Speaker 0 00:00:00 Hello and welcome to Storyteller in Depth, a podcast where we go behind the scenes to learn more about the School of Communications, media Arts and designs, peoples places and things. I'm your host, pat Quigley, and in this episode we have Seta VAAs, nai, a 2016 graduate of our fine arts studio program. Ever since she was young, SETA wanted to be an artist, and after switching gears to theater for a little bits, made her way back to fine art and enrolled in the program where she learned how to harness her skills and carry out her passion. Fast forward to October of last year, Sarah received an acceptance letter from the RBC Emerging Artist Network, which is an eight month program from mentorship, networking, and skill building, organized by the Power Plant, contemporary Art Gallery, and the RBC Foundation. This is an outstanding accomplishment as only 25 people were selected, but I'll let Sarah fill you in on how that's going, what your journey has been like as an artist thus far, and what her process is as she creates her pieces. She has some great advice, so be sure to stick around. Thank you, Sarah, for being on the podcast today.
Speaker 2 00:01:13 Thank you so much, pat. I'm very excited to be here.
Speaker 0 00:01:16 Yeah, it's great to have you. And we were talking a little bit before this about how we maybe cross paths back in, uh, back when we were at school together, so, uh, you know, it's great to see you again, maybe
Speaker 2 00:01:27 <laugh>. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. Maybe we close path, because I graduated in 2016, so yeah. Maybe we saw each other. Yeah,
Speaker 0 00:01:33 Yeah. Uh, so kind of I'd like to start off every podcast by asking just, uh, to introduce yourself, talk a little bit about who is Sarah and, and give us a little overview.
Speaker 2 00:01:43 Yeah. So my name is Sarah. Um, I am a fine artist with a background of theater. Um, I do images, uh, using natural lights and shadows. I also do installations. I do murals, I do videos. So a little bit of everything. I really enjoy arts and that's my, my passion and I always looking for ways to do arts, um, uh, every day and to look for, um, art, um, projects and opportunities. So yes, that's what I really enjoy. I come from Venezuela in South America, and I moved to Canada in 20, uh, 13, and I, um, study arts in Centennial College, uh, from 2014 to 26, uh, 20 15, 20 16, sorry, <laugh>. So, yeah, it has been a while, but I have continued doing arts, uh, since I graduated from Centennial. And this is a path that I love and enjoy every single day.
Speaker 0 00:02:46 That's awesome. So what exactly has your journey been like as an artist? Like when did you first know that you wanted to become an artist, and like, how did that evolve for you?
Speaker 2 00:02:57 Yeah, so, um, as I imagine most of the artists, uh, I did art since I was a very little, uh, girl. And my favorite thing to do in preschool was to play with Play-Doh. Um, so there, my mom and my dad discovered that I really enjoyed, um, using my hands to produce things. So, um, when I, I grew up, I went to drawing classes, um, I changed school, so I stopped doing that and instead I, uh, discovered theater. So this is, uh, uh, um, a moment when everything switched. So I started doing theater and I continue with that for eight years in different, uh, companies in Caras, Venezuela. Um, but then I, um, went to university and my passion for fine arts, uh, reconnected, uh, because I started, uh, studying, uh, the history of art. Uh, we did, um, this class where we critique or we, um, look into paintings and we discovered like different things that the paintings wanted to say.
Speaker 2 00:04:08 I wanted to, um, uh, yes to say to the viewers in different periods of time. So this was something that really, uh, sparked my, my passion for fine arts. Uh, it was very interesting for me to see how much a painting can say to the audience. Uh, it could be by color composition, the, the eyes of the people who are portrayed in the painting. And there I said to myself, well, I have two path. I have the theater, I have fine arts. And then I discovered that I loved fine arts because I started to think about, uh, majoring in fine arts instead of theater. So that was something that really spoke to me in that moment because theater was my first passion and I loved acting so much. And then there was a moment where, uh, my family and I decided to move to Canada.
Speaker 2 00:05:05 So there I had the opportunity to choose what, what was I going to study for, uh, in college. And I decided to continue with my education that I had left in Venezuela. So I searched for something very similar to what I was studying, and I found Centennial College and the, uh, program of fine arts. And I said, you know, this is the opportunity for me to pursue something that I left, uh, when I was very, very young. And it's time for me to take a brush on my hand again and see where that goes. And as you know, like everything is history. I'm doing it now. I never left theater. I always try to introduce it to my assignments and my teacher can say that cuz I always try like, uh, any way that I could, uh, sneak in, in a little bit of theater. It could be like in the theme or performing arts. I, I, I did, yeah. So, and nowadays as well, like, it, it's not something that I left behind. It's something that I have been carrying it with myself as well as fine arts.
Speaker 0 00:06:12 That's awesome. And congratulations for, for doing everything you're doing now. Like, it's, it's incredible to to have the, the art sense and to be able to do all that. So has obviously as time kind of moves on and, you know, your art can change through time for, for some people. Has your specialization changed at all? And like what kind of art do you specialize in now?
Speaker 2 00:06:39 Yeah, so that's a great question. Like, uh, when I was studying, uh, at Centennial, I did a lot of paintings. I did a lot of sculptures, and I think that was the base that led me to do these, uh, images, uh, that are translated in photography. So I do a lot of photography now. Um, I use my, um, canvas with my paintings with, uh, non representational paintings, which are, um, commonly known as abstract. So there are no figures in my paintings, only color, um, and composition and shapes. And I take those paintings and I photograph them. I, uh, use, uh, natural lights and shadows. So I choose the best day and the clearest day of the week to do this work. And I design the, uh, the shadows by using cutouts, by using found objects and by using what, what surrounds me, right? Even sometimes my hands as well.
Speaker 2 00:07:39 Um, and I take photograph. So I think my, uh, evolution in art have developed it to lead me to the path of photography as well. And, um, you know, photography is, um, also, uh, visual art. So that's why I call myself a visual artist. And I have also, um, d uh, done a lot of video as well. Uh, we were talking before the interview about it. Um, video is something where I can sneak more into theater as well, cuz um, I really like to keep working in like, um, like my thoughts and like how can I connect with the audience, um, more than just, um, my images as well. So, uh, social media is also a big part of it, and I found that, um, the connection that I have with people through video is different than through photography and through my paintings, through my installations, and those are all things that I like to keep exploring.
Speaker 2 00:08:44 Also, I mentioned installation, which is something that have developed, um, after I graduated as well. Uh, my first installation was done, uh, in the last year of my program. And since then I have been looking for ways to keep doing installations because that's something that I really, really enjoy. And it's like, um, giving the people who are looking at the artwork, a stage where they can perform around my, my installation. So this is something like I really enjoy. And, you know, I, I never put aside anything. I always like to try different things because in my mind is like, if you haven't done it, you don't know if you enjoy it or not. So that's something that I did a lot. Uh, throughout my two year program. I explored everything, uh, the teachers gave me, um, clay, I did like, I, I tried to push it as far as I could, uh, or wires or, uh, acrylic paint or oils in my house. Like everything, I, I tried everything just to make sure what path I was sure that I wanted to follow.
Speaker 0 00:09:54 That's awesome. It's cool to see how much you like, dive into other mediums as well and really kind of stretch your creativity. So like, what, what inspires that creativity for you and how do you stay motivated to create?
Speaker 2 00:10:09 Yeah, that's a great question. I really like that question because every artist is different, right? Uh, like the things that sparkle, my, my imagination is different than to another artist. And something that I really enjoy is writing. Um, I keep two journals, one where I write down everything like, uh, my process as an artist, like things that I really liked how, uh, it ended up looking. I tried to write like the steps so I can repeat it afterwards. I like writing things that, um, like quotes that inspires me, uh, to keep going. Um, I like to write like books that people recommend to me to read. Um, like those little things, uh, I like to, uh, keep record to that. And I have a second journal, which is like, for my feelings and my thoughts of every single day. This one I keep, um, I do every single night after the day has ended, I, uh, collect my thoughts and I put it into writing because that way I can like, um, see everything in perspective and things that had happened to me could inspire new pieces or, or I can understand better where I'm coming from and where I want to go.
Speaker 2 00:11:28 And that's something that has really helped me. I have kept this journal since three years ago, and I see the results and I will really advise everybody to keep journals because it's the best. And also, I like to say that, uh, I don't sit around waiting for inspiration. That's something that I heard in an interview one day that, uh, you really have to look for inspiration. Like, if you wait around for ause to come, maybe you will be waiting for a very long time. So, um, I try to keep ins, uh, like finding ways to get inspired. Um, I read a lot of books. I really enjoy fiction and I have read so many beautiful stories and which have, later on I have seen how they have developed better into new pieces that I have done, like very, very little things. But I understand that those things come from what I consume.
Speaker 2 00:12:31 So you really have to be careful of what you consume because you will really translate on what you do later. Also, um, you know, my art is based on nature, so it makes sense that walking in nature has a huge impact in my, in what I do. I like walking and taking photograph of everything I like to say before I start walking in nature to be present and to really see the little things, which is what, um, I said I, I say my, my shadows are based on seeing the little things in life. And, uh, I take photograph of the things that, um, are interesting to me. For example, little leaves of different colors or a little rock beside the beach. Like something that really, like I, I see, um, I see it translating into a color on my painting or something like that. So those little things are what sets for me, like, to like, to like do things that push me to keep motivation and to inspire my creativity.
Speaker 0 00:13:46 Awesome. And like, it's, you talked a little bit about the, the journals and keeping all these journals, that's some amazing advice for, for anybody who, who wants to like, work through their creativity as well, right? And so how does that kind of go into your creative process? Can you take us through that a little bit and like, kind of describe like when you first get your idea for a piece, um, all the way to the end product, like what's that process like?
Speaker 2 00:14:13 Oh, yes, definitely. Um, these journals have a huge impact in, uh, my pieces later. Um, like sometimes I take things, sometimes I just, uh, save it for later. But in terms of the process, um, like, I wouldn't say that there is a beginning, middle, and end. I see my pieces almost like a threat, like something woven, like something that comes one be after another because it makes sense. Um, I can give you some examples. For example, uh, I did, uh, this installation for the Newlan last year, um, called Memories for this Installation. I use different layers. I did a vinyl layer with a Def Flora surrounding, uh, Danforth. I did another layer, which was, um, the recycling part that they were asking for, which was one of the courting for my other installation, fear of Passion. And the last leg was a painting. And this painting comes from my, uh, sundown collection, which was a collection that I was releasing during that same period of time.
Speaker 2 00:15:23 And this collection was based on sunsets. So, uh, when I see, when I take a step back and I said it makes sense that, um, my installation took that inspiration from Sunan from my other collection. And so that's, uh, why I am saying that there is no beginning really, because everything is like a step further from my previous work. Um, for example, also I have been doing, um, shadows for six years and I know that I can push it even further. So, uh, there is not really a beginning, but something that everything, uh, like connects every single project is the, um, stage of research. I do a lot of research and re research, meaning different things depending on the project. For example, it could be a research of the history behind, um, a building where I'm going to be producing work based on the history.
Speaker 2 00:16:25 Research could be walking in nature, like, uh, looking for inspiration for my new colors, for new pieces. Um, like those different things that can, um, inspire my collection. Those, that, that's what everything, um, like all these process are, uh, have in common, like that research part. Also later I would do a little bit of, um, sketches or I could do a proposal for, uh, an art opportunity. I could do a, a color palette, something that I really like the, to connect all the paintings or all the images. Um, later I would do, if I'm doing shadows, I would, um, organize everything, uh, beforehand, like all the things that I want to show in the shadows, of course, I live a little bit of, um, like, uh, a little bit of a space of, um, what, uh, something can happen during the that moment because I don't want to restraint the creativity, right?
Speaker 2 00:17:31 So I, I live a little bit of a stretch for some, some things that could come up during, while I'm taking the photograph and later I like to write about it. Um, I think, uh, I like to write at the end because I have a better understanding of the project. Um, basically because I really enjoyed, uh, for inspiration to strike in every, in any given moment. So I leave the writing at the end where I can like, uh, do a conclusion of the project. Um, and I have like a, um, more clear vision of what the project, uh, is about. Uh, cause as I said, things can come up during the process and at the end I would do, if I'm doing a collection of, um, images, uh, for shadows, I would do the promotion, the marketing material, the posting on the website. So really there is like, um, uh, I like to say that artists have many titles, <laugh>, cuz you are the artist, but you are also the marketing person, the promo person.
Speaker 2 00:18:41 They reach out like you are doing all those things. Um, which I, I really enjoy. Like, there is a lot of, uh, administrative part to fine arts. Um, but I, I really enjoy both process, the artistic and the administration one. Like, uh, I've learned so many things, uh, throughout the years that, um, have make, uh, things a little bit easier. But still there are some challenges of course, and things that you have to learn. And there is really a, like a try and error on every single, uh, lounge that you do and you learn from that and you make it a little bit better or a little bit easier for yourself on like, uh, the next one, right? So yes, those are, uh, that's my process at the end. It could be an exhibition, it could be a presentation, it could be a launch of a video. So depending on the project will, it will look different
Speaker 0 00:19:39 For sure. Yeah. Is it, is it more fun to work inside of the collections? Like to to do shadows or to do one of your other collections? Is it more, more fun for you or more creatively inspiring for you to do those rather than to do like a one-off piece?
Speaker 2 00:19:57 You know, uh, every single project has its charm. Like, um, I really enjoy the process of, uh, shadows a lot because, uh, it will look different every single day. Like, uh, if I'm doing shadows during, uh, summer, it's different than, uh, if I'm waiting for the sun to come up in winter <laugh>, which is very challenging and very, uh, depressing sometimes, cuz I, sometimes I need to wait several weeks. Um, but for one of projects, um, it's beautiful because it, it, it happens so quickly sometimes. Uh, for example, for memories for new Blanche, it happened in a period of, I say a month or two months and eh, you know, the rush, the, the looking for the materials, the getting everything, the putting everything together, it, it's so beautiful as well. So I enjoy both, like in different ways. That's what I'm going to say. Yeah. In different ways. I enjoy both pro uh, processes.
Speaker 0 00:21:09 Right. Do you have a favorite piece that you've ever made?
Speaker 2 00:21:12 Oh, that's a difficult question. <laugh>. Well, <laugh> well, you know, um, I really like Benny. Like I, I like many French shadows. Uh, I like light source, of course. Um, but I, what I can say is that I can share my favorite process that I have, uh, done. Yeah. So, um, I'm going to talk about Fear of Passion, which was my first installation project because it was a real challenge that like, I, I, I sit and I sit back and I don't know what I was thinking of <laugh>, like, uh, this piece was for my last project for, uh, Centennial, for the program. It was, um, for the final exhibition. And, uh, it was inspired by those classes that we, um, saw installations and we saw like these artists making installations in different parts of the world. And I was like, I saw myself, like, I, I want to do that, right?
Speaker 2 00:22:19 So I said to myself, it's now or never, never. So I, I don't know, like, uh, I, it was like something that came to my mind and I said, you know, for the final show, I'm going to do an installation. I had no idea what I was doing, but <laugh> I really enjoyed the discovery part of this journey. So my installation, fear of passion was, uh, structure, uh, made from wood, from metal wire, um, hardware, like screws, washers. And it measured five feet by nine feet tall. So it was a very ambitious project. I did the sketches. I, uh, rode everything behind the idea. So the idea was to represent my three passions, the theater, fine arts, and at that time I was doing ballet, so I wanted to represent those passions together as the journey of an artist. So, uh, I wanted to do it very abstract.
Speaker 2 00:23:25 So the representation of that was a pyramid because of the three points, uh, like it was a triangle, but a pyramid because I wanted for it to symbolize, um, like, um, a mountain that, uh, it's like the representation of the journey of the artist of, uh, really like, um, the challenge and the wing at the end, like the, then my question was, is the wing the end? Or is it win the journey to it? So that was the idea behind this structure. So what I did was, uh, wooden frame that hanged from the wall, and then these wires coming, uh, from the bottom with little circles of, uh, wood hold by screws and washers. From one side of the installation you could see color all the way around. And when you walk behind, it was black and white. So it was a pyramid tilted on one side, so you could see the bottom of the pyramid and the top of the pyramid as a symbology of, uh, being at the bottom and being on the top.
Speaker 2 00:24:33 But always like, um, it's things that can change in any given time. So for this installation, I look for grants because I had to, um, do the budget as well. And I knew that, uh, for, in order for me to make this possible, I had to look for grants. Thankfully I found a couple of grants, uh, which make this project possible. And it was great seeing it all coming together, like learning about the tools, about putting things together. I had a background of tools because, um, back in Venezuela, I used to, uh, work with my dad in a telephone tech, uh, company. So I, I knew how to handle like, drills and, um, screwdrivers, hammers, everything. Um, so that make it a little bit less challenging. But anyways, uh, things change during the process and I learned from that, like, things can change things, uh, may not work as I imagined that it, they will.
Speaker 2 00:25:35 And, um, at the end when I was presenting my project, we didn't know if it was possible to hang it on the gallery. So after all these months, uh, it was a challenge also the hanging part of it. At the end, we ended up calling a cherry picker to put it on the, on the gallery, everything work out. I had to buy a chains to, to make it possible to hang it from the ceiling. And, um, but you know what, at the end, seeing it hanged, seen all this work paid off, it was all worth it. And if I had to do it again, I will do it. Definitely. It was long nights until like, uh, midnight, I had to be working on that project. But, uh, that project was, uh, definitely the inspiration of many, uh, projects that I did after that. So it was all worth it.
Speaker 0 00:26:29 <laugh>, it's, it's kind of a cool full circle moment too, cuz you were talking about at the beginning about, you know, you loved working with your hands and with Play-Doh and now your, your final project that you did as a fine arts student, um, is making this large sculpture, right? It's, it's a cool similarity in those two things.
Speaker 2 00:26:48 Exactly, yes, yes. And I, I think life is full of first full circle moments and yeah, it made sense that, uh, the end, my final project was going to be something like that. Yes, you're right. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
Speaker 0 00:27:01 <affirmative>. So you're a graduate of the 2016 Fine Arts Studio Program. What, what drew you to this program in particular?
Speaker 2 00:27:09 Yes. So, um, what drew me to Fine Arts, um, was really, uh, the continuation of what I was doing in Venezuela. I wanted to find something that I could, uh, add to the story that I was doing, uh, in Venezuela, which was an arts degree, uh, in the university, central Venezuela, which is a very known university in Venezuela. And I wanted to continue that journey. So, um, my dad was the one who suggest me to look into Centennial because he knew that there were some art programs. And I was looking at the curriculum of Fine Arts Studio and I said, this is exactly what I wanted to do. Like, everything like painting, sculpture, like everything that I wanted to do hands on that program had. So it, it just made sense that that was a program that I, I was going to do. I, um, was interviewed by the coordinator at that time, David McLean.
Speaker 2 00:28:08 He was very welcoming. Um, I really enjoyed talking with him in that initial, uh, interview. He really, um, made me feel like I belong, even if I had very little, um, fine arts, um, like, um, experience. But I had, um, I have done many projects, uh, that I, at that time I didn't realize it was fine Art <laugh>, but he told me like, yes, you have done this, uh, book of artists. You have done watercolors, you like, I, I brought everything that I have done before. And he said, uh, this program is for you. Um, and then, um, I got, um, very excited to see, um, the ramp of the campus and that, this might sounds very silly, but back in Venezuela in my university, I used to have a very similar ramp. So this ramp led to the classroom for the arts degree and this other ramp in Toronto, in Canada, in fine arts in, uh, story Art Center led to the rooms to fine arts.
Speaker 2 00:29:19 So those little things are the ones that made me feel like I was in the right path. Right. Um, so then I got very involved with, um, like, um, uh, with the college, I, I did many things. Um, like, uh, I did tutoring. Um, I was, uh, part of the creation of the Latin Latin American Club in, um, Centennial. Um, like, uh, um, like it was very nice to see this campus full of artists and to see all these potential, uh, like, uh, opportunities for collaboration, which, uh, led me to also do a little bit of acting in with the film students, uh, which I really enjoyed. And they asked me to do also some, uh, short films, um, about like artists, about like, how is the life of an artist and like drawing and things like that. So the college really was really, um, a home since the very beginning since I set food in the campus. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:30:29 What, what takeaways did you get, um, that helped you into your career as an artist today?
Speaker 2 00:30:36 Yeah, so there are many, cuz um, I was there for two years, but uh, the professors had a great impact in what I did later and what I'm doing right now. Like, uh, after six years of graduation, I still hear my teacher's voices. Like I hear my teacher Neville Carlo David telling me like all these, uh, little, uh, tips that are huge, uh, nowadays for me. Like, um, for example, they told me, um, like to see rere rejection as part of the journey. Cuz as artists we are applying to many, many, uh, opportunities. Like, uh, we want to be involved in many, um, exhibitions and art projects and sometimes we will, we will receive re rejection. Like, uh, we will receive, uh, a letter saying you are not chosen to be part of this project. And sometimes, um, that really hurts because you are putting yourself out there and you are trying and it's very, um, it's very challenging, right?
Speaker 2 00:31:52 But my teachers used to tell me it's part of the journey and you have to be, uh, to make amends with it. Like you really have to, uh, see the re reaction as one step closer to a yes. So that's something that I keep reminding me, reminding myself because, um, I see re reaction now as a ratio. If you keep, uh, applying for things and you keep getting re reactions, you are going to get a yes eventually <laugh>. So, um, I remember David telling us to keep those re rejection letters cuz sometimes they're hilarious like <laugh>. So later you're going to laugh about it and later you're going to see why that journey didn't let to that specific opportunity. Later you're going to see that if you had, uh, gotten that opportunity, maybe you have missed out of another opportunity that was even better. So, um, I try to see the positive side of it as well, like, um, uh, as I said, one step closer to yes.
Speaker 2 00:33:03 And also I remember Neville telling us that, um, our journey was not going to end at the, um, graduation of our program. He told us, you are going to keep learning so much in the studio, and sometimes I'm painting in my studio and then I realize of something. And I remember Neville telling me that, like, yes, that's right. He, he was right. Like, um, so many things happen in the studio that um, push you to a direction that you haven't considered while you were studying. So you really have to be open. And also the last thing, um, is that sometimes the industry can be very cold or very, very harsh. So I remember, uh, David telling us to be kind because we are going to be the leaders of this industry after. So it's really, it's really important to be kind to others and to give, um, like, um, to give opportunities for other people who were, who are trying as you were trying at the beginning. So that's something that, um, it's, it really, I really like because they were so kind with us and that was a lesson that they wanted to show us. Like, being kind can le lead to many amazing opportunities later
Speaker 0 00:34:31 For sure. And those are just like really heartfelt things that you can, you can hold on for the rest of your life and, and hope to share those with people in the future. Right. So I mean, kudos to, to them for, for imparting that onto you and hopefully you impart that onto other people.
Speaker 2 00:34:48 Yes, yes. They, I uh, I see fine arts as um, uh, school of fine arts, but also school as humans and, you know, um, there are so many things that I learned in fine arts that uh, made me a better human being while I was studying, um, everything like, uh, painting and everything, you really start seeing life a little bit different and uh, um, also being kind to yourself as well, cuz those things about re rejection and everything, uh, can teach you also to be kind and patient with yourself and your work that you are putting into. Yeah,
Speaker 0 00:35:31 Right. I wish I kept some of those rejection letters from way, way back when and cuz uh, they would probably help me now, but I know at the time they, they stung a little bit, so I'm, I'm kind of glad they're gone <laugh> to be honest. I'm glad they're
Speaker 2 00:35:45 Gone. Yeah. <laugh> yeah, definitely. You, you don't have to keep all of them, but yeah, <laugh>.
Speaker 0 00:35:49 Yeah. Just the ones you want. Yeah. So, so something very exciting. As you are selected among 25 artists for the RBC Emerging Artist Network. Uh, can you explain a little bit about that initial process of being selected and what you've done so far within their program?
Speaker 2 00:36:05 Yes, yes. This is very exciting opportunity. Um, this r BBC Emerging Artist Network is, um, brought with, um, the Power Palette, um, gallery as well. And this is, uh, something very special and unique. Um, back in June, 2022, I saw this opportunity in Akimbo, which is, uh, a website where you, there are a lot of call for artists opportunities and, um, since I saw that opportunity, I said to myself, this is something that I would really enjoy. Like, I would really want to do this because, um, they will, um, the way that they put it out there was that they will help you, um, with your career, like, uh, to give you, um, like a, to make a network of artists who were in the same page and to lead this group of artists into different, um, opportunities of networking, for example, um, portfolio reviews or feedbacks or talks with, uh, the staff of, um, uh, the power plant and things like that.
Speaker 2 00:37:14 So this was a very exciting opportunity. I applied, the application was very simple. It was, um, to submit, uh, a cv, um, some images of my artwork and a letter saying why I wanted this opportunity. So in November, uh, I received, uh, I believe it was October, November, I received the acceptance and I was over the moon because I was so excited to see these other artists who were going to be part of this program because, um, something that is worth mentioning is that, uh, the fine art path, maybe a little bit alone, like lonely, right? Because you are working in your studio, you don't have anybody to tell you like, uh, it's very different when you are studying because you have the teachers who can tell you like a little bit of feedback, but when you are in your own, sometimes it gets a little bit lonely if you are not sharing the studio with another artist or, um, like the ways that you can connect is like exhibitions or events like that.
Speaker 2 00:38:19 So this opportunity was great because I was going to meet other artists that were doing different things. Um, they were, uh, um, like, um, walking different paths. So this was great. Um, since November we have had, uh, four sessions and during these four sessions we have talked with the curatorial staff at Power Plant, which has been amazing. It has been great learning from their own journeys as graders and how they work every day in like looking for artists, um, making sure that the next exhibition is the best, is presented the best way possible. And to seeing these transformations inside Power Plan has been created to seeing, um, translating from one, uh, the transition from one exhibition to the other, uh, how they change their walls and like everything to present the artwork the best way they can. That has been great. Um, we have also tour the private collection, um, from, um, David Angelos, who is a major collector in Toronto.
Speaker 2 00:39:35 And, uh, we got the chance to visit his private collection and to see all the artwork that he has. Uh, that was great. We, I also got, um, feedback and in a portfolio review with, um, the current, um, artist in, uh, power Plant, Brenda Darwin. So, uh, she was, um, doing a master class, which I attended, and at the end, um, she asked everyone to share their portfolio and she did some feedback on the pieces of all the artists. Uh, we visited moca, um, for the, uh, Thomas Demands exhibition. And later this month, uh, we are going to have a career, uh, development workshop with, uh, Simon Simon Cole from Copper Cole Gallery. I'm very excited about that and like that there are many other things that we are going to be doing for the rest of the year and I have the chance to, uh, talk with the artist and to learn, um, about their art practice. And it's great to see how each one of the US does different things. Like, uh, you, you can see like people doing photography, others doing, um, paintings, sculptures, uh, beautiful things. And we have, uh, also been like supporting one another as well, um, by going to their exhibitions and that has been great. Yeah, it's great to have a community and to um, uh, and to also see everything from another perspective that has been a great opportunity for me.
Speaker 0 00:41:20 Well, for sure. Yeah. It's gotta be really exciting and to just get to experience all this, like, how many people get to say that they get to be a part of this, right? So I'm, you know, that's so exciting for you.
Speaker 2 00:41:33 Yes, it is. It has been really great to, uh, to also meet, uh, the staff at Power Plant. They all have been super nice. Um, the director of Powerware Plant shared her story about how, uh, she like all her journey and the creators as well, they have been very open to us, uh, and very open to questions and to support our careers, which is, uh, very, very valuable. And, uh, I'm very, very happy with this opportunity. Yes,
Speaker 0 00:42:05 That's amazing. So, you know, your, your career is kind of on this trajectory and your, you know, you're, you're starting out and, and things are happening for you, which is amazing. Do you have any advice for artists who want to follow a similar path as you?
Speaker 2 00:42:21 Yes, definitely. You know, um, I always say, um, that, um, you know, this path, it's beautiful and it's challenging, but there are rewards to people who are patient. So really you have to be patient, um, and really work hard, uh, because, uh, when you work, um, it's like you are planting small seeds of, uh, like most seeds, have you seen those that are very, very tiny. So you are planting this very tiny seed every single day that you work. You are maybe in your studio, maybe you are doing social media, maybe you are building your website, but they are small seeds that you are planting that afterwards are going to grow like very large trees. If you see those monster trees, they're huge. Like the trunk are is huge. So it's really like that, like, um, the, there is, there are no shortcuts because really it's uh, a matter of working, uh, every single day being con constant.
Speaker 2 00:43:37 That's my advice to be constant and to really like, um, try to enjoy the, the journey. Cuz if you are focusing on the, on your, like your goal, like at the end, like that's when I'm going to be happy. The journey you are not going to enjoy. And when you get there, you are going to be like, yeah, I got there. Now what <laugh>, so if you are really enjoying every single day, of course there are going to be better days than others. Uh, like in, in any industry, I think, uh, you know, arts, uh, is like any industry. You have heights, you have lows, but eh, it's all part of the process. So, um, sometimes of course, um, I am human, I get desperate sometimes of like, where, where, where is this all going? And, and like that. But you know, if you are patient with yourself and you are kind of like you are work putting out there the best work possible that's going to have a re reward, maybe you don't know which reward is going to be, maybe it's life is going to surprise you.
Speaker 2 00:44:50 Um, you know what, eh, like if you put the work you are going to see, um, something later, like maybe life will take you to path that you have never considered before. But it is a path that, uh, when you get there is the one that was meant for you. Right? So my other advice is to be open of possibilities, um, try different things. Maybe, um, you really like painting, but um, maybe one day you try, uh, sculpture and you realize that yeah, you really enjoy painting, but maybe sculpture, it's something that you enjoy more <laugh>. So, um, like life have this way of like surprising you in many sometimes funny ways. <laugh> Yeah. So, so yes. So keep trying, keep trying to have a positive mind. Positivity is very important. Um, sometimes when you are in your lowest, it's very hard to see a light, but, um, you can try, um, climbing your way up again. Yeah.
Speaker 0 00:46:08 And that is some wonderful, wonderful advice for, for people coming up. And I, I definitely hope they take that advice to get to that next level that, that you're at and can continue success. Yes. Um, yeah. So thank you very much Sarah for, for being on the podcast today. It was wonderful to chat and to learn everything there is to know about you almost. Um, and, uh, you know, hopefully in the next couple years we can, we can recap and we can, we can talk again about all the the cool things you're doing.
Speaker 2 00:46:37 Definitely Pat, I, I'm very excited to be here. Uh, if you want to keep track of my, uh, journey, you can follow me at, um, Sarah v n Art. So that's Sarah with no h v as in Victor, N as in Nancy Art, where I post, um, all my, the things that I'm doing right now, all the news, all the different things that happen in my career. And you can also visit my website. It's my full name, Sarah Vargas nancy.com, where you can find all my, uh, previous projects and my current project as well. Thank you so much for this opportunity, pat. I'm very glad to be part of this, um, podcast and very looking forward to the future. <laugh>,
Speaker 0 00:47:32 Thank you so much Sarah for sharing some incredible insight. Getting to know a little bit more about what leads up to an incredible piece of art is fascinating, and your advice to those who want to follow a similar path is so valuable. If you want to see some of Sarah's work, be sure to check her out on her Instagram at S A R A V N A R T. Until next time, I'm your host Pat Quigley and this is storyteller in depth.