The citywide poster campaign “Send Your Child to Art School” (2015) was produced by world-renowned Canadian artist Rodney Graham. This commission was distributed throughout Winnipeg. This poster series reformulates an earlier work by Graham, taking his message street-level to provoke conversations concerning the arts, artists’ roles in society, and the priorities of our educational institutions. Graham’s sentiment challenges common criticism of artists and the arts as being non-productive contributors to society. His straightforward directive inversely draws attention to the importance of cultural production as part of building complex and reﬂective citizens.
Rodney Graham, one of Canada’s foremost artists, came to international acclaim in the visual artists for his presentation of Vexation Island at the Venice Biennial in 1997. His early work often used the loop as a formal principle of narration drawing uncanny dream-like repetitions. Throughout his practice, Graham has played both image-maker and image as he uses himself to portray an array of historic and fictional characters: from the amateur painter and musician to the lighthouse keeper and scientist. Repeated representations of the artist as a persona figure throughout Graham’s works so much so that his portrayal of the modernist painter has led to him making abstract paintings. He is also an accomplished musician who has played worldwide and is soon to release a 7-inch with music icon Kim Gordon. He has had major exhibitions of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, LA; Whitechapel, London, UK; Dia Centre for the Arts, NYC; Hamburger Kunsthalle; and MACBA, Barcelona. He has numerous publications on his work and has been featured in Artforum, Afterall, Frieze among many others.