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Artwork Wednesday: Landon Mackenzie

Artwork Wednesday: Landon Mackenzie

The Yukon Arts Centre would like to thank everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of Jim Robb’s Yukon and Locate: YAC Collection. The large turnout was a great testament to our community’s support and we could not be more grateful. In honour of the exciting showcase, we will be featuring a different artwork each Wednesday on the YAC Blog. What better way to begin than Cluny II: An Anniversary of a Yukon Summer Solstice the featured work on Locate exhibition posters, by Landon Mackenzie. This work is a great example of what the YAC permanent collection has to offer in terms of diversity and Canadian art.

Mackenzie was a regular summer resident the Yukon from 1977- 1983, her early work reflects the sum of her northern experience while living in wall tents and exploring areas from Keno City to Beaufort Sea. With the territory as her muse, Mackenzie depicts the harmonious relationship between the theme of local wildlife and motherhood throughout her Cluny series. The series combines her northern inspiration with the name of her first child, Cluny. It was in the Yukon that Mackenzie first learnt she was pregnant and began to confront the notion of becoming a mother.

Amongst bold brushwork, animal motifs are abstracted in a primitive style that compliments the raw colour palette of earthy tones found throughout this piece. The large dark central figure depicts a mother with her crescent back encompassing her feeding young. Cluny II is described as a departure piece that deals with the trauma of labour and new motherhood, using the vocabulary of northern creatures. In addition, Mackenzie chooses to portray solstice through a large golden planetary form that floats amidst a vibrant midnight summer sky that is familiar in the Yukon. The combination of which is very evocative, both in artistry and in magnitude. Cluny II measures 7 x 14 ft. in size, submerging its viewer in Mackenzie’s powerful composition. While the artist had stretched smaller canvases beforehand, in the weeks following the birth of her first child,  Mackenzie decided the size was not large enough to adequately express her experiences and thus used a doubled canvas.

Landon Mackenzie is currently based out of British Columbia, where she teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.  Mackenzie pursued her undergraduate degree at NSCAD (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and masters at Concordia (Montreal, Quebec).

Gallery Intern Gabriella stands next to Cluny II: An Anniversary of a Yukon Summer Solstice the large-scale work of Landon Mackenzie.


Landon Mackenzie
Cluny II: An Anniversary of a Yukon Summer Solstice, 1983
Acrylic on canvas

Behind-the-Scenes: Lianne Maitland

Behind-the-Scenes: Lianne Maitland

Lianne Maitland moved to the Yukon a year ago this month! Part of the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals program, Lianne worked with our gallery team on a number of projects. Without doubt, her biggest impact was the planning of Culture Days in the Yukon where she put her amazing organizational skills to use. While she finished at YAC last fall, we are pleased to say she stayed in the Yukon as the Program Administrator at Arts Underground and is an active board member of Yukon Comic Culture Society which is presenting YukomiCon!


From the Canadian Museums Association Blog:

Each year, the RBC Museum Internship for Emerging Professionals program offers an enhanced learning experience for emerging museum professionals. For a period of four to six months, interns benefit from practical skills development in a professional and supervised setting. The internships take place in museums or art galleries located in the city where the CMA National Conference is to be hosted each year. This means that both 2013 interns had the rare opportunity to work in Whitehorse, Yukon! We’ve asked last year’s interns to answer some questions about their experiences.

In part 1 of 2 in this blog post series, Lianne Maitland, a recent graduate of the Masters of Museums Studies program at the University of Toronto, provides a glimpse into her life as an intern:

What did your RBC internship consist of?
My position was Gallery Outreach Intern at the Yukon Arts Centre (YAC) Public Art Gallery, in which I worked with staff and community partners to manage art programs and community collaborations. I also assisted with collection management and administrative tasks. Since the Gallery team is small, I did a bit of everything! My main project, however, was coordinating Culture Days and Doors Open alongside other YAC staff and the Yukon Historical and Museums Association.

What was your favourite aspect of the internship?
Getting to know the arts community of Yukon. There is something special about Yukon that draws artists from all over Canada and beyond, which is probably why when I first arrived in Whitehorse it seemed like every second person I met was an artist (even those I met outside of work). What's particularly striking about the local arts community is how varied it is, and how engaged it is with the community as a whole. Working at YAC meant that I contributed to that engagement, and of course got to be right in the middle of it all.

Read the rest of Lianne's interview here

Photo: Lianne Maitland with the original Ted Harrison illustrations for The Shooting of Dan McGrew and The Cremation of Sam McGee, which are part of the Yukon Arts Centre's Permanent Collection. (Photo credit: Yukon Arts Centre)

Yukon Arts Audience Awards Poll is Now Open: First Annual YAA Awards!

Yukon Arts Audience Awards Poll is Now Open: First Annual YAA Awards!

We're trying something new at the Yukon Arts Centre. There are so many amazing arts and culture events in the Yukon and we want to celebrate! The YAA Awards is a community-generated online poll where anyone can vote for their favourite arts events and festivals in the Yukon.

Pick your favourite events and we'll count up the votes and announce the top three of each category on Thursday, May 29, 2014. The awards will recognize the best arts events of each community.
There were 56 submissions by fans, presenters and artists from all over the Yukon.

What we're most excited about this process:

All the votes you make and all the opinions you share are conversation starters. They get people to think about all the great things the Yukon has to offer. Let’s keep the conversations flowing about these meaningful events and celebrate the cultural richness of our communities

You can vote below and share this link with your friends

You'll have until May 26th to submit your vote!

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

Help Wanted: Programming & Production Assistant

Help Wanted: Programming & Production Assistant


The Yukon Arts Centre is a not for profit charitable organization that is dedicated to the development of the arts as an important cultural, social and economic force in the Yukon.  We intend to be a model for the development of the arts in the north and a stimulus for a vibrant and creative Territory.

We are seeking a like-minded team player who can help us achieve our goals: an enthusiastic, innovative but precise individual who will assume a one year term position as Programming and Production Assistant.

Reporting to the Artistic Director, the Programming and Production Assistant provides support to the Artistic Director, Community Programming Director, Marketing and Development Director and the Technical Director.  General Duties include (but are not limited to):
• Assist the Artistic Director in the selection and engagement of artists
• Presentation coordination
• Assist the Community Programming Director and Artistic Director in maximizing the impact of visiting artists on the community.
• Ensure timely and effective internal communications
• Assist in the preparation of grant applications and reports
• Assist in marketing YAC presentations

The Programming and Production Assistant acts as liaison between the Programming team and the rest of the organization.  Regular communication with staff and accurate, up to date record keeping and report generation are key functions of this position.

Applicants should have a minimum college diploma or university degree in theatre production or management (or equivalent experience); a high level of competency in Microsoft Office. Fluency in English, written and spoken is required. French is an asset but not required.

Detailed position description available upon request.
To apply, please forward your resume in confidence to:
Al Cushing
Yukon Arts Centre
or by mail to
Box 16
Whitehorse, YT
Y1A 5X9

Deadline for application: 12 May 2014

We thank all interested applicants in advance, but will only be contacting those selected for an interview.