Brandon University - Media Release

 Graduates from Brandon University this year will receive a print of commissioned artwork that reflects on their experience at campus, and will become a unique memento of their time at BU.

“Every graduate looks forward to receiving their degree, which represents years of dedication, discovery, and accomplishment,” said BU Registrar Andrea McDaniel. “Learning is at the heart of academia, but students’ years at university also include so much fun, and our annual artwork is a chance to highlight things like social, cultural, and athletic activities — the memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.”

This year’s art was created by Jessie Jannuska, a Winnipeg-based Indigenous visual artist and art workshop facilitator who received her BFA from Brandon University in 2018. Working in mixed media on canvas, Jannuska’s piece includes a collage of campus moments, many of them depicted as reflected in the iconic curved windows of the John E. Robbins Library. Across the bottom, flowers at the front of the building are highlighted with beadwork.

“This piece combines classic BU symbols, including a Bobcat student-athlete and the bobcat statue from the courtyard,” said Jannuska. “Front and centre is an Indigenous student portrait, a tipi decorated with florals, while additional students fill out the background.”

The prints are about 8”x10” and are suitable for framing. To show off the texture of the canvas and the three-dimensionality of the beadwork, Jannuska suggested that it be carefully photographed against a navy blue background, which is how the final prints have been produced.

This is the fifth year that BU has commissioned artwork for grads. The annual tradition was inaugurated in 2020 and was a way to offer special recognition to graduates in a year when an in-person ceremony was not possible. The overwhelmingly positive response to the art inspired BU to make it a permanent part of Convocation moving forward.


Jessie Jannuska (she/her) is a Winnipeg-based Indigenous visual artist and art workshop facilitator who received her BFA from Brandon University in 2018. She has mixed Dakota, Ojibway, and settler ancestry. Her family is from Canupawakpa Dakota Nation.

Jannuska’s work explores her Indigenous culture through a cathartic lens by blending realism, contemporary beadwork style, and symbolism representing Indigenous spirituality and healing. She primarily works in mixed media, beadwork, acrylic, watercolor, brush marker, crankies, and murals.

Jannuska’s work utilizes themes of Indigenous female empowerment, commentary on Indigenous issues, and often features strong female role models and imagery. Her most prominent grants include the CAC Research and Creation grant in 2023, and the MAC Arts Leader grant in 2021.  

She facilitates freelance art workshops in beading, painting step-by-step, sweetgrass baskets, dreamcatchers, and crankie making to all ages. Jannuska learned to bead through joining the Brandon University Beading Babes while attending BU. Her BFA thesis exhibition Akiktonz'a S'ni is currently on tour through the Manitoba Arts Network to nine locations across Manitoba. 
Her artwork can be viewed on her art website: