Multidisciplinary Artist Adrian Stimson Becomes New AUArts Board Chair

Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts) is pleased to announce the appointment of Adrian Stimson as the new Chair of the Board of Governors. Stimson is the first Indigenous Board Chair in the institution’s 98-year history. He is a member of the Siksika (Blackfoot) Nation in Treaty 7 and has served as a public Board member on AUArts’ Board of Governors since August 2021. Stimson has a unique understanding of AUArts as both an alumnus (BFA with distinction ’03, Painting) and professional multidisciplinary artist who exhibits nationally and internationally.

He succeeds M. Carol Ryder who served as the Board Chair for 10 years, starting when the university was formerly the Alberta College of Art and Design. “Serving as Alberta University of the Arts’ Board Chair has been a privilege,” says Ryder. “I am pleased to pass the role to Adrian Stimson. His education, professional history and many accolades received over the years make him the ideal candidate to lead the Board as AUArts approaches its centennial in 2026.”

“I am humbled and honoured to take on this role, and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Board of Governors to advance Alberta University of the Arts. The university is an important incubator for artists, designers and craftspeople; it is a place where we build capacities to reflect on our shared histories and inspire creative futures.” - Stimson 

Dr. Daniel Doz, President and CEO of Alberta University of the Arts, reflects, “Adrian Stimson is an amazing artist and leader who brings a regional, national and international perspective to Alberta University of the Arts. He brings a personal investment to the role of Board Chair with his deep understanding of the important role arts and culture and higher education play in our society. With AUArts’ centennial on the horizon, Adrian is ideally positioned to lead the Board as we look at envisioning and building the next 100 years.”

Stimson’s interdisciplinary career as an artist includes painting, performance, video, installation, and public art commissions. His work is included in museum collections across Canada, the United States and in the United Kingdom. 

A Canadian Armed Forces veteran, Stimson was also a civilian participant in the Canadian Forces Artist Program, which sent him to Afghanistan in 2010. 

In June 2023, the Canadian Government awarded Team Stimson (Adrian Stimson, LeuWebb Projects, MBTW Group) the commission for the National Monument to Canada’s Mission in Afghanistan in Ottawa. Other awards include the Alumni of Influence Award by the University of Saskatchewan in 2020, the Governor General Award for Visual and Media Arts in 2018, the REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award – Hnatyshyn Foundation in 2017, the Blackfoot Visual Arts Award in 2009, the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003.

In addition to his BFA with distinction from the Alberta University of the Arts, Stimson has attended and received degrees, diplomas and certificates from the University of Guelph and The Banff Centre for the Arts and received his MFA from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005.

Stimson has extensive leadership and governance experience. He was first elected to serve on the Siksika Nation Council in 1990, serving four consecutive terms over 11 years. Portfolios included Education, Culture, Finance and Administration. As part of his Education portfolio, Stimson served as Chair of the Old Sun Community College for two terms. As portfolio holder for Culture, Stimson was elected to the First Nations Confederacy of Cultural Education Centres, a governance body that oversees over 50 Indigenous cultural centres across Canada, a position he held for three years.

Stimson has been appointed Chair of the AUArts Board for a first three-year term that begins on March 20, 2024.