Steven Loft

He addresses issues of cultural identity, human rights, and communication, and provides new perspectives on Indigenous art and cultural discourse.

2010 Visiting Trudeau Fellow

The director of the Aboriginal Arts Office of the Canada Council for the Arts, Steven Loft, of Mohawk-Jewish heritage, is a curator, writer and media artist. Born in Hamilton, he studied at McMaster University and Humber College of Applied Arts. Loft was the Artistic Director of the Native Indian/Inuit Photographers Association (NIIPA) and the First Nations curator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton during the 1990s. In 2002, he became the Director of the Urban Shaman Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada's largest Aboriginal artist-run centre. In December 2007, he became the first to hold the two-year position of curator-in-residence, Indigenous Art, at the National Gallery of Canada (NGC). His exhibitions there, which included "Culture Shock", "Back to the Beginning" and "Steeling the Gaze", presented highly contemporary First Nations art that incorporated abstraction, photography and multi-media, and broke new ground in contextualizing Aboriginal art practices. Loft has also written extensively on Aboriginal art and aesthetics for magazines, catalogues and arts publications. Loft co-editedTransference, Technology, Tradition: Aboriginal Media and New Media Art, published by the Banff Centre Press in 2005. His video works, which include A History in Two Parts, 2510037901, TAX THIS! and Out of the Darkness have been screened at festivals and galleries across Canada and internationally.