Enriching the Arts

Featured Artist, Dawn Thrasher, BFA, ASA

On the Shores of Discovery

Dawn Thrasher, On the Shores of Discovery


Dawn grew up on the Canadian prairie, in the land of  “ living skies”. Summers were spent exploring Prince Albert National Park.  She graduated from the University of Saskatchewan in 1971 and worked in education for many years. Dawn completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Calgary in 1990, majoring in painting and drawing.  She has attended numerous painting workshops including the University of Saskatchewan’s Emma Lake Campus, the Leighton Art Centre in Alberta, the CSPWC Jasper Symposium, “Arts by the Lake” at Georgian College in Ontario, the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary and the Scottsdale Artists School.   She has explored a wide range of lands and cultures. This has enhanced her understanding of how art can portray historical and cultural stories that reveal our common experience and sense of place.  These experiences have enriched her personal creative journey which continues to unfold in her own studio practice.

Q&A with the ASA


Dawn Thrasher, Prairie Gold

ASA: Could you tell us about your influences?

Dawn: The influence of other contemporary artists I have met over the years has inspired me along the way. Specifically Doris McCarthy, Bill Perehudoff, and more recently Katherine Lui have influenced my attitude towards the painting practice.  Initially, my objective was to become an abstract painter.  That focus changed after my experience at the Emma Lake Workshop in 1994.  The land as a subject became of interest for the first time.  It was not the deep space vistas that appealed to me but the patterns and rhythms of nature.  That focus has modified over the years but is still evident in my work today.

Exposure to other art and cultures has enriched my appreciation of the narrative value of art.  Art Museums, such as the MOMA, the Hermitage, the National Palace Museum in Taipei, the George Pompidou and our own Glenbow have all provided places for quiet contemplation of art and cultural artifacts.  The exhibitions in these institutions convey historical and cultural stories that reveal our common and diverse experiences. This has helped me see my own work in new ways.


Dawn Thrasher, Near Opabin Trail

ASA: Which body of your work would you consider most successful to date?

Dawn: The concept of success in this context is subjective.  My quest is to develop my voice as an artist. You must first paint for yourself.  There are times in the creative process when another force seems to be in control.  I strive for this state. The glacial paintings that are part of my Selkirk Series were pivotal for me in this way. They helped crystallize the future direction of my work which is focused on capturing the abstract elements and invisible energy of place. This remains a journey of discovery and my expectation is that my most successful work lies ahead.

ASA and TREX Address

Crossroads Art Centre
#302 - 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012
TREX Phone: (403) 262-4669

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