Artists in Gwaii Haanas

  • Jan. 31, 2011 10:00 a.m.

By Christine Pansino, Gwaii Haanas–Three artists, a boat, an interpreter and the wide open wilderness- It’s pure inspiration! Gwaii Haanas and the Haida Gwaii Museum are proud to partner in this new “artist residency” program, which aims to connect people to Gwaii Haanas through art.A small group of artists will spend several days in June, immersed in the natural and breathtaking “islands of beauty.” Selected artists will live in a remote field-camp setting in Gwaii Haanas, embarking on day-trips and camping out-trips during their stay. Artists will undertake “artistic research” by exploring, photographing, sketching, and writing about their surroundings. This research will form the basis of their inspiration and it will shine through their art work. An exhibit of a selection of the art produced will be held in the Haida Gwaii Museum’s Temporary Exhibitions Gallery.This program is the first of its kind for Gwaii Haanas, following a tradition of similar programs hosted by Parks Canada at Gros Morne, Glacier and Terra Nova National Parks, to name a few. Gwaii Haanas will contribute support needed for the field component, while the Haida Gwaii Museum will provide the venues for artists’ workshops, presentations and exhibitions in town.”By creating art inspired by their experience in Gwaii Haanas, artists can interpret the meanings and complex relationships expressed from a scientific perspective, and present them in a totally different yet complimentary way,” said Nathalie Macfarlane, Museum Director. Through artists’ participation, Parks Canada will expand the way Gwaii Haanas is seen by the public, heightening its profile and exposure beyond the area boundaries, and attracting new user groups to the area.As artists usually work in isolation, the art residency experience is meant to create opportunities for learning, sharing and encouraging each other, collaborating and perhaps trying new media. Artists should stay tuned for the Call for Proposals to be announced in the coming weeks.

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