Beata O'Connell

Artist Statement/Biography

“The light in my work speaks about spiritual aspects of our existence and about divine and mysterious Presence. The textured and organic emergence of the surfaces relates to our earthly physicality and symbolizes our human struggle with life circumstances and with ourselves. The light penetrates through the texture and offers transformation, a sense of peace and belonging. It reminds us of our true destination. These symbolic images refer to my own spiritual and emotional development and also to the inner experiences of people who share with me their life journey.

“Both the light and texture in my work are developed through the complex, layered and mixed-media processes which I have experimented with and learned over the years. I strive to achieve relief-like appearances to emphasize depth and dimension, and to express interior complexity.

“My artistic development started over 20 years ago in Poland, through the Commercial Art College and Sacral Art College. In 1987, along with my family, I became a political refugee and my formal education had to be put on hold. In Canada I found a good place for my new home; I continued to create and I had numerous exhibitions in Kitchener and GTA regions. I also wrote, co-produced and co-directed a few multi-media performances, based on visual and performing arts, which involved multicultural artists and audiences.

“In 1997, along with my family, I moved to the United States, where I resided for nearly five years. While in Colorado, I strengthened my education and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado Fine Arts Studio Art program. I also had successful individual art-shows at the Canaan Gallery in Denver. After my return to Canada, in 2001, I established ArtVeritas Visual Art Studio in Oakville, where I was teaching art to people of all ages, preparing students for post-secondary art related programs, and created my own artworks. In 2005, I received Bachelor of Education degree, with a specialty in Visual Arts and Social Sciences from York University.

“For several years, I taught in a private, international school in Mississauga, where I developed the entire visual art program for grades nine to12. I also taught a Visual Art summer program in Italy, mainly for Canadian and American highschool students. At present, I am a full-time artist. I present my work through solo and group shows in galleries in Toronto and Niagara, as well as at my studio just outside of Port Weller.”

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