Art Building Community

Cheyenne Henry

CHEYENNE HENRY has a BA in Religious Studies and Anthropology from the University of Manitoba and has trained informally under many established Aboriginal artists. Her work has been exhibited at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Urban Shaman Gallery, Latitude 53 (Edmonton), and various university venues in the United States. She has designed and illustrated publications and has worked in a number of inner-city schools instructing art workshops through Aboriginal- based curriculum. She has been employed at Art City, APTN, and Urban Shaman Gallery, and has volunteered at the Board and Advisory levels for Urban Shaman, Mentoring Artists for Women's Art, and St. Boniface Hospital.

Read a response to Cheyenne Henry's Trans-Regalia by Kelly Ross and Aaron Boissonneault


Trans-Regalia is an act of Indigenous cultural and political reclamation. Artist Cheyenne Henry reclaims the public transit system in Winnipeg to launch education about urban Aboriginal issues into the public sphere. People dressed in traditional Aboriginal regalia step onto city buses and share personal stories of reclaiming their culture and identity in an urban context. The lines between participant and performer are blurred as both become viewer and viewed, sharing a common experience, a bus ride into Winnipeg's core. This act of transit reclamation opens possibilities for dialogue and understanding in the inner city.


I have been informally trained and mentored by Aboriginal artists such as Louis Ogemah, Leah Fontaine, Catherine Mattes, and KC Adams, in both traditional and contemporary art. My own practice is multi- disciplinary, as I have engaged in visual art (painting and collage), writing and community art. I am inspired by identification with my culture, community and the political and social realm of the urban aboriginal community. Social activism, community and art are my means of finding identity and belonging. My current artistic projects come from a sense of belonging to the urban Aboriginal community which, though thought to be scattered and disjointed, is actively engaging in a number of collective community based art practices old and new, through storytelling and more contemporary practices. These practices I find are crossing the boundaries from art, culture, politics and community. I strive to make a contribution to this community-building through my ideas, art and action.