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June 22, 2017

Meet a Community Art Star: Orane Cheung

Meet a Community Art Star

"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.

Orane Cheung is one our wonderful weekend volunteers. You might recognize her bright smile from our monthly ArtStarts on Saturdays events for families at the ArtStarts Gallery. Next time you visit, be sure to say hi to Orane and tell her about why you love the arts. Orane shares some of her own thoughts on the topic with us today.


Hi Orane! Please tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi, there! My name is Orane, often lovingly auto-corrected to "Orange". I'm a first-generation Chinese-Canadian currently living in Kitsilano. During the day, I work as a Community Manager at Spring Activator, a startup school for entrepreneurs who want to build a better business. At night, I work behind-the-scenes as an Editorial Assistant for The Style Spy, a Canadian fashion and lifestyle blog. In my free time, I'm usually cycling the seawall, cooking up a storm, dancing contact improv, learning handlettering or hunting down deals at my local thrift shop.

Where did art start for you?

From a very young age, my mom pushed me into arts. I learned everything from Chinese calligraphy and drawing, to piano and paper maché. Even though I resisted it at times, I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities I had to experience art from such a young age.

What is your definition of creativity?

I believe everyone is creative. Creativity is not some some rare characteristic only found in artists, designers and filmmakers. Creativity is a way of thinking and being fearless to do something your own way.

What do you like about volunteering at ArtStarts on Saturdays events?

I love volunteering with ArtStarts. My favourite moments are when kids get to create with their parents. It's fascinating to see how a child approaches art, they just create! They spend little time thinking about the end result, or techniques, or how others will think about their art, they just jump in with both feet and magic happens. I find this energy and mindset extremely contagious and I can see it having a positive effect on parents and myself.

My favourite moment so far had to be the collaborative event with the Museum of Anthropology where we learned how clothes were made. We got to learn how to spin raw wool into cloth and the best part was, our instructors were no more than 12 years old! Seeing a room full of adults and children learning from each other was priceless. It really shows you that art knows no limits and it's never too late (or early) to begin.

Why do you feel the arts are important to young people?

I was fortunate enough as a child to have the privilege to learn art. I really believe it's created a lasting impact on how I see the world and choose to engage with it. To me, art takes all forms, from starting a business and Excel spreadsheet, to handlettering and photography. I am who I am today because my parents understood the value of the arts and encouraged me to explore it.

With that said, I think the arts are absolutely essential to young people. It's a way of learning about the world that is non-linear, intuitive, mysterious and playful. The arts increase empathy and the ability to see the world in new ways.


Thanks, Orane!

If you're interested in volunteering with ArtStarts, learn more about current opportunities at

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