View photos of this exhibition.

Contemporary artists in conversation with the ceramics of our forebearers.


KC Adams, Jaime Black, Lita Fontaine, Niki Little

Curated by Jenny Western

Gallery 1C03
1st floor, Centennial Hall
The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Gallery Hours:  Monday to Friday: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., Saturday: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Admission is free and everyone is welcome. Wheelchair accessible.

Exhibition Runs:  September 14 – December 2, 2017
Curatorial Tour:  Tuesday, November 28, 10 am
Gallery 1C03, University of Winnipeg
Join Shards curator Jenny Western for a a tour of the exhibition! Jenny will introduce the initial concept of the project, explain how she was brought on board by the Manitoba Craft Council to curate it, and discuss the challenges of working with the shards in this manner, her role in engaging the artists to respond to the shards and following their process as the exhibition unfolded.
Jenny Western is an independent curator, writer, educator, and mother based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She holds an undergraduate degree in History from the University of Winnipeg and a Masters in Art History and Curatorial Practice from York University in Toronto. While completing her graduate studies, she accepted a position at the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba in Brandon where she was the Curator of Contemporary / Aboriginal Art from 2005 to 2007 and remained the AGSM’s Adjunct Curator until 2011. Western has curated exhibitions and programs for Ace Art Inc., The Costume Museum of Canada, The Estevan Art Gallery, The Kelowna Art Gallery, The Manitoba Crafts Council, La Maison des Artistes, Plug In ICA, Portage and District Arts Centre, Urban Shaman: Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Video Pool, and The Winnipeg Film Group’s Cinematheque. She is a member of the Brothertown Nation of Wisconsin and is of European, Oneida, and Stockbridge-Musee ancestry.

Admission to the tour is free and everyone is welcome. Gallery 1C03 is wheelchair accessible.

Curated by Jenny Western, SHARDS is a group exhibition featuring the work of four Indigenous female artists – KC Adams, Jaime Black, Lita Fontaine and Niki Little – in conversation with the 2000+ years old archaeological ceramic shards collections of the Manitoba Museum and the University of Winnipeg. SHARDS incorporates both new and old ceramics as well as artworks created in response to the shards and reflective of our past, present, and future as shared stewards of this territory.

Indigenous pottery shards uncovered by archeologists suggest that ceramic craft and artistry have been practiced in the region currently known as Manitoba for well over 2,000 years. These ceramic pots are believed to have been made as cooking vessels, formed from the clay left here by the prehistoric Lake Agassiz and fired with wood from the area’s boreal forest. Scholars believe that the creators of these pots were woman, most likely mothers feeding and caring for their families through their act of ceramic creation. Although their names are unknown, there is a kinship among the pots’ original makers and the four artists who make up the SHARDS exhibition; they are connected as creators, as women, and as inhabitants of this land.


Opening Reception:  Thursday, September 14, 2017, 4 – 7 pm
View photos of the opening reception and performance by Jaime Black + KC Adams. 
During the opening of Shards, artists Jaime Black and KC Adams share a moving and powerful performance. Bruce Hanks of the University of Winnipeg’s Centre for Academic Technologies recorded their performance and it is now available for viewing here.
Panel Discussion:  Tuesday, November 7, 2017,  2:30 pm
Convocation Hall, University of Winnipeg. 2nd floor, Wesley Hall
Join curator, Jenny Western, with artists, KC Adams, Jaime Black, Lita Fontaine and Niki Little, for a conversation on the relationship between contemporary art and the ceramics of our forebearers.

Review by Thomas Pashki, The Uniter
Review by Stacey Abramson, Galleries West


Shards at Eat Your Arts and Vegetables.

Shards artists, KC Adams, Niki Little and Curator Jenny Western joined CKUW 95.9’s Eat Your Arts & Vegetables to discuss the ideas surrounding the exhibition. Listen to their Live Broadcast on September 21st online for the full discussion (the clip begins with a few songs, so you will have to be patient to get to the interview).


Shards workshop with archaeologist Grant Goltz.

Shards artists, KC Adams and Niki Little travelled to Hackensack, Minnesota to work with archaeologist, Grant Goltz. Goltz shares his theory of how pre-contact Indigenous people of our area made durable, multi-functional Blackduck pottery. Thank you to Lakeland Public Television for documenting the experience!
Visit for footage from this workshop.