Artist watch: Stephanie Mah prepares for BFA show

By in Culture

For fifth-year studio art major Stephanie Mah, art has always been a driving passion in her life. As her time comes to a close at the University of Saskatchewan, Mah is the final stages of producing her BFA show.

Students at the U of S majoring in studio art are required to produce a BFA exhibit, where they are in charge of making a concept, curating the show, and of course, creating all of the pieces for it.

Mah has been passionate about creating art since before she can remember. Earlier this week, she was looking through old scrapbooks only to find photos of herself in a diaper, drawing. She believes it’s a natural talent and one that she is lucky to have.

Inspiration for art can come from a plethora of places for Mah, and these places have changed throughout the years.

Stephanie Mah BFA - Supplied
Mah’s BFA final show, Conscious Subconscious, is definitely worth checking out.

“I used to get a lot of inspiration from other people, people who are passionate in what they do, and exposing myself to a lot of art blogs. Now I feel more rooted in who I am as an artist and I feel like it is easier for me to know my style. I now get inspiration from past experiences and my feelings. I feel like that’s a good thing because it’s always a place I can draw from and build off of,” Mah said.

Her BFA show consists of six pieces, all of which vary in size. When asked about how she cultivated the concept for her show, she discussed finding ideas within herself and her thoughts.

“The past year I have been journaling a lot about relationships, experiences and recurring feelings, which has been a really big inspiration for me in all the pieces of this show. My show is called Conscious Subconscious,” Mah said.

For Mah, the work she has put together for this show reflects a lot about her personal identity.

“All of the paintings are really personal to me and mean a lot about how I feel about myself and my identity. A lot of it is relationships I have with other people and how I feel like that impacts my personality and who I am as a person — the awareness or unawareness of your sense of self in your personal life,” Mah said.

Although the pieces in the show draw from her personal thoughts and feelings, she wants people viewing it to be able to connect with the pieces as well, in hopes that they can find ways in which the art makes them feel something about who they are as a person.

Through the process of curating and producing this show over the past eight months, Mah feels she has grown as an artist.

“I think it’s really exciting to be able to have all these things that you can picture in your head as a cohesive body of work. I’m excited to share it as a show. It can be hard to be creative … Something that’s not only good enough for your standards, but adequately explains what you want it to in your piece,” Mah said.

After graduation, Mah is unsure of exactly what her plan will be, but knows the direction she wants to go and where her passion truly lies.

“My plan is to pursue a career as a professional artist with a practice in exhibitions, showing in galleries. I want my work to be everywhere, internationally known. I want to create a body of work and consistently put work out,” Mah said.

Mah’s exhibit runs Mar. 6 to 10 at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30  p.m. for viewing. The reception will be held Mar. 10 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. To preview some of Mah’s work, check out her website at stephaniemah.com, or her Instagram @snmah.

Mackenzie Paradzik

Photo: Stephanie Mah / Supplied