In 2022, the Women’s Art Museum of Canada (WAM) launched the Diversité
Feminin.e Diversity (DFD) project to increase its representation of Black, Indigenous
and people of colour (BIPOC) women artists. Focusing primarily on BIPOC artists living in Alberta, Yukon and Saskatchewan, our goal is to share the fascinating stories of these women online, in educational publications and at the museum to raise public awareness of the importance of these artists’ contributions.
With the aim of preserving these women’s heritage and stories, we hope to highlight and expand our knowledge of diversity through the artistic eye of femininity—a woman’s perspective. DFD provides BIPOC women visual artists with a long overdue platform to showcase their art and raise awareness of their work, ideas and traditions. This can inspire girls and women from diverse communities to increase their involvement in the visual arts, thereby increasing public acceptance and understanding of different perspectives.
WAM is grateful to have received funding for the launch of the DFD project and this resource booklet from the Ministry of Arts, Culture and the Status of Women through a Community Initiative Project Grant. The DFD project has also benefited from Government of Canada funding through the Canadian Museum Association’s Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations in 2022 and 2023. DFD continues to evolve through the perspectives of these young people under the supervision of WAM’s Research & Collections Officer.
Donna Lynn Debassige Brinkworth is an Ojibwe artist living in Edmonton, Alberta. When Donna first started painting, she made copies of Morrisseau’s work to practice the woodland style and develop her own version. Not as abstract as Morrisseau, she prefers semi-realistic images with recognisable animals such as polar bears, eagles and ravens.
Raneece Buddan, an emerging interdisciplinary artist, is quickly making her mark. Born and raised in Jamaica of an Afro-Caribbean mother and an Indo- Caribbean father, her eye-catching art intertwines a mixture of both heritages. Raneece explores media combinations using textiles and synthetic hair to broaden her understanding of the cultures she comes from.
Madhu Kumar was born into a military family in India in 1963. She had her first brief exposure to painting in the eighties, but her parents encouraged her to pursue teaching for the stability it offered. Madhu moved to Regina, Saskatchewan in 2013 and enrolled in art classes at the University of Regina. Madhu believes that art acts as a universal language.
Erica Donovan, an Inuvialuit artist from Tuktoyaktuk, takes inspiration from the land and the skies to craft beautiful earrings. Crafting has been a trade that has been passed down from generation to generation by the women in her family.
Dawn Oman, an established painter in Nova Scotia spreads cheerfulness with her joyful acrylic paintings. Moving between foster homes she grappled to find any stability. She embraced her artistic skills and drawing became a happy escape from her living situation.
Bushra Yousaf, an Edmonton based visual artist, highlights the struggles of day-to-day life through her art. Growing up in Multan, Pakistan she mastered sketching and drawing at a young age, and her skills quickly became well known in her community.
Mohar Gupta, a Calgary-based interdisciplinary artist and art educator, heals her community through art. Growing up in India, her childhood was a whirlwind of Indian culture. Starting her art career was much harder than expected and fitting into the art community was difficult.
Emerging interdisciplinary artist, Corinna Wollf explores herself and her environment through many forms of art. Born to a Red River Métis mother and a Mennonite father, Corinna spent time with both, but never fully explored her own identity within those cultures until later in life.
Elsa Robinson is a mixed media artist, sculptor and painter born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Jamaica. She currently lives in Edmonton, Alberta. Growing up in Jamaica, art supplies were scarce, forcing Elsa to look to other objects (shells, rocks, grasses) for her art.
Autumn Whiteway, a Saulteaux Métis archaeologist and visual artist overturns colonial narratives through powerful digital art and photography. Spending her childhood displaced from her community in Barens River, Manitoba, she felt a disconnect to her culture growing up.
Avy Loftus, a Montreal-based interdisciplinary artist, explores the world through a variety of mediums including textiles, drawings, oils and watercolours, adding a unique perspective with her Indonesian, Mongolian and Dutch heritage.
She incorporates batik into her art.
Linda Ould is an Edmonton-based multi disciplinary Métis artist who specializes in acrylic painting and crafting. In First Nation culture, nature is especially important, and in most of Linda’s work, nature provides an outlet for her creativity. Linda explores many types of art and media.
Christina Ignacio-Deines, an Edmonton based artist, designer, and event producer, creates inclusive and beautiful spaces. As a child of immigrant parents, she was raised Canadian with little connection to her Filipino roots.
Ravina Toor, an Edmonton based interdisciplinary artist, is working to create inclusive spaces within the art world. Her work highlights her Punjabi heritage as well as her Canadian identity.
Gloria Ho is a watercolourist who grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, where she currently resides. Her parents are Chinese immigrants from Hong Kong. Her work is illustrative, comical, inviting, and in a way magical.
WAM is located within Treaty 6 Territory and within the Métis homelands and Métis Nation of Alberta Region 4. We acknowledge this land as the traditional territories of many First Nations such as the Nehiyaw (Cree), Denesuliné (Dene), Nakota Sioux (Stoney), Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) and Niitsitapi (Blackfoot).
MAF est situé dans le territoire du Traité no 6 et dans les terres ancestrales métisses et la Nation métisse de la région 4 de l’Alberta. Nous reconnaissons ces terres comme les territoires traditionnels de nombreuses Premières Nations comme les Nehiyaw (Cris), les Denesuliné (Dénés), les Sioux Nakota (Stoney), les Anishinaabe (Saulteaux) et les Niitsitapi (Pieds-Noirs).
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