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Robert Houle

Robert Houle

Fellowship Artist

Fellowship: Path Breakers (2003)
Cultural Affiliation: Saulteaux

Houle was born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada, and he currently lives in Toronto. His first spoken language was Ojibwe. At the young age of seven, he was removed from his family by the local priest and reserve agent and relocated to the Sandy Bay residential school. Houle received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History from the University of Manitoba in 1972. In 1975, he received a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from McGill University. Two years later, in 1977, the Canadian Museum of Civilization hired Houle as the first curator of contemporary art. For over fifteen years, Houle taught at the OCAD from where he retired. In 1993, he was the recipient of the Janet Braide Memorial Award for Excellence in Canadian Art; in 2001, the Toronto Arts Award for the Visual Arts; and in 2015, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. Houle is also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. His paintings, photos, and installation pieces reflect his personal indigenous knowledge, his understanding of abstraction, and his experiences at residential schools.