The Art Gallery of Alberta respectfully acknowledges that we are located in Treaty 6 Territory, the traditional land of diverse Indigenous Peoples including the Plains Cree, Woodland Cree, Beaver Cree, Nitsitapi/Blackfoot, Métis, Nakota Sioux, Anishinaabe/Saulteaux/Ojibwe and Dene Peoples. We also acknowledge the many Indigenous, Inuit and Métis people who make Alberta their home today.
I grew up in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. I am of Métis heritage. My father’s mother, whose name was changed to Mary at the residential school she was forced to attend, was a cheerful and loving person who enjoyed life. Her husband was a Mountie stationed at Fort MaCleod who had emigrated from England. On my mother’s side my grandmother, also born in England, was a fine artist who struggled to raise two daughters as a widow. There are many stories in my family history of men who were wild and women who were very strong.
I have always hesitated to talk about my origins even though they inform my every daily move. I am devoted to the land I live on and grow plants to sustain the wildlife. I worked as a wildlife rehabilitator for fifteen years. My art has always told stories but in a way that is somewhat guarded because I have always felt vulnerable to those who are very comfortable in the dominant part of the population.
I therefore work in a personal code that involves a language of shape and color. Each piece conveys an experience of the body in time and, in particular, in place. How the wind was and the shifts of the land, bird voices, caterpillars, dragon flies and the weaving of the spider are the kinds of things that mark my day.
My devotion to the work isolates me but it also always feeds me and gives me strength. I love to cook for others and it may be that constantly creating objects made with paint, paper or canvas is also a way to feed this world that is so hungry for connection to its source.
|Harold Pearse is an Alberta artist who is an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta, a Sessional Instructor in the Department of Elementary Education and a Drawing Instructor in the Faculty of Extension. Harold Pearse recently moved to Nova Scotia. From 1971 to 2001 he was a Professor of Art Education at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Between 1995 and 1999 he served as Associate Dean (Academic) of the College. Educated at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Harold Pearse has delivered numerous presentations, lectures and workshops to art and education groups at the local, national and international levels and has authored numerous articles and chapters on various aspects of art education for Canadian and American professional journals and anthologies. He is the co-author of a history of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, called The First Hundred Years and editor of From Drawing to Visual Culture: A History of Art Education in Canada (McGill-Queens Press, 2006).|
EDMONTON, AB | Originally from Estonia and curently based in Edmonton, Helis Podnek is a visual artist and creative designer. She holds a bachelor's degree in Product Design from the Estonia Academy of Arts in Tallinn. In 2005, she was granted a Visual Art Internship at Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation in East Hampton, NY and has been the recipient of several awards and commendations for her art and design in the USA and in Europe. In 2010, she studied multimedia design at NOMA Nordic Multimedia Academy in Kolding, Denmark.
Podnek's exquisitely executed works have been selected for numerous group and solo exhibitions.
Born in Lutsk, Ukraine and raised in Sydney, Australia, Sophia settled in Edmonton in 1976. Sophia is a landscape artist, who first studied to become a nurse. While pursuing a career in nursing she attended the Sydney Technical College in Australia to study Composition and Design. Other art related studies were conducted at the Edmonton Art Gallery, Grant MacEwan Community College, and at the Alberta Culture Art Series in Red Deer.
“I was born in Edmonton, Alberta in 1963, and have lived here my entire life. I am a self taught photographer and printer. In 1979 I started out in photography, with a 35mm camera. For many years I shot color slides and after some time I felt a need to go beyond basic photography and moved on to the developing and printing of my images. At the end of the 1980’s I set up a small home darkroom and began to immerse myself in these aspects of the photographic process.
Greg Pretty’s work in the visual arts has largely involved figure/ground relationships and text. In 2017 he shifted that practice from paper and canvas to wood. Cut pieces of plywood are treated with multiple layers of paint, and then sanded down to reveal earlier stages. The pieces are then re-assembled in an attempt to evoke a sense of history and how it is interpreted.