‘Guitars’ exhibit in Curve Gallery combines poetry with pop art

A display of brightly coloured guitars and poetry on a gallery wall.
'Guitars' combines pop-art instruments with poetry.

Following on a partnership with the Gender and Women’s Studies’ fall speaker series, the Brandon University Library continues to celebrate gender diversity in the Westman community, and is proudly presenting artist Wendy Friesen’s exhibit, Guitars, in the Tommy McLeod Curve Gallery.  The Curve Gallery is located on the second floor of the John E. Robbins Library at BU and is free to view during library opening hours.

A woman in a pink hat poses next to a wall with colourful miniature guitars.
Wendy Friesen’s art exhibit is on display in the Curve Gallery at BU.

Friesen’s Guitars is a pop art exhibit representing themes of rock and roll, healing, community, inclusivity, and Pride. This series brings together miniature guitars, both replicas and original conceptions, constructed in detail, evoking a sense of celebration and joy. Hand constructed in mixed media, Guitars draws in the viewer in with playful delight, then focuses attention on finer details in thought-provoking ways. The exhibition is interspersed with Friesen’s poetry – written on many subject matters, but primarily about her personal queer experiences and queer advocacy. Information on the Westman Empowerment Fund is also shared as part of the exhibition. 

About Wendy Friesen

Wendy Friesen is a 55 year-old proud and out transgender female and her pronouns are she/her. She has been a resident of Brandon, Manitoba for the past two years and lives with her partner, love of her life and biggest support Anastasia Jane, who is also a proud and out transgender female. Wendy is an active member at large of Brandon Pride, an amateur karaoke singer, artist and poet. It is Wendy’s biggest wish to see signs at the entrances to Brandon city that would say, “Welcome All to Brandon, An All Inclusive City”. These signs would be unique to Canada and a true testament of the Brandon community’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity.

About The Westman Empowerment Fund

The Westman Empowerment Fund, https://westmanempowermentfund.org/, was created by Wendy Friesen, assisted by Anastasia Gibson, in early 2022. Its goal was to assist transgender, non-binary, two-spirit, and other gender-diverse individuals who reside in Westman, by targeting financial barriers to their transition-related care. Over time, partnerships were built with the Sexuality Education Resource Centre (SERC), Smitten, and Brandon Pride. The Fund’s first fundraising activity took place in June 2022, during an event held as part of that year’s Brandon Pride festivities. Its first public appearance took place in March 2023, during Knox United Church’s PIE Day celebrations. Due to health-related concerns, Friesen and Gibson would eventually limit their involvement with the Fund, though they still actively support the Fund by conducting fundraising activities; the Fund is currently chaired by Leila Praznik. The Westman Empowerment Fund’s first initiative to give back its community was a one-time chest binder giveaway done in December 2023, in partnership with Smitten. Today, the Fund continues to build its slate of programming, as well as its fundraising capabilities, with hopes of fostering the strength and vibrancy of Westman’s trans and gender-diverse community.


To receive any BU publication in an alternate format please contact Communications@BrandonU.ca

About BU

Success is built at Brandon University. Our growing, progressive campus welcomes a diverse and inclusive community that combines proud tradition with shared ambition. Through our excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, we educate students to make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. Join us at BrandonU.ca.