Kim Stewart

Canadian Métis Artist

artists worth noting

Kim (gullion) Stewart website

Artists, artists worth noting, building my website---..., my art, My Art OnlineKim StewartComment

I finally have a website up and running. It has been many years of wishful thinking, interface designing and plans. I finally had to admit that I do not have the time to program the site myself. So, I have settled for a Content Managed site by Livebooks. It is super easy to update and looks great. Please visit when you can: kimstewartonline.ca

I will eventually have my own designs one day, but for now I am just happy I can share with you!

Finding Foundation

Artists, artists worth noting, my opinionsKim StewartComment

We are listening as artist Toni Onley sweeps his arm along the horizon. "Now this is worth painting!" he declares. My eyes follow his arm out past his fingertips and I fight back a feeling of vertigo as I see the land below. An afternoon wind has begun to blow up the side of the cliff towards us. It combines with the heat from the sun making the space between me and the land below almost tangible. If I had wings, I could spread them at this moment and I would be airborne.  The mountains continue back as far as I can see, each range becoming a faint version of the one before it. The view is so large that it overwhelms me. Toni has plunked himself down in the grass. He's unrolling his brushes and talking to all the grey heads, "I hate teaching these community workshops, but it is the only way they would let me have this Yukon residency. Your landscape is amazing...Who paints regularly with watercolors?" My hand goes up, but mine is the only one. It would seem that I am the only one aware of who Toni is. His eyes quickly dismiss me as he replies, "Well okay then, let's just have fun. Paint what you see."

I look back at the landscape but it is too magnanimous for me. I don't even know where to start. I look over at Toni; he is talking about boats and the coast as he wets his page. Pale greens and grays swirl around his brush effortlessly. He has captured the summer haze from forest fires and the space inside the valley.

Space? How can anyone paint space?

Toni's view of the mountains

It is not what he has said with his brush that stands out, it is what he didn't say. The same restraint shown in his painting technique shows up in his teaching.  He sets his work down and says, "Now it's your turn", expertly steering the conversation to unrelated matters. Unable to to duplicate what I just saw, I looked towards the ground. There are some pine cones and needles in front of me so I focus there. Others are happily painting caricatured trees in dark green blotches, their little branches pointing upwards. Toni doesn't seem to mind. He keeps on chatting and moves over to see what I am doing. As his shadow falls on my work and his sentence trails off, I feel myself begin to sweat.

What will he say? Does he object to me painting the miniscule instead of the magnanimous?

Pine cone on the ground

I hold my breath and wait for his wisdom but he merely grunts and returns to his chatter. For a moment I feel as insignificant as the ground cover I am painting.  I can hear him continuing his chit-chat with the others. I feel disappointed.

Looking back on this experience I see it what I missed so long ago...Toni painted the isolation, the love of a moment share between a man and nature. He painted his relationship to the things that brought beauty and meaning into his life. He spoke with his brush and I must do the same.

New commercial gallery in Prince George!

Artists, artists worth noting, my art, my opinionsKim Stewart1 Comment

I am so excited that my friend Melanie Desjardines is opening Groop Gallery! It has been a while since there was such a place and I know that the artists in this town have work just piling up at home with no where to display it. The grand opening is tomorrow night and I am sure the crowd will be large. I have a gorgeous piece in the show, but I you will not see it here. If you want to see it you need to show up tomorrow night on 3rd avenue across from the court house, right next door to the new farmer's market at 7pm. I hope to see you there!

My connection to the 2010 Olympics

artists worth noting, my art, My Art Online, my opinionsKim Stewart5 Comments

As a leap year baby, the winter Olympics often happened each year I had my real birthday. I used to dream about participating in some way, perhaps as a figure skater. My athletic abilities never reached the world class level as I had to quit my skating lessons at 14 due to 'weak ankles', as my doctor would have said. Thankfully I don't need strong ankles to make art and making art has taken me to places beyond any dream I have ever had. In May of 2009 I was one of 15 Canadian Aboriginal artists commissioned to create an art bottle from Coke's Iconic shape. I began working on the 6 foot fiberglass base in October '09 and finished installing the solar-powered light in December. My husband was a huge help with the wiring and installation of the light and solar panel, but the graphics featuring ravens and flowers in the style of Metis floral beadwork are all my work. There were a lot of problems to solve along the way, like applying a flat graphic to a curved surface, and making sure the paint coverage would still allow light to shine through, but overall the project went smoothly. My bottle was unveiled along with 3 others in Vancouver, British Columbia to a room filled with media from all over the world. The sight filled me with excitement and nervous energy. These bottles will be auctioned off during the 2010 Olympics with the proceeds going to a legacy fund for Aboriginal children in Canada and I can't say enough about the opportunity to showcase contemporary Metis artwork to the world and to have contributed to the future of Canadian Aboriginal youth. I am touched to have made my own contribution to the Olympics. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my art career, your support has encouraged me to continue on this path. Art is the window to the soul. It is able to communicate beyond borders and cultural boundaries reflecting the world we live in and motivating us toward a better future. If you know an artist, please encourage them by purchasing their work, or appreciating what they do. If you are interested in participating in the Coke Aboriginal art bottle auction, it starts February 15, 2010.

Detail of Coke bottle design by Kim Stewart

Detail coke bottle design by Kim Stewart

Kim Stewart with 6 foot Coke bottle

I purchased art by Opie Oppenheim

artists worth noting, home life, my opinionsKim Stewart14 Comments


The Native Art Gallery that I once managed has announced that it is closing its doors. I was sad to hear this after all the work I did there. Well, as most closing businesses do, the gallery is having a 50% off sale. I went in to get a little momento and came back with this print by Opie Oppenheim. Opie came in the gallery last spring and it was a pleasure meeting him. He is very funny and that is reflected in his work. This piece has a set of numbers in the top, left hand corner. Many people have speculated on what those numbers represent. It was suggested that they are a salmon count from the year the print was made. So I asked Opie what the numbers were for. "Oh, that's my bowling average." he says. Apparently this piece was never intended for reproduction, it was a scrap, a 'work in progress', but he loved the way the drawing and the casual 'chicken scratch' interacted so he had prints made. I now have this unintentional art hanging in my house. I am sad that there will no longer be a place where memories like this can be made.

waste not...

artists worth noting, my opinions, teachingKim StewartComment

One of the assignments I had the 'Design History' students work on this semester yielded some interesting results. They were to find and present a controversial art or Design piece. That is where I was introduced to the Cloaca Machine. Created by Belgian conceptual artist Wim Delvoye, this machine can be fed like a human, it then produces waste like a human which Wim packages and sells investment shares in. Yep, if you are an art collector, you can invest in sh*t art'. What a comment on the whole pretentious art collecting scene! Apparently the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has one; and Wim has been successful in selling shares. You know what they say, 'do what you love and the money will come'.

fowl air

artists worth notingKim StewartComment

New Scientist Tech reported in February of '06 that a new media artist and her students were designing a small electronic device to act as a homemade cell phone which pigeons could wear on their backs. These cell phones would send information on air quality to a blog via text messaging each time the pigeons fly. The information and photos captured by a tiny camera would be on displayed for all to see. Beatriz da Costa of the University of California is one of a number of artists who are combining art and science.

remember...

artists worth notingKim StewartComment


Jesús Moroles, a sculpture from humble beginnings was once drafted (during the Vietnam War) in the USA. His father a Mexican and his mother a woman from a border town, Jesús knew he would be sent to the front lines with others of visible minority. His chances of coming home alive were slim, as he saw others from his neighborhood go to war and 'arrived home in a box'. But high marks in math on military exams saved him from that fate and instead landed him in the Air Force as a computer repairman. Upon completion of duty four years later, he used his meager millitary pension to finance his way through art school.

Jesús works in granite leaving 50% of the stone in it's natural state, while coaxing out some of its other qualities such as transparency, movement and sound. Some of his pieces are interactive, playing music as an instrument would. For more on Jesús, visit:
Art Interview, online magazine.

i felt it

artists worth notingKim StewartComment

Destiny and Temptation-i felt it, deserves a second look. This show at the Two Rivers Gallery is deep with meaning which spills forth like smooth flowing honey. Intriguing reminants from this performance by Barbara Scholz (a conceptual artist with a history in master dressmaking), grace the walls in the Galleria and the imagery stays with you after you leave. For those of you who are not in Prince George and able to see the "Guided Moments" in this show, watch my blog for further information about viewing it online.

form follows function...

artists worth notingKim Stewart2 Comments

and ornament is a crime. Principles once embraced and followed by Les Courbusier, Viennese modern architectAdolf Loos, Alvar Aalto, and other modernists. From a time when plain, simple steel water towers were seen as good examples of 'simple' design, (as recently as 1984), to design fantasy where Furniture Designer, Patrik Fredrikson says, "As we penetrate ever deeper into the digital age, we are leaving behind modernism's driving imperative - mass production by industrial means". His work, recently on display at the London Design Festival featured a table made from materials such as ice, and candles for which the stick and holder were both made from wax. Working with ceramicist Ian Stallard, Patrik calls their work "fairy tales for grown-ups". Are they functional, impractical, or a stepping stone to new ideas?

neurodiversity

artists worth notingKim StewartComment

The National Post reported on Oct. 7 on a show called "The Joy of Autism" which is showing at Toronto's Lonsdale Gallery. This show is put together by the Autisim Acceptance Project who embrace the idea of 'neurodiversity' which defines autism as a different way of thinking rather than a disability. The artwork is interesting, the concept of neurodiversity challenges my current understanding of autism and those "syndromes" that are considered to be on the autisitic spectrum...like ADD (attention Deficit Disorder).