Indigenous Artists Facing the Camera – Opening Conversation with Rosalie Favell: Block Museum - Northwestern University
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Indigenous Artists Facing the Camera – Opening Conversation with Rosalie Favell

large black and white photo of Rosalie Favell on left, with rows of smaller portraits on the right
Rosalie Favell, Portraits from the series Facing the Camera (2018)
Artist Talks
6:00 PM-7:30 PM

Event Details

Date & Time:

Wed September 27, 2023
6:00 PM-7:30 PM


The Block Museum of Art
40 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208


Open to the public


In these images, as in all my work, I see the photograph as a performance space, where identity is constantly worked and reworked, represented, and perhaps hidden. – Rosalie Favell

Rosalie Favell (b. 1958) is a photo-based Métis artist from Canada whose work is inspired by her Indigenous heritage. Rosalie Favell: Indigenous Artists Facing the Camera presents an extensive portfolio of black and white portraits that speak loudly of the broad diversity of Indigenous people engaged in the arts and cultural community. The exhibition draws from the artist’s monumental archive, "Facing the Camera," consisting of more than 500 photographs taken between 2008 and 2018 in North America and Australia, as well as a selection of new portraits showcasing the vibrant and thriving community of Indigenous artists based in and near Chicago.

In this opening conversation, artist Rosalie Favell will be joined by Janet Dees, Block Museum of Art Steven and Lisa Munster Tananbaum Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, to reflect on the exhibition’s contributions to expanding the visibility of contemporary Indigenous artists and arts professionals.



Programs are open to all, on a first-come first-served basis. RSVPs are not required, but appreciated, as they help us anticipate attendance numbers.


This program is co-presented with the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. 


Major support for the exhibition is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition is also generously supported by the David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg Arts Foundation, the Alumnae of Northwestern University, and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.




About the Artist

black and white portrait of short-haired woman in glasses, smiling with chin propped up by handRosalie Favell is a photo-based artist, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Drawing inspiration from her family history and Métis (Cree/English) heritage, she uses a variety of sources, from family albums to popular culture, to present a complex self-portrait of her experiences as a contemporary aboriginal woman. To date Rosalie’s work has explored the relation of photography to issues of identity. A major body of recent work, "Facing the Camera" (2008-ongoing), is a large document of Aboriginal artists (450+). Favell has received enormous support from her fellow Aboriginal artists for her project, photographing them in different cities to give as much representation of her community as possible. During her residency in Australia in 2016, she met renowned Aboriginal artist Maree Clarke. This key encounter inspired her to initiate a new project, Wrapped in Culture, which brought together 10 Indigenous artists from Australia and Canada. Collaboratively the artists created a contemporary version of a possum skin cloak and a buffalo robe, drawing from culturally distinct yet similar artistic traditions that historically have sacred and practical uses.

Over the course of her long career, Favell’s work has appeared in exhibitions in Canada, the US, Edinburgh, Scotland, Paris, France, Taipei, Taiwan and Melbourne, Australia. Numerous institutions have acquired her artwork including: National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa), Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (Ottawa), Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C.), and Global Affairs, Canada. She has received numerous grants, and won prestigious awards such as the Ontario Arts Foundation – Paul DeHuek/Norman Walford Career Achievement Award, the Chalmers Fellowship, the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunten Award and the Karsh Award.  A graduate of Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, Rosalie holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of New Mexico and a PhD (ABD) from Carleton University in Cultural Mediations. In Ottawa Rosalie has taught at Carleton University, the University of Ottawa and Discovery University.

Contact The Block Museum of Art for more information: (847) 491-4000 or email us at