“I remember knowing by age four I was here to work with my hands. This idea was reflected by the regional craft community that surrounded my father. By age nine, this community of craftspeople included people worldwide, and I understood working with one’s hands was universal. Craft became my culture.”

 

“I am curious about the power of installation art and how it connects to people. I attempt to share and connect to the world around me, using my art to travel to the social sphere to celebrate and interrogate the human condition. I draw upon my personal experience as a medium to tell stories.” 

 

Laura Hosaluk is a Saskatchewan Settler with Ukrainian, Polish, Scottish, and English ancestry. She was born in 1983 in Saskatoon and grew up in a rich creative rural craft community that gathered around her father, Michael, who was a craftsperson. This community of craftspeople included people from around the world, and Laura understood from a young age that working with one’s hands was universal. She developed a passion for craft and considers it her culture, one that reflects a mutual interrelation between humans and the Earth’s resources.

 

Laura is a versatile artist whose work spans various mediums, including painting, mixed media, sculpture in ceramic, wood, and bronze, and land art. She maintains a studio practice in Saskatoon, where she works as a community arts educator, interdisciplinary innovator, and dynamic volunteer. Her creative practice was formed during her childhood and nurtured through her art education at the EMMA International Collaboration in Emma Lake, SK, where she was introduced to a self-directed approach to learning and a free exchange of knowledge.

 

In 1996, Laura began her art education alongside 100 professional craftspeople at the EMMA event, which brought together some of the world’s finest woodturners and furniture-makers. She started her formal apprenticeship training under her father in 2005 and also studied under Al Bakke for bronze casting and Teresa Gagne for ceramics.

 

Laura became the first female coordinator for the EMMA event in 2010 and championed the format of EMMA UNPLUGGED, which encouraged people to move out of their creative comfort zones and challenged them to re-embrace traditional processes. Her mandate was to create a safe, fertile, and fun environment for artists at all stages of development to explore materials, techniques, and subject matter without expectations of results. She believes in innovative educational models that remove hierarchy in information exchange.

 

In 2013, Laura presented her own ideas and experience gathered through collaborative learning when she was invited to present alongside her father Michael at a conference, Creativity in the World, Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Deer Isle, MN. That same year, she presented Creativity in the World at The Donkey Mill Arts Centre, Holualoa, HI, USA, as she was an artist in residence at the Hawaii Artist Collaboration Program. She was also invited to Wisconsin’s Madison Discovery Museum as a visiting artist, where she utilized a trampoline as a studio space and constructed paintings on 5’x8′ plexiglass for their sidewalk surprise gallery. Her work is titled Painting experiment #1: Trampoline. 

 

In 2016, Laura was invited to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Martin Demaine; Artist in Residence, Glass, and son Erik Demaine; professor of Computer Science to further research ideas and benefits on collaboration as a model for empowering student-centered learning. As the spontaneous nature of the event continued to grow, so did the father/daughter practice, and together they encouraged each other to be innovative in their art practices as they explored various mediums, techniques, and subject matter. 

 

Laura Hosaluk credits all the people and hands that have influenced her teaching pedagogy and attributes it to the act of sharing. According to her, sharing is equivalent to teaching. Very few people do not want to own and control artistic ideas and techniques. This is where innovation can start again and again! The guiding principles that formed EMMA can revolutionize how we exchange information, setting an example for the future of conferencing and education.

 

The duo’s passion for collaboration is reflected in their practice, Hosaluk Art, public sculpture, Bridging Whirls, 2019. The bench is constructed from a found bridge girder and a concrete casting of a large fir wooden slab, creating a literal bridge between nature and humans, connecting the Elbow River with the people of Calgary. The bench serves as a vehicle for one or more people to come together, opening the possibility to belong in the interconnectedness of life. It is a place to sit and experience the inner expressions combined with the outer world that surrounds us. According to Laura, “I believe a creator’s core desire is to create something of enduring value. I’m curious how the viewer can influence the space? How does space influence the viewer? How often do the two exist at once? This installation represents imaginative environments that bridge the conditions to invent creative possibilities found in viewing our Earth as truly ours rather than mine.”

 

During the week-long performance/production, the Hosaluks designed and built an installation of a public bench on-site, bringing the art practice into the public realm. The duo also brought another project titled Connect to Calgary, 2017, which involved live woodturning with a bicycle-powered lathe, an experiment in furniture making.

 

Laura Hosaluk’s work has been exhibited regionally, nationally, and internationally. In 2014, Adrian Stimson curated the show Saskatchewan, which featured works by artists from the Métis, Cree and European peoples of Canada. The Saskatchewan exhibition delved into the immense artistic, cultural, and ethnic diversity that has long characterized the region’s art and its strong history and tradition of finding and creating solid artists.

 

Laura Hosaluk served as the educational manager with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Saskatoon in partnership with the Core Neighbourhood Youth Co-op (CNYC), an alternative education program. Her experience in classroom-based settings and traditional hands-on apprenticeships means she understands the importance of the two distinct learning styles. Her passion centers around delivering creative programming.

 

Hosaluk’s directly connected to her Saskatoon community. She is passionate about collaboration and learning about Unshared Authorship, both in experiential learning and community growth. In 2008, she was instrumental with Kimbal Worme and Joseph Naytowhow in connecting children with Indigenous culture through a series of after-school programs titled Youth Leading Youth with the City of Saskatoon. Her love for creative learning has been demonstrated through various Artist Residencies; Opening the Door, ArtSmarts Grant, Saskatchewan Arts Board (SAB), Nutana Collegiate, Saskatoon, SK, 2009, Come Circle Around, SAB Creative Partnerships, Explore and Develop, PotashCorp Saskatchewan Children’s Festival, Saskatoon, SK, 2016, and the Think Indigenous Conference, Nutana Collegiate, Saskatoon, SK, 2017, and The Human Loom, a cooperative craft game created with the Functional Life skills students at Evan Hardy Collegiate, Saskatoon, 2018, SK Arts.

 

Hosaluk’s future goal is to collaborate with new partners who would like to pioneer new educational systems through the arts as creativity is next to literacy.