Fall Harcourt House Artist in Residence Update

The Quiet Rebuild

“The Quiet Rebuild” – my art show at the culmination of my year as Artist in Residence at Harcourt House Gallery and Artist Run Centre – officially opens in exactly one week! I can hardly believe it! The year has gone by so quickly and I have cherished every precious moment of it.


Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

My studio has undergone massive transformations as well. I started my residency with two loveseats and now there are none as I needed every square foot. If you come and visit my studio you’ll have to sit on a painting chair… but still come! When my residency began the walls were bare yet now it seems like every inch of space has been transformed. In November 2012 I set out with delicate, two foot tall wood sculptures and now have large, nearly 5 foot high, sculptures that weigh a ton. During the year I have also painted and worked with wood burning.


Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

So what exactly is “The Quiet Rebuild” all about, you ask?

After my son died I discovered that art was a helpful tool to work through my grief and find healing. I also learned that people struggle in similar ways after all kinds of hardships and that one of the best traits of humanity is resiliency. My artwork in “The Quiet Rebuild” is an abstracted picture of my grief and journey to find healing. I also found inspiration in others who shared their stories with me from all kinds of struggle; these brave individuals have given me permission to share their stories with my viewers. The rebuilding process is quiet, unglamorous, but needed and soulful. I hope my work in “The Quiet Rebuild” will be a visual enjoyment and encouragement to many people.

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute


First of all, everyone is welcome!

Opening Reception: Thursday, October 24, 2013

7:30pm –  I will be giving an artist talk about my work

8:00-10:00pm – Reception, snacks and mingling

Harcourt House Gallery: 3rd floor, 10215-112 Street, Edmonton, Alberta

WHY: Because “The Quiet Rebuild” is quirky and beautiful; the artwork playful while deeply moving and thought-provoking.

Open Art Studio, Open Heart

It’s time for the Artist in Residence meet and greet at Harcourt House!

This Thursday night I will be opening my art studio in the Harcourt Annex for visitors. I will also be giving a poetry reading and doing a demo of my woodworking techniques. This coincides with Harcourt’s annual member’s exhibition; this year the theme is Kinetic. It’s going to be a great night! Also in store: a complementary BBQ on the grass in front of the gallery (YUM!) and a free life drawing workshop.

I truly love what I am working on in my studio at Harcourt House. My art is full of color and shape. Come Thursday, June 20th and see for yourself.

I truly love what I am working on in my studio at Harcourt House. My art is full of color and shape. Come Thursday, June 20th and see for yourself.

The body of art I am creating during my residency is called “The Quiet Rebuild” and is a visual picture of healing and rebuilding one’s life after hardship.

For me, the hardship was losing my second child to a cardiac tumor in 2010. Since then I have been slowly (sometimes extremely slowly) and quietly rebuilding my life. I have found that art became and remains an important tool and expression of my grief and search for hope. Everyone will find meaning in this artwork.

I am working with a lot of wood, both natural and manufactured in “The Quiet Rebuild.” Other materials I am using include yarn, Jenga blocks, paper, and acrylic paint. Oh and photography as well. I feel such an amazing connection with my art and am looking forward to sharing it with our local community within my studio, where all the magic happens!

The poem I will be reading speaks to the time I lost my son, whom we named Zachary. I am currently working on branding (burning) the poem onto wood panels. I will share more about the meaning of the poem and my wood burning technique at the demo.

Click here for specific  info about the Kinetic exhibition and Artist in Residence meet and greet. Hope to see you there!!

This is a fish-eye photo of my poem I am branding onto wood panels. Come to the Artist in Residence meet and greet to hear a reading of the poem and see my wood burning techniques first hand.

This is a fish-eye photo of my poem I am branding onto wood panels. Come to the Artist in Residence meet and greet to hear a reading of the poem and see my wood burning techniques first hand.

Save the date: Kinetic Exhibition at Harcourt House

The 25th anniversary of Harcourt House Gallery and Artist Run Centre in Edmonton will be celebrated with another stellar event, the annual Member’s Exhibition. As a part of the Works Art and Design Festival, the theme and title of the show is Kinetic.


This event doubles as a fundraiser for the gallery and I encourage all to come out and lend support to an amazing local organization. I will be selling my new (never before seen) work to support Harcourt and their impressive list of programs.


As the Artist in Residence at Harcourt House, I will be opening my studio, giving a poetry reading and demonstrating the woodworking techniques I have developed in my current body of work entitled, “The Quiet Rebuild.” It is going to be an exciting opening and exhibition!


Save the date! Here are the details:


Kinetic Exhibition, June 13 – July 5, 2013

Opening reception: Thursday, June 20th from 6-10pm

Harcourt House Gallery

10215-112 Street


My open studio, poetry reading and demo:

Harcourt House Annex

(Yellow metal building on the corner)

10211-112 Street

New Work, Residency and the Groove

As February stretches onwards, I marvel that I am over a quarter of the way into my residency at Harcourt House Gallery and Artist Run Centre. To say time flies is an understatement; time tornados by! Yet, I make sure to slow myself to appreciate every precious moment of it.

I wanted to share some of my new work that has been my labor of love since November 2012. Really, I have too much to share here and will soon create a new category on my website in the portfolio section. Stay tuned.


Copyright Alexis Marie Chute

Copyright Alexis Marie Chute

I have been working with wood, both sculpturally and on flat surfaces. Currently I am holding my breath waiting on a big order of cut wooden pieces to arrive – then I will be feverishly creating even more unique “city-like” designs (so I’ve been told they resemble by visitors to my studio). The long wait would be negated if anyone reading this is skilled with a _________ (insert word here that names a wood cutting tool with the precision to cut very small squares) – if you or someone you know is able to give me a hand, please get in touch!


At first I wasn’t quite sure how my paintings relate to my wood creations but when the Harcourt House Executive Director, Derek Brooks, popped in one day and explained to me the correlation – I finally got it. It’s true, apparently, that artists can be too close to their own work to notice connections sometimes.


Wood sculpture 01 art copyright Alexis Marie Chute

I am in the groove working in my studio. It’s a romance with my materials and I am constantly exploring new ways of creating with them – truly a fun time.

Harcourt House AIR Update

My wood sculptures are growing in width and height – and even colour! I have finished a small but complex piece and am breezing along with another that will end up being as tall as I am!

This week I will be building large stretchers, about 6 x7 feet, and stretching them with unprimed canvas. With these I will be creating my ‘forest’ so to speak. Likely by the New Year the walls of my studio will be transformed with colour and paintings of the evolution of the natural life of a forest through growth, fire and regrowth.

Wood pieces sit drying after being glued. Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

I have met a few other artists in the Harcourt House Annex and have come to feel so at home in my studio already. I want each moment of my residency to stretch out as long as possible – it is a dream come true and I love every second!

Little glued pieces wait to be used in my sculptures. Photo copyright Alexis Marie Chute

(AIR = Artist in Residence)

Moving into Harcourt House, Artist in Residence Studio

It has been a few weeks since I moved in to my studio at Harcourt House where I will be creating art for the next year.

My hubby carrying in our baby play pen for my very young art collaborator.

Moving day:

My husband’s vehicle was full of log stumps and a love seat given to me by a sweet friend (the couch for sitting, the stumps for art projects). I had bags of random supplies, wood glue, paint brushes, and sketch and inspiration books that I hauled in while wearing my newborn in the baby backpack. My three year old said she was going to help, but only managed to bounce around the room with excited energy.

I inherited some furniture.

“Mommy’s studio!” she screamed and I was thankful someone really understood how exciting this opportunity is for me. I so love my jubilant girl.

My family.

I unlocked the wooden door and walked in, took a deep breath and saw beyond the white washed walls to my vision of the art that rumbles deep within me.

“It is beginning,” I thought to myself and I couldn’t help but smile.


The history of previous tenants.

Since November 1st:

Harcourt House’s Artist in Residence position has been the longtime fulfillment of a dream I’ve cherished since a child; the passion for my art growing into something larger than myself in an environment of inspiration.

So far I have a handful of works in progress – all wood based and in keeping with my theme of re-growth and rebirth, the starting over that many of us must begin in the face of life’s sometimes unfortunate circumstances. For me, it was the death of my son. For you – I would like to hear what challenges you have battled to overcome.

Encouragement written on the wall above my door.

I found my voice through creating art after my loss and my work, though not specifically about my story, is a picture of the resilience and determination that is required if we are going to make our lives the brilliant creations that they are capable of becoming.

I will be taking some photos of my works in progress and will share where I am at throughout the year here on my blog. Subscribe to receive my posts via email. Keep in touch! I’d love to hear from you!

This is where I’ll be.

White Walls and a Welcome Title, My Artist Residency has Begun


When I walked into my new studio at Harcourt House for the first time, I was startled to see the previous Artist in Residence had white washed the walls. I really appreciate the thoughtful gesture but the stark white shocked me. It was almost like the terror of a writer faced with a blank page or an artist with a virgin canvas.


I had a moment of panic thinking, “Oh God! Can I do this?”


Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute


Then I noticed that the blinding white walls were not perfect. At the base were a few inches of paint drips remaining untouched. Who knows how many individuals and previous artists in yearlong residencies mixed the colours that flowed from beneath the white down the wall and onto the floor.


That little bit of imperfection was (and is) my saviour. As an imperfect person on the cusp of a dream opportunity, I know there will be failures and successes, good days and bad. The imperfect walls and floor give me the breathing space to not worry about mess, to get my hands dirty and be a brilliant experimenter of creative thought.


Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute


I am overflowing, literally running over with joy and thankfulness for this opportunity, for my (imperfect) white walls and my welcome new title. Artist in Residence. I’m so ready.


Check out my Alexis Marie Chute website for more blog posts about my artist residency. Here is a post called: “Moving into Harcourt House, Artist in Residence Studio”


Photograph copyright Alexis Marie Chute