2018 Chilkoot Trail Artist in Residence Hilary Lorenz enjoying the view on the trail. The application deadline is Feb. 3 for the 2021 Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency.

No wifi, no bed, no studio: ‘Oddball’ residency is the ultimate artistic immersion

This trail pushes artists out of their comfort zone and reconnects them with their practice

For most residents of the north, the land is omnipresent. It can kill you. It’s big and beautiful. So it makes sense that the land is front-and-centre in a lot of the region’s art. But for the rest of the contemporary art world, landscapes are often an afterthought.

Mary Bradshaw, Director of Visual Arts for the Yukon Arts Centre wants to bridge the gap with the Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency.

“We can respond to the world around us and still be part of contemporary art,” she says.

Printmaking on Chilkoot Pass

Through the residency, artists can explore raw landscapes from Skagway, Alaska to Bennett, BC, embrace the unexpected and connect with their artistic practice and other hikers.

For the first time since the residency began in 2011, artists have the option of using Bennett Lake Camp as a home base. Artists with less camping experience can take the train (and all their art supplies) to Bennett and then use the cabin as a jumping-off point for shorter hikes in the area.

But Bradshaw hopes many artists still do the 53 km through-hike from Dyea, Alaska to Bennett, BC.

“Hiking from end-to-end lets artists experience the trail’s dramatic ecological changes.”

That sentiment was echoed by 2018 Chilkoot Trail artist-in-residence Hilary Lorenz.

“At every camp the wilderness changes radically. So I’m in the wilderness and then I’m in these huge open vistas and then I’m in desert. Every day brings a new experience and it also brings complete surprise.”

While the residency at Bennett Lake Camp will allow artists to bring more materials, doing the through-hike doesn’t necessarily mean you have to abandon your supplies.

“All artists get a food cache air-dropped along the trail, but Josh K. Winkler put mostly printmaking supplies in his cache, which meant he could host a workshop at the summit,” Bradshaw says.

“After cooking their dinners, hikers learned the relief carving and printing process in or around campsite shelters. These postcard-like prints allowed hikers to create visual reflections after all the thinking/walking hours they had built up on the trail,” Winkler says.

Depending on which option the artist chooses, time spent on the trail will be five to ten days.

For artists, the residency offers an opportunity to reconnect with their practice, share their work, and receive $3,000 to defray costs. For the community, it brings opportunities to engage and reflect, whether that’s printmaking on the trail or at artist talks in Skagway and Whitehorse.

The Yukon Arts Centre receives between 100 and 150 applications for the residency each year, Bradshaw says, “and we’re only able to choose three, which is heartbreaking.”

So how should you set yourself apart on your application?

Be sure to explain why time on the trail makes sense for your existing artistic practice, and give details of your plan to interact with hikers.

“The trail is a pretty social place, which might be surprising considering how remote it is.”

RELATED: Yukon art brought to light in new online permanent collection

ArtsArts and culture

 

2018 Chilkoot Trail Artist in Residence Hilary Lorenz leads an artist’s workshop along the trail. The application deadline is Feb. 3 for the 2021 Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency.

The BC side of the Chilkoot Trail. The application deadline is Feb. 3 for the 2021 Chilkoot Trail Artist Residency.

Just Posted

Team Yukon skip Laura Eby, left, directs her team as Team Northern Ontario skip Krysta Burns looks on at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary on Feb. 22. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)
Team Yukon reports positive experience at Scotties

Team Yukon played their final game at the national championship in Calgary on Thursday afternoon

A sign indicating a drop-off area behind Selkirk Elementary school in Whitehorse on Feb. 25. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Parking lot proposal for Selkirk Elementary criticized

Parents and school council are raising concerns about green space and traffic woes

adsf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Feb. 26, 2021

Ken Anderson’s Sun and Moon model sculpture sits in the snow as he carves away at the real life sculpture behind Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous festival in Whitehorse on Feb. 21, 2018. Yukon Rendezvous weekend kicks off today with a series of outdoor, virtual and staged events. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Rendezvous snowpad, live music and fireworks this weekend

A round-up of events taking place for the 2021 Rendezvous weekend

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. The proposed Atlin Hydro Expansion project is moving closer to development with a number of milestones reached by the Tlingit Homeland Energy Limited Partnership and Yukon Energy over the last several months. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Atlin hydro project progresses

Officials reflect on milestones reached

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

The Blood Ties outreach van will now run seven nights a week, thanks to a boost in government funding. Logan Godin, coordinator, and Jesse Whelen, harm reduction counsellor, are seen here on May 12, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Blood Ties outreach van running seven nights a week with funding boost

The Yukon government is ramping up overdose response, considering safe supply plan

Ranj Pillai speaks to media about business relief programs in Whitehorse on April 1, 2020. The Yukon government announced Feb.25 that it will extend business support programs until September. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Government extends business relief programs to September, launches new loan

“It really gives folks some help with supporting their business with cash flow.”

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A look at decisions made by Whitehorse City Council this week

Bylaw amendment Whitehorse city council is moving closer with changes to a… Continue reading

Susie Rogan is a veteran musher with 14 years of racing experience and Yukon Journey organizer. (Yukon Journey Facebook)
Yukon Journey mushers begin 255-mile race

Eleven mushers are participating in the race from Pelly Crossing to Whitehorse

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse on Nov. 22, 2018. As the legislature prepares to return on March 4, the three parties are continuing to finalize candidates in the territory’s 19 ridings. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Nine new candidates confirmed in Yukon ridings

It has been a busy two weeks as the parties try to firm up candidates

David Malcolm, 40, has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm a police officer after an incident in Whitehorse on Feb. 18. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
Man resists arrest, assaults officer

A Whitehorse man has been charged with assaulting and attempting to disarm… Continue reading

Yukon Energy in Whitehorse on Aug. 4, 2020. A site on Robert Service Way near the Alaska Highway has been selected as the future home of Yukon Energy’s energy storage project. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Site selected for Yukon Energy battery project

Planned to be in service by the end of 2022

Most Read