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‘It’s a great way to celebrate the city’: Illustrator creates book featuring Edmonton landmarks

On Location YEG, by Edmonton artist Emily Chu.
On Location YEG, by Edmonton artist Emily Chu. Supplied

A local artist has published a book aimed at highlighting Edmonton landmarks and hidden gems.

On Location YEG features 80 illustrations, most done by artist Emily Chu, but also featuring eight emerging local artists.

“That was really important to me, to have this project all done locally,” said Chu, who also used Alberta-based Burke Group printing for her limited-run book.

Chu received a $5,000 artist grant from the Edmonton Arts Council for the project.

“It’s been in the works since last September,” she said, “but most of the book is made from sketches over the summer of 2019, from June to August.”

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The book also features a map showing the exact location each sketch was created.

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Here are some of my favorite on location drawings in my #OnLocationYEG book! The first is a corner rental duplex in Old Strathcona. The second is the #vaultedwillow public art sculpture at Borden Park. The third image is from the final public sketchbook session held this summer at Peter Hemingway 🌿 . Come see the full book, and meet the artist and emerging artists contributors TONIGHT 7pm at @glassbookshop ! There will be original sketchbooks to flip through, and you can grab a copy of this limited edition book and get it signed by me and the contributing artists: @missserenadraws @jhtl4 @kyle.hack Lon Wenger @paintingdaydreams @mittengirl 🙋🏻‍♀️ . . . . . @yegarts #illustration #onlocationdrawing #drawing #sketch #illustratorssketchbook #sketchbook #penandink #watercolour #yeg #exploreyeg #edmo #yegevents #yegarts #yegmade #yegbooks #giftlocal #booklaunch #heyemilychu

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Chu hosted seven public “sketch club” sessions over those months, where any interested artists could join her at Edmonton landmarks and draw as a group.

At the end of the project, she selected eight of the other pieces to be included in the book.

“In my field of illustration, it’s very difficult to kind of start a career. We often freelance and have to build up our clients,” said Chu.

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“I think it’s important to help out and showcase young artists.”

The artists selected by Chu received an honorarium for their contribution.

The book, which saw a limited print of only 150 copies, is available for $35 at Glass Bookshop in City Centre Mall, Tix on the Square, and Chu will also be selling them in person over the next two weekends at the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair. 

Chu said that she hopes to host the project again next summer, possibly on a larger scale.

“I do want to run this more next year. I think it’s a great way to celebrate the city.”

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The eight other artists featured in On Location YEG are:

Angie Sotiropoulos, Adam Slusar, Kyle Hack, Gwen Tsui, Jennifer Lui, Lon Wenger, Terry Elrod and Serena Tang.

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