By Zeah Spiegel
Elsa Robinson is a visual artist currently working on an upcoming two-year traveling exhibition around the province.
“I’m presently working on the fifth piece out of five-pieces that are going to be included in an exhibition that is run by the Art Gallery of Alberta. It’s called Trex, it is a traveling exhibition throughout Alberta. It is going to start later this year,” said Robinson.
Robinson makes art pieces influenced by her home, Jamaica, and other cultural aspects.
She is a graduate of the University of Alberta and in 2019 completed a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts in Vermont College of Fine Arts in the US.
Robinson is a flexible artist and incorporates a variety of styles when completing her art pieces. These include but are not limited to sculpting, sewing, embroidery, crochet, collage, and textiles.
Robinson’s art is heavily influenced by her heritage. She emphasizes how the people who raised her become a factor when she makes her pieces.
“My art is influenced by my Jamaican heritage and African heritage, the heritage of being a part of humanity. A lot of my work features women, women who raised me. It’s honouring that strength and that power. I learn about other cultures and symbols and integrate them into my work,” said Robinson.
Robinson shares her message and advice to aspiring artists. Exploration and improving one’s art is one of many ways she found success.
“Keep working at your art, follow your heart, feel free to explore different mediums. Don’t feel compelled to only use certain materials. Just relax and enjoy the process of learning. Join and volunteer in organizations,” said Robinson.
Robinson encourages applying for grants to aid in supporting the artists’ journey and to a possible career path. Robinson said that it really helped her career grow and motivates other artists to try.
“I would encourage them to apply to those grants through the Edmonton Arts Council, find opportunities that can help them to finance their art to help them build their career,” said Robinson.
According to Robinson, art is a spiritual calling and a responsibility to the community. She hopes to bring joy and healing through the pieces she creates.
“There is no age limit to start an art career, just go ahead and do it,” said Robinson.