Inside the Artscape Distillery Studios

Meet some of the wonderful studio occupants at the Artscape Distillery Studios! We stopped by the Artscape Distillery Studios to see what our tenants were up to during the Toronto Christmas Market, the busiest time of year in the Historic Distillery District. We chatted with artists,Susan Card, Nurielle Stern, Nick Hadzis and Bianca Guna to learn about more about their creative pursuits and processes. 

Susan Card of DISH Gallery + Studio

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

After seeing an exhibition of Van Gogh's work as a teen I knew that I wanted to be a painter. It took a few hairpin turns and detours but in the end I am proud to say I did become an artist.

What’s your favourite thing about your studio?

In my studio I feel completely comfortable and able to work to my own schedule whether it is frantically preparing for a show or speaking about art to my customers or imagining and trying out new forms and methods of creating. However the best part is opening my kiln after firing. It is like Christmas. Sometimes you get a great surprise, but sometimes you are disappointed, and then you want to try again to make a piece perfect. I also love creating a display of work in my gallery area that juxtaposes interesting pieces.

What’s inspiring you right now?

Lately I have been inspired by the idea of stars and galaxies and am exploring glazes that make you feel like you are looking through a space ship portal or window. Attached is an example of this glaze taken with a macro lens attached to my i-phone.

Nurielle Stern, Ceramic Artist

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I think I've always known. My mom is a classical musician and at one point as a child, we had a row about there not being another artist in the family. It took time, but once she realized it was inevitable, she has been really, really supportive.

What’s your favourite thing about your studio?

It has almost everything I need to make and fire ceramic work; it's cozy and has a great atmosphere. I love the old brick, the wooden floors and the view of the Historic Distillery District.

What’s inspiring you right now?

A recent trip to the Met Cloisters in New York City, as well as the Morgan Library's jaw-dropping exhibition of illuminated manuscripts with treasure bindings.

Nick Hadzis, Fine Artist

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was in grade school. I was picked to go to Saturday morning art classes for kids gifted in art. The thing is, I never felt I picked being an artist; it picked me.

What’s your favourite thing about your studio?

My favourite thing about my studio is the light that comes in through the window. I love the feeling the atmosphere the privacy the old brick walls the old wooden floors.

What’s inspiring you right now?

What's inspiring me right now is the portrait the human figure; I'm going back to that again from art school.

Bianca Guna, Fine Artist

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

Everybody knew from the beginning that I will become an artist, I was scribbling and drawing from a very early age as soon I could hold a pencil or coloured crayons all over the books, walls and floors. Later on, it just grew into a bigger obsession of painting and art classes, culminating with community and private art schools and eventually a degree in the arts. I was trained in parallel in engineering, I also have a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and a Master in Computer Science, but art was a sturdy companion all my life. I have a Bachelors degree in Illustration.

I am a primarily “self-taught” painter and art instructor. I am thinking that my “next degree” should be in art education, with so much knowledge and experience to pass on to the next generation of artists.

What’s your favourite thing about your studio?

My studio is the place that allows me to grow as an artist. It is a place to think, play and create, as well as to show, store and teach. It is a multi-purpose art place that has many uses: studio, gallery, storage and …an art instruction school ! It is a place to connect with other fellow artists, to share and exchange art info and feel the art pulse of the community.

What’s inspiring you right now?

I do not rely on inspiration, I just show up to work each and every day, and I always have a few projects on the go.

Right now I am creating three series of works in parallel: a series of drawings (FLORA) on paper, a series of collages on wood boards (KINETIC COLLAGES) and a series of acrylic paintings on wood panels for my future 2018 solo art show (THUNDERS AND WHISPERS). I am also writing art classes for my students in water media (watercolours, acrylics, collage, art critique) and I am planning my 2018 Art Lectures/Demos/Classes – almost finished to fill the whole next year.