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Less Pretention, More Participation: Mariana Rivera of The Art Shop on Creating Community and Connection Through Art

Rivera grew up in Mexico and Canada and has an academic and professional art, curatorial, and business background that stretches around the globe. With an institution of knowledge behind her, Rivera veered away from entering the “white-cube” galleries that remain predominant in the art scene, and instead carved an opening for a new way to connect people, artists, and works of art. Grounded in the community-building power of Rivera’s vision, The Art Shop (TAS) is a gallery aimed at bringing art to the people, without the fetters of pretentiousness and elitism.

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MEET MARIANA RIVERA OF THE ART SHOP

Mariana Rivera is the founder of The Art Shop (TAS) - a digital art gallery (like us!) based in Vancouver that represents emerging artists. TAS has hosted four popups and represents a roster of over 20 artists. Sweetpea will be joining TAS for their upcoming pop up at the Museum of Vancouver from July 3rd to August 1st. We are so excited for you to get the chance to shop SP merch and check out TAS's artists! SP: What work of art is your favourite right now? MR: Anything by Adam Parker Smith. SP: What historical figure do you most identify with (must be dead!)? This is hard! I wouldn't know any figure enough but I really admire Frida Kahlo.  SP: What is...

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MEET JADE MIKELL

Jade Mikell's evocative new series, Parochial, was created to challenge and honour their aversion to colour. In Jade's own words, this series reflects "how the culmination of synesthesia, physiological colour aversions and OCD determines what words I find comfortable or overwhelming, how I feel that physically, and how this impacts my use of language." Jade has also used this series to add a new, fitting medium to their toolkit: natural clay. The three new works use gestural forms and rich, earthy colours, ebbing and flowing over each canvas. To celebrate the release of this new series and the offering of a special discount on their oeuvre, we sat down with Jade to get to know them a bit better. Shop the new collection HERE. SP: What do you love most about the...

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Through the Frame: April Winter’s Mesmerizing Photographs

Working in the Southern Gulf islands, April describes herself as a “high tech pioneer,” using advanced technology to capture profoundly timeless moments and create sets, “artificial environments,” that could be either from the past or future. Experimenting with the nature of embodiment, April’s photographs pass through frames of bodily and cognitive existence, at once isolated yet connected. Each photograph has its own mood. Having worked in many environments, from taking photos at night in Toronto, living mountainous in Kaslo, and spending time at the beach, April expresses her enthusiasm and excitement about creating futuristic vistas and exploring new terrains, offering ways out of, and into the human psyche.

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MEET EMMA MIKELBERG

EM: I would say I have a lot of different artistic influences. Some of my favourite artists include Cindy Sherman, Frida Kahlo, John Revill and Ricardo Cavolo. I take different inspiration from each, whether it’s their eye-catching use of colour, interesting twist on their subjects, or bold decision to create something unique. I think my style has been inspired by bits and pieces of many different movements as well, but most notably Fauvism, Pop Art and Street Art. I also consume a lot of art through Instagram which I find to be a really helpful resource for discovering cool new artists. Some of my current favourites who have definitely provided artistic inspiration are Tishk Barzanji (@tishkbarzanji, surrealist dreamscapes), Caitlyn Grabenstein...

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