Brenda Draney is Cree from Sawridge First Nation. She lives in Edmonton and studied painting at Emily Carr University in Vancouver before she received the RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2009 and long-listed for the 2013 Sobey Art Award. She is the 2014 winner of the Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize. Draney’s practice is based on her experiences and the relationships formed between her current hometown of Edmonton and the northern community of Slave Lake, Alberta, where she was raised.
Canadian, Born 26 February 1976, Edmonton, Alberta.
Brenda Draney is Cree from Sawridge First Nation, Treaty 8, with a strong connection to Slave Lake. Draney’s work is collected and shown across Canada including the National Gallery of Canada, the Embassy of Canada Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, the Sobey Collection, and the Shorefast Foundation. She shows in Banff, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Ottawa. She won both the 2009 RBC Painting Competition and 2014’s Eldon and Anne Foote Visual Arts Prize in Edmonton and was short listed for the 2016 Sobey Art Award at the National Gallery of Canada.
Draney’s work visually represents the moment when vulnerability is exposed, while encouraging the viewer to reject the notion to dominate the void where horror, poignancy, or powerful moments exist. Draney encourages her viewer to face this void head on, but as an empath. She provides enough tools for the viewer to place their own narrative within her typical imaginary spaces.
2007-2010 Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Master of Applied Arts (MAA)
2004-2006 University of Alberta, Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
2004 Grant MacEwan Community College, Alberta, Fine Arts Diploma
2000 University of Alberta, Bachelor of Arts, English Literature.
2019 “TBA,” Solo Show, Fogo Island Arts, Shorefast, Fogo Island, NL (May-September)
2019 “Medium of Exchange,” Solo Show, Touchstones Nelson Museum, Nelson, BC (June-August)
2019 “Carry Forward,” Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff, Alberta
2018 “Current Terrains,” ImagiNATIVE, A Space Gallery, Toronto, Ontario (September-October)
2018 “This Must Be The Place,” MKG127, Toronto, Ontario (April-September)
2018 “Land Mark,” The Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (April-October)
2018 “An Assembly of Shapes,” Og2, Oakville Galleries, Toronto, Ontario (June-September)
2018 “13 Ways to Summon Ghosts,” Gordon & Marion Smith Foundation Vancouver, BC, (May-October).
2018 “Belonging to a Place,” Embassy of Canada Art Gallery, Government of Canada, Washington, D.C.
2017/2018 “Carry Forward,” Kitchener-Waterloo Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario.
2017 “Belonging to a Place,” Scrap Metal Gallery, Toronto Ontario
2017 “Maps and Dreams,” Audain Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
2016 Sobey Art Awards, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
2015 “Future Station: The 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art,” Art Gallery of Alberta
2014 “90X90: Celebrating Art in Alberta,” Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton
2013 “Suspend,” RBC New Works Gallery, AGA, Edmonton, Alberta
2013 “Fiction/Non-Fiction,” Esker Foundation, Calgary, Alberta
2013 “Incubator Series” Latitude 53, Edmonton, Alberta
2013 “They Made a Day be a Day Here,” Art Gallery of Grande Prairie
2013 “They Made a Day be a Day Here,” Mendel Art Gallery.
2013 “They Made a Day be a Day Here,” School of Art Gallery.
2012 “Not Forgetting,” Harbourfront Centre, Toronto Ontario
2012 “Fire Destroyer Creator,” Stride Gallery, Calgary, Alberta
2011 “Go Figure,” MKG127, Toronto, Ontario
2010 “Brenda Draney: Hold Still,” Latitude 53, Edmonton, Alberta
2009 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Power Plant, Toronto, Ontario
2009 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Quebec
2009 “Always Almost: Master of Applied Arts Graduate Exhibition,” Vancouver, BC
2007 “Elevations,” The Other Gallery, Banff Centre, Banff Alberta
Awards and Grants
2017 The Canada Council for the Arts, Creating, Knowing, and Sharing
2016 Shortlist, Sobey Art Award
2014 Eldon and Anne Foote Edmonton Visual Art Prize, Winner.
2013 Longlist, Sobey Art Award
2011 Project Grant Canada Council for the Arts
2010 Pirie Foundation Scholarship, The Banff Centre
2009 11th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Winner.
2007 Emily Carr Institute First Nations Awards
2017 “Trapline,” MacEwan University Centre for the Arts and Culture Public Art Project, Allard Hall
October 2018 UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC
April 2018 Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, AB
November 2017 Shorefast Foundation, Fogo Island
September 2017 Scrap Metal Gallery Toronto
June 2016 Audain | SFU Galleries Vancouver
November 2016 University of Ottawa
December 2013 Art Gallery of Alberta
April 2012 Stride Gallery
April 2010 University of Lethbridge
March 2010 Latitude 53 Artist Run Centre
March 2010 Red Deer College
2019 Fogo Island Arts, Shorefast Foundation, Fogo Island, NL
2017 Fogo Island Arts, Shorefast Foundation, Fogo Island, NL
2013 “What Colour is the Present?” Thematic Residency, Banff Centre
2012 “Trading Post” thematic residency, Banff Centre
2010 “Towards Language” thematic residency, Banff Centre
2007 “North” thematic residency, Banff Centre
Draney, Brenda “Carry Forward.” Walter Phillips Gallery, February 2019
Phillips, Kimberly “13 Ways to Summon Ghosts.” Gordon & Marion Smith Foundation May 2018
Draney, Brenda “Dr. Phil.” Inuit Art Quarterly, Winter 2018
Enright, Robert “Optimistic Hybridities.” Interview, Border Crossings Magazine September 2017
Schafhausen, Nicolaus “Belonging to a Place: An Exhibition by Fogo Island Arts,” Scrap Metal Gallery 2017
Draney, Brenda “Every Territory is an Island” in “$5 Handshake,” SFU Galleries Critical Reader Series, 2017
Draney, Brenda “Of course this isn’t true. It just feels like it.” Wonder and Resonance: Fiction/Non-fiction, Esker Foundation, 2015
Griwkowsky, Fish “Preview: Edmonton Artist Paints Bravely in new AGA Exhibit” Edmonton Journal. December 2013
Trinier, Kristy “Brenda Draney: Suspend” essay in a catalogue, Art Gallery of Alberta, December 2013
Fung, Amy “Exhibition Reviews: Brenda Draney” Galleries West, Summer 2010
Fung, Amy “Brenda Draney: Thanks for the Memories,” Canadian Art Web-exclusive review, 25 March 2010
Griwkowsky, Fish “Filling in the Gaps with Imagination and Redefinition.” Edmonton Sun, 25 March 2010
Reeves, Ben “Less and More: The Painting of Brenda Draney” essay in a monograph, Latitude 53, March 2010
Sandals, Leah “Brush to Judgement” The National Post, October 28, 2009
RBC Canadian Painting Competition, Exhibition Catalogue, Royal Bank of Canada 2009
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Art Gallery of Alberta
National Gallery of Canada
Walter Philips Gallery, The Banff Centre for the Arts
The Banff Centre February 2013 Instructor, Public Programming Series
Edmonton Arts Council January 2014 Public Art Selection Committee & October 2012 Public Art Selection Committee
Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture November 2013-present Board Member
December 2011-Present Programming Committee member Red Deer College
Sept - Dec 2011 Part time instructor Painting 351
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
June - Aug 2009 Sessional Instructor Summer Institute for Teens, Aboriginal Arts
Aug - Dec 2008 Sessional Instructor, Painting 102
June - Aug 2008 Sessional Instructor, Summer Institute for Aboriginal Teens
Latitude 53 Society of Artists April - Aug 2003 Summer Intern