"Hello. I'm Barry Strasbourg-Thompson BFA. Welcome to our Art as Refuge shop and classroom.
Art continues to be my friend, my income, my REFUGE after all these 60+ years. I believe in giving back what I have received and so I create Art and teach what I know. I'm here for you if you want to make Art or just enjoy how it increases the pleasure in your life.
Why do I create Art and teach that Art is my Refuge? It's simple. It’s a place inside and outside of me where I make Art, and feel better.
When I was young, life was difficult, and further complicated by a childhood head injury. I felt lonely. I had no voice of my own until I found that I liked making things, painting model airplanes, making paintings, expressing my emotions in artwork, talking with other kids about making things and making art. I had fun. I felt happy when I did this. Wow! What a way to have fun and feel better. Make things. Make Art.
When I was 8, Budge Crawley, founder of Crawley Films of Ottawa, Canada came to our school and picked 6 of us to be in his NFB film "Mural Making". I loved it. I went to the film studio and painted with the other students. We became friends. AND I GOT PAID FOR IT! Wow! Painting. Friends. And money! What fun. What a joy. I felt happier doing this "Art" thing.
Later when my health deteriorated, I could no longer work at a job. A friend said " Do what you love" and I discovered I could feel better by making Art and being around and focusing on the business of Art. I made Art and made myself feel better.
What a blessing. I make lemonade out of life's lemons. Yes, Art is my friend. Art is my REFUGE. Art provides me with a feeling of safety and of being sheltered. Art improves my health. Art provides a way to increase my income. Art gives me a way to be happy in the moment.
I make Art about this and share these artworks with friends.
I wanted to teach how Art gives me that feeling. So I went back to university and studied Visual Art at the University of Ottawa. Part of my 4th year Visual Art studies was a placement at a Veterans Health Centre where I was tasked with helping war vets with various forms of dementia. There were some similarities between dementia and my head injury so I took what I knew about my own recovery, developed an Art program and taught it to the veteran's Art class. It worked!!! Art became their REFUGE, their friend. They found happiness and peace in Art making. I found out how to teach Art as REFUGE.
Art continues to be my friend, my income, my REFUGE after all these years. I believe in giving back what I have received and so I make Art and teach what I know. Email me telling me what it is you want. Many teachers helped me get what I wanted, Now its my turn to help you get what you want. Whether you want to make Art or just enjoy it, I'm here for you and to teach you how.
What fun & easy Art lessons do you want? What information do you need to buy Art that helps you live a happier life?
contact us at: [email protected]
We offer hands on art training that leads students to a voice of their own.
We teach the visual language, basic design and the use of art materials.
Find us on Facebook as well.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District is a broad geographic region stretching from the Malahat to North Oyster and from the Cowichan Lake to Thetis Island.
The region's artists are represented by 5 sub-regional arts councils with support from the CVRD Arts and Culture Division