February 2023 marks the beginning of SK Arts' 75th anniversary year. On February 3, 1948, the Saskatchewan Arts Board opened its doors, supporting artists across the province. As we celebrate this milestone, we look to honour the past, the present and the future of the province's vibrant arts community with the We Celebrate You campaign. SK Arts asked 75 established artists to nominate one strong, emerging artist, program or training opportunity that makes the future of Saskatchewan arts exciting.

Iris Hauser - Painting of woman on a thrown with a want and skull in her hand.

Photo credit: ‘Crone Ascendant’ series, Art Conquers Death, Iris Hauser, 2022.

Iris Hauser

Iris Hauser was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, in 1956. After studies in Victoria (1973/74), Nova Scotia (1975), Saskatoon (1977-79) and Germany (1980-81), she moved to Saskatoon to take up permanent residence. Her work has been collected by many patrons, including the Canada Council Art Bank, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the University of Regina, The Mann Art Gallery, the Kenderdine Art gallery and the Remai Art Gallery, and has been exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in public and private galleries throughout western Canada and abroad. Recent paintings may be viewed at www.irishauser.ca and at the Art Placement Gallery in Saskatoon.

JingLu Zhao - Black and white portrait of Asian woman

Photo credit: None

JingLu Zhao 

After JingLu got her MFA degrees from China and Japan, she taught Visual Art at Chengdu University until she moved to Canada in 2013, where she has focused on raising her children. The experience of raising children with cross-cultural communication is also an extension of the central theme of JingLu's paintings. JingLu’s art explores the identity of her family as they explore the world. She creates acrylic/oil paintings combining figuration and landscapes reflecting her children’s Chinese and First Nations heritage. JingLu wants to develop her concepts, and become an active, professional artist in her community of Saskatchewan and greater Canada.

“…offers a new perspective on our prairie landscape.” - Iris Hauser

As a recent immigrant to Canada, JingLu Zhao offers a new perspective on our prairie landscape. Her expressive interpretations of the landscape, infused with an Asian sensibility and a fresh, unconventional response, challenge the traditional prairie image. In some of her paintings, she integrates figure, landscape and abstraction in a unique way, painting her children becoming part of this new world. Coming from a world of concrete canyons, she appreciates the urban green space we take for granted, and finds beauty and mystery in these small, overlooked oases.