Ruth Cuthand was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan in 1954, but grew up near the Blood Reserve in Alberta. A Plains Cree and Scottish/Irish artist, much of her work explores the frictions between cultures, the failures of representation, and the political uses of anger.
Cuthand began her formal study of art in 1977 at the University of Regina, although her interest in art originated much earlier. Initially, Cuthand studied printmaking, but due to a chemical allergy she turned from the toxicity of printmaking methods to the practice of painting. She left the University of Regina to have her second child and returned to art school at the University of Saskatchewan, obtaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1983. She continued her training in the University of Montana’s Master of Fine Arts program in 1985, while producing the important works in her series of dress paintings – a major breakthrough in her practice.
After obtaining her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, Cuthand expanded her practice to include drawing, photography, and beadwork. Cuthand has been the recipient of the Lieutenant Govenor’s Arts Award (2013), and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2020).