Zephyra Vun is the Founder + Owner of anARCHI design, a multi-disciplinary design and art studio in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, participating in architecturally inspired art projects, and curating various interactive, public art events and exhibitions. She is also the Executive Director of Design Quarter Winnipeg, an innovative initiative aimed at promoting authentic, local retail and design culture in Winnipeg, creating a curated experience of our walkable, creative destinations - The Exchange District, The Forks and Downtown.
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 internationally as a member of International Contemporary Artist Curator, while also acting from a more curatorial position 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.
Most recently, Zephyra sits on the board of the Downtown Biz Marketing Committee, and was awarded the Mayor’s BIZ award in May 2017 for her community leadership in the Exchange District.
Vun’s portfolio of artwork is always architecturally inpsired and emphasizes the importance of hand-crafted authenticity in today’s digital age, and humanizing the creative process to preserve originality.
As an architecture graduate, Vun possesses a solid understanding of the importance of hand-crafting and drawing, but is also acutely aware of our dependency on digital media. Vun believes the 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 quality and originality. Working with the hands and implicating them in the creation process forces a physical interaction and engaging process with the medium with which one works, facilitating a more insightful understanding and a better illustration of concept. It enables the creator to generate more provocative, authentic work that is 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 this relationship between engrossing hand-rendered work and the consequential uncovering of creative processes that inspires and defines Vun’s artwork.
Vun defines “architecture” as designed structure, which is informed by two negotiating forces - the premeditated and inadvertent, or the objective and subjective. Though there is always purposeful intent in designing architecture, unintentional and/or unforeseeable responses to a design are what further adapt and explicate it. The relationship between these two forces present in architectural design is reflected in, and is what ultimately shapes Vun’s artwork. The action/reaction of methodical construction and intuition is the approach she takes to each piece. Her work is characterized by conscious line work (indicative of Vun’s architecture education), contrasted yet complimented by gestural, expressive strokes. These two energies engage in constant dialogue to create works of art that are deliberate, yet liberating; purposeful, yet raw. Apparent in both her expressive, more abstract acrylic paint on canvas pieces as well as her signature renderings of imaginative, labyrinth-like architecture, and merged 2-dimensional maps and 3-dimensional built form, it is these oscillation that ground Vun’s art of various mediums, simultaneously revealing the process of creation in the final piece. Vun’s method of working always yields artwork that depicts a story of how it materialized.
Vun’s ultimate intention is to incessantly and rigorously investigate the diverse meanings of architecture, while simultaneously disclosing the creation process as a prominent feature. Architecture is a mysterious topic of study typically confined to a singular definition, the designing and building of environments, despite its extensive breadth and diversity of applications - “designed structure” being pertinent to a plethora of creative disciplines, art forms, and everyday scenarios. Vun aims to expressively and imaginatively explore these alternative perspectives of architecture 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
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, On The Docks Ideas Competition; 2018
Downtown BIZ Marketing Committee; 2018 - present
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
"The HUB" - Recurring featured artist + organizer.
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
ArtScene 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.
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.
10x20x20: "Design Quarter Winnipeg"; February 2018
Culture Days / Nuit Blanche: Artist Tour + Talk; 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 Art Scene 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
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.
King & Bannatyne. 100 King St., Winnipeg, Canada.
Cafe Postal. 202 Provencher Blvd., Winnipeg, Canada.
Albert Street Cocktail Co. 91 Albert St., Winnipeg, Canada.