NIC grad making her mark on Island arts scene

NIC Fine Arts diploma grad Sarah Bergeron works on a painting of a cougar. Her work is inspired by the west coast environment. To see more of Bergeron’s work, visit www.sarahbergeronartist.com or follow her on Instagram @sarahbergeron.artist.

NIC Fine Arts alumna Sarah Bergeron is a rising star among Vancouver Island’s art community, with work featured in festivals and exhibits across the region.

Bergeron had always enjoyed creating art, but it took some time for her to come around to the idea of pursuing it professionally.

“After a push from some supportive friends and family, I started the Fine Arts diploma program at NIC,” she said. “I quickly realized that while an arts career takes a lot of hard work, success is definitely possible and there are a lot of different options with being an artist.”

After completing her diploma at NIC, Bergeron transferred directly into year three of Emily Carr’s Bachelor of Fine Arts, thanks to a partnership between NIC and Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Bergeron credits instructors at NIC like Linda Perron, Sara Vipond, Elizabeth Russell and others for helping to broaden her outlook as an artist, while the program allowed her to explore and experiment with different mediums.

“Whether it was drawing, photography or sculpture, each class offered new ways of thinking about art aesthetically and conceptually, and that carried over into my painting,” said Bergeron. “Experimentations with subject matter and concepts pushed me to consider what it is I am trying to express through my art, and how I want the viewer to interpret it.”

As she developed her artistic skills, Bergeron also developed a renewed connection with her home community and the surrounding environment.

“I think when you’re from Vancouver Island, it’s easy to take our surroundings for granted,” she said. “Over the years I have come to realize what a uniquely stunning place this is, and how strong my connection to it is. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

Bergeron also discovered a connection with wildlife in the region, which have become some of the primary subjects of her paintings.

“I think it’s important to acknowledge their presence around us, their beauty and their struggles,” she said. “Aesthetically there are different complexities to rendering each animal that I enjoy. Each has its own texture, reflections of light and landscapes it thrives in.”

After spending 2018 doing multiple shows around the region, Bergeron is focusing this year on developing her portfolio and marketing prints and commissions online. Her work can also be seen around town, including at the White Whale Restaurant in Courtenay.

NIC’s Fine Arts diploma program starts in September at the Comox Valley campus. To learn more, or to apply, visit www.nic.bc.ca/fine-art.

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