Beginner Carving Program Includes:
Studies in Traditional Art
Dedication to Reconnecting Youth with Culture
Business and Life Skills Development
Free & Positive Workspace Environment
Participate in Workshops, and Cultural Events
Variety of Carving Mediums (wood, block printing, snow, clay)
Show up. Be Involved.
Come in to our NEW DOWNTOWN location;
704 Main Street Whitehorse bottom of Opportunites Yukon
Membership benefits include:
5% off regular priced items in the NCES Gallery
Gallery space to display and sell your artwork
Internet promotion on all NCES social media accounts
Receive email updates on NCES activities and events
Have voting rights for board elections, annual and special meetings
Show up. Be Involved.
Artwork made can be kept by the artist, displayed or sold using the NCES gallery. All art sales through our organization are conducted directly for our artists. Visa/MasterCard payments accepted by the gallery, and passed in full to the artist (less the credit card charges).
Over the years, the artists have been increasing their fine arts skills and range of artwork (masks, prints, panels, plaques, rattles, paddles, bowls, among other items). The carvers’ art has been sold locally, nationally and internationally. Beginner pieces sell in the $25-125 range, and advanced carvers sell their work for $1,000 – $5,000 depending on size and complexity of the piece. The participants have been featured in four gallery shows at Arts Underground in Whitehorse. Individual participants have also participated in a variety of other shows, sales, in stores and in galleries around the Yukon, Alaska and Vancouver areas.
The Art Education Program’s intention is to teach young students, of first nations and non-first nations ancestry, the skills, history and stories of traditional first nations artwork. An advanced carver from the Northern Cultural Expressions Society holds weekly instructions. Through creating and reflecting youth can increase awareness of self and others. The program aims to assist in building coping skills that help with stress and trauma symptoms; enhance cognitive abilities; and enjoy life-affirming pleasures of making art.
Two of the advanced carvers from our organization will be the instructors in the schools. The lessons begin with learning traditional shapes, recognizing traditional designs, and understanding why art was made in first nations culture. As students progress they move onto more advanced projects. To complete individual projects, they will be supplied with: sketchbooks, drawing kits, have full use of shop tools and painting supplies. NCES will also provide various books to assist with design ideas. Teachers or principles are required to be in attendance to supervise their students but are always welcome to participate.
The purpose of the Art Education Project is to bring experiential cultural programming into Yukon schools; also, to help grow and sustain traditional art forms in the Yukon. The project aims to increase awareness of the rich, varied artistic and cultural history of the Yukon. In the process, it’s our hope to affect change in young peoples lives and in our communities.
Traditionally, NCES targeted youth at risk for their programming; the Art Education Projects also focus on these youth but are open to all students who show interest in the art form.
Another aim of the project is to improve instruction and planning in order to better meet the needs of our students. While this serves to enrich the student’s experience, it is also beneficial to our carvers and the long-term sustainability of the project. As we continue to build, develop and hone our skills as instructors/mentors, we open up possibilities and move forward.
It is inspiring to observe the development of our students though out each year. In a short amount of time, the work produced by students greatly improves, more importantly the affect our program has on self-confidence and self-worth improves. We often have students come in to visit or continue learning after finishing the program.
In particular, our partnership with Elijah Smith Elementary continues to be a model that we would like to replicate in other schools. Here, we run beginners and advanced programs 4 days a week. The students in advanced programs will be more involved in complicated projects, and are responsible for helping out beginners. There is always a strong desire to move toward a larger scale project for the next year. All the schools that we have been involved with this year are committed to continue and build upon programming.
There is a strong interest from within the community of Whitehorse for workshop opportunities. Already this year we put on works for the Lodge, Girl Guide groups and Parks Canada benefits. By the end of the year all our carvers had the option to take part in all projects; which provided opportunities to take leadership and mentor those in need.
The “Elijah Smith Model”
We would like to grow our existing school programs in the model of Elijah Smith. Beginner and advanced programs allow students to make progress and advance skills at their own pace.
The “Mayo Project”
After a successful workshop in Mayo, we plan to increase our presence in the communities by visiting as many as possible. We’d like to begin building a more permanent program with the JV Clark School and model other community projects after it.
A long-term vision of the society is to build the program to offer accredited courses for high school students. This would involve creating a curriculum, and continue instructional training.
More partnerships offer more opportunities to reach a larger clientele. It is clear that there is a demand to learn First Nations Art. We have to capacity and motivation to meet that demand.