Times Colonist Features Tompalski & Thompson

January 7, 2018 Times Colonist article Features Tompalski & Thompson

Sherry Tompalski

Sherry Tompalski in front of 2 of her 4 paintings at the Intangible States Show

Robert Amos (Times Colonist Archive) (Amos Web Site) featured Sherry Tompalski and Graham Thompson in his January 7, 2018 Times Colonist Art Column. Tompalski & Thompson were privileged to be Amos’ final interview in his 32 year career writing for the Times Colonist of Victoria BC, Canada.


Robert Amos’ article ran as follows: (Click here for PDF version)

Robert Amos: A thoughtful look at art and the mind

During the past year, I have heard the name Sherry Tompalski in relation to a number of art activities. With her partner in life and art, Graham Thompson, Tompalski has painted video-enhanced portraits of refugees and female boxers training in Afghanistan. I recently visited the artists in their Oak Bay apartment.

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Tompalski retired from her career as a psychiatrist, working for the Canadian Armed Forces and then the federal government. She and her husband moved to Victoria 18 months ago, from their home on 20 acres near Stittsville, outside Ottawa. But painting is by no means a hobby she picked up in retirement.

In fact, after high school in Saskatoon, she says she “horrified” her parents by enrolling in the art program at the University of Saskatchewan. Later, sound sense prevailed and she switched to medicine, graduating from the University of British Columbia. An internship led to a residency in Ottawa.


“It was really quite fantastic,” she told me. “There is a large psychiatric community, easily 300 psychiatrists, in Ottawa.” But when she finished her training in 1992, she couldn’t get a billing number in B.C. “So I stayed in Ottawa.

In Ottawa, she started painting again.

“I got involved with a group of senior artists outside of Stittsville,” she explained. They shared 13,000 square feet, with large studios for all and two exhibition spaces. A huge benefit was the community of senior artists. The mentorship of Ken Finch led her to create big portraits with a strong narrative tendency.


As an outgrowth of life-drawing sessions, she began her Band-Aids series.

“Band-Aids hold you together while you heal,” she realized. “It was natural that I started painting about various psychiatric concepts.”

With the confidence that came from her full-time employment, she was able to ignore the art marketplace.


“I never really focused on whether it was commercial,” she told me. As it turned out, a great deal of the work was funded on grants.

That’s where Thompson came in. The two have been partners since undergraduate days. In the 1980s, with the emergence of the internet, he found work that led to desktop publishing, video, graphics, websites and then social media. His special skill was preparing video grant proposals.

Tompalski produced the content — the Wet Nurse series, the Reassembled Self series. And Thompson took the material to the world with a multi-tiered approach. His presentation of her paintings online with strong search optimization led to the publication of her images in a magazine in Brazil. Thompson’s video of her paintings in production was shown in film and video festivals as far away as Croatia.


His early videos resulted, to their surprise, in an invitation to present their work in the Philippines — all expenses paid.

“Things would start clicking,” Tompalski recalled, “and the more they clicked, the more they clicked. It worked really beautifully.”

Tompalski did not wait until she retired to take up art. At first she was well-supported by her friends in the psychiatric community, and submitted applications for every show going.


“Each time you write a grant,” she said, “it’s like having an art show. A jury of senior artists looks at your work. There is a lot of rejection, but they do look at it. And, before you know it, you start getting calls.” The Museum of Civilization in Ottawa heard about her and, out of the blue, asked to present her portraits of Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

Her Refugees series is striking. Beginning with refugees from Afghanistan, the series eventually included people from many continents and backgrounds, including “internally displaced” First Nations and Métis people. And the series required much grant writing, as subjects were paid to sit for their portraits for three days. And later, there was translation to English and French.

In many cases, the artist did not understand what the model was saying, but, all unbidden, the sitters began to talk.

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“They were trying to sit still,” Tompalski remembered. “It was meditative, with no one talking to them. And people would just start.” Thompson recorded the progress of the painting on video while Tompalski painted.

Regarding the video, “we would include a sample, just a minute or two, from three hours of tape, to enrich the portrait,” Tompalski said. “This was not an interview. They’d come in and just start talking non-stop, for three hours. Many of the sitters wanted people to know what they went through. For some, it was their first opportunity to really talk about what happened. They can’t talk about it with their families, who just want to put it behind them. And they can’t share it with other Canadians, who don’t really understand … and it’s just such a downer. So they’re just sort of left with it.”

The portrait sittings were the beginning of the processing of what happened to them. The subjects seem to be happier people just for the fact of having been heard.

“As a psychiatrist,” Tompalski reminded me, “I was trying to help people discover their own narrative and to figure out their own story. This started to manifest itself in the art.”

The artist had spent a summer here long ago. In retirement, she and Thompson have come back, and they are already part of the Victoria art scene. They are producing work for a show at the Gage Gallery (2031 Oak Bay Ave., Feb. 14 to 27). Featuring collages and paintings, costumes, online presence and performance, it’s entitled Sex and the Single Seagull. See you there.


Sherry Tompalski, Graham Thompson, Robert Amos, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Ken Finch, Museum of Civilization, Oak bay, Oak Bay ave., Afghanistan, Croatia, University of Saskatchewan, Brazil, Saskatoon, University of British Columbia, Philippines, Canadians.





Tompalski Paints Intangible States

​Sherry Tompalski, Kirsten Brand and Shelby Assenheimer’s Intangible States Show at Gage Gallery, Oak Bay.

Intangible States poster was designed by Graham Thompson

Intangible States poster was designed by Graham Thompson

Sherry Tompalski, Kirsten Brand and Shelby Assenheimer exhibited their paintings in the Intangible States Art Show, which opened February 1 at the Gage Gallery of Oak Bay British Columbia, Canada.

Sherry Tompalski

Sherry Tompalski in front of 2 of her 4 paintings at the Intangible States Show

Three artists capture on canvas memories and glimpses of the present and future.

Ineke van Hasselt

Oak Bay artist Ineke van Hasselt in front of Tompalski’s painting.

Tompalski believes the nature of everything is illusory and ephemeral and consequently, unknowable.

James Dodd

Surrealist painter James Dodd in front of Shelby Annesheimer’s paintings

This manifests as a magical and meditative quality in her work. Brand imagines the mystery of a soul’s journey and uses memorabilia to stimulate emotion, bringing to mind a life gone by.

Artists in Gage Gallery

Artists in Gage Gallery

Assenheimer contemplates humankind’s challenge to identify the illusive balance between the natural and the artificial.

James Dodd and Sherry Tompalski

James Dodd and Sherry Tompalski

Intangible State runs from January 30 to February 10th, 2018.

Dwayne Annsenheimer, Liz Wells and Agnes Aananichuk

Dwayne Annsenheimer, Liz Wells and Agnes Aananichuk at Intangible States Show

The Intangible States show was inspired by Quantum physics which tells us that objects exist in a suspended physical state until observed. Once observed, the object’s state is altered. All photos by Graham Thompson.

Tompalski at Hermann’s Jazz Fund Raiser

Sherry Tompalski featured at Hermann’s Jazz Club Art Auction @ Martin Batchelor Gallery Dec 27 2017.


Margaret Hantiuk, Martin Batchelor and Sherry Tompalski

Artist Sherry Tompalski donated her “Ice Woman” painting (shown below) to the December 27-31, 2017 Hermann’s Jazz Club Art Auction at Martin Batchelor Gallery in Victoria Canada.


Ice Woman by Sherry Tompalski

Tompalski’s Artist Statement

I have been blessed with two parallel careers over the past 25 years: psychiatry and art. While they are intrinsically different fields, the work of each has informed the other. I assessed and treated adolescents, adults, couples, and families, and also worked for the military treating soldiers. Throughout, I maintained my art practice working on projects often with my husband, and invariably exploring visually, psychological concepts, questions and understanding.

I experienced my art and my art career as vitalizing my work with patients, while my psychiatric career underlined the importance of people feeling understood and understandable. Consequently, in my art I often wanted to “put myself in anothers’ shoes”, maintaining that the individual’s world or point of view is worth looking at and paying attention to.

The Ice Woman being offered for auction is from my The Reassembled Self Series. This series began as graphite drawings that were torn up and reassembled with fragments of musical score, portraying the process of coming undone, reforming and coming together again. This is the process many of us will experience when dealing with change and upheaval. The Ice Woman makes this process visible. She embodies a fragmented, difficult history which hopefully with healing and strength becomes music.

I do not believe we give people a voice, anymore than we can empower people. However, when we listen in an authentic way people develop a voice and experience themselves as more effective. Ultimately, I hope my work helps to contribute to an environment that embodies trust wherein people can feel their needs are legitimate and experience themselves and the world as a safer place to live in.

I thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa for their financial support of these projects.

Sherry Tompalski, http://sherrypaints.info


Heather Atkinson, Martin Batchelor and Sherry Tompalski

The 5-day auction was organized by Margaret Hantiuk and Heather Atkinson and presented by Jazz on View as part of an ongoing effort to purchase and operate the Hermann’s Jazz Club. Jazz on View is a B.C. non-profit society dedicated to turning Hermann’s Jazz Club into community owned and operated facility. The December 27th 2017 opening program also featured pianist Tony Genge shown below.

Hermann’s Jazz Club, which began 35 years ago, has provided a venue for artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Wheeler, Dewey Redman, Hal Galper, Rob McConnell and Diana Krall .


Wynton Marsalis, Kenny Wheeler, Dewey Redman, Hal Galper, Rob McConnell and Diana Krall videos are linked below.

Hal Galper

Wynton Marsalis

Rob McConnell

Diana Krall

Tompalski at Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Tompalski’s Talking Portrait Talk at Art Gallery of Victoria

Dr Sherry Tompalski gave a talk about her Talking Portrait series at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on September 8, 2017. 

What is a Talking Portrait?

A Talking Portrait is a portrait that includes traditional portraiture and an accompanying video. Initially the video was of the painting developing in Sherry’s studio with audio of what was said spontaneously during the portrait sitting. However, over the seven years of the project the portraiture and the accompanying video evolved. The portraits expanding to include drawing, collage and mixed media and the videos becoming more biographical and stylized. The work has been exhibited extensively, including the Museum of Civilization, Library and Archives Canada, the National Gallery and internationally in Chicago, New York, Argentina, Brazil, Spain, France, the UK and Montenegro. Currently there are Talking Portraits of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, artists, Pierre Trudeau, Lotta Hitschmanova, refugees from Guatemala, El Salvador, Congo, Sudan, Guinea, Afghanistan, Iran and also several Residential School survivors. The work has been supported by the United Nations, Ministry of Citizenship Immigration and Multiculturalism, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and the City of Ottawa as well as several other organizations. Sherry Tompalski did the portraits and her husband Graham Thompson the videos. There are a total of 50 Talking Portraits.


Sherry Tompalski and Yvonne MacKenzie, Programme Chair of the Associates of the AGGV

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Since the 1950’s, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has been at the center of the Greater Victoria community. Over the past 60 years the AGGV has grown to be the second largest public gallery in the province. Located in the heart of the City of Victoria’s cultural precinct, the AGGV collection currently contains over 19,000 pieces held in trust for the people of Victoria, British Columbia and Canada. Every year, over 100,000 people visit the Gallery to view captivating and innovative exhibitions and attend entertaining and informative events. The AGGV also provides accessible outreach programs to families, youth, school districts and post-secondary institutions across Southern Vancouver Island. Each year, in excess of a quarter million people also access the Gallery online through the AGGV’s extensive community-based programming website and comprehensive art database.


The Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

The Associates share a rich and vibrant history with the Gallery. The Associates were founded in 1952 to, “foster interest in, and give voluntary service to the gallery.” Over the years, the Associates have raised well over $800,000 to contribute to the Gallery. Celebrating and fostering enjoyment of the Gallery continues to be at the heart of their activities. The Associates also offer a wide range of educational programs and art related activities in their programs for members.

Art_Gallery_of_Greater_Victoria_-_Spencer_Mansion_interior_pano_01_(20318046960) (1)

The Associates of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria include: Pieta VanDyke President; Scott Vannon First Vice President; Wendy Lovitt Warren Second Vice President; Cindee Wind Secretary; Marci Shilliington Treasurer; Paulette Moser Membership Chair; Yvonne MacKenzie Programme Chair; Patti-Anne Kay Past President, Art Tours & Artist’s Studio Tours Joan Huzar and Wendy Warren; House Tour  Bill Huzar; What’s It Worth? Bill Huzar and Penny Davies; Newsletter Joan Shimizu and Charlene Brown; Book Club  Joan Shimizu, Pat Katz and Joan Fraser; Government House Nancy Newton and Alma Alexander; Social Helen Mawson and Sheila Mawson.



Lotta Hitschmanova Remembered on Rain’s Blog

Rain’s Blog Lotta56Sparks features Friederike Knabe Remembers Lotta Video.


David Rain’s blog Lotta56sparks.ca, is dedicated to the woman who made 56 Sparks Street one of Canada’s most iconic addresses, Dr. Lotta Hitschmanova, C.C. (1909-1990).  In his site, Rain a 22 year veteran with Lotta’s Unitarian Service Committee (USC), explores the emotional connections that Lotta made with so many of us, and offers a space for younger folks to learn more about her.


In 2009, more than 50 events were held coast to coast to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Dr Lotta Hitschmanova (1909-2009). In Ottawa, USC Canada organized a special “Lotta 100” event to honour their founder. Sherry Tompalski and Graham Thompson were on hand and recorded interviews of participants who shared their recollections and stories about Lotta.

As described in Rain’s blog, “Friederike was the Director of Canadian Programs for USC from 1991 to 2001. She travelled frequently across Canada to meet with USC donors and volunteers, and often had the chance to speak directly with people who knew Lotta personally, or who had received a visit from Lotta in their school classroom. In this video, Friederike talks about Lotta’s uniform, her frugality (she wanted all the money donated to go to those in need), the engaging stories she would write during her overseas visits (her “jottings”), her passion to focus on women’s development (years before other aid agencies), and her legendary personal touch with volunteers and donors. Thank you Friederike for these reminiscences, and thank you Sherry and Graham for recording these interviews and for adding to our knowledge about this great Canadian humanitarian.”

The above recording includes a National Research Council Scientist Jim Neelin’s account of the Lotta at the 100 anniversary celebration of Lotta Hitschmanova. In the background of the interview you can see Tompalski’s portraits. Sherry Tompalski’s portraits of Lotta Hitschmanova were painted in 2009.

In the above video, David Rain talks about planning Lotta Hitschmanova’s 100th-anniversary celebration in Ottawa

In the above video, Shirley Cross Remembers Lotta at Lotta Hitschmanova’s 100th Anniversary Celebration in Ottawa.

In the above video, Dr. Susan Walsh spoke at Dr. Lotta Hitschamanova’s 100th anniversary event on November 12, 2009 at Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa Canada.

The above video features Bob Carty’s presentation at Lotta Hitschmanova’s 100th Anniversary Celebration on November 12, 2009 at Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa Canada.  Bob Carty is an Ottawa-based documentary radio producer for The Sunday Edition and The Current on CBC Radio One. Prior to entering journalism Bob spent a decade working on human rights and international development in Latin America. In 1981 he joined CBC Radio as a producer (later foreign editor and senior producer) for Sunday Morning. In the late 1980s, Bob and his family spent five years in Central America. His wife, Frances Arbour, worked with internally displaced people in Guatemala and Guatemalan refugees in Mexico while Bob covered military conflicts, human rights, development and ecological issues throughout Latin America for the CBC, The Globe & Mail and National Public Radio. Returning to Canada in 1993, Bob resumed work for the CBC on feature documentaries. Bob’s work has won numerous awards including a Peabody and a Gabriel, several New York International Radio Festival Awards, and multiple investigative journalism prizes.

The above video features Clyde Sanger’s presentation at Lotta Hitschmanova’s 100th Anniversary Celebration on November 12, 2009 at Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa Canada. Clyde Sanger, author of Lotta and the Unitarian Service Committee story, an international journalist, and former Canadian correspondent for The Economist worked for forty years as a journalist in Britain, Africa, and North America. He has served as director of communications with the North-South Institute and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Carleton University.

In the above video, Gatineau Artist / USC Translator, Marie-Jeanne Musiol, speaks at Lotta Hitschmanova’s 100th Anniversary Celebration on November 12, 2009 at Arts Court Theatre in Ottawa Canada. From: http://www.musiol.ca/index-en.php Marie-Jeanne Musiol’s photo installations have evolved from archeological itineraries to journeys exploring the nature of energy. While working in Auschwitz in the 90s, she experienced the limits of photographic representation and began searching for a more direct way to express the felt presence. She now records the luminous imprints of plants in electromagnetic fields. The “energy botany” she is constituting has been the object of several gallery and outdoor exhibitions in Canada, Europe and Asia. Her more recent work probes the light fields surrounding plants to uncover a mirror image of the cosmos enfolded in the light corona. Her presentations of electrophotography in national and international forums speak to the importance of magnetic fields as carriers of information and speculate on the holographic nature of the universe. Marie-Jeanne Musiol lives and works in Gatineau, Quebec.





















Tompalski opens at the Gage Gallery Feb 23 2017

Tompalski’s Afghan Boxers at Gage Gallery Victoria  Canada, 2017.


Efren Quiroz’s YouTube and Website exhibit-V, provides an extensive monthly calendar of openings in Victoria B.C. Canada. He covers the Boxers and Beauties show with interviews of Sherry Tompalski and Arden Rose at Gage gallery Arts Collective.

On Tuesdays through Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. the show continues to Mar 11, 2017.


See a 360 degree panorama of the show provided by photographer Barry Herring. Click to view interactively and then play with the buttons. CLICK http://360.io/XJP7w2 . The gallery is Located in Oak Bay Village, the Gage is close to the corner of Oak Bay and Foul Bay avenues.


Tompalski’s new work is based on and inspired by pictures of the Afghan women who train in the basement of the Kabul stadium where the Taliban used to publicly execute women accused of adultery.


Sadaf Rahimi, a female boxer from Afghanistan who made history by being the first Afghan female boxer to be invited to the Olympics recounts, “In Afghanistan, there is so much violence and prejudice towards women. Because of that, when I come here and box, I feel freedom. Here we are all girls, and we talk with each other and practice. Here is freedom for me and for every girl.” The Boxers & Beauties Show was covered by Christine van Reeuwyk of the OakBay News.


Boxers debut with Beauties at Gage Gallery

Oak Bay artist Sherry Tompalski prepares to unveil her boxers, inspired by Afghan female athletes, during her first show as a Gage Gallery artist collective member. — image credit: Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News

A series of boxers enjoy time in the spotlight this month after waiting three years for a chance in the ring. Boxers, created by Oak Bay artist Sherry Tompalski, were inspired by the Female Afghan Boxing Club in Kabul. “I’ve never exhibited the boxers,” said the new Oak Bay resident. “I’m looking froward to seeing how people respond to them.” Tompalski returned west from Ottawa last June after a dual career as an artist and psychiatrist. Decades ago, after medical school in Vancouver she and her husband Graham Thompson moved to Ottawa for practicum. “We went for one year and ended up being there or 30,” she said. Upon their return, they opted for Victoria, which reminded them of Vancouver as it was three decades ago. Tompalski’s new work is based on and inspired by pictures of the Afghan women who train in the basement of the Kabul stadium where the Taliban used to publicly execute women accused of adultery. She learned of the women after a boxer made history as the first Afghan female boxer invited to the Olympics. “If was shocked, it just sounded almost surreal,” she said.

“This work began as large graphite drawings that are torn up and reassembled with fragments of musical scores, portraying the process of coming undone, reforming and coming together. The Boxers incorporate a fragmented, difficult history which hopefully with healing and strength becomes music.” Beauties by Arden Rose balance the boxers in a shared exhibition at Gage Gallery.
“We got together and I liked her immediately,” said Tompalski. “She’s also a figurative painter so that’s great.” They crafted Boxers and Beauties for the shared show at Gage from Feb. 21 to March 11. “We were thrown together in this and we’re both fairly new to the Gage Gallery,” said Rose, a Victoria resident. “I have been working on these kind of abstract portraits. I’ve been drawn to doing that lately.” She was inspired by an in-depth workshop last fall. “Two of the days we had live nude models. We did a lot of drawing and short sketches of nudes. But the models were all tiny and young. I added flesh to them because it just seemed more realistic. That started the inspiration with the nudes,” she said. “Then I thought I’ll try just the face.” We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story’s topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.


Artist Sherry Tompalski’s new show at the Gage Gallery opens on Feb 23, (5-8pm) featuring her Female Boxers.”This work began as large graphite drawings that are torn up and reassembled with fragments of musical scores, portraying the process of coming undone, reforming and coming together. The Boxers incorporate a fragmented, difficult history which hopefully with healing and strength becomes music.” Tompalski’s Boxers are accompanied by Artist Arden Rose’s Beauties at the Gage Gallery from February 21 to March 11, 2017.

The Feb 23 Vernissage

Vernissage has its roots in the old practice of setting aside a day before an exhibition’s opening for artists to varnish and put finishing touches to their paintings-a tradition that reportedly dates to at least 1809, when it was instituted by England’s Royal Academy of Arts. (One famous member of the Academy, Joseph Mallord William Turner, was notorious for making major changes to his paintings on this day.) English speakers originally referred to this day of finishing touches simply as “varnishing day,” but sometime around 1912 we also began using the French term vernissage (literally, “varnishing”). Today, however, you are more likely to encounter sparkling water and truffles than varnish at a vernissage, which is how Tompalski’s February 23 opening unfolded. See pictures below.


Arden Rose and Parents in front of Tompalski’s Afghan Women’s Boxing Club


Tompalski in Traditional Afghan Dress

In the show, Tompalski also exhibited Bahara of Kabul #1, #2 & #3, along with Hawa of Guinea West Africa. See below





The show also featured videos of Bahara of Kabul and Hawa of Guinea. See below.

Tompalski Featured as March 2017 Artist of the Month at Exhibit-V


SEE: http://exhibit-v.blogspot.ca/2017/03/sherry-tompalski-march-2017-artist-of.html


open Tues-Sat 11 am – 5 pm, Sun 1 PM – 4 PM
2031 Oak Bay Avenue,
Victoria, BC, V8R 1E5


taoist taichi victoria Philippines Travel Talk

Taoist Tai Chi event revisits Thompson’s media art tour of the Philippines, including an outbreak of civil war in Mindanao.


At Victoria’s 2016 Taoist Tai Chi dinner, Thompson spoke of his 2005 trip to the Philippines, 8 media art shows sponsored by the Canadian Embassy in Manila. Check-out the online version of the show at http://medicine-wheel.co/


The talk outlined Thompson’s adventure in the Philippines during an out-break of civil war in 2005. On Valentine’s Day 2005, at the start of a planned inter-cultural exchange sponsored by the Canadian Embassy in Manila, one of several bombs were detonated two blocks from Thompson’s hotel room. The bombings were what rebel group “Abu Sayyaf” called retribution for government assaults in the southern Philippines, a flash point of resistance since Spanish colonial efforts in the 1500s. In the bombings, 11 people were killed and 160 injured.


The tour, which was accompanied by Canadian ambassador Peter Sutherland, proceeded through the island of Mindanao with a military escort. Presentations were given at the Regional Education Learning Centre in Cotabato, the University of the Philippines in Davao and the Western Mindanao State University in Zamboanga. The installation and artist talk was also presented on Busuanga Island at the Darayonan Centre of Coron and on Palawan Island at the Kamarikutan Gallery in Puerto Princessa. On the island of Luzon, the NSEW interactive video was presented in Manila at the Ateneo de Manila University Art Gallery and in Baguio at the Tamawan Village Art Gallery. The purpose of the dinner was to raise funds for the Victoria Branch of the Fung Loy Kok Institute of Taoism were daily classes of Taoist Tai Chi are offered.


Taoist Tai Chi Arts in Canada

In 1970, Master Moy Lin-Shin arrived in Canada with the goal of making the Taoist Arts he learned growing up in China and Hong Kong available to all who wished to benefit from them. For Master Moy, making these benefits available to all, regardless of background or belief system, was his life’s work. Taoist Tai Chi® arts are founded upon a rich tradition of Taoist training. They are intended to return both body and mind to their original nature. According to Taoist teachings body and mind cannot be separated. Each step in the training is intended to help the mind return to stillness, clarity and wisdom, and the body to a balanced, relaxed and healthy state. Taoist Tai Chi® arts are distinguished at the physical level by stretching, full range of motion and the continuous turning of the waist and spine. The movements exercise the whole physiology; including the tendons, joints, connective tissue and internal organs.

Growing Up Human Show at Research in Art Ottawa

Research in Art exhibits Tompalski’s Anti – Embarrassment Device from her Wet Nurse Series in 2014.


Growing Up Human

As the world feels the shape-shifting effects of scientific and technological advancements with increasing intensity, a profound change in thinking about the human condition is taking hold. Humans have altered the earth’s life-systems to such an extent that earth scientists have suggested that the Holocene era has ended; we now live in the Anthropocene, an era in which the global human habitat is re-shaping the world.

Research in Art, Shows in Asia, Europe, & Americas

Media art shows in Canada, USA, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia and France at Research in Art.


Graham Thompson revisited his medicine wheel media art shows in Europe, Asia and the Americas at the Research in Art Project Room in Ottawa Canada on October 8 2014.

FROM THE RESEARCH IN ART WEB SITE: RIA Salon 53 features media artist Graham Thompson who will talk about his 2005 tour of Asia on October 8 2014. With the launch of the North-South-East-West project in 2003 ( see the interactive medicine wheel at medicine-wheel.co ) Thompson received invitations to exhibit his work in North America, Asia and Europe. His 45 minute talk on October 8th 2014 will include a travelogue of shows in Canada, USA, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Russia and France, as well as a guided tour of the North-South-East-West interactive video, with emphasis on the relevance of medicine wheel teachings to contemporary life styles by inter-relating the following 5 concepts:
– the 4 cardinal directions (East, South, West, North),
– the 4 stages of life (birth, youth, adulthood, old age),
– the 4 challenges of life (survival, vision, path, wisdom),
– the 4 positions of the sun (sun rise, noon, sunset, night) and
– the 4 seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter).

Bio: Ottawa media artist Graham Thompson discovered midlife that he was a Cree Metis with Red River family connections to British explorer Samuel Hearn and Metis rebel leader Louis Riel. This genealogical research lead to the study of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge. His work in Algonquin talking circles and sweat lodges triggered, with a generous grant from ED Video, the creation of the North-South-East-West Project, an interactive Web-based Medicine Wheel. Thompson has won awards for his media work from the European Film Festival MEFEST, the International Digital Art Awards of Melbourne Australia, Cool Site of the Day of New York and the Common Wealth Vision Awards of England.

Residential School Survivor Drawings & Videos

Research in Art exhibits Residential School Survivor Drawings & Videos, curated by Petra Halkes in 2013.  


Ottawa based Research in Art exhibited the Residential School Survivor Drawings & Videos. The May 2013 show was curated by Petra Halkes.  The exhibition included drawings and videos of Irene Lindsay who is a Board Elder at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (http://www.ahf.ca/).


Irene Lindsay, a Wolf Clan descendant, from the Cree/Sioux community of Wakaw, Saskatchewan is a survivor of St. Michael’s Residential School in Duck Lake Saskatchewan. As a youth, Irene resided on One Arrow First Nations Reserve in Saskatchewan, she moved to Ottawa for employment, and later to complete her schooling in nursing. Her personal and professional pursuits have consistently directed her toward activities that help to enrich and complement the aspirations of Aboriginal people and communities. She is particularly concerned with the unique challenges that face Aboriginal women and children, and is committed to doing what she can to assist them.


One example of that commitment is demonstrated by her work in establishing a group called, The Wisdom Keepers, a Grandmothers Circle through the Minwaashin Lodge, the Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre. She has also served on the Women’s Council for the Lodge for four years and has been a board member for an Aboriginal Men’s Healing Lodge. Irene is a guest lecturer on Native Culture and traditions for university and high school students in Canada. Her interest in giving back to her community eventually led to a career in the helping profession, facilitating a Residential School Survivors Circle, fund raising committees, numerous health video documentaries to promote awareness of Aboriginal Health Issues, and assisting organizations in developing culturally based programming which benefit all people in accordance with Aboriginal culture and traditions. Irene Lindsay is presently an integral part of the dynamic team that is Minwaashin Lodge, the Aboriginal Women’s Support Centre.


The Residential School System in Canada Overview  

FROM THE WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN SITE wherearethechildren.ca: Since their first arrival in the “new world” of North America, a number of religious entities began the project of converting Aboriginal Peoples to Christianity. This undertaking grew in structure and purpose, especially between1831 and 1969, when the governing officials of early Canada joined with Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, United, and Presbyterian churches to create and operate the residential school system. This partnership came to an end when the federal government took over sole management of the schools, and then began transferring the control of First Nations education to Indian bands. The last federally-run residential school, Gordon Indian Residential School in Saskatchewan, closed in 1996. One common objective defined this period: the aggressive assimilation of Aboriginal peoples.

Métis children, initially turned away by the Canadian government, were later encouraged to fill school spaces left by Indian children. Métis students encountered racism from all sides: they were often outsiders within the student body, and were also treated as second-class citizens when they were made to work longer and harder to “earn” their education. They were not wanted in white schools, but neither would the Department of Indian Affairs recognize them as Indians. With limited options, Métis parents often had to pay for children’s education, and would place them at any school that would take them.

Life at residential schools

The journey to residential schools was often a long one, particularly for Aboriginal children who came from communities that were thousands of miles away. Some could walk to the schools, but many others arrived by wagon, train, boat, or, in later years, by bus. When they remember that long journey, many Survivors recall feeling like they were walking into a prison. When they entered the schools, they were robbed of their identities: their hair was cut and de-loused, they were stripped of their garments and possessions and clothed in uniforms, and they were called by “Christian” names or by numbers instead of their own names. For the few students who had been prepared by their parents, the schools may have initially appeared less ominous, but for those who were taken to the schools by force, the experience was all the more traumatic.