Vanessa Dion Fletcher: Curiosity and Quillwork

Opening September 10, Vanessa Dion Fletcher's solo exhibition Curiosity and Quillwork demonstrates an appreciation for repetition and pattern-making using and diverging from traditional quillwork forms. The exhibition is a part of Vanessa's year-long residency at OCAD University. Curated by MFA Candidate Adrienne Huard. 

Vanessa Dion Fletcher: Curiosity and Quillwork

 Image: Shifting Focus, digital video, 10:00 minutes, colour, sound, no language, 2019
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 - 5:00pm to Friday, September 20, 2019 - 12:00am

Vanessa Dion Fletcher’s solo exhibition Curiosity and Quillwork demonstrates an appreciation for repetition and pattern-making using and diverging from traditional quillwork forms. As a mode of working through complicated limitations of colonial impacts, on language and limited access to traditional Indigenous knowledge. Dion Fletcher interacts with visual and creative means as a way of connecting to her ancestral relations and reclaiming her culture. The exhibition features three new works: Zigzag in twenty-nine parts (2019), a series of works on paper; Shifting Focus (2019), a microscopic digital video; and Advancing Colors (2019) a delicate installation of an ornate pattern that emulates the traditional practice of birch bark quillwork.

The exhibition and reception is supported by the City of Toronto’s Indigenous Arts and Culture Partnership Fund, the Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario, Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University, the OCAD U Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers and the Delaney Family Foundation.

ASL Exhibition Blurb:



Tuesday September 10th from 5-7pm
ASL Interpretation provided.

Exhibition runs through Friday, September 20, 2019



Accessibility: The Ada Slaight Gallery is located on the second floor of OCAD University’s 100 McCaul Street location. Curiosity and Quillwork is located in in room 225 of the Ada Slaight Gallery. Enter through 100 McCaul Street’s main doors located on the west side of McCaul Street, there is a ramp and a flight of stairs to enter the building. Inside the lobby one can get to the second floor by going up the spiral stairwell or elevator to level 2. There are two sets elevators in the lobby. Only the two west-facing elevators (behind the elevators facing the main entrance) will go up to level 2. On level 2 make a right turn down the hallway. The exhibition will be located to the left. Service animals may accompany visitors at any time. Visit for hours of operation.

Public transportation & Parking: OCAD University’s 100 McCaul Street location is accessible by the TTC via the Dundas Street Streetcar. The closest accessible TTC station is St. Patrick. Paid street and underground parking is available around the University.

The exhibition includes work that can be touched, and ASL interpretation at the opening reception.

Questions? Contact Shellie Zhang,
416.977.6000 x3706



Vanessa Dion Fletcher graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 with an MFA in performance. She has exhibited across Canada and the US at spaces such as Art Mur in Montreal, Eastern Edge Gallery Newfoundland, The Queer Arts Festival Vancouver, and the Satellite Art show Miami. Her work is in the Indigenous Art Centre in Gatineau, Quebec, Joan Flasch Artist Book collection, Vtape and Seneca College. Over 2019, Vanessa received support from the City of Toronto Indigenous partnerships fund to be Artist in residence at OCAD University.



Adrienne Huard is an Anishinaabekwe born in so-called Winnipeg and is currently based in Tkarón:to/Toronto. She is registered at Couchiching First Nations, Fort Frances, Ontario. After graduating in 2012 from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in photography, she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts majoring in art history at Concordia University in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Huard graduated from Concordia in April 2018 and is currently attending OCAD University’s graduate-level Criticism and Curatorial Practice program.

Venue & Address: 
Ada Slaight Gallery Room 225, 100 McCaul St. OCAD University Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5T 1W1

OCAD University Welcomes Artist-in-Residence Vanessa Dion Fletcher

Vanessa Dion Fletcher in her studio (left), Artwork right: Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Colonial Comfort, 2016 (right)
Friday, January 25, 2019 - 11:45am

OCAD University is proud to announce an inaugural residency with artist Vanessa Dion Fletcher at the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion. Vanessa will complete an in-situ six-month Visiting Artist residency, which will be followed by a six-month post-residency to disseminate the results with their guidance and support. Funded by the City of Toronto’s Indigenous Arts and Culture Partnership Fund, the residency will be hosted by OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists and Designer and the Indigenous Visual Culture program.

Indigenous vs. western capitalist models separate communal relationships; artists vs. students vs. teachers/scholars and create economic barriers and social hierarchies. This model is antithetical to Indigenous placemaking, economic, and creative expression. My residency time at OCAD U is an opportunity to interrupt and shift these Western institutional values, boundaries, and hierarchies embedded in the arts. I chose to partner with OCAD because decolonization is critical to OCAD University’s forward thinking, I will be able to create great alliances for social change/justice.

Vanessa Dion Fletcher



Monday, February 4th, 12:00 – 1:30 PM
Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers, Level 3, Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, 115 McCaul St.
Lunch catered by Nish Dish
Facebook Event

Vanessa’s residency will run from January 2019 to mid-June 2019. Her time with OCAD University will open with a welcome lunch and artist talk to take place at the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers. All are welcome.



Vanessa Dion Fletcher employs porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. She links these ideas to personal experiences with language, fluency, and understanding. All of these themes are brought together in the context of her Potawatomi and Lenape ancestry, and her learning disability caused by a lack of short-term memory. Her work is held in the Indigenous Art Center Collection in Gatineau, Quebec, and Seneca College. In 2016, Dion Fletcher graduated from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago with an M.F.A in performance. She is the recipient of the 2017 Textile Museum of Canada Melissa Levin Emerging Artist Award.



OCAD University’s Rosalie Sharp Pavilion is the home of the Experiential Learning Centre. The building’s refurbishment is a milestone in the Creative City Campus project, boldly re-imagining the use of space to expand studio, digital and work-integrated-learning learning.

Located on level 3, the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers (CEAD) is OCADU’s Career Development office and Experiential Learning Program. The CEAD supports the early-career advancement of all OCAD U students and recent alumni. The Rosalie Sharp Pavilion is a wheelchair accessible space.



We encourage students and faculty to set up a time with Vanessa for mentorship, critique and conversation.

Please email Vanessa directly to set up a time.