Meet the visual artists of the Prairie Grid Market

Get to know the artists behind our large-scale illustrated art installation for this year's Prairie Grid Market

With the help of Calgary Produce Marketing Association we were able to work with a wid range of talented artists from across Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba for our 2020 Prairie Grid Markets to bring to life large-scale illustrated works of art by these talented individuals that showcase the diversity of the Canadian Prairies.

Meet the eleven visual artists from Calgary, Saskatoon and Winnipeg who's vibrant artwork is being showcased at our markets in Saskatoon and Calgary this month.

Jan Castillo

Jan Castillo is a local designer, illustrator, and craftsman currently juggling his role as a graphic designer and owner of ‘Red Herring Studio’, a small business focussed on handmade leather goods.

Through self-discovery and the need to constantly be creating personal projects, his design sensibility and style have flourished and his love of anything and everything hands-on has transcended into his daily life. With this experience, he has further developed his keen sense of design and has honed his skills by working on diverse projects like illustration, chalkboard art, sign painting, and leatherwork.

Sumin Choi

Born in South Korea, Sumin Choi has spent more than half of her life in the sunniest city in Canada and loves it a bit more every day. During those years she studied Visual Design as a career at the Alberta College of Art + Design (now AuArts), acclimated to chinooks, and developed an extreme love for hiking in some of Alberta’s best mountain trails. Post-ACAD Sumin worked as a Designer for a non-profit before jumping into agency life where she worked with a wide area of businesses from the Hospitality industry to Health & Wellness and E-Commerce based businesses. With a particular interest in Branding, Animation, and Illustration, Sumin strives to bring value to clients and aid brands in creating authentic experiences for their audiences.

Why do you love prairies?

I love the openness of the prairies. There is something about standing in the middle of endlessly tall grasslands full of wildflowers under the perfectly painted skies - and you can only experience that in the prairies.

Kelsey Fraser

Kelsey Fraser is a visual artist based in Calgary, Alberta. Through observation and investigation, she attempts to navigate the human condition with a sense of humour. She works in drawing, painting, and ceramics. 

Why do you love prairies?

Day or night I love the prairie skies.

Kaitlyn Goetz

Kaitlyn Goetz is a multidisciplinary designer based in Calgary, AB. As an avid problem-solver, Kaytlin uses extensive research, insight, and strategy to create smart designs that are meaningful and have a purpose. She believes in exploring all possible solutions in order to find the truth, that will connect the story of a brand or campaign to its audience, through both physical design and emotional narrative. In her spare time, you will find Kaytlin playing baseball, watching horror movies, or just walking around, enjoying the little things in life, with her dog, Tater.

Alison Martin

Alison Martin is an illustrator, letterer, educator & creative adventurer based in Calgary, Alberta. When she isn't teaching art to young creatives or running local workshops, she is busy refining her skills in her studio. You can also find her trying new food & drink recipes in her kitchen or searching for a flight to visit new inspiring places. Follow her adventures on Instagram @amartincreative.

Why do you love prairies?

I love the surprising and enduring beauty of the prairies. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, there is a sweeping view, a dynamic sky or a small burst of colour that catches me off guard. You can live here your whole life and never grow tired of looking at things, both big and small.

Heather Pedhirney

Heather Pedhirney has always appreciated the art of a detailed doodle while talking on the phone. She has a love for 0.5m ballpoint pens, fine lines and abstract creations. While family life and her full-time career occupy her mind, she still finds time to pick up a pen and doodle.

Joseph Pilapil

Joseph Pilapil and Eric Hetherington are a pair of artists, a part of the artist collective and shop Bearface General Store. Joseph is a sign painter and lettering artist, and Eric is a freelance illustrator and comic artist. Bearface general based out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The collective started the design group to display collaborative projects and provide a space to share the designs we make.

Why do you love prairies?

We love the prairies because we think it's underrated. We feel the prairies are such a great place to start any creative project or to be an artist. 

Jarett Sitter

Jarett Sitter is a Calgary based illustrator and animator. He often collaborates with musicians within his illustration work, and his animations have been featured extensively in music videos. Absurding the norm and introducing the weird into an environment, whether in illustration or live-action animation, Jarett's work brings a strange life to the image. Follow him on Instagram at @deepcuts.

Why do you love prairies?

I like that the prairies are very calming, maybe it's because you can just see for so far that there's a certain inherent feeling of safety that comes along with that.

Donny Sparrow

Don Sparrow is a professional illustrator who trained at the University of Saskatchewan, before moving on to Canada’s prestigious Sheridan College, where he completed a post-graduate course in Advanced Illustration. Don’s work is a humorous blend of retro warmth with a modern sensibility, lending a timeless feel to his illustration.

Whether he’s producing artwork for high profile clients like NBC Universal, or small-press local comic projects, Don approaches each project with the same level of professionalism and dedication, in addition to the sense of fun for which his work has become known. In 2016, Don had the great privilege of being named a winner of the CBC Future 40 contest, cementing his status in the Canadian arts scene.

In his spare time, Don writes plays, plays baseball and reads comics. He lives in his prairie home with his loving wife, Heather, and their sparkling children.

Why do you love the prairies?

My favourite thing about life on the prairies is that we enjoy a subtler beauty here, one we have to be a little more observant to notice and savour. Quieter than a rushing waterfall, less obvious than a stunning mountain range, the prairies are no less spectacular in their unassuming way.  And I think the same humble charm applies to its' people--there are so many creative people, doing compelling work, regardless of whether it finds a wide audience. That unaffected confidence makes it a very cool place to call home.

Kevin Wesaquate

Kevin Wesaquate spoken word poet and visual artist is currently employed as a Multi-Disciplinary Indigenous Arts Leader at SCYAP. Kevin is the founder of the Indigenous Poetry Society with hopes of building a larger community of spoken-word artists. Kevin represented Saskatoon at the Canadian Individual Slam in Vancouver in April 2018 and once again in 2020. As well as representing Tonight It’s Poetry for the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2017 and 2018. He recently finished the Indigenous Fine Arts Residency in Banff Centre for the Arts, called ‘Ghost Days, Making Art for Spirit. 2019’. His work has led to community initiatives like planting misaskwatomina (Saskatoon berry) shrubs by the river near downtown Saskatoon with a group known as Locals Only. With many public speaking engagements, his aim is to always inspire the next upcoming artists, like the 1st Indigenous Poets Society Team who have competed at CFSW 2019. A collection of paintings that were created by Kevin Wesaquate still hang at the Saskatchewan PolytechniqueAdult 10 & 12 building. Becoming a community leader in Saskatoon he is from Piapot First Nation where he learned the value of a community.

Sahkihitok (love one another)

Why do you love prairies?

I love the warmth of sunsets giving you that warm embrace goodnight before the multitudes of stars fills clear skies.

Yezeriux (online name Q)

Hello, my name's Q. I'm an artist and if you'd like to see some of my work.

You can find me on Instagram & Twitter at @Yezeriux.

Why do you love prairies?

One thing I love about the prairies is how peaceful it is. The air is fresh and it, to me, just seems like a nice place to be.