Nga Dinh, Eden

Nga Dinh, Eden, acrylic, 35.6 x 45.7, $250 

1. Tell us about the artwork you have in the VAM 2011 Juried Show.

I am obsessed with sweaters with hoods (hoodies) and wanted to create a themed series of paintings incorporating them. I always wanted to play with the theme of colours against a simple black and white background so I incorporated both ideas together. I love the final product; the simple background really allows the flowers in the hoodie to take centre stage. This is one piece of 3 that I completed for a group show in November 2010. I am actually the model for this piece.

2. How and when did you first become interested in creating art?

I have always been a creative being. But growing up, I was a rebel and would stop creating work when someone would recognize my talent. At times I would not create anything for years but I always returned to art. I owe a lot of my continued motivation to my teachers and professors who nurtured my talent – Mrs.Bradlow (Elementary School), Carole Freeman (Highschool) and Marshall Ward (University).

 3. What do you think of the art scene in Mississauga? Where do you see it heading in the next ten years?

The art scene in Mississauga seems to have an age barrier. Although it is not said, nor is it enforced, there are few young artists distributing their work locally. This is also what makes our community so quaint. I took a course at VAM recently and was the youngest person in the class. You could feel the years of experience, but as a new member of the art community in Mississauga, it is terribly intimidating.

But if you love something, you keep working and building your craft. So here I am, an honoured participant in VAM’s 33rd Juried Art Show at the AGM. In the future, I hope that we will see more young artists exhibiting their work in Mississauga’s public forum.

4. What advice would you give young people who want to become artists?

Don’t give up. Just keep working, keep creating and become involved with the community. Submit work. Volunteer at VAM and AGM. There are people are willing to help you grow as an artist, you just need to take that first step.

5. What do you have lined up after the VAM Juried Show? For people interested in finding more of your artwork, do you have a website, blog, Twitter account or gallery?

I am currently working on completing my art-based website. I am creating a piece for VAM’s upcoming Annual Valentine’s Day show. I am submitting a piece for an “Old Uncle Grampy” portrait challenge being held at Sleeping Giant Gallery in Toronto. You can keep up with my artistic adventures on my blog – – where you can read about past/current/upcoming shows and events.

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