Fun colours and lines coming together in abstract beauty
By Leah Ching, Editor-in-Chief
The art of local artist and Lakehead Alumni, Vik Wilen, is radiant and evocative to say the least. Using acrylic and watercolour paints, Wilen’s work depicts natural themes in the most creative of ways, featuring mountainscapes, waves, and trees as her subject matter, to name a few. Wilen’s work is filled with vibrant and intersecting colours and lines, displaying a creativity and natural talent that earned her the title of “Thunder Bay’s Next Top Artist”, at the Craft Show and Art Competition back in 2014. It’s not difficult to understand why when you take a look at Wilen’s work. With fun and playful paintings, her art is filled with expressionist creativity and bold elements that demand the attention of the viewer. Invoking earthly elements found in nature, these themes come alive off the canvas, enhanced by with vivid colours and curved brush strokes.
Wilen spoke with The Argus, and told us a bit about the myriad of places she draws inspiration from. “I draw inspiration from many places, nature being a huge part of my creativity, and my yoga practice as well,” she said. “I have a lot of passions that take me outdoors: hiking, climbing, camping, surfing, all these interests often showcase in my work.”
Wilen’s love for the ocean features prominently in her subject matter, and in the bright blues and greens that colour her pieces. “I have a huge fascination with water, our lake, the ocean,” she said.
As a self-taught artist, Vik Wilen went to college for environmental technician training, and then to Lakehead for Environmental management. Now, Wilen teaches yoga at Moksha Yoga, a factor that plays a role in the creation process of the art she makes. “I teach and practice yoga daily, which has allowed me to channel the energy I feel when in a place out onto canvas.” It’s not hard to see why Wilen’s big playful paintings have been such a hit locally. Much like the artist herself, her paintings are fun and enigmatic. With fun colours and lines coming together in abstract beauty, the energy and zeal of the artist is reflected strongly in her art.
From now until the end of April, thirteen of Wilen’s pieces are on display at Espresso Joya, located at 8 Cumberland St. South. The second installation of work from the artist at this particular coffee shop/art gallery is proving to be just as successful as the first. Participating in an opening event, and then an art showcase for “Urban Infill: Art At the Core 11,” Wilen’s pieces are a hit.
Viewers can see and purchase Wilen’s art at Espresso Joya until the end of April, or visit her on Instagram or Facebook at @VikWilen, or check out her website at Vikwilen.com. Wilen is also available for commissioned works, with more information available on her website.
When talking about future plans, Wilen’s energetic persona and high ambition mean not much time to rest before the next installation. Currently working on new work for her next installation, Wilen will have art installed at Calico Coffeehouse at 316 Bay Street starting April 10th. She is looking forward to participating in some Spring and Summer craft shows, including the sixth annual Foundry Craft Revival in May.
When it comes to long term goals, the artist is full of big dreams, “I’ve recently been dreaming up a plan to do a cross-Canada Yoga and Art tour. I’m not sure if it will transpire but it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. Who knows maybe in September I will pull it off!” As an immensely talented and creative local artist, Vik Wilen and her fun and soulful art are sure to make a permanent mark on the Canadian arts and culture scene!