“Sydney Beach Cliff” (Australia) by Talin Wayrynen.
Art Vancouver’s dictum is “Connect. Inspire. Educate.” This year’s fair brings together almost 100 exhibitors from around the world to Vancouver Convention Centre East April 25-28, and features art classes, guided tours, speakers, panel discussions and a café art crawl. Both veteran and emerging artists participate, and the Jewish Independent spoke with a few artists in the Jewish community who are newcomers to the exhibition world: Matthew Weinstein, Talin Wayrynen and Tara Lupovici.
“I had a chance to volunteer at last year’s show,” Weinstein told the Independent. “Seeing the great professionalism demonstrated by the Wayrynen family inspired me to submit a formal application to this year’s exhibition.”
Art Vancouver was launched in 2015 by Lisa Wolfin Wayrynen. It has become somewhat of a family affair, with this year’s exhibitors including her daughters, Taisha Teal Wayrynen and Skyla Wayrynen; her son, Talin Wayrynen; and her sister, LeeAnn Wolfin.
“We just exhibited in Korea last November, and were invited to participate in another show in Seoul in June, and another show in Taiwan in December,” said Lisa Wolfin Wayrynen, referring to her and her children. “The family act is on the move!”
The 2019 Art Vancouver will be Talin Wayrynen’s second time exhibiting at the fair. An aerial photographer, among other things, he will be exhibiting photos from Australia and New Zealand, and possibly Indonesia. Last year, he said, he displayed photos of British Columbia and Mexico.
Weinstein said he will be bringing a select number of pieces to the show. Describing his art as “abstract and minimal in nature,” he said, “The purpose is to bring peace and tranquility to contemporary rooms…. My passion is to make large multi-coloured pieces that are not just pleasant to look at, but also provoke questioning and inspiration.”
About his creative process, Weinstein said, “The numbers and letters may appear as if they are there to provide meaning when in fact they are just as nonrepresentational as the rest of the shapes. One might ask, ‘Why did you add the number 7 at the bottom right corner of this piece?’ My answer would be, ‘There is no concrete reason behind that decision. It is as random as the rest of shapes, colours and signs you’re seeing. If you’re asking this question then I’ve accomplished my goal to generate interest and promote inspiration.’”
Lupovici, whose artist signature is LUPO, said, “My art is a psychedelic, abstract combination of organic and fluid lines with colour combinations that are inspired by the colours I feel.”
This year’s fair will be Lupovici’s first Art Vancouver, but she has a previous connection to the Wayrynen family. “I went to camp with Taisha and Skyla, Lisa’s daughters,” she said.
A graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s fashion marketing program, Lupovici said fashion was her main focus, and she has worked in various places, including with her father (Irwin Lupovici), at Bong Wear. “Then, one day,” she said, “I was making dinner and cut a red cabbage in half and boom! My passion for painting was back in my life.”
She has dedicated the last year or so to painting. “Eventually,” she said, “I will mesh my art and fashion design together and have my LUPO label.”
Half-Jewish and half-Chinese – she also speaks Cantonese – Lupovici said, “I definitely would not be the person I am without all the Jewish culture and community that I have been surrounded by. Jewish summer camp was one of the most memorable, loveliest times of my childhood and I am, to this day, close with many of the people I went to camp with. I would not say it has influenced me in design and art, but I do feel being Jewish and meeting other people in the community is inspiring in itself.”
Weinstein also said his being Jewish has had little influence on his work. However, he said, “Having grown up in a suburb of Tel Aviv, I feel connected to my Jewish identity…. The last time I visited Israel was in 2011 and I am very excited to visit again in May…. My upcoming trip is something I look forward to, as it provides a rare chance to explore my roots and reinforces my personal connection to Judaism.”
More travel is also in Wayrynen’s plans, having recently been to Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand.
“I started using drones just for fun in 2016 and then, in 2017, started using them for film and photography,” he said.
While he couldn’t describe the exact elements of a “perfect” shot, he said, “I like to have stuff that’s unique and can’t really be replicated – like a wave crashing, shots of wild animals or something along those lines.”
As an example, last summer, in Horseshoe Bay, he filmed a group of killer whales, which was later featured by CBC.
Not just anyone is allowed to use drones, of course, and Wayrynen said permission currently depends “on where and for what reason you fly, but it’s soon to be just a licence no matter what.”
In British Columbia, he said, “[I]t’s unlikely to get a permit to fly anywhere remotely populated and even some parks have issues with it. The states are pretty similar and, as for Mexico, I was working on a TV show that did all the paperwork for it, all I provided was the licence and insurance. We were able to film basically anywhere there during the few weeks our permits lasted.”
Weinstein summed up well the importance of venues like Art Vancouver. “If you’re reading this,” he said, “please feel free to come by my booth at the upcoming show and let me know what you think of my art. I enjoy listening to all criticism (both good and bad) and, if you have other suggestions, I’ll be happy to discuss in person.”
For more information on and tickets to Art Vancouver, visit artvancouver.net.