exposure: Native Art and Political Ecology for the Museum of Contemporary Native Art, Sante Fe NM. In 2016 Willard received the Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art from the Hnatyshyn Foundation as well as a City of Vancouver Book Award for the catalogue for the exhibition Unceded Territories: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Public Art projects include, Rule of the Trees, a public art project at Commercial Broadway sky train station, in Vancouver BC and If the Drumming Stops, with artist Peter Morin, on the lands of the Papaschase First Nation in Edmonton, AB. Willard was recognized with the Shadbolt Foundation VIVA award for outstanding achievement and commitment in her art practice in 2020. Willard's ongoing collaborative project BUSH gallery, is a conceptual land-based gallery grounded in Indigenous knowledges and relational art practices. Willard is an Assistant Professor at UBCO in Syilx territories (Kelowna, BC) and her current research intersects with language learning, and land-based art practices.
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