2010 Archive

Plug In ICA’s Summer Institute — an opportunity for artists and creative practitioners from a variety of fields and creative practices.

The 2010 the Summer Institute held two sessions, both of which had with different visiting artist and curator faculty during each session. Participants worked collaboratively in a peer-to-peer environment based upon their own interests and projects, as well as by exploring and aligning their work with collaborative or group activities.

The faculty for Session 1 was Postcommodity. Postcommodity is a contemporary American Indian artist collective comprised of Raven Chacon(Navajo), Kade L. Twist (Cherokee), Nathan Young(Delaware/Kiowa/Pawnee) and Steven Yazzie (Laguna/Navajo) that was founded in 2007. Postcommodity combines their intertribal Indigenous worldview with interdisciplinary actions and conceptual art practice as a means to engage in Indigenous human rights advocacy and decolonize the geographies and discourse of the Western Hemisphere. Postcommodity is a proud descendent of the American Indian self-determination movement that seeks to contribute to the larger postcolonial Indigenous narrative of social, cultural, political and economic perseverance.

Session 1 took place from May 25 to June 11 (inclusive) and was structured around the participation of visiting artists/faculty Postcommodity, visiting curator Candice Hopkins (Ottawa), curator-in-residence Jenny Western and Institute Director Anthony Kiendl. Visiting guest curators also included Lee-Ann Martin (Ottawa)and Steve Loft (Toronto).

Session 1 Participants Included:

Born in 1971, the Winnipeg-based artist KC Adams graduated from Concordia University with a BFA and her focus has been the investigation of the relationship between nature (the living) and technology (progress). She works in medium that includes: sculpture, installation, drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, printmaking and kinetic art. She maintains her own website at showcasing her work and flash art projects. KC Adams has had several solo exhibitions, most recently Cyborg Hybrids at the Odd Gallery in Dawson City, YK and Modern Fuel in Kingston, ON. She has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, Cyborg Living Space II, The Language of Intercession at the OBORO Gallery in Montreal, Cyborg Hybrids at the PHOTOQUAI: Biennale des images du monde in Paris, France. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, the Confederation Art Centre in Charlottetown and the Annex Gallery in Winnipeg. She has received several grants and awards from Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Twenty pieces from the Cyborg Hybrid series is in the permanent collection of the National Art Gallery in Ottawa.

Kendra Ballingall is a Winnipeg-based artist, writer, and activist currently interested in the institutional relations between art and the law. She is the organizer of the Winnipeg Free Museum, a conceptual platform for individual and group projects, through which she is researching the status of the human and the subject and object of the rights of man. Her interests with this project include translocality, emancipatory theories and practices, the politics of (museum) aesthetics, and precarious curating. With Sigrid Dahle and Joanne Bristol, she is collectively curating an expanded exhibition for Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art from 2010 to 2012. Her text-based work has been published or presented by aceartinc, Video Pool Media Arts Centre, As We Try & Sleep Press (Winnipeg), Fuse Magazine (Toronto), and Public Preparation (Tallinn).

Jordan Bennett is a Newfoundland based Mi’kmaq multi-disciplinary artist. His art deals with a combination of popular culture, mixed with traditional Mi’kmaq and contemporary means of life to portray how each plays a part on his every day. When choosing materials, he uses an array of mediums such as sound, traditional beadwork, skateboards, moose antler, animal hide and various other natural and manufactured objects, anything that will give voice directly to the subject matter to portray the intended message. Through his work he plays with pushing boundaries and with the idea of traditional Aboriginal craft and ceremony, along with the idea of the artifact in our contemporary society. By creating objects and imagery that do this, he attempts to provoke the viewer to question and interpret the authenticity of these “Indian Artworks/Artifacts” and what it is to be “Indian” in contemporary North American society.

Transdisciplinary artist Roewan Crowe is energized by acts of disruption, transformation and the tactical deployment of self-reflexivity.  She has a particular passion for feminist art, creating community and facilitating initiatives in cultural democracy. In her queer, conceptually informed artistic practice she irreverently crafts together video, text, animation, theory, photography, performance, and activism.  She enters into fatal wounded landscapes—often violent and xenophobic —to explore the possibilities that open up when artists walk through the shadows of the world. She subverts and plays with these shadows. This is her artistic resistance. In 2007 she launched her solo show digShift. This multichannel installation of video poems delve into shifting layers of meaning at an abandoned gas station, in an attempt to imagine some sort of reclamation – personal, historical, and environmental – for this compelling and toxic landscape. In May of 2008, in collaboration with Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, she curated the Art Building Community Project, which launched 10 new works and a weekend symposium.  Currently she is completing Quivering Landscape, a queer novel.  She is an Assistant Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Winnipeg and Co-Director of The Institute for Women’s & Gender Studies.

Jeanette Johns is an artist living and working in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She completed her BFA (honours) majoring in printmaking in 2008 at the University of Manitoba. She works primarily in screen-printing and etching often with the addition of a variety of other techniques such as paper marbling, gold leaf and digital printing. She explores the relationship between observation and aesthetic experience by constructing and layering imagery of maps, diagrams and graphs. She often deals with geometric patterns attempting to translate beauty and hidden logic. Jeanette currently works at the Manitoba Printmakers’ Association as a studio manager and instructor.

Myung-Sun Kim is a Korean-born, Toronto-based artist, primarily working in the field of sculpture and installation. Her work playfully explores everyday objects and spaces, dealing with issues of aesthetics, functionality, mobility, intervention, and architecture. She has completed BFA in Sculpture/ Installation at the Ontario College of Art & Design in 2005, and MFA in Visual Arts Program at York University in 2009. She has received several awards and scholarships, including Dr.Eugene A. Poggetto Award, MST Bronze Sculpture Award, Sculpture Installation Faculty Award, and Graduate Entrance Scholarship to York University Graduate Program in Visual Arts. She has presented her work in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and Outer Banks in North Carolina.

Nicole Shimonek (born in 1978) is a visual artist from Winnipeg, Canada. She studied her BFA at the University of Manitoba and got her MA in fine art from the Chelsea College of Art and Design, London UK. Her work is in sculpture, paint, installation and video and is shown in both visual and media art contexts.  Most notably she has exhibited at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gallery 1C03, Everson Museum of Art (NY), Dover Arts Club (UK) and PlugIn ICA.  Her video work has screened both nationally and internationally.  Most recently her video diver geyser was programmed at the Images Festival and was a part of BBC’ big screens experimental shorts program.
Thematically she deals with the notion of reality, how it is altered through imagination. Personal thoughts are interpreted through reflection and illusion, thus relating to widely held experiences, concerns and desires. Her art explores boundaries; having elements of both the macro and micro, being both contractible and expandable.
She currently rents a studio space in Winnipeg’s exchange district, concentrating on sculpture, paint, installation and video.

Leslie Supnet is a Canadian artist from Winnipeg, MB. Her drawings and animation play with collective emotion, giving voice to common trials and struggles while remaining deeply connected to lived experience. Her animations have screened at various festivals, such as the Images Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Signal & Noise, Image Forum Festival in Japan, and LA Film Forum.

My name is Zephyra Vun, and I am a Faculty of Architecture Graduate student at the University of Manitoba.  Having just recently completed my first year of the Masters Program as of April 2010, I will be pursuing my Thesis studies this coming September.
Throughout the past school year, I have been probing the notions of temporality and transience in relation to territorial sensibilities and limits with respect to architectural intervention.  Based on theoretical interpretation and scrutiny of North Western culture, specifically the City of Winnipeg, the approach in my earlier research examined the manipulation and adjustability of temporary built form, in order to maintain and perpetuate an oscillation amongst the segregated communities of Winnipeg.  The resultant project took on the form of a moveable infrastructural network that spanned the Red River.  These ideas of shifting between territorial limits were inevitably transposed and, consequently reinvented subsequent to an exposure to the entirely contrasting, incredibly dense civic environment of Valparaiso, Chile. I then began questioning architecture’s ability to exist within, and inhabit limits and transitions, as opposed to fluctuating between them.  Consequently, the proposed architecture of my final term work explores our capacity to territorialize, or establish sense of place within the confines of temporality.

The visiting faculty for Session 2 were London, UK-based artist Shezad Dawood and curator Sara Raza (London, UK). Session 2 will took place from July 5 to 25, 2010 (inclusive).

Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dawood works across many different forms of media, and much of his practice involves curating and collaboration, frequently working with other artists to build on and create unique networks of critically engaged discursive circles. These networks map across different geographic locations and communities, and are particularly concerned with acts of translation and restaging.

Session 2 featured the artist, curator and Institute Director Anthony Kiendl who played a leadership role in an open studio environment with approximately 8 other participants who had submitted applications. Selection will be made by a committee based upon artistic merit.

Session 2 Participants Included:

Derek Brueckner, recognized for working with the figure/body in solo exhibitions/performance contexts in Winnipeg exhibition spaces including Plug-In ICA and Ace Art and performance spaces including the Collective Unconscious in NYC. Group exhibitions of his paintings and drawings include cities such as Florence Italy, Chicago and New York City. Artist residencies for research have been completed in Chicago, Italy and Vermont. Freelance work includes Courtroom drawing for CTV National News and medical illustration. Since 1998 has taught at the University of Manitoba in both the Faculty of Architecture and School of Art and since 1988 has taught at the WAG studio programs. Lectures/presentations include the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dominican University (Chicago) and the School of Fine Arts at the National Academy of Design (NYC) and at the 2008 College Art Association Conference in Dallas. Awarded grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Vermont Studio Center. Reviews of work include Border Crossings, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Globe and Mail. Education includes a BFA (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York (NYC). For more information see

Andrea Carlson (b. 1979) lives and works in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  In 2003 she earned a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005.  Her mixed media works on paper exhibit widely, having shown in venues such as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in Minneapolis, the October Gallery in London and at the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy.  Her work has gained support through fellowships including the Minnesota State Arts Board (2006) and McKnight Artists Fellowship (2007-08).  Carlson exhibited her first solo show in New York at the George Gustav Heye Center last year and is currently represented by Bockley Gallery in Minneapolis.

Sarah Anne Johnson was born in 1976 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She received her BFA from the University of Manitoba in 2002, and went on to complete her MFA at The Yale School of Art in 2004. Johnson’s work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and is included in several distinguished collections. Currently, she lives in Winnipeg.
She is represented by Julie Saul Gallery in New York and Stephen Bulger in Toronto.

Marc Mainville

Pamila Matharu (Birmingham, UK, 1973) is an independent artist, educator & cultural-producer based in Toronto, Canada. She completed her undergraduate studies at York University, BFA in Visual Arts and B.Ed in Fine Arts Education. Her contemporary art practice is much rooted in the cultural margins of Toronto -looking back to the early 90s with Fresh Arts, Desh Pardesh andTheatre in The Rough – 3 non-profit arts organizations mandated to serving the needs of youth of colour. Moving into the mainstream non-profit/commercial arts sector helped her garner perspective on the ‘art market’ with internships and gallery positions from Professional Art Dealers Association of Canada, Tatar Alexander Gallery (Toronto), CARFAC Ontario, Sepia International / Alkazi Collection of Photography (NYC), Wynick/Tuck Gallery (Toronto), and the National Film Board of Canada.
An active community member of Toronto’s visual arts sector over the last 15 years; she is a co-founding member of South Asian Visual Arts Centre, and has served as a volunteer Board of Director for several organizations including; Canadian Artists Representation Ontario (1999-2001), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (2001-2003), Toronto Artscape (2004-2006) and Images Festival of Independent Film & Video (2003-2008.)
Recent and past highlights include co-curating Come Up To My Room; The Gladstone Hotel’s Alt. Design Event (2003-2008), 13; Inside Out Film and Video Festival (2003), and Docu Lomo at Gallery TPW (2002), In 2003, her first film fracture was awarded ‘best up-and-coming Toronto film/videomaker award’ by the Inside Out Festival, and the Marion McMahon Award for strong work in a biographical subject at the Images Festival of Independent Film and Video. Upcoming, she is included in a group exhibition in September 2011,Screening Alterity at the Art Gallery of Peterborough, in Peterborough, Ontario.

J.J. Kegan McFadden us a Winnipeg-based writer, curator, and artist. His curatorial interests lay in the realms of feminist and queer perspectives in culture-production and knowledge dissemination, artists’ books, as well as divergent photographic practices. Over the last year, McFadden embarked on an international tour presenting ESCAPE—- a video package of experimental shorts he curated from the holdings of Video Pool Media Arts Centre. He is currently the Director/Curator of PLATFORM centre for photographic + digital arts.

Divya Mehra is a multimedia artist who obtained a BFA with Honors from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art and received her MFA in Visual Arts from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, New York.  In her practice she explores issues of cultural displacement and hybridization, deploying a humorous perspective in the execution of the works.  Mehra’s work has been included in exhibitions and screenings across North America and overseas, most notably at the Queens Museum of Arts and the Guild Art Gallery, New York, U.S.A.; the Beijing 798 Biennale, Beijing, China; Plug In ICA, Winnipeg, Canada; The Images Festival and A Space, Toronto, Canada; Groupe Intervention Vidéo, Montreal, Canada; and Gallery OED, Cochin, India.  Mehra currently divides her time between Winnipeg and New York.

Ming Hon is an independent dance artist and choreographer. Born in Hong Kong and brought up in Winnipeg she is a graduate of the Senior Professional Program of the School of Contemporary Dancers. Ming is a board member of Young Lungs Dance Exchange in Winnipeg, as well as a founding member of .maDAM. dance company based two thirds in Toronto. Currently she is the General School Program Coordinator for The School of Contemporary Dancers. She has had the opportunity to perform and create works in the Toronto Fringe Festival, Toronto Distillery Jazz Festival, and Young Lungs Biannual Showcases. Ming has performed works under artists Natasha Torres-Garner, Johanna Riley, Tedd Robinson, Andrew Milne, and Stephanie Ballard. She has supplemented her dance training with Bill Evans (New York), and Tedd Robinson’s Exclusive Intensive at ‘The Barn’ where she was mentored in choreography by Robinson and Susie Burpee and technique with Peter Boneham. She has a formal mentorship under visual artist Sarah Anne Johnson through MAWA (Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art), and is developing her individual solo work and creation. She was honored to be a performer Johnson’s newest work ; ‘Dancing with the Doctor’. Ming was recently at The Banff Centre on a Springboard Dance scholarship participating in the Interrarium Interdisciplinary Residency. Ming is also looking forward to returning to Tedd Robinson’s Dance Barn this summer, as well as developing a new full length work in a 6 week international residency with visual artist, Howie Shia at the Taipei Artists Village in Taiwan this fall.