Testimonials from Participants in the Art Workshops
At Atlin I found
a freedom that returned me to a state of childlike wonder of the world
around me. Nowhere else have I felt the creative spirit to be so nurtured,
valued and protected. I walk more deeply in my life and art as a result
of this experience. What started out as a three week course will become
a lifelong relationship.Thank you Gernot, for creating an atmosphere of
safe sanctuary in which risk is such a positive element.
Santa Monica CA. USA:
The magic that
happens at the Atlin Art Centre is woven together with a combination of
unique elements. First, the extreme beauty of the natural setting
offers an environment constantly animated and seductive to the senses.
Normal daily distractions are minimal - focus is encouraged.
participants offer enlivening cross-pollination. Most unique, however,
is the mentorship of the Centre's director, Gernot Dick. With enormous
heart, insight and humor, Gernot challenges students to go beyond what
they believe they can do. In numerous ways, not least by personal
example, Gernot guides students to clarify personal values and goals, let
go of preconceptions about life and art making, in order to grow from direct
experience. My second years experience only confirmed my immense
respect for Gernot and his unique way of teaching.
Cox, Story Teller, Director of "Greenhouse Creativity Retreat",Vancouver
I have just
told "the SkeletonWoman" story on our last night of our Atlin Experience.
What an amazing experience this has been. Thank you Gernot! Your
words have made marks on my soul:
about Life and Art, and your stories about your challenges and loves; the
words you spoke to me about my story telling and coming from my core.
The effect on me is profound. What you have created here moves me greatly.
Really, it is HOW you have created that touches me and teaches me -- with
your very individual passion and commitment. This is what fires Atlin
Art Centre. I return to my own Centre re-ignited in my love, and
committed to walking on my edge - Here and Now and Deep Within.
Cantor, New York, USA:
on "Concept and the Creative Process" - when I signed on for the 3-week
course and 1-week retreat, I was open to possibilities that a quiet environment
would affect my work. The combination of Gernot's approach to unlocking
creativity, the inspirational writings handed out each morning around a
stone circle, slide lectures and critiques were stimulating. It was
enriching to meet and share work with this group - all serious visual artists.
During the week in retreat, I was able to work quietly and more intensively.
I thank you for creating this place in which one can work/play so well!
Palo Alto, CA. USA:
This is my second
summer attending Atlin Art Centre. Last year, my first, was magical;
a wonder of time and space and constant creativity. This year contained
all the magic of last year, but with an added richness and awareness I
shall treasure always.
is a gift:
A Gift Of Time:
To think, to watch, to look within, to explore, and to have a most precious
sense of freedom.
A Gift Of Space:
To choose, to play, to take risks, to walk to the edge of one's abilities,
confident that nothing and/or no one will trip you along the way.
A Gift Of Clarity:
To see with eyes wide open to both one's inner and outer vision.
A Gift of Friendship:
A place of support, of sharing, of learning from each other deeply, truly.
of these gifts is Gernot Dick, a unique and challenging mentor whose vision
has created an environment for artists in which they can respond to their
creative visions with passion and honesty.
Thank you so,
Eisner, Bethany, CT USA:
The Atlin Art
Centre was an inward-bound experience guided by our superb master-teacher,
Gernot Dick. He steered us toward revealing through art our deepest
beliefs about self and social conscience. Learning to work from concepts,
that connect us to the greater truths of the univers,e gave my work the
power I had sought. Body, mind and spirit were nourished and I am
profoundly grateful to Gernot for living up to his philosophy.
Thompson, Saltspring Island, B.C.:
No radio, no
newspapers, no TV, no tape recorders or CD players, and no computers: just
the lake, the wind, the mountains and the glacier. We were thrown
back on ourselves. Without the excessive noise of our demanding lives,
each one of us could produce work that came directly, and fiercely, out
of our own personal voice.
Gernot has successfully
created a place where art is not only embraced, but is deeply and reverently
What would I
tell someone about the 3-week Idea and the Creative Process? Be prepared
to have your habits challenged, your eyes opened, and your thoughts about
art and life rearranged. You can learn to experience nature and art-making
with sharpened senses and expanded awareness. If you give Gernot
and the Atlin Experience a chance; you will come away with more tools for
a fuller life than you could have imagined. All this from a man who
has earned his beliefs from often tough personal experience.
forward to my teaching in the fall term at school to see where I go with
your admonitions ringing in my ears. One of your sayings that I have been
hearing in my head a lot is "Convenience is not Value", that seems to be
very relevant to life in the city.
Thank you for
a remarkable experience. It is going to take some time for it to
all sink in. I expect the experiences of Atlin will continue to grow in
the years ahead. I'm glad I came, I hope our paths cross again. Thank you,
When I first
arrived in Atlin, I was amazed that you were willing to share this place
with us. Grateful that you were willing to share your knowledge and
passion. Now I realize that the Atlin Art Centre experience could ONLY
happen because of this sharing.
I have never
known someone who was so much a hero and also so much a person. What I
take back with me - strongest - is the sense of openness and communication
fostered here. This honesty and truthful communication seems to make
me live a fuller life. Lets me make more complete art. I really feel
VERY human and very essential now.
We didn't have
grand visual epiphanies, but I do feel we all learned so much about what
it means to make art - what it means to REACH TOWARDS great breakthroughs!
About 5 days into my stay here at Atlin, I noticed when I woke up my first
thought (unconscious really) was "I am ready". Now as I prepare to
leave, this voice is louder, clearer and STRONGER "I AM READY"!
Thank you for
your work. Thank you for your help.
For a number
of years I had been afraid to create from a place of trust within myself.
Atlin came to mind, because of my experience here as a student in 1984.
I finished the program this time with a renewed trust in myself and a replenished
toolbox of terms, as well as artistic vision. Our time here was filled
with laughter, discovery and strong friendships that have the power to
change your life. Thanks.
Atlin is a magic
place like no other. And Atlin Art Centr is a place like no other
- Gernot, whose very life is an expression of creativity and generosity
toward others, of belief that any of us has the capacity to live better
lives "with Nature as our mentor," makes to anyone who comes here with
an open mind and a wish to work hard, an "offering" as he terms it - an
opportunity to connect with themselves and with nature and find a new direction
in creative work and in life.
I arrived with
fears - that I wouldn't be able to keep up on the outings, hikes, climbs,
and also with a creative block and a seeming inability to "get into" my
work or paint at all.
With two artificial
knees, arthritis and asthma - and 61 birthdays behind me - I worried that
the young, fit, working artists would be held back on hikes by me, and
that I might not be able to do the intensive work involved. I was
in a crisis of confidence, and even a bit desperate,
if there was help here for me, I would do all I could to access it. My
fears turned out to be unfounded, the group rooted for me and encouraged
me any time the effort was hard. And soon I stopped doubting myself
and holding myself back out of timidity.
doodling" approach with which we started could be done by anyone - it sparked
my interest and zest for drawing and painting again.
By the end of
the three weeks, I was concerned with problems related to colour, painting,
and feeling as if I had dropped years off my body. The hike on the glacier
was marked by the belief and encouragement I had experienced every day,
and I found I could do much more than I believed I could. I was so
happy to have done it! Thank you, Gernot, for your truthful critiques,
your respect for your students' individuality, and for your example.
FOR THE ARTS: An artist's smorgasbord of enlivening experiences laced with
inspirational excursions for the body and the spirit. The retreat-like
atmosphere on a plateau of Monarch Mountain opens a myriad of creative
doors. The daily encounters with colleagues, guided by the gifted
director, Gernot Dick, put "the icing on the cake".
, Vancouver B.C.:
"Idea and the
Creative Process" is a transforming voyage, with Gernot Dick as flight
commander. Participants delve deeply within themselves to create
an artistic concept, then express it truthfully. Clichés and
vagueness are exposed. Originality and simplicity emphasized.
The mountain setting is spectacular, with students living and working in
nature, connecting mind and spirit. What a Gift!
Sitting in the
"pond chair" watching dragonflies skim and dance over the surface of the
water clears the mind of information, allowing a personal essence to emerge.
This essence is really what we want as creative and vital people.
I walk away with a new focus - energized, confident and strong.
artist or otherwise, who is feeling a bit too "comfortable" in their chosen
path, a revelation! A shakeup of everything one thought one knew or learned!
Lindstrom,Painter, Glendale, Arizona:
The most important
and precious lesson I took home from Atlin is a new ability and strength
to make art that comes straight from the core of my being. I learned to
get out of my own way and to ignore those comments from my internal critic
which starts out saying "I can't..." Thank you for making such an experience
I moved to a
new consciousness - beyond habit, beyond the familiar, and the comfortable,
finding metaphors from direct experiences and life, creating shifts in
my perception that will change me forever.
Artist, Vancouver, BC:
I've been to
Atlin three times now. I came to accelerate my creative process. To focus
on my work in an atmosphere of challenge and personal growth without the
normal distraction of my "Real World". As a glass artist I came because
there is no glass. To push past restriction of my medium into unchartered
waters. I came because Gernot, you are the most potent art educator I have
ever known. And I came to look my passion in the eye.
From Guest Teachers
and Artists in Residence:
For five summers
I have had the privilege of working at the Atlin Art Centre as an artist-in-residence
and a guest instructor. There are many things that pull me back year after
year - the dramatic landscape, the perfect weather, the opportunity to
be part of a successfully innovative teaching situation, the diversity
of the participants and the artistic breakthroughs that happen every year...
As a woman I find it especially thrilling to witness female participants
finding their strength in Atlin. There is something about the mix of support
and challenge, and the breadth of the glorious landscape, that allows women
(and men) to experience themselves in a new and more powerful way.
Instructor, Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC:
The Centre impresses
me as a unique small scale school of high calibre and innovative teaching.
It offers an extraordinary physical location along with a highly focused
program. The well-defined concept of learning developed by Gernot Dick
specifically for the Atlin Centre makes the total program - living and
working - intense and remarkable.... The evening critiques were grounded
in personal development of technical and material engagement as well as
in contemporary art theory and practice. Atlin Centre's relationship to
spectacular wilderness within the Canadian North, along with the presence
of sophisticated national and international artists and a solid philosophy
of art-making, is a refreshing complement to our regular art programs and
art departments in southern Canada.
Associate Professor, M.F.A., York University, Toronto, Ontario:
The Atlin Centre
program has a special dynamic, providing much more than the facilities
for people to work on their own ideas. I noticed a substantial transformation
in the participants' approach to making art and a tremendous freshening
and energising that carried on after the workshop. I wish every M.F.A.
program in Canada could achieve this deep and reflective experience. Every
university would be proud to have courses like this.