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November 28, 2014

Where Did Art Start For You? - Carolyn Sullivan, Photographer

In the days leading up to GivingTuesday on December 2, 2014, we are sharing stories from artists in the ArtStarts community. We asked them, "Where did art start for you?" It's a question that asks us to reflect on our own lives in order to see where along our journey our passion for the arts was sparked.

What is GivingTuesday?

GivingTuesday is a movement for giving and volunteering that takes place this year on December 2, 2014. Taking place each year right after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, GivingTuesday is proof that the holiday season can be about both giving and giving back. GivingTuesday is the perfect time for the world to come together and show how powerful humanity can be when we unite to give on one day.


How YOU Can Help

ArtStarts fosters creative experiences for young people. Your support can spark the start of something special.


Double Your Impact on Dec 2 with Interac Online

Choose Interac Online when you donate here on December 2, 2014 and Interac will match up to your donation, up to $25. Your $25 donation becomes $50! Click here to donate via Canada Helps on December 2, 2014—and remember to select Interac Online as your payment method.


Read photographer Carolyn Sullivan's story below and share your own story at

Where did art start for you?

One day in the crowded lunch room, a school mate passed me an enlargement. I stared at this large 8x10 black and white photograph, noticing the tones, shades, and fine details.

I questioned him how be obtained this image and how it became so large.

I was only accustomed to small 3x4 images. He offered to show me, so I followed him back through the graphic and fine arts room in to a darkroom.

Under the ambience of red lights, he introduced me to an enlarger and the negative.

Somehow he managed to see enough to expose the negative on to a piece of paper. Then he placed the paper into a tray of chemicals called the, the developer, and set the timer for 2 minutes.

Slowly he rocked the tray of chemicals with the paper immersed. He rocked some more. Then slowly it started to appear. The more he gently rocked the chemical tray the more the blacks appeared, then the grays appeared, and then I could see the image of myself.

The anticipation of the chemicals slowly producing an image was total magic to me. I was hooked. I knew right then and there that I was going to be a photographer.

I went on to study Photography at Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, in Edmonton Alberta, and have worked in the field every since. In 2001 converted to digital photography, and today never go into a darkroom.

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