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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Showing Up, Speaking Out continues to resist violence against Aboriginal women and seeks to address the issue of accessibility

September 16, 2010

Showing Up, Speaking Out is a four-week project offering Winnipeggers unique opportunities to speak out on important topics such as diversity and accessibility by co-creating temporary art works in public spaces with local and visiting artists. This project is about how art can help us express ourselves while building community. It also emphasizes the legitimacy of public space as a site for spontaneous conversation about about city life.

To participate, community members are invited to attend free collaborative art making sessions focused on brainstorming ideas and creating art to be displayed and/or performed as a group. The works will be presented in various locations across Winnipeg, and aceartinc. (2nd floor, 290 McDermot Ave.) will host photos, notes and other related items left by participants about their their involvement in an installation that will transform over time.

Stop Violence Against Aboriginal Women Action Group (Winnipeg) welcomes community members to continue developing strategies to communicate important messages about violence in our city on Saturday, September 18 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at aceartinc. (2nd Floor, 290 McDermot Ave). The action schedule is as follows: Saturday, September 25 (meet at aceartinc at noon); Friday, October 1 (meet at aceartinc. at 6:30 p.m.); and Sunday, October 3 (meet at aceartinc. at 1:00 p.m.). The locations of these actions will be established by participants attending the session on Saturday, September 18.

Kristin Nelson (Winnipeg) will work with community members on the subject of accessibility at two different locations. On Sunday, September 19 from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m., the collaborative art making session will take place at aceartinc. The following three sessions — Monday, September 20 from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 21 from 12:00 – 5:00 p.m, and Wednesday, September 22 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., — will take place at Video Pool Media Art Centre (3rd Floor, 300 Arthur St.). Video Pool Media Arts Centre is fully accessible.

Participation is free and all are welcome – please join us.

Artist Biographies

Stop Violence Against Aboriginal Women Action Group (SVAAWAG) is a grassroots volunteer collective made up of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women working to address the disproportionate level of violence against Aboriginal women and girls. Collaborating artist Leah Decter is an active member of the group. The group began meeting informally in the fall of 2009 with the initial intent of generating concrete actions and strategies to effect change in the conditions that contribute to the perpetuation of this ongoing violence. In the spring of 2010, SVAAWAG organized a consultation and dialogue that included over forty individuals from relevant social service, activist, political and experiential communities to collect information and strategize on a local level. This resulted in a coalition being initiated to move forward with multiple approaches to addressing this issue. SVAAWAG members come to this work though a commitment to action, and with experience in community, program and economic development, research, socially engaged art practices, front line and anti-racism work, counselling, activism, and lobbying. SVAWAAG recognizes that there are more of these crimes against Aboriginal women because of factors arising from gender and race, such as misogyny and race-based oppression, that they are deeply embedded in legacies of colonization profoundly present in Winnipeg, and that they have devastating impacts on families, communities and individuals. We consider that broad awareness of these realities is one important factor in affecting change.

Born in Ajax, Ontario, Kristin Nelson received her BFA in Visual Arts from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003. She is an inter-media artist inspired by questions of community, gender, politics and place. Kristin looks to challenge stereotypes of community through her artistic practice, valourizing those often made invisible. Her recent work includes an ongoing photographic drag king trading card project; a life size knitted hay bale; and etchings of Winnipeg parking lots. In 2008 Kristin completed a residency at the Banff Centre, Reverse Pedagogy, with artist Paul Butler. She currently works at the Manitoba Printmakers Association in Winnipeg and serves on the board of directors for the Manitoba Crafts Council. She has exhibited work at Centre A, Gallery Gachet, and The Lowercase Gallery (Vancouver), at the Lyndon Center (Austin, Texas), Gallery 803 (Winnipeg) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Other participating artists include: Deborah Kelly (Australia) on diversity. Inge Hoonte (Netherlands/USA) was involved September 1 – 7 on the subject of recreation, and Tomas Jonsson’s participation began on September 12 and continues until September 17.

This project is made possible thanks to partnerships with many local organizations: aceartinc., Art City, Institute for Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Winnipeg, Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art,, RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design, Social Planning Council of Winnipeg, The University of Winnipeg’s Students’ Association, Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and Video Pool Media Arts Centre.

Generous financial support for this project has been made available by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Winnipeg Arts Council.

News releases will be issued throughout the duration of this project to share details about each element. A growing calendar of events can be found at


Milena Placentile, Independent Curator
showingupspeakingout @ gmail [dot] com <— please take note of our regularly updated blog
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