When Raven Became Spider at Gallery 1C03

The Time Traveler,, by Shaun Beyale,, ink, marker and jellyroll pen on paper

The Time Traveler,, by Shaun Beyale,, ink, marker and jellyroll pen on paper

The supernatural is a subject of popular fascination, evident by the large number of superhero comics, films, and TV shows. 

The University of Winnipeg’s Gallery 1C03 is going ‘supernatural’ with its upcoming exhibit When Raven Became Spider from September 19 – November 30. 

This touring exhibit, curated by Leena Minifie, brings together works by six contemporary Indigenous artists who combine superhero comic book images with figures and images drawn from traditional and contemporary Indigenous stories. The show takes its name from exhibiting artist Sonny Assu’s works depicting Raven the Trickster transforming into Spiderman in order to maintain his visibility. 

When Raven Became Spider includes art works by Joi T. Arcand, Julianne Beaudin-Herney, Shaun Beyale, Sonny Assu, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, and Jeffrey Veregge.

This exhibition also links to the One Book UW (1BUW) program this fall, which is focused on getting as many people on campus as possible to read the book This Place: 150 Years Retold, a collection of Indigenous history comics. Like the exhibit and the book, Indigenous comics offer accessible and engaging pathways into contemporary issues in Indigenous-settler relations. 

Gallery 1C03 is offering numerous events to help the community engage with the art, including a reception, a graphic novel workshop, a curatorial talk by Minifie, and a panel discussion with Minifie and Sonya Ballantyne, one of the featured artists and filmmaker.

As Minifie notes, the supernatural is also a part of everyday life for Indigenous people across nations.

“Traditional stories,” she writes, “highlight figures with super-heroic traits who maintain their complexity, while contemporary comic-book superheroes tend to be simply characterized as good or evil. The complex super-heroic beings of Indigenous stories imply the possibility of self-transformation for individuals and communities alike. Bringing these figures into a contemporary context is a testimony to their continued importance and to the resilience and continued existence of Indigenous people today.”

Gallery 1C03 is open Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 4:00 pm and 1:00 – 4:00 pm on Saturday. Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Physical accessibility: Gallery 1C03 is located on ground level, but visitors may require the assistance of the gallery attendant to open the gallery door.

Thursday, September 26
Graphic Novel workshop
6:30 – 8:30 pm at Gallery 1C03
Led by writer and artist Jen Storm. Presented in partnership with Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art Indigenous Art Night program. Geared for all Indigenous women-identified and Two-Spirit people. This program is free, but participants should register via this link.

Wednesday, October 9
Panel discussion
2:30 pm in Convocation Hall, 2nd floor of Wesley Hall.
Chaired by UWinnipeg’s Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Arts, Collaboration, and Digital Media, Dr. Julie Nagam, and featuring artists  Joi T. Arcand, Sonya Ballantyne, and Leena Minifie.

Wednesday, October 9,
4:00 – 6:00 pm at Gallery 1C03

Friday, October 11
Curatorial talk  with Leena Minife.

2:30 pm at Gallery 1C03

Organized and circulated by the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina. Gallery 1C03 gratefully acknowledges financial assistance from the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council for making it possible to host this exhibition.

Naniece Ibrahim, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg
P: 204.988.7130, E: n.ibrahim@uwinnipeg.ca


Comments are closed.