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Monique Westra: Pet Project

September 15, 2015


Did you know that Monique Westra, our favourite curator, writer and speaker, is also an artist?

Although art has always been in Monique’s life, her passion was largely devoted to art history and not the practice of studio art. Most recently she was art curator at the Glenbow Museum from 2002 to 2010, following more than a decade of teaching art history at ACAD. Monique began to pursue her love of painting by attending art classes where she learned to paint in oils primarily through large-scale and increasingly complex copies of works by famous artists. Monique’s art was informed by her extensive knowledge of the history of art. She painted landscapes, portraits, still-life and abstractions. But her real subject was not yet discovered. Then, in the spring of 2011, a great new dog changed her life. Murphy was an 11 month-old Golden Doodle when he was lovingly adopted by the Westra family. He became the subject of her first dog portrait. She has done many portraits of dogs since then and she loves it. Monique’s signature style is to incorporate a lively background which is always different and eye-catching. In her small and intimate portraits, Monique combines realism and abstraction, with careful observation and precision in the foregrounds and a more imaginative approach in the backgrounds.

A select group of Monique Westra’s portraits of pets will be on view at Masters Gallery in Calgary from September 15 – 20, 2015. She will be in attendance, Saturday, September 19th and Sunday, September 20th.

If you would like to commission a portrait and see more examples of Monique’s work, visit her website.

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