MEET Sylvia Tesori! I first met Sylvia a few years ago when she came to Peter Street Fine Arts Gallery & Studio asking about being a Guest Artist - ever since she has been a part of the downtown Orillia Arts District community and a great friend. The past year we shared gallery/shop space together and it was a fun, creative adventure. I spent a great deal of time surrounded by her work and was continuously awed by the vibrant energy, colours and unique story of each piece!
Read ON to learn more about Sylvia and her work!
Your work has a very spiritual quality, where does your inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from the natural world. I spent years working outside and refused all jobs that had me “caged”. I love Ontario’s forests and waters. My favorite inhabitants are the birds! Inspiration also comes from my dreams; birds soar, crows speak, deers listen and bears lead.
You make soap! As an artist, how does your creativity transfer into the making of your soap and body products?
I am always making something, and love to try new mediums. The soap and other body items are a great blend of my creativity and science skills. I was trained as a scientist, and though I no longer work in that field, I continue to teach sciences at the high school and college levels. It’s really satisfying to be able to offer a great, healthy product that everyone needs anyway!
You have a street level business in the Orillia Arts District - What is your favourite part about operating a gallery/shop?
My favorite part of being in a street level gallery in the Orillia Arts District is the people. I really enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories. It is also a lot of fun to have a visitor and see their reaction to my art; it’s so cool when someone connects and sees what you see.
Where may people find your work, in person and online?
Three Crows Speak Studio is located at 9 Peter St. S, in downtown Orillia's Arts District. My website is Three Crows Speak Studio or find me on Facebook: Three Crows Speak Studio.
Upcoming: Find Sylvia at First Light at Sainte Marie Among the Hurons, November 22 to 24, November 29 to December 1, and December 6-9, 5:30 to 9:00pm.
Meg Leslie is a multidisciplinary artist working in several mediums, her main mantra - 'creativity'. Meg and I grew up together on the same street in Orillia, we played 'Kick the Can', fed feral stray cats and I was inspired by Meg's creative spirit even back then (she gifted me a handmade stuffed animal for a Birthday!).
Whatever creative endeavour she embraces, from offering Workshops (in mosaics and ceramics), creating daily drawings, to working on community projects like the Awesome Wall in Kitchener, Ontario where she currently lives, Meg brings immense talent, determination and creative magic!
Read on to discover more:
You have worked in several different art forms, how has that journey evolved and what creative medium are you currently focusing on?
I am currently focused on creativity in general. Yeah, whatever moves me creatively, that’s what I do.
I have this daily practice of sketching with my left hand. It’s just practice and for fun, but I’m starting to think that Leftie needs a show sometime soon in a gallery. I’m also preparing ceramics for an art walk on November 10th in a sweet old neighbourhood in downtown Kitchener. I’m taking over the living room and there are 2 other incredible creatives with me, and the tour itself is one of the best....you can really walk it - the Frederick Art Walk!
You have an on-going ‘leftie selfie’ series, describe the process and the ‘why’ …
Leftie ... well, it started from a tweet that I read in 2014 that just said, “Try brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. That’s all I’m saying, just try it” ... so I did. Then I started washing my hair in the morning with my left hand, then I started drawing with my left hand. It was such fun that I committed to doing it every day. I have fallen off the wagon a few times in the last 4 years, but every time I come back Leftie evolves. She has a body and often words now. I love her! : )
As a community minded artist, are you currently involved in any projects? What have you worked on in the past?
Ah Patti, there’s a lot of large scale mosaics that I have done in the past like that huge letter C for Streets Alive in Orillia, the aWEsoME wall (71’ mosaic wall with the help of 300+ people at the men’s shelter downtown Kitchener) and one of my favourites was the Homewood Green Art Wall for the City of Kitchener.
Lately ... nothing like that on the go, but I’m busy with my personal practice and I’m teaching ceramics regularly at Homer Watson House and Gallery, and then there’s my day job.
Oh something I’m excited about is a presentation I’m doing about community art as part of an event in Waterloo called Amplify Culture Summit on October 24th.
For fun, I've been taking weekly pottery lessons from an incredible potter in Waterloo.
I love that/always learning and growing.
Where may people find your work or connect with you about workshops and commissions?
Well, feel free to email me email@example.com with any questions. My Facebook page for creative ideas and inspiration is called Earth Sky Sandwich. My website meglesliecreative.ca has lots of lovely photos of my work, or follow Leftie’s journey on instagram as meglesliecreative #leftieselfie
Also, find Meg's work (porcelain jewelry) at the Orillia Museum of Art & History in downtown Orillia's Arts District!
Bio: Meg Leslie is a multidisciplinary artist originally from Orillia, currently living in downtown Kitchener. She has been nominated Waterloo Regional Artist of the year in 2013 and 2014 for her community art projects, and nominated Oktoberfest Woman of the year for Arts and Culture in 2017. She won 2nd prize in 2013 for her mosaic letter C in Orillia’s Streets Alive.
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