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Good Food Wanted! 

Are you a caterer or restaurant? Bakery or creative sushi joint?   

If you would like to feature your food as art this year at our event, we have a few more spots left for amazing chefs, caterers and restauranteurs! Get creative this year and sell your specialties at our event. Information under the Exhibitor tab.

Feel free to call or email us as well! 

Bringing New Meaning to “Language Arts”

An Interview with Cristina Petersen

by Alyssa Laube

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About: After returning to her home town of Vancouver after 14 years, Cristina Petersen now works as a painter and ESL instructor at the University of British Columbia. She is new to showing her work, and looks forward to developing and improving as an artist.

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As a newcomer to the Art World Expo, what are you expecting?

 

I am expecting to talk and connect with a lot of like-minded people, and to have fun being involved in such a great and vibrant event! I hope to sell some work, but I think that just being there is a step towards even considering myself as a real artist.

 

You are new to showing your art. How did you decide to do that, and what was your experience like?

 

I was encouraged by Monika to do more art and to get it out there, but also met a local artist in my neighbourhood named Marty Andaluz. I worked with him to have my first art show, along with two of my friends, who are also new to art. We had fun organizing it together at a local café, Room for Cream on Kingsway. It also helped to have encouragement from my fiancé, Tom, as well as family and friends who support this new adventure of mine.

 

You’re juggling two jobs – as an artist, of course, but also as an instructor at UBC! What is that like for you?

 

It’s very difficult to find time sometimes to paint, as teaching is a very demanding job. I love teaching and it is my priority of course, but I try to paint on weekends or when I feel inspired.

 

You’ve mentioned that you love to write. What do you enjoy writing? Have you ever considered this as a career?

 

I like to write blogs sometimes for my work. They are about teaching. Writing is just a fun way to express myself about things I’m passionate about. I have toyed with the idea of going into editing as I have a keen eye for errors, having taught ESL for about 13 years now. But ultimately, I am very social and think that being a writer might be too isolated for me…perhaps something later in life! I am always open to trying new things.

 

Do you think being in Ecuador will be an artistic inspiration for you?

 

Yes of course, traveling is always an inspiration. New experiences are what keep things fresh.

 

How has working as an artist affected your work as an instructor, and vice versa?

 

I am not sure that it has affected my work as an instructor, but sometimes I feel like teaching language is a very creative job. When I am in the classroom, I can create a mood or focus on certain things, much like painting. Although with my job, there are administrative duties that sometimes zap my creative side and make me wish I were just able to paint!

 

What subject(s) do you teach?

 

I teach English as an additional language. I teach in different programs all the time, so sometimes I teach in the Intensive English Program, (IEP) or the English for Academic Purposes (EAP), the English for the Global Citizen (EGC) or Explore (with French Canadians). I teach all the skills, but if teaching IEP or EAP I usually try to pick the Speaking and Listening classes or writing courses. I like teaching Speaking because I like to facilitate discussions, teach presentation skills etc. Writing essays is a bit of an art form too. I have always loved to write as well.

 

You work in acrylics. What makes you choose it?

 

Mostly because they are forgiving and easy to clean, as I usually paint in my apartment, so I have to set up everything and take it all down at the end. Cleaning brushes etc. is way easier. I also like to add water or Gesso, sometimes crackle paste for variety as they mix well. I can add oil on top if I want more texture later.

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What are the most important things in your life?

 

Things or people? *laughs* My fiancé, my family, my friends, my dog… but aside from that, being a given, I love horseback riding and skiing; those are the two hobbies that I am passionate about. I try to stay healthy by exercising and eating healthy, delicious food. I enjoy a good glass of red wine, living a simple life, and travelling when I can to explore the world – particularly foreign places where I don’t speak the language. I’ve been studying Spanish off an on for about 10 years.

 

Do you have any significant goals for the future?

 

Well, I am getting married next June, so my fiancé and I are planning our wedding. We are saving money right now and also hoping to take our honeymoon in Ecuador. Hopefully sell more art to help fundraise.

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Can you think of a particular moment or person that inspired you to become an artist?

 

My half-sister Dana loves to paint and is really quite talented. I think she will surpass my skills! I bought her a painting lesson almost 3 years ago with Monika and went with her. This was my first painting lesson too, and ever since then, with Monika’s encouragement, I have kept painting. I have always loved art and art galleries too. I think it was always in me, but it was a matter of being in the right head space to pull it out. And to have that initial “ah ha!” moment, like “Wow, that was really fun, I want to do more of that!” Now I am older and have found my path as an instructor, so I feel like expanding my horizons and trying new things. Learn new skills. Be creative. Always grow as a person.

 

Do you find that, on a bad day, painting can make you feel better?

 

Yes, of course. It is very calming and therapeutic. You can lose yourself in the art and not worry about anything else. Although I have to tell myself sometimes not to be a perfectionist. I like to paint with bigger brush strokes and more abstract style on days where I need a release.

 

Is there a specific technique that you like to use or find interesting?

 

I love work by Dali, it’s so weird and crazy, as well as work by the Group of Seven. I really like abstract scenery and more free flowing brush strokes. Not really schooled in art, so not sure of any specific techniques, but I know I am still experimenting and learning a lot.

 

How do you hope to improve as an artist?

 

I hope to improve my ability to draw or paint specific features like eyes, noses and mouths. I also hope to let go of my own criticism of my own work. I have to accept that not all pieces turn out quite how I envision them, but sometimes that is the beauty of it.

Unexpected Beauty

An Interview with Robyn Marshall

By Alyssa Laube

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About: Robyn Marshall is a multi-talented artist who’s goal is “to bring beauty to the disturbing and awareness to the misunderstood.” She was raised in Ottawa, Ontario and now lives with her family in Chilliwack, British Columbia. As a full-time artist and stay-at-home mom, her life’s focus is on her children and business, Robyn Byrd Design.

 

You seem to like to focus on darker subjects and to give them exposure. What about the unusual, hidden, and forgotten interests you and inspires you to create art?

I’ve always preferred and been drawn the the unusual, darker things in life. I was an inner city missionary for over 3 years. I think you have to have a heart for the hidden and forgotten in order to help the homeless, drug addicts, prostitutes etc.

It’s that same heart that I use to create my art. To create things out of the normal, not cookie-cutter, but things that take you a second to think. It’s similar to how I so wished people would take a second to think and care about the homeless.

 

These words also evoke thoughts of political and social issues. Is that something you

involve yourself in as an artist?

As a missionary I was extremely involved. It’s what drove me to try and get people to be more aware and help the helpless. As an artist, I’ve donated paintings and help raise money for charities.

If you wanted to dig even deeper, you could say that my “PS-Portraits and Silhouettes” collection is a derivative of this. Where some of the paintings have no faces, or a majority of their eyes are closed. I think I was so drawn to paint this series because it best reflects society’s response to the homeless and helpless. The face is what draws you in and helps you read people, so if a person in a painting has no face or it’s just their silhouette, are they still a person? These are some of the questions I hope people have when viewing this series.

 

Are there any political/social events that have had an impact on you recently, creatively or otherwise?

 The 2010 Olympics had a big impact on me. It broke my heart to see our province pour so much time and money into the event when I know how all of that money could help the less fortunate.

I find, as a whole society, we have forgotten about the people next door to us. It’s easier to have empathy for the orphan babies of Africa or the survivors of major natural disasters as apposed to the people on Main and Hastings Street. We have a prejudice which leads us to believe that, because they are homeless, they somehow chose to be; That they are accepting this lifestyle and don’t want it to change.

 

Are you with any philanthropic foundations or companies?

I was a missionary with YWAM “Youth With A Mission”  and I served with them here in Vancouver, Tijuana, and Atalanta, Georgia.

 

You aim to takes societys conventions and turn(s) them upside down. Do you do this simply to cause controversy, to cause the audience to question themselves, etc.?

I do it to challenge people; To cause people to think for themselves and to question the everyday status quo.

 

How do you go about doing the above?

I think that I accomplish that simply by being a young, female artist who prefers to paint skulls instead of pretty landscapes.

 

Are the ideas conveyed by your artwork necessarily and consistently your own individual opinion, or do you like to expand on foreign opinions and concepts?

I think it’s a bit of both. My opinions and outlooks on life have been majorly moulded and formed by worldly concepts. I try not to live by “western” ideals and concepts where it’s every man for himself and to do anything for the all-mighty dollar. I’ve learned and been exposed to too much about the world as a whole to remain sheltered and naive. I hope my art reflects that.

 

How have your experiences in life formed your identity as an artist today?

My life has been so diverse in itself. From being a hairdresser in Ottawa, to a missionary in Atlanta and now a full-time artist in British Columbia, I’ve never settled on one way of living. This is directly represented in my art. Not one style is the same. Not one medium is the same. My collection of work varies just like my life has.

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What began your interest with medical texts? How did you indulge that interest?

I was obsessed with Leonardo DaVinci growing up. My earliest memories are of reading about how he would rob graves and use the cadavers as references for his drawings. He drastically changed medicine of that day by being able to provide illustrations of how the human body works.

Because of this, at age of 8 or 9, all I wanted to do when I grew up was illustrate medical textbooks. So, as an adult, I decided to live a form of this dream by drawing oversized medical illustrations.

 

How long does it take you to complete an average medical piece?

This all depends on my children. Being a stay-at-home mom and artist means finding a balance between drawing and raising my children. Ideally, each one takes about a week – about 20-25 hours of work total.

I draw them on pieces of paper hung on my kitchen wall. My days are often spent drawing while my children play with Play-Doh at the kitchen table.

 

Now that you are creating them, what do you find is your favourite thing about it?

I love everything about them. The sheer fact that I am living an almost 20 year-old dream from when I was a little girl is amazing. That, and the size. I love working in these large scales. I’ve had to develop different techniques and I love every second of it.

 

Each type of art you do must be drastically different. How do you use these forms to create different feelings? Which is your favourite right now?

Yes they are all quite different. I love the soft tones and values of watercolour. They provide a sense of vulnerability that I find appealing. My large scale medical illustrations are bold and “in your face”. They call for your attention. They force you to address them.These two rotate between my favourite styles, depending on my feelings that day.

 

You were raised in Ottowa, Ontario. How did the culture there affect your development, personally and artistically?

I think that growing up in such a culturally diverse city helped shape my outlook on the world as well as my art. I was exposed to so many amazing varieties of arts and cultures, it’s hard to not have it affect you.

 

Could you tell the story of how you began working with large-scale acrylics?

It was a high school art project. I built, stretched and painted my first 5 foot painting and I fell in love. I continued with them for many years. I liked how it involved my whole body, how it was therapeutic to be able to whirl my arms around freely.

 

There is a reoccurring appearance of skulls and bone in your work. What is the meaning behind them to you, and why do focus on it in your work?

I’ve always been drawn to skulls and things that are macabre. I like the reminder that death is close, so live for the day. Fulfill your dreams today and don’t wait. We don’t know how long we have and tomorrow may never come. It’s a reminder to live without regret and to seize the day.

 

What is your goal as an artist, in the present and future?

My goal is just to continue to draw and paint and put my art out there. By doing so, I have since been published in a collaborative art book, and now i’m able to be featured in this event. If people like what I do and it resonates with them, great! I don’t make art for other people or with the thought of “will this sell?”. I paint what moves me in that time and stay true to myself.

 

To learn more about Robyn and Robyn Byrd Design, visit http://www.robynbyrddesign.com/

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FREE Art World Expo tickets for you!

We are so excited about our show this year, after all, it IS our 5th Anniversary! In honor of this momentous occasion, we want you all to be sure to have your tickets ready long before the event in May and have a special promotion for you until September 8!

This month, our founder and CEO Monika Blichar, is participating in a pop up gallery “Acts of Random occupaTion” in Deep Cove along with 7 other talented local artists and designers, some of whom are also part of AWE 2015! As part of her mission to bring everyone out to the Expo for the Fairy Tale Inspired 5th anniversary event, with every purchase made on any of pieces by Monika Blichar from the gallery, clients will receive two free tickets to Art World Expo!

A fabulous deal for those who would like to collect Monika’s work as well as join us at our event on May 1, 2015!

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As an added special bonus, if you show this coupon upon purchase, either printed or on your Smart Phone, you will also be eligible for 10% off any of Monika’s pieces on top of claiming your complimentary Art World Expo tickets! Tickets to the Expo are currently $40/each.

Monika is exhibiting 20 pieces for sale at the exhibition running until September 8, 2014. Ranging from hand painted and mixed media tiles, to paintings, signed limited edition prints and one hand sewn custom collarette. Pieces range in price from $60-$2500.

Each week, participating artists will also be doing live demonstrations free for the general public. Monika will be live painting August 21 & 22, September 5 and Face Painting by donation to support AWE 2015 Toronto Expansion on August 24 for Deep Cove Days.

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For more information on the gallery hours and a full list of exhibitors, please visit the Acts of Random Occupation event page on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/events/666266263458563/ 

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A Man of Many Talents-Yves Decary

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About:

Yves Decary is not your typical salon owner. Owner of L’atelier Hair Boutique & Gallery in the Yaletown district in Vancouver, BC, this man has many talents. L’Atelier is a full service studio and gallery where local artists are able to show and sell original art work in a welcoming, edgy and vibrant environment. Clients are able to come in, be pampered by a master stylist team, but also engage with Vancouver’s artistic merit, which is evidently bustling as seen from the variety of work found at the salon. Yves not only styles, but also enjoys painting which has led to multiple live painting performances, numerous sales and an upcoming show at Roam Gallery.

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Yves Decary-Interview by Alyssa Laube

How is L’Atelier Hair different from other salons?

At l’Atelier, we consider hair to be an art we are creating with scissors, paint brushes, and color. A new look for client, it is why we are different.

How were you introduced to hair styling and cosmetics?
I have always been interested in and curious about fashion because fashion is an art statement. It’s why I decided to become a hairstylist when I was 18 years old.
Why do you think it’s important that you sell local art at L’Atelier?

Our mirrors are framed like a painting and so, our client is our blank canvas. It also makes us proud to support local artists and artisans in our gallery.

When/how did you transition from selling art to creating it?

I started to paint 8 years ago and learned to express my emotion and state of mind on canvas.

To you, what is the meaning of art?

I think, if you paint with your soul, that is the true meaning of art.

As a man who is involved in both art and hair styling, where does your true passion lie?

I love edgy, raw, and sexy emotion. It is what defines me as an artist.

What do you consider your specialty?

I love to analyze people and emotion that is under the surface.

With so many unique designs and ideas, where do you gather inspiration?

My inspiration always come from my experience in life and the human beings that crossed my path.

How has your culture influenced you as an artist?

Fashion has always been a big influence on my journey of creating art.

You’ve also had a salon in Montreal, but moved to Vancouver. How would you describe that process, in a word?

Circus, because most of the time, life is like a circus!

How have you developed as an artist over the years?

Around 3 years ago, I started to mainly paint with my 3 favorite colors: black, red, and white.

What are you looking forward to most at this year’s Expo?

This year, I am looking forward to being part of the Expo again. I love the team. I’m looking forward to sharing my emotion with Vancouver, as well as the artist crowd and sharing the true meaning of art with the audience.

For more information about L’Atelier or Yves, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/groups/432888750122625/

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