June 9, 2014

Residency at KIAC in Dawson City, Yukon

I just looked through my blog and it is looking pretty lacklustre, as of late. It's not because I haven't been up to much - just the opposite in fact! I'm fresh off of spending part of April and most of May in beautiful Dawson City, Yukon, at the incredible KIAC (that's Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture) artist residency. After that I was the artist-in-residence for two weeks at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse in Montreal, and I am currently writing this from Residency #3 at beautiful Sparkbox Studios in Prince Edward County, Ontario. But for the sake of brevity, I'll stick to the Yukon for this post. 

Here is a random smattering of images that in their own imperfect way document what was arguably one of the best months of my life in recent memory. I drew a ton, made great new friends, saw gorgeous wilderness, and had some seriously great moments of self-discovery. The Yukon is a very special place. Dawson 4---> 

Beautiful contemporary carvings in the Whitehorse airport, done by people in their early twenties! Mad skills. 

The plane couldn't land in Dawson City due to fog cover, so it continued on to Inuvik and Old Crowe, and landed in Dawson later in the day. I didn't mind - free aerial tour of the arctic!

Old Crow is a fly-in only community. I told my mom I went there and she said, "Oh, that's your second visit. I went when I was 7 or 8 months pregnant." What? Crazy, mom. 


The residency begins. Did I bring enough pens???
(Okay but seriously, it is kind of terrifying going to make art in a place where you know you cannot buy new materials if you run out. Embrace the unexpected, I know - obstacles lead to creative problem-solving, which can have great results. But my inner control freak totally insisted on packing over 200 pens and pencil crayons. I am so not Zen.)

Lucky enough to go not once, but twice, to Tombstone National Park. The first time everything was covered with snow and the mountains looked like Lawren Harris paintings. It was the quietest place I have ever been. 

There were 2 more hours of sunlight a day by the end of my month-long visit. Including dusk and dawn, it basically got dark from 2 am - 3 am and that's it. I hear that by solstice you can read outside 24 hours a day. I loved it.

Experimenting with collage. Quelle surprise!


The entire town looks like a Wild West movie set. People are almost bizarrely friendly. So much fun!


I could spend every day here. And...I am sure many do. Can't get over how great this bar is.

After the river broke up we had a pic nic on an iceberg. So Canadian, right? Actually no one I know has ever done that. 

My obsession with antlers was satiated every day. 

More collage. An almost ridiculous amount of cutting up flowers = so many Radiolab podcasts listened to.


Dilapidated buildings are everywhere and are mysteriously beautiful.

No trip would be complete without a visit to the cancan girls.

I actually got a lot of drawing done. I finally proved to myself that art *and* socializing are possible. There ARE enough hours in the day (when the days are 23 hours of light long...)
View of the town from Moosehide Slide. It is stunningly beautiful. I've never seen a sky so blue!

More patterned animal drawings on the way!

The fruits of my labours. Finished about 10 drawings and am crazy prepared for some serious collaging!

The other artist in the house with me was Sarah Smalik. After our artist talks we threw a dance party! It was extra sweaty because no one could figure out how to get the storm windows off. It was also kind of weird having a dance party while it was still super light outside. 
1:30 am on my last night. Waaaaaaah! Eternal sunlight is the best.
The little drawing I left as a gift for the walls of KIAC. Every artist leaves something when they go. My personal favourite is Shary Boyle's self-portrait from 2002.

2 comments:

Drew Hornbein said...

Looks like a load of fun!

Sujon said...

A big funny day.. I love last one.. Thanks so much.