If you’re walking through Downtown Saskatoon, might we suggest wandering through the back alley…

ALLEY GALLERY animates Downtown Saskatoon by repurposing back-of-the-building metal doors into an outdoor gallery, with priority given to Saskatoon artists. Perfect for Instagram, its legacy is a colourful self-guided walking tour through the heart of the Downtown district.

This new initiative (2021) builds excitement around an otherwise un-celebrated space. Mural Art is known to prevent graffiti, of which Downtown Saskatoon Clean + Safe Team removed nearly 2,000 incidents in 2020. Art brings a community together, and ALLEY GALLERY will promote an inspiring, free-of-charge experience in the heart of the Downtown district. Tag us on your tour! #AlleyGallery @DTNYXE

This project is completed by Downtown Saskatoon, with the support of City of Saskatoon – Urban Design’s Downtown Grant, Property + Business Owners, and of course, the Artists.

LOCATION: (Alleys between 3rd + 4th Aves S and 20th + 21st Sts E (+ Hudsons back door!) have been decorated with art to add colour to the district! Check out the art, artist + business info below…

 

ICI Saskatchewan Reports…
CTV Reports…
StarPhoenix Reports…

BEFORE
AFTER
BEFORE
AFTER
Downtown Saskatoon Skyline

As the prairie horizon bends light across the land, the South Saskatchewan bends and washes its way through our city and the Downtown Saskatoon skyline builds and bends its way into our hearts. This place shapes us, refracts our perspective and sparks imagination. From the grand historic hotel to the grandiose churches and cathedrals to sleek new symbols of our invigoration and renewal – River Landing, Kinsmen Park, Remai Modern. Fresh formed architecture inspires us to gaze upwards, while iconic valley trails keep us grounded and connected to the land beneath. This land, Treaty 6 territory and traditional homeland of the Métis, forges in us its history, impresses upon us its importance and bends us toward a city centre full of possibility.

MEDIUM Digital Art; Summer 2019

Dean Bartsch, Station Studios, Acting Station Manager

Design…
21 Years at this. An interesting mosaic of clients and solving design problems. Still love it. I understand that it is an honour and responsibility to learn about a business and then be given the trust to visually speak for them. Pretty cool.

Signs…
I’ve always been a sign-guy at heart and in practice. The exposure to sign-making fostered the path to graphic design and art direction. I don’t think I’ve ever fully separated the two jobs. Sign company’s and studios were design and ‘branding’ at the beginning of the industrial revolution. They were part commercial artist, brand developer, fabricator and spacial designer. They understood how to create logos/layout and fit them into the landscape effectively; how to communicate with the masses and select clientele and then leave memorable marks for years to come. They were savvy and not afraid to get on a ladder and work. I relate to that kind of commercial art studio and work to understand the disciplines that can be used for today’s visual communications. 

Folk Art…
Continuing what my cousins and family are wired to do. Make stuff.

From our vibrant streets to river’s edge, Downtown Saskatoon is open and inviting, offering an upscale urban experience in the heart of Saskatchewan.

Three Rainbows

Three Rainbows explores colour and the use of negative space. There is a radiance within the layered, myriad backdrop. The eye is drawn around the piece, and the bright colours on black give a vibrant feel. In the darkness of an alleyway, energetic and stimulating colour is found.

MEDIUM Digital; June 26, 2021

Rebecca Zakreski‘s work explores pieces of the natural world, often flipped and broken into pieces. Patterns and repetition emerge, as well as strong connection to colour and emotion. Rebecca enjoys finding lightness and a sense of play through her work, and the feeling of getting lost in the spaces between. As Rebecca works with patterns, her intent through her process is to begin with something simple and build up pieces into complex visual environments.

Escape City

Crystal Blue Persuasion

Crystal Blue Persuasion reflects a body of work and a set of techniques I have been developing over a period of years. Using macro photography along with focus-stacking and digital painting techniques, I seek to capture and isolate intricate patterns of frost on window glass. The focus-stacking process relies on software to blend multiple image files (usually 10-15) into one image with maximum sharpness, though the blended image always requires manual correction. The colours in this image are not digitally manipulated. Rather, they are governed by the most traditional element in a photographer’s toolbox—the direction and intensity of the light striking the crystals, reflected from out-of-focus objects in the distant background (trees, buildings etc.). Here, bright sunshine illuminates a tree that has retained its leaves all winter, creating the brilliant orange hue. Refracted light creates the vivid blues in the crystals.

MEDIUM Digital Photograph; December 24, 2020

Ron Cooley is a life-long photographic enthusiast who began making photographs in the film-and-chemical era. Raised and educated in southern Ontario, Ron moved to Saskatoon in 1989 and fell in love with prairie landscape and prairie light. He took up digital photography seriously a decade ago, first exhibiting and selling his photographs in 2010. Retired after a rewarding academic career, he now focuses full-time on the art and craft of digital photography. His images have been exhibited at the Mann Gallery in Prince Albert SK, where they are included in the permanent collection, as well as at the Francis Morrison Gallery, Saskatoon’s Eye Gallery, the Saskatchewan Craft Council Gallery, and in “Dimensions,” the Craft Council’s biennial,  juried, touring exhibition. Ron enjoys landscape and wildlife photography, but his favourite pictures are “found” images: semi-abstract compositions that highlight and preserve the glorious accidents of pattern, colour, and texture found in our urban and natural environments.

TBA!

Hope Floats

This work was inspired by the world as we all came to terms with the challenges of the last 13 months. Watching the internet fill with people finding creative ways to bring  joy and inspiration to their community and to the world.  To dance, sing loud, stay positive, no matter what the world throws at us there is always a place for hope, love and joy.

MEDIUM Digital Art; February 26, 2021

As an artists, Pam Staples / Cracker Crumbs Studios has actively collaborated with many organizations to promote the arts by creating and developing lectures series, competitions, workshops, exhibitions and fundraisers. All were to encourages artistic expression, provide meaningful opportunities in the arts for youth and adults, empower a positive force for a community and encourage community pride, creative problem-solving and collaboration.

Art Shows:
Casting A Shadow – Solo Art Show Toronto
Distillery Art Show -Toronto
Journey – Toronto solo show
Stepping on Stones – Toronto solo show
Three on a Match – Group show
Click Magazine
Modern Art Editions

Cracker Crumbs Studios/Pam has been working as a Illustrator and graphic designer for over 20 years. She’s a creative thinker that enjoys working with a diverse group of clients, from festivals, municipalities to small start-ups. something simple and build up pieces into complex visual environments.

Métis Nation – Saskatchewan

Spread Joy

An ode to my late cat, and though he wanted to hunt these animals, ultimately, if he got to know them he’d love them all just the same as he loved me. Spread joy to everyone and every thing, no matter what.

MEDIUM Digital; May 22, 2021

Isaac started Glad Line Graphic Design as a freelancing business in 2018. After years of practicing and studying digital art here and there for various personal projects it was time to make a living from it. Isaac’s home base is Saskatoon, but he grew up in Kamsack, SK. Glad Line loves working with local businesses and musicians who are looking to add a little more creativity to the world.

Métis Nation – Saskatchewan

Breaking Monotony

The title of the artwork, Breaking Monotony, is represented through a vibrant, dynamic and colourful design that is intended to take a neglected space and bring it to life. I hope to inspire passers by to see the brighter side. The inclusion of the ladder is to symbolize this as well and could represent an escape out of the bad and toward better days to come.

MEDIUM Digital, in Adobe illustrator; March 15, 2021

Drawn to the imaginative and in search of a creative outlet, Josh Jacobson pursued painting and drawing early on. His passion for drawing and acrylic painting combined with his desire to create spontaneous opportunities for people to view his work, led Josh to Public Art.
Entirely self-taught, Josh was inspired early on by the colourful and graphic work of local and international Graffiti Artists. He immediately identified with the messages contained within the Street Art culture. Josh has since had the opportunity to contribute a number of large scale Murals in different
communities. Josh enjoys working in open outdoor environment – working in this way, he is able to bring art to the people and strive to create work that can be a positive part of their daily lives.

Desjardins Financial Security Investments

Untitled

This artwork is a photographed detail belonging to a larger drawing. Abstract in nature, this larger drawing is 8×14 feet. The image provided depicts an area which is, at most, approximately 12×9 inches. I consider this work to be visual and material “moment” – this detail shot pauses on a particular one in attempt to call attention to it. The ALLEY GALLERY project gives this work an opportunity to extend and exist beyond its original intention, allowing these marks to become playfully larger than life.

MEDIUM Drawing with oil pastel, oil bar + graphite on paper; April 5, 2021

Breanne Bandur‘s artistic practice is rooted in drawing, and the core of this practice is inherently both experiential and embodied. This practice is deeply tied to process; this process is reflective, material, self-revealing, and attempts to engage in the “here and now.” Intuition is central to this engagement, and so she considers the act of mark making as it relates to inner thought and feeling, emotive and physical. Within her practice, drawing takes place both within and outside of herself, and then becomes something of its own. Drawing facilitates a solitary dialogue through which Breanne attempts to materialize – a mark, a moment – attempt to come to know, and ultimately, try to make sense of the world.

Hudsons Canada’s Pub

Barley Bug

Barley Bug is iconically Saskatchewan. Landscape scenery combined with a macro view of a ladybug climbing up the barley stem to bask in the warm, late-summer sun. The ladybug is blessed to live in this abundant land within the sunniest province of Canada. The farmer’s fields are golden and ripe. The life below is equally as captivating as the expansive living skies above. The old farmhouse in the distance echoes of generational legacies in the farming community. The primary colors of red, blue, and yellow were chosen for their bright and vibrant impact, as well as symbolizing the simplest, raw, and powerful essence behind the prairie spirit.

MEDIUM Acrylic paint on canvas; Original dimensions: 36 x 24 inches; May 12, 2011

Michelle Thevenot (Durell) is a nature-inspired sculpture and mixed media artist. She grew up in Prince Albert where an outdoor lifestyle formed deep roots in her foundational values and perspective. Saskatoon became home and workplace as she obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education at the University of Saskatchewan and while embarking on her career. Michelle currently works in the Saskatoon vicinity and resides near Osler. Michelle’s artistic background originally focused on painting and drawing, but she craved a more tactile experience. Sculpture developed as a self-taught progression towards dimension, sensory involvement, and connection to natural materials. Her life’s mission is to appreciate and share nature’s gifts with others; something she’s infinitely familiar with because of her deep, intuitive connection with the forest. She is grateful to continue an outdoor lifestyle within the boreal forest, a key force that authentically inspires her. Lessons observed in the wilderness are connected with human experience, which manifests in the artistic expression of visual storytelling. Michelle’s artwork uses natural resources and mixed media (more than one material) which is diverse and ever-changing, much like the natural environment from which she draws inspiration.

 

Airline Hotels

In The Fields

The tallest poppies.

MEDIUM Digital

Candace Chickowski is a multidisciplinary artist hailing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After graduating from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Candace set forth creating artwork under the alias chickskiPRESS; which is a vibrant collection of illustrations influenced by her love for the prairies.

Airline Hotels

A Newfoundland Stroll

This is a 14”x14” acrylic painting of my brother in Newfoundland. We were just taking a stroll as a family when I snapped this picture of him. We were out in nature exploring and touring, having a great time. I’m someone who takes tons of pictures and so I was just snapping at random when I got this! Luckily it was focused and came out a good quality. We both thought it was a great photo. So later I decided to paint it for him. His birthday was a ways away and so I surprised him and he loved it! It holds a very special place in my heart, because he does. It’s also one of my favorite paintings I’ve ever made. Not just because of the sentimental value, but because it was one I felt I did well on and properly showcased what I can do. It now hangs in our house. It took about 3 weeks because at the time it was the biggest I’ve ever painted! It was a pain at times, but it was all worth it in the end when I made my brother happy. Newfoundland was one of my favorite trips and now we can have a painting to remember it! I feel it would be a nice picture on the door because it’s a new place. I love painting different places because it takes you to the place. I want the audience to feel they are walking behind him in Newfoundland, exploring and enjoying life! No one can travel right now (May 2021) and so this is a way to go to new places and be new places. As people walk by and see it, I want them to remember that life’s about adventure. Whatever way that might be for them, you have to take life and enjoy it.

MEDIUM Acrylic; March 17, 2021

My name is Payton Hnatiuk, I am a 15 year old painter. My primary medium of choice is acrylics. I am from Saskatoon and have been painting for about two years. I paint various things with no preferences, and have sold a few custom paintings. Although I’ve not been painting long and don’t have much experience yet, I hope to one day do it professionally in some way. It is one of my greatest joys in life, and is a peaceful escape from life’s chaos. When painting it’s as if all of life’s problems and all those things that aren’t going right just go away and don’t matter anymore. You’re in a true happy place where temporarily everything is okay. I first started exploring art at age 12 and at age 14 did my first acrylic piece. I did all of this with the help of my amazing teacher Michael Martin, who is one of the people I owe all of this to. Without his help I might not be where I am today. He’s been an inspiration and I hope to one day live up to his abilities. I know because of him that one day I will be able to do something great. By that I don’t mean just a good painting, but something that speaks to people and sends a message. Something that makes people stop, think and maybe change for the better. Until that day I will continue to practice and try to get out in the community. I’ll keep selling custom pieces and if I’m lucky maybe a few of my own choice. This is only the beginning of a long career, and I can’t wait to see where I end up!

 

Brayford Law, in the Land Titles Building

Keep Your Head Up

Keep Your Head Up aims to be a visually striking celebration of images that are warm and friendly and familiar, but, upon closer reflection, invite the viewer into a world where even the smallest gestures have deep, resonating ripples.

MEDIUM Digital Illustration; January 4, 2021

Chris Morin has exhibited work in galleries and festivals across the world. In addition to putting together a digital installation for the LUGO event at the Remai Modern in 2019, he has assembled installations for Saskatoon’s Nuit Blanche festival in 2018 and 2019, and had his illustrations featured in New York’s iconic Times Square on a massive digital billboard as part of the ZAZ10TS group art show in 2020.

A prolific GIF artist, Chris’ Giphy channel has amassed over 400 million views, while his print work has appeared in group shows around the world, including Northern Contemporary in Toronto, Canada, MergeCulture in Florida, USA, and Ben Frost Gallery in Melbourne, Australia. In 2019, he taught zine workshops and risograph printing at Princeton University through Void Gallery.

An active contributor and participant in community arts and culture, he is currently one half of Scummy Magic, a Saskatoon-based sticker mobile art  vending machine project. In his life as a freelance journalist and creative features writer, Chris has been published in numerous publications including The National Post and The Toronto Star. He has also toured North America and Europe several times over as a member of the band Slow Down Molasses.

Divas Nightclub – A true front-door access off from the back alley!

basCATball

basCATball was created for The Cat’s Meow – an interactive immersive art installation for friends and felines. I curated this fundraising art exhibit using art as a conduit for animal adoption. Partnering with scat_streetcatrescue, whose volunteers brought in live adoptable cats, myself and other artists created cat themed art, furniture and a playing apparatus that cats played on. It was a kinetic art experience like no other. The show had an 80s retro inspired feel, and its playful colour would delight all who engaged. Alongside my love of cats, I love basketball and I love puns… hence basCATball!

MEDIUM Mixed Media

Andie Nicole resides on Treaty 6 territory in Saskatoon as an interdisciplinary artist. Andie’s delightful demeanour pours into her creative endeavours which engages diverse audiences through painting, sculpture, installation, performance and interactive art. Play and colour are imperative languages which Andie utilizes for interconnection and communication.

She believes that creativity is not a rare gift that only some special few are born with, but rather an integral part of every human’s experience. She believes each of us can express our creative impulses to enrich our lives and tell our own unique stories and those stories deserved to be shared. She strives to make art accessible for all.

Andie is a co-founding member of Bridges Art Movement, leads children programming, workshops and has created SAI art studio at Saskatchewan Alternative Initiatives.

 

Allied Denture Clinic

Look Into It

A piece made encouraging viewers to look more closely at art and to see the layers, levels and messages the artist has made for you.

MEDIUM Oil stick + graphite + pen on paper; December 1, 2020

Devon Plett tends to focus on the emotional side of things. “What can my paintings make people feel? How can I capture emotions that modern language can not?” Surrounded by the process of making, his work investigates communication with altered mediums to achieve emotional communication through 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional creations. love for the prairies.

art placement – A true front-door access off from the back alley!

The Gemstone

The Gem depicts a destination.  Surrounded by joyous and psychedelic architecture; you are welcomed by The Gemstone of the celebration. They represent your creative desire. The anthropomorphic blend of tissue and precious mineral keeps you motivated to be inspired and live life artfully. This body of work is about using creativity to overcome adversity. It is important to accept yourself and the circumstances you are in; to push forward on the parade route.

MEDIUM Photo collage, digital illustration

Cameron Melville is a Saskatoon-based artist working in digital illustration who explores concepts of nostalgia and dynamism, through the use of pop culture references and bold graphic shapes. His digital drawing depicts street life celebration and out-of-this-world characters. Melville studied animation at Red House College of Animation in 2008 and has a certificate in Graphic Design from Algonquin College.
Cameron has displayed his work in Saskatchewan Craft Council – Saskatchewan Wearable Art Gala where he had received the Peoples’ Choice Award in 2013. Cameron Melville enjoys working in his studio and creating pieces to be seen on his online gallery.

 

art placement – A true front-door access off from the back alley!