Summer Indigenous Art Intensive

The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive is a month-long residency gathers artists, curators, writers and scholars to engage in contemporary ideas and discourse—a place for new ideas rooted in Indigenous art-making.

The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive has been coordinated by the Department of Creative Studies since 2013 and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

2018 Program

UBC Okanagan’s Summer Indigenous Art Intensive offers an educational series of courses, lectures, art shows, and opportunities to create art. 
The Summer Indigenous Art Intensive, organized by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), means a jam-packed July. It features a series of world-renowned speakers, a variety of related undergraduate and graduate credit courses, and a group of resident artists who will be working to create a new body of work.  

The 2018 Intensive will broadly engage the theme GroundWorks, connecting to place and founding practices, being grounded in land, voice and language, reconnecting to/nurturing traditions, and beyond.

Visiting Artists

The summer intensive is a unique program that brings international and national Indigenous scholars and artists together on campus to interact with students in a residency context.

Stay tuned for information about this years invited artists. 


Alongside the intensive residency, FCCS is offering additional courses in visual art, creative writing, and performance. These will run in conjunction with the Indigenous Summer Intensive with varying degrees of crossover, providing students the opportunity to connect with the keynote speakers and the resident artists. All courses will run from July 3 to 26, 2018. 

Creative Writing: CRWR 382P: A Creative Writing Collaboratory | Instructor: Matt Rader

Undergraduate Course: How can a writer collaborate with others? A practice-based course, the Collaboratory, provides opportunities for writers to explore how their work might be informed and transformed by direct engagement with artists from a variety of practices including visual arts, performance, and critical studies, while inviting those same artists to explore how writers can shape and reshape their own practices. Guided by Indigenous and Pragmatic ways of knowing and modelled on Open Access tenets of emergent, collectively-held space, the Collaboratory asks through the making of new works: How does a writer collaborate with language, with audience, with self? How does collaboration with material, image, and sound influence writing? In what ways do writers collaborate with history, ecology, and power? What makes collaboration possible? What makes it necessary? 

Theatre: THTR 301: Special Topics in Performance Styles | Instructor: Neil Cadger

Undergraduate Course: The course will provide students the opportunity to explore traditional and contemporary based performance practices in conjuction with the Intensive. This will be delivered as a studio course but will also involve class participants interacting with guest Indigenous artists, Elders, and to attend events that reflect Indigenous practices.

Visual Arts: VISA 460J: Time and Abstraction | Instructor: Katherine Pickering

Undergraduate course: This course provides students with the opportunity to strengthen their art practice by engaging deeply with creative research around specific sites in the Okanagan. Coursework begins outdoors with a series of assignments intended to strengthen students' powers of observation. Back in the studio, a variety of short experiments will jump start the development of self-directed project ideas by identifying the core priorities in their art practice. Class discussions, critical feedback and journaling will further student's in-depth investigation of their creative thought processes, and help to generate new avenues for investigation. Weekly contact with resident artists will provide examples of the diverse range of approaches to visual research and highlight the role of cultural identity and the importance of place within the artists' practice. This course is appropriate for artists and creative thinkers at every stage of their development. 

INDG 295: the Extraction and Reclamation of Indigenous Cultural Heritage | Instructor: Greg Younging

Undergraduate Course: The course will cover the history of the extraction and attempted elimination of Indigenous cultural heritage, including artistic expression, through the Residential School Era (1938-1990) and the Culture Ban (1884-1948) through the Indian Act. The imposition of Eurocentric Intellectual Property Rights law on Traditional Knowledge will also be covered, as well as the application of colonizing false narratives and stereotypes. The Reclamation of Indigenous cultural heritage, beginning in the 1960s through to the present, will be traced and analyzed. Overall, the course will have an historical through to contemporary Indigenous Arts Focus. 

Graduate Studies: VISA 520/IGS 520: Contemporary Indigenous Art Praxis | Instructor: Stephen Foster

Graduate Course: In this course students will investigate the methodologies and practices of Indigenous Artists in contemporary contexts of creative praxis, including visual and performance art. The focus of this compressed intensive course will be on Indigenous art that engages social, political, regional, and global issues in relationship to diverse communities and contexts. The immersive environment will involve nine hours per week for a four-week period and will create a learning environment that encourages in-depth exploration of the traditions, methods, and practices of studio artists and curators. 

Registration is open for all of the courses listed above. UBC students can register when they log into SSC.

Schedule of Events

The Intensive offers an immersive experience of undergraduate and graduate courses in Visual Arts, Creative Writing, Performance, and Indigenous Studies, along with panel conversations, keynote addresses, art exhibitions and performances, readings, and various additional events and fieldtrips throughout - some planned, some impromptu. 

Registration information

UBC students can register in any of the courses that are on offer as part of the the 2018 program. Regular tuition and fees apply for all courses. 

Enrollment at UBC's Okanagan campus as an Unclassified student is intended for those students who have a previous university degree and want to enroll in courses not intended to lead to a particular UBC degree or diploma. You must first apply to UBC in order to register as an Unclassified Student. 

Under the terms of the Western Deans' Agreement, graduate students of the member institutions may take courses at another member institution without having to pay the host university's tuition fee. Below is a link to the information at the UBC Okanagan campus. If you are at another institution, and want to utilize the WDA, you must contact your graduate program. 

If you are a student completing a degree program at a recognized degree-granting institution, you are welcome to apply to UBC's Okanagan campus as a visiting student, and to take courses at UBC that will transfer back to your home institution.

Instructions on how to apply as a visiting student:


Stephen Foster

Department Head, Creative Studies

Last reviewed shim4/4/2018 1:58:04 PM