Yukon Arts Society & Arts Underground

Arts Underground is a community space dedicated to the exploration, teaching and presentation of visual arts and heritage through a partnership between the Yukon Art Society (YAS),

Wanna see my art on the cover

On this year’s cover of NorthwesTel’s 2018/19 phone directory is Gabrielle Watts’ sensational painting, Mount Lorne From Above.

The whole fish tale

Many people wouldn’t be surprised to hear that long-time Yukoner Josée Carbonneau is a passionate fisher. Like many northerners, Carbonneau has an affinity for fishing. It’s what she does with the fish that leaves people awestruck. Long after her fly fishing flies have been tied, and after her hip waders have dried, Carbonneau takes the …

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Geek Get-Together

If you think Captain America’s corny and overrated, you’re in good company – with the likes of Thor, Spider-Man, and Nick Fury. They’re just three of the heroes who will spend a night laying burns on the Captain at a “roast” during YukomiCon this year. The Roast, which takes place on Saturday, August 26 at …

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Changing Direction

John Stetch was already part of the New York City jazz scene when he first played in front of classical pianist and teacher Burton Hatheway in Fairfield, Connecticut back in 1993. Hatheway, who is still teaching at the age of 87, didn’t mince words. “Do you want to be serious?” Stetch recalls the maestro asking. …

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A Marathon of Creative Fun

On October 1, the Yukon Comic Culture Society will invite Yukoners of all ages and experience to leave their solitary art holes and create comics alongside one another for 12 straight hours. If you’ve heard of the Nakai 24-Hour Playwriting Competition or the 48-Hour Film Challenge in Dawson City and Whitehorse, you’re familiar with the …

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Recognizing Amazing Art

Our community will soon welcome an expected 100+ Indigenous curators, artists, and academics participating in the first northern gathering of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective. The collective is a national service organization of Indigenous curators and artists from across this land now known as Canada. The collective was created in response to the dominating non-native curatorial …

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A Strong Indigenous Female Presence at Arts Underground

Two new exhibitions curated by Jennifer Bowen Allen, of the Dene Nation, opened Sept. 2 at Arts Underground. In the Focus Gallery, a group show called Hands of Time: Bush Women on the Land honours the way that women who live on the land have supported cultural continuity by maintaining their traditional practices. In the …

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Hands-On Haute Couture in the Junction

From beading to working with hide and hair, “Textile and fashion endeavours are followed by a huge number of locals,” says Heiko Hähnsen. He’s the director of the Junction Arts and Music, or JAM, an organization that “nurtures the arts”, according to its website, and is hosting Haines Junction’s first Hands-On Craft Weekend. Given that …

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CypherFest

For the sixth year in a row, Breakdancing Yukon Society (BYS) is inviting professional and aspiring dancers from across Canada for a weekend of performances, dance battles and workshops. This year they are bringing up two renowned dance groups to the Yukon for the festival: OURO Collective and Tentacle Tribe. OURO is a dance collective …

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Bright Colours, Divergent Stories

Two brightly coloured shows of paintings adorn the walls of Arts Underground. While they share intense palettes, their worldviews contrast profoundly. The Things You Know by Whitehorse artist Heather Von Steinhagen offers a surreal, disturbing outlook, while Leaps and Bounds by Marsh Lake artist Ferryn Nowatzki depicts a more light-hearted vision. Dystopia reigns Von Steinhagen’s …

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Space Art

When the detection of gravitational waves was announced earlier this month, the space community rejoiced. They cried out, “Einstein was right!” and “This changes everything we know about space.” For me, this announcement had the resonance of a hockey score between two teams I didn’t know existed. Space isn’t my thing. It doesn’t excite me. …

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Holding Images in Our Mind

In his most recent show, Jesse Devost investigates how we gather and hold images in our mind. Optic Nerve, showing at Arts Underground until Nov. 28, explores how the optic nerve continuously captures images and transmits them to the brain, regardless of whether the brain can handle them. His art employs a variety of mediums, …

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The Power of Limitation

It was pretty impressive what MacGyver could come up with when faced with a problem, some string, a piece of gum, the gum wrapper, and a battery. That Canadian television show from the 1980s was predicated on the idea that when one finds oneself in a pickle, one can dip into a deep well of …

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A growing passion

“People ask me, ‘how long have you been an artist?’, and it’s been since I was really young. It’s always been a big thing of mine,” Norm Matechuk says with a laugh. “Eventually it came back to wood turning, but I always did art of some sort, like metal sculpting.” With his cap and jacket …

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Yukon Past and Present

Bold strokes of the present, intriguing photographs of the past: two new shows at Arts Underground offer you the Yukon in stereo. Simon Gilpin displays After the Fire at Arts Underground until Feb. 23, and The Andover-Harvard Yukon Expedition, 1948, which will remain in place until early April. After the Fire Gilpin, who moved to …

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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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Expansive Mark-making and Education

What if a gallery contains only a few works, with room to breathe between them? Whitehorse artist Joyce Majiski’s new shows at Arts Underground offer a refreshing change from the busy salon-style hangings that characterizes many art presentations in the Yukon. Majiski offers two shows in the basement gallery until January 29; visit Gros Morne …

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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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A Man of Many Materials REVIEW

Mark Preston’s show at Arts Underground is titled with his name, then subtitled with a list of materials. To Wood Stone Metal Cloth Sculpture Jewelry Painting could be added “paper, drawing and a kind of printmaking”. The show acts as a kind of portfolio of Preston’s various kinds of work. It includes two portfolios of …

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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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Mr. Music

This is day one of Year 15,” announced Steve Slade, as he opened the Yukon Arts Society’s first Arts in the Park lunchtime show of the summer last Tuesday. Despite the patchy sunlight, the show was well-attended by everyone from prepared regulars with lunch bags, chairs and blankets to passers-by wandering through, attracted by the …

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All That Glitters

Flecks of gold sparkle in a miniature painting; jewelry made with a gem named ‘fire citrine’ creates a pool of golden light; the graceful swoops of porcelain pottery are delicately rimmed in gold. The Yukon Arts Society’s Au, The Gold Show is a composite of mediums—sculpture, oil paintings, collage, textiles, jewelry—linked by one common element: …

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Looking In 3 Directions

Walking into Arts Underground these days, an impression of bright colours swirls around you. White, tan and black play their parts, but many solid areas of bright colour in all the artists’ work tie the show together. Alice Park-Spurr, Jane Isakson and Marlene Collins have teamed up to create a show called Transformations. The first …

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Transparency Theory

The Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA) in Dawson City is going on the road. Students and faculty will arrive in Whitehorse next week to bring a collaborative installation exhibit to Arts Underground. For the first time since the school’s establishment in 2007, Arts Underground is hosting the annual student gallery show. The students arranged …

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The Hougens present Ted Harrison

It is an impressive display of Ted Harrison’s Yukon. Wide swaths of bold colours of everyday life in a territory that is anything but “everyday”. “Except the ones with the whales,” says Rolf Hougen dryly. “There are no whales in the Yukon.” These are all posters that belong to he and his wife, Marg. Until …

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