Allan Richard | 2024 Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency gives Manitoban artists time to focus on their work in the beautiful natural setting of Riding Mountain National Park.

The next artist-in-residence for 2024 is Allan Richard. Ahead of his time in the historic Deep Bay Cabin, Allan answered a few of our questions about his work and how he’ll be spending his residency.

MAC: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist and your practice.

Allan Richard: As early as I can remember I have been drawing, I would find any piece of paper and pen or pencil and spend hours drawing. I found inspiration from the comic books my older brothers collected. I eventually started collecting my own comic books and admired the art just as much as I did the stories. I continue collecting comic books but now find inspiration everywhere. A majority of my current artwork is done in black and white. Usually done on 11×17 paper with just pencils and inks. I do a lot of freelance graphic design and most of my projects in this field are in color.

Tell us about your project—what will you be working on in the Deep Bay Cabin? 

I am working on a comic book called Scary Stories (title not confirmed just yet). I am taking local lore and campfire stories and putting them to paper. I am doing the art in black and white as it challenges me to really add detail to make up for the lack of color. But the lack of color also gives it a spooky vibe. The comic book is about kids/teens hanging out at camp and telling stories to scare each other.

What is your relationship with the park, and what are you most looking forward to exploring?

I grew up in the small town of McCreary, which is not far from the park. The bus ride to school had a lovely view of the mountains. It almost looked like a Bob Ross painting. During the summer months my family and I would spend weekends camping at the park. I am very excited to be heading back for the residency and to reconnect with the land.

How do you hope the park will influence or inspire your project or practice?

I plan on drawing the landscapes and the forest from my time at the residency. One of my stories is about a man lost in the woods and I have the opportunity to use the setting in my comic book.

What would you like the public and park staff to know about you and your work?

The stories I am telling through my comic book are stories from the area. I have heard many supernatural and spooky tales growing up around there. They are tales I have heard through my friends and family, which have been passed down through the years.

Anything else you’d like to share with readers and the Riding Mountain National Park community?

I grew up around there so some people may know me, or my family.

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency is offered in partnership by the Manitoba Arts Council and Riding Mountain National Park.

Interested in the staying in the Deep Bay cabin? Find out how to apply to the Riding Mountain Artists Residency through the Learn – Residencies grant stream. Apply by January 15, 2025 for a residency in the summer of 2025.