Field School Blog

August 7, 2020

Dear Local Field School Artists,

Well, time is weird and we’ve been out enjoying the summer weather so running a week behind schedule. But, we hope this gave you more time to experiment with some of the materials we have readily available to us in Dawson City.

This third set of instruction is dedicated to the craft of sign painting. It's a skill that requires years of practice and dexterity and very few still work in the traditional practice of hand-rendering letters. This will be an introduction to the basics of letterforms and a DIY and a more accessible interpretation of an artisan craft.

We have worked with local designer Jenna Roebuck to develop this set of instructions, which will be available for pick-up this Saturday on the back porch of SOVA. Look for the sign!

Sign (ed), sealed, delivered (actually, not delivered this time, don’t forget to pick-up!)


July 26, 2020

Find our simple recipe for making paper updated with helpful tips from local artist Jackie Olson here. 

July 19, 2020

Dear Local Field School Artists,

The instructions for Set Two: Source Materials will be delivered to you this week in the pages of the Klondike Sun. We will be doing porch drop-offs of the special issue to you sometime on Wednesday or Thursday.

This second set is really more about collecting information than about delivering instructions (though there is an assignment).  We will be featuring interviews with Joanne Vriend, Jackie Olson, Emily Chudnovsky, and Justin Apperly on our blog and social media platforms in the upcoming weeks.

A reminder that there is no firm deadline to complete the instructions. However, if you like working towards a deadline we recommend completing this set by August 2, when the third set of instructions – Sign of the Times- will be delivered. 

 We have been so impressed and excited by the submissions we received for Set One: Local Palette. You can keep submitting your colour matches to us any time over the summer. And don’t forget to put your postcard in the mail!


July 17, 2020

View Local Palette colour matching submissions from participating artists here:

July 9, 2020

Local Field School created the instructions for Local Palette with help from Claire Falkenberg. Earlier this week we spent some time with Claire in her beautiful greenhouse and garden beds to talk about practices of looking, and specifically how to feel and look at/for/with/ colour. Here are Claire’s instructions for developing a practice of looking:

  • Begin by looking at a thing as if for the first time.

  • Let go of preconceived ideas about the thing you are looking at.

  • Let it be mysterious and surprising, no matter how familiar the thing is.

  • Begin to slow down your looking

  • Notice the colours and how they transition from one colour to the next.

  • Notice the shape of the thing you are looking at

  • Notice the edges of the shape of the thing.

  • Notice how these edges touch the space around it.

  • Notice this space

  • Notice the light, air, and temperature and how thick or thin the air feels

  • Notice the colour of the light, the brightness, the softness, the sharpness, the flatness

  • Notice how the light reflects or is absorbed by the thing you are looking at

  • Notice how you can perceive the texture, the weight and the feel of a thing by just looking, even if its a thing you have never seen before

  • Notice how the edges of your body subtly understand the edges of the thing you are looking at

  • Notice the other senses you use to perceive the thing you are looking at

  • Notice you are looking with your whole body

  • Notice the space and the relation between you and the thing

  • Notice that the thing you are looking at is in its own relation to other things around it.

  • Notice how you are in relation to everything around you

  • Notice that everything is in relation to everything

  • Notice how this slow looking expands your sensory awareness of the world

  • In this place of awareness, notice how you open into a space of surprise, wonder and freedom.

July 6, 2020

Don’t forget to email us or tag us with your colour matches. This one is called Rain-Soaked Nasturtium Green. 

July 5, 2020

First set of instructions has been delivered, check your front porches!

If you didn’t receive one today it means we either couldn’t find your place to make the drop off, or you’ve requested to arrange for a pick up. Either way, we will be in touch soon to figure out how to deliver these to you!

July 4, 2020

Dear Local Field School Artists,

Sometime tomorrow we will be delivering the first (of four) sets of instructions to you. There is no firm deadline to complete the instructions. However, if you like working towards a deadline we recommend completing this set by July 12th, when the second set of instructions will be delivered. 

The Field School has no classroom. It takes place in and around your own home, or camp, on your regular walking route, or wherever you happen to be.

We would like for you to see what other participants are doing and for you to send us updates of your process/ progress. We will be posting photos from you, along with videos and tips from local artists, inspirational readings, and other helpful things to the Small Victories Local Field School Group, as well as here on our blog. You can send your photos to us by email, post in the FB group, or tag us @localfieldschool on instagram.

This first set of instructions was put together with the help of Claire Falkenberg. Claire is a painter (among many other things) with an amazing eye for colour and atmosphere. Thank you for your help, Claire!

We’re very excited to start this experimental school with you!


Small Victories Local

Field School Instructions

The Small Victories Local Field School is an experimental project developed to encourage the sourcing/ foraging/ testing and sharing of art materials in Dawson City. Starting on the first Sunday of July, a set of instructions created with the help of local artists will be delivered to you.

There are four sets of instructions in total and they will be delivered every two to three weeks over the summer. These instructions are open to a wide variety of artistic interpretations and skill levels, and are intended to be used as creative prompts.

Following the instructions might lead to four finished art pieces, or it might just lead to a bunch of little experiments that go nowhere in particular- it’s up to you, the artist. There’s no age minimum, but some activities will likely need some adult supervision and help.

Click here more information on how to register. 

Set 1: Local Palette
Delivery: approximately July 5th
Delivery method: Porch drop-off

We will learn how to train our eyes to look for and match colour, using local flora and fauna as our inspiration.

Set 2: Source Materials
Delivery: approximately July 22-23
Delivery method: Newspaper/ porch drop-off

This set will be very experimental and dirty. We will be looking for ways to use clay sourced from the Yukon River, locally-found plant fibers, and whatever else we can find.

Set 3: Sign of the Times
Delivery: approximately August 8
Delivery method: Pick-up from the back porch of the Yukon School of Visual Arts (look for the sign!)

This set will be about the craft of sign-painting and the significance of place names.

Set 4: Non-Human Collaborators
Delivery: approximately August 16
Delivery method: TBD

Things will get weird, weathered, and maybe even feathered. This set will be about looking at ways to make art with elements, beings, non-beings outside of our species.

The Small Victories Local Field School takes place on the traditional territory of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in. All of our teaching, learning, and art practices have been shaped by the land that we are on, and we will continue to be shaped by this place.  We are very grateful to the The Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in for their governance, guidance, and generosity as we grow and develop as artists on their territory.