Yukon School of Visual Arts
|Yukon School of Visual Arts (SOVA)|
|Type||Public Art and Design School|
|Location||Dawson City, Yukon, Canada|
|Partners||Dawson City Arts Society, Yukon College, Tr’ondek Hwech’in|
|Affiliations||OCAD, ECIAD, ACAD, NSCAD|
The Yukon School of Visual Arts (commonly referred to by its acronym, YSOVA) is Canada's most northern accredited art school. It is located in Dawson City, Yukon, Canada at the fork of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers. SOVA offers the foundational year for a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) and a Bachelor of Design (BDes). The school combines an experiential, integrated curriculum that is studio-based with liberal studies courses. Successful students continue their degrees at their choice of four partnering art schools across Canada, including the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax.
YSOVA is a partnership between the Dawson City Arts Society, Yukon College and Tr’ondek Hwech’in. Each founding organisation has equal representation on the governing council. Yukon School of Visual Arts changed its name from KIAC School of Visual Arts in the Fall of 2010 to avoid confusion between the school and the community arts organisation KIAC.
YSOVA is located in Dawson City, an extremely remote location with a rich history. Home to the Han people for millennia, at the turn of the 20th Century Dawson City became the centre of the Klondike Goldrush and was suddenly the largest city north of San Francisco and west of Winnipeg at the time. Today, the town is home to many national historic sites, a self-governing First Nation, an active mining industry, and a diverse international community. During the summer months, tourism reaches a peak of 60,000 annual visitors, providing a major source of revenue for the town. The border of Alaska is only a few kilometres away to the west, and the Tombstone Mountains are only 45 minutes north along the Dempster Highway en route to the Beaufort Sea.
The curriculum includes studio classes in 2D, 3D, and 4D (new media), as well as liberal arts classes in English and Visual Culture Studies. The design of the curriculum and the intimacy of the school creates an integrated curriculum with themes and issues crossing over from course to course.
The school is located in a 7,800-square-foot (720 m2) historic building in downtown Dawson City. This two-story structure was custom designed specifically for the needs of the foundation year program with studio facilities, a lecture room, a media lab, indoor/outdoor common areas, woodshop, a library and digital resource centre, a student gallery and an art supplies store. Laptop computers and a digital still camera are assigned to each student for use in both their academic and studio coursework, and wireless internet is available throughout the facility.
KIAC & YSOVA
The Klondike Institute for Arts and Culture (KIAC) is a community-based arts centre offering a rotating schedule of workshops, screenings, festivals, exhibitions, and non-accredited courses. YSOVA is a post-secondary institution offering accredited courses and articulation agreements with colleges and universities across Canada.
Closely associated, but different organisations, YSOVA and KIAC mutually support resident artists, special events, and facilities.
KIAC is located on 2nd and Princess in the ODD Fellows Hall. YSOVA is located on 3rd and Queen.
Over The Wire
Over the Wire is a project series that creates an exchange between an established artist and the Yukon School of Visual Arts. Celebrating the extreme remoteness of the school, the project mediates the geographical distance by fostering a correspondence—both literally and aesthetically—between the artist and the students. Each semester, a set of instructions created by a distant Artist is delivered to the students in order to produce a new work. The students in turn interpret the instructions and create the work locally for exhibition. In addition to the exhibition of the work, each project is archived by a publication or multiple that is distributed in return across the country.
Over the Wire artists:
- Tim Hecker: Sonic Palimpsests. (multiple: Audio CD).
- Shary Boyle: Anthropomorphic Mother. (multiple: Book).
- Gary Hill: The Highcoo of Synaesthesia. (multiple: DVD).
- Iain Baxter&: Sense of Place Guide.
- Lawrence Weiner: A Translation from One Language to Another.
- Simparch + Deborah Stratman: Habitual Suspects.
- The Center for Land Use Interpretation: Dawson City: Mining the Intepretive Realm of the Klondike.
Over the Wire is a pedagogical art project created by SOVA faculty member Charles Stankievech.
Art in Dawson City
Dawson City—for its extreme geographical location—has a vibrant and international art scene.
Art and artists
The German artist Martin Kippenberger constructed the second METRO-Net subway entrance in Dawson City in 1995, connecting an island in Greece, Documenta in Kassel, Germany, and the German Pavilon in Venice, Italy. The Dawson station was dismantled and sold to an American institution in the fall of 2008. A Wake for the death of the artwork which included the Mayor "beatifying" Martin Kippenberger as the Patron Saint of the Arts for Dawson City was held in January 2009 
The KIAC Artist in Residence program hosts two artists in the historic Macaulay house year-round with a constantly changing roster from around the world.
The ODD Gallery is a not-for-profit gallery exhibiting Canadian and international artists, including the long-running series The Natural and the Manufactured.
- Dawson City Riverside Arts Festival
- Dawson City International Short Film Festival
- Dawson City Music Festival