The Arts Factory is a mixed-use arts facility located in a transformed art deco warehouse at 281 Industrial Avenue. Home to a vibrant mix of artists from a variety of styles and disciplines. Our artists work with everything from textiles to paint to photographs, on work that ranges from grand to tiny, with inspiration from nature, popular culture, childhood toys, imaginary magical animals and more.
No Public Washroom
Ati Ahkami is an Iranian born sculptor based in Vancouver, Canada. Her terracotta sculptures mainly focus on an investigation of the beauty of the human form and the strength and resilience of the human spirit, especially that of the female body and whole being which has been the subject of much objectification and controversy throughout history. Ati graduated in 1976 from Tehran University with a degree in business administration. She studied sculpture in Vancouver starting in 2007, with Ms. Parvaneh Roodgar.
From wearable art to sound-absorbing wall hangings, exploring the textures and properties of wool and what it can shape into has become Chantal Cardinal's full time obsession under FELT à la main with LOVE. After a career as a Fashion Designer and Costumer in the film industry, she was introduced to wet felting techniques where she discovered the endless possibilities of painting with fibres and falling in love with nature's renewable gift. This opened her up to the breathtaking ways in which material could be molded and shaped to create endless possibilities of artifacts out of wool. An important part of her artistic practice is using local wool and processing it herself from a raw sheep's fleece that she gets to know by name. Chantal loves to share her love of wet felting with workshops at community events, online, on location like at Fibreworks Gallery & Studio or at her studio. She has exhibited in BC, the USA, as well as in the UK, and was awarded a Vancity public art commission for the Surrey City Center Branch. In this last challenging year, she was part of an AIC grant (Artist in Classroom) where she engaged 200+ kids K-7, over a six month period, in creating Living Walls:From Farm to Felt and connecting the kids to where the medium comes from by processing a raw sheep's fleece and turning it into art.
In my previous life I was a circus coach/performer, coaching at Circus West and stiltwalking and juggling around Vancouver. I also trained in sword fighting at Academie Duello in downtown Vancouver, and with Lykopis archery, which is where my leather working began, making equipment and accessories, particularly for archery. Then in 2016 my AVM intervened, I had a brain bleed and spent 4 months at VGH and GF Strong rehab. On my release I quickly discovered most of my pre stroke activities were either unavailable to me or so difficult as to be disheartening. Fortunately I was still able to do leather working and archery, and these, particularly the crafting, have become my anchor and direction. I try to incorporate recycled and repurposed materials into my pieces as much as possible, I also, almost exclusively, work with veg tan Leather and hand dye and stitch most of my work.
Laleh Javaheri is a fibre artist, garment designer, jewelry designer, and painter who has worked in a wide variety of media over the span of over 40 years. Her interest lies in producing objects of varied functionality and to cross the traditional boundaries of function and ornament. The materiality of her work intends to explore and re-express natural components, mainly fibres. She has worked in several disciplines and media from textiles to jewelry and sculptural forms to paintings and her work had been exhibited at several local and international exhibitions.
Humanities relationship to nature has always horrified yet fascinated me. Why we do what we do. How we justify our actions. The world is full of brilliance and chaos. Let us capture it and throw a little of our own into the fray.
Megan Majewski’s narrative work tells stories from her dreams, experiences and memories. She focuses on capturing the shadows in her unconscious and bringing them to life through symbolism and the haunting figures in her paintings. Her recent work explores the fragile beauty of life and death while fixated by symbolism from cryptological communication through the use of flowers. She has had her art featured all over the world and has been a GOLDEN Artist Educator since 2016. With a background in animation, working on movies and TV shows, she now creates art full time from her art studio in Vancouver Canada.
Another artist once said: “If you know what you’re doing, you shouldn’t be doing it.” I try to embrace that sentiment and make each project an exploration of the unknown. There’s a moment, early on, when a new project is materializing in an embarrassingly ugly fashion. For me, that stage is the most exciting (and perilous). Everything else is just refinement.
Tristesse Seeliger’s multimedia works include collages, paintings and sculpture. She predominately explores the ideas and metaphors around mapping as a tool of perception and orient Paintings by Tristesse Seeliger This new series of paintings entitled To Learn Something By Being Nothing seeks to capture what rivers mean in our lives. The paintings explore close up and zoomed out the movement and lines rivers create. The visual similarity between a river system, seen from above, is like looking at the human vascular system, brain matter, or lungs. This visual connection can also be seen in the natural world when looking at tree branches, coral, and leaves. The river is used as a metaphor for time and change in literature and folklore. The river is a fertility symbol because of the abundant life that is capable of thriving there. Rivers mark boundaries and are in-between spaces, symbolically similar to crossroads, train stations, wall cavities and so on. It follows that rivers are spiritually rich spaces as well, a good place to grieve, to commune with your god, or to meet fairies. Where rivers meet each other this could be a sacred space, a portal to another world. These paintings are a meditation on this terrain that captures the human imagination so poignantly.