Photograph by: Tatiana Rivero Sanz Photograph by: Tatiana Rivero Sanz

BIOGRAPHY

Born in Lima, Peru, Monica immigrated to Canada in 1976 where she obtained her Bachelor of Science and Masters in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. In 2013 she obtained her Fine Art Certificate from Emily Carr University of Art and Designs, where she is also enrolled in the Advanced Study Certificate - Painting. She lives in Vancouver and has traveled extensively throughout the world studying different art forms.

Monica's energy and passion are expressed in her unique jewelry, mixed media paintings and abstract photographs. Her expressionistic, semi-abstract, highly textured mixed media paintings and jewelry draw primarily upon the natural environment and symbolism from ancient civilizations.

She applies paint with brush and palette knives to produce a 3-D effect suggesting organic energy flow and movement. The complex surface and depth in her paintings is created using layers of opaque and translucent acrylic gels, inks and natural materials such as sand, paper, fabric, glass, silver dust and stone.

Her paintings and jewelry have been displayed at many galleries and high end art shows including: Museum of Northwest Art (MONA) in La Conner Washington; BC Museum of Anthropology; Royal BC Museum in Victoria; Spirit Gallery in West Vancouver; Ukama Gallery at Granville Island, Sooke Harbour House Gallery, Craft Council of BC Galleries at Granville Island, Vancouver Airport (US and domestic terminals); the Ferry Building Gallery; Sidney & Gertrude Zack Gallery; CityScape Community Art Space; Silk Purse Gallery; Britannia Mine Museum; Harmony Festival; Kizmit Gift Gallery; Marilyn's boutique, Yamazaki apparel, and "Loot" gallery in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

Monica donates a percentage of her sales to the Brooke Foundation (UK) and the SPCA in Vancouver She has donated art work to the Children’s Heart Network Foundation, Arts Umbrella, Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers to Grandmothers, Vancouver Aquarium, among others.

"Working with texture and layers in my mixed media paintings and jewelry gives me an opportunity to express nature in an abstract way, to encourage the viewer to be moved by its beauty, and to create a mood that will seduce your eye and inspire your spirit."
-Monica Gewurz

Artist Statement

I am a mixed media artist and jeweler from British Columbia with an expressive abstract painting style that creates unique and striking textured artwork.

My artwork is a blend of representational and semi-abstract composition. My paintings and jewelry are inspired by nature's wonders and by designs of ancient civilizations.

My handmade jewelry is a fusion of decorative and fine art. People wear and enjoy my jewelry because it is unique, modern, simple and chic, complementing any fashion direction. It is "one of a kind sculptural wearable art ...that is timeless". Working with silver and silver clay, I create contemporary wearable sculptures and abstract landscapes that convey a message of energy and spirituality as found in nature.

Since the beginning of my painting career. I found myself experimenting with mixed media, collage and textured materials. I discovered abstract forms and developed a passion for painting colorful textured works.

My art is conceptually based - not artistically centered My paintings emphasize light, colour, form and texture. All are intended to create a visual and tactile experience which evokes emotion, connects to each viewer and allows for their own interpretations.

The textural element of my work is particularly important to me. Using thick layers of materials to build and almost 3- D effect, I create complex surface and depth in my paintings. I use the palette knife and other tools and techniques, overlaying thin and thick layers of opaque and translucent acrylic, colour gels, inks, metals, metal foils, and incorporating natural materials. Because of this use of texture and metallic materials, many of may paintings take on a geological appearance.

These materials for creating texture in my paintings are unusual. using materials out of context is an important aspect of my work. It challenges the viewer's attention and questions any preconceived notions of value and use; it suggests new meanings.

I believe in simplicity, composition and usage of colour. My paintings represent a mix of intuition and Zen principles. I strive to keep a work loose and bold, avoiding too much detail. The image must be expressive, dramatic and mysterious. What I am driven to express is emotion and energy - not what I see, but how I feel about what I see and experience.

Each painting originates without preconceived ideas. Surface texture is the foundation for its development. As the work develops, I search for the image to emerge and make itself known. I like the challenge of building on the unpredictable results when paint and textures interact. This exploration takes time. Sometimes it is weeks before a painting which satisfies me has evolved.

Painting has become part of my life. It keeps me grounded and active. My most recent works are part of a continuing textural exploration of the patterns of light and wind as they travel across water and rock surfaces. Each piece has a sense of raw energy, movement and organic flow captured and contained within a rigid surface or frame.

Artists that inspire me include: Van Gogh, J.M.V Turner, Robert Flynn, and Emily Carr.

CV

Education:

• Guelph University, BSc. and MSc. in Landscape Architecture 1987.
• Emily Carr University, Fine Art Certificate 2013.
• Emily Carr University, Enrolled in the Advanced Study Certificate-Painting (2014 to date).

Gallery Representation:

• Ukama Gallery - Granville Island, Vancouver, BC.

Selected Juried Group and Solo Exhibitions:

• CCBC – Craft Council of British Columbia, Jewelry.
• Federation of Canadian Artists - Granville Island, Vancouver, BC.
• Seymour Art Gallery - Deep Cove, BC.
• Sidney & Gertrude Zack Gallery - Vancouver BC.
• Ferry Building Gallery - West Vancouver, BC.

Exhibitions:
2016

• Ukama Gallery, Granville Island, Vancouver, BC
• Sidney and Gertrude Zach  group show "Tapestries", Vancouver
• Seymour Art Gallery Discovery - Line group show, Vancouver
• Museum of North West Art MONA fundraiser, La Conner Washington
• Vancouver Aquarium fundraiser, Vancouver
• Art! Vancouver 2016- group exhibit, Vancouver Convention Center
• Ferry Building Art Gallery “Love in Many Languages”group show, West Vancouver

2015

• Federation of Canadian Artists – “Muse” painting show, Vancouver
• Britannia Mine - “No Future without Past”, group show with Jeanne Krabbendam, Vancouver.
• Harmony ArtBeat - Solo Show, “Caliente Fashions”, West Vancouver
• Federation of Canadian Artists - Active Members Show, Granville Island, Vancouver
• Museum of Northwest Art - La Conner, Washington, Auction fundraiser
• Ferry Building - “Sea to Sky” studio tour, Solo Show, West Vancouver
• Federation of Canadian Artists - Active members  painting show, Vancouver
• Federation of Canadian Artists - “Landscape” painting show, Vancouver
• Seymour Art Gallery - “Fire”,  painting show, Vancouver
• Children’s Heart Network - fundraiser silent auction, Vancouver
• North Shore Art Crawl - Lions Bay studio tour, Vancouver
• CityScape Community Art Space NVAC - “Anonymous Art Show” - painting exhibit.

2014

• Federation of Canadian Artists - Active members painting show, Vancouver.
• Federation of Canadian Artists - “10 square show”, Granville Island, Vancouver
• Seymour Art Gallery, Discovery - “Air”  group painting show, Vancouver
• Sidney and Gertrude Zack gallery - “Envisioning Women”  group painting show, Vancouver
• Silk Purse Gallery - “Rebirth and Renewal” show, West Vancouver
• Federation of Canadian Artists - “Abstract”  painting show, Vancouver
• Harmony Arts Festival - “Pacific Arbour”  group exhibition, Vancouver
• Children’s Heart Network - Fundraiser silent auction, Vancouver
• CityScape Community Art Space NVAC - Art rental  show.
• Lions Bay Art Council - “Arts and Garden” Festival.

2013

• Ferry Building Gallery -group show “Abstract Narratives”, West Vancouver
• Ferry Building - “Sea to Sky” Solo Show studio tour, West Vancouver
• Harmony Arts Festival - “Pacific Arbour” group exhibition, West Vancouver
• Harmony Arts Festival - “Grand Prix Plein Air Challenge”- painting competition, West Vancouver

2012

• Lions Bay Art Council - “Arts and Garden Festival” paintings exhibit, West Vancouver
• Lions Bay Art Council - “Art scene” paintings exhibit, West Vancouver
• Harmony Arts - “Pacific Arbor Group Show”, West Vancouver
• Seymour Art Gallery - Fundraiser group show, Vancouver

2011

• Lions Bay Art Council - “Art in the Garden” paintings exhibit.
• Lions Bay Art Council - “Art scene” paintings exhibit.

Affiliations:

• Federation of Canadian Artists - “Active Member”, since 2013.
• Seymour Art Gallery - Member since 2012.
• Museum of Northwest Art (MONA), La Conner, Wa. USA - Member since 2015.
• Craft Council of BC (CCBC) - Member since 2010.
• North Vancouver Community Arts Council (NVAC) - Member since 2012.
• West Vancouver Community Art Council (WVCAC) - Member since 2013.
• North Shore Artist Guild (NSAG) - Member since 2011
• Lions Bay Art Council - Member since 2009.

Commissions:

“A Blissful Moment” 7X4’ commission for the Gold Coast Noble Hotel lobby, a 5 star new hotel in Hong Kong, China.

Collections:

Art works held in private collections in Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Mexico, China, and the United States.

Publications:

Incite 3 - “The Art of Storytelling”  show, winning entry “Mazel Tov-Turquoise Rock”, published as an example of the best of mixed media by North Light books.

Awards:

2012: Harmony Arts Festival, Grand Prix Plein Air Challenge, 3rd place, West Vancouver

2016: Winner North Shore Artist Guild Christmas Poster, West Vancouver

Media:

North Shore News: featured artist February 26, 2016

CARFAC: featured artist May 12, 2016