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Photos: Rachel Gray

In The Making Collaborating Artist Interview: Melanie Yugo

By Apartment613 on May 14, 2019

Text by Joanna Tymkiw, visuals by Rachel Gray. In the Making is an interdisciplinary exhibition featuring the work of ten BEING Studio artists. The exhibition is the culmination of a workshop series presented by five local artists sharing skills in printmaking, sculpture, photography, storytelling and ceramics. Joanna is a member of BEING Studio’s Board of Directors and Rachel is the artistic coordinator at the studio.

Click here to learn more about BEING Studio’s In The Making workshop series.

“The values guiding my work are inclusivity and diversity. I want to reflect as many different voices as possible,” says Melanie Yugo. As a leader in cultural programming and the co-founder and director of Possible Worlds, an art and music space in Ottawa’s Chinatown, she’s also the city’s go-to person for silkscreening (a form of printmaking) education.

What initially drew Melanie to printmaking was its ability to be disseminated to a variety of public. “Printmaking is a democratic art form and when you have multiples of prints, you’re more able to share them with other people.” When she was approached to work with BEING Studio for In The Making, she was most excited about using this medium to multiply artists’ voices. “We don’t often get to hear the voices of underrepresented artists and without them we aren’t getting the whole human experience.”

We don’t often get to hear the voices of underrepresented artists and without them we aren’t getting the whole human experience.—Collaborating Artist Melanie Yugo

Silkscreening allows the transfer of images onto a variety of surfaces. The process Melanie used for this workshop is the photo emulsion process, where a stencil of an image is exposed onto a frame stretched with mesh before ink is forced through the mesh holes of the stencil, leaving behind the design on the surface of the item.

Currently in her personal practice, Melanie’s own printed works explores stories related to her identity and family history. “I’m thinking about the journeys, adventures and challenges my family have faced and using printmaking as a way to record these stories.”

Speaking about her overall impression of the BEING Studio, she says “there is such a commitment to artistic exploration going on there. It really fosters an environment for raw and experimental expression.”

Since printmaking is about the dissemination and accessibility of art, t-shirts with the artist’s featuring their silkscreen designs will be on sale at Ottawa Art Gallery gift shop throughout the exhibit.

In The Making’s opening reception is Thursday May 16 from 5:30-8:30pm at the Galerie Annexe, Ottawa Art Gallery. The exhibition runs May 16-26. Ottawa Art Gallery’s drop-off/pick-up address is 10 Daly Avenue. The Daly entrance is between Waller and Nicholas on the south side. The Ottawa Art Gallery is a wheelchair accessible venue.