Helen O’Connor’s exhibition 'Salutation' has certainly inspired unique ‘salutations’ from our visitors, be it an interpretive dance by local dancer Monique Romeiko around and between 'Singing Stones', or spontaneous yoga poses beneath the solar mobile, 'Sun Salutation'.
Stills of Monique Romeiko's interpretive dance during the opening of 'Salutation'.
Youth seem especailly bewitched by Helen`s paper forms, and enjoy guessing each household object in 'Objects of Memory' or replicating the boulders of Singing Stones in what has been aptly dubbed "rock yoga".
'Objects of Memory'
Having witnessed these beautiful responses to her artwork, we asked Helen:
What is the most memorable response you’ve experienced to your work?
During the opening Monique Romeiko’s little boy, Iza, dove into the sand with both hands and two toy trains.
Iza and 'Thomas' amongst the sands of 'Singing Stones', c/o H. O'Connor
Helen`s public engagement reaches far beyond her exhibitions; she also hopes to inspire future generations of artists through arts education: "Teaching art has always been a big part of my life and practice. I love to teach artistic technique to give kids tools for expression and discovery. I see the potential and endless creativity of each and every child, teen and adult. I have been an artist/teacher in the Yukon's Artist-in-the-School and Arts Ed-venture program since 1991. I was involved for many years as well with the international Royal Conservatory of Music program 'Learning Through the Arts' ".
The Yukon Arts Centre has been lucky enough to have Helen teach our Kidz Kreate workshops, a free family hands-on gallery tour/art experience, for over ten years. For our last class of this season, a large group of eager youngsters enjoyed the particular privilege of learning papermaking from the paper aficionado herself - squishing and squelching pulp into one-of-a-kind pieces of handmade paper.
Helen`s talent and passion for teaching is apparent, and her expertise as an artist reflects in the variety and vibrancy of artwork created by our creative 'kidz': "What a wonderful opportunity for young people and their families to experience original art from all genres that may have travelled from another area of Canada or beyond and then to be able to create their own works of art with a supporting artist."
Helen (centre) discussing her exhibition during a Kidz Kreate workshop.
The Yukon Arts Centre would like to thank Helen – and all the young artists - for another fantastic Kidz Kreate season. See you next September!
In the meantime, continue your artistic enrichment by visiting Helen`s exhibition 'Salutation' until May 10th in the YAC Public Art Gallery. Exhibition catalogues now available!