Red Deer-raised Brian McArthur met Dawn Detarando, of the Boston, Mass.-area, in graduate school in 1996. They had taken their own winding paths to end up at the Ohio State University to study ceramics.
The two young artists from opposite ends of the continent learned they could work well together.
Their creative partnership crossed over from art to life, and the two married in 1998.
After Dawn moved to Red Deer, she and Brian tried different avenues of making a living in art, teaching briefly at the University of Manitoba, then taking artistic residencies at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works in Doylestown, Penn.
Inspired by their stint in Pennsylvania, the couple returned to Red Deer to start their own studio, Voyager Art and Tile. Brian is known for his quirky Canadiana, incorporating explorers, canoes, moose and beavers. Dawn’s latest projects have been sparked by her interest in bees and her concern by their declining numbers. Both nature-loving artists have also produced collaborative works involving birds and other native species.
Their work can now be seen in Alberta’s most selective fine-craft galleries, including the Alberta Craft Council Gallery and Alberta Branded in Edmonton. Their large public artworks can also be seen around Alberta including the 6,500 tiles created with school children for the Collicutt Centre, the Red Deer mosaic in the G.H. Dawe Centre, and the David Thompson-inspired canoe installation in Edmonton.