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My Background with Art

I have been creative throughout my life and have been actively working on my artistic practice for the last decade+. In 2010 I was a participant in Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming (SCYAP)'s Urban Canvas Project, an 8 month program for at-risk youth, that employs art as a tool to build confidence, overcome issues and improve overall quality of life. SCYAP provided me a safe place to learn foundational artistic skills, work on personal issues, and find ways to heal facets of my life that were impacted by trauma. Creating artwork that I was proud of made me confident, improved my self-worth, which in turn influenced my goals and altered  what I believed I was capable of. 

 After completing the Urban Canvas Project I continued to work at SCYAP where I occupied many roles including: managing the gallery, painting murals, public speaking, and teaching people from all backgrounds, specializing in working with at-risk youth. I facilitated and lead art based programs; partnering with a wide variety of organizations such as Eagles Nest Youth Ranch (a group home/alternative school for at-risk youth), FASD Support Network, various elementary & high schools throughout Saskatoon (leading after school programs, art clubs, drop-ins), the DUBE psychiatric centre, Ranch Ehrlo Society (a group home for at-risk youth), Elizabeth Fry Society (a rehabilitation support program for women, after leaving the penal system), Open Door Society (for newcomer immigrants and refugees) and the Boys and Girls club (providing access to extracurricular activities for low income youth) and many more organizations. In 2015 I had the opportunity to work as a leader for the Urban Canvas Project, five years after completing the program myself. It was truly life changing to have come full circle. I have continued working in various art based and community roles over the past 10 years including working as an artist in residence at Parkridge centre, working various roles at PAVED Arts artist run centre, as a ceramic technician at Concordia University, and through the University of Saskatchewan Community Advancement and Engagement office.

Originally, I created art out of necessity, making images that were a safe space for my eyes to rest, allowing my mind to take a break from its toxic state. Art became a replacement for destructive habits I used previously. In the beginning my paintings were simple, but as I dealt with trauma, rebuilt and healed, I was able to delve deeper. Now I am finding ways to create more than just a nice image, but to open up a space for discussion about things I have overcome and lessons learnt along the way. I feel art is a great way to reach people on a deeper, more empathetic, emotional level. Art can be a space of refuge. I create work that discusses themes of healing, growing, overcoming trauma, mental health, regaining power as a woman, and learning how to stand strong. More often than not my work features women in a wide array of emotions, in an attempt to explore the strength and power of being a woman that is honouring and embracing her authentic self.

I began my journey in secondary education in 2011 at the University of Saskatchewan where I studied very part time while working multiple jobs. I transferred to Concordia in 2016 to shift my focus fully towards my artistic practice and education and complete my degree. I absolutely love being a student and am thankful I took my time to really immerse myself in each subject I studied. I have a diverse background and have taken classes in painting, ceramics, printmaking, sculpture, mixed media, video, drawing, sound, installation and more. I love to learn and strive to continue learning new skills both through self lead exploration and within class/workshops sett