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  • Exhibition
  • Visual Arts

The Nahanni by Neil Graham

  • Past exhibition


June 8 - August 25, 2023

Neil Graham gives his artist talk. Mike Thomas photo.

Neil Graham, a Whitehorse-based painter, takes us on a voyage along the magnificent Nahanni River. His vivid and dynamic paintings capture one of North America’s most breathtaking wild rivers, complete with deep canyons and massive waterfalls. It turns out this journey was much more than being moved by the landscape, which he is known for, but also a way to connect with others. “Over the 12-day journey, strangers became friends, friends became compatriots, and portraying them became as important as the river and the surrounding landscape.”

Neil Graham's new exhibit, The Nahanni. Mike Thomas photo.

About the artist

​Born in Pangnirtung, Nunavut in 1959, the son of an Anglican missionary and an outpost nurse, Neil spent his childhood in Arctic Canada amongst the Inuit (Pangnirtung, Nunavut and Inukjuak, Nunavik).  He boarded at Ridley College School from 1970 to 1975 and moved south with his parents to Muskoka, Ontario in 1975. Between 1978 and 1989 he attended the University of Guelph then worked as a carpenter, truck driver, shipper-receiver and tractor mechanic. He began studying visual arts in 1982. Married in 1988, he and  his wife moved to Whitehorse a year later. Since the birth of their first daughter in 1992, a second in 1997, and their subsequent growth into independent women, he has been a professional visual artist. 

Self-taught, his artwork narrative, Neil Graham addresses the contemporary world with bold visual energy. He manipulates landscapes, figures, colours and space to create layers of perception and comprehension. A self-alleged realist, but perhaps a folk artist, his works edge the familiar with abstract notions, compressing time and space into intensely personal contexts. Diagnosed with Schizo – affective disorder, Neil imbues his art with a unique perspective. In a period that glorifies the product, he celebrates the journey.

​Neil has presented solo exhibitions in the Yukon, Alberta, B.C., Ontario and France. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Yukon, Alberta, Ontario and B.C. He is the subject of a film, “Facing Miles Canyon.” The Yukon Permanent Art Collection, businesses, and private collectors have collected his work. He has taught drawing, painting and pastels courses for the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery, Klondike Institute of the Arts, the City of Whitehorse, Canada Winter Games, The Haida Gwaii Museum and the Yukon Arts Society.