A painting commission from the Edmonton airport changed his life, turning art from fun into a career
'I wouldn't say that the work is distinctly Aboriginal as much as it is distinctly Jason Carter'
"When I received the commission with the airport I was gobsmacked. It was amazing."
Edmonton artist Jason Carter's life changed when the Edmonton International Airport asked him to create a huge painting for them. It sent him toward a career in art.
"I was still working full-time at my day job and, really, art for me was just something that was fun," he says. "And I was, you know, exploring and playing and that kind of stuff. So for that to happen at the time was kind of a bit of a tap on the shoulder to say, 'Hey, go in this direction.'"
The resulting painting takes inspiration from the landscape in Alberta and his traditions. "I'm definitely inspired by colour and line and form as many Aboriginal artists are."
"I wouldn't say that the work is distinctly Aboriginal as much as it is distinctly Jason Carter."
"The painting is a bit of a snapshot of Alberta. If you're here exploring Edmonton and the Edmonton area, the first thing you're going to notice are the mountains. My paintings are influenced directly from my carvings, so my sculptures are very clean hard lines that creates an animal — so I took that simplicity and applied that to my paintings."
Carter took this opportunity and ran with it, seizing the opportunity. "I think in life there's these certain opportunities that present themselves and you can either sit back and enjoy it or you can double down and push and try and make the most out of it. I had no idea that doing public art in an airport setting would have such an impact on my career."
Jet Age considers the evolution of airports from generic atriums into bonafide art galleries that surround and engage their visitors with stunning sculptures, architecture, and paintings. Watch all ten episodes of Jet Age now.