Gerald McMaster—curator, artist, author, and professor—is Tier 1 Canada Research Chair of Indigenous Visual Culture and Curatorial Practice and director of the Wapatah: Centre for Indigenous Visual Knowledge at OCAD University.
McMaster has over thirty years of international work and expertise in contemporary art, critical theory, museology and indigenous aesthetics, working at such institutions as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, and the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History). His experience as an artist and curator in art and ethnology museums researching and collecting art as well as producing exhibitions has given him a thorough understanding of transnational Indigenous visual knowledge and curatorial practice.
He was chosen to represent Canada as curator for the Edward Poitras exhibition at the prestigious Venice Biennale (1995) and then eighteen Indigenous architects at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2018). In 2010 he was the Canadian Commissioner to the Biennale of Sydney, and in 2012 he was Artistic Director to the 18th Biennale of Sydney.
He studied fine arts at the Institute of American Indian Art (Santa Fe, New Mexico) and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (BFA 1977). After receiving his MA in anthropology from Carleton University, he went on to defend his doctoral dissertation, “The New Tribe: Critical Perspectives and Practices in Aboriginal Contemporary Art,” at the University of Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Theory, and Interpretation (1999).
McMaster is a Nêhiyaw (Plains Cree) and a citizen of the Siksika First Nation.