Posts Tagged ‘art’


Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Treasure Hidden Inside a Pod

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 1One of the questions people often ask business owner Sasha Shkolnik is where she came up with the name Juvelisto for her jewellery boutique. She explains the word stems from a universal language created in 1887 called Esperanto, and in this language the word for jeweller is juvelisto.

Sasha trained as an artist in her native Ukraine where she worked in the disciplines of oil paints and ceramics and she designed theatre props. During this time she also discovered jewellery making and began to create with clay and porcelain; this led to her dream of pursuing metal arts.

In 1995 she and her husband Leon Shkolnik and their young son decided to leave their homeland for a better life. Sasha mentions, “There was no economy for art during the recession in Ukraine and we saw no future for our family.”

Juvelisto Steveston Insider Sasha ShkolnikWhile they had no previous connection to Canada they felt fortunate to have the opportunity to immigrate here. They arrived in the country with nothing, and like many immigrants worked their way from the ground up. Sasha enrolled in the respected Jewellery Art and Design program at Vancouver Community College while Leon worked at assorted jobs to support them. When Sasha completed her diploma it was Leon’s turn to attend school to train in computer studies.

Upon graduating Sasha approached Karl Stittgen in South Granville with examples of her work and she was instantly hired. Her career as a goldsmith continued to blossom during the 12 years she spent at Costen Catbalue in Kitsilano and finally at Bill Chow Jewellers in Kerrisdale until she decided it was time to consider opening her own business.

“I needed to find my own path. There was a lot to lose but also a lot to gain by going out on my own.” Sasha Shkolnik

Sasha and her family (their daughter was born here) have lived in Richmond since moving to Canada. On a weekend walk in Steveston in 2011 they spotted a for lease sign on a vacant Moncton Street storefront. Sasha dialed the number immediately and promptly signed an agreement.

Her concept was to create a European style boutique where customers could observe the creative process and communicate with the jeweller. Sasha’s bench was literally centre stage, located in the middle of the floor plan until the shop was renovated last year.

What will you find at Juvelisto? In addition to Sasha’s exquisite work she represents artists from Canada, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the United States.

Sasha’s creations are breathtaking. She draws inspiration from organic textures, shapes and nature. Her gorgeous nuts and pods collection is inspired by objects found in nature, such as pea pods and peanuts, which are cast in silver or bronze and set with different beads, pearls and gemstones. She describes this collection as “treasure hidden inside a pod.”

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 3The primary focus of her business is custom work. This gifted artist has the talent to recycle and redesign sentimental pieces of jewellery into masterpieces. She loves hearing the stories that frequently accompany custom orders. She says with a smile, “The stories I hear and the people I meet are so diverse.”

She presents clients with beautifully rendered sketches (which are also works of art) depicting numerous ways new life can be breathed into a treasured possession. Metals can be recycled or reclaimed and gemstones can be used in new designs. Sasha’s creative mind conceives so many original possibilities it must be hard for clients to narrow them down to the final choice. Many of the orders involve a significant life event such as a birthday, wedding or anniversary. Sometimes clients have an idea of what they would like and other times Sasha is given free rein.

“I love my job. I am in the best profession in the world because I make people happy.” Sasha Shkolnik

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 7Last year Leon left his career as an information technology manager to join the business. Sasha is appreciative of all his hard work and notes he is responsible for all of Juvelisto’s impressive professional photography. This is the first time they have worked together and they are enjoying the partnership.

Leon is also fully responsible for Juvelisto’s stunning renovation that took place in April 2015; he transformed the vacant retail space next door (formerly an ice cream shop) into Juvelisto’s School of Metal Arts. The two spaces are joined together with a spectacular sliding barn door constructed of steel and wrought iron created by local artist Miran Elbakian. Sasha mentions that much of the functional decor found at Juvelisto, including the door, is for sale.

Customers had always expressed an interest in jewellery making lessons; Sasha kept a list of names and over time saw there was a demand.

One year ago the school opened. This is a very unique concept, incorporating a school with a jewellery shop. The workspace is visible from the front windows. Sasha laughs when she mentions, “We have to clean the nose marks from curious passers by daily.”

Eight students can be accommodated in the attractively renovated space, seated around a striking custom-made bench constructed from reclaimed wood. Each workspace is equipped with its own tools. Classes and workshops are offered year round and benches are also rented to artists when classes are not in session. Leanne Guthrie is one of the instructors along with invited guest teachers including Andrea Roberts from Circle Craft and enamel artist Peggy Logan.

Depending on the project, participants can leave with their own creation the same day. Other classes take place weekly over a five to eight week period. All classes are project based and are designed to stimulate the imagination. It is entirely possible to create a piece from scratch without previous experience. Ideas for new classes are constantly germinating and Sasha is currently excited about the idea of offering a class for couples to design their own wedding bands.

Juvelisto Steveston Insider 3500 MonctonJuvelisto has earned a devoted following of repeat customers. They are attracted to Sasha’s magnificent work and her genuine warmth and loving attention to each design she is entrusted with.

Sasha concludes with a smile, “I love Steveston. There is a real sense of community with people supporting and helping each other. From day one people supported me and entrusted me by leaving their precious pieces with me.”

120-3500 Moncton Street
Richmond BC V7E 3A2
Telephone: 604-241-7376

New Mural Installed in Fisherman’s Park Steveston

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015

Steveston artOver the past year a group of non-profit organizations in Steveston have come together to produce a fishing mural on the building in Fisherman’s Park. The inspiration for the project came from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and the Steveston Historical Society as an effort to beautify the western end of Steveston and highlight the village’s fishing history.

Rebecca Clarke, Executive Director for the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society says, “We are excited to have a significant piece of public art installed at the west end of the village. With new commercial buildings at the corner of Bayview and 3rd Ave, I think we’ll see a significant increase in pedestrian traffic and it’s good to show we are more than an industrial area.”

Working with the Steveston Harbour Authority who owns the building and park, these two heritage groups formed a committee with representatives from each of the three non-profits as well as the Richmond Arts Coalition. The committee created a plan for depicting Steveston’s fishing past on three sides of the building.

With support from the City of Richmond, the Steveston Harbour Authority, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society and Benjamin Moore paints, the group hired experienced mural artist Victoria Oginski to begin the work for the south facing wall of the building. Basing her work on images from the Gulf of Georgia Cannery’s collection and photographer Joel Baziuk, Victoria has beautifully captured the essence of today’s fishing industry in Steveston.

According to Sarah Glen, Director on the Steveston Historical Society board, “The Historical Society is excited to share Steveston’s history with the public in a new way. We plan to include the mural in future walking tours of the village to help visitors understand the importance of fishing in our history.”

The group is currently seeking funding to add mural panels on the remaining two sides of the building. These panels will complete the history of fishing in Steveston, from First Nations village to thriving fishing harbour.

Public are invited to the official unveiling of the mural on Sunday, December 6 at noon in Fisherman’s Park at the west end of Moncton Street in Steveston.
For more information:

Rebecca Clarke, Executive Director Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society
12138 Fourth Ave
Richmond, BC V7E 3J1
t: 604.664.9192

4Cats Steveston Art Studio

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Lyssa Kayra, the owner/curator of 4Cats Steveston Art Studio, says people regularly stroll into the studio asking if they can buy artwork on display in the windows. It puts a smile on her face each time this happens, and it must be very satisfying to know that the imaginative creations by 4Cats young clientele are deemed gallery calibre.

Kayra’s fascinating life would be excellent fodder for a memoir. She grew up in Kyuquot, a remote fishing village on the west coast of Vancouver Island accessible only by air or boat. There were neither roads nor cars, and children went to school aboard a school boat. Her Finnish grandfather came to Kyuquot to work in the fishing industry. Kayra tells the tale of her grandmother, a nurse, who delivered a seal pup by C-section. This pup, named Miss Charlie, became the family’s pet and lived for over forty years, the longest life span ever recorded for a seal. She attempts to go back to visit this special place once a year.

After completing her visual arts education at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, and University of New South Wales in Australia, with majors in photography, media arts and fashion, Kayra returned to B.C. and became an assistant to 4Cats Art Studio founders Joey and Darryl Simon.

4Cats Arts Studio was conceived in 2005 when the Simons first offered classes from the basement of their home in Victoria. Joey Simon chose the company name to pay homage to 4Cats Cafe in Barcelona, Spain, which is where Picasso went with artist, poet and philosopher friends to discuss art and life and make and show great art.

A mere eight years since its inception, 4Cats now has head offices in Vancouver and Toronto. With 58 franchises across Canada (Alberta, B.C. Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec), 4Cats has now gone global with locations operating in Australia, Mexico and the United States.

Kayra took on the task of helping franchisees get their businesses up and running. Her job was to locate, decorate, staff, train, evaluate and market studios across B.C. and in Guadalajara, Mexico, until it dawned on her that she should establish her own franchise. Her former business partner, and good friend, Shelley Weir, introduced her to Steveston. They saw the fishing village at its best on a sunny spring afternoon, and realized the potential of opening a 4Cats in this location.

The Steveston art studio has been in operation since 2010. Building on its success, last year the business partners opened a larger second Richmond location at Garden City Mall.

Subsequently, Weir left 4Cats to earn her teaching degree and works as a teacher on call in Vancouver. Kayra is now the sole proprietor of the Steveston location, and Janice Cheung joined her as partner at the Garden City 4Cats. Staff members Merrick Irwin, who is an art therapist, and Jen Branagan, are both assets to the Steveston business.

When asked what she finds most satisfying about her job, Kayra says she is inspired by children’s creativity, and their uninhibited approach to art. In addition to creating art, some age-appropriate art history is offered to complement the class. Captivating and inspiring stories are shared in a fun and humorous manner about the life and work of the artist. For example, did you know that Andy Warhol was crazy about cats and throughout the 1950s and 1960s he had 25 cats, and he named all but one Sam?

Inspiration for art classes is often drawn from the works of famous artists with a medium that corresponds, for instance, a Picasso class may utilize acrylic on canvas to produce cubist paintings and ceramics, while a Frida Kahlo class may use paper-mache and paint acrylic on canvas to create self-portraits.

Kayra’s favourite medium is painting as she feels it allows for the most expression. She enjoys showing kids how to mix colours and says, “It is like magic for them.” She greatly admires artist Frida Kahlo’s honest and raw artwork and even dressed up as her for Halloween last year.

This upcoming winter session 4Cats shines the spotlight on Georgia O’Keeffe (who had an affinity for painting gigantic, beautiful flowers) and Lawren Harris (one of the founders of the Group of Seven). During the weekly classes children study both artists and work in a variety of mediums.

The busy studio also hosts workshops including the upcoming Shop ‘Til You Drop sessions (December 21 through 23) which give parents a chance to shop while their child creates a masterpiece. In addition, there are workshops and camps throughout the year (winter and summer camps, family workshops and Pro-Day workshops too).

4Cats is a great location to host a party; paint splatter parties are always a big hit, with many other themes to choose from. 4Cats gift certificates are a good gift choice for budding Van Gogh’s of all ages (yes, some adult classes are offered too).
When the newly engaged business owner is not working she spends time painting in her home studio. She says her home is much like a rotating gallery and she is drawn to creating large expressionist paintings based on colour theory and process.

With any business what it really comes down to is customer satisfaction, and the following story is an endearing snapshot of 4Cats devoted fan base. Kayra tells the story of a 3-year-old student who visited Victoria with her family. Upon sighting a totem pole she proudly reported that Emily Carr was known for her totem pole paintings. It seems that the art history component of 4Cats curriculum had registered loud and clear.

The urge to release the artist within is unleashed the moment you set foot inside 4Cats Arts Studio. The walls are filled with colourful and joyful artwork, and with tempting art supplies all around, you will feel inspired to sign up for a workshop, pronto!

4Cats Steveston
110-12031 First Avenue
Richmond BC V7E 3M1
Telephone 778-297-4244

Phoenix Art Workshop

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

by Sarah Gordon.

Mark Glavina and I met for coffee, and were accompanied by his extremely loveable two-year-old chocolate Labrador, Charlie. Our conversation meandered from Glavina’s considerable contribution to the arts in Steveston, to his fascinating international painting excursions (yes, you can go too!).

Glavina is the owner of Phoenix Art Workshop which opened in 1997. Amongst Glavina’s arsenal of talents he is an artist, art instructor, successful business owner, special event organizer, art tour operator, and there is one more item that he jokingly adds to this list; he is essentially a juggler by profession. After all, he says, “This is what small business comes down to, let’s try it all.”

Following high school he studied Graphic Design and Illustration at Capilano College. After graduating he worked simultaneously as an illustrator and in the restaurant business where for 17 years, in his true juggler style, he dabbled in all areas including serving, cooking and managing.

Glavina was born in Ottawa and moved to B.C. as a child in 1973. He and his Trinidad born wife, Roxanne, met in the restaurant business and married in 1990. Roxanne Glavina left Trinidad to attend St. Mary’s University in Halifax where she earned an Economics degree. She is currently a consultant with Rising Media. They have two daughters, Niki (17) and Arianne (22). Glavina is a very proud father. After the birth of his daughters there came a day when he realized he had enough of the culinary world. Glavina wanted to set an example and do something that he loved as a profession and he no longer loved the restaurant business. Many people would be thrown into a tail spin at that point, but not Glavina, who simply threw his trusted juggling balls up in the air and decided to draw exclusively on his innate artistic talent.

The Glavinas moved to central Richmond in 1990, and in 1996 settled in Steveston. It was at this time that Glavina opened his first retail location, Phoenix Coastal Arts on Moncton Street. His home studio had been overflowing with framing supplies and he wanted to start painting again, and although this space was initially for his own use, with Glavina’s penchant for reinventing himself, it evolved into much more. In 2001 he expanded the business and opened Phoenix Art Workshop on Chatham Street and closed the Moncton Street space soon afterwards. At Phoenix Art Workshop he was able to offer art classes, custom framing and art supplies, that is, until he outgrew that space.

The Chatham Street location was such a success that Glavina was once again pinched for room, and was now back to running two spaces again. Classes are held at the studio which is located above Bell’s Bake Shop on First Avenue. Art classes for young people and adults are largely centred on the mediums of painting and drawing. Emphasis is placed on visual literacy, design, and individual creativity. Phoenix Art Workshop is also committed to working with the community on public art projects.

There is a saying, if you want something done, give it to a busy person. Such is the case with Glavina; in addition to running the shop and the art classes (he teaches along with other instructors), he also organizes two major annual undertakings.

Steveston’s Grand Prix of Art is a celebration of art in a race format. The concept of the Grand Prix is to promote local arts in a fun and interactive manner. Artists from around the province are invited to participate in a day of “plein air” (open air) painting in the village. They have three hours to complete a work of art and then submit their painting at Britannia Heritage Shipyards Chinese Bunkhouse for display and adjudication. The 3rd Annual Grand Prix of Art takes place on Saturday, September 22nd, with works on display for viewing on Sunday, September 23.

For the past ten years Glavina has been organizing annual painting trips for small groups of approximately twenty participants ranging from ages 16 – 86. These excursions are designed to provide drawing, painting and photographic opportunities in culturally rich locations. Learning about local arts and culture is a key element in planning these tours where travelers have plenty of opportunities to explore their individual interests. In late August Glavina is setting off on an 18 day tour of Italy with a group to visit Florence and the Italian countryside. They will visit galleries and historical sites, attend cooking classes, dine and do plenty of plein air painting.

Previous art tours have included Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, China, Spain and Glavina’s personal favourite, Guatemala. As we finished our coffee, he painted a verbal portrait of a land rich with culture, of beautiful and earthy faces that are an artist’s dream, along with architecture and geography that are stunning to behold. To travel with one of these groups would be the trip of a lifetime.

Plain and simple, Glavina loves Steveston because it is an authentic community. He is encouraged to see that the village is much more arts oriented than when he first arrived in 1996, and I believe this is largely due to his contribution to our community. As for his dog Charlie, as long as he can have a swim every day he couldn’t be happier.

Phoenix Art Workshop
8-3891 Chatham Street

Steveston Tattoo Company

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

Steveston Tattoo Company promises the brightest colours for their works of art. The shop itself is a vibrant and eclectic masterpiece with its warm mustard coloured walls, dark gray wainscoting, an ornate chandelier, a mounted deer head wearing a crown, Balinese masks, antique cabinetry, not to mention an array of wall art. It is easy to imagine shrinking the richness and warmth of the décor down to the size of a tattoo.

Steveston Tattoo Company is the new kid in town; having opened for business in December.  Owner, Ryan Halter, aka “Mr. Halter”, and his right-hand man, Jesse Strong, met four years ago when Halter tattooed Strong. They are pleased by the warm reception they have received as people stroll into the shop and welcome them to the village.  Halter was aware that Steveston was lacking a tattoo shop, and decided to establish his business in this safe and friendly community.  He notes that the lack of security bars on Steveston business windows is a refreshing change.

Halter, who is originally from Kindersley, Saskatchewan, has lived in B.C. for nine years. He has always had a love of art and drawing. Prior to being a tattoo artist he was involved in construction and painting. In 1997 he apprenticed at a tattoo shop in Lethbridge, Alberta.  Before opening Steveston Tattoo Company, he worked at Dutchman Tattoos in Burnaby for eight years and tips his hat to mentor, John “the Dutchman”, a well respected tattoo artist. 

 Strong has been a tattoo enthusiast for as long as he can remember. On his twentieth birthday he began an apprenticeship which he finished with Vinnie Ruocco at New World Tattoo in Surrey, an opportunity for which he is grateful.

 Getting your first tattoo is a big deal. There are many decisions involved including selecting the artwork, where you will position it, and of course, the long term commitment to place “permanent jewellery” on your skin.  Celebrities have made getting inked extremely fashionable, and have helped take away the stigma of tattoos.  Although the possibility of removal exists, (remember Angelina Jolie’s long gone “Billy Bob”?), Steveston Tattoo Company recommends researching your tattoo artwork well, and staying open minded when you choose to proceed.  Halter and Strong take great pride in their artistry.  They will work with you and take into consideration the magnitude of the image, and consider the longevity of the tattoo choice.

 In the City of Richmond you must be age eighteen to get a tattoo, and Steveston Tattoo Company will not tattoo anyone younger.  Although we shared a joke about the stereotypical drunken sailor who staggers into the tattoo shop, Steveston Tattoo Company will not tattoo anyone under the influence. The shop is as clean as a whistle. They use disposable gloves, single use needles, and the use of autoclave equipment for sterilization. They follow all of the hygienic procedures required by Coastal Health to run a professional and reputable shop.  

 Halter and Strong are a very warm and entertaining team, and their goal is to make you feel comfortable, whether it is your first, or one of many tattoos. Their diverse clientele ranges from long term customers who are building their collection, who Halter describes as an interesting and fun crowd, to housewives and lawyers. They have tattooed all walks of life; to date their oldest client was a 72-year-old grandmother.

 Halter is known by friends as a family man, and is a devoted father and husband. He has three children, ages one, ten and sixteen. He and his family hope to move to the Steveston area soon as the commute from his home is proving to be time consuming.  His family enjoys visiting the village and the proximity of the water appeals to him. Both Halter and Strong like the feel of small town Steveston, which is what attracts so many of us here.  

Philanthropy is extremely important to Steveston Tattoo Company. In December they donated $20 from every tattoo towards Vancouver’s Covenant House.  This year they intend to continue giving back to the community.

 Welcome to the village, Steveston Tattoo Company, and thank you for injecting some extra colour into our lives!

110-12020 1st Avenue


written by Sarah Gordon, photos by Sandra Steier

Steveston Receives New Art

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Vancouver Whale Watch will be unveiling a 3000lb wooden sculpture this Friday, October 28, 2011 at 1pm.  Location is on the boardwalk between Sockeye City Grill and Pajo’s (Bayview Street & Third Ave).  The sculpture has not yet been seen but was commissioned by Cedric Towers of Vancouver Whale Watch as part of a reality TV show called Saw Dogs.  The show will air sometime this spring on Outdoor Life Network.

The wooden sculpture will be a mother Orca whale pushing her baby to the surface for it’s first breath, hence the name “First Breath”.  The sculpture’s location has been approved by Steveston Harbour Authority but may find another permanent location nearby pending the size and suitability of the boardwalk space.

Saw Dogs description from their website

A team of the world’s top chainsaw sculptors battle a deadline, and conflicting artistic sensibilities, to complete a series of commissioned wood carving projects on a scale never before seen. “Master Carver” and Saw Dogs Project Manager Steve Blanchard and his foreman introduce us to the hidden folk art of “Chainsaw Carving” – an incredible world hidden from the masses for over 50 years.

From Saw Dogs headquarters, Steve and his foreman pull from a pool of the best carvers in the world, matching their special skill sets to each week’s project, to craft some of the most intricate wood carvings imaginable. But unlike other crafts, chainsaw carving has an element of danger. Mistakes have resulted in loss of limb and even death. Confronting the chainsaw challenge requires a steady hand, a fearless disposition and a healthy ego.

Steveston Grand Prix of Art

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

September 17, 2011 – Steveston Grand Prix of Art’s  official map to be released September 14th in Richmond News special pull out event guide.  Thirty amazing painting locations in and around Steveston Village, hosting over Sixty artists, competing for  $1000 in cash and prizes as well as bragging rights for the Grand Prix of Art Championship.
The concept of the Grand Prix of Art is to celebrate artists from around the province, painting in “Plein Air”.   Britannia Heritage Shipyards (Richmond) will act as our host with participating artists being allocated a painting location in and around Steveston.  Artists will have 3 hours to complete a work of art, before returning it to the shipyards for display and adjudication – in what will prove to be another very successful event.
Coast Capital Savings as a Community Partner generously contributing the 1st place award for the 2nd annual Grand Prix of Art. Richmond News will host the “Peoples Choice Award” printing ballots and promoting the September 17th painting event of the year.  Local cafe Bean and Beyond will be providing lunch to artist and volunteers following the epic painting battle.  On Sunday September 18th Richmond Artist’s Guild will host the display of works at the Chinese Bunk House from 10am – 3pm with a commission from sales going to support that organization.
For more information please contact us at 604-448-1860
or visit the event web site   for race details, schedule and a list of location partners as well as artist who have registered.

Steveston Grand Prix of Art

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

Phoenix Art Workshop is once again sponsoring the art event of the year.  Our picturesque village will host the 2nd annual Steveston Grand Prix of Art, Saturday, September 17th, 2011.  Last year’s Grand Prix celebrated fifty-six artists, painting in thirty stunning locations in Steveston.  Dozens of volunteers and local businesses contributed to the success of our inaugural event with even more support for this years painting competition.  The art race of the year kicks off at 10am on Saturday with the results being displayed at Britannia Heritage Shipyard’s Chinese bunk house Sunday, September 18th, from 10am – 4pm.
The concept of the Grand Prix of Art is to celebrate artists from around the province, painting in “Plein Air”.   Britannia Heritage Shipyards in Richmond will act as our host with participating artists being allocated a painting location in and around Steveston.  Artists will have 3 hours to complete a work of art, before returning it to the shipyards for display and adjudication.  Over $1000 in Cash awards will be  presented to finalists including several youth and participation awards.  Visitors will have say as well with an opportunity to vote for the “People’s Choice Award”.
We are proud to announce Richmond News, Coast Capital Savings, Bean and Beyond, Rossiter Design,  Britannia Heritage Shipyards and the Richmond Artist Guild, and the Gulf of Georgia Society as our Community Partners.  Richmond News will be helping us raise the event’s profile, promoting our 2nd annual art race with feature stories leading up to the event, publishing ballots for our Peoples Choice award as well as providing an event pull out map, Wednesday, September 14th.
As official sponsor and coordinator for this event, Phoenix Art Workshop we are thrilled to be once again be organizing this wonderful event in our own neighborhood.  Our hope is, next year our event will be the final stop in a series of this type around the province creating the first ever BC Grand Prix of Art Provincial Circuit.  
For more information please contact us at 604-448-1860
 or visit our event web site