Margareta Boivin (M)(MBoivin) is a Canadian show-artist, painter, photographer, multi-media producer, and film-maker. M was first introduced to oil painting by her high-school teacher Mr. Yoll, who voiced that in his entire career as a teacher, M has produced the best works for him. Right after high school, M studied fashion design at Fanshawwe College in London, Ontario; she loved it very much so; however, due to personal reasons she stopped attending classes. She then enrolled at the University of Windsor from where she obtained a Bachelors degree in Computer Science, and an Honours degree in Political Science with a minor in Philosophy. As if this education was not enough, her true love for painting led her to study arts and in 2010, she obtained an additional degree in Visual Arts, Art History, and Visual Culture. This is when M met her professor Iain Baxter& a famous Canadian conceptual artist and a recipient of the Officer of the Order of Canada (2003) Award, whom she stamped as the creative force who took her artistry out of the box and to a new fearless level.
"Professor Iain Baxter& encouraged me to be creative. Under his directive, my creativity blossomed and I learned to express my feelings on canvas in nonconventional ways. Many of my ideas for the projects that I am currently working on began with Iain Baxter&. Dr. Baxter& made me believe in my talent; he told me that if I choose to continue to paint then I could become a successful painter and go far in my career as a painter.”
After obtaining an Honours degree in Visual Arts, Art History, and Visual Culture, M began her career as a commercial painter selling her paintings in Detroit, Michigan. In 2007, M decided that producing commercial art was not for her, and decided to join the navy, travel the oceans, and see where her gut feeling will take her art career next. In 2009, M was sent to the city of Halifax to participate in a prestigious ceremony, the Queen”s Colour. She loved Halifax so much that the following year she moved to Halifax, and started sailing the Atlantic Ocean on HMCS Goose Bay. That same year, she crossed the Arctic Circle as part of the Operation Nanook 2010. M said,
"“When I started sailing I saw how amazingly beautiful Canada is, and it made me miss painting. I would go out on the sweep deck and stare at the ocean or the nearby land if I could see any, and I would put the puzzles together – puzzles meaning parts of the places that I have seen to create what would later become my Through Canada with a Camera and a Paintbrush collection. Whenever I had the chance to stare at the ocean, I would design paintings in my head. The long hours of staring at the ocean created a collection of some of the most admired paintings by the public, in 2012 I decided to leave commercial work and become a show-artist.””
M was born in Lublin, Poland, in a city that is important to the European culture and is a home to 5 prestigious universities. Her father is a retired electronics engineer, and the son of a trucking and construction businessman who lost everything during WWII. Her mother is the daughter of a military neurosurgeon. When M was 10 years old, her parents fled the communist Poland to Austria where for 2 years M attended the Austrian school system and learned to speak German. In Austria, her parents seeked help at a refugee camp in the town of Treiskirchen; however, due to overcrowding in the camp, her family was refused help and was left to fetch on their own. For the following few months, the family of 5 lived in a car and a small tent. When it became too cold outside, they asked a local church in the town of Pernitz for help. The Church in Pernitz organized the town's people and the family was offered shelter, food, and clothing. The local people even provided work for her father who at that time did not have a work permit. Eventually, with the help of some of the town's residents, her father received a work permit and was able to work in his field as an electronics engineer for the Electrabregenz company. For almost two years, Margareta and her sisters attended the Austrian schools where they learned to speak German. Finally, in 1990, Margareta's family was sponsored to Windsor, Ontario, and Canada became their home. Margareta has said that Austria and the Austrian people will always be in her heart.
In 2012, M decided to stop selling her art and become a show-artist. The following year, she traveled to Europe to explore ideas for her own museum. She visited many museums, but after visiting the Peter Paul Rubens museum in Belgium, she finally found the prototype. In 2015, her husband started managing her career, and began negotiating the establishment of M’s private museum. The museum will feature all MBoivin paintings; however, M is also open to supporting talented artists. The museum is expected to open in the fall of 2019, in the Detroit area. Since, then M has declined most requests from the public to purchase her art, and started putting on art-shows to perfect her show-business skills.
In 2015, M put on her first art-show in Halifax, NS, featuring her collection Through Canada with a Camera and a Paintbrush. Other shows followed. The On the Goose Bay collection, The Charming PEI collection, and the Siberia collection were all very successful. By the end of 2016, M had already put on 7 solo and 5 in-collaboration shows covering Nova Scotia and Ontario. Her works quickly became a success with articles being written in different journals and newspapers about her work including the Scotian Scene, The Link, The Lookout, Kalejdoskop, and the Halifax Chronicle Herald. In 2016, her "November Bravo" painting was featured on the cover of a national naval journal, the LINK.
M describes herself as:
• Someone who changes her mind quite often but at the same time always knows what she wants
• having a nomad gene of a gipsy
• someone who is guided by a gut feeling and many talents
• someone who knows how to bring the best potential out of people
• an animal lover
• someone who will not kill a fly, and actually saves them from drowning
• someone who should never be disrespected or pushed over the edge
M is a vegetarian and a big supporter of animal rights. She volunteered at the SPCA in Dartmouth, NS, and then adopted 5 cats. She is not shy of supporting animal rights on social media and promoting better animal rights legislation. She condemns anyone who wears fur or leather. Her plan, when she opens up her museum, is to generate money toward animal rights.
M works in a variety of mediums such as painting, film/video, and installation. She prefers painting in oil claiming that oil paintings have a prestige above other medium paintings. When asked about the type of art that hangs in her house, she said, “No reproductions will ever hang in my house because it cheapens the décor. I would rather have an ugly, but original, painting hanging in my house, than a beautiful reproduction."
M’s painting style is like no other; she has coined it as Hapaist-Boivinism, explaining Hapaist-Boivinism as a style influenced by different cultures that incorporates mixed styles of art, and is folkloric in nature. M is considered to be one of the most diverse genre painters of all time, having painted Marine art, Animal art, Cityscape art, Erotic art, Film, Folk art?, Mixed media, Abstract art, Landscape art, Installation art, Portrait art, Religious art, Historic Art, Still life, and Military art.
COLLECTIONS & EXHIBITIONS
First Collection: Through Canada with a Camera and a Paintbrush (dayviewed Fall 2014)
M's first show, Through Canada with a Camera and a Paintbrush day-viewed in September 2014, in Halifax, NS. The collection featured 10 large paintings that conjoin to make up a large mural. Each painting incorporates several scenes from the different times that M sailed on HMCS Goose Bay. Although there were some doubts from the public regarding some of the representations and whether they exist in Canada, M explained that,
"The individual homes or parts of the paintings actually exist in Canada; however, they do not exist side by side one another and that is why the paintings may be confusing to some of the public. But really, Through Canada with a Camera and a Paintbrush is a representation of Canada and the multicultural aspect of Canada, and that is all. It cannot be criticized because
Canada is so diverse, and is seen and explained through the eyes of peoples who come from so many different cultures that it is impossible to criticize anyone's vision of Canada.”
Through Canada was inspired by an article written by the senior designer for the Canadian pavilion at Expo 67, Jackques Dalibard, who questioned the Canadian identity after having a hard time defining it. In the same way, M questioned the Canadian identity, which caused a bit of a controversy amongst some people who clearly considered themselves as Canadian with a well defined identity. However, M stated that, In Canada people can have a Canadian identity, but that does not mean that their Canadian neighbour will have much in common with their identity. In the end, multicultural-identity is what clearly defines Canadians as Canadian. To this date, this collection of paintings is her largest collection spanning a total 17.92 m in length.
Collection: Through Canada with a Camera and a Paintbrush
List of paintings and sizes
1. TITLE Canada and Multiculturalism within Cities I, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 183 cm x 183 cm, DATE 2009-2012
2. TITLE Canada and Multiculturalism within Cities II, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 196 cm x 132 cm, DATE 2012
3. TITLE Summer in Iqaluit, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 116 cm x 81 cm, DATE 2012
4. TITLE Native Pride in Canada, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 245 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2012
5. TITLE Peggy's Cove and Labrador, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 213 cm x 130 cm, DATE 2013
6. TITLE Summer in Saguenay, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 245 cm x 119 cm, DATE 2013
7. TITLE While Kayaking in BC I, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 152 cm x 102 cm, DATE 2011-2012
8. TITLE While Kayaking in BC II, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 152 cm x 102 cm, DATE 2011-2012
9. TITLE Canadian Architecture and Heritage I, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 170 cm x 140 cm, DATE 2013
10. TITLE (Canadian Architecture and Heritage II, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 120 cm x 100 cm, DATE 2013
Second Collection: The Charming PEI (dayviewed Summer 2015)
The second show, The Charming PEI, was dayviewed at the Visual Arts Nova Scotia Corridor Gallery. The collection included 13 small paintings that were conjointly framed into one large painting. The show received some press from the Halifax Chronicle Herald Newspaper for artistry and the use of local Prince Edward Island (PEI) sandstone, which M collected during her travels with the Navy. To demonstrate her unconventional ways of framing this particular collection, M created a video showing the design process of an unconventional frame that plays a vital part in the representation and artistry of the finished piece.
Collection: The Charming PEI
List of paintings and sizes
1. TITLE Panmure Island Lighthouse, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
2. TITLE The Afternoon View of Cavendish Beach, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
3. TITLE Through the Narrows I, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
4. TITLE Through the Narrows II, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
5. TITLE The Cape Bear Lighthouse, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
6. TITLE The Elephant Rock: Where Did You Go, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
7. TITLE The Morning View of Cavendish Beach, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 30 cm x 40, DATE 2015
8. TITLE The View of Cape Tryon, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 20 cm x 25, DATE 2015
9. TITLE The Province House of Confederation, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 20 cm x 25, DATE 2015
10. TITLE St. Dustan’s Basilica, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 20 cm x 25, DATE 2015
11. TITLE The Country Side of PEI I, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 20 cm x 25, DATE 2015
12. TITLE The Country Side of PEI II, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 20 cm x 25, DATE 2015
13. TITLE The Country Side of PEI III, MEDIUM acrylic & sandstone, SIZE 20 cm x 25, DATE 2015
Third Collection: On the Goose Bay (Dayviewed Fall 2015)
On the Goose Bay was day-viewed in 2015, in Halifax, NS, with artists Natan Nevo and Gerry Castle. This collection featured 6 medium to large size paintings depicting M's travels with the Canadian Navy on the HMCS Goose Bay naval ship. In this collection, M wanted to depict the actual work of sailors that she felt was misrepresented in the marine genre paintings. She wanted to show the everyday life of sailors, their work, and training.
Sailors are some of the hardest working people and the job is not at all easy, she said. She wanted to depict the good-times and the hard-working times at sea. To this date, M stated that her first trip to the Arctic, during Operation Nanook (2010), was her most memorable one because the crew was amazing, and the ship took part in the line-crossing Ceremony and did a polar bear dip in the arctic ocean. One of her paintings from this collection depicted the polar bear dip, her first vision of a huge iceberg, and her first vision of a polar bear out in the wild. From this collection, the November Bravo painting was featured inside the West Coast based naval newspaper, the Lookout. The same painting was soon featured on the cover of the national naval journal, the LINK, and her painting Out There on the Atlantic Ocean was featured on the inside of the journal.
Collection: On the Goose Bay List of paintings and sizes
1. TITLE November Bravo, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 57 x 144, DATE 2015
9. TITLE Canadian Architecture and Heritage I, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 140 cm x 170 cm, DATE 2013
3. TITLE Finally Heading Back Home, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 100 cm, DATE 2015
4. TITLE Out There on the Atlantic Ocean, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2015
5. TITLE Three Memories, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2015
6. TITLE Towards the Sunset, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 75 cm, DATE 2015
7. TITLE The Last Mass, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2015
The Siberia collection is the largest in scope, including 14 medium-size paintings portraying the memories of Poles who survived deportations to Siberia during WWII, and a documentary film with actual gulag survivors talking about their experiences. The Siberia show was M’s hardest to date. In her on-line diary, she describes the creation process as emotionally draining, and mentions not being emotionally ready for such a huge undertaking. Conversations about the Siberia show were heard on the AM800 radio station in Windsor, Ontario, while it was being dayviewed in Windsor, Ontario in June 2016. The November 2016 show in London, Ontario, was very successful bringing in hundreds of people. The London, Ontario based newspaper, Kalejdoskop, wrote an article about the show and M's efforts to educate the public on WWII.
List of paintings and sizes
1. TITLE Property Stanczak, 1939, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2016
2. TITLE The Plunder of Mr. Stanczak's Property, 1939, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 100 cm, DATE 2016
3. TITLE No Place to Hide, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 60 cm x 90, DATE 2016
4. TITLE The Last Visit with Our Father, 1939, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 100 cm, DATE 2016
5. TITLE With Axes and Hoes, 1939, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 100 cm, DATE 2016
6. TITLE Property Bas, 1939, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2016
7. TITLE Against the Wall, Don’t Move, You Have 1 Hour to Pack, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 75 cm, DATE 2016
8. TITLE From Home to the Train Station, Winter of 1940, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 100 cm, DATE 2016
9. TITLE Transport to Siberia, Winter of 1940, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2016
10. TITLE The Gulags – Where They Were Convicted to Slow Death, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 60 cm x 135 cm, DATE 2016
11. TITLE His Name was Janek, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 60 cm x 135 cm, DATE 2016
12. TITLE The Last Breath of Little Maria, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 60 cm x 90 cm, DATE 2016
13. TITLE The March to Freedom: Junacy – An Army Made Up of Polish Children, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 90 cm x 120 cm, DATE 2016
14. TITLE General Anders Tears up at the Sight of the Debilitated Junacy, MEDIUM oil on canvas, SIZE 75 cm x 75 cm, DATE 2016
In November 2016, M completed her first inter-provincial tour with her project SIBERIA. The show, including 14 paintings and the film “Siberian Martyrdom of Polish Families,” were shown in Halifax, NS, and in London and Windsor, ON.
M is currently planning an international tour spanning Canada and the USA. The tour is expected to take place in the spring of 2018, and will span Chicago, Detroit, and the Toronto area. Originally, the tour was supposed to take place in the late summer of 2017; however, due to changes in her management and to M’s demands to make some additions to the show, the SIBERIA tour was pushed back. Instead, during the summer of 2017, M will be dayviewing a new project that she started producing in January 2017.
• MBoivin shows her work ethics: How it's Done (2014)
• Film Produced by MBoivin: Siberian Martyrdom of Polish Families: (2015)
M is currently working on a memoir, which will cover her journey as an artist. The book will talk about some career mistakes that M has identified as although having taught her a good lesson, wasted her time and she feels the responsibility to give advice to young artists to repeat her mistakes. M has stated, “they will make their own mistakes, but at least hopefully they will not repeat mine.” Due to her busy schedule and the work involved in opening a private museum, the memoir is predicted to be published in 2019 in order to include a greater scope of her journey.
Margareta is passionate about naval themed art. She is currently creating naval themed and Halifax heritage based paintings. Recently, she painted a painting entitled, The Last Mass, depicting Naval personnel attending their last mass at the historical Kings College, in Halifax. M was honoured to have taken part in this mass and wanted to commemorate the moment. This painting will be part of the 6 piece, Halifax' Heritage and Naval History collection. In 2014, M created a commemorative painting Our Soldiers, Their Courage, Let Us Never Forget, which is based on the poem In Flanders Fields, to give more recognition to Canadian soldiers who fought in Europe during the war. For this painting, a donation was given by the Commanding Officer (CO) of HMCS Scotian and his family, to the HMCS Sackville Memorial. In 2014, M also presented a thank you painting to her Commanding Officer commemorating his leadership at HMCS Scotian. The painting depicted her CO at the head of his crew, as they stood at the Grand Parade Square during the Freedom of the City parade. This project is predicted to be finished in January 2019.
In addition to working on the Halifax’ Heritage and Naval History collection, M is working on a collection depicting Polish traditions practiced in Canada by Polish immigrants. This collection aims to educate the public about some of the multicultural traditions being practiced in Canada. This project is predicted to be finished in June 2017.
M's other current work includes paintings about M’s life, fears, strengths, etc. This project does not have a predicted completion date.
MBoivin’s work is influenced by her education and her life experiences. She is known for her oil paintings that echo her travels and experiences with the Royal Canadian Navy, and her paintings that depict Canada often incorporating materials from the places that she has visited. In addition to her paintings that depict her Naval experiences, her experiences as a child-immigrant to Canada have led her to create works that glorify Canadian diversity. Her education in the field of Computer Science has also influenced her work. She creates paintings which contemplate the effects of technological innovation on people's lifestyles, and she is the first painter to sign her paintings in an unconventional way; instead of signing her paintings with her name she signs with her website name www.MBoivin-Art.com
“My First Love at Peggy’s Cove” signed with MBoivin’s website name.
"Different people influenced my career as a painter in different ways. My high school teacher, Mr. Yoll, introduced me to oil painting. Trully, he introduced me and my talent to the world. He was always impressed with my paintings and encouraged me to paint. He told me that, "Out of all the students that he has ever taught, I was the best. However, I must say that not only art teachers have influenced my art but soulful, kind, teachers and people who brought out the best of me have helped me become a more soulful artist. They taught me to create art that relates to people and their humanness. So I try to create art that makes people think. Brings out their emotions, makes them worry, question, laugh, etc.
My english teacher's, Mr. Johnson’s, kindness had a tremendous effect on me as a human being, and I think that because of him my art has become more poetic." "I also recall this one professor, Mr. De Angelo, who taught for a while as a substitute professor at the University of Windsor; he taught me some really essential painting skills. Actually, the first painting that I ever sold I painted in his class; it was a painting of two lions fighting. He always said, you should try to paint like this, and like that, and look at how the light hits this object and how the light changes this colour and that shade. His lessons were critical for the quality of my art. The lion painting that I created in his class -- I remember that, I did not want to sell that painting but I finally gave in. I sold that painting to a man from Kenya. I remember that he pleaded with me and I was saying no, no I do not want to sell this painting, and then he told me that he really wanted it because it reminded him of Kenya and his family and that my painting makes him feel closer to home. I could not say NO to him. I would be heartless to say no to him. That painting meant so much more to this man than it meant to me -- this is why I sold it. Him pleading with me to sell him that painting made me realize the power of art and how my talent can make people feel. I now believe that my art is not meant to be kept away from people and that it is worth nothing if it does not awaken certain emotions in people. My art is nothing if it is painted and kept for my own enjoyment.
Now I want to focus more on showing my art to people and not on selling it to individuals who will keep it only for thier own eyes." " I hope that my art can be so powerful that it makes people into better people. Ultimately that is my goal in life -- to use my art to make people into more soulful people. With that being said, I must say that my most influential art teacher was my sister Milena; she taught me to create works of art that take people away from their immediate surroundings and put them in a different mindset. And also my mother; she put her heart into everything and taught me to put my heart into everything. She is the kind of woman who feeds hungry animals in the winter or summer. She is the kind of person who would make me play with children that noone wanted to play with. She is the type of person who would bring suitcases of clothes to Cuba on her vacations to give them to poor people. And she is the kind of person who taught me not to hurt people because by hurting others I hurt her. So I try to live like that, and the more mature I get the more I try to live like that."
In High School Margareta with Mr. Yoll (left) and Mr. Johnson (right)
Two of Margareta's favourite high school teachers holding the art work of Mr. Yoll
"A lot of amazing American art hangs at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). In particular, I admire the art-works of George Cohran. One of the benefits of having been raised in Windsor, ON, is that I could always go to the DIA - my favourite thing to do. I am very fund of Polish art and if you see this video you will know why”
Margareta is also related to Pamela Cioroch - a prominent Canadian pianist and composer. She enjoys painting to the music of Pamela Cioroch, Chopin, Vivaldi, Madonna, Selena Gomez, and Britney Spears.
M when it comes to collaborating with other artists and artists groups. After experiencing difficulties with, she is even very choosy with whom she will work. M can be associated with arts groups such as the Visual Arts Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Contemporary Art Society. Although she is still a member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, due to her busy preparations for her museum, she recently left the Nova Scotia Contemporary Art Society. M has had very good experiences with the Nova Scotia Contemporary Art Society saying that the group is full of artists whom she will miss dearly, and that she hopes to one day when she has the time to once again be part of such an amazing group.
M has exhibited with the Nova Scotia Contemporary Art Society, the Visual Art Nova Scotia, and has co-exhibited with artists Natan Nevo and Gary Castle. According to M, exhibiting with the mentioned groups and the two artists was an honour. She is a fan of Nevo's and Castle's work and admires them very much as artists and people who have guided her.
M has a reputation of being very picky with whom she collaborates with. She has said that in the past she was burned by one artist group and since as become very careful. She is also very choosy to whom she sells her art work to, and has been quoted to say, " If someone wants to buy my art and I agree to it, they must be very lucky. Anyone who owns a painting of mine is very lucky because I am not like many other artists, to me it is not about money. I am driven by something much more important.”