Walking into Laura Zerebeski’s studio is as exciting and colourful as she is! There are large and small paintings everywhere from top to bottom and tables of brushes and squeezed-out tubes of acrylic paint tubes of every vibrant colour you can imagine. Her favourite artist is Vincent Van Gogh but it’s not like she copies him, it’s more like she and Van Gogh are related in spirit and knowings.
Her work is vibrant and powerfully thoughtful. She has the gift of transforming her ideas of contradictions, commentary, satire, and humour into accessible and whimsical statements. She has the ability to balance all that with a delicious ease.
She grew up in Kamloops where the big open sky, intense weather from crisp cold to a dry hot, infuses her work with intensity. Mix her intelligent wry and cutting commentary on all things personal and political (is there a difference?) with a delightful and wiggly sense of humour and voila! Paintings that entice with their easy instinctual compositions and totally turned on colours that speak.
No subject is off limits. Case in point is her 2017 series called "Inhabit the Contradiction". We are definitely not supposed to notice these rat bait stations but we can’t help but see them everywhere. They are a reminder that hiding within Vancouver's showy beauty, there are unseen and unwanted creatures because everything has a dark side, or a polarity.
Laura paints what she knows and where she lives. She has a keen eye for our urban icons and landscapes and makes them dance with all the life within. She welcomes commissions and does a lot of them. She enjoys painting meaningful images for clients who give her just enough information to fly with.
Laura has been paining the backdrops for the ever popular annual winter satire theatre event, the East Van PANTO, since its inception six years ago. The political sensibilities of the Panto, which re-imagines popular stories and fairy tales like the Wizard of Oz or Snow White and the Seven dwarfs, create a perfect match with her sharp edgy play on political commentary and comedy. Humour makes the direst situations manageable. Her work breathes fresh air into these ideas and encourages us to think about things a little differently.
These two paintings were enlarged to 16’ x 22’ (yes, that’s feet) for the backdrop of the Wizard of Oz, a satirical take on Canada’s ongoing oil conversation.
Here is her dog Samantha and a few littles from hanging around Vancouver.
Crows, of course, also represent Vancouver's darker side.
Olympic Village is as green as Emerald City.
It takes courage to wiggle an image.
In an earlier life, she spent 16 years as a corporate drone doing the expected 'I should have a real job' thing, painting here and there, but the sense of purpose she gained when she left that corporate world to be a full time artist still emanates from her. She is grateful for the marketing and business skills she learned there. She is very savvy and generous Please, Take a Button!
Studio - The Beaumont Studios 316 W. 5th Avenue (at Alberta – two blocks east of Cambie St.) Studio #14