Octopus Studios was established in 2006 by Beata Kacy and provides low cost space for artists, artisans, and crafts people. The building features 3000 sq ft of workspace in the heart of Strathcona’s Japantown and typically has around 20 resident artists working in a wide range of media including painting, jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, and woodcraft. Built in 1904 or 1905, the building reflects the history of Japantown – providing businesses and housing to support the local working class community before WWII. By 1946, the building was demolished and later rebuilt, becoming an automotive repair shop, then a ship chandler, and finally an artist studio. The building has been witness to its share of Vancouver histories, including the 1907 race riot.
Not Wheelchair Accessible
Suzy Arbor was born and raised in Vancouver and continues to live and work in the city. She received her BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003. She also studied art at the Universidad Polytechnica de Valencia as an exchange student in 2002. In 2005 she graduated from UBC with a Masters in Library and Information Studies. During this program, Suzy completed a practicum at the library of the National Gallery of Canada. Suzy has exhibited throughout the lower mainland and at times further afield. She is currently represented by Art Junction Gallery in Whistler. In addition to building her art career, Suzy works as a librarian for the Vancouver Public Library.
Assemblage artist using words, phrases and poetry to inspire 3 dimensional interpretations. I like to use found objects and a variety of mixed mediums such as resin, wood, metal and clay to make three dimensional representations of sayings and phrases I find meaningful and visually captivating. I am drawn to social issues of women and children, as well as those around mental health. I was born and raised in East Vancouver. Many of my art pieces are based on the vulnerability and resilience I see in my work. I try to encourage expression through art for healing whenever possible. Often I like my art to play on words or to address uncomfortable issues to raise awareness. My dream is to do large scale collaborative art installations on social issue.
Gillian McFarland is a metal jewelry designer and silversmith. She studied at North Island College on Vancouver Island. As a maker, she is driven by the power of form. From a young age, Gillian has been infatuated by life’s mysteries. In her teenage years she began to study healing, spirituality and sacred geometry. A lover of gemstones, she is enchanted by their ‘other worldly’ iridescence and schiller. They easily draw the eye in and become the focal point of her work. Her creativity is also inspired by the transformative power of fire. She is reminded of the image of the sacred burning heart and often visualizes this alchemy in her meditations. Believing that our hearts act as a gateway to the infinite, each breath fuelling our eternal flame. In harnessing the power of these raw elements: fire, air, metal and earth, she sees endless creative potential.
Taralee Guild's hyperrealistic large scale paintings are worth seeing in person. She's worked as a full-time artist with no day job for 13 years. Her paintings have been collected internationally in private and public collections. Guild's paintings are often large scale and based on the representational sometimes photo-realistic. The subject matter ranges from hyper-realistic airstreams, motorcycles, classic cars, to magical colourful hallucinatory old growth forests or starry night skies. To purchase art from Taralee Guild just email her to a list of available pieces or to discuss a custom painting.
Patrick Leach trained in pottery and ceramics from George Leach and Master Potter Erdman Tuemp, both from Lillooet, who taught him pottery and glazing techniques. He specializes in a technique called sgraffito, which involves glazing pieces and then hand-carving them after they have been fired to reveal the contrasting clay colour beneath.These one-of-a-kind finished pieces represent landscapes, geometrics, and scenes from ancient and traditional rock paintings and basket weavings. He has been running his studio since 2008.
Elizabeth Miller creates beautiful notebooks and journals, crafted to reflect and represent their owners' personalities. Handmade and bound with personalized charms and tokens woven into their spines, every book is unique -- just like its owner! Perfect for sketching, scribbling, writing or daydreaming, Elizabeth's notebooks are meant to be a cherished and cozy home for memories, plans, and whatever else inspires you.
Cat was born in Calama, a city in the Atacama Desert in north of Chile. At 8 years old, she immigrated with her family to Saskatchewan to escape the Pinochet regime. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at University of Saskatchewan. Her experience growing up in an isolated Saskatchewan town manifested a severe eating disorder. Her amplified feelings of guilt, isolation and loneliness, provided the initial conduit for her creative expression. Her road to recovery inspires her current work with concepts of rebirth, resurrection and transformation. It’s important for Cat to feel the movement of her body while in a creative space. She works on the floor rather than using an easel. In her own words “I observe each mark, colour and texture in search for a pattern. If I don’t see a pattern I keep moving… [this]… allows me to surrender to the act itself similar to what a dancer feels when they connect to a song. It’s the movement that is now the conduit to the creative process.
Angela Seear is a contemporary landscape painter based at Octopus Studios in Vancouver. Focusing mainly on landscapes, she creates emotive scenes through the use of color and layering. Angela is inspired by color and how certain combinations create different moods. We all have reactions and relationships to color and she strives to bring greater meaning into her work by exploring these combinations and the feelings they produce. Straddling the line between abstraction, expressionism and realism, her work allows the viewer to be drawn into all aspects of the subject. Born in the UK but raised in many different countries, she brings her many views of the world into her painting. Her work focuses on landscapes, abstracts and nudes.
Originally from Poland, Beata Kacy is the creator and founder of Soigne, Octopus Studios and it’s 20 resident Artists. Soigne is the place where just about anyone’s artistic fantasies and crafting desires can be fulfilled. With over 14 years of digital media experience, Beata has worked in many domains including software, interactive touchscreen, web, and over 8 years specifically in the console and casual gaming markets. With a Master’s Degree in Marketing Management and a Bachelor in Computer Science. Beata further honoured her artistic sense by attending Vancouver Film School and graduated with Certificate of Excellence. She is also a graduate from Emily Carr University where she studied Fine Arts in Practice. She holds a Precious Metal Clay Teachers Certificate by Rio Grande and Hadar Jacobson Art in Metal Clay Accreditation Program. Mexico in San Miguel Allende, San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver are some of the places she took her training in Jewellery making. After moving to Vancouver in 2001 she discovered her new passions and followed it with Skiing Instructor under CSIA-Canadian Ski Instructor Alliance, as well as Rock Climbing Instructor under ACMG-Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. As a Certified Rescue Scuba Diver Beata discovered her interest in human body motion under the water and she established her Underwater Photography project. She pursues her life’s bliss in the outdoors, finding art, in all its forms, wherever she goes. A bohemian at heart, most of her life was spent studying, experimenting with, and learning the behaviors of different media. You can often see her expressing her creative passions on the streets of Vancouver with a camera, or in her art studio making jewelry and teaching. She has cultivated her artistic outlook during her travels around the ancient globe.
Agnieszka Szkudlarek is contemporary abstract landscape painter. Agnieszka's BFA Degree was received from the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. Her paintings express a love for the nature.