I spoke with artist Zea Morvitz about her body of work exhibited in the Public Gallery, titled ‘The Alchemy of Collaboration’ and on display at the Yukon Arts Centre until February 21, 2015. This new exhibition includes two large paintings on Fiberglas, eighteen inkjet prints on handmade paper and a series of colourful handmade postcards exchanged between Morvitz and Joyce Majiski, who is exhibiting in the adjacent space.

Morvitz is an accomplished artist, with a Masters of Painting from the University of California, Berkeley, and an international exhibition history. When not working in the studio, she works as Curator and Administrator at Gallery Route One in Point Reyes Station, California.


       

Sublimatio, (2013) Front and Back

 

During the 1990s, Morvitz was a member of a collaborative group of artists calling themselves ‘Miz-Maze Theatre’. The group was collectively inspired to use alchemical images after seeing a book called ‘Alchemy, the Secret Art’. At this time Morvitz created the two paintings included in the exhibition, and continued to learn about the ancient practice of alchemy, which inspired her later artwork.

The exhibition of postcards by Zea Morvitz and Joyce Majiski

 


The word ‘synchronicity’ is meaningful to Morvitz- it recalls the seamless exchange of handmade postcards between herself and her friend and fellow artist Joyce Majiski, sent every Friday at 3pm, travelling to and from Inverness, California and Whitehorse, Yukon and all of the hundreds arriving intact. The current exhibition showcases the third year-long postcard exchange between the artists, and the second collection of postcards to be exhibited at the Yukon Arts Centre.


A similar collaborative project between the two artists was Canyon Flow (2013), based on Miles Canyon. This illustration fills two 17ft long scrolls, created with graphite pencil and watercolour, and was completed by the simultaneous collaboration of both artists. This project involved cross-border participation, as the artists travelled between Inverness, California, where the studio of Morvitz is located (full on chaos, according to Morvitz), to Majiski’s studio in Whitehorse, Yukon (well organized) to complete the work.  It was a fun project, one during which the artists shared materials like paint brushes and pencils, blasted music and ‘just wailed’ on the artwork. First, the artists went on a trip to Miles Canyon to explore and photograph the site, and then worked on the scrolls in both studios, laying them on the ground and across the wall. The final product is an intricate blend of both artists’ signature styles, evident again in the collection of postcards.


‘The Alchemy of Collaboration’ is the first major showing of Morvitz’s artwork here in Canada, and her multiple collaborative projects with Majiski.


Canyon Flow, (2013) Graphite and Watercolour on Paper

To learn more about Morvitz’s work, please visit her personal artist website at www.zeamorvitz.com