Artist Statement


My formal training began in Montreal, complementing conventional education with trips to galleries and museums in New York, Paris and Madrid. I obtained a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Concordia and McGill Universities, a Diploma in Graphic Design, as well as a Computer Graphics Technician Certificate from Vancouver Vocational Institute. Later, I furthered thematic explorations at the exclusive international En’Owkin School of Arts located in the Okanagan.

“Taking inspiration from both European and Native American art, my designs translate effortlessly into tapestries, hand painted textiles, decorated furniture pieces, murals and more. With this in mind, my work hopes to help acknowledge an indigenous continental American artistic tradition worthy of attention and appreciation.”

My commercial assignments are numerous and include commissions for The Umbrella Shop, Alistair Eagle Photography, Ursula Medley Decorative Arts Studio, Marimba Trading Co. in Vancouver. The Fire This Time in Toronto, and in the Okanagan clients include the Penticton Herald Newspaper, Okanagan Summer School of the Arts, Canada Day Celebration Society, Penticton Indian Band, Penticton & Area Women’s Centre. Lately, Mascot Mines Tourist Info. Centre, Hedley Heritage Museum, besides numerous private clients and collector.

Marcela currently divides her time between continuous aesthetic and new techniques explorations, as well as implementing various workshops on decorative arts and creativity. If interested
Solo Shows

Viggo Mortensen Virtual Gallery. Three paintings from series ‘West Coast Adventure’, 2014.
Cowboy Coffee, ‘Tree Life Series’. Princeton, BC, 2007
Lendale Furniture & Gallery, ‘Birth a Cosmic Creation’. Princeton, BC, 2007
Back Alley Gallery, NasukDesigns. Studio/Gallery. Current works. Princeton, 2007
Lorianne’s Unique Alternatives. 2005-08
Studio 97. Custom jewelry. Oliver, BC, 2002
Cannery Art Center. Studio/Gallery. Penticton, BC, 2002
Art Gallery of the South Okanagan. Penticton, BC, 1997
Kelowna Art Gallery. Making Sense of the Indigenous. Kelowna, BC, 1997
Hub of the Wheel, Introspections. Penticton, BC, 1996
En’Owkin International Indigenous School, Current works. Penticton, BC, 1997
Simon Patrich Gallery, West Coast Adventure. Vancouver, BC, 1996
Gallery 44, Selected works. Kerrisdale, Van. BC, 1990
Gallery Fokus, ‘Baroque 86’. Montreal, Quebec, 1988
Studio 2880, ‘Hand Painted Tapestries’. Prince George, BC 1986

Group Shows

Art Gallery of the South Okanagan, Penticton, 1998
Kelowna Art Gallery, ‘Ancient Protocol’, 1998
Vancouver Museum, ‘Making a Living, Making a Life’, 1992
Fear of Others – Art Against Racism, Vancouver, 1889
L’Art a la Rue, Montreal 1987
Serdari, Collective Exhibit of Latin American Artists’, Montreal, 1987
Gallery Pink, Collective Exhibit, 1986
Dawson College – New School, Montreal, 1990

Design, Illustrations, Backdrops, Art Direction

Mascot Mines Tourist Info. Center, Jewellery line. 2009
Hedley Heritage Museum, Sample Traditional Tapestries. 2009
Canada Day Celebration Society, Interactive mural. Penticton, BC.
Fair Wares Fair. Publicity campaign. Posters and flyers. Penticton, BC.
Okanagan Summer School of the Arts. Graphic Design.
Penticton Indian Band. Motivational magnet. Graphic Design. Penticton, BC
Penticton Herald Newspaper
En’Owkin School for the Arts. Digital illustrations. Penticton, BC.
Penticton & Area Women’s Centre. Design of various promo materials.
Shaw Cable TV. Backdrop to TV show. Penticton. BC
Road to Madrid. Design CD cover. Penticton guitar duet.
The Umbrella Shoppe. Hand painted umbrellas. Vancouver, BC.
Marimba Trading Co., Hand painted silks. Vancouver, BC, Ca.
Business in Vancouver. Production Assistant. Graphic Design.
Pacific Rim Magazine. Digital Illustrator. Vancouver, BC, Ca.
Vancouver General Hospital. Illustrator. BC, Ca.
Alistair Eagle Photography, Vancouver, BC, Ca.
The Fire This Time. Publicity campaign. Toronto based group. ON. Ca.
Artistica Designs. Faux finishes. Vancouver, BC. Ca.
Ursula Medley Decorative Arts. Décor Assistant. Vancouver, BC, Ca.
Where Vancouver. Computer graphics. BC, Ca.
The Red Fox and Other Stories. Illustrator. New York, NY. USA
Cinema Canada. Editorial Illustrator. National publication.
Orquidea Negra. Publicity campaign, stage backdrop. Montreal, Que. Ca.
Dialogo Magazine. Illustrator, graphic design. Montreal, Que. Ca.
Cinema Canada, La Vie en Rose, Montreal Mirror. Freelance Illustrator.


Production Studio, Princeton, B.C. 2014-15
Quail Patch Hobby Farm & Art Studio, Furniture Re-finishing. 1996-2014
Traditional Homestead, overall design and implementation. 1996-2014
International Spoken Word Indigenous Project. The Fire This Time. Toronto. 1995
Coordinator/Manager. Artistic event for ‘Orquidea Negra’. 19986
Video Production. ‘Guess Who’s Back’, directed by Joan Cardinal Schubert


Dr. Eva Gede, Penticton, BC
Prof. Fernando de Toro, Dean of Graduate Studies, University of Manitoba, Ca.
Robert Sexton, Textile Curator, Vancouver Art Gallery, BC, Ca.
Jorge Brana, CEO ATT, New York, USA
Marcela Hamalainen, Portland, Oregon, USA
Maria Elena Krause, Portland, Oregon, USA
Bahkta Jollicoeur, Publisher, Vancouver, BC, Ca.


Immigrant Women’s Network. Arts & Crafts as small business initiative.
Private Tutoring, Exploring a Liberal Arts Curriculum.
Penticton & District Multicultural Society. Cultural Diversity Training.
Penticton & District Community Arts Council. Instructor.
Kelowna Art Gallery. Interactive Mural Workshop. Design & Execution.
Kelowna Multicultural Society. Various workshops on Cultural Diversity.
Community Futures Co. Researcher/Workshop facilitator.
Penticton & Area Women’s Centre. Cultural Diversity Trainer.
Okanagan University College. Cultural identity Workshop.
Human Resources Development Canada. Cultural Diversity Trainer.


Canada Council Grant. Frist Peoples Words: Printed & Spoken.
Ministry Responsible for Multiculturalism. Grant for exhibition All Things Positive.
Sound Solutions & Laser’s Edge. 1st prize winner Free Style Category, digital illustration.
Banff School of the Arts, Artist Development Grant.
Community Futures Corporation. Funded initiative by HRDC.
Ontario Arts Council. Grant in support of artistic accomplishments.


Art – Journey of Self Discovery, by Urmi Sheldon. The Western Paper. 2002
Cultural Prophesies, by Alex MacRae. The Western Paper, 1999
Changing Demographics. Southern Exposure. 1999
Diversity, by Donna Hennignson. Penticton Herald, 1998
Making Sense of the Indigenous, by Jackie Bissley. Indian Country Today, USA. 1997
Making Sense of the Indigenous, by Jackie Bissley. Windspeaker, USA. 1997
Doug Brown, Shaw Cable. Guest speaker for show Shared Visions.
Tracy Jack, CHBC. Local and international activities of En’Owkin Center.
Big Hip, by Errol Nazareth. Globe & Mail. 1990
Fusion of Cultures, by Errol Nazareth. Globe & Mail. 1990
Baroque ’86, by Elizabeth O’Grady. The McGill Daily News. 1987


“The Brown Fox & Other Stories”, Vantage Press, New York. 1990
‘Neo Quebecoise, Neo Latinos’, Radio Centre Ville, Montreal, Que. 1988
“Frida Kahlo in Sue Coe”, Dialogo Magazine, Montreal. 1987
“Frida Kahlo: Forever Present”, Dialogo Magazine, Montreal, 1987
‘Latino Theatre’, Montreal Mirror, 1987
“Picasso: The Creation of an Icon”, Montreal Mirror, 1985


Cultural Diversity Trainer. Certified, 1996
Native American Thematic Explorations. En’Owkin International Indigenous School of the Arts, 1994
Computer Graphics Technician. Vancouver Vocational Institute, 1990
Bachelor of Arts. Join Major Eng./Spanish Literature. Concordia & McGill Universities, 1986
College Diploma in Fine Arts & Design. Dawson College, 1984
Script Writing workshop with internationally acclaimed director Sandy Wilson. Okanagan Summer School of the Arts, Penticton BC.
Styling, Art Direction. John Casablanca School of Fashion, Vancouver, BC
Computer Graphics Technician/Digital Illustrator, Vancouver Vocational Institute, Vancouver, BC


Studies on traditional American Indigenous forms of artistry.
Spanish pictorial traditions: El Greco, Velazquez, Goya, Picasso, Dali.
Visits to El Prado Museum in Madrid, Picasso’s Museum in Barcelona, MOMA – NY, Guggenheim, Museum of Modern Art, Washington B.C.
Travels throughout Bolivia, Chile, Jamaica, Cuba


Spoken-word event, Kelowna Art Gallery. Accompanied by Diyuridu player.
Spoken-word event, lunging of CD The Fire This Time. Poem: ‘Prayer to Jah’. Toronto,
Anti-Racism Conference, Election of First Nations’ Delegation to South Africa,
Women of Color Conference, Penticton, B.C, 1999

“In the beginning, stars and astral bodies performed a cosmic dance in space immemorial…
…Some of the formations emerging resembled large mythical beings. One of them, distinct in its appearance, resembled a white phoenix or what the people came to recognize as Thunderbird. Thunderbird was a colossal creature composed of minuscule stellar matter and it traveled and swayed through the infinite skies leaving debris of broken stars in its path, destroying and crashing due to the immensity of its size. But, as Thunderbird flaunted its wings and destroyed, it also created. Particles of matter drawn together by gravity, when close enough to each other gave birth to new solids. In this manner, a blue planet situated in a precise location in space emerged. A planet that was to remain close enough to the sun as to receive its warmth – but not too close; and far enough from the moon that affects the movement of its waters – but not too far.”
by Marcela A. Toro Garland (c) 2016 All Rights Reserved