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Images In Our Heads: Guest Speakers Forum

Jennifer Martin; Shift (Blue), 2016, Inkjet Print

October 22, 2016 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

The Images in Our Heads curators Vanessa Dion Fletcher and Lindsay Fisher have invited scholar/writer Karleen Pendleton Jiménez, Afro+Goth Poet and multimedium artist Lynx Sainte-Marie, and visual artist Elizabeth Sweeney to consider the role that fantasy and imagination play in changing how we think about difference and disability. Imagining alternative spaces fuels us with the agency to be different, to try on new identities and embodiments, to express individual experience and longing, to disrupt the status quo and to form pathways to change. Through our bodies, our words, our communities and our art, these imaginings find their portals out to the public and find meaning in those who witness, who watch and who carefully listen.

Visit the exhibition website at for the digital catalogue, more information about the artists, curators, programming, and exhibition as well as details about accessibility.

Vanessa Dion Fletcher and Lindsay Fisher will provide a guided tour of the exhibition followed by presentations by the following speakers:

  • Lynx Sainte-Marie, Multimedium Artist, Activist & Educator
  • Karleen Pendleton Jiménez, Associate Professor, School of Education, Trent University
  • Elizabeth Sweeney, Manager of Public Programs and ArtReach at the RMG

whlchr-psign-pA complimentary shuttle bus from 401 Richmond in Toronto will be provided. The bus will leave promptly at 12pm and will be unable to wait for late-comers. The Speakers Forum is free to attend, but registration is required. Light refreshments are included. Please state any accommodation requirements when you register. The gallery is barrier-free and there will be ASL interpretation during the symposium. For more information about accessibility at the RMG, please visit our Access page.

Please register using the form below. If you are unable to complete the form, or require assistance, please contact Jennifer Treleaven, Education Co-ordinator, at [email protected] or call 905-576-3000 ex 114.

Speakers’ Biographies:

Lynx Sainte-Marie

Lynx Sainte-Marie

Lynx Sainte-Marie is a disabled/chronically ill, non-binary/genderfluid, Afro+Goth Poet of the Jamaican diaspora with ancestral roots indigenous to Africa and the British Isles, living on stolen Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee and Huron-Wendat land (Greater Toronto Area). A writer, multimedium artist, activist, educator, creator and community builder, Lynx’s work and art is informed by Black feminism(s), collective community love and social, disability and healing justice movements. As a person with various intersections and experiences, Lynx identifies with the struggles and politics of Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (BIPOC), queer and trans people, femmes, bois, gender nonconforming communities, crips, spoonies and survivors of abuse and intergenerational trauma. Lynx has travelled throughout Canada performing poetry, developing and facilitating workshops, presenting on panels and lecturing at colleges, universities, conferences and various other spaces where it is welcome to think critically and interrogate structural oppression.

Lynx Sainte-Marie will discuss their art practice as a sick, Black, non-binary artist, whose unapologetic existence was dreamt of day&nightly by their ancestors. They will speak to the various ways Black art is a tool of reclamation and liberation, and how visionary justice movements centring healing and community building inform their poetry and worldviews.


Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez

Karleen Pendleton Jiménez is a writer and professor at Trent University. Her books Are You a Boy or a Girl? and How to Get a Girl Pregnant were both Lambda Literary finalists. The first is a children’s book chronicling the adventures and challenges of being of tomboy. The second is a memoir about trying to get pregnant as a Chicana, butch, dyke. She has published numerous short stories and personal essays about lesbian desire, Latina ethnicity, and transgressive gender experience. She has recently completed a study of gender diversity as described by children and youth in rural Ontario, published in her book Tomboys and Other Gender Heroes: Confessions from the Classroom. Her award-winning film Tomboy, has been screened around the world.

“I dream a loving homeland for queer [email protected] through narrative and animation. Attempts at beauty through language soothes, and the limitless animated world brings my ghosts and fantasies together.” – KPJ


ESweeney Bio picture 2

Elizabeth Sweeney

Elizabeth Sweeney is the Manager of Public Programs and ArtReach at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. She is also a visual artist, art gallery educator, accessibility consultant and emerging curator. She has a BFA in Studio Art from Concordia University (2001), a B.Ed from the University Of Ottawa (2005) and an MA in Critical Disability Studies from York University (2012) where she focused on disability art and contemporary curatorial practice. From 2006-2009 Elizabeth was the Accessibility Educator at the National Gallery of Canada and from 2010-2012 she was the Disability Arts Officer at the Canada Council for the Arts. Originally from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Elizabeth is a Queer dyslexic who lives with her mixed Indo-Acadian family in Toronto.

Elizabeth will explore the potential of visual art and inclusive exhibition design, to instigate a re-imagining of, once thought to be, stagnant gallery spaces. She will share examples of ways curators and artists can invite and challenge each other to alter and reconsider practices to be more inclusive, and in doing so, create new ways of being with art and with each other.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Sweeney, Manager of Public Programs and ArtReach at 905-576-3000 x 108, or [email protected]


FREE Shuttle Bus Pickup Time: 11:45pm, 401 Richmond St, Toronto

Depart: 4:30pm, The Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery, Oshawa

Registration is required to reserve your spot on the bus.



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  • The Images in Our Heads Speakers Forum Registration

    Registration is required to attend the symposium.
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