Eric Oberhauser, Diversity
- Tell us about the salmon artwork you have in the Salmon Run Project: The Exhibition.
It was my intention to reflect the unique cultural mosaic of the city of Mississauga, which is one of the most diverse and thriving cities in the world today. After careful consideration I created a specific idea to showcase our extensive cultural diversity.With this objective in mind, I decided to include each and every country’s national flag design on the body of the salmon in the general shape of overlapping fish scales. In other words, each ‘scale’ on the salmon shows represents a country’s flag design in full colour. There are slightly more than 230 ‘scales’ of national flags strategically balanced in terms of content, design, and colour scheme to provide a sense of naturalness, unity, and inclusion. The artwork is entitled ‘Diversity’ to encapsulate its essence.
In addition, I prominently included our Canadian Maple Leaf as a way of representing our common identity, foundation, and direction. The natural stone base contains sprouting red Maple Leaves to illustrate our common foundation, while painted red Maple Leaf motifs on the dorsal fin indicate our common Canadian direction.
I chose to use metallic acrylic paint for all the fins and the head of the salmon to establish a sense of naturalness and authenticity in appearance. The iridescent acrylic paint shines brightly in light and shifts in colour, which resembles a living salmon. Also, metallic turquoise wave patterns were placed on both sides of the salmon as a tribute to their resilience and determination swimming upstream along the Credit River during the Salmon Run. The base of the artwork includes natural river stones from the Credit River, which contributes to its authenticity.
- What made you want to submit a proposal for the Salmon Run Project? How and when did you become interested in creating art?
Creative artistic endeavours have always intrigued me. Ever since childhood I have been extremely passionate about visual arts and pursued artistic activities such as drawing, painting, sculpture, and graphic design. When I became aware of the Salmon Run Project: The Exhibition I was greatly interested to participate in this creative task. It appeared to be a special opportunity to demonstrate creativity as well as artistic problem solving for our great city. I was delighted that my idea was chosen, and strove to reflect our distinct cultural mosaic in Mississauga.
- What do you think of the art scene in Mississauga? Where do you see it heading in the next ten years?
I believe that the art scene in Mississauga will continue to grow and expand over the next decade. From my observations there seem to be an ever-increasing number of practicing artists and visual art associations in our city, which is a wonderful development in my view. Hopefully there will be additional opportunities to create artwork to reflect the vibrancy of the city of Mississauga and place our community amongst the great cities of the world.
- What advice would you give young people who want to become artists?
First and foremost, my advice to young people who are interested in pursing visual arts is to be passionate about creating artwork. Intense passion, steadfast practice, and unwavering commitment are critical towards achieving one’s goals in visual arts. One expression states that, ‘Life is short, but art is long’. I believe this saying accurately captures the nature of artwork which often entails a great investment of time and energy. Also, I would suggest one should always be open-minded towards learning new skills, approaches, and views from others, but at the same time, trust in one’s own artistic visions and abilities above all.
- What do you currently have lined up in terms of artistic opportunities? For people interested in finding more of your artwork, do you have a website, blog, Twitter account or gallery?
At the present time I have been completing a variety of visual art commissions such as portraits and customized images to commemorate birthdays and friendships. I am eager to pursue commissioned artistic endeavours.My background includes an Honours Bachelor of Science, professional development courses at OCAD (Ontario College of Art + Design), a Bachelor of Education with teacher certification in visual arts from the Ontario College of Teachers, and a Master of Arts. I have participated in several visual art competitions and art studios in Mississauga, Toronto, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. I am also a member of VAM (Visual Art Mississauga).
My recently launched visual art web site is: www.oberhauserart.com.
My artwork posted at http://www.oberhauserart.com covers various media (oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, sculptures, graphic designs, illustrations and photography) and genres (portraiture, landscape, figurative, still-life, metaphoric works, and Master Tributes).
One of my oil portraits depicted our Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion. In 2009 I had the privilege of presenting the portrait to her in person.