Studio space inspires

By KIRAN MALIK-KHAN, Connect Weekly

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE - Luke Maddaford, Ruth Perry,  Rudolph Tuneeko and Reeny Hua at the RMWB’s shared art studio at Keyano College. PHOTO: Paul Jen, RMWB

ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE – Luke Maddaford, Ruth Perry,
Rudolph Tuneeko and Reeny Hua at the RMWB’s shared art studio at Keyano College. PHOTO: Paul Jen, RMWB

It’s ineffable. You can’t easily describe what an artist’s studio looks, and feels like, but one thing is for sure – it gives you an appreciation for their passion. Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s Artists in Residence (AIR) program embraces this spirit.

In its fifth year now, AIR, according to the official website, supports new and “mid-career artists, to create, explore, learn, and exchange ideas and insights within a multi-disciplinary environment.”
Reeny Hua, Luke Maddaford, Ruth Perry, and Rudolph “Ruddy” Tuneeko are this year’s Artists in Residence. Three of the four were part of an open house at Keyano College on July 25, 2015, where AC 132 in the Theatre wing is their shared studio. Tuneeko was away due to work commitments.
Perry’s medium is metal. She is a journeyman welder, and has been living in Fort McMurray for five years.

Much of her work has been with local youth. She can be often seen with her portable free wall – about 6X12 feet for everyone to express themselves. She also taught welding to high school students through: “The Recycled P-Arts: A Community and Industry Art Project,” teaching them the finer techniques of welding, and has participated in creating the YMCA Thickwood mural.

As for being an Artist in Residence, Perry, 30, said it’s great validation.
“It’s my way of saying to the public, I’m a professional,” she noted.

Hua is a student at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary with a major in Design. A former resident of Fort McMurray, she completed her Visual Art & Design diploma at Keyano College.

On being an Artist in Residence, she said, the studio space is incredible.

“I feel at home here. I love the community engagement aspect, and I’m even contemplating going into teaching art,” she shared.

“I feel at home here. I love the community engagement aspect, and I’m even contemplating going into teaching art,” she shared.

An interdisciplinary artist, Maddaford came all the way from Windsor, Ontario for the program. He has a Visual Art and Design Diploma from Keyano College, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing from the Alberta College of Art + Design.

He is currently working on his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Windsor. He has worked in galleries around Alberta, and has shown throughout Canada.

This is his second time as an Artist in Residence for the RMWB. Maddaford, 25, is a performance artist, and creates pieces using himself as a medium.
“My body actions are my work.”

As for being an Artist in Residence, he added the experience has been a good opportunity to “engage with the arts community, and to be able to concentrate on making work.”
Rudolph “Ruddy” Tuneeko was born and raised in Namibia, Africa. He lost his mother at eight, and that experience has influenced much of his work when he discovered he could draw at age 10.

Through his official bio, he explained, “my childhood experience made me want to share something of value to the children, so I decided to raise funds for children by becoming a volunteer art teacher myself. I was also commissioned to do a book cover illustration about culture entitled “Ouwa Wombazu” which means Beauty of Culture under late Tjipoo Mate. My unique approach to art includes sculpting and recycling, using paper mâché, mix media art with spray paints and cardboard printing.”

Don’t miss the final AIR group exhibition: An Indefinite Short Period of Time, on August 27 at MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery presented by Kirschner Family Corporation, from 7-10pm.