As pre-lude to the Eastside Culture Crawl this upcoming November 2011 (mark your calendar!) I'd like to share with you some of the amazing resident artists here at The ARC at Powell @ Commercial in East Vancouver ... Join us here and visit this blog from now until November and each month I will feature a new artist. See what we do, where we live, inside our studios, and what we create. Hear our stories. Join us in our journey here at the ARC and leading up to the Crawl.For August I'd like to introduce ARC Resident Artist Mir Agol (birth name Elia Mishkis). Mir is one of the most capable, skilled, talented, and extraordinary artists and human beings I have ever met. Let me tell you a little bit about Mir and then let's ask him some questions and see some images of his work and go deeper into his creations.
Mir is graduate of The College of Art and Design with Excellence in Kharkov, Ukraine and earned a BA in Fine Arts and Design. Mir describes himself as an experienced artist and designer, a colorful and dynamic individual who possesses a unique combination of crafting skills and computer design experience. He has over 20 years of project experience involving corporate identity development; sandblasting, stained & leaded glass design, exterior design of modern sculpture gardens, teaching arts and crafts, exhibit design; and casting, modeling, and molding. Mir also has training and experience in classical drawing and painting (water color, acrylic, oil), Graphic Design, Photography, Typefacing, and is proficient in Photoshop, Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw, and Fireworks.He is fluent in three languages; English, Hebrew, and Russian. And, to top it off, he is a certified ski and snowboard instructor, avid rock climber, and unicyclist.
Mir, please tell us about your extraordinary childhood…about your childhood mentors and share with us some memories of your early experiences as a child growing up in art.
The first sculpture I would like to share with you is called Unity. It stands nine (9) feet tall and is made of steel and stained glass. This Piece was positioned on the patio of “The Perch” The ARC Cafe for 2 years. Then it was relocated to Peace Arch for the 13th annual Peace Arch Sculpture Exhibition. Here is a You Tube video showing other sculptures at that exhibit. Currently it’s displayed on the campus at University of British Columbia. Unity was also included in Public Art in Vancouver - Angels among Lions A book about Vancouver Public by John Steil and Aileen Stalker.
Unity was created from the inspiration of an infinite beauty and flow of opposite natures. The indescribable of an unknown from within a vortex of coexistence of feminine and masculine beginnings. It all comes from relationships through out life. With myself growing within relationships with many amazing friends I’ve been lucky to have in my life. It is a tribute to all those who generously shared with me some beautiful moments. Also – it is about Twin Flames.
Looking back, once I started to build this piece here in Vancouver… I realized that the very first sketch was made in Palestine in a little village of Sa-Nur, which was once an Artist Village where I lived, and in ruins now…The first model was made of black and white paper. It was 8” tall. As I say this it brings tears to my eyes as so many of the people I knew back then aren’t alive anymore – I wish this piece to commemorate them too!Once I have made Unity in its full size and in my the real full scale – my final vision of it - I feel like then I can die peacefully. For now, I have to say that it is not yet made the size I had envisioned it. The current sculpture you see in these pictures was built limited by the size of the workshop doorways… it is always a way of thinking with sculpture… how you can make it happen, with what you have around.
What made you choose to do this form -large metal and glass sculpture - of art work considering your broad background and training in so many other areas of art?
For glass I had a long time love… started when I was yet a kid. My first stained glass panel I made (with a lot of help of my blessed mentor – Eugene Zavarzin) when I was about 10 years old. It is an amazing material - latest research suggests – it is not even solid… as we perceive it….if we would of taken a piece of an old stained glass panel – say – a thousand years old… and look at the little piece from a side – we would see that the top is thinner than a bottom… - it is flowing!....in fact it is flowing in hour hands! We are just not meant to be quite synchronized with THIS flow….yet – we can play with this material, create beautiful things of it – isn’t it amazing?(Yes, it is! By the way, acrylic paint flows as well, as it’s drying but also afterwards!)
What are art projects are you currently working on?
Mir, Thank you so much for taking the time out of your very busy schedule the to partake in this interview!