Zoe Mandell | Surfacing

Looking In


Why do I paint myself?

Because I do not understand myself.
And the action of creating self-portraits is a form of research more than anything else.


Why do I paint myself?

Because the image you see is not me. It is a representation that other people associate with me, but my relationship with myself is made up of colours and smells and sounds and textures … A picture of my painting palette is a much truer self-portrait as far as I’m concerned, as it captures a moment in which I am the freest.

Living Waters | מים חיים

I’ve fallen in love with a surface before
whether expertly placed or haphazardly smeared
If they really knew who we were underneath
Would it tear us apart?
Would it be as we feared?


Looking Up

LEARNING TO SEE  |  a photographic journey through Israel

“Surfacing” is a personal artistic exploration through painting, drawing, and photography to experiment with light and colour and water. Zoe is a multidisciplinary artist mainly focusing in oil paint as well as multiple mediums to convey her visual method of storytelling. In her paintings, drawings, and photos, her ideas manifest in bright colours, bold shapes, and unconventional contemporary portraiture. Her self-portraits explore a story of interpersonal self-discovery through colours and textures. While studying abroad at Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, Israel last year, she focused her skills in photography and used this as a stepping stone to grow and evolve her painting practice. She learned to search for the “unseen” elements in her photos to transport viewers to new realms of visual thought. This project connects pieces from multiple years of work to create a conversation between surface and substance, all exploring a tie between reality and fantasy.

Zoe Mandell

Contact: bazikem96@gmail.com

Mobile: 604.999.0714

Zoe Mandell grew up between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. She is an artist, a storyteller, and a dreamer, though laughing is by far her favourite hobby. When she’s not busy drawing, writing, teaching kids, or making music, you might find her hiking a mountain, or perhaps painting one. Since completing her bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University, her hope is to build a solo painting career and make the world a little better in the process.

Tess Collens | Faded Ink

“Faded Ink” is a project that looks into the way people create and lose their memories. With themes of identity, personhood and nostalgia, “Faded Ink” comes to life through a series of different studies. These studies include oil paintings, watercolour pencil drawings and multimedia works.

This project was inspired by mental health struggles and the issues surrounding the way people retain and store memory. Although each work has its own style and technique they all reflect the same thing, a need to understand ourselves and the world we perceive around us.

Artist Statement


In my work, I create portraits in the hope to find an idea or story in the way each person is captured. Throughout my time at Emily Carr, I worked to understand the ways in which concept is important in an artist’s practice. In my practice, I look to portraiture to find my concept. I seek to help express not only what I feel through my work but also help create ways to access subjects difficult to understand.

Artist Bio

Tess Collens’ grew up in Vancouver, B.C. and first attended art school at NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) before transferring to Emily Carr University of Art and Design.  She is currently based out of Comox, a small town on Vancouver Island.

Instagram: @carribeanjerk

Mike Levin | Gentrification Series

Artist Statement:

I have selected to show 28 of my 108 ink paintings I made this year to reflect the negative impact of accelerated gentrification and densification of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland, BC. Speculation has fuelled the aggressive behaviour of transactions driving many away from owning homes and others into impoverished living conditions or homelessness. This rapid speculation and skyrocketing prices were first demonstrated in South America with little state involvement, and carried here in Vancouver, again with little interference by the government. Rather than to showcase shiny buildings being built, I am offering a grittier interpretation of the building boom. These paintings come from my imagination and from wandering around Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. I let my imagination override the literal descriptions of developments and generalize gentrification to an anywhere city. Each painting is a microcosm of what is happening. When all of the images are put together, they operate as a macrocosm of city gentrification and densification.

Artist’s Biography

Mike Levin grew up in Calgary, Alberta where he first studied Painting and Sculpture at the University of Calgary from 1990 to 1991. Pausing his artistic interests, he moved to Vancouver to pursue a side career as a draftsman. After some time, he returned to the arts by completing his BFA in Painting in 2020 at Emily Carr University. Levin has recently started painting murals with Richard Tetrault, who is considered one of the most prominent muralists in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Levin teaches the Fundamentals of Drawing and Painting at The Art Studios, Vancouver General Hospital Psychiatric Units, and privately in the Vancouver community. His art has been sold in Canada and in the United States to private collectors.

Contact Information:

Website: www.michael-levin.com

Instagram: @mike.levin

Email: mikelevin1121@gmail.com

Phone: 778-370-2404