Body Beautiful

1 March 2024 to 30 June 2024



Bill Hoopes, Jan Menses, John Gould, Karen Fletcher, Kent Monkman, Meryl McMaster, Stanley Lewis, Torrie Groening and Walter Bachinski

Community Curator Bangishimo

This iteration of the beloved Community Curator series will be curated by Bangishimo and will overlap with their solo exhibition, The Medicines We Carry. 

Body Beautiful examines the shame that we associate with our bodies. Colonialism imposes Western standards of beauty that can marginalize Indigenous and other racialized bodies. This perpetuates a narrative that understands these bodies as inferior or deviant. These expectations of beauty also produce a flattening sameness, creating systems in which we see our own bodies as something to be evaluated against others, rather than celebrated alongside. 

How do we create the conditions where we may celebrate our bodies and shift away from the standards of beauty that continue to be perpetuated by mainstream media and prevailing societal norms? By empowering one another to receive love, we break down the walls of shame and understand our bodies as vessels of beauty and resilience. 



About the Community Curator Program

This program is a unique opportunity for local artists, art enthusiasts and Gallery Volunteers to propose research projects that focus on the KWAG Permanent Collection. Working closely with KWAG staff, these projects often develop into exhibitions that reflect the personal interests and curiosities of the Guest Curator. Through this exchange, new insights invigorate our Collection as a vital archive that is shaped by the community that it serves.


Curatorial Talk and Tour with Bangishimo
Sunday, 24 March, 2:00 p.m.




Bangishimo (They/Them) is an IndigiQueer Anishinaabe originally from Couchiching First Nation located on Treaty #3 territory. They currently reside in so-called Kitchener located along the Grand River. Bangishimo is a community organizer, educator, and advocate. Their focus is creating space for communities to come together allowing for Black, Indigenous and racialized voices to be heard. They are currently one of the co-founders of O:se Kenhionhata:tie also known as Land Back Camp. Their advocacy and photography has allowed them to visit over sixteen countries, taking photos and sharing the stories of those they meet along the way. Bangishimo's work has been featured in numerous publications and has had their work on display throughout Waterloo Region. Bangishimo won the Briarpatch Writing in the Margins Contest - Photography Category (2020), was voted Best Photographer (2021, 2023) and Best Community Leader (2023) in the Community Edition and was the City of Kitchener’s first Indigenous Artist-in-Residence (2022-23).


Thank you to our free admission sponsor

1) Kent Monkman (Canadian-Cree, b. 1965). Kiss the Sky, 2010. Acrylic on canvas, 151.1 x 120.6 cm. Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery Collection: In honour of Shirley Madill, 2013. © Kent Monkman. Photo: Robert McNair.

2) Image of Bangishimo in the KWAG vault, exploring the Permanent Collection. Photo by KWAG.

3)  Bangishimo bio photo courtesy of the Artist, by Conan Stark.