Dawson Gold

April 2 - June 2, 2013

Temporarily integrating themselves into Dawson City’s social fabric, four artists responded to this distinctive place by creating works grounded in their own experience.

Dawson City was founded in 1897 during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896-1899 near the site of Tr’ochëk, a Hän fishing camp used by the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation at the meeting point of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, the city had a population of 40,000 at its peak in 1898. Today it is home to 1,300 residents.

The present economic crisis and faltering confidence in monetary currency have sent the price of gold soaring, luring fifty new gold-exploration companies to Dawson City in recent years, and dramatically increasing the number of claims staked.

But there are other kinds of gold to be found in Dawson City. Over the last decade, a kind of artistic alchemy has resulted from the combination of the town’s unique culture, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture’s Artist in Residence Program and recently founded Yukon School of Visual Art, and the influx of hundreds of artists who have come seeking to experience life in this remote community. Dawson Gold presents works made in and about the city by four such artists.

Salez, a periodic Dawson City resident, and Wolseley, an artist from London, UK, create intimate and unexpected portraits of some of the town’s “characters.” Hrabluik’s and Taylor’s works point to the persistent allure of a remote and mythic “North,” our desire to belong, and the increasingly mobile nature of the globalized art world.

Curated by

Heather Anderson

Artists in the exhibition

Allison Hrabluik, Valerie Salez, Zin Taylor, Tom Wolseley


Presented in collaboration with the NAC’s Northern Scene and supported by Yukon Tourism and Culture and the Yukon Government’s Culture Quest Program.