Individual Impressions

Holly Chmelyk

studies in relational art

Artist Statement

Working with individuals, Holly produces for each collaborator a book containing an interpretation or homage to things that they love or care about. The goal is to create a piece that remains significant for the interviewee and for artist herself, while still being engaging for a general audience. Through sharing a conversation with another person about a topic of their choice, She then pulls inspiration for a handmade book and spends time researching and immersing herself in that topic. The process highlights relationship through art making, keeping the collaborator in mind through the entire process. Part of the art piece itself lies in the presentation to the individual collaborator, sharing in that experience together of connection over an art object that is closely tied to both parties. The art object becomes an item of offering to the collaborator, representing that shared relationship between the artist, the recipient, and the subject.

Horse Girl

Printed magazine among riding and horse care paraphernalia

“Horse Girl” focuses more heavily on the artist herself and her current job as a barn assistant, caring for fourteen horses alongside the barn manager. By creating a body of work surrounding their mutual care for the horses they work with daily, a body of work in the form of a magazine was created and presented to Meagan, the manager and friend of the artist. Included is the book series of hand drawn portraits of each horse, aiming to capture the differences between them and their personalities, with photos and written portraits to reflect the horses as well. Through this project, the Holly worked to focus on the present and her surroundings, as well as to embrace the identity stereotype of “horse girl”, to create a body of work successfully reflecting the job, the horses, and herself and Meagan.

By spending time with the horses while still studying, Holly’s goal was to create an aesthetically pleasing magazine in contrast to the usually tacky and poorly design horse magazines that are widely available. 


A bay miniature horse mare, with the cutest little scarred black nose and the fluffiest mane and tail you’ll ever see. Born in 2011, Odie came to live at Homewood in 2019.

“Odie is Homewood’s incredible little miniature horse. A generous donor heard a new mini was needed to pull carts, and donated her after buying her and having her trained. She’s this perfect little horse with a big personality. She’s a little rascal, and can open stall doors and occasionally the gates if we’re not attentive enough, and we’ve found her and a few others galavanting in fields they shouldn’t be on several occasions. But with all her sass, she knows when she needs to hold it together and get to work. She lives with Jack in a separate pen, but kicks her heels up and keeps up with all the bigger horses just fine.”

Holly Chmelyk

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Holly Chmelyk is a multidisciplinary artist from Northern British Columbia. Currently based on Quadra Island BC, her primary focus is hand built artist books. Her work explores and questions what “meaningful art” looks like through interpersonal relationship and making people feel seen and cared for through her work. She works to highlight the individual in a way that remains relatable to a larger audience, while exploring the value of the artist’s investment and involvement in the process.
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