Fort McMurray artist featured at Calgary Stampede, YMM Digital Art Exhibit

Amy Keller-Rempp’s paintings inspired by the northern lights and wildlife will be showcased to thousands of people this summer.

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It’s common for people to be in awe when they see the northern lights for the first time, but when Amy Keller-Rempp saw them in Fort McMurray, she saw a herd of buffalo in the ribbons of coloured lights flowing across the sky.

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Keller-Rempp saw the northern lights growing up in eastern Ontario but they were always been faint. She couldn’t sleep after seeing the first of many vivid auroras above Fort McMurray, and started painting what she saw in the night sky. Those paintings became the SkyDance series, her signature work.

“It’s this magical interaction. It’s like watching a dream,” said Keller-Rempp, a Mohawk artist based in Fort McMurray. “Every time I see them it’s such a gift. It’s a spiritual interaction. It’s so inspiring and recharges my battery. All these visions start coming and it’s magical. I have the same experience when I see a wild animal and I’m hunting.”

Keller-Rempp’s artistic journey began with a childhood love for the outdoors. She was surrounded by wilderness and her father was a hunter and trapper. When she was 7, her father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. This was hard for the family, and Keller-Rempp found comfort in her artwork. He died after fighting the illness for 15 years.

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“I still carry him with me to this day. It’s his legacy as well,” she said.

This summer is the latest highlight in Keller-Rempp’s career, which began when she was a teenager. Next month the Fort McMurray-based artist will be featured at the Calgary Stampede’s Artists’ Studios, beating hundreds of other applicants.

She was part of the Stampede’s Western Showcase in 2009 and 2010, but this time she will have her own artist booth at the world’s largest outdoor rodeo. People will be able to see her latest works in her Metal Art, Fur Painting and SkyDance series.

Closer to home and Keller-Rempp’s SkyDance series will be featured at the Fort McMurray International Airport as part of the YMM Digital Art Exhibit. She is the third of four digital art exhibits that will be featured this year.

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She also painted the murals on the side of Earls, on some benches at Kiyam Community Park and the airport’s observation deck. Her works have also been found at gift shops and galleries across Canada.

“When I hear my artwork helped raise some money or my artwork put a smile on someone’s face, or that someone bought a bunch of colouring books for children at the hospital, I’m sitting there thinking this is bigger than me,” she said.

“I’m just going to be a vessel. Whatever the Creator shows me with visions in my mind. I create them, paint them, I send them out and whatever he wants done with them, I’m grateful for and it’s been positive overall.”

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