Group Exhibition Showcases Local Abstract Artists’ Work

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The work of Saskatoon abstract artist Steph Krawchuk is being exhibited at Art Placement. (Photo Supplied)

A new exhibition at Art Placement in downtown Saskatoon is highlighting the work of three emerging local abstract painters.

Until April 4, visitors can view pieces created by Steph Krawchuk, Cameron McKay and Jordan Danchilla at the gallery, located at 238 Third Ave. South. The show, called formalish, is aptly named, considering that formalism is linked to the history of abstraction in this city; Art Placement refers to Krawchuk, McKay and Danchilla as “the latest generation of abstract painters to emerge from Saskatoon.”

Krawchuk, McKay and Danchilla follow in the footsteps of such acclaimed artists as William Perehudoff, who was born near Saskatoon in 1918 and is considered one of Canada’s major abstract painters. As the Art Placement website notes, the three emerging abstract painters — who all studied at the University of Saskatchewan — “are all well aware of the legacy that precedes them.”

Steph Krawchuk is perhaps the most familiar artist to Art Placement’s visitors, as she has been exhibiting her work there since 2011. Over time, her work has shifted from representations of local architectural landmarks to non-objective painting that incorporates clearly defined shapes and bright, bold colours.

In an interview, Krawchuk said she has always been drawn to the “freedom” she associates with abstract work.

“What I was more interested in, in the beginning, was abstract expressionism, which is much more about action; Jackson Pollock would be an example,” she said. “That’s sort of what I thought I’d be doing more of. So to end up being an abstract painter who’s really working sort of in a geometric, loose fashion is surprising to me. But this is where I am.”

When asked about her colour choices, Krawchuk said she now approaches paintings with a limited palette; in essence, she will pick a few colours and focus on those.

“I want to give myself — but also the viewers — I guess an exciting experience sometimes,” said Krawchuk, who uses bright colours in some of her paintings as well as what she calls a “calmer palette” in other works.

“So I’m kind of toning stuff down,” she added.

While from afar Krawchuk’s paintings may give a sense of a perfect line or a perfect circle, up close the lines appear looser, she said. Some viewers have also commented that there is a sense of movement in her geometric work.

“People have really said that, and I think I’m sort of looking for two things at once,” said Krawchuk. “I do want there to be a stillness, in a way — because there is just a circle floating in the painting or there is two lines that are very strict and they have boundaries, right? But, at the same time, it seems like there is a kind of movement — which is really hard to describe, I guess.”

For more information about the group show, go online to artplacement.com.


A new exhibition showcasing the ceramic work of six Canadian artists opened on March 9 at the Saskatchewan Craft Council (SCC) gallery on Broadway Avenue. 

Called The Narrative Dish II, the show follows a 2015 exhibition called The Narrative Dish, which featured Saskatoon-based ceramicist Carole Epp and other artists. Epp is a participant in The Narrative Dish II and is the main co-ordinator of the new exhibition, which also includes Japneet Kaur (Ontario), Shaun Mallonga (B.C.), Marney McDiarmid (Ontario), Lindsay Montgomery (Ontario) and Brenda Watt (Saskatchewan).

The public is invited to attend an artist talk and reception on March 16 from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Epp will discuss her work, the show and ceramics, alongside SCC exhibition co-ordinators. The Narrative Dish II runs until April 27.

For more information, go online to saskcraftcouncil.org.


A new exhibition described as exploring “the intersection of art and everyday actions” will open on March 14 at AKA artist-run.

The gallery, located at 424 20th St. West, will showcase the work of three female artists in a show entitled Shedding. The women include mixed-media artist and University of Saskatchewan (USask) faculty member Susan Shantz, photographer and painter Honor Kever and multi-disciplinary artist Lezli Rubin-Kunda. Kever, a USask alumna, was also the exhibition co-ordinator at the Shoestring Gallery — now AKA — from 1978-1984.

A show summary from AKA describes the artists’ work as interrogating “the domestic in light of their parallel productions as artists” and as investigating “how women artists integrate their careers with the stuff of everyday life.”

“The blurred boundary between art and life can result in imaginative responses that cross-pollinate art and domestic life,” the gallery stated. “For artists with children, especially those that are leaving the ‘nest,’ this might include the accumulated stuff of parenting — materials transformed through live action in rituals of shedding years of layered accretions.”

The exhibition will include work created by the Saskatoon Mothers’ Centre at Station 20 West, where Shantz has facilitated arts-based workshops during the past year. A closing tea party and craft market will be held at AKA on April 12 in support of the Mothers’ Centre.

Shedding will remain on view until April 13. For more information, go online to akaartistrun.com.