Tales at 60 degrees



IlluminatedHighlights from the Yukon
Permanent Art Collection


Downtown Whitehorse


Mountains near Whitehorse

With the arrival of summer, and visitors from all over the world traveling to Friday Harbor, late July is the time when I leave town for a few days.

This year the spot was Whitehorse in the Yukon. Long story as to how I chose this area to visit and yes it does include artists and light.  Traveled a small airline called Air North, you can carry on 2 bags and check 2 bags. Wahoo! Rented a car and  spent the next 5 days experiencing light, art and amazing beauty.

For those of us that live at 48 degrees of latitude, the sun rises at 4.30 am and sets at approximately 9.00 pm and we love the light this time of year. At 60 degrees of latitude the sun never really sets.  So active sunlight is from 4 .00 am till midnight, with the sky looking somewhat overcast from 1.00 am to 4.00 am.

This experience is very odd, and yet very energizing. I found myself sitting and chatting with folks, and my sense of time was stymied. The only way I felt the time, was my body hurt from sitting for so many hours. I almost got used to it.

The mountains and lakes in the Yukon are huge, the scale of the landscape is much larger than the scale of landscape in the lower mainland. Majestic mountains, flowing rivers and gigantic lakes. The ice had melted recently so there were abundant wildflowers. What struck me was the similarity of the flowers to the San Juans.

A  center for culture is the Yukon Arts Centre located in Whitehorse.  I saw a show featuring works from the Yukon Permanent Art Collection.  From their website

The Yukon is often defined by extreme light. Its presence or absence is a constant in this ever changing place, infusing the atmosphere with an indescribable energy. The Yukon Permanent Art Collection is a testament to the resulting spirit of creative exploration that has long driven an extensive and diverse artistic community. For over 30 years the collection has evolved and grown, tracing and echoing changes and developments in this place and its people as interpreted through the eyes of visual artists.

In the 5 days I spent in this beautiful and challenging area, [no cell service,with wifi in many cafes], I left with a feeling of renewal in seeing all the beauty in both the land and the people. I look forward to returning to this land to see the Northern Lights.. Hmm or maybe I will just go to Iceland for that.


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About ruthoffen

Created by, Ruth Offen the founder/director of WaterWorks Gallery, a gallery opened in 1985 to showcase contemporary artists and jewellers that live and work in the Pacific Northwest. The gallery is on an San Juan Island in the Salish Sea.[ North Puget Sound] Pretty amazing place. While continuing to curate the gallery after 33 years, I'm decided to spend more time enjoying life by traveling, creating art with photography and dancing tango. Over many decades of amassing a personal art collection, now the process of downsizing is becoming a reality. How do we have more with less? Staying true to the motto, unencumbered by our possessions and not burdening our children with our stuff. This next process will take patience and courage.
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