27; New Bloom

McKayla Evanovich

April 5 - April 9, 2021

Gordon Snelgrove Gallery

Often, a conversation begins with dialogue about our own personal stories. Communicating about the emotional connection in a personal life event can unveil the origin of why we feel the way we do. It is an opportunity to process the event and heal. For this reason, conversations about mental health is important in everyone’s personal growth.

My work is a visual dialogue about my mental health. I am interested in how communication about trauma can lead to awareness, compassion and healing. Through this work, it is my intent to encourage others to start talking about their own mental health and to find healing for themselves.

The artwork juxtaposes body language with plants that are symbolic and a metaphor. My paintings reveal how a reflection, by others and upon oneself, can effect mental health. Admitting something is wrong and seeking assistance can show inner strength which can also lead to healing. For example, the language of flowers can signify both personality, and how someone sees another, or what they mean to them. For instance, a dwarf sunflower symbolises adoration. While a violate flower symbolises faithfulness. When making the artwork, I considered how significant each plant was for each person.

Plants and flowers also represent my own growth and journey with mental health going into my 27th year of life.

Emotions and thoughts are not always predictable, and they by no means make sense to everyone. Communication has been a significant tool that I have used to heal. Events long past can be hidden and pushed back in the subconscious mind.  Memories can be stored for a long time and through dialogue, awareness can release them and lead to healing.  This series addresses the importance of having conversations with others about the individual inner experience.

About the Artist

McKayla’s artistic career began by creating commissioned portraits, drama sets, floats, and a small billboard for business in her hometown of Grenfell Saskatchewan. She has also hosted art workshops out of Prince Albert Saskatchewan. She enjoys a diversity of media, but more recently obsessed with oil paints. Since a young age, McKayla has found comfort and safety in her art practice.  She would like to assist others in their artistic journey. Her inspiration is to find healing, and to create a place where others feel welcomed into their own healing. Now, graduating with her fine arts degree, she is pursuing a career in art psychology. 



Mnemosyne's Manifesto

Kei Tanaka

April 5 - April 9, 2021

Gordon Snelgrove Gallery

I have been interested in Greek mythology for as long as I can remember.  Stories and art depicting gods/titans have inspired me to imagine immortality and heroic deeds that only gods could do.  The exhibition title refers to Mnemosyne who is the Titan of Memory and mother of the Nine Muses and carries the stories of goddesses and the worlds of titans and heroes in Greek mythology. In this exhibition titled Mnemosyne’s Manifesto, I explore the goddesses, female titans in Greek mythology. Male heroes and gods such as Hercules and Zeus often dominate Greek mythology, and this exhibition is an opportunity to highlight equally heroic female archetypes. Although more rare, the stories around female titans and goddesses have the potential to inspire women to see themselves in these characters, to be reminded of their own strength within, and hope for better in these trying times.

My paintings investigate lesser-known females in Greek Mythology such as Persephone, Orithyia, Styx, and Themis. The Goddess of Springtime, Persephone suffered an unhappy marriage after taken by Hades to the underworld, where she was married and crowned the Queen of the Damned. Her mother, Demeter, negotiated a yearly reunion with her each spring. Also kidnapped by an admirer, Orithyia of Athens was a most beautiful princess. Forced to marry Boreas, the God of the North Wind, Orithyia was made immortal and became the goddess of cold mountain winds. Styx, an Oceanid nymph, helped the Gods in the war against the Titans and so Zeus gifted her a river that souls cross to reach the underworld and their afterlife. He also declared that all vows made on River Styx would be unbreakable. The goddess of justice, Themis made the laws for all men to follow. Nyx, referred to as the goddess of the night, was so powerful that even Zeus feared her.

In Greek myth stories, Atlas is male.  My version is female because I believe that gender does not determine inner strength. As a self-portrait, I wanted to draw attention to my own struggle with anxiety and depression. In the myth story, Atlas carries the world on his shoulders. Like Atlas’s burden of the sky, the emotional weight of anxiety is enormous but invisible.

About the Artist

Kei Tanaka is an artist from Saskatoon, SK. Her preferred mediums are oil painting, and watercolour. She is particularly interested in portraiture and the body in painting, and storytelling through illustration and theatre design. In December 2019, she published her first picture book, The Nutcracker, the classical Christmas ballet, which is the perfect marriage between her two passions in life: art and ballet.

Take It, McKayla Evanovich, 2021, 30x40, Oil paint on canvas 


























Pandora, Kei Tanaka, October 2020, 32" x 48", Oil paint