Yukon artists homeless

The Yukon's only artist-run gallery is getting turfed from their gallery space in the Rosati Arts and Business Centre.

The Yukon’s only artist-run gallery is getting turfed from their gallery space in the Rosati Arts and Business Centre.

Last Wednesday, the Yukon Artists at Work learned it would have to pack up their art supplies and gallery displays by April 21.

If they don’t find a new space by the end of the month, the group of 35 artists could be homeless.

“We’ve had a great run out there (in the Rosati building) but now it’s time to find a new place,” said Yukon sculptor Harreson Tanner.

The co-operative is looking for a new set of digs downtown and is searching for a patron to financially support the group.

The group already has a couple of ideas in mind, but nothing definite, he said.

The current gallery space, nestled between evergreen trees and overlooking mountains, had become a destination spot for visitors and Yukoners alike.

The group has operated out of the space for the last seven years bringing together as many as 44 artists under the same roof.

“The scenery around the place is really inspiring,” said artist Bob Atkinson who has been involved with the group for the last three years and makes furniture from willow branches.

“The setting of the place perhaps wasn’t ideal for everyone, but it got people out of town.”

It also spelled cheap rent for the artists, who operate on volunteer labour and a barebones budget.

“We’ve been renting that space far below standard rental levels,” said Tanner.

“We knew this day was going to come eventually.”

Tanner wouldn’t comment on how much rent the group actually paid.

Landlord Nerissa Rosati, who owns the building and also runs the Copper Moon Gallery next door, gave the group notice she was seeking tenants who can pay more rent.

“I weighed the situation as a landlord and decided I would be best off with other tenants,” she said.

The relationship between Rosati and the co-operative was always a good one, said both Rosati and Tanner.

And paying rent was never an issue, Rozatti stressed.

But a wobbly economy forced the landlord to search out other business opportunities that would be more viable, she said.

“When you have bills to pay you do whatever you have to do to get by.”

She isn’t certain who might be moving into the space, but hinted she had a couple art-related people in mind.

As for the co-operative, it’s not ruling out any possibilities.

“The ideal situation of course would be 2,000 square feet downtown on the waterfront,” said Tanner.

But the co-operative isn’t worried about finding a workable space, he says.

“When you get 25 to 30 creative artists together you’ll always get an interesting space in the end.”

The Yukon Artists at Work will remain open at the their location in the Rosati building until April 21st.

Painter Rosemary Piper will feature a short run of her work before the Yukon artists pack up and move out.

Contact Vivian Belik at

vivianb@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

A motorcycle with driver pulled over on the right side of the North Klondike Highway whose speed was locked in at 171 kilometres per hour. (Courtesy/Yukon RCMP)
Patrols of Yukon highways find poorly-secured loads, intoxicated drivers

The ongoing patrols which police call ‘Operation Cooridor’ is mainly focused on commercial vehicles.

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.”

Air North president Joe Sparling said the relaxing of self-isolation rules will be good for the business, but he still expects a slow summer. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News)
Air North president expects a slow summer

Air North president Joe Sparling suspects it will be a long time before things return to pre-pandemic times

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