Michel Dumont Artist Talk

Photo by Patrick Chondon

Virtual Artist Talk: Thursday, May 5, 7 pm CDT (link below)

Run: April 1- May 7, 2022

Link for virtual artist talk:


Meeting ID: 896 6235 6947 Passcode: 828521

It began with a box of discarded vintage Italian tile. I made natural scenes in rough geometric shapes. With time, trial and error, stories took shape.

The tile speaks of the terrazzo floors built by my Italian neighbours. It tells of mining, asbestos, and the hazardous chemicals required to achieve vivid permanent colours. 

From these stories, I broke, smashed, and carved them into something new. I tell my own stories, and those of the animals of this region articulating the scars, chips, and scrapes we bear from survival in this colonial reality.

My disabilities pose unique challenges to my practice. I must rest my injured spine often. A heavy gas mask protects my hyper-sensitive immune system. 

My reality of being a disabled, queer, urban-Indigenous trauma survivor encompasses every inch of this work. The silver lining is the zen pain-free state I can achieve during high-focus work sessions. From this work comes both pain and medicine; beauty from the broken.

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council for their support with exhibition assistance.

Michel Dumont is a queer Metis two-spirited disabled artist, and survivor of intergenerational trauma stemming from Indian Day School. He currently resides in Thunder Bay. He works in wearable art, using packing tape, mylar, cellophane and LED lights.

Urban Art Biz 8: Buffy Sainte-Marie | Wed., 16 March | 2-3 pm CST

Image: Self Portrait, 36″x36″ on Kodak Endura metallic paper. Courtesy of the artist.

Presented by Creative Manitoba and Urban Shaman in partnership with aceartinc., University of Manitoba School of Art, Desautels Faculty of Music and Paquin Entertainment

Wednesday, March 16, 2022, from 2pm – 3pm CST.

Join us in conversation with digital art innovator, Buffy Sainte-Marie. The Cree singer-songwriter has been an informative pathfinder and advocate for Indigenous rights, a continually evolving artist, and a contributor of positive thinking and resiliency amid difficult issues. She has spent her whole life creating, and her artistry, humanitarian efforts, and Indigenous leadership have made her a unique force in multi-disciplinary arts.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022, from 2pm – 3pm CST. Registration link here:

The workshop is offered Free. Please register online by 10:30 am CST March 16, 2022, the
morning of the event, and a zoom link will be sent to your email address by noon!

We are honoured to host Buffy Sainte-Marie in conversation about her most recent show, BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE: PATHFINDER a retrospective by an innovator of digital art, curatedn by Natasha Desrochers Lowenthal, of Paquin Entertainment, and currently running at Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Gallery in partnership with aceartinc.

Pathfinder features Sainte-Marie’s full collection of large-scale digital paintings as well as never-before-seen personal sketches, artifacts and behind-the-scenes photos that speak directly to this respected icon’s unique perspective of her own multi-disciplinary life and culture and the experiences that inspired her to create these pieces.

Sainte-Marie approached the digital medium as she has with every facet of her diverse career— with trailblazing ingenuity. Reflect back to 1984 — a time when the internet was almost unheard of and home computers were in their infancy — Sainte-Marie was there, building pieces of this collection within the confines of the very first versions of MacPaint on the earliest Macintosh models. The technology was nothing like the digital production resources we have today, and was used primarily as tools for marketing and graphic design rather than for creating fine art with emotional impact. Being void of prefabricated filters or options for multiple layers, the process of creating artful images required dexterity and patience. Rising above the limitations of the software, she injected as much depth of tradition and attention to detail with pixels as one would with intricate beadwork or classic oils. Meticulously blending scanned images of her wet studio paintings and in-progress drawings and sketches with those of real fibers, feathers and beads, Sainte-Marie crafted these digital tapestries with the precision and care of a natural-born storyteller. The visual and intellectual brilliance of this collection is undeniably ahead of its time.

image of Buffy smiling
Photo by Matt Barnes

About Buffy Sainte-Marie

Buffy Sainte-Marie is believed to have been born in 1941 on the Piapot First Nation reserve in Saskatchewan and taken from her biological parents when she was an infant. She was adopted by a visibly white couple and raised in Maine and Massachusetts. As a child, Buffy’s adoptive mother self-identified as part Mi’kmaq but knew little about Indigenous culture. She encouraged Buffy to find things out for herself when she grew up. By the age of four, Buffy had taught herself to play the piano by ear and was making up songs for fun. The gift of a guitar for her sixteenth birthday made her music portable.  She invented new tunings which would influence both her own unique sound and that of other future musicians, like Joni Mitchell.

At university, Buffy earned undergraduate degrees in both Oriental Philosophy and Education. Upon graduation, she began singing in coffee houses in New York’s Greenwich Village, leading to her first recording contract and the extensive touring that launched Buffy to international stardom. From the late 1960’s through the 1970’s, she expanded both her music and visual art into experimental technologies that evolved into what is now called digital art and electronic music. Since 1983, Buffy has been the recipient of fifteen Honorary degrees from universities across Turtle Island including an honorary Ph.D. in Fine Art from the University of Massachusetts. Since her groundbreaking debut album, 1964’s It’s My Way!, the Cree singer-songwriter has been an informative trailblazer and  advocate for Indigenous rights, a continually evolving artist, and a contributor of positive thinking and resiliency amid difficult issues. With songs like “Universal Soldier” and “Until It’s Time for You to Go”, Buffy established herself among the ranks of songwriter greats.

Throughout her career, Buffy has devoted much of her time and resources to supporting Indigenous peoples through a variety of educational programs. Her Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education provided scholarships for Indigenous studies and students, two of whom became presidents of tribal colleges; and her Cradleboard Teaching Project provided accurate core curriculum including science, government and geography based in Native American cultural perspectives for all grade levels. In 1998, Buffy Sainte-Marie received the Native Americans in Philanthropy’s Louis T. Delgado Award for Native American Philanthropist of the Year and, for the next twelve years, combined her work in education with her writing, visual art, recording and touring.

Most recently, Buffy released two critically acclaimed albums, Power in the Blood (2015) and Medicine Songs (2017), collectively winning multiple JUNO Awards, and the highly coveted Polaris Music Prize. In 2017, Buffy received the Allan Waters Humanitarian Award and she opened the JUNO Awards’ national telecast with a riveting introduction that went off-script when she acknowledged that Ottawa is on the “un-surrendered” territory of the Algonquin and Anishinaabe Nations who have been here “for thousands and thousands and thousands of years”. In 2019, Buffy was named a Companion of the Order of Canada – the nation’s highest civilian honour. In 2020, Buffy released her debut children’s book Hey Little Rockabye, while her 1964 album It’s My Way! won the Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize, awarded to albums that have remained culturally relevant decades after their release.

2021 celebrated Buffy’s 80th birthday with recognition for her lifetime of contribution as a musical and visual artist, as well as activist, educator and philanthropist dedicated to Indigenous rights. Still on the road performing, Buffy was recently celebrated at the National Arts Centre for Canada Post’s unveiling of her commemorative stamp, as well as appearing in Los Angeles for a special tribute from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ acknowledging Buffy Sainte-Marie as the first Indigenous person ever to win an Oscar for writing the hit song, “Up Where We Belong” from An Officer and a Gentleman.

Urban Art Biz is a series of online workshops focusing on the business side of art from an Indigenous perspective. Our goal is to provide insight into the professional world and work of Indigenous artists and Indigenous galleries.

We are very grateful to our co-presenters for contributing to this very special edition of Urban Art Biz:

Creative Manitoba logo
University of Manitoba School of Art logo
Desautels Faculty of Music logo
Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art logo
Buffy Sainte-Marie Digital Fine Art logo
Paquin Entertainment Group Logo

Jordan Stranger’s Artist Talk

Firekeeper is meant to display the heritage of the Anishinaabe peoples’ sacred cultural practices in which I’ve taken part. Through sacred ceremony, we aim to heal or to be healed by those who carry the gifts to do so. The paintings, installation, and animation are efforts made to present the culture in a contemporary setting. To those who view my work, I hope it finds you well and allows you to appreciate and learn about Anishinaabe culture while letting go of any negative stigmas. Moreover, I hope it helps you reach your inner-self to enable self-healing and self-reflection.

I gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council and Peguis T.L.E. Trust. Thanks to aceartinc. for allowing me to show my artwork in their space. Also, a huge thank you to my family, friends, and colleagues for all of their support in my artistic journey. Migwetch.

Through pencil, paint, or digital platforms, Jordan Stranger communicates the importance of life, culture, and acceptance. Jordan’s works are deeply rooted in the traditions of his Indigenous culture. As an Oji-Cree individual, Jordan uses his life experiences to drive his artistic passions. He obtained his diploma in Graphic Design at Red River College in 2012 and has worked in advertising for the past 7 years. He commits his evenings and weekends to his artwork and works within his community creating murals and hosting art workshops for youth and adults.

Life is about happiness. My work is an example of searching for it.

Kelsey Braun’s Artist Talk

Please note that some of the spoken text in this artist presentation is intentionally obscured in order to draw attention to the sonic materials that were used in both it, as well as the exhibition. For video documentation of the exhibit please visit HERE.

Nest…..as a hiding place in the sky considered space as an illusion, as that which shifts between the perceivable and the peripheral—we can often hear the birds but cannot see the nest. Constructed from a foundation of sound extracted out of field recordings, foley, found-audio and gestures of sonic improvisation, this work was a multi-channel composition for a room. Nest…. intends on establishing an ocean of vibration where time and space are nudged towards an obtuse and poetically shifting experience. Speakers dispersed throughout the gallery underline one’s sense of proximity and complement the room’s physical material—in some cases transmitting sound from within the building itself. Nest…. encouraged a heightened sense of hearing, relating the aural to architecture, social space and memory.

Kelsey presented materials related to the exhibition through a hybrid performance/artist talk, followed by a play-through of the immersive audio installation. The audience was welcome to come and go as they pleased. 

Kelsey gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and Video Pool Media Arts Centre.

Ran from March 8- April 5, 2019

Lucille Kim’s Artist Talk

Between Temporal and Permanent Histories of Pain examined memory and a sense of time encased by conditions of the human body. There, two projections overwhelmingly encompassed the room to allow an invitation, and an experience in Coin Therapy (‘coining’) that was performed in the videos. One of my mother and the other of my father, both bodies lay at rest and in motion on a serene white sheet. Each memory was subtly narrated by sounds that interrelate the visible and invisible scars under the violence and powerful rising of communist regimes in Cambodia during the 1970s to early 1980s. Either they were alone or together, distantly far apart or closely across from one another, the dual representation of a man and a woman in need of healing is blurred by a history of pain and powerlessness.

I would like to thank aceartinc. for their support and realization of my first solo exhibition. Most of all, I gratefully thank my mother and my father for their contribution, openness, and strength in the creation of each work.

Lucille Kim, born in 1992, is a Cambodian-Canadian artist based in Hamilton. She has a BFA degree from University of Toronto Mississauga (2015) where she immediately identified with certain concepts in the mediums of drawing and photography. In early 2018, her travel to Cambodia for the first time left her influenced by their lifestyle, materials, and landscapes as history and memory continue to be a part of her works that underlie the duality between pain and healing.

Connie Chappel’s Artist Talk

This multi-faceted exhibition used sculptural installation to combine curious material into experimental archaeological scenarios. Unusual juxtapositions of artificial and natural objects investigated the idiosyncrasies of organic growth, decay and exhumation processes. Cryptic memorials merged kinetic twigs and branches with static rocks and body parts. Quivering air currents enlivened suspended tree roots. An ambient glow beneath stain of sap drops on paper paid hommage to a meaningful birch wound. This living artifact display aimed to conceive a highly delicate, eerie and fantastical forest that found itself suspended in time.

The gallery space was a participant in this art historical allegory with works assembled in consideration of structure, corner, beam, space. Embodiment engaged observations of adaptation, diversity, self-generation, and material evidence of history having passed. Redeemed natural salvage unearthed human intervention in the otherwise inhabited world and embodies the inescapability of physical death.

Alyssa Bornn’s artist talk

Alyssa Bornn is an interdisciplinary artist, experimental filmmaker, and organizer based in Winnipeg, MB. Her practice regularly utilizes traditional photographic methods alongside alternative and outdated digital modes of image capturing, writing, and constructed spaces to explore the act of image building as well as our relationships to images.

She holds a BFA (Hons.) from the University of Maniotba and is a member of Open City Cinema, a co-programmer for the Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, and is an active member of Light Terrors- a loose collective showcasing moving image and audio works as live performance. She has run workshops for Platform Centre for Photographic + Digital Arts, PAVED Arts, and independently as Professional Development.

In 2018, Bornn was curated into the aceartinc. student exhibition and subsequently awarded the Scott Wachal Memorial Bursary. As part of this, recipients are invited to give a public talk about their work.

The Scott Wachal Memorial Bursary

This bursary is available to art students who have been curated into the Annual Student Exhibition. The bursary is intended to support a project or an opportunity (such as a workshop or residency) that will positively impact the artist’s practice. In 2013 the youngest artist curated into our Annual Student Exhibition passed away. In his memory aceartinc. created the Scott Wachal Memorial Student Bursary.

Sharon Alward’s Artist Talk

Alward is a Canadian video and performance artist. Cited as one of the 100 most influential and innovative Canadians in MacLean’s magazine for her work as a Canadian artist, her creative works reference performance, installation and ritual as potential sites for creativity and transformation. Actively involved in both art and social justice issues in the Winnipeg Community since 1986, Alward is also a Full Professor at the University of Manitoba, School of Art.

After a teaching and artistic career that spanned over 35 years Alward retired from the School of Art. Her artist talk Sparks looked back over three and a half decades of her teaching and creative works and she shared her reflections.

Toby Gillies’ Artist Talk

Seasons of Togetherness incorporated drawing, collage, and animation in an installation about human interaction and connection. Inspired by fantasies found within thrift-store relationship guidebooks, self-help Internet articles, and step-by-step illustrations, Gillies made a playful attempt to discover new ways to experience closeness with others and the world around. Source materials were abstracted through processes of re-creation and interpretation, amplifying both the awkward strangeness and beauty that exist within formalities of expressing.

Created through a practice of working intuitively and experimentally, the exhibition navigated a meandering course across themes of human connection, social convention, and ritual.

With the generous support of the Winnipeg Arts Council with funding from the City of Winnipeg.

Aruna D’Souza public talk

Aruna D’Souza writes about modern and contemporary art; intersectional feminisms and other forms of politics; and how museums shape our views of each other and the world. She recently published Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts. D’Souza’s free public talk was around the topics in her book and other related issues.

“Ta-Nehisi Coates’s seminal essay “The Case for Reparations” informed the ethos of her foray back into art writing. “I started to think about what a reparative model of art criticism would be for me, and I decided that my reparative gesture would be [through] attention,” she told me, and for D’Souza, that involves asking herself: “Who does my writing serve? Is it useful to the people I feel have been left out of many conversations? For me, a lot of what the book is about is the question of how to be an ally and how that has broken down in these various situations. It’s an exercise for me as a non-Black writer of colour: How can I write about Black protest? And what’s my role to centre the arguments of Black artists?”

– from: Profile by Merray Gerges, and excerpt from Whitewalling: Art, Race & Protest in 3 Acts. Canadian Art, May 3, 2018

D’Souza’s work appears regularly in 4Columns.org, where she is a member of the editorial advisory board, and has been published as well in The Wall Street Journal, CNN.com, Art News, Garage, Bookforum, Momus, Art in America, and Art Practical, among other places. Her book, Whitewalling: Art, Race, and Protest in 3 Acts was published by Badlands Unlimited in May 2018. She currently editing two forthcoming volumes, Making It Modern: A Linda Nochlin Reader, which will be published by Thames & Hudson, and A Presence Which Signals Absence: Lorraine O’Grady Collected Writings 1977-2018.

This talk was co-sponsored by the University of Winnipeg Institute for Women & Gender Studies, Creative Manitoba Indigenous programs, and aceartinc. with Plug In ICA, Gallery 1c03, and Border Crossings.

Aruna D’Souza public talk from aceartinc on Vimeo.