Zephyra Vun is an artist and Founder of anARCHI design, a solo, architecturally-inspired art studio in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. She was also the first and former Executive Director of Design Quarter Winnipeg, an innovative initiative aimed at promoting authentic, local retail and design culture in Winnipeg, by curating a destination experience of our walkable downtown districts. Vun was at the helm of this organization for its development and launch in May 2017, and was an integral part of the initiative’s success and growth in its first years of existence. She recently resigned from the Executive Director position in August 2019 to re-dedicate her life to creating art and inspiring others through her unique, symbiotic approach to art and architecture.
Vun received her Environmental Design Degree (2009) and Masters of Architecture Degree (2011) from the University of Manitoba. She is an ambassador for accessible art and design and strives to advocate inclusive public engagement with these creative disciplines. She maintains a strong presence in the fine arts field, exhibiting her work both locally and internationally with representation by Circle Arts Foundation and New York Art Productions. In the past, she has also acted in more curatorial positions promoting local artists and organizing major events for Design Quarter Winnipeg, Winnipeg Design Festival, Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, First Fridays in the Exchange, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
Vun’s portfolio of artwork is always architecturally inspired, and attempts to manifest flow, an integral part of both her art and her life in general. Her work is intentional, intuitive, and thoughtfully balanced. It emphasizes the importance of hand-crafted authenticity in today’s digital age, and humanizing the creative process to preserve originality. The notion of scale, and how our bodies participate in art and in architecture, is also very present in her work. As such, “the self” and/or “the author” becomes a consistent point of origin across Vun’s portfolio, practicing a deep sense of self-integration in each piece she creates.
Most recently, Zephyra was one of 60 international artists to be featured in Circle Art Magazine, Issue 9, in the summer of 2018. She was also awarded the Mayor’s BIZ award in May 2017 for her community leadership in the Exchange District.
In addition to inspiring others through her creativity and authenticity, Zephyra takes great joy in inspiring others through movement, teaching various fitness classes at GoodLife and The Community Gym. Her other interests include eating ridiculous amounts of food, camping, cats, promoting smart design and urbanism, and (only the classics) The Simpsons.
As an architecture graduate, Vun possesses a solid understanding of the importance of hand-crafting and drawing. Vun believes the digital-dependency and declining relevancy of hand crafting in the contemporary arts and design industries negatively affects how art is perceived, putting little emphasis on the importance of originality. It also conveys the process of design as more of a service than an art form.
Implicating the hands directly in the creation process generates more provocative, authentic work that is corporeal and humanized. Only when working in this manner is the process of creation inevitably revealed - an often overlooked aspect of design, that which focuses mainly on the final product. It is the relationship between engrossing hand-rendered work and the consequential uncovering of creative processes that inspires Vun’s artwork. Characterized by conscious line work (indicative of Vun’s architecture education), contrasted yet complimented by expressive gestures, Vun creates both deeply inquisitive works of layered imagination and raw, intuitive creations that reveal a visceral experience. Evident in the final product, whatever form that may take, Vun’s methods of working always yield artwork that depicts a story of flow and materialization.
Through her art, Vun provokes ideas about the relationship of the self to architecture, art, and process. The vision of anARCHI design is rooted in translating design through more relatable conditions; imaginatively expressing architecture as a concept through the subjective context of visual art.
M. Arch. Masters of Architecture - University of Manitoba; 2009 - 2011
B.EnvD. Bachelors of Environmental Design - University of Manitoba; 2005 - 2009
Awards + Certification:
Mayor's BIZ Awards - Exchange District BIZ; 2017
Canadian School of Advanced Aesthetics Basic Tattooing Certificate, Electrolysis and Body Modification; 2014
CACB (Canadaian Architecture Certification Board) Certification of Educational Qualification, Admission into a provincial architectural association in Canada; 2011
Graduate Fellowship from the University of Manitoba; 2009 - 2011
Professional Work Experience:
Executive Director, Design Quarter Winnipeg; 2017 - present
Founder & Owner of anARCHI design; 2012 - present
Freelance Designer/Draftsman; 2011 - 2012
Professional Volunteer Positions:
Juror, Market Lands; Fall 2018
Juror, MEME Festival Design Installation; June 2018
Juror, On The Docks Ideas Competition; May 2018
Guest Critic, HTFC Youth Studio 2018; May 2018
Panelist, Modeshift: A Festival for Human-Scale Cities; April 2018
Mentor, Seven Oaks Learning Through Internship Program; 2017 - 2018
Landscape: Rural vs. Urban - Brick Lane Gallery, The Annexe, London, England; November 2016
Independent Solo Exhibitions:
Fight or Flight - anARCHI design studio, 63 Albert St., Winnipeg, Canada; Dec. 2016
The Streets - Fox & Fiddle Restaurant, 456 Main St., Winnipeg, Canada; Nov. 2015
Abstracting Architecture. Part 1: Engaging with the Hand Pop-Up Art Show - anARCHI design studio, 403-63 Albert St., Winnipeg, Canada; Nov. 2014
Composition: Puzzle | Pieces Art Auction - anARCHI design studio, 220 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, Canada; Apr. 2014
Always Write In Caps: The Anatomy of Typeface Book Launch - Purple Door Studio, 670 Lanark St., Winnipeg, Canada; Jan. 2014
Untitled Art Auction - Purple Door Studio, 670 Lanark St., Winnipeg, Canada; Oct. 2013
“Trust the Process” - featured artist + organizer. Winnipeg, Canada; March 2019
“Study Untitled Study” Contributing Artist. Winnipeg, Canada; October 2018
Arthur Street Market. 70 Arthur St., Winnipeg, Canada; December 2017
Mise En Scene Video Debut + Listening Party - Featured Live Painting Artist. Kit + Ace, 246 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, Canada; May 2017
ArtsScene Wine + Art Pairing - Featured Artist. Albert Street Cocktail Co., 91 Albert St., Winnipeg, Canada; March 2017
Freedom Through Art - Featured Artist. 441 Main, Winnipeg, Canada; September 2016
Seen & Sound Art Show - Ft. Artist. 72 Princess St., Winnipeg, Canada; April 2015.
"The HUB" - Recurring featured artist + organizer. Winnipeg, Canada; 2015 - 2017
King + Bannatyne Pre-opening Art + Food Pop-Up - Ft. Artist. anARCHI design Studio, Winnipeg, Canada; July 2014
Final Exhibition. Plug In ICA Gallery Summer Institute: Session 1, Winnipeg, Canada; June 2010
T.A.P.E. Collective. Leslie Supnet & Nicole Shimonek & Plug In ICA Gallery Summer Institute: Session 1, Winnipeg, Canada; June 2010
Mother, Teacher, Destroyer. Post Commodity & Plug in ICA Gallery Summer Institute: Session 1, Winnipeg, Canada; June 2010
Event Co-ordinator + Curator:
Design Quarter Winnipeg Events; 2017 - present
Drink & Draw for First Fridays - Creator; King + Bannatyne, Winnipeg, Canada; June 2015 - present.
The Hub: WSO New Music Festival Opening Night - Visual Arts Curator, The Centennial Concert Hall, Winnipeg, Canada, January 2017.
Adaptation: Challenging Our Perception of Portage and Main (Winnipeg Design Festival 2016) - Curator; The Richardson Building Plaza, Winnipeg, Canada; September 2016.
1 Thing: A creative collab of Winnipeg art/music/dance - Organizer + Live art artist; The Knndy, Winnipeg, Canada; January 2016.
Nuit Blanche #SANDWICHART - Organizer; King + Bannatyne, Winnipeg, Canada; September 2015.
Design is M.A.D.E. : An Interactive Design Crawl (Winnipeg Design Festival 2015) - Co-organizer; Exchange District/Old Market Square, Winnipeg, Canada; September 2015.
The Brush Off Painting Competition: Manitoba Children's Museum Fundraiser. "Best Artist". Winnipeg, Canada; April 2015.
Social School: “Storytelling in Marketing”; October 2018
University of Manitoba School of Arts Design Seminar; October 2018
10x20x20: "Design Quarter Winnipeg"; February 2018
Culture Days / Nuit Blanche: Artist Tour + Talk/Collaborative Live Art; September 2017
Seven Oaks Summer Workshop Conductor: "Abstract Art"; July 2016
Presenter & Workshop Conductor at St. Mary’s Academy Junior High Math Symposium: "Thinking Like An Architect"; April 2016, June 2014
Workshop Conductor at Manitoba Children's Museum: "My House"; April 2016
Presenter at WayFinders Program, Seven Oaks School Division: "Alternative Career Options"; March 2016
Featured presenter at ArtsScene Talk: "The Importance of Buying Original Art"; March 2016
Presenter at Pecha Kucha Night Winnipeg Vol. 24: "Hands vs. The Digital Age"; December 2015
Presenter at General Wolfe School Career Week: "About anARCHI design..."; December 2014
Masters of Architecture Thesis Defence, University of Manitoba: "Architecture and the Other: Editing Through Mimeses"; April 2011
Peixoto, Caroline. “Isolation Breeds Innovation”, Modern in Denver Magazine. Colorado, 2018.
Circle Foundation, Spotlight Contemporary Art Magazine, Issue 9. Circle Foundation For The Arts Press: France, 2018.
Fontaine, Don. Faces In The Barber's Mirror. McNally Robinson: Canada, 2016.
Vun, Zephyra. Always Write In Caps: The anatomy of typeface. Zephyra Vun: Winnipeg, 2014. (Self-published)
Vun, Zephyra. North Is Always Up: Architecture school in everyday life. Zephyra Vun: Winnipeg, 2012. (Self-published)
Racette, Sherry (editor). Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years. Plug In Editions: Altona, 2011.
Vun, Zephyra. (2011) Architecture and the Other: Editing through Mimesis. Masters Thesis. University of Manitoba.
Attili, Giovanni & Leonie Sandercock. Multimedia for Urban Planning: An Exploration of the Next Frontier. Springer Dordrecht Heidelberg: London, 2010.
"Design Quarter Winnipeg Hosts Pop-Up" - CTV News
"Design Quarter Winnipeg aims to promote Downtown, Exchange and The Forks" - CTV NEWS
"Designs on local shoppers: New organization launches to promote Winnipeg's design community" - CBC ARTICLE
"Mapping out Winnipeg: New group highlights 'great design' of city's core" - METRO ARTICLE
"Boosting Winterpeg's Destination Status" - BRENT BELLAMY, WINNIPEG FREE PRESS ARTICLE
"Artist Directory Profile" - Contemporary Art Curator Directory + Magazine; November 2016 > See Article
anARCHI design on CTV Morning Live! Discussing artwork and First Friday Drink & Draw event; November 2016.
"Faces of the Exchange" - Exchange District Biz Promotional Video by Evan Bergen; November 2016 > See Video
"Zephyra Vun: Innovator" - Exchange District Biz Promotional Video by Evan Bergen; November 2016 > See Video
"First Friday Drink & Draw" - CTV Morning Live Interview; November 2016 > See Article
"First Fridays Transforming Winnipeg's Art Scene" - Exchange District Biz; May 2016 > See article
"Community Profile" - The Manitoban; November 2015 > See article
"The Winnipeg Design Festival" - Muddy Water Magazine; October 2015 > See article
"King + Bannatyne" - Charcoal Collaborative; July 2014 > See article
"A Portrait A Day" - David Lipnowski Photography; October 2013 > See article
Work displayed at:
anARCHI design studio. 680-70 Arthur St., Winnipeg, Canada.
Fleet Galleries. 65 Albert St., Winnipeg, Canada.
Pulse Gallery, 25 Forks Market Rd., Winnipeg, Canada.
King & Bannatyne. 100 King St., Winnipeg, Canada.