Vanessa Dion Fletcher is a Lenape and Potawatomi neurodiverse Artist. Her family is from Eelūnaapèewii Lahkèewiitt (displaced from Lenapehoking) and European settlers. She Employs porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood reveals the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. Reflecting on an indigenous and genderd body with a neurodiverse mind Dion Fletcher creates art using composite media, primarily working in performance, textiles, video. 

She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2016 with an MFA in performance and York University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. She has exhibited across Canada and the US, at Art Mur Montreal, Eastern Edge Gallery Newfoundland, The Queer Arts Festival Vancouver, Satellite Art show Miami. Her work is in the Indigenous Art Centre, Joan Flasch Artist Book collection, Vtape, Seneca College, and the Archives of American Art. Vanessa is a 2020-2021 Jackman Humanities Institute fellow at the University of Toronto. 

Artist statement 

I employ porcupine quills, Wampum belts, and menstrual blood to reveal the complexities of what defines a body physically and culturally. Reflecting on an indigenous feminist body with a neurodiverse mind I create art using composite media, primarily working in performance, textiles, video.


I look for knowledge embedded in materials and techniques. Embodiment and visual art allow a reprieve from the colonialism and ableism of English. My interest in communication comes from my lack of access to my indigenous languages (Potawatomi and Lenape) and as a person living with a learning disability caused by issues with short-term memory. This perspective of language and communication is fractured and politicized. Honouring that my body and mind are not separate I address the socio-political representations and implications of menstruation, reproduction and the biological body. ​


Curiosity and Quillwork 

Solo Exhibition

Ada Slaight Galleries100 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1

Opening Reception: Tuesday, September 10th, 5-7pm 

ASL Interpretation provided. 

The exhibition runs through, September 20, 2019


Nuit Blanch Placeholders Lisen to the Land 

October 5 / 6 from 7 pm to 7 am

Fort York Historic Site (Bunkerhouse #2)

100 Garrison Rd. Toronto

Artist In Residence 

OISE Faculty of Curriculum Teaching and Learning 

September - December 2019 

Public Artist Talk Sept. 17, 2019, 5 pm Floor 11 Room 164 


Artist In Residence 

Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University 

September 23rd to October 18th, 2019 


Exhibition: Access is Love and Love is complicated

Critical Distance Centre for Curators

Wed-Fri 12-6 pm, Sat-Sun 11-5 pm

Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Suite 302

Indigeneity, Neurodiversity, and the Arts:      

A conversation with Vanessa Dion Fletcher and Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning. October 20th 2 pm.

How to Make Your Own Word Scavenger Hunt with Vanessa Dion Fletcher. October 21st 6 pm. 

Let’s Talk About Sex, bb​

27 April–1 December 2019


Queen’s University
36 University Avenue
Kingston, Ontario, Canada K7L 3N6
T (613) 533.2190
F (613) 533.6765

Invisible Threads 

May 20 to September 2019 

The Indigenous Art Centre Gallery at

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada. 

On View /Upcoming 


VanessaAfletcher at gmail dot com


writing & reviews.

Publications as Author  

2019 A Score for the Cervix, Syphon: a publication of Modern Fuel Artist-run Centre Vol. 5.1 


2019 Own Your Cervix, Tangled Art Gallery, Canadian Journal of Disability Studies Vol. 8 No. 1

2017 Menstrual Accessory, Emergency Index: an Annual Document of performance practice Vol. 6

October 2017 The Strength of Water, Art In America 

May 2016: To My Teachers, As/Us: Issue 6 (Volume 6)

September 2014:  Twisting Conventions: A Feminist Indigenous Perspective On the Horror Genre, Vtape Curatorial Fellow

October 2012: My imagineNATIVE, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective Newsletter

September 2012: Writing Landscape, West Coast Line 74 || Reconcile This!

March 2012: Inuit Nunangat, Charcoal and digital image. FUSE Magazine 35-2

December 2011: “Mapping Medievalism: An Indigenous Political Perspective Review Of: Mapping Medievalism at the Canadian Frontier” ed. Kathryn Brush. The Journal of Art Historiography Number 5 December 2011

“Curiosity and Quillwork” Essay by Adrienne Huard, Ada Slaight Gallery OCAD University Ontario. September 2019

“Let’s Talk About Sex. Bb” Essays by Carina Maggazzeni, Erin Sutherland, and Lindsay Nixon. Agnes Etherington Art Centre Ontario. September 2019

"When Menstruation Meets Decoration" by Leah Sandals Canadian Art March 9, 2017,

“Performing Sovereignty: Forces to be reckoned with” Carla Taunton. More Caught in the Act and Anthology of performance art by Canadian Women. Edited by Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars. YYZ Books Toronto 2016

“Getting Off At the SAIC MFA Show.” Brad Fiore. May 2016

“Reading the Talk Museum London.” Matthew Ryan Smith. First American Art, Winter 2015/16

“Walking with Artists” by Angela Salamanca. C Magazine, Spring 2014

Mahon, Patrick. "The Machine that Makes the Artist, Part 2: Repetition, Education, and Artistic Formation" in Printopolis (Toronto: Open Studio) March 2013            

"No Place: Queer Geographies on Screen" (catalog) Anthea Black.  McIntosh Gallery London Ontario. April 2012  


“From Dusty Death to Snowy Rebirth” by Vaughan R.M, The Globe and Mail Nov. 25, 2011

“Lived, Laughed, Left Don Blanch 2010” by Portis Ben. Hunter and Cook Fall 2010

Reviews / Critical Writing