West Coast Teaching Award badgeMimi has short black hair and wears red sunglasses, green earrings, and a patterned black shirt. She stands next to a tall, spiky plant with a purple flower.Emily Carr University and Art + Design is proud to announce that ECU associate professor Dr. Mimi Gellman is a recipient of a 2023 West Coast Teaching Excellence Award (WCTEA).

The prestigious award was launched in 2021 by the BC Teaching and Learning Council with support from BCcampus. The WCTEA celebrates excellence in teaching in public post-secondary institutions in BC and the Yukon.

Dr. Mimi Gellman is an Ashkenazi-Anishinaabe Métis visual artist and educator with a passion for the decolonization and Indigenization of art and design theory and practice. A pair of innovative, hybrid studio courses developed by Dr. Gellman clearly demonstrate this passion.

The first, called Decolonial Aesthetics, challenges undergraduate students to reflect on aesthetics through a non-Western lens. In doing so, the dominant arts canon shifts to privilege global cultural practices.

The second, a foundation-level course called Indigenous Presence, introduces students to Indigenous ways of knowing, thinking and making. It emphasizes land-based pedagogies, the significance of place to art and design studies, and our responsibilities to the lands and peoples of our Indigenous Host Nations.

Throughout her extensive teaching portfolio, Dr. Gellman foregrounds the importance of allowing space for reflection and contemplation. She is a tireless champion for alternative assessment models that privilege care, reciprocity, group dialogue and collaborative effort over individual competition.

Dr. Gellman’s inspiring teaching practice provides an exemplary model for how Indigenous pedagogies can be woven into and beyond curricula. She is a superlative educator whose work we are delighted to see recognized through this award.