Orléans artist explores identity in new exhibit

Tricia Van der Grient
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Alex Fichera's artwork will be on show for the first time at the Shenkman Arts Centre in Orléans in an exhibit called Shifting Identity.

For a young artist like Fichera, landing a solo show is a coup. She says she is "beyond ecstatic" for the opening on Jan. 16.

The 24-year-old painter moved to Ottawa from the U.S. at the age of 12. She attended Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School in Orléans and began working at the Ottawa School of Art (OSA) while still in high school. "I've always been interested in art, so the school has been a really positive environment for me."

Fichera studied fine arts the University of Ottawa and says teaching at the school spurred her desire to attend teacher's college, which she is currently finishing.

"This exhibit is a continuing of my work that relates to identity," she explains. "For my graduation show I did a sculpture project in the same subject. Now, I'm combining my interests in painting and identity and melding them together."

Fichera uses light boxes to create a photographic transfer, adding further depth to her paintings. "I like to use different mediums and experiment." Using electrical components was new for her, as she typically focuses on sculpture and paint.

She says teaching children at OSA has helped her further her own art. "I teach everything from portraiture to architecture. It's really fun to get other young people involved in art."

This is her first solo exhibit, and by the sounds of it, it won't be her last. The young artist considers this show as "a great opportunity."

"I didn't think I would be chosen, to be honest," she admits. "But I'm just thrilled."

Shifting Identity will be on display at the Shenkman Arts Centre in the Trinity Art Gallery, Salon B from Jan. 13 to Feb. 15.




Organizations: Ottawa School of Art, Sir Wilfred Laurier Secondary School, University of Ottawa Shenkman Arts Centre Trinity Art Gallery

Geographic location: Orléans, Ottawa, U.S.

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