Three Yorkton artists are featured in new solo exhibitions at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery this month.
Kristopher Grunert, Kenton Doupe, and Sam Derkatch were all present for the opening of their exhibitions on March 4.
Grunert, a Yorkton-raised professional photographer, travels the world capturing images of great works of architecture and industry, many of which are on display now at the gallery. He was the subject of a Yorkton This Week feature article last August.
Doupe, a Grade 11 student at Yorkton Regional High School, created 100 portraits of his Facebook friends using stencils and spray paint.
Derkatch, a twenty-six-year-old Yorkton photographer, explored abandoned settlements and structures in the rural areas surrounding the city.
At the opening, Doupe explained how he came to recreate 100 of the people in his life on canvas.
"One of my friends, I did a large canvas for him, just of him. And I did one for another friend, and another friend, and they said, 'You should do one for everyone.'
"I took that literally," Doupe joked.
Godfrey Dean Art Gallery Executive Director Don Stein took an interest in the project and offered Doupe a chance to exhibit his work.
The simplicity of black & white stencils appealed to Doupe, who has been sketching and painting since the age of 11. He first became interested in stencils after seeing work by street artist Banksy.
"It really just defines the features a lot, so it's a lot easier to find a person distinctly on their features instead of their clothes or something like that," said Doupe.
Using Facebook profile pictures gives a special insight into a subject's personality, said the artist, "because usually people put their best picture as their profile picture—one that really shows who they are and suits them."
Doupe plans to distribute all 100 portraits to their subjects after the exhibition closes.
Sam Derkatch captures images of abandoned farmhouses, churches, and cemeteries to create artwork he refers to as "hillbilly photography."
"This is a very kind of hillbilly lifestyle that these people lived – very hard working," he said. "I feel like a hillbilly too, because I'm a Ukrainian descendent, so I have a lot of history in what I try to capture."
Derkatch, who works as a truck driver for a Saltcoats farmer, finds his solitary rural ruins in an area of about 100 miles around Yorkton.
"I'm always looking wherever I drive. I always keep an eye out for something that catches my eye. You can always see a roof or something out in the trees, and you can tell it's an old abandoned place."
While a photograph cannot tell the whole story of a place, Derkatch enjoys the glimpse of personal history that an image provides.
"It's like a moment of time where these people were here, and they built with their blood and sweat a home, raised children, and then time passes and everything returns back to the Earth again. I just wanted to capture that moment in time.
"This used to be a living, breathing home for somebody. There's a lot of memories here: a lot of good times, a lot of bad times. But like everything, it eventually passes with time. If I can capture a little of it, that's cool."
The three exhibitions are open at the gallery until April 13.