Artpreneur

Artpreneur columnist Nicole Bauberger is a painter, writer and performer living in Whitehorse.

Making a Living by Making Art

There’s a classic struggle among artists to find a part-time job that will afford them enough money to pay the bills and enough time to make their art, but won’t suck the soul out of them. Another classic struggle is justifying the pursuit of money, when, as an artist, passion, creativity, communication, love, light, colour, …

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Music Yukon wears many hats

He’s a promoter and an agent and a business consultant and an office manager and an investment broker. “Bag Man,” Mark Smith corrects that last one. “Really, I am just a Bag Man.” Smith’s business card actually labels him as the executive director of MusicYukon, an organization that helps recording artists with the business end …

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‘Artrepreneurship’ on Training Wheels

Andrew Finton, of the Sundog Retreat Carving Program, likes to point to Calvin Morberg as one of his successful young carvers. Today he has a long way to point. Morberg’s off on a cultural delegation to Siberia. Four and a half years ago, Morberg sold his hand-caved masks out of towel-lined shoeboxes on Main Street. …

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Artrepreneur: Sundog Carvers Sink Teeth into Snow

Young artists from the Sundog carving program have turned from wood to snow. Until Feb. 23, you can see them carving six eight-foot square blocks of snow at Shipyards Park. They will not be carving alone. Eight professional snow carving teams from across Canada and the United States started carving at midnight on Feb. 20 …

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Artrepreneur: Rogue Raven Art Show Perches on Downtown Kiosks

Vince Federoff kneels in the January snow. He presses brass thumbtacks into the downtown poster kiosk. He’s taken care to cover only an out-of-date poster from New Year’s Eve. He steps back and we admire the graceful composition of his photograph, simple among the shouting posters. It shows two ravens perched on a Ken Anderson …

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Artrepreneur: Grass is Not Greener in Yellowknife … But It Has An Awesome Gallery

The Birchwood Gallery in Yellowknife shows top-notch artists from all over Canada. It also shows the work of local high school students. Yellowknife contrasts Whitehorse in interesting ways. It’s a northern capital of about the same size, so you can’t help compare. It has high-rise buildings instead of mountains. It’s pretty much the end of …

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Artrepreneur: Art to Share Spirit

SYANA’s first annual Yukon First Nations Arts Festival will have a strong visual arts and crafts focus. That’s what the society’s members asked for. Executive Director Sonny Voyageur had SYANA members fill out a questionnaire. Most said they would like to see the society’s activities focus on visual arts and crafts. Voyageur finds that arts …

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Artrepreneur: Photographer Helps Protect Canada’s Artists

BY NICOLE BAUBERGER It’s a common Yukon experience. You’re at the board meeting, looking around the table. There’s a vacancy in a leadership position. “I don’t know enough,” you think. But as you look around, well, you can’t ask the new board members to do it … This happened to Whitehorse photographer Mario Villeneuve this …

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Warm As Tea

Dang. I thought I was early. Practically the whole class is here already, heads bowed over their work. I look at the clock. It’s only ten to. Aha. All these ladies (and one gentlemen) have lots of beading to do. I’m taking part in a moccasin-making class. Shelby Blackjack shares her skills with easygoing encouragement. …

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Artrepreneur: Bike Shop Makes Room for ‘The Gritty Gallery’

There’s a new gallery in town … but only for a little while. Five artists will display their artwork in Philippe’s Bicycle Repair during the three weeks leading up to Christmas. Photographer Mario Villeneuve, painter Nicole Bauberger (ahem, me), assemblage artist Scott Price and metal sculptors Katherine Alexander and Philippe LeBlond met in LeBlond’s bike …

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Artrepreneur: Hunter, Dentist, Artist, Priest

Beautiful portraits of the people and dogs of Colville Lake, NWT, encircle the Yukon Arts Centre Community Gallery. Arctic Journal was put together by Deb Jutra in honour of Bern Will Brown. Jutra knew the artist as Father Brown, her Catholic priest when growing up in Uranium City, Saskatchewan. Brown arrived in the Arctic in …

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Artrepreneur: A Retreat Opens Its Doors Wider Still

The Ted Harrison Artist Retreat hopes more artists and arts organizations can benefit from the gorgeous space it has to offer. To that end, it has changed its programming policy a little. Robin Armour, a photographer recently retired from YTG, has been involved in the program since its inception when Ted Harrison donated the land …

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Yukoner President of National Arts Organization

Whitehorse’s own Mario Villeneuve has just been elected president of Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens (CARFAC), Canada’s national association of professional visual and media artists. It’s the first time a Northerner has held the high-profile position. CARFAC is legally appointed to negotiate with national organizations on behalf of all visual artists in Canada …

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Drums Supporting the Solo Voice

When you step into the Solo Show Room at the Copper Moon Gallery, you’re greeted with a sense of rhythm. A row of women raise their hands in thanksgiving. Painted images of masks present a raven from different angles. Four drums repeat themselves across a canvas. Repetition and groups of similar items create the rhythm. …

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Artrepreneur: Art Investigates Illustration

Cathleen Collins has taken some of the strategies used in illustration and has pushed them through acrylic paint to create a show that’s well worth seeing. Exploring Illustration at the Chocolate Claim is Collins’ first show. The young artist has been working for the summer at Arts Underground. She’ll go back to school in the …

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Artrepreneur: What’s Made and What’s Not, in Art

“What’s that thing on the dike?” “It’s art!” “I thought it was an accident …” … comments from the public overheard about Brandon Vickerd’s Northern Satellite installed in the lawn in front of the dike in Dawson City. The Natural and the Manufactured is a series of artist talks, lectures and art installations, in its …

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Sharing the Wealth, Creatively

Amber Walker feels grateful for her lot in life: her husband supports her financially so she can pursue her interests as a visual artist and playwright. Over the past year, in Whitehorse, she has had many opportunities to pursue her artistic interests. David Skelton of Nakai Theatre is helping her as she develops her play. …

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Mac Underground

Marlene Collins wants Arts Underground to be more than a place for artists to show their art or to take or teach a course. She wants artists to spend time there. She hopes to do this by providing more services. Arts Underground proponents seek to support artists, to provide fertile soil for them to grow …

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Artrepreneur: A Visual Feast … and Then Some

Arts Underground was packed on Nov. 20. Not only was the Yukon Art Society Christmas show opening, but Yukon Women in Music was holding a fundraising auction there, the same night. Local artists and businesses had decorated birdhouses. Northerm Windows adorned a birdhouse with glass mosaic and frosted mirrored walls. Kim Beggs’ surreal and whimsical …

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Artrepreneur: From Illustrations to Intrigue

Original black-and-white illustrations for The Midnight-Blue Marble animate the maroon walls of Baked Café for the month of December. A grid of 15 pieces of illustration board, each about 12 by 16 inches, fills the larger wall between the street door, the one that is currently closed during construction and cold weather, and the gelato …

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Artrepreneur: My Big Backyard from the Bradens’ Backyard

BY NICOLE BAUBERGER Yellowknife needs more showing space for emerging artists. High rents in that city make the cost of wall space very high. But that hasn’t stopped Rae Braden. It’s the Circle Square Mall, Yellowknife, the last Friday night in November. Braden has turned one of the empty stores into a gallery to present …

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Artrepreneur: For the Young at ‘Art

There’s a gorgeous new gallery in town. You climb the stairs at the back of Triple J’s Music’s new location, past a potter’s wheel, past walls lovingly embellished with graffiti, past a purple bicycle with a purple-patterned velvet banana seat. Then you come to the entrance of Gallery 22. Professional-quality vinyl lettering lists the artists …

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Artrepreneur: From the Arts: Multivitamin Colour

Lara Melnik, queen of craft fairs and cafés, has created an intricate and colourful show of work in polymer clay at the Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery. If February seems black and white and grey to you, Polychrome could be the antidote. The title wall reflects Melnik’s well-known status in the community. Her name …

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Outside the Lines

Brushy hard edges, soft edges of colour flowing into one another; bold graphite squiggles, brushed plonks of colour that hover above the rest in their chromatic intensity. I love to write about art. I love to stand before the piece and have the experience, then try to put that into words. My intent is to …

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Painter in the Ditch

I’m painting the road. When I tell people that, they figure I’m painting the yellow line some different colour. What I’m actually doing is stopping every 50 kilometres on the drive from Edmonton to Whitehorse and painting a picture of the road and the landscape it’s travelling through. I paint it where it curves right …

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Artrepreneur: On the Road with Cass Collins

Cass Collins’ new show at the Chocolate Claim draws from a common Yukon experience: the drive up or down the Alaska Highway, between here and Outside. The show includes images of bison, bighorn sheep and a club sandwich with fries. It’s good to see diner meals juxtaposed with the wildlife. They add a human element …

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Artrepreneur: Watching the edges

Judy Matechuk’s show Through These Eyes succeeds best where she works deliberately with edges. On the walls at Arts Underground you will find textile pieces made of glass laid over pieced-together fabric landscapes which may be stitched or paint-altered. Sometimes photographs are digitally printed onto the fabric to create a background landscape, instead of piecing …

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Clay and Wonder

Sandra Grace Storey’s show, small changes, grows out of a love of clay and myth. All but one of the pieces mount on the wall. The clear white gallery walls give them the context to leap or stand with strong presence. Storey’s faces and animals have always had a quality of aliveness. I think her …

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Artrepreneur: Spruce Bog in the Summer

One of Whitehorse’s favourite Christmas craft fairs has reproduced. About 40 different craft makers, artists, authors and artisans will showcase their work at the Yukon Crafts Society’s Artisans’ Market Gift Shop this summer. The Yukon Crafts Society is best known for producing the Spruce Bog Christmas craft sale. The society has turned the old Trapper’s …

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Artrepreneur: An Uneasy Wonderland

Valerie Salez gives voice to her mixed feelings about beauty in Fourth Nature up at the Yukon Arts Centre. Italian Renaissance grottoes inspired this show. Salez was fascinated by those layered spaces. One generation of art patrons commissioned artists to create “sculptures, murals and architectural friezes” in caves as part of elaborate and controlled gardens. …

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[email protected]’s New Home

Saws spin, putting walls in at 200-120 Industrial Road, the new home of the Yukon [email protected] ([email protected]) Cooperative. The new windows frame scenes of the Takhini bluffs. You can catch sight of the Yukon Arts Centre in the distance. Up a newly rebuilt set of stairs, beside Twisted Stitches Embroidery shop, the gallery is under construction. …

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Artrepreneur: Partially Buried in Spring-Sprouting Dawson

Gold Show weekend in Dawson City. The town teems with things to do, businesses starting up for the busy tourist season and fresh young faces just come north to staff that season. Runners compete in the Henry Gulch 5 K run and win gold nuggets. Bombay Peggy’s hums after the Odd Fellows Ballroom empties of …

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A Trip into Canadian Contemporary Art Scene

Canadian contemporary artists found a wider audience in Massachusetts last spring. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) presents more than 60 Canadian artists, including three artists from the Yukon, until April 2013. Oh, Canada, billed as “the largest survey of contemporary Canadian Art ever produced outside Canada,” offers the viewer an adventure. If …

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Artrepreneur: Vastly Entertaining

Cruelty makes good comedy. There’s something fascinating and often hilarious about watching one character tear into another. And as the Song of Songs warns us, jealousy is as cruel as the grave. The Guild/Sour Bride co-production of David Mamet’s Boston Marriage brought the opening night audience to helpless laughter. I sat in the first row …

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Artrepreneur: Visit Another North

Karine Genest offers us a view of Churchill, Manitoba during the polar bear migration season during her show Un Autre Nord: Les Ours Polaires de Churchill, at the Centre de la Francophonie on Strickland Street. A selection of digital photographs turns a lens on the largest, whitest and furriest temporary residents of that community on …

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Artrepreneur: Each word sings

What’s in a word? In the hands of Peter Jickling and his friends, each word has its own voice. You can listen to those voices at the Word Project: A Treatise on Resonant Philosophy at the Old Fire Hall May 14-20. “Only” is spelled with small letters, and faint swishy marks around it. It gave …

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Birds in wrench

Artrepreneur: Birds in Wrenches, Birds in Landscape

Paul Baker and Rosemary Piper share the solo show room at the Yukon Artists @ Work ([email protected]) co-operative gallery this month. Piper’s framed watercolours line the walls. To left and right, many smaller paintings make a more intimate installation. On the back wall, where you get a longer sight line, midsize works cluster. The invitation …

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Artrepreneur: Yukon Summer Art Trade

So far, the Yukon’s art market seems somewhat insulated from the economic uncertainties that are undermining art sales outside the territory. I asked four arts-related businesses – two in Whitehorse and two in Dawson City – how this summer’s tourist trade went for them. Delwyn Klassen, who works at the Yukon Gallery on 2nd Avenue …

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Artrepreneur: Pants on Fire: Sam McGee and the Illusive North North

North has never been true, exactly. We know that. It’s a relative kind of thing. Even if you look at a compass, you have to correct for the fact that Earth’s magnetic pole resides a bit over from the North Pole itself. This adjustment becomes more important the farther north you go. Santa Claus lives …

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Showing Commercially Outside

As the summer high season for art sales slips away, artists might find themselves thinking about showing in cities outside the Yukon, where the high season for art sales occurs in the fall and winter. It sounds like a no-brainer. It’s an accepted fact that the Yukon art market must be small because our population …

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A Visual Voice

Wendy Whitemore has lived alone on the land in Ontario for 10 years before embarking on about 10 years of solo travel. During those travels she explored Canada’s North, ranging over the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Being alone suits Whitemore: “I don’t feel alone when I’m on the Dempster. I feel totally connected to the …

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Artrepreneur: Solo Shows in a Cooperative Environment

Way in the farthest back room at the Yukon Artists @ Work Gallery, a series of shows has been planned to span the next two years. The back sun room of the gallery posed problems for hanging artwork: “It was all glass and tin,” explains the group’s founding chair and current gallery manager, Harreson Tanner. …

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