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Artists in Place: The Bunkhouse Project

Bunkhouse

Artists in Place: The Bunkhouse Project  is an artist-in-residence program sponsored by the City of Saskatoon. Through the generosity and vision of the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo staff, the historic Bunkhouse was renovated and reimagined as artist studio space.  This furthers one of the key directions of the City’s Culture Plan Refresh to Foster Creative Placemaking by providing a platform for a Saskatoon civic facility to host artists and engage the community through public art projects.

PROJECT GOALS:

• to provide opportunities for artistic expression in a civic facility

• to inspire artists through the nature, animals, and people at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo

• to connect the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo and the greater world

2022 Artist Residency

The 2022 artists in residence at the Bunkhouse include: visual artist Amy Gerein; visual artist Andie Feist, filmmaker Jacon Farrell, visual artist Jane Reväe McWhirter, and visual artist JingLu Zhao.

Over the course of their five month residencies, these artists will be creating a body of work inspired by their time at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo. A public exhibition of the work created by the artists will be held towards the end of their residency. More details will be announced closer to the dates.

Artist Bios

Amy Gerein A lifelong love of creating had Amy Gerein dropping out of math classes in high school to pursue studies in graphic design instead. Post high school, Amy completed certificates and diplomas in art and design and began work as a graphic designer while producing artwork for trade shows on the side. Finding herself back in school years later, Amy pursued art along with her degree in animal bioscience by taking several years of university printmaking and being involved in various student art groups. Art bled over into her science degree, where she promoted art shows to speaking classes and drew a whiteboard video about tropical fruit.

Fascination with animals and flowers leads Amy to explore compositions that create fantasy worlds, combining plants and animals with female figures. Influenced by the Art Nouveau movement, particularly Alfonse Mucha, and Islamic geometric patterns, sacred geometry, and mandalas, Amy seeks to explore ways of bringing these art forms together. She is constantly inspired by the aerial art skills displayed by her sisters, as well as the animals in her life, all of which have posed for a reference photo at least once. Amy searches for ways to bring her love of art and science together through her art, striving to blend the two to create pieces with visual appeal.

Andie Feist is a Saskatoon Artist, born and raised. Since childhood, she's had a passion for art. Some kids said they wanted to be an astronaut or a doctor when they grew up. She wanted to be an artist. That dream has yet to change as she continues to explore her creative side, trying to make her mark in the world as an artist. Despite planning to attend Grant MacEwan one day, Andie is a firm believer that to be a true artist you need the passion for art that can't be taught in a classroom. Self-taught since high school art class, Andie takes a lot of pride in how far she's come on her own.

Andie's art is a reflection of what she loves most: home. Spending a lot of time on her grandparents' farm produced a love and respect for the prairies. Some may see nothing but flat land for miles where she sees an endless expanse of beauty. Nothing makes her feel like she belongs in this world more than the smell of morning dew on the grass, and a cool Saskatchewan sunrise. Amidst the prairies Andie's grown a love for her home city of Saskatoon. As a kid, she couldn't wait to venture away, but as she grew, seeing what the city had to offer, now she can't imagine leaving. Andie has heart and determination. She hopes to inspire young artists who may be intimidated by the art scene and community and encourage them to put themselves out there without fear.

Jacob Farrell (he/him) is a filmmaker and media artist currently based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on Treaty 6 land. Born in Foam Lake — a small farming community in Central-East Saskatchewan — he took an interest in filmmaking at an early age, which has turned into a lifelong passion for visual art and film. Jacob received a BFA from the University of Regina, majoring in film & media production. He is primarily interested in writing, directing, and producing independent or experimental films, with a focus on analog filmmaking practices. Other areas of interest include photography and graphic design.

Jane Reväe McWhirter (she/her) is a visual artist from Saskatoon, SK, which is on Treaty 6 Territory. Jane received her BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal, majoring in painting and ceramics but explored everything from embroidery to sound based installation. Jane creates as an outlet, channeling emotion into her work while exploring a multitude of mediums. Jane's work often involves themes of healing, vulnerability, connection, personal growth, overcoming trauma, issues of mental health, feminism, nature and body positivity. Her work often features women in a wide array of emotions; in an attempt to explore the strength and power of being a woman that is honouring and embracing her authentic self.

Jane has spent several years using art to promote personal growth, build community and help improve the lives of others. She’s worked with people from all backgrounds and of all ages but specializes in working with at-risk youth. Over the last ten years Jane has worked at/partnered with countless organizations throughout Saskatoon, including: PAVED Arts, Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming (SCYAP), The University of Saskatchewan, The Fringe Festival, Station 20 West, The Open Door Society, The Elizabeth Fry Society, White Buffalo Youth Lodge, CNYC, Out Saskatoon, Saskatoon Clayworks, Parkridge Centre and many more.

JingLu Zhao After I got my MFA degrees from China and Japan, I taught Visual Art at ChengDu University in China for a few years until I decided to move to Canada in 2013. For the past eight years I have focused my energy on raising my three children. After my youngest getting older, I start to have some time for myself to paint. I realized the experience of raising children with cross-cultural communication is also an extension of the central theme of my paintings.

My art explores the relationship among me and my children as we grow, play, and discover the world with our identity. I create acrylic/oil paintings that combine figuration and landscape and images from my children's Chinese and First Nations heritage and further develop my style, skill, and concepts. I want to create this work to become an active, professional artist in my community of Saskatchewan, and greater Canada.

Program Pilot

The initial pilot for this program, which ended on April 30, 2020, was made possible with a grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board’s Artists in Communities program and involved artists Muveddet Al-Kathib, Danica Lorer, Lenore Maier, Marcel Petit, and Wendy Sharpe. 

Read more about the pilot project and the design charrette process:

Artists In Place: The Bunkhouse Project Pilot Evaluation 

Bunkhouse Design Charrettes 

About the Bunkhouse

Located on Treaty Six Territory and the traditional homeland of the Métis, the Sutherland Forest Nursery Station opened in 1913 as a tree nursery station and model farm with landscaped grounds, a Superintendent’s residence, operational buildings, propagation fields, trial shelterbelts, and experimental plots.  The Bunkhouse was built in 1916 and used as a residence for workers. The nursery closed in 1965 and a portion of the site was reopened as the Forestry Farm Park by the City of Saskatoon in 1966. The Zoo opened in 1972. Since that time, the Bunkhouse has been used as administrative offices, a veterinarian office, and more recently a storage facility.  In 1990, the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park & Zoo was designated a national historic site in recognition of its role as a Forest Nursery Station.