Feb 28, 2023
News Release Yuel Family Partnership with Galleries
MARCH 22, 2023, Wanuskewin Heritage Park– Olivia & Greg Yuel made a special announcement: a $675,600 donation in support of a new Artist-in-Residence program with Wanuskewin Galleries; to be named the Olivia Gallery and the Greg Yuel Gallery. This contribution supports Wanuskewin’s bid to become Saskatchewan’s first UNESCO World Heritage site and is a meaningful step in the long-term support for Indigenous art & culture programming.
“The Yuel’s support of a National Indigenous Artist-in-Residence program is a leadership gift that shows the country, and the world, that Wanuskewin is very special and important place worthy of UNESCO World Heritage designation,” says Alan Long, Director of Development for Wanuskewin Heritage Park. “So many Indigenous artists have been inspired by the deep history and spirituality of this place and this gift allows Wanuskewin to share this more broadly and deepen this legacy!”
Olivia & Greg Yuel are deeply passionate about supporting art and artistic opportunity in Saskatchewan, “Olivia brought an appreciation of art into our relationship. Her mom was an artist. Our appreciation for the arts in general is rooted from within the process itself. That a person can express themselves and share who they are or what they are thinking so others may understand it and relate to that expression is incredible,” says Greg Yuel.
Greg Yuel is President of PIC Investment Group, and this Yuel family business has a long history of supporting growth in Saskatchewan. Established 1976, PIC Group now mainly supports operations management in companies, seeking to maximise lift by predicting partner needs and keeping their businesses safe from the unexpected. In other words, this is a family interested in supporting community and fostering growth.
“Community connection is what has always set Wanuskewin Galleries apart; for Indigenous artists both locally and across the country, we strive to make sure art is accessible to everyone,” says Olivia Kristoff, Curator of Wanuskewin Galleries. “This collaboration with the Yuel Family means we have partners who get it, who understand the importance of bringing the incredible Indigenous art being made today to that same community.”
The Olivia & Greg Yuel Artist-in-Residence (AIR) Program is one-of-a-kind.
“The Yuel Artist in Residence Program will bring national and international Indigenous artists to Wanuskewin, where they can mentor emerging artists and interact with the public in a way that aligns with Wanuskewin’s overall mission of understanding and appreciating the living Indigenous cultures through education and actionable reconciliation,” says Kristoff. She goes on to say, “There is no direct translation of the word “art” in any Indigenous language, because it is
wholly ingrained in our way of life. We hope to use this collaboration with the Yuels to bring a little more art to the lives of those who visit Wanuskewin.”
This program will be for both emerging and established artists. It will call for local, provincial, national, and international Indigenous artists. Taking a cue from partners like WeTu Artists in Missinipe Churchill River Residency Program (also supported by PIC Group), the Olivia & Greg Yuel AIR Program will encourage artists to explore the land, resources, and connections to grasslands ecology at Wanuskewin.
According to Greg Yuel, “Our collaboration with Wanuskewin is one of many efforts we have made to increase visibility of Indigenous artistic styles as they evolve and grow over time. Water color landscapes, traditional beadwork of Native Prairie flowers and animals, are signature land-based imagery. We are excited to support these styles, and to see what new artistic styles emerge over the next 30 years”