Jesse Friesen grew up in the small town of Shell Lake and then moved to Saskatoon. After deciding the city life wasn’t for him, he moved to the town of Hepburn where he, his wife and two children now call home. He has always loved wood. The variation in colors and grain makes every piece different and unique. Lately he has been trying to save local pieces of wood by creating something out of them instead of them being turned into firewood. This will be the last year that he will be creating cutting and serving boards. In the new year his focus will be shifting to high quality wood turning and creating beautiful home décor pieces.
ROBYNN OLSON is a Saskatoon based artist and has been creating and selling works of art for seven years. Six of those years she focused on acrylic landscapes and in the last couple months she has switched over to oil landscapes. The vibrancy and slow drying time drew Robynn to explore in oil paints and once she started she could not turn back! Using large brush strokes and focusing on simple shapes, a recognizable scene comes to life. Using the full spectrum of the colour wheel is also important when she explores a landscape.
PEAKS + PRAIRIES has been the theme of the last 5 shows at Calories Restaurant because it is exactly what Robynn loves to paint. “Places I want to go and places I have been: that is what I want displayed in my home and I hope others want the same! I see beauty in the world and desire to paint it – not in the reality we see it, but in a more vibrant, hyperreal, joyful way.”
Robynn’s hope is recreate your memories and dreams using paint on canvas.
Her husband and two young boys are gracious to accommodate her studio which is set up in their living room. Robynn enjoys the challenge and freedom of painting in her home while her boys play alongside her.
Born and raised in Saskatoon Abigail left home for the big city of Toronto where she began her career as a fashion model. She likes to call this her first life; travelling the world, living out of a suitcase and being known by her measurements! She moved west and home became a 10 acre hobby farm just outside of Vancouver, BC where she learned and practiced a more sovereign lifestyle connected to nature. Working with the rainforest climate she created her first minimalist moss gardens resembling the prairie landscape which grew into her “second life” kermodi living art. In this life she packaged plants instead of packaging herself and she found her feet as a creative business woman. In 2012 she sold kermodi to begin her next adventure aka “the third life”. The amalgamation of all she had done before and all of the influences in her life would come together in “All Things Abigail”. Her world travels, packaging and marketing glamour, many spiritual retreats, dabbling in photography and graphic design, dating a commercial photographer, living on a hobby farm, selling and growing food, landscaping, running an antique store and wearing all of the hats in a creative business with it’s heart in nature. Abigail is greatly influenced by her prairie roots and Japanese style – thus her love of wide open free space, blowing winds, elemental landscapes, subtle and tactile visual cues and minimalism. In her photographic work she prefers techniques that blur hard lines and soften colors to evoke an impressionistic or dreamlike quality. Her work has often been mistaken for paintings which seems a perfect compliment to Abigail.
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P: 360 486 4954
The transfer process:
The photographic transfer process is such that each outcome will always be unique and subtly different from the rest. This is a fully “hands on” process with the artist constantly working the print to uncover what is hidden underneath. As if by magic and always excitement, the image takes form and reveals itself. The image takes on a lovely otherwordly quality with a slight softening and muting of colors and textures giving it the impression of something that has depth and age.
The show “The Backdrop of Forever”
These photographic works draw attention to what is ongoing “as far as the eye can see” – our prairie sky. All else stands in stark contrast and gains a grounding, a solidity against a moving flowing ever changing and eternal backdrop. I have always been attracted to our minimalist landscapes and the ever so subtle plays of cloud and color. Interestingly enough, it was only recently that I realized why I love photographing the prairie, like a “dah” moment it came to me – everything that IS is surrounded by sky!
On many a road trip as I settle in to the rhythm of a slower pace my eyes adjust and like slow moving water the scenes begin to flow over me. Many a time with camera in hand pointed out the window (thank God the roads are straight) I capture out of that moving landscape an incredible image. It is with some extra delight when I discover it later and I feel so grateful and in awe that I got that shot! Other times I walk and be with my camera, surrendering to the visual exploration, curiosity and deep immersion into the landscape. These are the times when the longer I am immersed the better the images become.
Focus on Historic Nutana by Steven Gibb
During a long career as a Saskatchewan journalist, including 17 years as editor-in-chief of The StarPhoenix, I helped to share the stories of the people of this province with readers for more than four decades.
Since retiring, I have now returned to two long-time interests — painting and photography, with the focus of the latter on sharing with readers the many iconic buildings and other structures we so often take for granted but which make this city such an enjoyable place to live in and explore.
But Saskatoon has a spotty record of preserving its heritage structures and it is my aim to help record them through the camera lens so others might enjoy them long into the future. At the same time, I hope this Calories exhibition might encourage building owners to avoid a wrecking ball when planning future renovation projects.
As one of Saskatoon’s earliest settlements, Nutana has had an impressive inventory of historic structures, although some have already met an untimely fate.
One of the most unfortunate examples was the Traffic Bridge, built in 1907 as the first combined automobile/pedestrian river crossing in the community. However, the bridge was never adequately maintained by the city and was demolished in 2016. A multi-million dollar do-over in 2018 saw it replaced with a similar but otherwise improved version — except for the name.
Another notable Nutana loss was the Farnam Block, built on Broadway Avenue at 11th Street in 1912, which housed several long-time businesses, including Lydia’s, a popular entertainment nightspot. Falling victim to the wrecker’s ball at the same time was the Farnam Block’s tiny neighbour to the west, the quaint “Merry Mansion” of Humphrey and the Dumptrucks fame.
However, the news has not been all bad in the neighbourhood. Nutana has many structures that have survived the century-plus mark, including Trounce House, the sixth-oldest home to be built in Saskatoon, hidden away at the back of the lot of yet another historic residence, the home of renowned music teacher Lyell Gustin on 10th Street East. And, of course, Nutana’s Little Stone Schoolhouse, built on Broadway in 1887 near today’s École Victoria School. The one-room school was dismantled in 1911 and relocated to the University of Saskatchewan campus where it remains to this day.
You can find many of this city’s historic landmarks on my website, www.gibbart.com, under the Saskatoon Icons drop-down menu.
Ann Brooymans Donald has lived and taught art in
Saskatoon for over 18 years. She enjoys captivating images
in her environment. Her connections with nature is the
inspiration for her use of the elements and principles of
design. Her work celebrates the prairies. Ann has been in
numerous exhibitions throughout Canada and Holland. She
has been teaching art in galleries, museums, high schools,
elementary schools and universities. Ann holds degrees
related to creating and teaching art from Mount Alison
University, Concordia University, University of Western, York
University and an Art Academy in Enschede, Holland. Ann
Donald now teaches art and graphic design at Holy Cross
High School, in Saskatoon.
She can be reached at 306-281-4477 or
Monique is a multi-disciplinary artist from Saskatoon, Canada.
Focusing on specific concepts, she undertakes extensive research prior to creating her work, often incorporating historically significant symbols and images to express her ideas. For each concept, she creates bodies of work rather than individual pieces. Only once she has exhausted a theme does she moves on to a new concept.
Every action, interaction, and observation produces an energy that vibrates within her and connects her to the people with whom she is in contact. Sometimes a small incident, a promise only half-intended, a touch, or a casual remark, can set off a chain of events that will alter lives and change destinies. Like a pebble in a pond, the rings of energy keep moving outward from the initial touch, whether it is physical, emotional, spiritual or mental. It is in responding to these ever-changing ripples in the connections between humans that inspires her work. Her work utilizes ever-changing concepts and images because her art is a way of exploring who she is, who she was, who she is becoming, and where she fits into the world around her.
Monique has exhibited printmaking, paintings, sculptures, installations and book works in more than 225 significant solo, invited and juried group exhibitions in 10 countries. Her works are held in more than 44 public and private collections in 10 different countries. Her printmaking works push the boundaries of standard printmaking with enormous-scale printmaking, installation-based printmaking and three-dimensional printmaking.
Monique finds that her work develops well when she is away from her regular routine in her own studio, so she often accepts invitations or seeks out positions as an artist-in-residence in other locations. She was Artist-in-Residence for Disneyland Paris, Paris, France (2013), the Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival (2013), the Saskatchewan Children’s Festival (2012), Bytown Museum, Ottawa, Canada (2010), Spalding, United Kingdom (2008), Nice, France (2006), Vallauris, France (2006), Mount Vernon, USA (2004), Wynyard, Tasmania, Australia (2003) and Coaticook, QC, Canada (2001).
My purpose for this photography series is to decontextualize seedheads as an enemy and to reconstruct them as beautiful, courageous, and strong subjects. Escaping the city lifestyle is an important routine in my life. In the nature of Northern Saskatchewan, I lose myself in a sea of wild plants, observing, thinking on the cycles of life. It was then, where I realized seedheads are the most resilient plant on Earth. This is in part seen through the connection between seedheads and myself, a human being. Take dandelions, which are considered to be an enemy to us humans and not appreciated for their beauty, power, and strength. Often they get overlooked, attacked with chemical herbicides consistently used to eliminate them. Dandelions are born, they flourish, they close up in the aging process and then they die. While death might seem difficult to cope with, dandelions are similar to humans.
After they die, they are reborn and their seeds spread, burying themselves to create new life. Dandelions are not the only resilient seedhead, as there are other seedheads living on planet Earth that have similar strengths. I witnessed two delicate plants, one being a seedhead, that formed a unique relationship to support each other despite the environmental complications they faced such as flash freezing. These seedheads managed to remain intact despite being in an open field, all throughout a fierce Saskatchewan winter season. In a way, I empathize with these seedheads and saw their strength in reproducing life. In “Wild Seeds,” I wanted to show the beauty within these plants and how they are similar to human life.
BIO Born and raised in Saskatoon, Natasha Yokoyama-Ramsay is a freelance photographer currently based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. She graduated with a Bachelor of Design specializing in Photography from Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) in 2013 and since then, she has pursued a career as a freelance photographer in both commercial and fine art spaces. While in college, Natasha studied Commercial Photography with a specialization in Portraits where she participated in several group shows in Calgary, Alberta. Upon her return to Saskatoon shortly after graduation, Natasha took part in a couple of solo exhibitions. Natasha’s main specialization in photography is portraiture, where she seeks raw qualities and reveals the honest and vulnerable characteristics in her subjects. Overtime, she took her talent of capturing raw qualities in portraits and used the same techniques in nature, wildlife, and objects.
The Saskatoon Painters Club was formed in 1992. There are now twenty members who meet at Grace Westminster United Church on Wednesdays from September through April.
The painters make up an eclectic group working in watercolour, acrylic and collage with styles ranging from impressionism and realism to abstract. They are always challenging themselves, sharing genres and techniques.
They love what they do and it’s a treat for them to share their work.
I have been painting large in recent months. Calories Restaurant is a great space to show some of this work. Small Herd, a colourful horse painting was placed by the window as a cheerful welcome to passers by. Beside it is the exuberant Pond, abstracted lily pads, my newest painting and an experimentation with wood stains and acrylic paint. As one proceeds up the steps there are five smaller works ranging in subject matter from cows, cats and abstracts. So – a variety show!
I have lived most of my life in Saskatoon, and now reside on an acreage just outside the city limits which provides me with most of the inspiration for my paintings. I attended the University of Saskatchewan, graduating with a Bachelor of Education and a Post Grad Diploma.
My art is a blend of traditional and contemporary. I often use a palette knife to sculpt out thick textures in my work, such as the bark of a tree or the edge of a rocky hill. I am fascinated by light as it is very important to me as I paint subjects outside or plein air. Capturing the mood outside and then completing the painting in my studio is the most satisfactory process for me. My goal is to transport the viewer from reality to the place and time of the painting. Every time I paint outside, I am in awe of nature and try to communicate that feeling.