Artist Biographies

For those willing to travel by a different route - indigenous art and placemaking installations




Ian August

Ian August is a Métis artist based in Winnipeg. August’s work is focused on teasing together connections between the layers of histories associated with a site or object. He is engaged with the dialogue between painting and sculpture, often using the construction of structures and models within his painting process. His recent project titled PLUNDER DUPES is an effort to identify and create replicas of the 8000 Mesopotamian artifacts looted from the Baghdad Museum during the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The duplicated relics are constructed from found items and scraps then used as source material for a series of oil paintings on canvas. The replicas are also being scanned using 3D software and the files will soon be made available for free download online. August received his MFA from York University, and his BFA, honours from the University of Manitoba’s School of Art. His work has been the subject of many solo exhibitions, including Plunder Dupes, Actual Gallery, Winnipeg; and Re: Build Them, Gallery 1C03, Winnipeg. His work has also been included in numerous group exhibitions.

Dee Barsy

Dee Barsy lives and works in Winnipeg. In 2013, she graduated from the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. In 2014, she graduated with an Educational Assistant Diploma from the University of Winnipeg. In 2016, she completed the Indigenous Women in Leadership course from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Dee is a Visual Arts Facilitator who instructs children and youth workshops. She has also worked in the community as an Educational Assistant and Youth Care Worker. As an art instructor, she has had the opportunity to see the benefits of engaging young people in visual arts programming. Dee believes that the creation of art promotes self-empowerment and self-healing through creative risk-taking and confidence-building.

Jaimie Isaac

Jaimie Isaac is a Winnipeg-based curator and interdisciplinary artist, member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Treaty 1 territory of Anishinaabe and British heritage. Isaac holds a degree in Art History and an Arts and Cultural Management Certificate from the University of Winnipeg and a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia, with research focus on Indigenous Curatorial Praxis, and methodologies in decolonizing and Indigenizing. Recent exhibitions include Woven Together at the Kelowna Art Gallery, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery; organic, Insurgence Resurgence (co curated with Julie Nagam) and Vernon Ah Kee: cantchant, Boarder X, We Are On Treaty Land, and Quiyuktchigaewin; Making Good. Isaac co-founded of The Ephemerals Collective (with Niki Little and Jenny Western), which was long-listed for the 2017 Sobey Art Award. Jaimie collaborated on the artistic team with KC Adams and Val Vint with on a public sculpture at the Forks at South Point path; Niizhoziibean. She collaborated on the official denial (trade value in progress) a national project with Leah Decter . Jaimie has contributed articles for Art + Wonder magazine, C Magazine, Bordercrossings, and essays for Insurgence Resurgence catalogue, Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years catalogue, The Land We Are Now: Writers and Artists Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation and the Public 54: Indigenous Art: New Media and the Digital Journal. Jaimie was a co-faculty for the Wood Land School at Plug In Summer Institute in 2016. She has presented research in North America and Europe, including at Princeton University, the Royal Holloway University of London and NAISA Conference at the University of Hawaii. Isaac was one of the Canada Council’s Indigenous delegation at the 2017 Venice Biennale. She is the Advisory Committee for the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Manitoba Museum and is on the board of directors for Bordercrossings Magazine.

Kenneth Lavallee

Kenneth Lavallee: a strong interest in translating a primarily two-dimensional practice into tangible experiences which occupy physical spaces has been motivating my work as of late. Traditional ideas of balance, order, harmony and interconnectedness gathered from both Indigenous and Western learning continue to guide my work as I explore and respond to the spaces and opportunities around me. Be it through sculpture, large scale mural, animation or object design, I aim to create work that successfully and seamlessly incorporates itself to the world at large.

Kenneth is of Métis descent, and lives and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Treaty 1 territory and birthplace of the Metis Nation).

Wabiska Maengugn | Niki Little

Wabiska Maengugn | Niki Little is a mother, artist/observer/curator, arts administrator, and a founding member of The Ephemerals with Jaimie Isaac and Jenny Western. She is of Anishininew / English descent from Kistiganwacheeng (Garden Hill FN), based in Win-nipi (Winnipeg). Her interests lay in artistic and curatorial strategies that consider Indigenous economies and cultural consumerism and Indigenous womxn and motherhood. Little is the Director for the National Indigenous Media Arts Coalition and recently planned a national Indigenous media arts gathering in Saskatoon (June 12-15, 2018). In August 2018, Little co-hosted an on the land residency Migration as part of Common Opulence in Demmitt, AB (August 13-31, 2018) and co-curated the La Biennale d’Art Contemporain Autochtone 2018 (BACA) in Montréal (May 03-June 19, 2018) with long time collaborator Becca Taylor. Little was the recipient of the Winnipeg Arts Council’s RBC On the Rise award (June 07, 2018).

Jenny Western, Curator

Jenny Western is an independent curator, writer, educator, and mother based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She holds an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Winnipeg and a Masters in Art History and Curatorial Practice from York University in Toronto. While completing her graduate studies, she accepted a position at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon where she was the Curator of Contemporary / Aboriginal Art from 2005 to 2007 and remained the AGSM’s Adjunct Curator until 2011. Western has curated exhibitions and programs for Ace Art Inc., The Costume Museum of Canada, The Estevan Art Gallery, Gallery 1C03, The Kelowna Art Gallery, The Manitoba Crafts Council, La Maison des Artistes, Plug In ICA, Portage and District Arts Centre, Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Video Pool, and The Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque. She is a member of the Brothertown Nation of Wisconsin and is of European, Oneida, and Stockbridge-Musee ancestry.