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Every abandoned farm is a place of memory, a history of forgotten lives. Sonya grew up on the edges of small prairie towns where she and her dog would romp freely across fields in search of adventure, discovering empty homesteads and the treasures they would surely find there. These experiences combined with the stories of her Ukrainian heritage developed her curiosity about Canada’s pioneering past and use of historical subject matter and discarded objects in her work.
Sonya is a self-taught mixed media artist working in Vancouver, BC. Initially, she was a graphic designer and illustrator but her true calling was to create fine art. Her current focus is public art; both commissioned pieces and gallery installations as well as teaching mixed media classes and private lessons to adults.
Her work has been shown in galleries situated in Western Canada.
I document pivotal moments or seemingly insignificant snapshots of the ordinary revealing profound narratives of life both present and past.
My work is inspired by both the stories of my childhood and stories I have collected as an adult. Some I know intimately, others have been entrusted to me, and particular, intriguing ones, I have investigated. Inspiration also comes from wandering through and surveying my world.
Trying to grasp and then throw light on the incomprehensible; capturing the stories of our world and its inhabitants, is vital for me. We are surrounded at once by intense beauty and vitality and yet, at times, darkness and fragility take over. It’s hard to fathom the implausible hardships people and the earth endure, but more unbelievable to me is hope and the will to survive.
Though at times the figure is my focus, I am also drawn to abandoned places and buildings because they too speak of people. Disconcerted characters and lonely entities documented within my mixed media paintings, sculptures and translucent hangings, are partially exposed and brought back to being. I often intensely research the histories of people, places and particular events and by revealing the past I have realized how strongly it speaks of the present. I progressively explore and experiment with different materials and methods of rendering and presenting these portrayals.
My hope is that I will engage people and open connections to these stories of strangers initiating empathy, consideration and maybe even introspection.
Public Art Commissions
2018 Vancity credit union, “Woven Histories”, New Westminster, BC, Canada
2017 Vancity credit union, “A Walk in Our Past”, Coquitlam, BC, Canada
2013 Elevation Gallery, “Voices From Within” (with sculpture by Morley Myers), Canmore, Alberta, Canada
2017 Parker Art Salon
2016 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2016 Parker Art Salon, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2015 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2014 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2013 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2013 Sopa Fine Arts, “U8 Show” Kelowna, BC, Canada
2012 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2012 Seymour Art Gallery, “Spring Show”, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
2011 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2011 Elevation Art Gallery, “Sacred Modern”, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
2010 Elevation Art Gallery, “The Small Show”, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
2010 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2009 Eastside Culture Crawl, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Elevation Art Gallery, Canmore, Alberta, Canada
VanDop Gallery, New Westminster, BC, Canada
Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
Cityscape Community Art Gallery, North Vancouver, Canada
Place Des Arts, Coquitlam, BC, Canada
1989-1991 Advertising Art Diploma Program, Red River Community College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
2011 – Present Mixed Media Adult Art Instructor, The Art Way, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2011 - Present Mixed Media Adult Art Instructor, Sonya Iwasiuk Art Studio, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Art Community Involvement
2017 - Present Creator SIN Artists Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada
2012 – 2013 Board Member, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
2012 – 2013 Fundraising Chair, Seymour Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
2012 – 2013 Creator, Parker Street Studios Life Drawing Group, Vancouver, BC, Canada