Art has long been recognized for its ability to inspire, educate and even heal.
It will be doing all that and more this weekend when two participants on the fall Oak Bay Artists’ Studio Tour dedicate partial proceeds from their sales to help bring a Syrian refugee family to the region.
while fundraising through her art is new for Terry Vatrt, it emerged from her and her husband’s shared philosophy of giving.
“we all look at what’s going on in the world and wonder, ‘what can I do? what can I do to help?’” says the printmaker and photographer.
Vatrt, along with fabric artist Susan Purney Park, is supporting St. Philips Anglican Church’s fundraising efforts to bring a Syrian refugee family to Victoria.
with a life-long interest in photography, a class taken after the birth of her son introduced Vatrt to the world of printmaking. She had read The Artist’s way, a book designed to guide readers to discover their creativity.
while she didn’t consider herself an artist at the time, what came to her through reading was the realization that she wanted to pursue the arts in some way.
A broad-scope class introduced her to many different art forms, including printmaking.
“It just sang for me and I thought OK, I’ve found something,” she says.
“Growing up thinking you weren’t an artist because you weren’t the best drawer in the class,” the medium opened her eyes to the possibilities, she says, also crediting the many opportunities and instruction offered through the Winnipeg Printmakers’ Association.
When she and her husband moved to Oak Bay six years ago it brought the retired teacher a renewed opportunity to explore her art once again.
“I’m really interested in multi-genre shows where there’s more than one thing happening … where more senses are engaged,” she reflects, noting as an artist she’s interested in exploring both the micro and the macro, the seen and unseen and what is in between.
Vatrt will be among the dozens of Oak Bay artists opening their studios this weekend for the fall studio tour.
“I have a lot of work I haven’t shown here, and work from Winnipeg, so I’m excited about showing people,” she says.
In addition to framed and unframed pieces, greeting cards and bookmarks, Vatrt will also have a press available so visitors can emboss their own bookmark.