Dyck, Aganetha

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Dyck, Aganetha

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Aganetha Dyck was born September 12, 1937, in Marquette Manitoba. In 1958 she married Peter Dyck with whom, in 1972, she would later move to Prince Albert Saskatchewan. There she began taking art courses in 1974 at the Prince Albert Art Centre, where she learned pottery, art criticism, batik and Salish weaving. In 1975 she began a mentorship with Professor George Glenn, and studied art history at the Prince Albert Community College. In 1976 she and her family moved back to Winnipeg, where in 1980 she continued her studies in Art History.

By this time she had already established herself as an artist. Hear early work used everyday objects in art in order to validate traditional female domestic activities. The inspiration for her work Close Knit (1975-1981), which used felt as a medium, occurred as a result of a dryer accident with wool. For the work she intentionally shrink dozens of articles of wool clothing. Another work exhibited at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in 1984 consisted of hundreds of Mason jars filled with buttons which had been prepared in various cooking techniques.

She has received the most attention for her art which focused on honeybees. After seeing a sign made of beeswax she got the idea to place objects inside beehives. She considers these works collaborations with the bees, she constructing the objects and the bees adding and finishing the artwork. This technique has produced such works as the Glass Dress, a glass wedding dress that took ten summers to complete, and Sports Night in Canada (1995-2000), in which she placed sports equipment such as helmets, pads and sticks into the beehives.

Her work with bees has earned her many honours, and had been notably featured in international exhibitions in Troyes, Paris, Rotterdam, and at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, England. In 2007 she was awarded bot the Manitoba Arts Council Award of Distinction as well as the Governor General`s Award in Visual and Media Arts. In 2013, for the help she gave, over the years, to the Art Centre for Broadway Youth in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she was awarded the Art City Star Award. In 2014 she received the Making a Mark Award by the Winnipeg Arts Council.

These awards were not given just in recognition for her artwork. Dyck has been an advocate for the continued survival of bee populations in North America, and she appeared on CBC`s The Nature of Things, with David Suzuki in 2006. She has sat on the board of the Plug in Gallery, and since the mid 1970`s Dyck has worked extensively with youth, visiting schools all over Canada doing workshops with students teaching them about, and how to make, art. She has served as a mentor to young women with Mentoring Artists for Women`s Art, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


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