McMaster, Gerald (1953-)

Gerald McMater, November 1985
Robert Watson (Regina Leader-Post)

Gerald R. McMaster, a Plains Cree, was born on the Red Pheasant Reserve in 1953. He is a significant figure in contemporary Indigenous art in Canada because of his work as an artist, writer, curator, and prominent scholar. As an artist he works in both two-dimensional and installation media, using humour and irony to convey his comments on colonialism and stereotypes of plains First Nations. In 1981 McMaster was appointed Curator of Contemporary Indian Art and subsequently became Curator-in-Charge of the First Peoples Hall, at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. He created such important exhibitions as In the Shadow of the Sun (1988), INDIGENA (1992), and Reservation X (1999). Since 2000 he has worked for the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. McMaster began his education at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and recently received a PhD from the Amsterdam School of Cultural Analysis. From 1977 to 1981 he was coordinator of the Indian Art Program at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now First Nations University of Canada). (See photo on facing page.)

Carmen Robertson