The Saskatchewan Arts Board added 25 new pieces of art to our Permanent Collection this fall. Many of the artists are new to the collection, such as Judy Anderson. Her piece is called, She Is Worth Celebrating, and honours fellow Saskatchewan artist Sheila Nourse, whose work is also featured in the collection.

Anderson created the work as part of the exhibition, The Sole Project, which she presented with Nourse and Loretta Paoli at the Art Gallery of Regina in 2016. Each artist chose four women who were influential in their lives to feature. Unbeknownst to Nourse, Anderson chose her as one of her subjects. “She is so humble and kind. If I had told her I was going to make a piece about her, she would have said, ‘Don’t do that. I’m not important enough.’ So, I didn’t tell her,” Anderson says. “I chose the title because I wanted her to know she’s worth celebrating and she’s important.”

The piece is inspired by the traditional parfleche carrying containers of Indigenous people on the Plains. The plexiglass box is filled with a variety of items packed in vials, a nod to Nourse’s own artistic practice.

Nourse found out about the piece right before the exhibition’s opening. She didn’t believe the artwork was about her at first, but after some convincing, it sunk in. “We had a moment. I cried and she cried. It was great,” Anderson says.

Anderson is thrilled to have her work as part of the Arts Board’s collection. “I feel like I’m joining these great Saskatchewan artists, like Sheila, that I’ve looked up to.”

The new acquisitions also include a donation of 10 photographs by Valerie Zink, another artist whose work is appearing in the collection for the first time. Her black and white photos are part of a series she shot in summer 2014 at the height of the oil boom in Saskatchewan. Zink travelled to oil-producing communities around the province, from Shaunavon and Estevan to Thunderchild First Nation, to tell the stories of people affected by the boom – such as those working directly in the industry, Indigenous land defenders, and farmers and ranchers. “They document a landscape in transition in a particular moment in time,” she says. “I’m interested in the complex and often ambivalent relationship rural communities have with the oil industry and the boom/bust cycle.”

The photographs are currently touring the province, along with work by Rick Pelletier, as part of the Organization of Saskatchewan Arts Councils’ Arts on the Move exhibition, Boom. In the description of the show, curator Amber Andersen wrote, “Rather than critiquing the industries that determine a rapid economic upturn, this exhibition focuses on the human component, the workers and community members themselves.” 

The photos are also published in a book, Fault Lines, a collaboration between Zink and University of Regina geographer Emily Eaton. The publication was nominated for a 2017 Saskatchewan Book Award.

“It’s an honour to have my work included in the Permanent Collection and to be part of this historical record of Saskatchewan artists,” Zink says.

In addition to Anderson and Zink, the artists whose work was added to the collection in fall 2017 are: Bruce H. Anderson, Joi T. Arcand, Melody Armstrong, Laura Michelle Hosaluk, Mike Keepness, Laureen Marchand, Tim Moore, Vera Saltzman, Zane Wilcox and Carol Wylie.

The Permanent Collection includes approximately 3,000 works by 750 artists and represents the work of Saskatchewan artists over the past seven decades.



Top: Judy Anderson, She Is Worth Celebrating, 2016, beads, plexi, various items, sinew, rabbit fur

Middle: Judy Andersion, She Is Worth Celebrating (detail)

Photos: Charlie Fox


Middle: Valerie Zink, Roughneck, 2014, archival ink on paper

Bottom: Valerie Zink, Coffee Row, 2014, archival ink on paper

Photos courtesy of the artist