Did you know that the funky little metal house in Shipyards Park, the black one with the raven that your kids are always playing in, is part of the Yukon Permanent Art Collection?
The collection, which now boasts over 350 pieces, has art in public places all over the Yukon, and like “Raven’s House” by Alyx Jones, many of them are kind of unexpected.
There are obvious pieces like Ted Harrison’s “My Yukon” at the Department of Education, but there is also unpredictable art like “The Conversation” (the big bodied lawyers in front of the law building) and the newly purchased “Han Singing Doll” by Dolores Scheffen, which you will be able to see on Sept. 27.
Along with “Han Singing Doll,” seven other pieces were added to the collection this year through an annual contribution of $25,000 by the Yukon Government.
“Each year the chosen art reflects what is happening in the art community at the time,” says Garnet Muething, art curator for Yukon Government. Given that the new additions are in a variety of mediums from fibre and beads to painting and carving it seems that the community is thriving.
The vivid “Winter’s Beard” by Suzanne Paleczny is a familiar snapshot of snowy weekend adventures in the Yukon, but summer and fall are also beautifully expressed in “Ghosts of the Forest” by Simon Gilpin and “Mt. McDonald, Snake River, Yukon” by Stephanie Ryan.
Heather Callaghan’s “Sea to Mountain Trade Route Traveler’s Robe and Woven Hat” provides a glimpse into the territory’s past while similarities to the East coast are explored in Joyce Majiski’s “The Lobster Trap.”
The Yukon Government’s contribution is managed by “Friends of the Gallery,” the non-profit organization that first created the collection in 1981.
Muething notes that, “submissions must have a tie to the North and a resonance for the Yukon but need not be created by a Yukoner to be considered.”
For her part, Muething, whose curiosity drew her to the Yukon nine years ago, is looking forward to installing the acquisitions for the upcoming exhibition of the new works.
“Installation is the best part of my job,” she says. “I love interacting with the public as they see the pieces.”
The exhibit to introduce the new works opens on Friday, Sept. 27 in the lobby of the Main Administrative Building of the Yukon Government.
Some pieces in the collection are displayed permanently, but many pieces are rotated regularly around public places in the Yukon.
Next time you are in a government building take a minute to look at the art around you. And If you just can’t wait to see the new additions, you can get a sneak peek on the Yukon Government website, http://www.tc.gov.yk.ca/arts and click on “Permanent Art Collection.”