Ruth Cuthand

About the Artist

“[D]espite both planned and inadvertent genocide and assimilation, I am still alive
and kicking” (Ruth Cuthand, 1988, paraphrased)

Ruth Cuthand was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1954, but grew up near the Blood Reserve in Alberta. A Plains  CreeThe largest group of First Nations in Canada, and part of the Algonquian language family. See the Canadian Encyclopedia for more information:  and Scots/Irish artist, much of her work explores the frictions between cultures, the failures of representation, and the political uses of anger.

Cuthand began her formal study of art in 1977 at the University of Regina, although her interest in art originated much earlier. Initially, Cuthand studied printmaking, but due to a chemical allergy she turned from the toxicity of  printmakingA print is a shape or mark made from a block or plate or other object that is covered with wet colour (usually ink) and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or textile. Most prints can be produced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate. Printmaking can be done in many ways, including using an engraved block or stone, transfer paper, or a film negative. The making of fine prints is generally included in the graphic arts, while the work of artists whose designs are made to satisfy the needs of more commercial clients are included in graphic design. (  methods to the less dangerous practice of painting. She ended up leaving the University of Regina to have her second child, but returned to art school at the University of Saskatchewan, obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1983. She continued her training in the University of Montana’s Master of Fine Arts program in 1985, while producing the important works in her  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of dress paintings - a major breakthrough in her practice.

After obtaining her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, Cuthand refocused her practice. The mother of two daughters (one now the important video artist Thirza Cuthand), she needed a new way of working, and began to create works in  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (  and photography.

A New Look for the '90s
Indian Portraits- Late 20th Century
Living Post-Oka Kind of Woman Series
No Racism Just Underlying Bitterness
People Target Panel
She Decided to Be an Artist in Grade Three
White Liberal Series
Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning