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January 21, 2016

Meet a Community Art Star: Bronwyn Austin

"Meet a Community Art Star" is a regular feature showcasing ArtStarts' amazing group of volunteers who are passionate, enthusiastic arts champions. Read more posts in this series.

Bronwyn Austin moved to Vancouver from Yellowknife, NT to attend Emily Carr University, where she acquired her BFA in Visual Arts in 2014. She has been volunteering at ArtStarts as a Gallery Assistant since April 2015 and as a Special Event Assistant for National Aboriginal Day and Canada Day. Other than the arts, Bronwyn loves animals and college basketball—most of her March is spent watching March Madness!

When did art start for you?

Art started for me through my older sister. Whenever she would visit us in my hometown she always brought some art projects for us to do together. We would usually spend a huge chunk of time making stuff or going to the museum. I never thought of myself as an artist growing up. It was my sister who owned the artist title in the family. I became more interested in the arts in high school and realized my potential as an artist as well because of an amazing art teacher. My high school art teacher mentored and guided me when I was creating my portfolio for my application to Emily Carr University.

What drew you to volunteering at ArtStarts as a Gallery Assistant?

I was interested in volunteering at ArtStarts because I believe that our society should be just as focused on getting kids interested in the arts as we are with sports. Although I had a huge art influence growing up, I was much more surrounded by athletics and everyone's obsession of high accomplishment in sports from a very young age to my senior year of high school. For me, it's very refreshing to come across an organization that promotes art in schools.

Who are your role models?

My father is one of my role models because I believe that he is making a difference in society and I hope to be able to do the same with my career. My other role model is my high school art teacher. She's involved in the community by mentoring young students, like myself, who are interested in the arts, teaching yoga, and refereeing basketball games. Like me, she has a passion for the arts and for athletics. I would say that Sebastio Selgado, Bill Reid and Sybil Andrews are my artistic influences.

What else do you enjoying doing here in Vancouver?

I play volleyball regularly, I enjoy cooking and baking, I enjoy walking around the city and I love watching movies, especially when VIFF is on in September! I often visit my parents on Salt Spring Island and horseback ride with my horse from my childhood and do a lot of other Salt Spring activities. I've started drawing again, which is something I haven't done since graduating from Emily Carr. I'm really excited about creating my own work again and I am currently working on a drawing project during my spare time and after work.

Thank you, Bronwyn, for your contributing your passion and talent to forwarding ArtStarts' mission!

If you are interested in volunteering with ArtStarts, please visit

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