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Meet the Artists - 2012

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2012 Mentoring Artists

Gallery: Lucie Bause


Kriza Borromeo

Kriza Borromeo

Megan Green

Megan Green

Lucie Bause

Lucie was born and raised in Stratford, Ontario. She has studied at Trent University in Ontario, Universidad de Granada in Spain, and the Alberta College of Art and Design. She has been involved in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Canmore, Banff and Calgary. She currently lives and works in Canmore

Travel, outdoor adventure and the natural environment inspire Lucie. Her artwork is based on nature, landscape and the environment, and she continues to explore various aspects of these themes. Whether on the coast, the prairies or in the mountains, Lucie finds a sense of freedom, rejuvenating energy and inspiration in the natural landscape.

She is also interested in exploring media and enjoys working in painting, printmaking, photography and mixed media. She has participated in many workshops in Canada and Mexico including topics of creativity, painting and welding. She is currently involved in sharing the creative experience by facilitating creative workshops for others.

Lucie’s artwork can be found in private and corporate collections internationally. Please visit her website for more information:luciebause.com

Artist Statement

I love the adventure and challenge of entering a different environment and responding to the experience artistically. My plan of activity would be to initially familiarize myself with the environs and community of Ft. McMurray. I would use the residency to observe and identify, and then paint the defining features that make this Albertan landscape unique. I will use photography as part of my process to document the features of the landscape and then take the photos to the studio to work from. I may also do preliminary sketches outside, and then further develop ideas in the studio. I will be working on a series of paintings inspired by the summer landscape of the Fort McMurray area.

Kriza Borromeo

Kriza Borromeo is a designer and a photographer from Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a graduate of the Emily Carr University with a Bachelor of Design. Borromeo's research and creative interests include illustration, communication design and art direction. She received a full post-secondary scholarship from the Templeton Secondary School upon graduating with the Highest Honour(s) in Photography, and Studio Painting & Drawing. Borromeo's photography has been featured in online fashion publications.

In the last fifty years, creative collaboration has become a place for dialogue and exploration. Traditional art forms, diverse artistic styles and forms of media, are merging to create exciting new areas of experimentation. As a designer/photographer, this mixture of art forms and styles is a core characteristic of my work.

Through this program, I wish to reference pop culture and multi-culturalism through the merging of Fine Art techniques with design technology. My explorations will specifically center around marrying different media such as water colour, acrylic, photography and digital media. I will explore ways to depict fictional characters through such techniques.

It is clear that "generative ideas emerge from joint thinking, from significant conversations, and from sustained, shared struggles to achieve new insights by patterns in thought." *(John-Steiner, 3) Through the Artist in Residency program, I wish to experience said conversations and confront said struggles — not readily accessible to me on a daily basis — in order to achieve new insights. I hope for the works of others around me to challenge my perception of art, culture and life. Also I hope to meet an audience captivated, confused or inspired by creativity. Overall, my utmost desire is to collaborate and create artistic discourse within Wood Buffalo.

Megan Green

Megan Green grew up in Fort McMurray, Alberta, but was born in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Fort McMurray provided an interesting context to grow up in, as it is a city where many things converge; people from many different backgrounds meet against a backdrop of wilderness and oil culture. Megan completed a two year diploma in visual art and design in 2009 at Keyano College. She continued her education at the University of Alberta where she attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2011. Megan is currently preparing for further studies in a Master of Fine Arts program, having been accepted into the Glasgow School of Art, among others. 

Aritst Statement

My work seeks to convey an uncomfortable uncanny experience through the use of a particular kind of two-dimensional imagery in combination with similar, but sculptural, wall hung works. Many of my images are of creatures and objects in psychological spaces. This series of works is meant to consider and make use of the difference in the experience of observing the created world of an image, and way that sculptural objects can bring an inner world into confrontation with the viewer’s reality. This visual combination is meant to be a proxy for the psychological, where one can be confronted by an uncanny experience and consider an internal reality from a space of perceived distance. I am working with notions of an uncanny defined within the framework of the surreal.

The images in the work are mounted on plaques that speak to the home and the everyday world. The wooden supports are a familiar craft store material. This material choice is meant to place the work in a comfortable home context. The somewhat uncomfortable imagery and sculptural protrusions on the plaques contrast their usual craft uses. In this way the oval mounted work addresses more uncomfortable psychological experiences in places which should be secure. My other wall mounted sculptural work uses similarly comfortable materials to speak about an idea of the uncanny in the context of something that is eerie, surreal and somewhat horrifying, yet familiar. The creature elements in the work are meant to bring taxidermy to mind.  My work features creatures from an unconscious world outside of the parameters of our own which have been brought forward to confront us, sometimes with physical posture or the implication of spiritual sound.

This body of work speaks to the idea of a raw and uncomfortable uncanny. It is meant to bring consideration of that which can erode the perceived distance between what is familiar and what is psychologically disturbing, allowing us to glimpse the worlds that can come to swarm, infect and consume us.

Alisdair MacRae

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Preferred Medium: Sculpture/Installation

Through an interest in making art in social settings, MacRae uses plans to make an object, and join a community through its exchange. As the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, the desire for following plans to make things involves many pragmatic decisions. When proposing exchanges, common means are used, such as bulletin board postings and raffles that cover the cost of materials. The perceived community to be joined dictates which plans are chosen, how they are followed, and how the object finds its way into the world. The perceived community may consist of two or more people, and if only a few casual words are exchanged, the project may still be a success.

What is perhaps more interesting is how none of this is straightforward. Whether a name gets misspelled, an identity mistaken, or access across a border nearly denied, there is a richness to the plan gone awry, the uneasy exchange and the awkward sensibility. A similar quality of life cannot be found upon entering the most regal appointment, exclusive engagement nor secret society. Instead, one reveals the richness to every aspect of life upon acceptance into a community of one; one’s inner community.

What motivates or inspires your creativity?
My main motivation in creating work is communicating with people. Since completing undergraduate studies, and living in different locations, it has always pleased me when I meet new people who understand and appreciate my work. Nothing else inspires me quite so much as the sense that my work is understood in locations and contexts that I could not have anticipated.

What were your goals for yourself during the time spent in the Wood Buffalo Artist in Residency Program?
In my initial proposal, I wanted to develop a project based on the holdings of the Fort Chipewyan Bicentennial Museum. The project would draw out narratives that might be obscure or not very well known. However, what I found was that I knew very little about the rich and varied history of Fort Chipewyan. So, many of the narratives might qualify for my project.

Working with the museum staff and volunteers helped me to identify and interpret subject matter based on themes, such as maps or historical figures and events. That aspect of my project tended to address what could be tied to the region’s heritage, and is developing into a new media project using drawing, cyanotype prints, and historical interpretation to tell a story. However, I also wanted to address the people I met during my residency, as they have an equally important role in the immediate daily events of Fort Chipewyan and my stay in the area. In order to present these relationships, I made large cyanotype prints on canvas, using either a person’s body, or objects that belonged to them. While both approaches differ somewhat in how they can be seen as a history of the past or the present day, I am very pleased at how they reflect the unique and wonderful experience of the residency in Fort Chipewyan.

What piece of advice or idea would you like share with young artist in Wood Buffalo?

Wood Buffalo has a great deal to offer in terms of heritage, culture and the natural environment. The relative quiet and isolation of Fort Chipewyan offers an ideal location for one to reflect and consider new directions. Sometimes one’s aesthetic decisions have to be made out of necessity. However, those sorts of limitations are actually very freeing from past habits, and incite one to find new directions that were not previously considered. While one month initially seemed like an ample amount of time, I feel like I have barely scratched the surface, and realized only a fraction of what could be done. Participating in local culture, such as the Heritage Day event, and gaining an appreciation for the local history and environment provide invaluable insights into the area’s culture and one’s place within it.

What is next on your horizon?
I am defending my thesis on Joane Cardinal-Schubert in early September, and completing a collaborative public art project for the Jasper Public Library in Edmonton in October. While I will return to my regular job at the Carleton University Art Gallery following the residency in Fort Chipewyan, I am looking forward to other residencies and public art projects, but my main focus is the opportunity to make teaching art my career.

Emily Zielke

Emily is sometimes an artist, and is other times a Fine Arts student at Queen’s university. She has studied painting, drawing, print, 2D and 3D media and art history among other things there.

Art recently, and always, is about translating the mess inside into something visual for Emily. This is why expressionism is such a prominent force in her art. She likes the material to say some things about itself and about its existence in the world without her having to control every aspect of it.

The crudeness and constructivist nature is of high importance; it keeps the humanity visible. So often perfectionism, and correctness is valued in society, Emily feels it is nice to create things that defy what is over consuming norm.

Janet (Dean) Procure

Hometown: Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, CANADA

Preferred Medium: Silk
I was first attracted to painting on silk more than 20 years ago. I am fascinated by the interplay of the dyes and the silk and the natural luster and movement of the finished project.

As a tactile person, I love that my art can be touched, danced with, embraced or worn.

I enjoy the creation of each piece – an almost unexpected birthing of delightful visual texture – but continue to revel in the enjoyment of the art appreciator touching and playing with the silk as they make it their own either as wearable art, fine art or home décor. I also enjoy sharing the techniques and processes of working in silk with others.

I am currently experimenting with sculptural silk as well as traditional surface design techniques (Indian, Japanese, and Egyptian). I also produce and release two collections of wearable art silk each year.

What motivates or inspires your creativity?
I am inspired to create multisensory work – I want my work to be visually appealing AND tactile. If it is a 2D piece, I want you to see the texture, if it is a 3D piece I want you to see, touch it and feel its movement. My art is not meant to sit on a wall, but rather to dance with you.

What were your goals for yourself during the time spent in the Wood Buffalo Artist in Residency Program?
I wanted to explore some new processes and focus more on some “non-commercial” pieces. In my studio at home, I produce a lot for the tourist trade and local collectors and often don’t have the support or time to explore less commercial themes.

What piece of advice or idea would you like share with young artist in Wood Buffalo?
Art doesn’t have to be what anybody else tells you it is. It should be your expression of your story – warts if necessary, beauty if necessary but never to the rules of what someone else tells you it “should” be. I worked with several members of the community and it was amazing how often amazingly artistic people started out by saying that what they do (beading, moose hair tufting and others) is “JUST” craft and that they are not artists.

What is next on your horizon?

I have been inspired by the community, the region and especially the history and culture of the residents. I would like to research and explore some traditional art - specifically on fire bags and dog blankets – and explore a contempory viewpoint of them.
I also hope to continue my exploration of sculptural fibre art.

Mandy Espezel

Mandy Espezel is an artist originally from the community of Fort McMurray, Alberta. Her practice is concerned with the potential for emotional and psychological content within subjective forms of communication.

Espezel received her BFA from the University of Alberta in 2007, and her MFA from the University of Lethbridge in 2012.

Since completing graduate studies Espezel has been exploring the connection between personal histories, and the construction of identity, and the role that these elements play within the manifestation of physical expression and/or visual appearance.

Espezel’s practice is interdisciplinary in nature, and includes painting, drawing, installation and animation. She currently lives and works in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Carli Gaudet

Artist Bio

As I will be graduating from Keyano College’s Visual Art and Design Diploma Program in May, I am very excited to start making artwork and plan to do a lot over the summer. I think that my excitement of completing my program will bring a unique perspective to the program, as all artists create great work when they are excited about creating. Also, I have a deep interest and knowledge about the art of other cultures, specifically Japanese art, but African, Egyptian, and Indian as well. I believe that my interest in art of cultures other than Western art provides me with a unique perspective on art, because I mainly look to these cultures for inspiration. In Canada, we are always exposed to Western art, and I think it is often very rare to see art inspired by other cultures, especially in small cities such as Fort McMurray. We live in such a multicultural community, so I think it would be important that the community gets exposed to different cultures through art.

As an artist just finishing my first two years of education, I am very excited to do work over the summer.

Artist Statement

I love working on artwork while surrounded by other artists. Working in collaborative environments is very important for me because I believe feedback, constructive criticism, and advice from other practicing artists is crucial in making art, not to mention working with others is much more enjoyable than working alone. After working in a studio space with six other artists for two years during my Diploma program, I think it would feel strange working alone and not having any feedback from fellow artists.

My plan of activity is to work in a variety of mediums, possibly combining them together. I am interested mostly in working with acrylic paint, collage, and doing large scale drawings, or using all of these mediums together to create mixed media pieces.

Judith Pennanen

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Preferred Medium: Watercolour

Born in Hamilton, Ontario, I could never have imagined where my art might lead me. After completing Interpretive Illustration at Sheridan College in Brampton, I embarked on a career that would span thirty years. My professional experiences have taken me on helicopters, into museum archives, searching through bogs and sketching the internal organs of an Atlantic Salmon. I have illustrated children’s books, field guides and paleontology murals. Art has provided me with a multitude of opportunities to explore diverse subjects, interact with extraordinary people and conquer visual challenges.

Painting primarily in watercolour, oil and mixed media I enjoy plein air painting, life drawing and mural work. Drawing permeates all my creative processes. Drawing is my mode of investigation, my tool for searching and a recorder of my daily life. Inspiration comes to me in light and shadow, structure and form, mystery and discovery.

Sharing my love of the creative experience has always been an integral part of my life. Through art organizations, museums and district school boards I have facilitated classes and workshops on a wide variety of subjects. To watch the dawning of an idea in a person’s face is like an electrical charge for my own creativity.

What motivates or inspires your creativity?
Everything! The expression on a person’s face; the discovery of something I know nothing about; light and shadow stretched across objects; a sentence in a book; all these things can spark an idea or emotion that becomes a painting. Depending where your head is at anything and everything can become a painting or a series. A pattern that I have noticed is that I am drawn to paint the ordinary, everyday aspects of life.

What were your goals for yourself during the time spent in the Wood Buffalo Artist in Residency Program?

As an illustrator my work is usually executed to meet specific parameters defined by a client. In my personal work I rarely create in series but rather individual pieces unrelated to other work done in the same year. So, my primary goal was to take advantage of the opportunity to develop a body of work on a subject of interest to me.

What piece of advice or idea would you like share with young artists in Wood Buffalo?
Unfortunately, it is very easy to let art become an interest instead of a passion. If your art is important to you and you believe you want to make it a career then you need to make it a priority in your life. Get to know the artists of all ages in your area; attend art functions and meetings so you learn the ins and outs of the artistic community. There are some exciting opportunities developing here and you need to know what they are and how to support and take advantage of them.

What is next on your horizon?
I have more work to do on the series from this residence and will look for a gallery to exhibit it in the Toronto area when I feel I have explored it fully.

I maintain sanity by connecting to the land where I live. I do this through gardening, walking in the woods, exploring rocks, plants and shorelines. I find living in Toronto challenging. It is not a place that I connect with easily. Out of this challenge has come the start of a series of landscape paintings in the Toronto area where natural environments juxtapose the concrete environments.

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