Kaylyn Baker Recipient of the 2023 Yukon Prize for Visual Arts

Kaylyn Baker Receives $20,000 Yukon Prize for Visual Arts

Whitehorse, September 17, 2023 — Kaylyn Baker has been named the recipient of the 2023 Yukon Prize for Visual Arts.

The $20,000 prize was awarded following a Yukon-wide competition that was juried by three outstanding arts professionals from across Canada.

Kaylyn Baker was one of six finalists. The other finalists, who each received $3,000, include Jeffrey Langille, from Dawson; Rebekah Miller, from Dawson; Cole Pauls, a Tahltan artist and Champagne and Aishihik Citizen from Haines Junction, now residing in Vancouver; Omar Reyna, from Whitehorse; and Alainnah Whachell, from Whitehorse.

Six more artists made the long list for this year’s prize, including Justin Apperley, Robyn McLeod, Meshell Melvin, Jackie Olson, Nicole Rayburn, and Rosemary Scanlan.

The recipient of the Yukon Prize was chosen by a jury of three highly regarded arts professionals from outside the Yukon. Dr. Heather Igloliorte (Inuk-Newfoundlander, Nunatsiavut), is a Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria. Michelle Jacques is the Head of Exhibitions and Collections/Chief Curator at Remai Modern gallery in Saskatoon. Sarah Milroy is the Chief Curator and Executive Director-designate of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario.

Yukon Prize for the Visual Arts co-founders Julie Jai and David Trick announced the recipient during the gala show at the Yukon Arts Centre on September 16.

The gala capped a three-day series of events to celebrate Yukon visual artists, including art talks, workshops and art tours. Nineteen Whitehorse galleries and venues opened their doors for the Friday evening Art Crawl, attracting hundreds of visitors to see Yukon art, meet some of the artists, and hear live music provided by Jazz Yukon.

The Yukon Prize for the Visual Arts was founded in 2020 by Whitehorse residents Julie Jai and David Trick. Sixty-four Yukon artists applied for this year’s prize.

The Yukon Prize for Visual Arts recognizes excellence by Yukon visual artists, provides prize money to help artists focus full-time on creating art, and promotes Yukon art and artists nationally and internationally.

This year’s events were organized by a large group of volunteers and partners, including the Yukon Arts Centre and the Yukon Arts Foundation. Major sponsors are Lotteries Yukon, the Yukon Government, Air North, Casino Mining, and Yukon University.

The Yukon Prize is offered every two years. The next prize will be awarded in 2025.

A show of the art of this year’s Yukon Prize finalists continues until November 18 at the Yukon Arts Centre.

About Kaylyn Baker
Recipient of the 2023 Yukon Prize for Visual Arts

Kaylyn Baker is a Northern Tutchone and Tlingit artist from the Yukon. She is a citizen of Selkirk First Nation. Kaylyn is an avid beader, using a variety of traditional and contemporary materials and textiles. She draws on the principles of visual art to create her own designs. In addition to making jewelry, Kaylyn’s beadwork adorns garments and accessories, including mukluks, moccasins, purses, and regalia. Her work has walked the red carpet at the Emmy Awards, she was a featured designer at Vancouver Indigenous Fashion Week 2022 as well as the Adäka Art Festival Fashion Show in Whitehorse 2022. For Kaylyn, beading is a way to connect with her ancestors through her spontaneous style of that she calls beaded storytelling.

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Julie Jai, Co-founder of the Yukon Prize

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