May's Feature Artist is member Monica Gewurz. Monica is a mixed-media artist whose artistic energy and passion is currently centred around painting in acrylic, photography, and jewelry design using stones, pearls, sterling silver, and silver clay. Her artwork draws upon the exceptional natural landscape and diverse marine life of the Pacific West Coast, as well as tribal symbolism.
Born in Lima, Peru, Monica immigrated to Canada in 1976 and obtained her Bachelor of Science degree and then a Masters in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning from Guelph University. She later moved to Vancouver and obtained her Fine Art Certificate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design in 2014. She is currently enrolled in ECUAD's Advanced Study Certificate in Painting. She lives in Vancouver and has travelled extensively throughout the world studying different art forms.
Monica's artwork is a blend of representational and semi-abstract compositions based on her photographs and imagined landscapes. Her pieces feature unusual textures and are inspired by natural landforms, as well as by designs from ancient civilizations. In her painting practice, she uses palette knives to apply thick layers of acrylic paint and develop a 3-D effect that evokes organic energy, flow, and movement. She achieves depth in her work by layering textures and colour glazes—such as modelling agents, acrylic paints, sand, paper, glass, silver dust, stones, and other media—to create a mood that seduces the eye and inspires the spirit. All of her paintings are intended to create a visual and tactile dialogue with viewers.
Her most recent artwork is part of a continuing textural exploration of the patterns of light and wind as they travel across water and rock surfaces. Each piece is unique and has a sense of raw energy and movement that is captured, contained, and contrasted within the rigid structure of a metal frame.
Monica's paintings and jewelry have been displayed at various galleries and design boutiques across British Columbia and the United States, including: Ukama Gallery and Craft Council of BC Galleries on Granville Island; the Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) shop in La Conner, Washington; the Federation of Canadian Artists Gallery on Granville Island; the Royal BC Museum in Victoria; the Audain Art Museum in Whistler; Spirit Gallery in West Vancouver; Vancouver Airport’s U.S. and domestic terminals; and Loot gallery in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, among others.
Monica is an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the Lions Bay Art Council (where she is Director), the North Shore Art Council, the North Shore Artists Guild, and the Craft Council of BC. She donates part of the proceeds from the sale of her artwork to the Brooke Foundation in the U.K. and to the SPCA in Vancouver to assist cats, dogs, horses, and donkeys in need. She has also contributed artwork to the Children’s Heart Foundation, the Museum of Northwest Art, and others.
To find out more about Monica and her artistic journey, please visit her website at mgdesigns.org.
Image credits: All images courtesy of the artist.