Tompalski & Thompson Contact & Bio Info

Sherry Tompalski & Graham Thompson Contact and Biography Info

Sherry Tompalski
Sherry Tompalski in front of 2 of her 4 paintings at the Intangible States Show

Sherry Tompalski (Visual Artist) & Graham Thompson (Media Artist) Contact and Biographies



Sherry Tompalski (Visual Artist) & Graham Thompson (Media Artist) Biographies

Artists Sherry Tompalski (painter) and Graham Thompson (media) have exhibited their work in the Philippines, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, China, Thailand, Australia, India, Germany, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, France, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Canada and the United States of America.

Jan 2013 – Jan 2013

Project descriptionWith the launch of the Medicine Wheel Project in 2003, Thompson received invitations to exhibit his work in the USA, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Australia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and France. The project was designed to popularize traditional medicine wheel teachings by inter-relating the following 5 concepts:
– the 4 cardinal directions (East, South, West, North),
– the 4 stages of life (birth, youth, adulthood, old age),
– the 4 challenges of life (survival, vision, path, wisdom),
– the 4 positions of the sun (sun rise, noon, sunset, night) and
– the 4 seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter).


Thompson discovered midlife that he was a Cree Metis with Red River family connections to British explorer Samuel Hearn and Metis rebel leader Louis Riel. This genealogical research lead to the study of Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge. His work in Algonquin ceremonies triggered, with a generous grant from ED Video, the creation of the Medicine Wheel Project. (Exhibited as the North-South-East-West Installation in North America, Europe and Asia)

Thompson’s media work has won awards from the European Film Festival MEFEST, the International Digital Art Awards of Melbourne Australia, Cool Site of the Day of New York and the Common Wealth Vision Awards of England.

Thompson’s work has been presented at the National Gallery of Canada, Parliament of Canada, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, New Forms Festival Vancouver, ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival, Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener + Area CAFKA, Montenegro National Museum, Noirlac Abbey of Orléans France, Taipei National University of the Arts, ShunYi Taiwan Aboriginal Museum, University of the Philippines, Western Mindanao State University and New Media Arts Festival of Bangkok.

Global Voices Project
May 2012 – May 2012

Global Voices 2012 Event at the National Gallery of Canada – 37 paintings, 23 videos and 18 artists of Central Asia, Africa, the Americas and the Cree and Mohawk Nations of Canada featuring musicians David Finkle. Dr Lee, Eman the Warrior, painter Sherry Tompalski, media artist Graham Thompson, and the Abezamutima Burundian Traditional Dancers, December 2012.

Aboriginal Voices Project
Oct 2010 – Oct 2010

The Aboriginal Voices Project includes drawings and video interviews of Cree residential school survivors from Canada and Mayan refugees and torture victims from Guatemala and El Salvador. The project was financial supported by the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa and Canada Council.

Refugee Week Project
Jun 2010 – Jun 2010

The Refugee Week Project features 65 works of art, 25 artists, 23 videos, 19 activists, 13 NGOs & 2 plays of artists from Central Asia, Central America, Africa and Canada, featuring musicians Tito Medina and Dr Lee, painter Sherry Tompalski and media artist Graham Thompson.

World War II Project
Jan 2010 – Jan 2010

An installation of portraits and videos of WWII Jewish refugees Dr. Lotta Hitschamanova and Albert Einstein. Dr Lotta Hitschmanova, considered to be one of Canada’s greatest humanitarians, founded USC Canada after World War II to provide assistance people through out the world. Einstein, author of the theory of general relativity, was accused of treason by the Third Reich and sought refuge in the United States where he used his influence and financial resources to obtain visas for other refugees during WWII.

Aboriginal Awareness Week 2009
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

Aboriginal Awareness Week is a celebration of the contributions of Aboriginal people to the Federal Public Service of Canada. Health Canada’s 2009 themed event “Respecting Mother Earth Today for Tomorrow” held at Tunney’s Pasture in Ottawa, began with an opening prayer and song, and featured speeches from honoured guests, as well as a variety of musical acts and Aboriginal crafts. Aboriginal Awareness Week 2009 (HD video), completed June 2009, Health Canada, Ottawa. Videography by Graham Thompson.

Aboriginal Youth Project
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

Hands-on media training course with with Metis and First Nations youth,given at the Godfrey Dean Gallery of Yorkton Saskatchewan and the National Aboriginal Health Organization of Ottawa Ontario.

African Voices Project
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

The African Voices Project was created draw attention to human rights issues in Sudan, Zimbabwe, Guinea, Ethiopia, Niger, Sierra Leone and Burundi. Paintings and videos from this series were exhibited at the Parliament of Canada, the National Gallery of Canada and Library and Archives Canada. Painted portraits by Sherry Tompalski, Photography by Graham Thompson.

Algonquin Wedding Project
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

The reenactment of a traditional Algonquin Wedding ceremony. Created by Graham Thompson, with funding by the Ontario Arts Council. Actors include Natasha Batt, Pauline Brook, Laura Leonard and David Finkle. Graphic Design, Lighting and Photography by Graham Thompson, Wardrobe by Natasha Batt, Pauline Brook, Laura Leonard and David Finkle.

Guatemalan Voices Project
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

The project documents the violence of the Guatemalan Civil War, including the targeting of elders and children to disrupt the transmission of cultural practices, the use of napalm to burn small villages, the bombing of villages during November and December cultural festivities, the murder of rural doctors to remove health services from communities, and the sexual assault of indigenous women and children in large detention centres. Painted Portraits by Sherry Tompalski, Photography by Graham Thompson.

Iranian Voices Project
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

The project features Maria Sabaye Moghaddam who specializes in Persian classical and folkloric dances from various regions of Iran. She has developed a unique style of story telling through dance accompanied by facial gestures. Painted Portraits by Sherry Tompalski, Photography by Graham Thompson.

Stellula Music Video
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

Founded by Deborah Brown, Stellula Music fosters musical creativity and self-expression by *providing instruction and support for youth song writing clubs, by arranging for mentor/musicians to visit clubs monthly to share songwriting tips, and inspire children and youth to embrace music. Videography by Graham Thompson.

Voices of Refugees Project
Jan 2009 – Jan 2009

Voices of Refugees Project at the Parliament of Canada, The Voices of Refugees Installation featured videos, paintings and live performance by Guatemalan revolutionary singer Tito Medina, featuring 8 portraits by Sherry Tompalski and 8 videos by Graham Thompson of refugees from Central America, Central Asia and Africa, June 2009.

The Dalai Lama Project
Aug 2008 – Aug 2008

The Dalai Lama Project, a painting and media collaboration with visual artist Sherry Tompalski, was presented as posters at the University of Ottawa, June 2, 2009, as part of the 2nd Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. It was presented as electronic images on World Refugee Day, June 20, 2008 at the city of Ottawa and as paintings and electronic images at World Refugee Week Celebrations, June 16-20, 2010 at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa.

Abolition of Slavery Project
Jul 2008 – Jul 2008

Thompson produced a community-based video “A Commemoration of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” with Jaku Konbit. Jaku Konbit, known for its work with Ottawa Community Immigrant Services, Black History Ottawa, Canada Museum of Science and Technology, International African Inventors Museum, Jamaica Ottawa Community Association, Nigerian Ottawa Association and for its creation of the annual Kwanzaa Feast of Ottawa.

Métis Media Festival 2008
Jan 2008 – Jan 2008

Métis Media Fest 2008 featured 100 short biographical videos of Ottawa-based Aboriginal artists David Finkle, Pauline Brooke, Raymong Girard, Kevin Schofield, Paul Bruneau, Ross Rheaume, Willy Bruce, Jamie Koebel, John Maracle, Archie Martin and Melody McKiver. Selected videos were presented at the International TV Festival Bar Montenegro and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Pierre Trudeau Project
Jan 2008 – Jan 2008

“Face to Face: Pierre Trudeau’s Talking Portrait” was exhibited at The Canadian Museum of History (formerly known as the Canadian Museum of Civilization). As part of The Canadian Personalities Hall, the installation featured Sherry Tompalski’s live portrait painting of former Canadian prime minister Pierre Trudeau along with Graham Thompson’s video recording of this interactive process.

Refugee Portrait Course
Jan 2008 – Jan 2008

A portrait course involving painting instruction (by Sherry Tompalski) accompanied by biographical videos (by Graham Thompson) of refugees from Africa and Central Asia. The course was given at the National Gallery of Canada.

Medicine Shows Europe
Nov 2007 – Nov 2007

Medicine Wheel Project talks, videos, installations and Websites were shown in Europe under the title “North-South-East-West”. Exhibitions included the Cultural and Informational Center in Podgorica Montenegro, Montenegro National Museum, Noirlac Abbey of Orléans France, Multimedijalni Kulturni Centar of Split Croatia, Hrvatski Filmski Savez Cinema Tuskanac of Zagreb Crotia, Cultural Centre of Novi Sad Serbia, Cultural Center of Zrenjanin Serbia, Cultural Center REX of Belgrade.

Metis Mural Project
Sep 2007 – Sep 2007

A 5-Day Visual Arts Program, funded by the Ontario Arts Council, where students design large scale murals based on Canadian history, featuring stories of the Hudson’s Bay Company, Scottish, Metis and Cree Fur Traders, and scenes from the Orkney Islands and York Factory, as well as leaders such as Louis Riel, Gabriel Dumont and Chief Poundmaker.

Tony’s Portrait Project
Apr 2007 – Apr 2007

Tony’s Portrait Project uses three integrated components: the finished portrait; a time-lapse video of the portrait in the making; and an audio recording of Tony’s thoughts while beneath the gaze of the portraitist The sum total is a distinct personality through shape, colour, image, and sound. photography.

Afghan Voices Project
Jan 2007 – Jan 2007

The Afghan Voices Project began in 2007 with the encouragement of Mirwais
Nazhat, the president of the Centre for Afghan Progress. In conversation, Nazhat remarked that “the turning point in public awareness of the Afghan situation was due to a striking portrait of a green-eyed Afghan woman that appeared on the cover of National Geographic.” In effect, through aesthetic means, the world began to understand the tragedy of the Russian Invasion, the Afghan Civil War and the Taliban Invasion by seeing the expression on an Afghan face. In essence, putting a face on a refugee.

Métis Media Festival 2007
Jan 2007 – Jan 2007

Project descriptionMétis Media Fest 2007, directed by Graham Thompson, featured 50 videos, 25 digital images and 10 audio tracks, all presented within an immersive installation of computers and video projectors. Excerpts of the works were shown on the main screen with the unedited versions available on the computers within the installation. The videos, audio tracks and digital images featured the work of Aboriginal artists from Canada, USA, Australia, Peru and the Philippines. The program Included Singing Home the Bones: A Poet Becomes Himself by Hilary Pryor Buried Traces by Michelle Smith Hybred by Christine Kirouac Anwolek- Regatta City by Dana Claxton Sierra’s Song by John Barnard.

The Climate Change Project
Jan 2007 – Jan 2007

The Climate Change Project video “Good Morning. Earth” was conceived and directed by Gerald Betita and edited by Graham Thompson. The film was shortlisted for a Royal Commonwealth Vision Award and was exhibited by the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali Indonesia in 2007.

Metis HIstory Project
Sep 2006 – Sep 2006

Metis History talks at public schools, funded by the Arts Council of Ontario. The project involved the video recording of Metis arts and culture as well as the presentation of archival photos from Library and Archives Canada.

The Body Language Project
May 2006 – May 2006

The Body Language Project is a painting and media collaboration between Sherry Tompalski and Graham Thompson. Paintings by Tompalski were featured on the cover and in 5 sections of the August 2006 issue of the Scientific American / Mente & Cérebro Magazine of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The series was also featured in the Parkhurst Exchange Magazine of Montreal, Canada. SEE:

Medicine Shows America
Jan 2006 – Jan 2006

Medicine Wheel Project was shown in America under the title “North-South-East-West” at the Digital Giraffe of California Site of the Month, Cool Site of the Day New York, Research in Art of Ottawa, Trinity Square Video of Toronto, New Forms Festival of Vancouver, Pilot TV: Experimental Media of Chicago, The ImagineNative Film + Media Arts Festival of Toronto, The Toronto International Video Art Biennial, Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener & Area, CAFKA, Centre international d’art contemporain de Montréal Electronic Magazine, CANTV of Chicago, CBC Toronto Radio Show “Here and Now,” Independent Film Channel, Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival of Ithaca New York, Aboriginal Voices Radio, CTV’s Tech Now Program, and International Trade Canada’s Journal CanadExport.,

Talking Portraits Project
Jan 2006 – Jan 2006

The talking portrait project, exhibited in Asia, Europe and the Americas includes audio, video and painted portraits. The portraits are painted from a live model sitting for approximately six hours. The audio portion is edited from the comments, questions and reflections made by the model during the sitting. The time-lapse photography records the development of the portrait. The installation includes the finished portrait, displayed next to an audio-video projection, which loops continuously.

The Commonwealth Project
Jun 2005 – Jun 2005

The Commonwealth Project video “Mirror of Life” was conceived and directed by Gerald Betita and edited by Graham Thompson. In a 52 nation competition, the “Mirror of Life” won the 1st Place Royal Commonwealth Award for in London England. The video was presented as part of Commonwealth Celebrations in over 20 countries that year and honoured at a special reception given by the Royal Commonwealth Society of Ottawa at Library and Archives of Canada.

Carol & Nicholas Project
Feb 2005 – Feb 2005

The Carol & Nicholas portraits were exhibited at the ARC Gallery Chicago. In “Carol: A Talking Portrait”, USC dance professor Carol Press describes her Holocaust Dance performance in a multimedia portrait co-produced by Sherry Tompalski and Videographer Graham Thompson. In “Nicholas: A Video Conference”, which was featured in the catalogue of the Int’l TV Festival Bar Montenegro, Dr. Nicholas Tingle is captured during a live portrait painting via a video conference link to Ottawa Canada. SEE:

Medicine Shows Asia
Jan 2005 – Jan 2005

Medicine Wheel Project was shown in Asia under the title “North-South-East-West” at the Pingdong Aboriginal Cultural Park, Ping Dong Taiwan, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taipei Taiwan, .National Donghua University, Aboriginal Art Institute, Hualien Taiwan, ShunYi Taiwan Aboriginal Museum, Taipei Taiwan,Tamawan Village Art Gallery, Baguio Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University Art Gallery, Manila Philippines, Kamarikutan Gallery, Puerto Princessa Philippines, University of the Philippines Mindanao Cultural Centre, Davao Philippines, Western Mindanao State University, Zamboanga Philippines, and Thailand 3rd New Media Arts Festival – MAF05, Bangkok Thailand.

Medicine Wheel Project
Jan 2003 – Jan 2003

The Medicine Wheel Project began with the support of the ED Video Media Arts Centre of Guelph in 2003. It was inspired by reading of The Ojibway Heritage (Johnston) and Reading Rock Art: Interpreting the Indian Rock Paintings of the Canadian Shield (Rajnovich) and through participation in Sweat Lodge, Pow Wow and Healing Circle ceremonies at the Odawa Friendship Centre of Ottawa. Media by Graham Thompson





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