The Junction art show experience.

Art on another level. Junction website

Deep, thoughtful, artistic

The Junction (creative studio) is a beautiful oasis of unapologetic self-expression in our city where small businesses sometimes find it hard to fare. As of September they’ve been open for four years and have chosen to celebrate their anniversary both with a family-friendly shindig and a prairie-themed exhibit, “Land of Living Skies,” which will bring the work of over 25 current local artists under one roof.

Kristina Blake (@kristinablakehair), the woman who opened The Junction back in 2015, was kind enough to give me the scoop on what her and her team bring to the table. “[It’s] a community-focused creative space that offers hair styling services, supports and showcases local artists and makers, and strongly encourages folks to think outside the box and be a little weird.”

The main level of their space houses a three-chair hair studio where they do everything from classic fades to layered mullets and everything in between, as well as a hand-made shop where you can purchase organic body care, jewelry, and local art. The second level is home to both The Woods (art space) and Josh Apperley Massage, so you can get that crick in your neck sorted out before turning it every-which-way to properly appreciate the pieces displayed throughout.

This shindig’s shenanigans are planned to start at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 15 with food and drink, followed by some mini-arcade fun provided by Mighty Chameleon Brothers, slam poetry by Micaella Joy, and an acoustic jam by Dustin Ritter. The “Land of Living Skies” art exhibit will take place in The Woods (art space) on the second level of The Junction, located at 2347 McIntyre Street. Blake said the interest and involvement of local artists played a large role in making The Woods into the safe space it’s come to be. An average of three to four shows a year are hosted in this non-traditional gallery, bringing all types of perspective and expression together in an eclectic cocktail. They’re currently in the process of forming a collective filled with local folks to create together and brainstorm ideas/themes for the space. They’re only in the early stages and are always looking for more up-and-coming local talent to contribute; if you’re interested in taking part there’s an application on The Junction website, and you can follow their social media accounts (@thejunctioncreativestudio & @thewoodsartspace) to get notifications when they put out calls for contributing artists.

The Junction’s vision for the “Land of Living Skies” exhibit, according to Blake was “to show an eclectic variety of Saskatchewan/Prairie art from a different perspective.” The exhibit itself will showcase many artists new to The Woods as well as a few returning artists, one being Patrick Fernandez. His biography on his website describes his inspiration being derived from the belief that “man is constantly changing, evolving and it is his experiences that make up the building blocks not only of his personality, but his relationships with the people around him and the community at large. Whether as a social commentary, nature scenes intervened by technology, or a gathering of masses, my paintings are mosaics of life pieced together on canvas.” I was lucky enough to have seen a previous exhibit of his at The Woods (art space) last year, and his pieces were positively striking. The colours used could not have been more vibrant, the contrast in both texture and tone were masterful, and the subtle mixing of mediums between visual art and tech wowed even the most skeptical.

Isabella Wishlow (@hair_chka & @bow_chka), one of the hairdressers at The Junction, will also have pieces displayed for your viewing pleasure. She’s described her creations as “whimsy terrors,” “melty critters,” and “a reflection of…finding the balanced relationship between my gut feeling, my heart, and my mind.” Wishlow’s past works displayed both at The Woods (art space) and on her instagram have been abstract interpretations of nature, beasts, and humans alike in a precise yet flowy black pen-and-ink style. Her attention to detail is as immaculate in her art as it is in her hairdressing – it doesn’t seem to matter how long I stare at her pieces, there’s always new accents and aspects jumping out at me.

Whether for the art, the atmosphere, the entertainment, or the food, please make the time to check out The Junction (creative studio) and The Woods (art space) for their free birthday shindig. In a city full of corporate chain locations, it’s imperative to support our local creative collectives in every way we’re able. The Junction’s hair studio is one of the most welcoming places I’ve been to and I always leave feeling on top of the world; they do wonders in giving back to the community and helping nurture unapologetic self-expression in every person who walks through their door. Stop in on the 15th for the “Land of Living Skies” art exhibit if you’re able, or swing by during their hours to check out the diamond in the rough that is The Junction.

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