L to R: Pine Grosbeak by Martha Ritchie, Caribou Shaman by Sandra Storey, A star by Meshell Melvin
There are elves, so it is said, that have been busy creating artwork for the Christmas show at Yukon Artists @ Work (YA@W).
I’m not sure if my heart was singing during my visit to YA@W, but my spirits were definitely lifted in the midst of all the beautiful, sometimes dazzling, artwork. Case in point: there’s nothing like sparkles to make December days brighter.
- Take, for example, the iridescent stars created by Meshell Melvin. The stars can be found strung from the YA@W gallery ceiling, and every one is a beauty.
- In her series of works entitled “Leaves,” composed of fused quilt and collage, Susanne Hausermann gives the leaves glimmering silver highlights. Linda Leon, also working with collage, adds shiny pennies to her pieces, finding a new use for the decommissioned coins.
- In “Northern,” glass artist Jeanine Baker has added shimmer to a dazzling night-time landscape.
- In Neil Graham’s small acrylic painting, “Czech Expresso,” the coffee maker’s shiny stainless steel top catches the light.
- Nicole Bauberger has used glittery nail polish to create tiny raven pieces, thereby giving her birds, already distinguished by whimsy and charm, an extra dash of panache.
- There are other ravens to be found, too, not sparkly perhaps but still full of character. Marie Hélène Comeau’s “King Raven” wears a crown and carries a heart on a string in its beak. Heidi Hehn’s ravens are doing what is expected, by chortling from treetops and gathering under the moon.
There are other Yukon birds on display as well, notably Martha Ritchie’s linocuts featuring a pine grosbeak on a tree branch and a yellow warbler among the willow. Snow buntings are hung as if they’re flying around the room.
- There are landscapes and townscapes in a variety of materials and styles. Lesley Leong’s multi-media mountain e-Scape features cut-out trees and mountains made from reclaimed wood and circuit boards. Virginia Wilson’s little paintings capture classic Yukon scenes, including the “kissing buildings” of Dawson City. Dee Bailey uses polymer clay to depict a magical forest floor with mushrooms, wild berries and a secret door.
- Other artists transform familiar Yukon creatures and give them an element of magic and fantasy. Sandra Storey’s sculpted “Caribou Shaman” stands on two legs, has human hands and wears a beautiful robe with textured layers of colour. Hybrid animals are also given sculptural form in Donald Watt’s “Raven Lady” and raven mermaids.
- The YA@W elves also appreciate that functional art makes a great gift. Many of the artists make pieces that are wearable, or that can be put to some practical use. Hehn makes jewelry, Bauberger silkscreens on t-shirts, Ritchie creates lanterns and journals, Baker and Bailey make Christmas tree decorations, Ann McKenzie felts garments and Patrick Royle makes ceramics
Last-minute shoppers are sure to find something for a friend or family member. There are also lots of small treasures for topping up stocking, or add some sparkle to what has been a very strange and difficult year.
L to R: Czech Espresso by Neil Graham, King Raven Hoping for Love by Marie Hélène Comeau, Tryst and Radiance by Nicole Bauberger