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Artwork Wednesday: Bev Thomas

Artwork Wednesday: Bev Thomas

In honour of fibre art and World Wide Knit in Public Day, this Artwork Wednesday will be dedicated to the talented work of Bev Thomas, currently on display with the Jim Robb’s Yukon exhibition. Both Bev and her husband Doug are avid supporters and dear friends of Jim’s, and have played a great role in contributing to the current exhibition. As homage to Jim’s Strait’s Auction House piece, Bev replicated the artist’s composition through the craft of cross stich.

Jim Robb, Strait's Auction House, 2007

Jim first illustrated in 1961, Strait’s Auction House in Dawson City is a favourite subject for Jim as he depicted it many time throughout his career.  The painting on display in the exhibition was completed in 2007, and is notably one of the artist’s favourite works, currently on loan from Doug and Bev Thomas. This slanted and deteriorated structure is a common sight in Dawson, where permafrost is often the demise of many older foundations. In this piece, crisp yellow leaves of the birch trees contrast the rusted background of the auction house emphasizing nature’s reclaim on the weathered building. Consequently, the dilapidated look of Strait’s compliments Jim’s signature illustration style, which he calls his ‘exaggerated truth’ a common theme throughout the artist’s dedicated journey in conserving and illustrating the rich Yukon history.

Strait’s Auction House was constructed in 1901 and was named after Ebenezer S. Strait who originally owned half the land the structure was built upon. Strait’s auction house was at one time Dawson City’s only second hand store, which meant for a lucrative trade.  The transient population meant business from various demographics, Strait’s legendary signage boasted: “Groceries, guns, ammunition, hardware, tobacco, furniture, crockery, clothing and tents.” Strait left Dawson City mysteriously and abandoned the auction house still stocked with all his belongings.

Customized frame for Bev's cross-stich built by Doug Thomas, featuring small-scale reproduction of Strait's Auction House and cabin illustration by Jim Robb


If you would like to attend Whitehorse’s World Wide Knit in Public Day, it is being hosted by the Itsy Bitsy Yarn Store and Yarn Bomb Yukon on Wednesday June 18 from 5:30 – 6:30 on the Waterfront Wharf.  Free knitting lessons, draws and more!

Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery Opening: Featured Features

Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery Opening: Featured Features

At long last, we have reached the culmination of artist Hannah Jickling's collaboration with the Yukon Orienteering Association - the opening of the Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery exhibition "FEATURED FEATURES: Landscape artworks selected by Yukon Orienteers," which showcases artworks from both the Yukon Arts Centre and Yukon Permanent Art Collections that have been selected and interpreted by thirteen members of the Yukon Orienteering Association. The collaboration began as part of the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery exhibition "Traversing Yukon Landscapes," curated by Gallery Directory Mary Bradshaw, and previously offered a series of free public lectures and demonstrations on the topics of topography and image-making, mapping and movement, and landscape and navigation, with perspectives from the world of orienteering and the world of art. 

With the aid of a map and compass, orienteering involves navigating one’s way between points of terrain in search of specified topographical features. It is one of very few sports that rely on the comprehension of a complex visual language.  Like art, it uses colours, symbols and patterns.  Both orienteers and artists practice navigating, rendering and interpreting the natural landscape, employing constant shifts between two and three-dimensional perspectives. 

What can artists and orienteers learn from each other and what can the conventions of each discipline offer the other?  What if orienteering could be used as a system for navigating art?


Thursday, August 29, 2013
5:30 - 8:30pm

Artist talk by Hannah Jickling begins at 6:00 pm sharp. Refreshments will be served.


Tuesday to Friday: 10 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 12 pm to 5 pm
Closed Sunday-Monday
Open for theatre performances.

The Yukon Electrical Youth Gallery is presented by Yukon Electrical, an ATCO Company.

Risky Business: Inside Look at how Performing Arts directors choose what you see

Risky Business: Inside Look at how Performing Arts directors choose what you see

If you've ever wanted to know the kind of vision that goes into developing a festival or a performing arts season--now is the time for you to find out?  How DO these few people decide WHICH shows will sell in the Yukon?  What helps make their decisions?  Do they hand out surveys asking YOU questions?  Or do they have an insight to Whitehorse patrons that we don't know?  Is it a Crystal Ball?  Or is it a lot of planning and  designing that goes into making these decisions?

When putting together a major festival like Frostbite, or ALFF, or Pivot---is it just a combination of artist availability and price? 

How would you decide which music acts might be popular in the Yukon? 

Is Taste shared?

Can one person KNOW what YOU might like? 

Well, someone has to make those choices in organizations.  You have to have someone(s) in every performing arts organization that makes the kind of fortune-telling guesses that create a successful season.  How do they do it?  What are they thinking about when they decide?  Are they trying to mold your preferences, or are they molded BY your preferences? 

Get inside the minds of four Artistic Directors from Nakai, Yukon Arts Centre, Frostbite, Yukon Film Society and Gwaandak Theatre (yes, four people, five organizations).  Find out how they make choices. Remember, all five are non-profit organizations that exist on grants as well as on ticket sales, aiming to please granting agencies, boards as well as patrons. 

Maybe you'd like to be an Artistic Director someday.  Maybe you just want to know who's to credit for bringing in a show you LOVED (or why they brought one you HATED).  Maybe you just want to know WHAT THEY'RE THINKING.

The Mind of the Artistic Director.  It is a fascinating place.  Starring Eric Epstein, David Skelton, Patti Flather and Andy Connors--moderated by Miche Genest.

For this panel discussion, the Artistic Directors may reveal their tips, their tricks, their thoughts, their fears, their best and worst moments, and how complicated it all is choosing what comes to the Yukon.

Come join us!  Bring questions!  Find out HOW IT ALL WORKS (or doesn't).... WEDNESDAY, MARCH 6, 5:30pm, OLD FIRE HALL.

Jay White, Chilkoot Trail Artist in Residence coming to OFH

Jay White, Chilkoot Trail Artist in Residence coming to OFH

This is going to be great!  Animator, Jay White, went over the Chilkoot Trail as part of the Chilkoot Trail Artist-in-Residence!  He just got back!!
Check out his Talk about his experience, and some AWESOME art, at the Old Fire Hall, 5pm, THURS, Aug 16.  Should be a great time!

Jay White likes to bring his imagination
to life through oil and watercolour paintings, animated
short films, and through interdisciplinary collaboration
with other artists.

His current animated short film, The Perfect Detonator,
premiered at the St. Louis International Film Festival, and
is now showing in festivals across the world.

THE CHILKOOT TRAIL ARTIST-in-RESIDENCE is a collaborative creation from Parks Canada, the US National Park Service, the Skagway Arts Council, and the Yukon Arts Centre!

Two countries,
two arts groups,
two park services,
two artists

---one big, long, exhausting, beautiful trail between them!

What is Performance Art? - Lori Blondeau knows

What is Performance Art? - Lori Blondeau knows

The Lonely Surfer Squaw (1997-)

Curious about performance art? Want to add performance to your art practice? Stop by the Old Fire Hall Sunday evening, Feb 12, 7pm, for a talk on performance art by Lori Blondeau.   Lori will give a talk on how she uses performance art in her practice and show images and video of her past work. 

Check out the Canadian Art  article:  Scandalous Personas, Difficult Knowledge, Restless Images - The work of Lori Blondeau  by Lynne Bell

Artist Statement  

The images of the Indian Princess and Squaw have had a significant impact on societies’ perception of Indian women and serve as inspirations for most of my work. Surprisingly, we still see popularized images of the Indian Princess being created by both native and non-native people. You can find these products being sold in Indian Museums and souvenir shops across North America. These are testament to the general public’s idealized perception of beautiful Native women as being exotic and hard to find – virtually non-existent. The other side of the Indian Princess is, of course, the squaw – another of societies’ iconic scapegoats meant to desensitize both the general public’s view of Indian women (their political, historical and social issues as well), and the self perception among Native women themselves.
My work explores the influence of popular media and culture (contemporary and historical) on Aboriginal self-identity, self-image, and self-definition. I am currently exploring the impact of colonization on traditional and contemporary roles and lifestyles of aboriginal women. I deconstruct the images of the Indian Princess and the Squaw and reconstruct an image of absurdity and insert these hybrids into the mainstream. The performance personas I have created refer to the damage of colonialism and to the ironic pleasures of displacement and resistance.


Born and raised in Saskatchewan where she is member of the George Gordon First Nation Lori Blondeau draws from her family history in the scripting and design of her campy, satirical, performance art productions. Blondeau’s stage persona ‘Belle Sauvage’ is loosely based on Indigenous women who performed in Wild West shows and Vaudeville acts in the early 20th century, and spoofing the 50’s film  Calamity Jane, in which Doris Day performed as a cross-dressing, gender-bending white cowgirl. Blondeau’s performance art remix of the
  Wild West presents a post-colonial reading of the narratives of Hollywood white pop culture. In her work she addresses the importance of maintaining one’s identity and beliefs as a First Nations person, and living and working in mainstream society. Blondeau confronts and co-opts conventional stereotypes in her pointed and disarmingly humorous take on contemporary art and society. In addition to her active exhibition career Lori Blondeau is the former director of Tribe, a First Nations arts organization in Saskatoon. Through this organization and related activities she is in close contact with the Indigenous art communities in Canada and the US. Most recently she has relocated to Pauma Valley, California.

Admission is by donation.

This presentation has been made possible thanks to the Yukon School of Visual Arts' Visiting Aboriginal Artists Program.  For more information about this program, please contact info @