You can help build community through art
My earliest memories at the WAG are taking art classes at WAG Studio. I distinctly recall making a large scale collaborative drawing about the 1997 flood and talking about the impact of the “flood of the century.”
I remember taking a tour with my school when I was about nine or ten to see an exhibition of Inuit sculpture, and being drawn in by the delicately formed shapes and the colours of the stone.
Growing up there was always traditional Indian art in my home and in my grandparents’ house. In university, I began to notice more and more the stark categories of “Western” and “non-Western” art, leaving little room to explore the complexities of intersecting identities, and the effects of colonization and migration on our lives. This led to my interest in contemporary South Asian artists who are using their practices to speak to broader societal and political issues that impact all of us.
I never felt truly represented in an art gallery. This is why Vision Exchange is so important for me. The exhibition shares the diverse histories of India and the diaspora with the public. Each artist brings their own viewpoint to their work, offering an opportunity to look at issues from fresh perspectives and encouraging real dialogue between communities.
I was especially excited to see Sarindar Dhaliwal's works in person, as I had previously only viewed them through images in texts and online while researching her work. Getting up close to the work of an artist I have admired for some time, but have never been able to access before, has been a truly thrilling opportunity!
Experiencing Vision Exchange has been amazing for me as a member of the Indian community in Winnipeg. Seeing myself, my community, and my culture reflected in a major art gallery like the WAG is affirming. During these divisive times, it is more important than ever to have spaces where our differences are not just welcomed, but celebrated.
My hope is for many more exhibitions in the future that will bring underrepresented communities into the WAG. Your donation to the WAG will make this possible.
-Sabrina Sethi is a University of Winnipeg graduate student and curator of Scottish and Indian descent. Earlier this year, Sabrina joined the WAG’s Advisory Committee for Vision Exchange.
Exhibitions like Vision Exchange happen with the help of supporters and friends like you.Your donations, visits, and interest in the Gallery enable underrepresented voices to be heard and seen alongside old favourites from the collection.
The WAG relies on the generosity of donors to advance our mission to connect, inspire, and inform through the incredible vehicle of art. Your donations amplify stories that bring us all closer together.
Please consider a gift today to the WAG where our differences are not just welcomed, but celebrated. Thank you for your support!
Donations can be made online, in person at the front desk, or by phone at 204.789.1345.
Above artwork: Sabrina Sethi in front of Divya Mehra's Contemporary South Asian Art (detail), 2018-2010. Acrylic vinyl (Pantone 17-1328 TCX Indian Tan). Courtesy of the artist and Georgia Scherman Projects, Toronto. Photo: Serena Keshavjee.