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Maria Hupfield

Sheridan graduate wins Hnatyshyn prize

September 21, 2018

New York-based performing artist Maria Hupfield has been recognized for outstanding achievement by a Canadian mid-career artist by The Hnatyshyn Foundation.

Hupfield was given a $25,000 prize as part of the foundation’s 2018 awards in the visual arts.

The Hnatyshyn Foundation is a private charity that was established to assist emerging and established artists with their education, training and professional development, and to promote to the Canadian public the importance of the arts in our society.

A 1999 graduate of Sheridan’s Art and Art History program, Hupfield was born and raised in the Georgian Bay region of Ontario. She is an interdisciplinary artist and member of the Anishinaabek Nation from Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario. She holds a Master of Fine Art from York University, and taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design from 2007 to 2011 before moving to New York City.

Her first major traveling solo exhibition The One Who Keeps On Giving, was mounted in 2017 by The Power Plant Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto; in partnership with Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge; Galerie de l'UQAM, Montréal; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; and Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris.

Hupfield’s work has travelled with Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, and shown in galleries such as New York’s The Kitchen, Brooklyn Information & Culture (BRIC), The Bronx Museum, The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, The Museum of Arts and Design, and SITE Santa Fe.

She is co-owner of Native Art Department International and is currently the Indigenous Artist in Residence, International Studio Curatorial Program ISCP in New York. She was recently appointed Professor of Indigenous Media and Performance at The University of Toronto.

Hupfield credits Sheridan with much of her success, noting that instructors such as John Armstrong and the late Paul Kipps supported her voice during her studies.

“[They] gave me a strong foundation that supported exploration and introduced me to the expansive possibilities of being an artist working across many disciplines,” she said. 

“Sheridan is exceptionally proud of Maria and her accomplishments,” said Dr. Janet Morrison, President and Vice Chancellor at Sheridan. “Along with finding success on a national and international scale, she has done so while incorporating her culture into her work. She is an inspiration for our current art students.”

Pictured top right: Maria Hupfield, a performing artist recently recognized by The Hnatyshyn Foundation