Lisa Steele works in video, photography, film and performance as well as writing and curating on video and media arts. Steele’s videotapes have been extensively exhibited nationally and internationally, at venues including the Venice Biennale (1980), the Kunsthalle (Basel), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the National Gallery of Canada, the Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Long Beach Museum. Her videotapes are in many collections, among them: the National Gallery of Canada; the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Museum of Contemporary Art (Houston, Texas); Ingrid Oppenheim; Newcastle Polytechnic (England); Paulo Cardazzo (Milan); the Canadian Embassy (Tokyo); and the Akademie der Kunst (Berlin).
Since 1983, Steele has worked exclusively in collaboration with Kim Tomczak, producing videotapes, performances and photo/text works. They have received numerous grants and awards, including the Bell Canada Prize for Excellence in Video Art, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Peter Herndorff Award for Media Arts through the Toronto Arts Awards, and, in 2005, a Governor-General’s Award for lifetime achievement in Visual & Media Arts. They have been awarded two public art commissions, one for an outdoor screen at Toronto’s Dundas Square, and Watertable, a light installation that marks the original shoreline of Lake Ontario.
Steele is a co-founder of Vtape and taught at the University of Toronto, where she was the Director of the Visual Studies program in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design. Steele and Tomczak were awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of British Columbia (Okanagan) in 2009.