Branching Out

The shop is lined with seed packets and items for the outdoors, with a medley of unique giftware tucked away in the corner.

Large cotton bags hang along the wall and meticulously curved pottery mingles with vivid framed photographs of flora and fauna. Medium-sized pillows dressed with whimsical felt flowers sit on shelves.

It seems like a welcoming living room or an immaculately decorated patio marrying the inside with the outside.

“I do Cranberry Fair and Spruce Bog and things like that in the winters, but in the summers there’s never any good venues for things like local crafts,” says felt artist Tara Kolla-Hale.

Now she displays her work in the artist corner at the Greenhouse At Cliffside. It is located on the Alaska Highway at the old Adorna Flowers location just a little north of Two-Mile Hill.

Kolla-Hale helped put the showing of Yukon-made crafts together with shop owners Cathy Angel and Liz Kent.

“They said they were going to open up this garden shop and I thought it would be a really neat venue to have local artists involved,” she explains.

Angel and Kent agreed that adding nature-oriented artwork was the perfect fit.

“Lo and behold it’s a garden centre and we thought ‘well how about some artists that can help us bring the outdoors in to people,'” Kent says.

Fittingly, the showing of four local artists is called Bringing The Outside In.

Kolla-Hale displays her one-of-kind felt work, including framed pieces depicting colourful tree branches with buttons and sequins.

A variety of Georgi Pearson’s cotton bags and quilt-like aprons made with vintage-esque fabrics are also available. Much like Kolla-Hale, she says the Greenhouse provides a new venue for her.

“It’s a great opportunity. I find I do Christmas sales and that’s about the only time I can get my stuff out in the Yukon,” Pearson says.

Larry Duguay has immersed himself in ceramics for over a decade and now his pottery lines the tables and shelves at the shop. He says the end result is impressive.

“It’s really different. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would work,” Duguay says.

“But I think they’ve made a big effort to kind of get their concept going for a bit of local art, plus a great garden centre.”

Soft gradient hues devour the strong curves of Duguay’s clay work, from teapots, to vases and various sized jars.

And for Mara Spricenieks, the Greenhouse provides her first foray into the art world. She takes photos for the love of it, but has translated those captures into scenic art cards of vibrant flowers and picturesque landscapes.

“It’s really nice that they’ve decided to go with only a handful of people,” Spricenieks says. “You don’t have to be an established artist.”

The artist corner blends naturally in the environment and Kolla-Hale says it makes the artwork accessible to anyone.

“Having a show at a coffee shop or an actual gallery is a big deal. But this is like everyday, people come in and see it, lots of people come to the garden centre three, four times a week,” she says.

“So they get used to seeing your things and people fall in love with pieces a lot more than if they just go in one morning to get a coffee and look at something.”

Spricenieks says it’s made her move as a local artist a lot easier.

“It’s not easy for someone to bust into it and actually be given the encouragement and confidence that a person needs. Because it’s so easy to turn around and run away if there’s any negativity and there has been the exact opposite of that.”

All four artists work will be on available at the Greenhouse At Cliffside throughout the summer.

PHOTO: MORGAN WHIBLEY [email protected]

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top