Frequently Asked Questions

Below you will find a list of questions I often receive during exhibitions or from curious minds at workshops.

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Why do you paint reclaimed sites?

My mission is to use art as a tool to bring awareness to the beauty and importance of reclaimed sites, showcasing their transformation through paintings.

Are all the paintings of former oil and gas sites – does this make some people upset?

Many of the paintings showcase reclaimed sites from the energy sector. New works include coal mines, gravel pits, landfills and other construction reclamation.

Art has been used for centuries to communicate political movements, scientific discoveries and new ideas that aren’t wholly accepted by mainstream populations.

Ask yourself why someone is upset to learn that oil and gas companies are striving to reclaim the land after production.

Do the sites really look like that?

Yes, they do! Although off in the distance, you might still see evidence of current production activities or buildings, the reclaimed sites are full of flora, fauna and absolute beauty.

What do STEM and STEAM mean?

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

STEAM is an adaptation to include “A” for arts. There are so many scientific articles on how art can be used as a bridge to help translate complex ideas and to reach people who typically would not show interest or have access to scientific information and reports.

“Science media agencies and science communicators can use some of these artworks to better illustrate specific phenomena or explain scientific ideas to non-expert audiences. Compared to conventional scientific illustrations, in fact, artistic drawings often highlight both the mesmerising beauty and impact of science, sparking greater interest and engagement among viewers.” - Scientia

How do you choose the sites you paint?

Choosing my next piece aligns with my annual exhibition plan and the series I am working on at the time. This ensures I have enough new pieces for the public to see.

Each site required extensive research to ensure it is fully reclaimed or that the reclamation concept has an accurate public article associate with it.

Do you actually go to the sites?

I have been to many of the sites before they were reclaimed
as a former energy employee.

Watch for a new colouring book of reclamation sites that showcases location that YOU have probably been to, e.g., Carburn Park, Butchart Gardens or Cabot Links in Nova Scotia.

I like the painting, do I have to tell someone it is of reclaimed land?

The fine art on this site is first and foremost, art. How and why it was created, is something that some collectors are interested in. If you enjoy the art piece, regardless of why it was created, I always encourage people to invest in original work that they truly enjoy.

How, or if you decide to share the origin story is up to you as the collector.

How do you price your work?

My work is priced by the size of the canvas and typically includes a frame and shipping (unless it is oversized). A standard sized “above the sofa” painting measuring 16” x 48” is priced at $2500.

What galleries can I see your work in?

My artwork depicting the conservation of the Mahone Bay Islands on the South Shore of Nova Scotia can be found in Whiskey Jack Gallery at 4 Poplar Lane, Mahone Bay. I also submit artwork to the Federation of Canadian Artists at least once per year where it can be viewed on Granville Island in Vancouver, BC.

My work in Calgary is usually exhibited at pop-up public events like Chinook Blast.

I love being in public and meeting art lovers, art creators and collectors. I can’t do that if my work is in a gallery that only attracts certain clientele.

This format allows me to focus on the educational aspect of the work:

"To honor environmental efforts to protect the land, by showcasing reclamation, preservation, and conservation areas and to celebrating the resilience of nature and the power of human effort to reclaim and restore these spaces with others."

Who are some of your customers?

Clients and collectors have purchased my work through exhibitions at the Federation of Canadian Artists in Vancouver (Granville Island), through Pop-up exhibitions in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, through private exhibitions, through social media, early access via the Collectors newsletter, though public displays in libraries, colleges and technical institutions and through my seasonal gallery in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia.

Notably, my client list includes:
• James S. Kinnear, Canadian entrepreneur and philanthropist and avid art collector
• Donna Liebham, author and executive coach
• Parallel Chiropractic
• Various energy executives, professionals and environmental advocates
• Art collectors in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland with some pieces making the trip to the United States and New Zealand.

What have you specifically achieved by focusing on this subject matter?

My efforts to inspire others to appreciate and protect these reclamation sites and to highlight the importance of sustainable practices in preserving our planet for future generations has earned me a nomination for the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2024.

When is your next pop-up exhibition?

Subscribe to receive early notice on my next exhibition or follow me on Instagram @shannoncarlaking.