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Collaborating Through Art

The paintings now showing at the Bean Scene Downtown Kelowna (274 Bernard Ave, Kelowna) are to a large extent collaborative works completed by me and another artist. Pay close attention to the names of the artists on each label. Many of the paintings are my own creation, but at some point in the process it is quite likely I had a sighted person take a look and give me feedback, which I may or may not have incorporated. Beyond this, there are four other artists, who have literally shared the painting experience with me. I have learned a lot about collaboration through this painting experiment. There are as many interpretations about the nature of collaboration, as there are artists!

Typically, I start the painting by adding texture and colour, and then pass it over to another artist, who adds her own creative touch. Originally, I thought the passing process would continue a few times over, but this has not turned out to be the case; rather each of us takes one turn and the painting is finished. There are a couple of variations to the experiment; one painting was done with both of us painting at the same time (Dancing Shaman), another painting was started by the sighted artist (Alchemy 101).

To view these and other paintings, visit

I find this latter process the most nerve racking, but rich with potential. Out of this exhibit comes a desire to further explore the nature of collaboration through the process of art making. Fascinating!

Thank you to collaborative artists Rena Warren, Kathleen Hutton, Jane Martens, Cheryl Hann and all others to follow!

I began painting two years ago with the HeART Fit program initiated by Karen Close and held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts. The program supports a spontaneous art making process, which is perfect for an artist that can’t see!

I also curated the acclaimed Just Imagine art exhibit shown at the Kelowna Art Gallery during the winter of 2013. Artists included: Busser Howell from New York City, Bruce Horak from Calgary, Eriko Watanabe from Germany and PJ Lockhart from Kelowna.

I began my own art exploration while living in New York through involvement with the Art Beyond Sight Institute, and recently published a co-authored article in a U.S. Rehab magazine (“Museum Experience and Blindness”, featuring art gallery and museum experience for the blind; a Canadian perspective. She is also a core contributor to the local Sageing Magazine; 8th edition now available at


As a blind artist my goal is simply to create a painting, that is both, interesting to the eye as well as to the touch. My approach, akin to my approach to directing theatre, is non-competitive in nature. This is important to me, as the idea promotes the inclusion of artistic expression for everyone; rather than to only the few elite, whoever they may be. To view the current exhibition online, please go to:

Many thanks to the Bean Scene in Kelowna for supporting local artists! If you are a visitor from other parts of British Columbia, or Alberta, you will find three locations for the Bean Scene in Kelowna. My art exhibit is shown at the downtown location for the month of July, the Dickson location for the month of August and the Capri Mall location for the month of September. Come see the exhibit, and enjoy the best cup of coffee in Kelowna!


This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.