Portfolio: Brooke Opatowski
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There are many things one needs in order to have the inspiration, commitment and fortitude to become a career artist: the knowledge of how the art world works in all of its intricacies, the ability to understand how to market and sell something that society has deemed a luxury as opposed to a necessity and, most of all, the passion to continue to create regardless of the challenges that may arise in business and in life.
One Vaughan artist who clearly has the drive and enthusiasm to sell her work is Brooke Opatowski.
“I truly feel that I was born an artist and will always remain one,” says the 26-year-old, who has been painting and sculpting for many years.
Opatowski attended the Ontario College of Art and Design, receiving a bachelor of fine arts degree and then went to York University to earn her bachelor of education specializing in fine arts. During that time, Opatowski was also showing her work at Toronto locations including the Steam Whistle Gallery, El Mocambo, Watusi and Walnut Contemporary Gallery.
For the Steam Whistle show, Opatowski was required to create many pieces in a short period of time due to the incredible size of the space.
“The Steam Whistle Gallery… presented a challenge because I needed to create both large and small works to fit the various areas of the gallery that needed work. Some walls and areas were smaller than others, so I had to sometimes use smaller canvases, which was something I was not used to, but still enjoyed,” she says.
Opatowski has also had pieces displayed at retail stores including ‘Of Things Past…' in North York and had a large front window display at Lululemon in the Promenade Mall as well.  She currently has a show on at The Artist 312 Optical Studio in Toronto.
Opatowski mainly uses large canvases and acrylics in her work, but doesn't limit herself to one medium.  
“My work is a physical thing with no fixed boundaries, shapes, colours or ideas,” she says.  “The way I feel affects how I move paint around and influences the form and energy of the final composition.”
Opatowski recently spent a year on staff at Westminster Public School, where she taught art to the senior kindergarten and Grade 7/8 classes.  
“I loved instructing and teaching potential future artists the passion and skill required to create interesting artwork,” she says.
Throughout her professional ventures, Opatowski's art is what keeps her going.  “Energy, bravery, risk-taking and a beautiful palette direct my work,” she says. “The same qualities that I put in my art are what I believe sell paintings as well. You need to keep creating and stay focused, whether the paintings are selling quickly or not. Sometimes you will sell and other times not so much, the one constant is continuing to produce the work.”
For inspiration, Opatowski looks to modern painters Piet Mondrian and Jackson Pollock.  
“I allow myself to paint in an external world like Jackson Pollock and I also do not have a conscious concern with my surroundings,” she says. “I sometimes walk on my paintings to explore the topic of not allowing them to become precious until they are a finished work of art.”
Opatowski intends to continue pursuing both her teaching career and her art. She is planning more shows for the near future and is currently in the process of pitching a number of mural projects.
Regardless of where her passion takes her, Opatowski continues to work in the basement studio of her Vaughan home, where she incorporates various materials and ideas.
For more information, connect with Brooke Opatowski on Instagram at brooke.by.b or by emailing


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