BY JODI PROCTOR

The community hall of the Centre de la francophonie has been transformed with a new set of artistic creations for an exhibition presented by Les EssentiElles, in collaboration with the cultural sector of Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY).

From ceramic masks to watercolour paintings and mounted text, a variety of works by local Francophone artists have transformed the space to honour the theme Women in Action.

“We chose the theme Women in Action because women have traditionally been viewed as ‘passive’ in our society, only becoming ‘active’ when they enter into the world of financially rewarded work.

“We need to change that and to honour the ways in which women in our communities have always been active – through volunteer work, parenting and all the traditionally undervalued causes they have championed.

“We need to put the message out there that women are active in our community and that their contribution is important,” says Julie Ménard, the coordinator of Les EssentiElles. However, the message may not be that direct when it appears in the artwork, explains Ménard with a smile.

“The exposition has both realistic and surreal art pieces, challenging the viewer to use their imagination to find the meaning within the different images.”

This exhibition is the third in an annual local series called The Famous|Les Femmeuses, inspired by a series of exhibitions, in Montréal, under the same name, which began in 1986. The enormously successful Québecois versions of the exhibition brought together professional female artists who used their talents to raise funds for shelters for women and children fleeing abusive situations.

The exhibition in Whitehorse is designed to raise awareness, but not money. The artwork is for sale by the artist, and the attendance is free of charge.

Women in Action will be on display in the Community room of the Centre de la francophonie, 302 Strickland St., until April 30. The Gallery is open every Friday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

This column is courtesy of the cultural sector of the AFY, which holds new art exhibitions every two months. It promotes new francophone artists by offering to display their art for two months with an exhibit opening. If you are a francophone or a Francophile and would like to book an exhibition, call 668-2663, ext 221.