Tessa Graham (Vice Chair)
Tessa Graham is a visual artist hailing from rural Ontario. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University in Corner Brook in 2015. After receiving her BFA, Tessa worked as the Program Coordinator for Visual Artists Newfoundland & Labrador (VANL-CARFAC) until the fall of 2017. During these two years in St. John’s she volunteered at St. Michael’s Printshop and Eastern Edge Gallery helping with multiple events and workshops. As an artist she works primarily with film photography and has a keen interest in silkscreen printmaking and typography. Tessa is currently completing her Bachelor of Education at MUN.
Lorraine Matthews was born in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. She is currently in the process of finishing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Memorial University-Grenfell Campus. While completing her undergrad, Lorraine found a love for relation aesthetics and other unconventional art practices. Lorraine’s strong connection with Newfoundland and Labrador is a frequent subject in her work. She hopes that one day she will settle on the island and continue her art practice with a cup of tea in hand.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to become an artist?
I was always certain I would be an artist ever since I can remember. My dad would always paint and draw with me. The fire department coloring contests would be the highlight of my time in elementary school.
2. What mediums do you work in and why?
I work in a variety of mediums. I am trained to work with metal, ceramics, oil paint, film photography and most forms of print making. I like coming up with an idea and then finding the right medium that would suit my idea.
3. How do you get ideas for your artwork?
I find it very hard to get an idea when I sit and think about ideas. My ideas come from experiences. I make a point to travel, talk to people and share stories and these are where my ideas are generated. My sketch book is filled with stories, dreams and drawings of my everyday experiences.
4. What other artists influence your artwork?
An artist that have been influencing my work lately is John Hartman. I am really inspired by the way he paints a landscape.
5. What are the “big” themes in your artwork.
Lately, my artwork has focused a lot on the idea oh home. For me, home is when I’m with people that I love or in a place that I love.
6. & 7. What is the greatest challenge you face as an artist working in Nfld & Lab? What is the best thing about working as an artist in this province?
For me, being an artist in Newfoundland and Labrador is a blessing. Being in a smaller area allows me to focus on things in a smaller scale. Where there are too many people, or places to see I feel overwhelmed and find it hard to take the time to focus and study one thing. I am also constantly being inspired by the landscape and small town lifestyle that surrounds me.
8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In ten years I see myself travelling around the world creating and always finding my way back here, to Newfoundland.
9. If you werenʼt an artist, what would you be doing?
If I wasn’t an artist, I would be a teacher. It would be lovely to find a way to add creativity to a lesson plan everyday. Also, watching other people think creatively is inspiring.
10. If you could have one wish granted, what would it be?
If I could have one wish granted, it would be to have Newfoundland stay the safe, mystical, and heartwarming place that it is forever.
Photograph by Amber-Lynn Thorne