I am a practicing visual artist working with graphite, wax/oil pencils, charcoal and pastels. I live on beautiful
Salt Spring Island and work in my studio/gallery (Studio 22FortyNine) full time exploring and investigating the
intricate details seen in portraits of people, plants and the shoreline that surrounds us.
Having created work for public installations, gallery exhibitions and private collections I continue to push my
work into areas that gives the viewer opportunities for dialogue around issues related to social change, the
speed of our lives and the peace instilled from the natural environment.
I hold a Diploma in Design, a BFA with distinctions from Concordia University in Montreal, Art Teacher
Certification and an M.Ed. from UBC.
Equality of Same: Lorraine (permanent collection Surrey Art Gallery)
2015, 37" x 53" color pencil on white board
EXHIBITIONS, ARTICLES AND AWARDS
2018 Group show: DECADENCE, Round House Gallery, Vancouver
2018 Featured Artist: Professional Artist Magazine: two page spread, interview and write-up.
2018 Featured Artist: Pencil.com
2018 Featured Artist: Artsy Shark.com
2018 Featured Artist: Colour Pencil Book “Color Pencil Treasures 5”
2018 Featured Artist: Colour Pencil Society of America Explore This 14
2017 Invited artist: SNAPP Parallel Show, Art Spring, Salt Spring Island
2017 Solo show: "The Stillness of Life", Salt Spring Arts Council show case featured artist
2017 Invited artist: "Body of Work", Salt Spring Arts Council art show
2016 Artcraft: Salt Spring Arts Council, Mahon Hall
2015 Aquisitions: SAG, permanent collection, "Parkinsons the Destroyer"
2015 Aquisitions: SAG, permanent collection, "Equality of Same: Lorraine"
2015 Award: Americans for the Arts Public Art Network outstanding works for the 2014 Public Art Year in Review. Award for Year of Reconciliation public art project.
2015 Finalist: The Kingston Prize, Ontario, Canada
2015 Group Show: Queer Arts Festival,Round House Gallery, Vancouver
2015 Solo Show: Place Des Arts Gallery: Coquitlam, British Columbia- September/October
2015 Guest Artist Talk: Surrey Art Gallery, Views from the Southbanks II, talk and discussion.
2015 SOLO show: The CultchCultch, Vancouver. January/February.
2015 Invited Artist: Surrey Art Gallery: group show 40th anniversary, Views from the SouthbanksSouthbank II.
2014 Public Art Award: City of Seattle, 10 years art on display - "Going Places"
2014 Public Art Award: City of Vancouver, Year of Reconciliaiton - "It's Written on Your Face", work displayed in 24 bus shelters around Vancouver.
2014 Vancouver, Year of Reconciliation Education and postcard Booklets.
2014 City of Surrey, selected artist for permanent collection.
2014 Award: ARTS 2014. First Place Award. Surrey Art Gallery.
2014 Review: “The Art of Reconciliation: Words that hit home by Jeannette Sirois”, Vancouver Sun.
2014 TriReview: City News: Interview and review of Beyond Real: Overexposed Underexposed
2014 Finalist: The Miracle of the Portrait. Portrait Society of Canada. Finalist.
2014 Invitation by the City of Vancouver: Public art Talk, Year of Reconciliation,
2014 Invitation by the City of Vancouver: Public art project, artists talk.
2014 Solo Show: BEYOND REAL. Leigh Square, gallery
2014 Group Show: About Face. North Vancouver Community Arts Council,
2014 Group Show: Explore this! 10. Colored Pencil Society of America. CPSA District Chapters Award
for Exceptional Merit.
2013 Finalist: The Miracle of the Portrait. Portrait Society of Canada. Finalist.
2013 Group Show: AIRS. Federation of Canadian Artists, International Group show.
2013 Award: ARTS 2013. Surrey Art Gallery, juried show. FIRST PLACE AWARD, 2D WORKS.
2005 Group Show: ARTS 2005. Surrey Art Gallery.
2004 Group Show: ARTS 2004. Surrey Art Gallery, juri
1997 Aquisitions: Peace River North. Permanent Collection.
1997 Solo Show: Fort Nelson Art Gallery.
Atrium Gallery: Beyond Real - Overexposed, Underexposed, Pencil and Coloured Pencil Works by Jeanette Sirois
Written by Oliver McTavish, Place Des Arts curator
“I see the human face as a book which reads of one's passage through this world, and the act of negotiating the process of wake/sleep moments in our days” – Jeanette Sirois
Jeanette Sirois is an artist fascinated by the human face and its ability to reveal aspects of character and explore issues of aging, racism, economic and social status, familial relations and others. Using hyper-realistic drawing techniques, Jeanette pushes the boundaries beyond the real, capturing the first stages of contact with the subject. These moments do not flatter, they reveal subjects at their best and worst, at their most fragile, vulnerable or messy states. The details left behind by Sirois’ masterful coloured pencils exhibit the times in which we remove ourselves from control, letting our guard down. With line, form, shape and colour, Jeanette Sirois finds beauty in all humanity, in the natural cracks in their frowns or smiles and the detailed colours in their skin, sharing a message of who we are.
Two years ago, Jeannette Sirois' younger sister, a photographer, sent her an email out of the blue about The Kingston Prize, a national portrait competition.
Sirois was perplexed about her sibling's intentions as she was primarily an abstract painter, drawer and designer; however, the Surrey resident and Langara College visual arts lecturer decided to give a whirl although she had never taken a portraiture class in her life.
Despite being pleased with her submission, Sirois' entry didn't make the cut but the challenge spurred her on to do more. A few months later, her second-ever portrait took first place with the Surrey Arts Gallery and, since then, her new-found skill has won rave reviews and accolades.
Now, Sirois has her first collection of portraits, titled Beyond Real: Overexposed Underexposed, which will be unveiled at Port Coquitlam's Leigh Square Community Arts Village next week.
Her series features 21 images of hired models, close friends and family members, ranging in age from 20 to 80. And the process she used to capture each of them in a non-traditional way - i.e., outside of a studio setting - was meticulous.
Because she admits she has difficulty reading faces and proportions, Sirois spent about two hours talking and walking with each subject, snapping up to 400 photos per person to record their facial expressions. Sirois wanted to make them feel comfortable so the chatter would happen in a living room or on a trail - anywhere they would feel more relaxed, she said.
Then, at her computer, she sifted through the digital pictures and zeroed in on her favourites. Using the software PhotoShop, Sirois played with the images - overexposing, underexposing, cropping and adjusting the composition, for example - until she settled on a few. Those images - the ones that she believed brought out the most character - became the basis of her portrait drawings.
Every drawing took between 70 and 100 hours and were done in a new medium for her: pencil crayon, which Sirois says offers the most control for portraits.
But sometimes when Sirois showed her subjects the finished project, the raw elements of the face - that is, the lines, wrinkles, frowns, etc. - generated a negative reaction, she said.
Still, Sirois said she's encouraged by the feedback to her artwork. After her inaugural show ends in PoCo on Jan. 12, her collection will be exhibited at The Cultch in Vancouver.
The opening reception for Jeannette Sirois' Beyond Real: Overexposed Underexposed is on Thursday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Leigh Square Community Arts Village (behind PoCo city hall). There is no cost for admission and Christmas-themed refreshments will be served.
@jwarrenTC © Copyright 2015 Tri-City News