About Inspiring Minds
The purpose of Inspiring Minds Fine Art is to inspire participants to reach new levels of creative expression and artistic skill.
The company was established in 2003 in Surrey, BC, by artist Mirja Vahala. In 2007, it was relocated to Castlegar in the West Kootenays of British Columbia; the studio is housed within Windborne Bed & Breakfast, which was built by Mirja and her husband Marc Conacher in 2007.
Mirja Vahala (www.mirjavahala.com)
Having spent 20 years in the graphic design field as an art director, illustrator and owner of Fusion FX Design, Mirja Vahala now directs her energy towards her passions: painting and art instructing.
During the past seven years Mirja has instructed hundreds of satisfied students in the Lower Mainland and the West Kootenays. Her classes are method-based and fun. Mirja's methods allow students to easily learn techniques in a relaxed atmosphere.
Instruction is provided for drawing, acrylics, pastels, watercolour, composition and colour mixing. Her education in graphic design and the visual arts is used to benefit Inspiring Minds participants. Feedback and resources are provided to advance creativity, self-development and personal style.
Mirja began instructing with Langley Continuing Education and at her studio in 2003. Since the Fall of 2007, Mirja has instructed via Selkirk College and Inspiring Minds at her home studio in the West Kootenays.
You can view Mirja Vahala's artwork at www.mirjavahala.com
Art Retreat and Guest Instructors
Several times a year, Inspiring Minds Fine Art (IMFA) studio hosts art retreats with popular artists and instructors. Inspiring Minds has had the privilege of artists such as Mike Svob, Bonny Roberts, Andrew McDermott, Gaye Adams and Dianna Ponting conduct retreats at the IMFA studio. Inspiring Minds also hosts 1/2 day and longer sessions with various local artists, such as Sandra Donohue, AFCA.
For a list of courses and art retreats, please click here.
Inspiring Minds Fine Art exists because of its participants. Each artist is seen as an important member of Inspiring Minds Fine Art.
Windborne B&B, the home of Inspiring Minds
Using his wood-working skills, Mirja's husband Marc Conacher has developed a 3-way easel for use with various mediums. With many changes and experimentation over the past 7 years, we now have an art easel that can be used for all mediums in vertical, horizontal or sloped configurations.