Carolyn Gerk

Artist in Residence
Northern AB Artist in Residence - Summer 2022
IMG 20220619 150718
IMG 20220619 150718

I am a self taught artist and mother living on Treaty 8 land. I work in a variety of physical
mediums, including watercolor, ink, linocut and mixed media fiber arts. My work focuses largely on
feminism, social issues, literature, film and the natural world.
My artwork evokes a sense of movement and freedom, with wild splashes of color and twisting lines.
Figures are encompassed by swirling, loose colors and vibrant pools, and feature examinations of how
beauty and horror intersect.

Carolyn Gerk headshot

When working with lino carvings, I aim for bold lines contrasting small details, and a sense of
fluidity and motion. I adore the richness that comes with a well carved piece; not to mention the
satisfaction of working steadily and slowly. When it comes to creating, I work quickly and almost
fervently, motivated by a concept or an idea that I can hardly wait to see fulfilled. Linocut carving
requires me to slow down and be patient with the process.
A student at heart, I research many of my works before creating them, to study theories and concepts,
to ensure the statements made through my work are fully formed. I use many online and print text
resources to create my pieces.
As a rural, northern artist, it can be a challenge to find avenues for artistic efforts. Living and
working in an area with few options for displaying and promoting artwork and difficulty with accessing
supplies are notable obstacles. I am active in working with my local library, which is a helpful way to
keep in touch with arts and culture programming. I utilize a good deal of online networking to expand
my work and my business. Through these connections, I have joined a collective of creatives who are
committed to donating a percentage of sales to charity on a monthly basis. I am passionate about
donating to causes that promote social justice and women’s rights.
Motherhood also factors greatly into my work. I work from home while also schooling my two
children. I often find myself using my knowledge of art and artists to create engaging programming and
curriculum. The two jobs, parenting and creating, are deeply entangled, and one often feeds the other.
My studio is merely a corner of my living room, surrounded by noise, mess and love. I am deeply
dedicated to my work and rarely have a day when I don’t create something. Creating is my work and my
passion, and I am tremendously grateful for it.