The 2023-2024 AnthroGuide is the last print version. Edits for graduate programs are due July 31, 2023.

Andrea N Walsh

Primary Field
Cultural Anthropology
Associate Professor and Smyth Chair in Arts & Engagement
Associate Professor, University of Victoria, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Visual anthropology, visual culture and theory, contemporary First Nations visual culture

I am a visual anthropologist who specializes in 20th-century and contemporary aboriginal art and visual culture in Canada, as well as theoretical and methodological approaches to visual research.

I am interested in collections of objects and images and how museums and galleries curate and exhibit these pieces of material culture. My primary purpose for thinking about collections is to consider how institutions, which care for Indigenous objects and images, engage Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and audiences through curatorial and exhibition practice. My work critically reflects on and addresses discourses and actions of reconciliation and redress regarding relationships between Indigenous peoples and Canada. My focus on these larger issues through art and visual culture flows through art and cultural and educational institutions. The majority of my work as a visual anthropologist and curator is based in community led research initiatives that seek to engage these institutions and their practices.

My work as a visual anthropologist and curator is two fold:

  • Indian Residential School and Indian Day School art collections: My community-based curating and research considers the historical and contemporary significance of aboriginal children's art created and its role today in reconciliation and redress actions and movements.
  • Contemporary art practices by Indigenous artists from nations in Canada. My curatorial work and writing about contemporary Indigenous art and artists explores how art is a medium for negotiating complex intercultural experiences of continuing colonial spaces, places, and histories.


I have directed the Visiting Artist Program out of the Department of Anthropology since 2011. This program brings artists of Salish ancestry into the Anthropology of Art class (ANTH 305) to teach students about their practice. Over a series of weekly class and studio visits with the invited artist, students have worked with artists on ideas and concepts of culture, land, identity and residential schools, as part of a series of dialogues and roundtables, and they have learned hands on techniques through interactive sessions with various artists.

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Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Western Hemisphere