NAME: Maria Hupfield  
NATION: Anishnaabe  
DISCIPLINE: Sculpture / Performance Art  


I hand-make industrial felt sculptures, a mash up of contemporary everyday references and place based knowledge informed by the Anishinaabe Intelligence of my ancestors. Activated in live performances, carried on the body, and video documented as objects my creations evolve, and acquire new relation based meaning with each iteration. I am interested in these moments of activation as opportunities to shift expectations towards new ways of seeing and possibility. When performing I aim to open space for live shared experiences with audience members. I chose to work with materials that bridge modern art with craft, fashion with industrial design, the old with the new and the hand with machine. In my work industrial felt equalizes formal and functional hierarchies and aesthetics while functioning as both shield and screen. I use tin jingles to match sound with movement and recall the vitality of the contemporary jingle dress worn by women. I am deeply invested in research on postcolonial discourses, intersectionality and indigenous feminisms as alternatives that challenge dominate narratives on race, gender, class, indigenaity, land and the environment today.


Hupfield is based in Brooklyn, Anishinaabe and a member of Wasauksing First Nation, Ontario. Her recent traveling solo exhibition, The One Who Keeps on Giving, opened the 30th Anniversary season of The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto in partnership with Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal; Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Halifax; and Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris. She participated in SITELines Santa Fe 2016 and is a Joan Mitchell Foundation recipient. Hupfield co-organized Crossroads: Art + Native Feminisms a day of Indigenous Feminist panels for CAA2017 at the Museum of Arts + Design NY, and #callresponse a Canada Council Arts {Re}Conciliation Initiative. Hupfield attended the 2014 AIM Program at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the 2013 Winter Studio Residency Wave Hill NY, Open Studios, Museum of Arts and Design 2012 and the 2012 Artist Leadership Program, Smithsonian Washington DC. Her nine-foot birchbark canoe made of industrial felt was performed in Venice, Italy for the premiere of Jiimaan, 2015. Hupfield is the founder of 7th Generation Image Makers, a native youth arts and mural program in Toronto, and co-owner of the Native Art Department International with artist Jason Lujan.

Hupfield graduated with a MFA in Sculpture from York University Toronto and a BA in Art and Art History from the University of Toronto and Sheridan College.