Feast at the Yukon Arts Centre

Michelle Moreau and her potter partner Patrick Royle want to assure purchasers of local pottery that no glaze used on Royle’s or any other local potter’s dinnerware contains lead. It’s bad for the potter working with it, too ….. Phyllis Fiendell’s wheel-thrown, handmade stoneware is on display in the plexiglass boxes in the Yukon Arts Centre. Directions: stroll around to the right of the stage doors past the bar, pop machines and bathrooms towards the door to the dressing rooms. Don’t go through and harass the performers. Yukon Art Society and Dawson City Art Society Often have displays set up there. Fiendell’s pottery includes naturally occurring Yukon and Northern BC minerals, and she has a bowl and cork-stoppered jar ondisplay beside Karen Rhebergen Sunshine, a tender batik portrait of her child …..

You may be wondering what’s become of Janet Moore, painter and gracious hostess of so many parties after Arts Centre openings. I heard from Ken Anderson that she’s been working day and night on commissions and that she was recently in Italy for two weeks. She’s the next art-ist out here at the Ted Harrison Artists Retreat on Crag Lake. I’ll Be handing over the keys soon.More details then ….. Speaking of carver Anderson, he’s been working non-stop on commissions as well. He took half an hour off to come to the opening on the 17th at the Yukon Arts Centre ….. Yukon Arts Centre’s Mary Bradshaw has moved from “intern” to “associate” curator. At the end of February, she travelled to New York City for one week. She visited two sisters and her nephew, calling it a “sisterfest.” She saw Christo And Jeanne Claude’s wrapped gates to Central Park, www.christojeanneclaude.net, which he called “staggering.” ….. The Opening at the Yukon Arts Centre,http://www.yukonartscentre.org/exhibit.htm, on March 17 laid out a feast. Mary El Kerr’s artistic and adventurous catering offered arich selection. Giving My People aFace is a retrospective of work by  Mark Porter, a young Yukon artist who died tragically in a fire in 1999. Elder Sam Johnston led an opening prayer. Jimmy Johnston Also spoke. Ann Smith, of SYANA, thanked Robin Armour, Linda Pollock and Ruth McCullough for their support of Porter’s work.  

The Teslin Tlingit Dancers, Sam Johnston, his children, Peter,Sarah, Rachel and Rachel’s one-month-old daughter, Madison, performed songs taught to them by their grandparents. The rich-toned drum and voices filled the space between the speeches.They all wore fine button blankets and other regalia. Even Madison Had a cape. Keith Wolfe-Smarch Invited us all to partake in the happiness he felt in Porter’s work.Brian Walker, a friend of Porter’s,also spoke. That would have been an evening in itself. But this is just the beginning ….. Then three of the finalists in the biannual Sobey Art Award spoke. Greg  Forrest, of Halifax, a sculptor in metal; Jean-Pierre Gauthier of Montreal and Althea Thauberger, whose entry is a room with a video projection. Gauthier was the grand prize winner of $50,000.His piece The Race, tethers five measuring tapes to the wall with screws and elastic cords. Motors And motion detectors pull the tape up and out along the wall. Sticks Of graphite, affixed to the tapes, are making five different drawings on the wall as they go up and down. This kinetic installation,described in its information panel as “chaotic and unsightly”, is disturbing and beautiful. You simply must see it. Michel Dzama’s ink, watercolour and root beer drawings of treepeople, sex and guns are also featured in the show as well as a piece by Germaine Koh.…. The third gallery houses Barbara Astman Clementine Part 1, an installation about orphans and people displaced by violence. White Christmas lights fill a wall. Suspended flashlights facing downwards occupy the space, their lenses a few inches from the floor. Both of these light installations project historical images of orphans’ faces and are noticeable only on close examination ….

In The Community Grotto, Ukjese Van Kampen has installed his photographic portraits. The Grotto walls are painted with buildings with fences in front of them and left in negative space. The photographs mounted on foam core create fanciful windows to the buildings. On the fence it’s not which images have been made into paintings ….. There’s more in the Kids’ Gallery, but that will be for next time ….. March 19th’s first anniversary of the gorgeous Yukon Artists @ Work Gallery space at McCrae rocked. The crowds of art-buying guests from all over Canada ate delicious food prepared by members of the co-op — the only way to rival Kerr’s work, I think, isto turn loose a team of 40 artists….. The deadline to apply for the Great Northern Arts Festival has been extended to April 15th ……That’s all for me for now. Send me your news: [email protected]

Till soon, Nicole.

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