First National Visiting Trudeau Fellowship Awarded to Steven Loft at Ryerson University
September 28, 2010
Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre
Nationally recognized curator, theorist and writer Steven Loft has been awarded the inaugural National Visiting Trudeau Fellowship by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation. One of the most prestigious humanities awards in Canada, the fellowship will allow Loft to dedicate three years to multi-disciplinary research, writing, and curatorial practice at Ryerson University with the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre.
According to the Foundation, “Trudeau Fellowships are awarded to individuals that set themselves apart through research achievements, creativity and commitment to critical social issues of importance to Canada.” The Foundation cites Loft as “a well-known figure of contemporary art in Canada” whose work “addresses issues of cultural identity, human rights, and communication, and provides new perspectives on Indigenous art and cultural discourse.”
“We are honoured that the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation has awarded the first National Visiting Trudeau Fellowship at Ryerson University,” said Alan Shepard, Ryerson’s Provost and Vice President Academic. “The University has strong ties with the Aboriginal and other cultural communities, and Loft’s expertise will strengthen those ties, enhance research, and engage the Ryerson community and the public in culturally dynamic discourse.”
The award will enable Loft to develop a series of writings, lectures, and exhibitions at the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre, in addition to pursuing his research interests.
“It is a great privilege to receive this award,” said Loft. “It will allow me to engage more fully in research related to indigenous visual and material culture, with a focus on identifying the place of contemporary Aboriginal artistic production in defining indigenous presence socially, politically and culturally. It will also be a rare opportunity to work with the historical photographs in The Black Star Collection at Ryerson University to address the representation of Aboriginal Peoples in the press in the 20th century.”
Doina Popescu, Director of the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre, said: “We are immensely grateful to the Trudeau Foundation for awarding Steven Loft this fellowship. He brings an essential perspective into the University and the gallery environment, and we look forward to how his work will stimulate dialogue and enhance critical awareness and understanding of indigenous people’s art and representation in mass media.”
The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation is an independent and non-partisan foundation established in 2001. The foundation invests in people and ideas, seeking out the finest thinkers in the humanities and social sciences. Every year the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation selects up to five fellows who have proven that they can imagine and promote new solutions to major contemporary issues, relying on both the knowledge they have drawn from leading-edge research and the conscientious attention they pay to the needs of our society. The Trudeau Fellowships are of a total value of $225,000, and Trudeau Fellows are appointed for a mandate of three years. For more information on the Trudeau Foundation, visit http://www.trudeaufoundation.ca.
Ryerson University is Canada's leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers close to 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to 28,000 students, including 2,000 master's and PhD students, nearly 2,700 tenured and tenure-track faculty and staff, and more than 130,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada's leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit www.ryerson.ca
The Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre will be an international centre of excellence for the study, teaching, research, and public exhibition of photography, new media, and film. It will combine public exhibition of innovative work by professional international artists, with inspiring academic research and educational opportunities. The Research Centre will be a fully-staffed professional research centre, housing The Black Star Collection at Ryerson University, and other collections, in a museum-quality climate-controlled environment. Students, academics, curators, and others will be welcome to access the Research Centre and the collections within, by appointment.
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For the Trudea Foundation media release, see http://www.trudeaufoundation.ca/resource/public/communiq/2010fellows
Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre
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