LCCMedia Foundation is fortunate to have procured the services of one of Edmonton’s greatest artists. Humble and loyal, Eritrean artist Fetsum-Teclemariam is like no other. He is deeply aware of his gift and his humanity. In soft tones, we talked about his life as an Edmonton artist when we visited his gallery in down town Edmonton. It was deeply obvious that Fetsum has found his calling.
The Foundation is the beneficiary of a grant from New Horizons to provide free painting sessions for seniors and to curate a magazine for seniors.
Widely read and insanely gifted, Fetsum is most happy when he is teaching children or working with a canvas painting his heart away. He is not afraid of media glare and in spite of his celebrated status, he makes time to talk to you and get you to a space of understanding. He has a wide array of experience and there is nothing he cannot draw with charcoal. Even if you not like the arts, Fetsum can make you fall in love with drawing pads and painting.
“Any one can learn how to draw and paint, including seniors” he says.
Here is what you get when you google Fetsum
“My paintings are visual proverbs. Using the figure, still life objects, and landscapes as a means of self-expression, I communicate the cultural heritage and emotions of the places that I come from and the experience of the culture where I live now.
I grew up in a community in Eritrea where I was not allowed to express my thoughts, concerns, and feelings in public – speaking out had terrible consequences. As a result, I started to express my anger, frustrations, sense of betrayal, joy and beauty through my paintings, and still do.
The marks that I make with my brushes and charcoal are connected to my feelings, and express and communicate a situation. I depict both ugly realities and joyful feelings through the strokes, and by so doing, address the paradox of human life and my own thoughts and feelings.”
Fetsum teaches a free seniors painting class every Saturday on Zoom. The free painting sessions are Saturdays at 6pm MST.
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