jan kasparec

THANK YOU FOR CELEBRATING OUR 5TH ANNIVERSARY!

Thank you to everyone who made Art World Expo’s 5th Anniversary possible! 

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Art World Expo Body Painting Competition and some of our Sponsor’s Walking Ads!  

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Photos-Omnika in Motion, Carolyn Bruce Fashion Show, West Coast Fusion Art, Jan Kasparec, Hajni Yosivof

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Jackie-Conradi Robertson painting live at the Painting Dreams France Trip Booth! We have one spot left to go to France this summer! Learn more at www.mabartstudio.com 

As another Art World Expo passes, the rush and pixie dust of putting together an event of this magnitude are starting to settle. As with any large scale project, there are countless things, tasks and elements that need to be taken care of and done in order for something like this to happen. It is truly amazing how much our community comes together-from near and far, to create this event and the vision of an Art World here in Vancouver. For all of you who helped out and supported the show this year, we want to sincerely thank each and everyone of you for all your hard work, dedication, support and attendance in making Art World Expo’s 5th Anniversary a very memorable one!

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Photos-Catalysis Dance, Coastal Storm Gallery, Roam Gallery 

Some of our 5th Anniversary event highlights included a live performance by The Stangest Days, whose tunes were soulful but playful and certainly got our audience in the mood for celebrating. We also had two special dance performances by Omnika In Motion DANCE and Catalysis DANCE. Wow, were these guys ever amazing! This year also featured a crowd favorite, Carolyn Bruce Designs, jewellery show. Carolyn is a rising star, and with her ecclectic fashion accessories, we were very honored to have her showcase her collection at our event.

Another memorable moment was the auctioning off of Vicki Rae’s live painting of her fairy tale inspired Unicorn. A second bidder emerged from the crowd, offering to bid higher only if he could have a picture of our world famous body painting competition contestants. No one wanted to argue and with that, we saw an 88 year old art enthusiast take center stage and inspire all of us with his heartfelt dedication to the arts community in Vancouver. Our friend stayed until the wee hours of the night just to see the competition and we were so glad to hear of his plans to try to get onstage at the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga show in Vancouver! What an inspiration!

 
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Vicki Rae with her painting and her happpy 88 year old art patron!

Our body painting competition this year was a hot one; with the most competitors we have ever had, we had so much talent under one roof, it was incredible to see! Hosted by the lovely Denai Johnson and Coordinated by M3 Artistry’s Melissa Meretsky, the theme this year was “Fairy Tales” and these artists did not take the challenge lightly! Each one created an amazing piece of art and we are so proud of each artist for putting forward such exquisite creations. This year’s official winners are Marie-Helene Babin, Kathleen Fowlstone and Angela Ayre. Our People’s Choice Award goes to Kinsey Deakin.

Congratulations to our winners and a big hoorah for all the artists who were involved in such an incredible body painting competition this year.

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1st- Marie-Helene Babin

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 2nd- Kathleen Fowlstone

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 3rd- Angela Ayre

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 People’s Choice- Kinsey Deakin

The last performance of the evening was a special surprise “FLASH MOB” put together by First Dance Vancouver. They managed to teach over two dozen enthusiastic dancers and guests the moves to “Don’t Stop Believing” to end a fabulous night of Art World Expo! What a way to end the night; a fabulous tribute to our theme and to our vision at Art World Expo; never stop believing in your dream.

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Photos-Susan Galick Fine Art, Silent Auction and the Sokolovski’s sculptures with one of the fabulous models! 

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Guests Tara and Cori enjoying the flower petal walkway! 

Art World Expo is not possible without the support of our family, friends, volunteers and sponsors. All year, we work day and night to make this event possible for over 100 artists each year! We are pleased to serve our arts and cultural community and are so proud of each artist that we have had the pleasure of working with. We hope you all enjoyed the show and look forward to producing this event for years to come as well as expanding our projects nationally and internationally!

A big warm thank you from our family to yours!

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Event Producer Monika Blichar with partner Rob Brody, Twin Peaks Construction and Family 

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Monika Blichar with sister Edy Blichar and cousin Pawel Grygorasz 

THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US AT ART WORLD EXPO! 

Seventy Countries to Touch An Interview with Jan Kasparec

By Alyssa Laube

About: Jan Kasparec, born in the Czech Republic, has settled in Vancouver after several years of travelling and exploring the world’s cultures. The influences of his travels can be seen in the artist’s work, which is very diverse, ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and writing. This year, he will be exhibiting some of his artwork at the Art World Expo!

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You were born in the Czech Republic but moved to Vancouver. How did the two unique cultures effect you and your art?

I would say that my art is more affected by my inner journey rather than geographical location. Nevertheless, it’s not by chance that we call Europe the “old continent”. The art scene in Europe is an essential part of society, much more than in North America. Being immersed and educated in it from the age of 8 did make an impact on my artistic path. But Vancouver was love at first sight for me; a blind date that ended up in the best possible outcome: my new home. Just the feeling of living in a place I love puts my creativity on a very good frequency.

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You’ve also travelled many other places in your life, including France, Brazil, Australia, and many more! Can you explain the effects that your travels have had on you?

Travelling opened my heart and melted the mental preconceptions that our society is so good at building inside of us. I understood that we are all the same, good in our essence, and what keeps us separate is an illusion; a clever fear-fiction created by the ruling class. I also realized that my frustration or sadness over the largely unfulfilled potential of human society and destruction of this planet doesn’t help to resolve it. Meditation and unconditional love taught me that the only possible outward change comes from within. 70 countries later, I still feel like I am at the beginning of a long journey.

Which place sticks in your mind the most, or had the greatest impression on you?

There’s no place I’d rather be than here and now of course! But if I have to name a few milestones on my journey I would mention mother India, where I took 10 days of silent Vipassana meditation and experienced an inner insight. People of the mountain plateau of Tajikistan (Pamir) touched my heart deeply. Mongolia was where I first lived in the state of no-time, some might call it Satori. Those moments shape my life in this very moment. Once you know there’s only light, you can’t be fooled by darkness anymore, regardless how “real” it seems to be.

On that note, could you share one memory or anecdote from your life that stands out or effected you as an artist?

Once, I was drawing a receptionist in Vietnam who fell asleep, while one of the most beautiful women I ever dated was patiently waiting for me to finish. It was our first date and the portrait was no good. I was late and exhausted. I thought I would never see her again, but she was actually one of the rare souls that I fell crazily in love with. I always remember the sleeping receptionist with half-open mouth when I remember her.

You’ve painted quite a few images of Buddha. Why does Buddha inspire you to create art?

I’ve had visions of Buddha in my meditations. I knew I had to paint “him” (I perceive Buddha as a quality rather than a particular person). Since that day, I’ve painted quite a few, and new visions come in the moments of silence of my mind. They’re very different from the conventional depictions of Buddha, but it’s my most successful theme so far. I’ve sold all of them without ever having a second thought of sales to taint the painting process. I am not Buddhist per say, but Buddha is my everyday teacher, encouraging me to empty myself, let desires go, and see through my attachments. Every day I fail many times and every day I come back to it in a loving way. The journey is the destination.

How would you describe your studio, and what’s most important to you in a studio?

My studio is my sanctuary. Most important is the energy of peace and belonging. I’ve charged my studio with this energy by lots of interior modifications and countless meditations, yoga practices, sittings with crystals, dances… Almost everyone who comes to spend time here tells me how good they feel here without knowing why. It always makes me smile. I spend much more time here than at home, where I only go to sleep. I love my studio dearly, including the mice and winter chill!

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To see Jan’s studio yourself, you can visit: 

#1000-420 Parker Street Studios, East Vancouver.

What fascinates you about creating portraits?

What is most fascinating about people’s faces is the truth in their eyes. You can fake a pose on a photograph. I don’t think you can do that on a painted portrait. 

What was it that drew you to Canada?

I had just finished 17 months of globetrotting when I met a buddy, who I hadn’t seen in five years, in a pub in Prague. Another trip wasn’t something I was considering, so when he said, “Go check out Vancouver, man, you’ll love it!” I didn’t think much of it. Well, a couple of beers later, the idea became more attractive. I applied for a visa the same week and moved a few months later. In a broad sense, I was just supposed to be here. Why that is I don’t need to know, but beer was a rather painless accelerator.

What is your favourite part of Vancouver to photograph or paint?

Vancouver is a rare gem. I love seaside landscapes with snowy mountains looming in the background, industrial cranes somehow in harmony with their natural surroundings, railways and factories in North Vancouver, cargo trains in Strathcona surrounded by old graffiti’d warehouses, shabby buildings in Chinatown, waterfalls in Lynn Valley….I could go on for a while. This city has so much and I’ve still only seen so little of it!

Was the first time you bought oil paints at 24 your first true experience with art?

Yes, I first bought oil paints when I was 24 but I painted as soon as I learned how to hold a pastel (around the age of 2). The first true experience of art, if this can even be described by something so limiting as words, dates to early childhood. When you become blank and create out of pure joy, you are living a true experience of art. We are all creative by definition, and we are all true artists. Most forget along the way. I was fortunate enough to remember.

To learn more about Jan, and see some of his creations, visit:

http://painting.kasparec.com/