Singers, dancers, actors and artists often share a common goal to one day gain recognition for their talents, whether it be on the big screen or stage.
That time has arrived for Vernon-raised artist Amanda Shatzko, who just had her artwork featured in the Big Apple, on a number of giant screens.
Shatzko recently exhibited her paintings on 25 storey-tall digital billboards attached to a high-rise on the corner of 46th and Broadway in New York City’s famed intersection, Times Square.
Her work was part of an exhibition organized by a New York art gallery, and was her second exhibition in the American metropolis.
“I was at first shocked when I was contacted by the gallery in New York. They were telling me that I was voted and juried into the exhibition based off of my recent paintings and concepts,” said Shatzko. “It’s nice to have the encouragement from the art community.”
A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Shatzko has spent the last year travelling the world performing, researching, and speaking for renowned art galleries about the history and concepts of art.
However, she says her heart remains where her roots lie – in the Okanagan.
When in B.C., Shatzko resides in Vancouver, but she frequently visits her family in Vernon, where she grew up creating alongside her father, Pete Shatzko, in his large shop on acreage with a garage converted into a studio for his daughters to continuously explore their creative minds.
Immersed in the arts as a child, she was also exposed to a healthy athletic lifestyle, including training with Camille Martens at the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastic Club. After graduating from Vernon Secondary School’s high performance program, and also competing internationally for seven years as a rhythmic gymnast, representing Canada, Shatzko pursued her career in the arts in Vancouver.
She has worked as an aerial artist, performing live paintings while harnessed in the air doing stunts, for film and television, live in front of more than 100,000 people, on stages for shows, corporate events, ceremonies and charities.
She has painted numerous sports celebrities and was commissioned by the Canadian government to paint athletes live at the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010.
She has also exhibited in the permanent collection of the Mayfair Boutique Hotels and with international gallery ContainerArt, which was seen by 800,000 people during a three-week run.
Her latest achievement is being named as the new official artist for the Jimi Hendrix Family Foundation. A painting of the late, great guitarist was used in her Times Square exhibition.
“It’s all about the experience,” says Shatzko, who hopes to host an exhibition in the Okanagan in the near future, sharing her newest concepts and paintings.
“My passion is enriching diverse cultures through the arts. I live this through my public speaking, artwork, performances, research and consulting.”