Artistic creativity is alive and well in Wood Buffalo. As the community grows in size and attracts new residents, so to grows the region’s diversity of artists. Below are introductions to just a small sampling of many imaginative and artistic people who call Wood Buffalo home.
Liana was born in Ontario and raised in British Columbia. She studied art at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design with a major in Fine Art Printmaking. After completing the four-year program, she continued to study different mediums, including painting and mixed media. She spent five years in Toronto before returning to Vancouver for several years. Her work has been featured in a number of group and solo exhibitions in British Columbia, New York and Fort McMurray. The most recent showings of Liana’s work was a group exhibit at the MacDonald Island Facility called “Celebration” and as a vendor at the Decadent Pink fundraiser held in Timberlea.
“My strongest influence has always been popular culture. I often incorporate lines from novels and film noir movies in my pieces. I currently work primarily in oil paint, mixed media drawing and lino block printing.”
Megan grew up in Fort McMurray, Alberta, but was born in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Fort McMurray provided an interesting context to grow up in, as it is a city where many things converge; people from many different backgrounds meet against a backdrop of wilderness and oil culture. Megan completed a two year diploma in visual art and design in 2009 at Keyano College. She continued her education at the University of Alberta where she attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2011. Megan is currently preparing for further studies in a Master of Fine Arts program, having been accepted into the Glasgow School of Art, among others.
" My work is reflexive of my upbringing in Fort McMurray, a somewhat isolated northern town infamous for tar sands and social issues, but beset by wilderness. Humans create from their raw materials, whether in industry or scholarly discipline, but are ultimately inundated by the nature of what is mined: ourselves, our world and the higher worlds that we are fastened to."
Uzma moved to Canada in 2006 having completed her Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Punjab, Lahore. She started her painting career in December, 2009. Through travel and personal experiences, Uzma has evolved her painting style from symbolic to abstract. Her short term goals are to establish herself as a professional local artist in Fort McMurray with a long term goal of doing shows across Canada. Uzma’s work has been featured locally at various art exhibitions including, the 2011 “Celebration of Life” at MacDonald Island Community Art Gallery, the 2010 Keyano student exhibit, the 2010 Power of the Artist’s Brush and the 2010 Art of Winterplay.
"Painting is my passion. It is my source of communication with the rest of the world. I enjoy creating art and it is the best way of catharsis for me. I appreciate nature and most of my inspirations are from the natural phenomena and materials around me. I find mystery in colours and the way they affect people's moods. Mostly, I paint with acrylics and my techniques vary from painting brushes to plastic forks. I also use a variety of supports. Through my Art I want people to have a moment of joy and at the same time an understanding about the various realities of life."
Originally from small town New Zealand, now a Canadian citizen; Lisa Carlson has spent the past ten years living and working in Alberta. Lisa is an emerging artist who has only seriously taken up her art since moving to Fort McMurray four years ago. She has been pleasantly surprised by the interest and support that her art has received by the residents of Fort McMurray. Lisa is primarily a self-taught artist and works mainly as a collagist. She also dedicates time to the use of oils, water colors, pen and ink and oil pastel. Lisa is inspired by artists such as Salvador Dali and Jonathan Yeo. Lisa likes to explore and depict human emotion in her artwork. She likes to evoke feeling within the viewers of her art.
“My approach to collage is a little different. I use magazines as my medium, which I tear and adhere to my canvas. As this process is extremely time consuming, some pieces of my work have taken more than one hundred hours to complete. This is due to the slow, methodical process of poring over magazines for the right colours, contrasts and textures. Although the process is slow, the end result is well worth the time and effort applied. I also enjoy the randomness of the work; shifting from one element to the next on the canvas as I scan the magazines for interesting and unique material.”