Red is Beautiful, The Conversation
Robert Houle and Faye Heavyshield with Barry Ace
Barry Ace is a practicing visual artist and currently lives in Ottawa. He is a debendaagzijig (citizen) of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Odawa Mnis (Manitoulin Island), Ontario, Canada. Ace’s work embraces the impact of the digital age and how it exponentially transforms and infuses Anishinaabeg culture (and other global cultures) with new technologies and new ways of communicating. His work attempts to harness and bridge the precipice between historical and contemporary knowledge, art, and power, while maintaining a distinct Anishinaabeg aesthetic connecting generations.
As a practicing visual artist, his work has been included in numerous group and solo exhibitions, recents include: Native Fashion Now: North American Native Style (2016 – 2017: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts); Anishinaabeg Art and Power, Royal Ontario Museum (2017: Toronto, Ontario); Every. Now. Then. Reframing Nationhood, Art Gallery of Ontario (2017: Toronto, Ontario); 2017 Canadian Biennial, National Gallery of Canada (2017: Ottawa, Ontario); We’ll All Become Stories, Ottawa Art Gallery (2018: Ottawa, Ontario); URL : IRL, Dunlop Art Gallery (2018: Regina, Saskatchewan); Public Disturbance: Politics and Protest in Contemporary Indigenous Art from Canada, Supermarket 2018 (2018: Stockholm, Sweden); Coalesce, Robert Langen Gallery (2019: Waterloo, Ontario); Carbon and Light: Juan Geuer’s Luminous Precision, Ottawa Art Gallery (2019: Ottawa, Ontario); Wrapped In Culture, Ottawa Art Gallery (2019: Ottawa, Ontario); Body of Waters, Idea Exchange (2019: Cambridge, Ontario); Abadakone, National Gallery of Canada (2019: Ottawa, Ontario); mazinigwaaso / to bead something, Faculty of Fine Art Gallery Concordia University (2019: Montreal, Quebec); To Be Continued: Troubling the Queer Archive, Carleton University Art Gallery (2020: Ottawa, Ontario); Art of Indigenous Fibers, SWAIA (2021: Santa Fe, New Mexico); Environmental Injustice – Indigenous Peoples’ Alternatives, Musée d’ethnographie de Genève (2021: Geneva, Switzerland); and Material Matters – Materiality of Anishinaabeg-biimadiziwin. Central Art Garage (2021: Ottawa, Ontario).
His work can be found in numerous public and private collections in Canada and abroad, including the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Ontario); Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Québec); Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Ontario).
Barry is the recipient of the KM Hunter Visual Artist Award for 2015. This award is administered by the Ontario Arts Foundation. Barry’s contribution to contemporary art in Canada is noted in the Art Institute of Canada’s Glossary of Canadian Art History.