Yukon Artists at Work find a home

The future home of the Yukon Artists at Work rings with the noise of drill bits and hammers. In a month, the space, located in the old Yamaha Motors building, will be completely transformed.

The future home of the Yukon Artists at Work rings with the noise of drill bits and hammers.

In a month, the space, located in the old Yamaha Motors building, will be completely transformed.

Bookcases and desks will disappear and walls will be knocked down and remounted like pieces of Lego.

As Bob Atkinson weaves his way around construction equipment and desks, he points out where things will go.

“The space is actually a bit smaller than the last gallery, but there will be equivalent or even more wall space,” he said.

“And there’s lots of natural light.”

The collective of 25 artists became homeless mid-April after the lease expired on their old gallery space in McCrae.

Now the group has traded in evergreen trees and mountains for rumbling cars and trucks in the city’s Industrial area.

The group made a conscious effort to look for new gallery space downtown to attract more people, said Atkinson.

“With the old place, people often had difficulty finding it,” he said. “Or if they found it, it would be after gallery hours.”

Atkinson admits the Industrial area isn’t an ideal place for a gallery, but the group was juggling time and cost restraints.

“We looked at some places that were too much work to get up and running or were just too expensive,” he said.

“It was looking pretty dismal for a while.”

Then they came upon the Old Yamaha Motors building about a month ago.

The unassuming building, on Industrial Avenue and Jasper, also houses asset-control services for the Yukon government. One could argue that’s a strange neighbour for an art gallery.

However, in its new location the gallery will actually be able to cater to more visitors than it did before. There will also be a demonstration space for visitors.

The new gallery will keep longer hours and will stay open at least five days a week in the winter instead of just three, said Atkinson.

And the central location will allow people to stop in at lunch or on their drive home from work.

Even before the collective officially opens its space, the artists will be out at work in the community, said Atkinson.

This will be the first year the group has taken over organizing artist demos for Arts in the Park from Arts Underground.

In conjunction with music in LePage Park, artists will be giving demos of their work from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day under the park tent.

Two solo artist shows cancelled because of the move have yet to be re-scheduled, said Atkinson.

The board still needs to decide when Lara Melnik and Jeanine Baker will showcase their work after the gallery opens.

Catch some of the Yukon Artists at Work at LePage Park this month. Lillian Loponen will be holding court June 7 – 11; Nicole Bauberger June 14 – 18; John Boivin June 21 – 25; and Harreson Tanner June 28 – 30.

Contact Vivian Belik at


Just Posted

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
Yukonomist: Your furnace and your truck need to go

Perhaps the biggest commitment in the NDP deal with the Liberals was boosting the Yukon’s climate target

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Most Read