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Artwork Wednesday: Jude Griebel

Artwork Wednesday: Jude Griebel

This week’s Artwork Wednesday is dedicated to Jude Griebel’s works from his book “Footsteps in The Macaulay House,” inspired by his Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) residency. The three pieces “Shadow-like things, out of the corner of my eye,” “Last night I had another visitation” and “I suddenly stepped into a dark forest in which I was uninvited,” are currently on display in the Locate exhibition. Focusing on themes of psychology and transformation, Griebel’s haunting visuals are inspired by ghost stories from the Macaulay House where the artist completed his KIAC hosted residency. It was an ideal subject matter as Griebel’s work is, in his words, “continually an interplay between the imagination and the physical world, and depicts instances in which these two spaces overlap.”

Located in Dawson City on Princess and 7th Avenue, the Macaulay House was originally the home of the first mayor of Dawson City before finally becoming property of Parks Canada. At one point in its history, the building was developed by the Yukon government as a household for troubled youth, and was temporarily the home to young Daniel Hummel who would later be convicted for murder. Griebel became interested in the rumoured paranormal presence and was accepted by KIAC to complete his project in 2007. In his publish book “Footsteps in The Macaulay House,” Griebel illustrates the ghost stories associate with the house and describes tenant experiences.

Griebel corresponded with past artists and collected their encounters. These three exhibited works from Griebel’s book reflect these accounts of shadowy figures occasionally scene by resident artists. “I suddenly stepped into a dark forest in which I was uninvited,” depicts one account described as a ‘heavy feeling, like having to push through brush in a forest.’ Through experiences such as these, Griebel came to realize the two most commonly referenced sites of supernatural presence in the house were the staircase and two upstairs bedrooms. The rocking chair depicted in “Shadow-like things, out of the corner of my eye,” is a known fixture found in one of these bedrooms. Done in oil on paper, Griebel’s stylistic choice in using golden hues emulates the feeling of melancholy that many of the residents spoke of. Compositionally, the perspective of each work positions the viewer to feel as though we have suddenly come across the figures ourselves. Griebel achieves this through focussing his shadowed figures in full light, as if a door has swung open to reveal the unanticipated guests.  While many did not have such vivid experiences such as these, the consensus from Griebel’s correspondence was that the Macaulay House held an unnerving presence that left its residents tense.

To learn more about Jude Griebel, visit the artist’s website here.
For more information on KIAC residencies visit here

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)

Gallery Arts Administration Internship

Gallery Arts Administration Internship

Gallery Arts Administration Internship

28 weeks (September 18, 2012 – March 31, 2013) with a possibility of extension
Full time - $17.27 / hour (plus $0.72/ hour for health benefits)

The Internship will offer a 28 week work opportunity at the Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery in presenting/developing visual art exhibitions, managing art programs, and working in collection and arts administration. Particular focus for this job is event planning and coordination for special public events, workshops and community engagement through Culture Days, art talks, winter festival visual art events and assisting the Arts Centre with the upcoming National Museum Conference to be held in Whitehorse. Hands-on experience will be gained through working on exhibitions, events and education programs as part of the Gallery Team at the Yukon Arts Centre, with our programming partners in the community and directly with local and visiting artists.

A knowledge and understanding of the emerging artist community in the Yukon will be beneficial, as will the candidate's intention to build a career in the growing cultural industry sector.

Requirements: This position is funded through Young Canada Works and the Cultural Human Resource Council which states that students must be recent graduate who has graduated from college or university within the last 24 months at the start of employment; are between 16 and 30 years of age; legally entitled to work in Canada; and not be working 30 hours or more at another job. Students with disabilities, Aboriginal students and students who are members of a visible minority are encouraged to apply.

Applications (cover letter and resume) may be submitted by July 31, 2012:

Preferably by e-mail to Visual Arts Engagement, Jessica Vellenga (867) 393-7109
Or by mail to Box 16, Whitehorse, Yukon, Y1A 5X9
Or dropped off at the Yukon Arts Centre, 300 College Drive, Whitehorse


Photo: bgottsab


Introducing Lusia, Summer Gallery Intern

Introducing Lusia, Summer Gallery Intern

Lusia Stetkiewicz is a born and raised Yukoner. Growing up around such natural beauty inspired her art from a young age, and art has always been a large part of her life. She will enter her second year at the Alberta College of Art and Design in September, working towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Working as the Gallery Intern at The Yukon Arts Center Public Gallery is nothing short of a dream job for an aspiring artist, she says, and she's looking forward to working with the team here on many artistic and cultural movements and workshops throughout the summer.

We look forward to a summer filled with Art and Colour.  She's already helped us put up our latest Art Gallery explosion of colour. 

Check out our three shows:  Nunavut's Culture on Cloth by the Women of Baker Lake, Nunavut; They Call us Squatters by Alison McCreesh, and Look At All the Things We've Found by Meghan Hildebrand--now up till August 25! 

She had a hand in putting them together! 

This position is funded by Young Canada Works and Canadian Museums Association