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SUBJECT: Grenfell - First Nations artist to speak at Grenfell College
DATE: Oct. 3, 2007

The visiting artists program of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College is pleased to present First Nations artist Shelley Niro. 
Ms. Niro will speak on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at 7 p.m. in FA224. Shelley Niro is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Iroquois Confederacy, Turtle Clan. She is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and received an MFA from the University of Western Ontario. Ms. Niro works in several media: painting, photography, performance beadwork and film. In her work, Ms. Niro challenges stereotypic images of aboriginal peoples through the use of performance, masquerade, parody and appropriation. Often using herself, friends and family members as subjects, Ms. Niro creates representations which cut through the deforming influence that history, politics and bureaucracy have on native peoples’ identities. The artist instead proposes complex individuals full of lived experience and community connections.
A notable work of Ms. Niro’s which explores both familial relations and the alienation natives feel in urban settings is “Mohawks in Beehives” (1991) where she and her sisters dressed up, developed alter egos and spent the day in Brantford, Ont. The resulting photographs follow the sisters as they tour the city, pose in front of statues of Joseph Brant and humorously take back the city.
Her films include “Honey Moccassin”, an award winning film of collective memory and humor which she wrote and directed, “It Starts with a Whisper,” co-produced with Anna Gronau, and “Suite: Indian.” Ms. Niro has exhibited extensively throughout Canada and the United States.
This presentation is made possible with support from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and the Canada Council for the Arts.

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