Summer Institute II: The Wendy Book Club

Talk by Maya Ben David. Summer Institute Session II: The Wendy Book Club at Plug in ICA, 2017.Talk by Becca Taylor. Summer Institute Session II: The Wendy Book Club at Plug in ICA, 2017.Workshop with Tau Lewis. Summer Institute Session II: The Wendy Book Club at Plug in ICA, 2017.

For the July 2017 session of Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art’s Summer Institute, Walter Scott and Niki Little co-facilitate the Wendy Book Club from July 14 to August 4, 2017. Taking Wendy (2014) and Wendy’s Revenge (2016) as their point of departure, they will use these texts to investigate satire as a strategy for self-reflection and cultural critique, marginalized narratives, and the subjectivities of artist, queer, non-artist, Indigenous, etc. Perceptions of the public and private world of the artist and representations of the art world will be discussed and “dispelled” through Wendy’s perspective.

While moving conceptually through the books, participants will also engage in a constellation of activities reflective of the concerns of their fictional characters. This may take the form of yoga, meditation exercises, and the exploration of esoteric practices such as tarot reading. Throughout the three weeks, “The Wendy Book Club” will take up the specific formal elements that comprise the graphic novel, expanding knowledge about comics and comic making. Scott and Little will additionally invite guest artists, and speakers with specific Indigenous-related knowledge, while also allowing ample studio time to reflect on the understandings generated as a group.


Walter Scott is an interdisciplinary artist working across writing, video, performance and sculpture. In 2011, while living in Montréal, he began the comic book series, Wendy, exploring the narrative of a fictional young woman living in an urban centre who aspires to global success and art stardom but whose dreams are perpetually derailed. Wendy has been featured in Modern PaintersCanadian ArtMousse Magazine, and Art in America. Recent Exhibitions include the 2016 Montreal Biennale, Le Grand Balcon, Musée d’art contemporain; Big Toe, Giant Steps at Occidental Temporary, Paris; and Ambivalent Pleasures: Vancouver Special, Vancouver Art Gallery.

Niki Little | Wabiska Maengun is an artist, observer, curator, arts administrator and a founding member of The Ephemerals. She is of Cree/English descent from Garden Hill First Nation based in Winnipeg. Her interests lay in artistic and curatorial strategies that investigate cultural consumerism, Indigenous women and feminism, cultural skill-based strategies, and diaspora with a hint of ambivalence. Little is the Director for the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition and in 2016 curated three group exhibitions enendaman | anminigook, aceartinc; L | Māmāow, Wall-to-Wall Festival; and MELT, Sputnik Architecture.


Joi T. Arcand is a photo-based artist from Muskeg Lake Cree Nation currently based in Ottawa, Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 2005. In 2006, along with Felicia Gay, she co-founded the Red Shift Gallery, a contemporary Indigenous art gallery in Saskatoon. In 2012, she founded kimiwan ‘zine, a quarterly Indigenous arts publication.  Arcand’s work has recently been exhibited at the Contemporary Native Art Biennial – Art Mur (Montreal), Kenderdine Art Gallery (Saskatoon), aka artist-run (Saskatoon), Access Gallery (Vancouver) and internationally in Seattle, London UK, and Belgium. She was recently nominated by Jeff Thomas for the Karsh-Masson exhibit Continuum, an exhibition of emerging photo-based artists and will also be curating Language of Puncture at Gallery 101 (Ottawa) opening in September 2017.

Alex Ateah is an artist and performer from Winnipeg, Canada. Alex received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from The University of Manitoba School of Art in 2015 and is currently studying improvisational and sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles, California. Following her graduation from the School of Art, Alex began her comedy web series “Yolo Fashion Divas” alongside Kylie Friesen in which they write, produce, and star in. In 2016 Alex began a solo comedy web series titled “Just checking in.” In these videos, Alex explores her stand-up comedy persona of a self-deprecating woman who obsesses over herself, and discusses daily minutia in a deadpan style.

Madeline Bogoch is an occasional writer, student, and yoga instructor, who lives and works in Winnipeg, Canada. She is completing her B.A. in art history at the University of Winnipeg, as well as pursuing modest comprehension of the French language at the Université de St Boniface. In between academic pursuits, she assists with the Open City Cinema microcinema in Winnipeg, including organizing and programming the annual Winnipeg Underground Film Festival. In addition, she currently sits on the fundraising committee of the send + receive sound art festival. Her writing focuses on contemporary art and culture, and seeks to further explore the relationship of personal context to academic perspective.

Viola Chen 陈宜晴 is a mediator and student. She was born in an overcrowded hospital in 天津 and is now living in tio’tia:ke. Her favourite colour is green, a persistence that informs various life decisions.

Kristiane Church is a visual artist working in photography and film in Winnipeg, Canada. She is currently assembling a loose narrative, garments, stills, and other visual ephemera for a short film.

Kelly Campbell is an interdisciplinary sculpture, installation, and graphic artist, born in Dartmouth, NS, and now living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Their work explores issues of labour, gender, visibility, power structures, and positionality. In 2017, they will complete their BFA at the School of Art at the University of Manitoba; they have also studied at NSCAD, and are currently completing an 8- month experimental learning residency through the Cartae program at aceartinc. Their work has been featured in Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, winning the Emerging Artist award in 2015, and has been shown across Winnipeg in multiple venues. They have won numerous awards for their academic and artistic work, among them the U of M Undergraduate Research Award and the aceartinc Scott Wachal Memorial Bursary. As a writer, they co-founded and have published work in SCAN, an art journal at the University of Manitoba. As a community organizer, they have led workshops for queer people to learn about tools, and a performance showcase series for women and non-binary folks. They are Graphics Editor at the Manitoban and Art Director at Stylus Magazine.

Dayna Danger is an emerging 2Spirit/Queer, Metis/Saulteaux/Polish artist raised in Winnipeg, MB. Danger is currently based in Montreal, QC. She obtained her Graduate degree in Studio Arts from Concordia University in March 2017. Danger held a Visual Arts Studio Work Study at the Banff Centre and participated in Candice Hopkins and Raven Chacon’s thematic residency, Trading Post. Danger has exhibited in Santa Fe, Winnipeg, Montreal, Peterborough, North Bay and Banff. Danger currently serves as a board member for the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective (ACC/CCA). Danger is currently making new work for her upcoming solo in Edmonton June 2017, Big’Uns.

Jillian Groening is a Winnipeg-based performer, dancer, writer and arts administrator. She has most recently performed with choreographers Marie-Josée Chartier, Jolene Bailie (Gearshifting Performance Works), Sasha Amaya and Louis D’Heudieres. Groening has toured to Toronto and Vancouver with Bailie’s work Hybrid Human, a collaboration with visual artist Wanda Koop. She has also performed in commissions from the Winnipeg Art Gallery, CSPACE Gallery (formerly of Frame Arts Warehouse, a collaboration with painter Michael Mogatas), and in various works presented through Gearshifting Performance Works. She is currently choreographing a video installation through Video Pool’s New Artists in New Media Grant in collaboration with visual artist Natalie Baird. Groening has had her writing published in Dance International magazine, Format magazine, Vice’s Noisey, and The Dance Current magazine, where she is a contributor as well as holding the position of Editorial and Production Coordinator. She has had the pleasure of being funded to partake in writing workshops at Vancouver’s Scotiabank Dance Centre through writer and dance critic Kaija Pepper and well as theatre and voice workshops through Winnipeg-based theatre artist Tom Stroud. Groening has recently begun melding her performance and writing worlds. In January 2017, she presented her written essay/spoken word piece Soil, a project funded through Young Lungs Dance Exchange. Groening holds a BA(Hons) in Dance from the University of Winnipeg in affiliation with the School of Contemporary Dancers.

Whess Harman is a member of the Carrier Nation and a graduate of the Emily Carr University’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program, currently living and working from Vancouver, BC. Their work largely consists of print, illustration and multi-media strategies to explore issues of representation, race, queerness and memory. Recent work in includes beadwork and DIY strategies around punk aesthetics creating “Indigneous Punk Jackets” using text and pop culture references to challenge preconceptions Indigenous representation. Most recently their work has been conducted at the Banff Art Centre during the 2016 Indigenous residency program.

Emma Mayer is an artist and student from Winnipeg, who focuses on exploring personal narratives through photography and painting.

Mariana Muñoz Gomez was born in Pachuca, Mexico, and lives in Winnipeg. She is an interdisciplinary artist who completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) degree at the University of Manitoba School of Art in 2016. Recently, Muñoz Gomez had a solo show in le Studio at La Maison des artistes visuels around topics of language, identity, and concepts of home. Muñoz Gomez has been involved with artist collectives in Winnipeg such as Sappho Zine Collective, Exchange of Threads, and most recently, Mujer Artista. Her piece, Tourist, was published in issue 2 of Dear Journal in the summer of 2016. She has been interviewed about her work and practice by Public Parking, Dear Journal, and le Téléjournal Manitoba. Her work has been shown and distributed across Canada.

Pooja Sen holds an MA art history from McGill University. Her research focuses on contemporary digital video art, critical race theory, and media studies.

Sarah Stewart is a Winnipeg based multimedia artist and graphic designer who works primarily in the mediums of installation, digital photography, collage, and text based works. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons.) from the University of Manitoba. Her practice often aims to utilize installation to create strange spaces and to explore scenarios that are simultaneously unsettling and humorous. She often deals with themes of spatial navigation, illegibility, abstraction and manipulation of natural forms, and examination of the manners in which artwork shapes the space it inhabits.

Tanis Augustine Margaret Worme is a Cree emerging artist from Saskatoon Saskatchewan, and a member of the Poundmaker First Nation, with roots to Mistawasis First Nation, and the Kawacatoose First Nation. She is currently enrolled at the Ottawa School of Art, where her growing body of studio work considers knowledge resurgence, language revitalization, and resistance to patriarchy and settler colonial structures. Tanis is also a trained tattoo artist and has a strong interest in exploring the convergence of this traditional and contemporary skill. The scope of her practice includes traditional tattooing, painting, drawing, sculpture, and printmaking.