Jessie Buchanan • North to South Route
Jessie Buchanan’s ART EXPRESS’D project, Voices of the Landscape, will reflect the spiritual geography of the vast, northern Canadian landscape, found in both urban and natural spaces. She will explore the connections in each of the locations visited on the tour. From townscape to mountain and stream, the mobile art studio itself will come to represent Canada in the north. Working with Jessie, you will create acrylic paintings in response to questions: “How do you understand yourself as a Canadian?” and “Do you feel connected with your land and/or environment?”
Jessie lives and works in Guelph, Ontario. A member of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, Jessie is inspired both by her Anishinabe (Ojibway) heritage and by her Euro-Canadian ancestry. Her paintings are guided by the Woodland style and by the work of Emily Carr, Daphne Odjig, Nathalie Parenteau, and Ted Harrison, as well as the landscapes of Lake Superior, the Yukon Territory, Algonquin Provincial Park, and around Guelph. A spiritual connection to the land drives Jessie’s work. She holds a post-graduate diploma from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute (2016), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Algoma University (2010).
For more on Jessie, visit artistjessiebuchanan.ca
Evin Collis • East to West Route
During ART EXPRESS’D, Evin Collis will lead you to collectively transform the mobile art studio into a raucous, whimsical rail car by creating and animating the travelling Voyageur Express. A medley of characters will be built from papier mâché that can embody anyone or anything on a cross-Canada railroad journey. Evin will compile animations and images of drawings, paintings, photographs, and words he collects that are synchronized with audio recordings of participants’ ideas, stories, poems, songs, and anecdotes.
Evin is a multi-disciplinary artist and art educator from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He creates paintings, drawings, sculptures, and stop-motion animations that investigate the complexities of history, identity, survival, and the degraded landscape. Much of his fascination with these subjects stems from his past experiences as a porter on the Canadian trans-continental railroad, and while working as an interpreter at a historical Hudson’s Bay Company trading fort. He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2016), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the OCAD University (2010).
For more on Evin, visit evincollis.com
Becky Thiessen • West to East Route
Becky Thiessen’s vision for ART EXPRESS’D is to connect communities using handmade stencils designed and created by the people she meets. Stencils will feature themes of cultural and ethnic identity, Canadian landscape, local animals, and vegetation. Working with Becky, you will have the opportunity to design your own stencil symbolic to your language, identity, and passions. A collection of images will accumulate as the project travels across the country, with each community sharing their stencils and images with the next.
Becky experiments through painting, drawing, textiles, assemblage, sculpture, and digital media. Her inspiration often comes from the enthusiasm of children in the communities in which she works. Becky has collaborated on large-scale group works with Art City Inc, Graffiti Art Programming Inc, The North End Arts Centre, and Art From the Heart. She has a certificate in cabinet and woodworking from Red River College (2013) and a certificate from September Harvest Moon Society in Permaculture Design (2011). Becky participated in Mentoring Art for Women Artists’ Foundation Mentorship Program with KC Adams (2009), and holds a Bachelor of Human Ecology from the University of Manitoba (2005).
Watch Becky’s video
March 21, 2017
Canada 150 project to launch in June from Inuvik, St. John’s, Alert Bay, and Winnipeg
Stasa hanging out with Rodin’s The Thinker at the WAG.
Stasa Veroukis-Regina Announced as Project Manager
December 23, 2016
As Canada gets ready for the launch of a year of celebrations for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Winnipeg Art Gallery is pleased to announce that Stasa Veroukis-Regina has been selected as Project Manager for ART EXPRESS’D/ART EXPRIMÉ. Stasa was previously part of a busy marketing team at Stantec, managing a variety of projects for marketing, promotions, and business development. Stasa also spent four years living and working in London and Cardiff, in the United Kingdom. While overseas, she worked for the Wildfowl and Wetlands trust as Marketing Manager, and at the Environment Agency where she managed the campaign and events for World Environment Day for Wales. Perfect for spreading the word about ART EXPRESS’D, Stasa has represented numerous organizations on CTV, CBC, Odyssey Television Network, the Evening Standard, and National Geographic Online, and her writing has appeared in various publications, including The HUB, and Welsh Country Magazine.
Stasa is passionate about her community and actively supports organizations she believes in. She has served three years as a Member of the Board for the Greek Community of Winnipeg, and has volunteered her skills on numerous committees including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra’s Gala Committee and the WAG’s Development Committee for the monumental Olympus exhibition.
We sat down with Stasa to learn more about what inspired her to get involved with ART EXPRESS’D…
What is the most exciting part of ART EXPRESS’D for you?
Reaching out to Canadians of all ages to create art in so many communities across the country is very exciting to me. I love the idea of the shipping containers becoming like travelling art studios or galleries. It’s almost like we can pick up the WAG and bring it across Canada.
What is the biggest challenge you anticipate for this project?
The logistical challenges trying to get three artists and three shipping containers to 15 locations might become complicated. The sheer distances between our stops means we have to be extra careful with our timing to make sure we are in each community for the exact dates we are meant to be there! We have a great partner, Locher Evers, a shipping and transport company, which will provide lots of help in this area.
What are you looking forward to most?
Seeing all the art that is produced on the journey – all the ideas, the hopes, and the visions that people wish to see for Canada in the next 150 years. I think it will be incredibly inspirational. I’m also hoping to take part in the art-making! After all the planning and organizing it will be a real treat to create a piece as part of the project.
How do you picture Canada in the next 150 years?
I see Canada continuing to be a place of hope. Canada is home to very diverse individuals, but I think one thing that connects many people is that Canada is a place of hope. As a first generation Canadian I grew up with the idea that Canada was a place that welcomed new cultures. All of my family members chose to come here and start a new life. Yet as Greeks we were still able to retain our own history and culture within life in Canada – this is very important to those seeking a new country. I see that happening still for people from all parts of the world. My vision is for Canada to continue that hope and create a country where there is a safe space for everyone.
Government of Canada Provides Major Support for WAG’s ART EXPRESS’D/ART EXPRIMÉ
September 16, 2016
Cross-Canada Art Adventure Celebrates Canada 150
The Winnipeg Art Gallery is marking Canada’s 150th anniversary with ART EXPRESS’D/ART EXPRIMÉ, a coast-to-coast-to-coast artistic journey in summer 2017. The Government of Canada is providing $300,000 in funding for the project, which has been selected as a Canada 150 Signature Initiative, the only one to date organized by a major art gallery, and one of just two from Manitoba.
ART EXPRESS’D/ART EXPRIMÉ will see three 20-foot metal shipping containers transformed into mobile art studios traversing every province and territory via train, truck, and cargo ship over three months next summer. A nationwide search is currently on to find three contemporary artists to travel each of the three routes—southward, eastward, and westward—stopping in 15 communities, ultimately converging in Winnipeg, the heart of the country. Each artist will lead a collaborative art-making project designed to inspire the public to explore their visions of Canada.
“The 150th anniversary of Confederation will create many opportunities to celebrate Canada’s identity; its linguistic and cultural diversity; and the wealth of its history and heritage,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “In 2017, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s project ART EXPRESS’D/ART EXPRIMÉ will call upon the arts to provide us with an original portrait of Canadian diversity. Thanks to these mobile art studios, 15 communities all across the country will be able to take part in unique activities as part of the 150th anniversary.”
The project highlights Canada’s unique natural geography and its linguistic and cultural diversity through artistic and digital experiences, while speaking to the country’s deeply-rooted history of travel, transport, exploration, and communication. The movement of people, goods, and information over vast distances and challenging terrain continues to define Canada today.
“ART EXPRESS’D/ART EXPRIMÉ will unite Canadians from across the country through the art of today,” states Dr. Stephen Borys, WAG Director & CEO. “Canada’s geography has been integral to its national narrative and the WAG is grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting this ambitious project celebrating our nation’s 150 birthday.”
The deadline to apply for the call for artists is September 30. 2016. Submissions can take shape in any medium, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, textile, and multimedia, with a plan to create a collaborative, cumulative art piece. See canada150.wag.ca for submission details.
Before starting their voyages, the exteriors of the three mobile art studios will be designed and painted in partnership with Graffiti Art Programming (GAP) and Art City. Today the public got a taste of what is to come with a pop-up work by Nereo II, a Winnipeg artist associated with Synonym Art Consultation Wall-to-Wall and GAP.
Building further excitement in the countdown to Canada’s 150th year, the Maplewish Mosaic project will be unveiled October 1 in time for the WAG’s Nuit Blanche celebration. A collaboration between the WAG and TakingITGlobal, the project identified 13 youth artists from each province and territory to create art representing their community. When combined, the pieces will form a large mosaic of the Canada 150 logo.
The WAG is grateful to its project partners to date: Government of Canada, Locher Evers International, and TakingITGlobal.
September 15, 2016
In celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017, the WAG and TakingITGlobal present Maplewish Mosaic, opening Oct 1 at the WAG. The project brings together wood pieces painted by thirteen different artists and collectives, one from each province and territory, to form a diverse Canada 150 mosaic. We are presenting the work of emerging artists that are looking forward towards the future of their communities. They have the opportunity to creatively express their identity, the aesthetic of their community, and their wish for Canada in the next 150 years. Now it’s your turn, what is your wish? More…