Cher Yukon,

Comment ca va?

It is amazing how many people from the Yukon that Grant and I have seen or met while living here in Montréal. We have had friends stay with us in our little flat; we have met Yukon co-workers for coffee; I have bumped into an ex-dance student at physio and we have had supper dates with our daughter’s friends.

It’s been great seeing familiar faces in the big city.

When Darrell told me Nicole Bauberger was going to be in town, in February, for her art exhibit, Listening to the Mountain, and that we should connect while she was here, I thought, What a great idea.

I don’t really know Nicole that well. Of course, I know of her work in the Yukon and have worked with her at MAD, but felt a little shy setting up a meeting.

Time slipped on by and, with all the good intentions of setting up a rendezvous, I missed Nicole while she was visiting with her art show. I did, however, go to her exhibit.

Grant and I, along with my daughter Chelsea, who is visiting on her spring break, went to the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery this week where Nicole’s work is showing.

As I took in Nicole’s wonderful creations, I began wondering why she chose to exhibit her work here, in Montréal, and asked myself these questions: Is she a Montréaler, like I am? Did she study at Concordia, like I did? Is she a kindred spirit who has found her home and love in the Yukon?

Well, after having seen Nicole’s art exhibit, I read the bio on her website (www.nicolebauberger.com) and, as it turns out, we have the same answers to two of these questions.

Yes, Nicole studied for a short time at Concordia. Yes, she has found her home and love in the Yukon. But, while I know she grew up in Peterborough, Ontario, I don’t know exactly where she was born. That doesn’t really matter in any way when it comes to creative, thought-provoking and original artwork.

This show will be presented at the Yukon Arts Centre this summer and I don’t want to be a spoiler, so I won’t talk too much about it except to say that it’s a must-see for any Yukoner or art aficionado.

Listening to the Mountain is the main theme. At the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, paintings of three streets leading to Montréal’s Mount Royal introduce the exhibit, followed by a high-ceilinged room adorned with paintings and sketches of the Tombstone Mountains in the Yukon.

Needless to say, as one moves from Nicole’s Mount Royal intro, to her Tombstone Mountain panoramas, one experiences a breathtaking contrast of size and scope.

I was drawn to both of these displays in a tug-of-war type of way as I now consider the Yukon my home, even though Montréal is my birthplace and where I am currently living.

Grant was particularly drawn to the painting of Peel Street as that is the street that leads up to the McGill Faculty of Education where he has been studying all winter.

When I looked at the paintings, I could feel the emotions expressed in both geographical settings.

Another part of the exhibit was 100 Dresses. This collection of playful, hand-sized paintings crosses over into both territories as some of the dresses were painted in the Yukon while others have a decidedly urban, Montréal theme.

There were even some little dresses painted by other artists who had participated in “dress-making” workshops lead by Nicole at the Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery.

In summary, we were very happy we went to Nicole’s exhibit. I encourage you to take it in when it comes home to the Yukon. Hmm, I might even go again. If the painting of Le Mont Royal vu de la rue Peel is ever up for sale, I will be first to bid on it.

Until next time, everyone.

Your friend,

Dale