Current Exhibitions

We are currently closed for installation. Please join us Thursday, May 30 from 5-7PM for the opening reception of "Purpose and Intention: Exploration of Creativity" in the artLAB and "Temporal Palimpsests" in the Cohen Commons.

Purpose and Intention:
Exploration of Creativity

Leith Mahkewa, Indigenous Artist in Residence

Exhibition: May 30 – June 20, 2024

Reception: Thursday, May 30 from 5-7PM
artLAB Gallery


This exhibit is a culmination of Leith Mahkewa’s time as the Indigenous Artist in Resident at Western University. Although the focal art piece of her residency was the production a cradleboard adorned with beadwork, she also produced many beaded items which are pictured in the exhibit.

While in residence Leith explored a variety of new art mediums: woodworking, linocut printing, leather handbag making, silversmithing and haute couture embroidery which add to her artistic repertoire and increase her creative skills.

Beadwork is Leith’s primary art medium of choice.  Through this Residency she followed a vision to create a new and innovative artwork while still conserving the original intent of the cradleboard.  This was her first attempt at making a cradleboard and then adorning it with beadwork. The design and creation of the board itself is not a new concept, cradleboards have been used for centuries but Leith had never made one. The completion of this board and accompanying beadwork took approximately 7 months, a relatively short time compared to the 12 years she held this idea and waited for an opportunity to make her idea come to life.  The inspiration for this project came from Leith’s personal experience using a cradleboard for her children and her desire to create one herself using beadwork as the main focal point. She promotes the use of the cradleboard and its value to the mother, baby and family.

One of the goals Leith during her residency goes beyond the boundaries of UWO’s campus and Westerns Wampum Lodge to her community, Oneida Nation of the Thames. Leith’s intentions while at Western was to help increase the visibility and use of cradleboards by those within her community. The avenue that she chose was to encourage a group of women to explore their beadwork journey and to encourage them to bring the cradleboard home for themselves to use or for their families to see its utility and beauty.

The group gathered on campus and in Oneida, where they learned beading techniques, shared food, and comradery.  All were gifted a cradleboard to bring home to their families. It’s important to note that beading for Leith is primarily done alone.  However, the time spent creating and sharing with these four ladies motivated her to complete her own works and helped to foster the possibility of sharing future beadwork teachings. The beaded wraps for each cradleboard created by Faye Summers, Shelley Elijah, Twyla Antone and Samantha Doxtator are integral to this exhibit and a once in a lifetime experience which sustains the utility of cultural items.

Leith would like to acknowledge all those who mentored, encouraged and at times listened to her creative ramblings. The journey to this point was not done alone, there have been many people who helped to make this process enjoyable and a success.  She recognizes the Visual Arts Department at the University of Western Ontario for the providing space for the promotion and growth of Indigenous Artist in Residence program without which she would not have had the resources to work independently and create art as she sees it.

 Yaw^/Nia:wen/Thank You




Temporal Palimpsests

Curated by Amy Skodak, MA candidate

Exhibition: May 30 – June 20, 2024
Reception: Thursday, May 30 from 5-7PM
Cohen Commons

Work by:
Jessica Joyce and Rylee Rumble
Chloe Serenko
SiHyun Kim
Anna Riberdy
Danielle Petti


 Image Credit: to Danielle Petti, Failed Artifacts




Dong-Kyoon Nam, PhD candidate
Exhibition: April 25 – May 16, 2024
Reception: Thursday, April 25 from 5-7PM
In Conversation with Steven Debruyn: Wednesday, May 1 from 2-3PM


Dong-Kyoon Nam, adrift terrain. dimension variable, mixed media. 2024

The sculptural practice of Dong-Kyoon Nam reconstructs the illusive and ambiguous links between art and the mundane from an ecological perspective, through accumulation, excess, concealment, transformation, and a 'distanced assemblage' of fragmented objects. The 'distance' contemplated in this show does not simply refer to a physical distance between things and viewers within a sculptural space. It can also imply a hostile and tense confrontation between the self and the other, or a process of tentative separation and isolation. Simultaneously, distance can also reveal potential modes of hesitation, as when we are on the verge of associations with others, however ambiguously, through mutuality and coordination, bidirectional gestures, and so on.

The artist, Kyoon, is also interested in what can be thought of and felt as an everyday but unexpected kind of distance we experience through objects:

...convenience, passion, seduction, disdain, repulsion, indifference, detachment, and guilt towards everyday things always coexists and confronts each of us, and is all around us. Two modes – continuity and discontinuity – are embraced by ontological distance as one 

Through his artistic practice, Dong-Kyoon Nam questions the objects, materials, and tools around us at the most fundamental level while presenting a process of sculptural exploration demonstrating his studio practice itself to be depicting a small ecological cycle and trajectory.

Join us for the opening reception on Thursday, April 25 from 5pm to 7pm, and come back on Wednesday, May 1 at 2pm bringing your questions, concerns, doubts, and inspirations, related to what you think, see and experience in the exhibition. The artist will briefly discuss his ideas and practice with Steven Debruyn, MFA candidate. We will then open the conversation up to engage in a discussion regarding responses of the community.


거리를 물질들


남동균의 조형작업은 파편화된 사물들의 축적, 초과, 은폐, 변형 그리고, ‘거리를 아상블라주 통해, 예술과 일상 사이의 환영적이고 모호한 연결고리들을 생태학적 관점에서 재구성한다. 전시의 작품들에서 사유되는거리 단순히 조형적 공간 내에서의 관객과 사물 사이의 물리적 거리 만을 의미하진 않는다. 거리는 나와 타자 사이의 적대적이고 긴장된 대치, 혹은 잠정적 분리와 고립의 과정을 암시할 있으며, 동시에 상호성과 조율, 양방향적 제스쳐 등을 통해, 모호하게나마, 타자와의 연계를 이루기 직전의 잠재적 양태들을 역으로 드러낼 수도 있다. 

작가는 우리가 사물들을 통해 일상적으로 경험하지만, 예상치 못한 유형의 거리감으로써 사유되고 느껴질 있는 것에 대해서도 관심을 표명한다: 

 일상적 사물들에 대한 편의, 열정, 유혹, 경멸, 역겨움, 무관심, 분리, 죄책감은 항상 공존하며 우리 각자와 마주하고 있으며 우리 주변에 존재한다. 연속성과 비연속성의 두가지 양태들은 존재론적 거리에 의해 하나로 포용된다

예술 실천을 통해 작가는 우리 주변 사물들, 재료들, 도구들에 관한 가장 근본적 수준의 질문을 던짐과 동시에 그의 스튜디오 작업 실천 자체가 하나의 작은 생태계적 순환과 궤적을 그려내는 조형적 탐구의 과정을 제시한다.