Unique Opportunity for Up and Coming Artists in Toronto

A group of young visual artists have been offered a dream opportunity in the Downtown-Leslieville area. They were provided with a positive space, quality meals, and the supplies needed in order to pursue their passion of creating art through painting. House of Moments owner Hamid Kouchak approached thriving and promising young artists in the hopes of supporting them in their endeavors. This is a goal that harmonizes with House of Moments’ mission to grow within Toronto’s artistic community and support local talent. The three current resident artists’ work will be shown in an upcoming art exhibit at the venue’s event on November 21st: Evolving Women. The exhibit will run until Dec. 5th 2013 for House of Moments’ guests to enjoy. This is the first event of it’s kind at House of Moments and Hamid hopes to make it a recurring project, showcasing even more talent.

Aspiring painter and illustrator Paulene Sang came into contact with Hamid after participating in Seneca’s Independent Illustration Program Grad Exhibit at the restaurant and lounge itself. Hamid admired her work and decided to offer support as Paulene establishes herself as a professional artist. Presented with the opportunity to come and go as she pleased, Paulene took it upon herself to stick to a full time schedule. She feels this is the best way to make the best of such a unique opportunity. When questioned, the artist expressed a deep gratitude to Hamid and the welcoming atmosphere at House of Moments. Paulene has high hopes for the future and is grateful for such a great start to her career as an artist. She will be in attendance for the debut of the Evolving Women Exhibit where her current work (a series of beautifully inspired paintings) will be displayed. Joining her are two other aspiring artists at House of Moments who have received the same opportunity.

Katrina Cañedo will be among the three featured during the exhibition and thanks Paulene for the opportunity. The latter was encouraged to reach out to her artistic friends with Hamid’s offer, and Katrina was a perfect fit. From her early years in the Philippines to her schooling in Toronto, she has always been passionate about the arts.  Katrina draws from her various internships and positions within artistic establishments and companies to put together a series that will surely wow attending guests of the Evolving Women Exhibit. The opportunity at House of Moments differs from others she has been offered in terms of its uniqueness and freedom of creativity. Katrina feels that it isn’t everyday an aspiring artist is offered an exhibition as well as the materials necessary to produce it. Her gratitude cannot be fully expressed, though she intends to show it through her high quality work. She hopes this will translate to guests of the exhibit and cannot wait to show them her works of art.

This exhibition will be the first Canadian art show featuring artist Atena Salehi. Atena was born and raised in Tehran, Iran where she received her B.A. in painting at the University of Art and Architecture of Tehran. Her artistic pieces have been the subjects of ten exhibitions, seven of which have been individual shows. Established as an art teacher here in Toronto, Atena knows the type of work she enjoys and cannot wait to show it to the public. She describes her series of paintings as bold and naïve in colour, mysterious in nature, and focusing on the use of masks on vibrant women. Atena prefers not to explain the art and to let it speak for itself, encouraging guests to draw their own meanings from her art. This opportunity is ideal for the painter to truly make an artistic home here in Toronto, Ontario and she would like to thank Hamid for that. Her first year as an artist in the city has been successful, and she hopes to build on that through this amazing opportunity.

House of Moments opened its doors at 386 Carlaw Ave, just over a year ago and has already made an impact within the artistic community of Toronto. Upon entering the venue, it only takes a moment to notice the artistic influences. Sculptures, imported wooden doors, large Buddha statues, and an in-house art gallery are only a few examples of the exuberance of the restaurant-lounge-gallery hybrid.  The eccentric venue is providing an equally unique opportunity for artists in Toronto, and hopes to continue to do so.  Hamid Kouchak is always on the lookout for new and promising artists and encourages passionate, creative individuals to reach out to him. His passion for the arts is evident through his venue and his many artistic ventures. He hopes that the Evolving Women Exhibit on November 21st is not the last of it’s kind and would love to continue to support the next successful artists of Toronto. (Exhibit will feature work by Paulene Sang, Katrina Cañedo, Atena Salehi).

-Ryen Martel

Toronto, Ontario