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Q&A style: Duende offers up fine-art prints from coveted creators – Vancouver Sun

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Sarah Delaney, Rubeena Ratcliffe and Brit Gill are among the initial group of artists on offer

It’s not uncommon for Vancouver-based artist Sarah Delaney‘s collections to sell out in minutes.

The original artworks, which have garnered Delaney an ever-growing online following, are coveted by art lovers, locally and beyond, which means getting ones’ hands on one of her unique creations can be tricky.

Rachel Harrison and Jennifer Scott, the duo behind the new Vancouver-based company Duende, are looking to ease the struggle of snagging one of Delaney’s — as well as a handful of other creatives including fine artists and photographers — pieces by offering limited-edition fine art prints of varying prices and sizes.


A limited-edition fine art print of a work by Vancouver artist Sarah Delaney available via Duende.

Handout/Duende

Their aim, they say, is to, “mingle impactful art with the public, allowing the everyday collector to build their gallery based on a connection with each piece.” We caught up with Harrison and Scott to learn more.


Q. For those who aren’t familiar, what is Duende?

A. Duende is a curated online gallery founded on the belief that choosing art should be based on the connection we feel to it and the power of certain pieces to really resonate with us.

Our vision is to define a place where an entire space can be curated with meaningful art of mixed mediums, created by a variety of artists, while establishing a cohesive relationship between the pieces. By offering limited-edition collections, our customers are gaining the value and exclusivity that comes with small runs, yet working with prints allows flexibility for making art more approachable.

Q. Is there a story behind the name? 

A. Duende is a Spanish word with a wide variety of definitions; the meaning we identify with for our business is “the mysterious power of art to deeply move a person.”

Q. Who is the target customer? 

A. We were inspired to create this type of boutique-style online gallery platform from the perspective of designers, as both of us have established our careers as interior designers and stylists within Vancouver; we feel that we will see much of our traffic come from other designers, decorators, developers and commercial art buyers who face the same challenges we did of sourcing impactful, exclusive art at an approachable level. However, Duende really is for the everyday collector. For the people that have a love for art, want pieces to tell a story within their home and want to know that even a collection of mixed mediums and artists can create a cohesive, personal gallery.

Q. And how did you choose the artists to collaborate with?

A. Our initial gathering of art and artists was curated to work together as a full collection; we have such a strong passion for art, so the process of narrowing down who we wanted to collaborate with for this first season was hard. Ultimately, we identified what we wanted the vibe of this premier collection to feel like, and reached out to some of our favourite artists — both local and from around the world — to  create this current roster. We definitely have a growing group of incredible talent that we have our eye on for the next season, which will take on a tone of its own. For us, it’s all about curating what we see as relevant in the moment and how each piece interacts with the next within the entire collection … each piece within any given season has been carefully selected to work beautifully with any other piece in the same season.

Q. How often will the artist selection change?

A. Our gathering of artists and chosen works are featured for a season of six months, after which time a new season of art and artists is introduced; by rotating our offerings after each season, we are able to continuously bring fresh content and talent to our community.


Jennifer Scott (left) and Rachel Harrison are the duo behind the new Vancouver-based company Duende.

Duende

Q. What’s one thing you wish more people knew about fine art prints? 

A. Working with limited-edition fine art prints is such a ‘sweet spot’ for building your own art collection. Many people aren’t in a position to jump into the realm of purchasing original works, but likewise don’t want to fall back into mass-produced art as an alternative; with limited edition prints comes the ability to purchase high-impact art that offers exclusivity and large format options, without the financial commitment of original art.

Q. What is the price for Duende pieces?

A. Duende is based on a universal pricing platform. What that means is, each piece is offered at three set sizes — determined by the aspect ratio of the original work — and every piece in our gallery at that same size is offered at the same price. Essentially, there are three set sizes and three correlating set prices for every piece.

Q. Lastly, where can people check them out?

A. To check out our incredible roster of artists and each of their full collaborative collections with us, people can visit our online gallery at duendecuration.com. We also use Instagram (@duendecuration) to share our artists pieces, alongside some of the inspirations behind the works, as well as giveaways and other behind-the-scene fun.

Aharris@postmedia.com

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Visit the city's tiniest art gallery: Five things to do in Saskatoon this weekend – Saskatoon StarPhoenix

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In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E.

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Whether you’re interested in art, a virtual party, some outdoor activities or cleaning up around the house, there’s a little bit of something for everyone this weekend in Saskatoon.

1. Visit the Free Little Art Gallery

In an effort to help Saskatoon residents share art with one another, Suzy Schwanke has created the Free Little Art Gallery YXE outside her home at 332 Hilliard St. E. Designed in the style of community libraries and kitchen boxes, visitors to the gallery can take a piece of art, leave a piece of art, or do both. You can check out some of the artwork on Instagram @Freelittleartgalleryyxe.

Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood.
Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring “a little joy to the community” by installing a tiny art gallery on her front lawn in Saskatoon’s Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood. Photo by Matt Smith /Saskatoon StarPhoenix

2. Hit up The Bassment’s virtual party

Featuring the music and talents of eight Saskatoon bands, The Bassment presents InTune 2021 — a free online party playing from 2 to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The shows will be streamed live through the Bassment’s Facebook and YouTube pages.

3. Check out local performers

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Watch as some of Saskatoon’s performing artists share their work in Episode 1 of Persephone Theatre’s Open Stage, which was published earlier this month. The episode is available to watch whenever you want at persephonetheatre.org and features Peace Akintade, Kathie Cram, Amanda Trapp, Sketchy Bandits, Carla Orosz and Ellen Froese.

4. Have some family fun

The Fuddruckers Family Fun Centre (2910 8th St. E) is open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Families can practice their skills on the 18-hole Putt N’ Bounce miniature golf course, reach new heights on The Rock climbing wall or take a swing at the Grand Slam batting cages. More information is available at fudds.ca or by calling 306-477-0808.

5. Drop off your hazardous waste

The City of Saskatoon is holding its first Hazardous Household Waste Drop Off of the year on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Civic Operations Centre (57 Valley Rd.). The drop off is open to Saskatoon residents from residential properties only. Products eligible for drop off include aerosols, automotive fluids, batteries, cleaners, light bulbs, yard chemicals and more. Learn more at saskatoon.ca/hazardouswaste.

  1. Art teacher Suzy Schwanke is hoping to bring

    Little art gallery brings colour, connection to Queen Elizabeth neighbourhood

  2. Persephone Theatre in Saskatoon

    Persephone Theatre brings in community co-leads for new Artists’ Working Group

The news seems to be flying at us faster all the time. From COVID-19 updates to politics and crime and everything in between, it can be hard to keep up. With that in mind, the Saskatoon StarPhoenix has created an Afternoon Headlines newsletter that can be delivered daily to your inbox to help make sure you are up to date with the most vital news of the day. Click here to subscribe.

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YK ARCC celebrates 10 years by pushing for NWT art gallery – Cabin Radio

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Its trailer doubles as one of the NWT’s only art galleries. Now, the Yellowknife Artist-Run Community Centre is turning 10 years old.

The group, YK ARCC for short, formed in 2011 in a downtown Yellowknife church scheduled for demolition. “There was always something going on,” recalled Métis artist Rosalind Mercredi, owner of the city’s Down to Earth Gallery, who was YK ARCC’s first president.

“I think it was so good to be able to have a space where people wanted to work on stuff and, if they had bigger projects they wanted to do, there was a space to do it. It was pretty vibrant times, I would say, for art.”

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Though the organization stayed in the church for less than a year, it has brought art and shows to Yellowknife since. Temporary homes have included an apartment above a Vietnamese restaurant and empty spaces in the Centre Square Mall.

Casey Koyczan, a Tłı̨chǫ artist from Yellowknife pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Manitoba, held some of his first shows with YK ARCC’s help.

“It really helped to be able to show work within an environment that was conducive to more of a fine arts aesthetic as opposed to … a coffee shop, or a pub, or something like that,” said Koyczan, who was on YK ARCC’s board.

“YK ARCC felt like it was getting to more of a formal-exhibit kind of feel.”

‘We need a territorial gallery’

The group made headlines shortly after opening a mobile art gallery in a trailer. At the beginning of the pandemic, the team took art to residents by accepting reservations through Facebook then driving the gallery to make house calls in different neighbourhoods.

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“Because it’s so small, we might be the only gallery in Canada that didn’t have to close,” said longtime board member Sarah Swan. “It has a limited capacity. We knew we could still operate it safely.”

YK ARCC’s first home is pictured in 2011. Photo: Submitted
Casey Koyczan stands in front of a painting at a YK ARCC show in 2014. Photo: Submitted

Yet the trailer’s success simultaneously illuminated what YK ARCC’s members believe is a glaring deficiency in the NWT: the absence of a territorial gallery.

The cost of rent makes it difficult for the non-profit to hold on to one space for any length of time. Many of the spaces that are available in Yellowknife don’t work well for art shows.

“We need a territorial gallery,” former board member Dan Korver said.

That doesn’t mean a commercial gallery geared toward profit, he clarified. Instead, Korver wants a space where artists can show their work and engage with an audience “for art’s sake.”

The Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre is the only large-scale, non-commercial, gallery fitting that bill in the NWT. It hosts two fine art exhibits a year.

“It’s just simply not enough,” said Swan. “There are so many more artists and so much more work out there to show, so many more ideas.”

“We created the mobile gallery in the first place to feel that exhibition gap, but also, we created it to be a piece of agitation in itself. That’s why we called it the Art Gallery of the Northwest Territories.

“It’s really pathetic that our territorial gallery is a trailer. We all joke that if there ever is a real gallery of the Northwest Territories that’s not in a trailer, we’ll happily give the name back.”

YK ARCC debuted its mobile gallery in the summer of 2019. Pictured are board member Brian McCutcheon and artist Terry Pamplin. Photo: Submitted
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mobile art gallery, yk arcc

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Art by Shelley Vanderbyl is displayed in Yellowknife’s mobile gallery in May 2020. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio
A YK ARCC show in 2018, called Social Fabric, was held inside a former bank in the Centre Square Mall. Thirty-two artists were featured and 800 people attended. Photo: Submitted

Koyczan described obstacles in establishing his career that stemmed directly from the lack of a territorial art gallery.

“Back when I was showing at YK ARCC, it wasn’t recognized by the Canada Arts Council,” he said. “Therefore, when you go to apply for grants and funding … and you provide your CV saying that you showed work at YK ARCC, they check their records and say the show basically didn’t exist because they don’t recognize it as a legitimate gallery.

“I’ve had to work really hard on exporting myself and making artwork that is impactful so that, regardless of where I was located, it would be recognized by people in the south, or around North America, or internationally.

“The NWT needs a contemporary gallery. It’s just holding us back, not having that space.”

‘No GNWT mandate’ for a gallery

In a written statement to Cabin Radio, the territorial Department of Education, Culture, and Employment said it has no plan to create a territorial gallery.

The department said it “does not have a mandate to create physical infrastructure for the arts.”

“However,” the response continued, “the GNWT would be happy to work with regional organizations to see how the GNWT can support their plans.”

Korver believes government involvement in creating an artist-run centre or non-commercial gallery should be limited to provision of funding, so any gallery can remain community-driven and independent.

“We need that physical space, but how do you run it?” he wondered. “Is it better to just provide a grassroots organization – or organizations, maybe there shouldn’t just be one – with stable funding so they can provide those spaces and run those spaces?”

More spaces that can host art are on the way.

Makerspace YK moved into the old After 8 pub this January and is planning workshops and exhibits. The City of Yellowknife expects to open a visitor centre in the Centre Square Mall that would include art displays.

Meanwhile, the territorial government is set to release its updated NWT Arts Strategy this June. The previous territorial arts strategy, released in 2004, had identified a need for more arts spaces.

As a gallery owner, Mercredi said she is curious to see how the strategy is implemented.

YK ARCC staged an outdoor installation in 2017. Photo: Submitted
Rosalind Mercredi, first president of YK ARCC, at the mobile gallery. Photo: Submitted

“You can make a strategy but if the plan doesn’t have an implementation idea behind it, then really just sits,” she said. “How do you implement it when most of the arts organizations don’t have enough infrastructure or people to put those things together?”

Swan said YK ARCC will continue to run its mobile gallery while celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Members have applied for funding to run a series of “emerging curator workshops.”

“Art is our passion,” Swan said. “I think there’s just this drive to share.

“Because we know how good art can be, or how amazing and fully developed it can be, we want to fight for that. We want to try to grow the art community in Yellowknife.”

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