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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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‘There’s energy in painting’: Imagine Pandosy Art Festival showcases local talent – Global News

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It all started with handing out fence boards for the neighbourhood to paint and now it’s grown into the first Imagine Pandosy Art Festival in the heart of Kelowna’s Pandosy Village.

“It’s the inaugural event so we really wanted to do something for the community and came up with the idea of doing an art festival. We’re in SOPA Square to showcase local artists in the community, so we have 17 artists and 10 crafters,” said Mary Meenagh, KLONA committee member.

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Community comes together for Kelowna’s Imagine Pandosy Art Festival

The Imagine Pandosy Art Festival featured local artists and gave them an opportunity to share their work with the neighbourhood, safely at SOPA Square and on Groves Ave.

“There’s energy in painting and it’s all about colour, movement and energy,” said Joan Miller, an artist showcasing her work at the event.

The festival will be leaving a permanent mark on the neighbourhood with a mural created by JOMAE Custom Murals that was painted live for all to see.

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Penticton, B.C. photography book records pandemic, floods and fires

“It’s a portable mural, we’re going to move it to a blank wall and then eventually move it to the brand new Pandosy Waterfront Park when it’s completed,” said Paul Clark, organizer.

Phase One of Pandosy Waterfront Park is set to be completed by next year, and while the wait for the new park is on, organizers are busy planning next year’s Imagine Pandosy Art Festival.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Art Fx #38: "Hill Street Cushion" by Jen Manuell – Huntsville Doppler

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Art Fx is a year-long series on Huntsville Doppler featuring Huntsville-area visual artists.

“Hill Street Cushion” by Jen Manuell of Fish Eye Sisters is an 18” x 18” cushion with a pieced and quilted textile front, featuring hand-dyed wool and freeform stitching, with velvet on the backside and a Canadian-made feather-down insert.

“This is one of the cushions from my most recent collection, featuring over 80 different fabrics,” says Jen. ” The colours were inspired by a recent trip to Peggy’s Cove — especially the amazing lichen on the docks.”

Hill Street Cushion” is available online at fisheyesisters.ca for $230.

About the artist

Every cut, every pin, every stitch…every step of every Fish Eye Sisters product is designed and handmade by just me, Jen Manuell.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved playing with colour and figuring out new ways of doing things.

Combining my love of textiles and dyeing wool, my truly one-of-a-kind woollen home goods are a modern twist on tradition. Woven wool flannel is my favourite material and it features in all of my recent work. I over-dye a lot of it myself so that I can inject plenty of pattern and colour and texture into every piece. These subtle variations add so much interest.

Each piece is a unique composition. There really aren’t any duplicates or copies — they’re all original, timeless, functional pieces for your home. Everything is made with care and attention to detail in my home studio just north of Huntsville.

Find Jen and Fish Eye Sisters online at fisheyesisters.ca or on Instagram @fisheyesisters. Contact her at jen@fisheyesisters.ca.

See more local art in Doppler’s Art Fx series here.

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Penticton art exhbit explores feminism and activism – Globalnews.ca

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With every brushstroke, Karla Avendaño is honouring women and the Egyptian goddess said to look over women, Hathor.

“Women matter. It’s funny that in this century we still have to be telling people that women are an important part of society but we do. We have to remind them,” said Avendaño.

“My exhibition is about empowering women and telling the world that we are here and we are an important part of society.”

In her first solo exhibition, Hathor: Goddess of Many Things, Avendaño introduces herself through bright colours and creative scenes, while also advocating for equal rights for women around the world.

Read more:
Penticton Arts Council showcases 100 clay cats in art exhibit

“I am working on [a painting] right now and it’s called Finding My Voice,” said Avendaño.

“It’s a special piece because it’s an Afghan lady so it’s very special for me because of all the conflict that is happening in Afghanistan right now and I feel for these girls not knowing what the future is going to be.”

The artist is one of eight in residence at the Leir House Cultural Centre where she has developed her skills for the last year leading up to the exhibition.

Read more:
Penticton, B.C. photography book records pandemic, floods and fires

“She brings such a fresh and unique energy and vibe to the Leir House as well so that’s really, really cool and just watching the trajectory of her art over the past year has been so wonderful to watch,” said Bethany Handfield, Penticton and District Community Arts Council administrator.

Hathor: Goddess of Many Things can be discovered Thursday to Sunday until Nov. 6 at the Leir House Cultural Centre.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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