Artists Among Us: Martine Bedard

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
June 22nd, 2011

This week, Andrew Zwicker sat down with local artist Martine Bedard for a conversation about art, polka dots, and this Friday’s Art for People event. Check out this gallery to see some of the art that will be on display.

How did art first get introduced into your life?

I was really drawing a lot as a teenager, and then I was interested in painting and a friend got me all set up to paint with equipment and brushes. Then later I studied art therapy and that as a really good spring board to get into it.

Tell us about art therapy?

It’s kind of a way to learn about yourself through your own art making.

I did my training at the Kootenay Art Therapy Institute in Nelson. It’s a two year post graduate training course and I did it in a couple of years. I’ve used the training a little bit, but shortly after that I did my teachers training and I ended up being a teacher. I am the school counselor at my school (Ecole Sept Sommets) so I do some art with some of the kids at my school when there is a need.

What have you discovered about yourself through analyzing your own work?

That’s a really long answer I could give you on that one [laughs]. I think ultimately it’s probably made me a more contented person, to experience art therapy. It’s a pretty amazing experience. While I was taking the art therapy course I met Andy [Holmes]. He was from Rossland and so we got married and have been in Rossland since.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Montreal, but I’ve been out west for over 20 years now. I arrived in Rossland in about 1999, so 12 years ago.

How have you seen the Rossland arts scene change in the 20 years since you arrived?

 I think it’s been really great to have art galleries. First the Fire Hall and then the old Rouge and now the new gallery, I think it’s really brought the artists together and has really mobilized visual art for sure and now its incorporating the concert series which is really neat. There were already a lot of other kinds of arts going on in Rossland but I think the gallery has really brought together the visual artists.

It’s really great. Being part of the gallery has allowed me to do some really fun trades with artists too which I don’t think would have happened so easily if there wasn’t a gallery so it’s been really lovely. We trade our artwork, one for another.

Describe what you’re art work is, and where you’re at now.

 I’m in a polka dot phase right now. I do a lot of stuff with collage and then, the themes that come back quite a bit are horses and bath tubs in my art.

What does the art therapy say about bathtubs and horses?

Well the bath tubs started when I was travelling the last time for a year and I really missed my bath tub. That was my first bath tub painting and I called it my ode to Bath Tub.

Apart from the tubs and horses have what have been some of the major influences on your art?

I think probably meeting Andy and being partnered with Andy. Having someone else that is creating art all the time in your life, if you are an artist yourself that is really invigorating and it really stirs you up and stirs up your creative juices. That has been a pretty important part of my art. Although I am the one who gave him his first canvas so he could probably say the same thing about me. It’s pretty neat to be sharing that passion with someone to keep it going. It’s great. We’re lucky.

You’ve got an Art for People event coming up this week tell us about that

It’s this Friday. It looks like the weather is going to be good. It’s a fundraiser for Art For People projects. We donate half of the money that is raised from art sales and usually all of the money from the raffle. The raffle is to buy a ticket and win your favourite painting. It’s going to go to Art For People which is a non-profit that helps creative projects all over the world.

Usually it’s art everywhere; In the house and all over the yard and the garden. There is wine by donation, appies and people just wander and socialize and look at art.

Have you got any particular favourite piece in the auction?

There is one of my polka dot paintings I’ve done with a very faint pencil sketch of a woman’s face on it that is very cool. It’s the “Polka Dot Para.”

The 7th annual Art for People fundraising art show will take place at 1930 Monte Christo on Friday, June 24th at 6pm. There will be wine and cheese, a raffle to win a painting of your choice, and lots of art to look at!

Categories: Arts and Culture

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