Judy Anderson is Nêhiyaw (Cree) from Gordon First Nation, Saskatchewan, Treaty 4 territory and an Associate Professor of Canadian Indigenous Studio Art in the Department of Art at the University of Calgary. Anderson’s practice includes beadwork, installation, hand-made paper, painting, three-dimensional pieces, and, collaborative projects all of which are deeply personalwith a focus on issues of spirituality, family, colonialism and Indigenous epistemological and ontological traditions.

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Honour Boxes (2016-2017)

Drawing on Indigenous teachings, knowledge and ways of making, I create work that honours people in my life.  Although each piece is fully planned before I begin, it is only as I work on them that the true spirit of my subject is realized.


“And from her parts of me emerged…”


This piece honors Maria Campbell who has had an incredibly profound effect on my life.  Through recreating the cover of Maria’s book, “Halfbreed,” I realized that while my journey with her began with this book, it was our friendship, a relationship filled with laughter, stories, tears, lessons, teachings and love, that really mattered.  As a result, it was from this ability to focus on our relationship while beading that I was able to finally recognize that, from her parts of me emerged.




And from her parts of me emerged… (2016) beads, material, coyote pelt, rocks, plexi-glass, handmade paper, 12”L x 7 3/8” w x 5” H. Photo credit: Cruz Anderson


Copyright: Used by permission of McClelland & Stewart, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited; original photo of Maria Campbell by Dan Gordon


And from her parts of me emerged…, detail. Photo Credit: Cruz Anderson


And from her parts of me emerged…, detail. Photo Credit: Andrew Barcham


“I Thank Her for Every Lesson” 


This piece honours Linda Duvall who was one of my most influential instructors in university. I thank her for every lesson, because she continues to have a profound effect on the way I think about art, approach art making and how I teach art.




I Thank Her for Every Lesson (2017) beads, plexiglass, speakers, sound recording, black bear fur, 18” L x 10 ½” W x 8” H | 45.7 L x 26.6 W x 20.3 H cm. Photo Credit: Mike Patten


“Fuck ya, besties”


Fuck ya, besties” honours my BFF Brenda Macdougall who was instrumental in teaching me what real and unconditional friendship looks like. This box was meant to represent her, instead it represents aspects of the both of us and a friendship that is filled with laughter, swears, stories, tears, lessons, teachings and love. Fuck ya, she’s my bestie.




“Fuck ya, besties” (2019) size 10 & 11 Czech beads, beaver skin, 12″ L x 7 3/8″ W x 6″ H (approx) 27” x 16” x 7” (approx installation size) | 68.5 L x 40.6 W x 17.7 H cm. Photo Credit: Mike Patten


She is Worth Celebrating




She is Worth Celebrating (2016) beads, plexi, various items, sinew, rabbit fur, 12”L x 7 3/8” w x 5” H. Photo credit: Charlie Fox