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Bridget Puhacz, In Conversation With Quest

Have you had a chance to meet Bridget Puhacz yet?

As she settles into her residency in our Art Is Love space, Bridget took the time to give Quest an exclusive look at the body of work she plans to focus on, the techniques and materials she will be experimenting with, and much more!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your background in the arts.

I am a visual artist born in Toronto, I recently completed my BFA honours specialization in studio arts from the University of Western Ontario. My artistic practice is grounded in painting and printmaking. I explore themes of emotion and the female identity through the lens of landscape and portraiture.

What specific project or body of work do you plan to focus on during your Art is Love residency?

During my residency I am focusing on paintings that engage with landscapes, particularly the landscape in Midland and the surrounding Simcoe County area. I am also exploring reductive printmaking with similar imagery. I aim to complete some large scale paintings that engage with scenery specific to Midland, one of which being the library right across from the Midland Cultural Center.

Are there any particular themes or concepts you're interested in exploring during your time here?

During my time here, I hope to continue exploring the emotional responses that can be driven from my use of colour. I am inspired by the works of Van Gogh as well as the Fauvists for their liberation of color. I hope to explore these concepts through landscape painting that engages with the natural scenery surrounding Midland.

What materials or techniques do you plan to experiment with or incorporate into your work during the residency?

I paint in oil with thick impasto brushstrokes, and I create many layers which adds a lot of depth to the paintings. I am also experimenting with using shower pan liners as a material for relief printing. This material is in lieu of linoleum, which I have used in the past, and is a bit softer and thinner of a material.

How do you envision your work evolving or changing as a result of this residency experience?

I hope to see my work evolve through the interactions I have with visitors to the space. I love to hear people’s feedback on my work, I feel that it helps me be better informed on how my concepts are coming through in the work.

How do you hope to engage with the local community or other artists during your time here?

I hope to engage with the local community not only through their interactions with me in the space but also through the workshops that I will be hosting. I have engaged with the public already as a part of the residency, and I have a great time talking to them, answering their questions, and showing them my process. I have also already been able to interact with the local artists at Quest who are taking part in the exhibitions in the gallery spaces.


What advice would you give to other artists considering applying for a residency program like this one?

 I would tell them not to be afraid to give it a try! This is my very first residency and I was unsure if I would be chosen, but I am so glad that I applied because it is wonderful to be here!


How do you see this residency contributing to your long-term artistic goals or aspirations?

I see the residency contributing to many of my long-term artistic goals. Because of the studio space, I am able to start developing my artistic practice outside of an academic context. I am aiming to apply to grad schools in December, and doing this residency will help me prepare works that I can use towards my application. Furthermore, the residency allows me to meet and connect with the artistic community in Midland, which is very inspiring.

What does Quest Art School + Gallery mean to you?

Quest Art School + Gallery is made up of a team of so many friendly people who are passionate about art! It is a space that is very supportive of everyone, from the kids taking art classes to the artists showing in the gallery space. I am so grateful for the chance to be here and get to know the community!

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