The Artists and Their Artwork
Candace Lipischak is a multidisciplinary Franco-Métis-Polish artist from Manitoba. Self-taught, their work may be connected to outsider art often illustrating unconventional ideas and materials.
By painting and incorporating many mediums such as antler, recycled tin and miscellaneous parts, Lipischak has found a way of telling a different story regarding environmental and social issues, consumerism, the land, truth and reconciliation, and nature’s powerful force.
Their work is part of various collections, private and corporate, such as TDS Law, Ceridian, as well as the Niverville Community Resource and Recreation Centre.
My artwork takes a view of social, environmental and cultural issues, especially pertaining to my own. While I use a variety of mediums and processes in each project, my methodology is consistent. I prefer combining recycled materials dating back to the early 1900’s as a way of shedding light on what is happening today. The objects that whisper of the past become the voice of the present. Painting or piecing together what was discarded long ago is a way of telling a different story.
A mixed media artist and experimental ceramicist, Kathleen Shellrude lives and creates on Treaty 1 Territory (Winnipeg). Her artistic career began after a lengthy hospitalization in 2015 which prompted her to use art as a means of processing issues related to a personal history marked by disability, mental illness, homelessness and addiction.
Since completing a residency at Artbeat Studio (2017), Shellrude has presented work in 3 solo exhibitions and participated in many group shows. She has curated 3 exhibitions, including Life Support (2018) which honours her nephew who passed away from an overdose.
Her paintings feature dreamlike landscapes, magical creatures, and abstraction. She works in multimedia pottery by combining acrylics, resin, gold leaf, botanicals, bones, stones, prayers, and spellwork that connect her, and the viewer, to the divine.
One of the founders of Higgins Studios, she manages the accessible artist-run studio spaces made available to 20+ artists. She sits on the board of The Edge Urban Gallery and Art Centre, and is a member of various arts organizations in Winnipeg. Kathleen is also looking forward to two solo shows: Forest Royalty, which will travel through rural Manitoba in 2021/22 and Constellations, focusing on her experiences of COVID 19 and community, at Prairie Fusion Art in Portage la Prairie in 2022/23.
Her artwork can be found online and in person at www.kshellrude.com, Tara Davis Boutique, Radiance Gifts, and UpBeat Artworks.
ART STATEMENT: Love in the Times of Apocalypse .
Love in the Times of Apocalypse is a series of acrylic and mixed media paintings which were all created at a time when life, as we all knew it, was uncertain, isolating and intimidating. If being separated from each other meant safety, how could we connect, show tenderness, or experience love?
For most of us, this has been an amazingly difficult time. Yet, for many of us, it has also forced open our hearts (and bodies) to different methods of loving. Through collage and layers I’ve explored self love, familial love, love for animals, as well as the intangible love for past and for future.
I’m anxiously awaiting the end of the apocalypse, but I’m grateful it has allowed me a way back into many forgotten forms of love.
Marie LeBlanc is a self-taught multidisciplinary artist. Through photography, multimedia projection, short film, performance and wordsmithing she explores themes related to landscape, isolation, beauty, health and nature. Capturing faces, shapes, shadows and reflections with digital and on-camera effects, often superimposing her own reflection, she seeks to embrace the present moment and the ethereal world around her. Originally from Northern Manitoba, she lived in Winnipeg before recently relocating to Alberta. In the winter months, she travels to the U.S. desert in a cargo van adapted for safe housing to ease the symptoms of Environmental Sensitivities
I live with Environmental Illness: Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Toxic Mold Exposure. For me, indoor housing has become intolerable. I have thus taken to living a nomadic lifestyle by following the warm weather patterns that enable me to be outdoors. In the winter months, I migrate to the desert in a cargo van adapted for safe housing to ease the symptoms. The life I live is similar to living in quarantine and I think a lot about Maslow’s Theory of Human Motivation. His Hierarchy of Needs implies that we must satisfy the needs of one stage before feeling motivated to arise to the next.
BIO: Graphic Artist and Illustrator
“I lost my hearing as an infant due to meningitis, but that’s never prevented me from pursuing my intense passion for visual art. A lifelong love affair with comics, graphic novels, film, animation, and pop culture continues to inspire my work. From the moment I was able to pick up a pencil, art has been a constant in my life and a vehicle for expression my unique perspective and delightful sense of humour.”
As a queer metis two spirit disabled artist in my 50s I had lived through a deadly virus. In the first week of the pandemic in March 2020 I quickly went to work in lock down. This lock down did not look that different to me as an artist dealing with chronic back pain I work from home.
The anxiety was key to manage so I started dealing with my fears which for me was the Covid -19 virus. I decided to shed light and fun onto this idea and made a corona virus disco ball with the items I had around my house which really is a studio with a hoard of supplies. I had already turned my sunroom into a mirror infinity room. This project was installed in June 2020 in downtown Thunder Bay, ON with the Steps Initiative, Insider Project. The installation was placed in an apartment building store front so the public could safely walk by or drive by to see the installation. I also did a pandemic pride photoshoot in the room which resulted in photos being used by the queer arts festival in Vancouver and then Montreal Fierte (Pride).
As an artist with a few chronic health issues I stared at my fear and made something light and beautiful out of it. I incorporated a piece I call a deconstructed dream catcher under the virus disco ball so the result is the virus is the nightmare and my dream catcher is the antidote.
Michel Dumont is a queer Metis two spirited disabled artist. He currently resides in Thunder Bay. He enjoys breathing new life into discarded vintage tile by making mosaic pieces. He also works in wearable art and installation art using packing tape, mylar, cellophane and LED lights. He’s shown at Gay Gardens at the John B. Aird in Toronto, Fierte 360 Montreal.and The Queer Arts Festival Vancouver.
Bio: Iwas born as hearing but at the age of three I lost my hearing from a fever. I have since struggled with lip reading, English and ASL. Art is my first language and helped me to communicate. I have also been diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. I often struggle with my health, depression and ghost that bug me. I make art with feelings, brains, heart
and passion. When I was little, I always wanted to be a famous artist. My parents are artists as well. My mother used to show me her drawings to show me that I could draw too. My dad does mostly First Nation style of painting which I also do. I got my artistic talent from my parents. When I was little, I used to love Halloween but then horror movies gave me nightmares and I struggled with this until 2020 when the doctors finally put me on the right medication for my mental illness. I used to mainly paint horror and darkness artwork but now focus on bright artwork like wild animals and landscape that God made. Jehovah’s Witness changed my life, God’s name is Jehovah. One day there will be a new earth in the future.
Bio: As a quiet force for good in self-expression and breaking down stigma, Ryan Dyck will win you over with his unabashed honesty – drawing you in with his story and his art. Ryan is an inspiration to those who struggle with mental illness, having learned to say “Yes” to supporting himself and his passion for drawing and painting. His unique sense of humour is just one of the tools in his tool box that he uses to reach out to his community- cutting a swath of healing that opens up opportunities for us all.
Ryan was exposed to art at a young age of 4. He received education in art throughout Middle School and continued his art studies in High School at Transcona Collegiate Institute. His first passion in art was drawing. He then picked up painting with acrylics in grade 11 and improved upon that art form from there on.
In 2011, Ryan was fortunate to be involved in an artist-in-residency program known as Artbeat Studio, a not-for-profit organization that promotes recovery in mental health through the production of art in a secure art studio. From then on, Ryan has been involved in multiple art exhibitions and continues to work on his art to this day.
Artist Statement: This painting series is a series built upon a style I have created which began a number of years ago that utilizes an abstract range of colour. When it comes to painting animals, I really enjoy using unexpected colours instead of what you would normally associate them with. This gives me the opportunity to let my creative juices flow like a fountain, or almost like a rapid flowing river, and to open the door to a method that does not conform to the norm. In turn, this frees me to paint as I choose and to make the likeness of the subject mine. Should you like to collaborate over an idea you have, I am available for commissions. You can contact me through firstname.lastname@example.org and we can come up with a deal!
Ryan was exposed to art at a young age of 4. He received education in art throughout Middle School and continued his art studies in High School at Transcona Collegiate Institute. His first passion in art was drawing. He then picked up painting with acrylics in grade 11 and improved upon that art form from there on. After graduating from high school, Ryan took in a few attempts of Fine Art studies at the University of Manitoba, only to figure out that University was not the route for him.
BIO: Sacha Kopelow was born and raised in rural Manitoba. She sculpts in cast glass illuminated by kinetic light, and often includes metalsmithing or oil painting. She uses deep dim colour, contradictory imagery, and only oblique suggestion at narrative to provoke an empathetic encounter with the viewer. Described as “exquisitely intimate and evocative,” her work delves into difficult and personal emotions, exploring vulnerability, loneliness/belonging, feminism, minutiae, animal sensitivities, and the nature and collection experience. Sacha holds degrees in International Development and Environmental Studies from U of Winnipeg and a Bachelor of Fine Art from NSCAD University.
Artist statement: There exists a push/pull tension between safety and bravery, loss and resilience, exhaustion and adventure, efficacy and daydream. These works provide familiar objective footholds but are subjectively lacking in overt narrative. Instinctual apprehensions and an open-ended vulnerability vie with a delicate affection. I aim for the viewer to brush gently against a foreboding that does not resolve into the safety of a conclusion. The artist wishes to thank The Manitoba Arts Council, The Winnipeg Arts Council, AANM, Ione Thorkelsson, Kevin Friedrich and Lorna Kopelow for their generous support.