UFOs coming in for a landing at Yukon Artists at Work Gallery



Heather Von Steinhagen and Nicole Bauberger will open Landing Sites and Other Stories – navigating distances at the Yukon Artists at Work Gallery on March 5. The show will feature plein air landscapes in oils with UFOs in them as well as works in glass and ceramic, and will continue until March 26.





Steinhagen and Bauberger created the Landing Sites paintings in the summer of 2020, supported by the Emerging Artist program from the Yukon Arts Centre. They first conceived of the idea during Nakai Theatre’s residency with artists across Canada, aimed at considering theatre at the scale of landscape. They created ad hoc performances that included imagined alien life forms, and considered the implications of bringing this kind of imagery to plein air painting in the Yukon, itself an arts practice alien to historical Indigenous cultures here.


This body of work was featured in Yukon UFOs at the Yukon Transportation Museum between 2020 and 2021, with a few other works in ceramic and glass. Still, the artists figured that many Yukoners interested in art may not have seen it there, so it was worth installing in the downtown gallery scene.


Working with the visionary Janna Swales, then director of the Yukon Transportation Museum, now the territory’s newest museumist, they also created Encounters as part of this exhibition programming, which hosted a workshop where participants worked from the experience of coming across a drone in a post industrial wilderness setting, and making sculptures in response to the experience. This was meant to recreate the experience 100 years ago that people would have had encountering the first squadron of human airplanes to reach the Yukon.


Both Steinhagen and Bauberger have a few new pieces to add to the exhibition.


The stories of star people, and alien pop culture (Roswell, internet sleuthing) has always been a subtle but strong influence for Steinhagen. Iconography of extraterrestrial worlds and beings are a source of inspiration for Heather. “From unknown technology to spiritual beings, I think there’s a strong draw to explore and experience what it is to be or see alien. Yukon is full of mysteries and big skies. Exploring UFOs in a conceptual and tangible way is an exciting way to investigate all dimensions of the sky anonymities.”


For Bauberger, the interest in UFOs comes from all the stories she heard when she first came to the Yukon twenty years ago, coupled with her own feeling of being an alien in her little UFO vehicle, especially as an artist of settler heritage. “An unidentified flying object invokes the imagination. Heck, I’m such a bad birder that most birds fall into this category for me. And at the same time, we ignore each other’s visions at our peril. For me it’s not a question of belief or nonbelief but of imaginative listening to the world, acknowledging that it’s possible we don’t understand yet.”


A disembodied Von Steinhagen will attend the gallery March 5th from 1-3 pm via Zoom, with Bauberger there in person 11-4. The exhibition will be viewable in person Tuesday to Saturday 11 to 4, until March 26, and only to those with their vaccination certification in hand, alas.


Watch (bits of social media) for snippets from the show if you can’t attend in person.


Contact Nicole Bauberger at nbauberger@yahoo.com or 867 668 1577 for more information.