“A Day in the Life” with Vancouver-based Artist Sonya Iwasiuk

I’ve had the privilege of being a painting student of Sonya Iwasiuk for over 10 years. During this time, I have learned so many wonderful things. Sonya provides a welcoming classroom environment, helping students feel comfortable and at home in a very short amount of time. Her project ideas are so exciting that I often wish there were 10 of me working on them! She provides great creative mixed media lessons, ample time to explore, excellent support and positive constructive feedback. She magically creates great community within the class, and the room has a special hum of creative energy. I highly recommend anyone to take her courses, from those with no experience to experienced artists. In her painting practice her series are all so interesting and varied. The way she brings together different materials is so unique. You’ll never see anything else like it. She is a true artist and innovator!

– Written by one of her dedicated students

Sonya Iwasiuk
Working on my series, “A New Resilience”, about immigration to Canada using my Ukrainian background and family history as a talking point
Sonya Iwasiuk
Me Teaching a Mixed Media Class
Photo of a part of my series, “A New Resilience”
Vancity Juried Public Installation at New Westminster branch, “Woven Histories”
Sonya Iwasiuk
New Mixed Media Series, “You Are My Home”, with Gold Leaf, string paper on plastered panel
Sonya Iwasiuk
“Abundant Prairie”, part of my “Beautiful Yesterday” Series, mixed media paintings on hand-rusted steel sheets
Photo of me during a class. Taken by my student Sarah Hoy
Portrait by Rennie in my studio with my dogs Henry and Becket.


Which ’hood are you in?

My studio is in the iconic 1000 Parker Street Building in East Vancouver.

What do you do?

I am a mixed-media painter, installation artist and mixed-media instructor. I have been teaching weekly classes out of my studio at 1000 Parker Street for over 12 years. I also teach unique mixed-media workshops in my studio and via other venues. I absolutely love creating, experimenting and teaching!

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series called “You Are My Home” that I started about 2 years ago during Covid.

Maintaining our connections was extremely challenging during this time with COVID-19 lurking around every corner. We could not gather and at times had to shelter in place; separate from our communities and the people we love.

Though we could not be with each other physically, we are resilient and determined. We reached out to each other through social media, online messaging, and conferencing platforms so we could maintain the connections that were so important to us.

Like many, my home is a place of family, refuge, love, and safety. This year, my home became even more of a haven and, sadly, sometimes, a place of isolation. Unfortunately, to some, home is a place that is unsafe, solitary and/or deprived most of the time. Being forced to quarantine was excessively harsh for them.

In my newest series, “You Are My Home”, the houses speak of our shelters and the importance of home, family and feeling safe but at the same time suggest loneliness, speaking to the isolation and deprivation that, sadly, occurred for some during this difficult time.

The thread lines in my work represent the unseen connections between us; emotional, spiritual, intellectual, familial, and connecting through space online; invisible ties holding us together while apart.

The gold areas in my pieces represent hope for the future; hope that we don’t go back to “normal”, that we have learned much from this saga, and we have realized what is truly important and stay the course.

Where can we find your work?

Currently, my work can be found in: Elevation Gallery in Canmore, Alberta; Elevation Gallery Fernie, in Fernie, BC; Effusion Gallery in Invermere, BC; Tutt Street Gallery in Kelowna, BC.

Also, I have two public pieces in the Vancity Maillardville and New Westminster branches.

You can visit my website here.



About Demian Vernieri 533 Articles
Demian is an Argentinian retired musician, avid gamer and editor for the Montréal Guardian, Toronto Guardian, Calgary Guardian and Vancouver Guardian websites.