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Biography - Claire Kujundzic

Born in Scotland, Claire Kujundzic emigrated to B.C. at age five. Between 1959 and 1964 she lived in Nelson, where her father founded the Kootenay School of Art. In her teens, living in the home of writer George Ryga and his family in Summerland further encouraged her interest in social issues, music and art. After living on a co-op farm in the Salmon Valley, she moved to Vancouver where she volunteered at Co-op Radio, trained in commercial printing, sang with the band Ad Hoc and attended Langara and Emily Carr Colleges. From 1985-86 she designed two series of stamps for the Nicaraguan Philatelic Service. After returning to Canada, Claire did a series of paintings and collages for use in two fundraising calendars for Tools for Peace.

Claire’s forest-based work has been exhibited at the Two Rivers Art Gallery in Prince George, as well as at the Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, Kootenay Gallery of Art, History and Science, Castlegar, and Station House Gallery in Williams Lake. This series incorporates pine beetle marks, maps, animals and wood textures in a range of beautiful imagery and abstraction. A large selection of her canvas "trees" and pine beetle paintings was installed in the athletes' living rooms in Vancouver and Whistler during the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Most recently it was an integral part of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations biannual conference which took place in Montesclaros, Spain in May, 2011 and in Sopron, Hungary in September, 2011, and Banff, Alberta, in September 2013. In April, 2015 she exhibited her work with Bill Horne at GKo Gallery in Tolosa, Spain.

Her images have been reproduced by groups including Amnesty International, CoDevelopment Canada, the International Congress of Midwives, and the Health Sciences Association. In 1997 she won the Canadian Association of Labour Media best illustration award, and in 2002, a Woman of Distinction Award in BC's Northern Interior region. CUPE BC commissioned her to design a poster to commemorate the 100th International Women's Day.

Claire and her partner Bill Horne have lived in Wells since 1995 when they founded “Amazing Space Studio & Gallery” in the former Catholic Church. She has served on numerous juries and the boards of CARFAC BC, Mayworks, the Wells and District Chamber of Commerce, and Island Mountain Arts.

In the summer of 2002, Claire initiated a hunger strike to save the Wells-Barkerville-Bowron elementary school. Nearly 50 others participated in the hunger strike, including Wells Mayor Dave Hendrixson and BC Federation of Labour President Jim Sinclair, and the school is still open.

Biography - Bill Horne

Born in Vancouver, Bill Horne studied painting and drawing at the Banff Centre and film animation at UBC. He has taught silkscreen printing at the Vancouver Native Education Centre, Kakali Handmade Papers and Island Mountain Arts, and paper-making at the National Art School in Managua. For several years, he wrote a twice-monthly column about art and politics for the Quesnel Cariboo Observer. From 2003 2005 he worked at the Naramata Centre as Director of the Summer Program. He and Claire moved back to Wells at the end of May, 2005.

Bill has exhibited his work across Canada, most recently at Two Rivers Gallery in Prince George ("Behind the Lines") and was part of the 1995 "Living at the End of Nation-State" and the 1996 New Works residencies at the Banff Centre, as well as a 1997 residency at Engramme in Québec City. In 2013 he won an Access Copyright Foundation professional development award for a papermaking apprenticeship with Juan Barbé of Eskulan in Basque Country. In April, 2015 he exhibited his work with Claire Kujundzic at GKo Gallery in Tolosa, Spain.

Bill likes to print on a wide range of materials, such as handmade paper, marble and hides, depending on his subject. He illustrated "Queen of All the Dustballs", a collection of poems by Bill Richardson, and his "Portrait of Norma and George Ryga" appeared on the cover of Talonbooks' 25th Anniversary Catalogue.

His Solidarity Series of photographs link cultural and wage workers to protest recent cuts to arts funding in BC. Bill's Behind the Lines series of 3-D assemblages, which poses screen printed letters from MPs with related imagery, brings together his activism and art.

He designed BC photographer Chris Harris' books Flyover, Motherstone, Barkerville, Tweedsmuir, Kamloops, Spirit in the Grass - The Cariboo-Chilcotin's Forgotten Landscape, The Bowron Lakes - A Guide to Paddling British Columbia's Wilderness Canoe Circuit, The Bowron Lakes - A Lifetime Journey, artist Norman Yates' bilingual book Retrospace, and Derek Evans' Before the War. He won an Alcuin Society Book Design award in 2009.

Bill is a Past President of Canadian Artists Representation/ le front des artistes canadiens BC, a past Western Vice-Representative for CARFAC National, and the 2013 Recipient of CARFAC’s National Advocacy Award. (French version here). Click for his interview on CBC Radio's North By Northwest (about 1/3 of the way in)

photo courtesy of Kent Kallberg
Claire Kujundzic photo