The participating printmakers at the 6th Dawson Daily News Print & Publishing Festival convened at the DDN Building on Friday evening to give a series of mini-talks about their artistic practices, and the projects they will be working on during the Festival.
The sessions began with a talk by Mary Tremonte & Jesse Purcell, from Toronto. both members of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. Justseeds is a decentralized group of 29 artists who make prints and graphics supporting social and environmental justice movements. With a firm belief in the transformative power of personal expression in concert with collective action, the artists produce work that supports grassroots struggles for justice. Samples of the Cooperatyive’s work can be found in the DDN Gallery, as well as at a sales table in the building’s studio space.
Originally from the Yukon, Virginia Mitford now splits her time between the Yukon and Newfoundland. Since graduating from art school, Virginia has taken part in multiple artist residencies across Canada — inclkuding the KIAC Artist-in-Residence program. Intrigued by uncertainty, feminism and change, Mitford approaches printmaking as a tool to orient herself within broad swathes of emotion. During her talk she elaborated on some of the unique techniques she employs in her practice, and on the personal experiences from her childhood that informed some of the art she is currently making.
Peter Braune has been participating in the Festival since its inception, and has been the individual at the centre of the restoration of the vintage Chandler & Price Letter Press that is the showpiece of the Festival’s studio operation. A Master Printer, Peter talked about his artistic journey, his New Leafs Edition studio on Granville Island in Vancouver. A self-confessed lover of solving problems, Peter showed fascinating examples of the projects he has been involved in, and what happens when you develop a reputation as a man who can print on anything.
Matthias MacPhee has also been a regular contributor to the Festival over the years. A visual artist and printmaker, his talk outlined how his interest has recently evolved into the world of comics and graphic novels. During the Festival he has been exposing people to the complex world of comic books and graphic novels, not only demonstrating the steps from a comic book’s conception, to the finished product, including the colouring phase of production, but proselytizing about the medium as well.
John Steins is a well-known Dawson printmaker, and one of the regualrs at the Dawson Print Fest. John talked about his art and his “northern printmaking adventures,” which started with a new etching press shipped all the way from Ontario via the White Pass in 1978. Since that time he has produced a body of work which has been widely collected and shown, including etchings for poetry books and a permanent public art installation at the Andrew A. Philipsen Law Court in Whitehorse.