We’re excited to introduce Marina Nazarova, a Russian-Canadian visual artist and illustrator based in Toronto. Marina is one of our Northbound artists, and she will be at NYA’s upcoming fundraiser this month doing live paintings!

We spoke to Marina about her arts background, her artwork, and the importance of public art. Keep reading to learn more!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your arts background.

I grew up in Russia and moved to Canada when I was 19, leaving my family and friends behind. The new life turned me upside down and since then I always felt like there is two of me that exists. I began to investigate the themes of personal identity and duality through my figurative paintings when I studied at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver. Now based in Toronto I continue to explore this subject from my home studio.

What themes do you explore with your work, and where do you draw inspiration?

I draw my inspirations from people I meet, places I go and photographs that I find or take myself. Essentially any source that can tell me a story about dual realities and shifting perceptions.

 Why do you think public art is so important in a community? 

I believe that public art is absolutely a necessary component of any city. In a way it’s a rather magical element that not just beautifies the neighbourhood and gives the place an identity, but importantly it unites people and builds communities. Art in public spaces is accessible. Everyone can enjoy it, experience it, and feel it. The artwork creates a strong narrative that can be inspiring and moving.

What are you looking forward to at North York Arts’ Beers And Brushes fundraiser next month?

I’m looking forward to meeting new people and sharing my love for painting. I want to see North Toronto engaged in the cultural life and staying curious about arts.

Don’t miss Marina’s live paintings at Beers and Brushes on October 24! To learn more about our fundraiser and buy tickets, visit northyorkarts.org/fundraiser. To learn more about Marina, visit marinanazarova.com.

Interview by: Kavita Gurm

Communications and Events Assistant