Anita Harris

On Finding nvrlnd.

I have met so many artists in the nvrlnd. space, who all produce art across a broad spectrum of genres: Digital art, painting, graphic art, drawing, abstract art, music, photography, media & video, tattooing, jewellery, sculpture & 3-dimensional art. The energy created in the Nnvrlnd. space is phenomenal and inspires and motivates me and my work, engages my mind to view the world through another perspective, makes me laugh, challenges my beliefs, brings me happiness.

nvrlnd. and Local Community and Residential Impact.

Having participated in several open houses at nvrlnd., I have had the opportunity to talk with a large number of local residents and community members who have attended the events and passed on through my studio. Unanimously they have all said how much happier they are that the old disused and boarded up Shamrock Hotel building has been turned into a freshly painted and well-maintained arts hub, where the co-founders have actively seeked involvement with the local community, who have an open door for ongoing discussion and who welcomes input and interest. Not only has the feedback from the residents been one of relief that the building is now in use in a positive way and is no longer an eye-sore, but they have also mentioned that the studios bring in people and artists who in turn access the local amenities increasing profits for the local businesses, and lastly the feedback was also one of excitement that there is a nearby venue to explore events that showcase music and the arts listed as follows:

Weekly Figure Drawing classes held at nvrlnd.: meet wonderful artists, practice and refine skill sets and try new techniques.

Music events in the Boutique: get your chill on and enjoy some tunes.

Open Houses and First Fridays: Meet fellow artists both within nvrlnd. and those visiting, chat with community members and residents, promote and exhibit art.

Markets and sales: Same as the Open Houses, a wonderful chance to meet fellow artists both within nvrlnd. and those visiting, chat with community members and residents, promote, exhibit and sell art.

Anita Harris.

VISUAL ARTIST

I am originally from the UK where I completed a Foundations in Art Diploma in Oxford and graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Art, Art History and Aesthetics from University of Wales Institute Cardiff. Greatly interested in Art Therapy and Rehabilitation, I worked various roles in charitable organizations supporting seniors, children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities.

I emigrated and settled in Calgary in 2001, where I continued in my career supporting adults with developmental disabilities working first as a Day Program Leader managing an art & recreation program and later as a Programs Director & Training Coordinator. I am also a qualified tutor for the Foundations Diploma in Disability Studies.

In 2014 I returned to my original passion of creating art, and I now balance raising my 2 energetic daughters with producing my own art work and working as a PA to artist and tattooist Jimmy Munkaspeni. For the last several months, I have also been volunteering with a gentleman with developmental disabilities, working with him to produce 5 paintings that will accompany his life story. My work is often varied and eclectic, but my current work falls into 2 categories.

Firstly, I am greatly interested in sustainability and so I find and reclaim broken and discarded items primarily dolls and ceramic items. I repair and recycle these dolls and ceramics, make them over and turn them into something new and completely unique. I am particularly enjoying making over fashionista/princess dolls and turning them into warrior women and goddesses, think of them as a mash up of Faeries meets The Borrowers meets Mad Max. Having reclaimed almost 40 dolls, only 1 remains unsold, the Death Sprite Series being the most popular. My second range of work incorporates my love of animals with my love of geometric Mandala design and its spiritual representation of universe and belonging to one energy in life. I also work on private commissions and for the past year, I have returned to weekly Figure Drawing, which I am immensely enjoying.

I have exhibited my work in Quab Gallery, White Lodge Gallery, RAW Calgary, Motion Gallery and both the Calgary and Edmonton Tattoo Shows. I am a huge believer in giving back to the community and have donated my work to many charitable fundraisers including Rich Man Poor Man, The Calgary Food Bank, ARK,Hull Homes, Woods Homes, ARC Society, L’Arche Calgary, Skipping StoneFoundation, Red Splash Event to name a few.

My work is currently on show and for sale at Immaculate Concept Tattoo.

To see more of my work or to contact me, please check out:

INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK

On How nvrlnd. Improved Anita’s Mental Health.

Being in nvrlnd. quite literally saved my mental health. This cannot be stressed enough.

I was working from home, both as a PA and as a stay at home mom, and in the breaks was trying to create my own art work, but being so tied to the house was creating its own problems with feelings of isolation and depression. A friend of mine put me in touch with the co-founders of nvrlnd. and in the summer of 2018 I moved in to one of the studios. It was huge for me. In this wonderful studio and nvrlnd. family I can be me, the artist.  It is a place I can come to and meet other artists so I’m not isolated anymore, it is where I can leave my work out without worrying that my children or dog will get into it, it is a space that is accessible, affordable (which also cannot be stressed enough!), bright, and welcoming. It lifted my spirits and has been my happy place for the last several months. In this space I can be the artist that I am, not just the mom, the wife, or any of the other roles and responsibilities that take over in the home.


And that is why I think nvrlnd. is amazing!