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Creating is a Necessity for Artist Carrie Klukas

By Kirsten Goruk

For some artists, the idea of creating and honing in on inspiration is less of a hobby and more of a life necessity.

“I don’t think I have a choice in the matter,” says Carrie Klukas, a Grande Prairie-born abstract artist who was recently chosen the winner of the Art of the Peace’s (AOTP) juried show: Home is Where the Art Is.

“I found out many years ago that I get very depressed when I’m not creating. It’s something that I’m driven to do and you find out a lot about yourself in doing it.”

Klukas’ painting, The Quest of the Hummingbird, beat out 46 other pieces to claim the winning title. She describes the show as very strong, one that displays the natural talent that exists throughout the Peace Country.

“I was shocked actually. Normally I don’t win these things,” Klukas says.

“It’s never my intention when I’m entering these things that my goal is to win. It never even dawned on me, so when it did happen, it was a pleasant surprise.”

Jim Stokes, chairman of the AOTP, has known Klukas for years and he wasn’t at all surprised by the jurors’ decision.

The Quest of the Hummingbird – Carrie Klukas

“She’s one of our very finest abstract painters in the region, if not the finest. Her work has developed over the years; she’s found her style and approach and she keeps developing that,” Stokes says.

Klukas didn’t create the painting with the show in mind. The acrylic piece reflects an evolution in her style. In the last few years she’s been experimenting with putting sacred geography prints underneath her paintings.

“I believe this particular one has a crop circle and then the abstract goes on top. It’s about how that affects the view. Some people say they see the hummingbird. It’s interesting to see the kind of feedback you get,” she says.

“It probably took two months (to create). I go in cycles and when inspiration hits you don’t want to miss it or have it stop.”

In The Mist, Carrie Klukas

Klukas’s involvement with Art of The Peace dates back to its inception 11 years ago. The association strives to share the talents of the region with the public. Her artistic education includes attending the Alberta College of Art and Design and while Klukas has lived in Calgary and Edmonton, she still felt that pull to return home.

Starting at the end of June her placement as visual arts coordinator at Grande Prairie Regional College will end and Klukas says it will be nice to focus on her artwork and devote her time to creating full-time. She figures she’ll use the show’s prize money to buy art supplies.

“I think artists get bored after a while and you have to keep pushing that boundary and pushing yourself as to where it can go. It takes years to develop these things and it’s always exciting when something new shows itself,” Klukas says.

Art of the Peace’s Home is Where the Art Is will be up at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie until August 4. For more information, visit

From Hathor to Elephant, Carrie Klukas

Home is Where the Art Is is the 2014 installment of the annual Art of the Peace regional juried show and exhibition. The exhibition celebrates the City of Grande Prairie’s centennial anniversary and catalogues the Region’s contemporary art by the Art of the Peace members. Carrie Klukas won first prize out of a selection of 46 pieces from regional artists. imageDESIGN designs the Art of the Peace Magazine bi-annually and designed the Home is Where the Art Is Artist Catalogue.

Contributor: Kirsten Goruk

Kirsten received a BA in English from the University of Alberta and then studied journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. After a few years in journalism she switched gears to pursue a career in communications. When she can, she loves to get in some freelance work and entertain her passion for creative writing.