2022 Leo Award: Candice Hopkins and American Indian Community House (AICH)


ICI will honor curator Candice Hopkins and the nonprofit American Indian Community House (AICH) with the 2022 Leo Award. Presented as part of ICI’s 2022 Benefit in a Box, the award recognizes Hopkins’ work in the changing outlook in the field of conservation, opening doors for artists and curators through projects such as ICI’s traveling exhibition Polls: an exhibition in five parts and in her role as Executive Director and Chief Curator of Forge Project. Hopkins shares the Leo Award with AICH, whose mission is to enhance and promote the well-being of the Native American community and foster cross-cultural understanding, consistent with ICI’s commitment to supporting Indigenous practices. Both will be honored on October 25 at a reception at the Sean Kelly Gallery in New York. The 2022 benefit is co-chaired by Becky and David Gochman, Lauren Kelly, Suydam (Sydie) Lansing and Ann Schaffer.

“All of us at ICI are deeply grateful to Candice for the opportunity to work with her, and we are proud to recognize her alongside the American Indian Community House – and so many people who have been with them along the way. – for their tireless work to promote contemporary Native American art,” says Renaud Proch, Executive and Artistic Director, ICI. “This year’s recipients represent the potential of conservation work to write history every day; create spaces for artists who open our eyes to a complex understanding of the world; and to connect people with each other, strengthening communities through art.

In her work with ICI, Hopkins co-curated the exhibition Polls: an exhibition in five partswith Dylan Robinson, which has traveled to seven locations in North America since 2019 and recently opened at the Kansas City Art Institute. This exhibition represented a critical step in ICI’s initial support of Indigenous conservation practices, as did Jordan Wilson’s 2020 Indigenous Conservation Fellowship, which was conducted under the guidance and mentorship of Hopkins.

A citizen of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, Candice Hopkins is widely recognized for bringing Indigenous art and ideas to the fore. The 2013 exhibition Sakahan: inInternational Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada and 16 partner institutions, of which she co-curated with Greg Hill and Christine Lalonde, was the largest ever global survey of contemporary Indigenous art at the time and for a time major in the practice of indigenous conservation. She served as Senior Curator for the 2019 and 2022 editions of the Toronto Biennale of Art. In 2021, she was named the first Executive Director and Chief Curator of Forge Project, an Indigenous-led initiative centered on Indigenous art, decolonial education and supporting leaders in culture, food security and land justice based in the Mahicannituck Valley on unceded territory. homelands of the Muh-he-con-ne-ok, the never-still water peoples, who now reside in Wisconsin and are known as the Stockbridge Munsee Band of Mohicans. Last year, Hopkins was one of the first recipients of the Noah Davis Award celebrating curators who innovate in their field and expand cultural audiences.

Founded in 1969, American Indian Community House is a New York institution that has provided essential community support to the 35,000 Native Americans representing 70 indigenous nations living in New York City as one of many urban diasporas. Among the many social services they provide, AICH has sought to raise awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on Indigenous communities and help fill gaps in access to health care, including PReP and elderly care. The organization has also partnered with numerous arts organizations to provide arts programs and advocacy in New York City, fostering a broader understanding of Native American history and culture. Over its fifty-plus year history, AICH has had a significant impact on the lives of many native people, including Hopkins, who as a graduate student at Bard College discovered the work of artists Greg Hill and Mario Martinez in landmark exhibitions at AICH. Gallery.

Established in 1990 and named after early ICI supporter and legendary art dealer Leo Castelli, the prize honors extraordinary contributions to the field of contemporary art. Past recipients of the award include Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Dimitris Daskalopoulos, Marian Goodman, Michael Govan, Roy and Dorothy Lichtenstein, Miuccia Prada, Emily Rauh Pulizter, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and Steve McQueen.

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