Dr. Joane Cardinal-Schubert LL.D (Hon), R.C.A.
Birch Bark Quilt Letter, 1997
Private collection, Calgary
A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 1986, Joane Cardinal-Schubert was also a writer, curator, lecturer, poet and activist for First Nations artists and individuals engaged in the struggle for Native sovereignty. Joane Cardinal-Schubert was born in 1942 in Red Deer and attended the Alberta College of…
A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 1986, Joane Cardinal-Schubert was also a writer, curator, lecturer, poet and activist for First Nations artists and individuals engaged in the struggle for Native sovereignty.
Joane Cardinal-Schubert was born in 1942 in Red Deer and attended the Alberta College of Art, 1962-64; 1966-67, studying, painting, printmaking, and multi-media. In 1973 she began a BA at the University of Alberta, transferring to the University of Calgary in 1973, graduating with a BFA in 1977. Cardinal-Schubert worked as assistant curator at the University of Calgary Art Gallery in 1978, and the Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary, Alberta, from 1979 to 1985.
Cardinal-Schubert’s painting and installation practice is prominent for its incisive evocation of contemporary First Nations experiences and condemnation of the imposition of Euro-American religious, educational and governmental systems upon Aboriginal people. The artist’s four-year project – a sculptural commission for the Calgary Airport – located in the departure lounge of the airline WestJet, has attracted much attention. The Messenger ¬Drum Dancer “aka Prairie Pony” sits on its four-direction terrazzo floor and points south, back to its pictograph brothers and sisters at Writing-on-the-Stone Park at Milk River in Southern Alberta.
Her writing has been published internationally in art magazines, catalogues, and books. She worked professionally as a curator, an artist, a lecturer, and a director of video and Native theatre. In 2007, she was awarded the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation Award – Arts, presented to her at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton. In 2006, in recognition of Alberta’s Centennial, the Alberta Government gifted the painting “Song of My Dream, Bed Dance,” to the National Gallery of Canada. The same year she was awarded ACAD’s Board of Governors’ Alumni Award of Excellence in recognition for exceptional achievement in art and design. In 2005, she was a recipient of The Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal of Canada for her contributions to Canada and her community.
In 2003, the artist was granted a Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Calgary. A video in which she participated in as Director and Art Director/animator was shown at MOMA, NY, in the exhibition Walk with the Ancients as well as other international exhibitions. A retrospective of her work was organized by the FAB Art Gallery at the University of Alberta, Passage to Origins in 1993 and her retrospective Joane Cardinal-Schubert: Two Decades, organized by the Muttart Gallery in 1997, continued to tour nationally until after the year 2000. Also notable is her election to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1985 (received 1986) and the receipt of the Commemorative Medal of Canada in 1993 for her contribution to the Arts. Her work is published in many, catalogues, reviews and books; notably in such publications as Canadian Art – From It’s Beginnings to 2000, Anne Newlands, Firefly Press; By A Lady, Celebrating Three Centuries of Art by Canadian Women, Maria Tippett, Viking Press, 1992 and The Trickster Shift, Allan J. Ryan, UBC Press, 1998.
Her work has been carried in Calgary by Masters Gallery for over 20 years. She is also represented across Canada by several other galleries. More than 26 solo exhibitions in Canada, the United States and Europe and numerous international touring group exhibitions have included her work. She is represented in such selected public collections as The National Gallery of Canada, The Art Bank, The Indian Arts Centre Collection, Ottawa, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, The Thunder. Bay Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Canadian Embassies in Japan, New York, Stockholm and Tokyo, and in the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, (Duke and Duchess of York) London, England. Her work is included in many corporate collections such as Shell Canada Limited, Bank of Montreal, Bank of America, Esso Resources, and Northern Telecom and many international private collections.
Joane Cardinal-Schubert passed away in 2009.