Artist Alice Aksay has realized a dream with the opening of her own art studio on Bayview.
Alice earned her honours degree at OCAD while raising her three children, then went to York after several years of teaching after-school art programs. She taught English, French and art with the TDSB, most recently at Terraview-Willowfield Public School, where she designed and implemented an art program for the entire school.
Leaside was attractive to Alice for many reasons. The most practical one is that her father bought the building 40 years ago, and her brother, Ari Kurk, a chartered accountant whose office is on the upper floor, encouraged her to take over the main floor as a studio and school.
Also, Alice says she has been drawn to the area ever since she had an office job here when she was in her 20s. She enjoys Leaside’s “sense of community, friendly, family-oriented atmosphere and the quality of the shops and restaurants.”
Her artistic inspiration comes from her connections with family, friends and everyday life. “Everything you create is a part of you and you are connected to it,” she says. It’s clear from her colourful paintings in the studio that another major inspiration is nature and the changing seasons, and she tries to spend as much time as possible up north.
An early school trip to the McMichael Gallery had a profound impact on Alice as she was “smitten” with the collection and the lives of the artists. She remembers seeing A.Y. Jackson in his wheelchair and wondering, from her child’s perspective, how he was able to travel around to capture his nature scenes, not realizing he had painted the scenes in his youth.
Alice hopes the studio will be a “vibrant space full of colour, inspiration and exploration.” She aims to create “a place where people can find themselves and explore and develop their own artistic interests.”
For more information: 416-488-1472 or www.alicesartstudio.ca.