Friends of Fem is a project partially funded by Calgary Arts Development. This funding allowed the Fem Assembly to expand with five additional artists joining us for an eight month-long project. It includes eight months of critiques, a collective zine and an exhibition.
Our artist call for this project resulted in 43 applications for the five open spots. It showed us how many incredible emerging arts there are, and how important communities like this are to these artists. Emerging artists in Calgary need supportive spaces to share and grow. We are very lucky to be working with these amazing artists.
Please see the exhibitions page for more photos!
Illustrations of artists, design of poster, and design of zine: All created by Stephany Victorine.
Sandra Lamouche (She/Her) Miss Amisk includes a performance and costume pieces inspired by the traditional stories of the beaver and great flood story from nehiyaw (Cree) story as told by my father. It is also based on the fur trade in Canada and informed by a feminist, ecological and decolonial perspectives. The word for beaver in Cree is ‘amisk’ and comes from the hissing noise a beaver makes. Costume includes a breastplate, earrings, beaver tail skirt, suitcase, and top hat made from upcycled and vintage materials.
Diane McGeachy (She/Her) is an interdisciplinary artist primarily working in painting, ceramic and drawing, as she never subscribes to a singular way of making. Graduating from AU Arts in 1993, she also holds a BA Sp. in Art History from the University of Alberta along with a degree in Education from the University of Calgary. She has exhibited locally, nationally and in the UK. Her work is included in the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and many private collections. She maintains an active studio practice in Calgary, Alberta where her most recent work is centred in and around ideas related to Queer Ecologies.
Lex Hilderman (they/them) is a queer trans interdisciplinary artist working on Mohkinstsis Treaty 7 Territory, also known as Calgary, AB. They received their Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a focus on Social Practice and Community Engagement. Later, they received their Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Calgary with a concentration on gender, family and workplace issues. Their work explores the relationship between materials and the body, especially focusing on concepts of binaries, heteronormativity, compulsory experiences, and the expectations, standards, and normative practices embedded in the physical experience of being human.
Wei Li (She/Her) In my practice, I’m searching for a visual language to address the complexity of hybrid identity and the subjective and emotional experience of living in a socially and ethnically diverse modern culture. The experience of being an immigrant to Canada provides me with crucial inspiration in my practice. This dual cultural background challenges me to integrate different cultural perspectives. The contradictions inherent in forming a new hybrid identity have entered my work and continue to create tension within it.
In my newest painting series, I explore themes of identity, femininity, and cultural heritage. I take inspiration from traditional Chinese decorative patterns to create an abstract floral landscape that serves as a backdrop for a transformative visual journey. I reimage the nude female body in a contemporary context and wave them into those patterns. The abstract body forms in my paintings are distorted, interconnected, and assimilated which serves as a powerful vehicle through which I explore the complexities and subtle nuances of the feminine experience.
Lili Yas Tayefi (she/her) is an Iranian born, Calgary-based multidisciplinary artist and designer specializing in contemporary ceramic arts. With extensive experience in handcraft and a background in material science, her practice, LYT Studio incorporates high-precision manufacturing in architecture using robotics to create beautiful and innovative ceramic sculptures. Her education includes a BFA in Visual Studies, a Minor in Environmental Design Architecture, and a Master’s degree in Advanced Architecture with a specialization in Robotic Fabrication and Material Science from IAAC, Barcelona, including six months of postgraduate research in large-scale 3D printing of self-sufficient earthen architecture. Lili is also passionate about educating others in digital fabrication and researching and developing new clay products.
Stephany Victorine (They/Them/She/Her) is an Illustrator and Printmaker originating from the Seychelles Islands and is based in Calgary and Ottawa. They have a BA in Communications Film and Media from the University of Calgary and a Diploma with Honours in Illustration and Concept Design from Algonquin College. Their practices focus on Queer (2SLGBTQ+) Culture, BIPOC Culture, Seychelles Creole Culture, and, Sex and Gender, using printmaking, painting, and digital illustration. They hope to create pieces that can normalise sex, being Queer and celebrate being people.
Samantha Charette (She/Her) is a visual artist situated in Calgary, located on the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta, Canada. Charette received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Alberta in 2016 and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary in 2021. Charette has been working in the visual art disciplines of painting, printmaking and drawing for the last 10 years through post-secondary education and an active independent studio practice. Conceptually, her artistic research uses intersectional feminist theory and critical literature in art theory and practice as frameworks to explore gender-based oppression.
Josefina Rodriguez (She/Her) is an Argentinian artist living in Calgary (known as Mohkínsstsisi in Blackfoot) since 2012. She is a figurative artist, working primarily in ceramic sculpture and drawing. Her current practice and research focuses on eroticism and sexuality, from a feminine and personal perspective. Josefina strives for the freedom to express herself without remorse or guilt, and to overcome the negative influences of her upbringing in a very patriarchal and misogynist culture.
She graduated with honours from The Alberta University of the Arts in 2021 with a BFA in Ceramics and she is currently a tenant and a ceramics instructor at Workshop Studios.
Claudia Chagoya (She/her) is an interdisciplinary artist born in Zacatecas, Mexico, and based in Calgary, Canada. She holds an MFA degree from the University of Calgary, and a BFA from Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Her artistic practice explores topics related to gender violence and her socio-political background, through the use of materials rooted in Mexican culture tied to various rituals such as: rebozos, salt, copal and sawdust.
Christina Krentz (She/ Her) is an abstract visual artist with a focus on painting, installation, and printmaking. Christina attended the University of Calgary and has a BA in Psychology. She has been working professionally as a portrait and commercial photographer for the last 15 years. Christina has a passion for arts communities and advocating for affordable artist studios. She is the founder and organizer of Fem Assembly, and an instructor at Alberta Printmakers. In her work, through process and material research, she explores impermanence, intuition, and states of hiding and revealing.
Christina is also an instructor teaching monotype techniques at Alberta Printmakers.
Mao (Kun) Chen's work explores themes of socio-cultural identity and female representation through the aesthetic of kawaii. Her personal vision of identity and gender goes beyond traditional constructed notions and complicates stereotypes, positioning it within a new aesthetic reality inspired by both Eastern and Western histories of art. Her recent ceramic works aim to explore the hybridization and fluidity of her identity as an immigrant to Canada through the exploration of kawaii form, symbol, and colour. Mao is a recent Master of Fine Art graduate from the University of Calgary and holds a BFA from the University of Alberta. She has exhibited her work in the United Kingdom, China, and numerous galleries in Alberta.
Instagram: @Maoprojects @Mao_and_Chris
Kelly Isaak (She/Her) is a figurative artist based in Mohnkinstsis – Calgary, Canada. She holds a
B.F.A. from the Alberta University of the Arts (formally Alberta College of Art and Design) and a
B.Ed from the University of Calgary.
Isaak’s current body of work is a collection of emotional, atmospheric drawings that explore
memory and the body. The figures combine tightly rendered subjects with gestural marks and
implied shapes. They demonstrate a sensitivity with the materials that Isaak has developed
over time and through much refinement.
Isaak is a resident artist at nvrlnd. Arts Foundation and a member of Calgary’s Fem Assembly.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and is a part of collections in Canada, Japan and