What's On Their Mind | July 18 - July 31 | featuring Chanel Thervil PDF Print E-mail

Chanel Thervil, photo by Joyce Taihei
Photo by Joyce Taihei

How long have you been working as an artist? How did you get into the business?

I’ve been an artist since I developed the fine motor skills to hold a crayon as a toddler. But, I would say that I’ve been working as an artist on a more professional level than crayon usage since 2009. After a while it just became clear that my passion for art wouldn’t let me get fully invested in much else. I was blessed to stumble into classrooms and work environments where my colleagues encouraged my inquiry in shaping a career around the intersections of art, culture, teaching, and community.

What can we expect to see or experience during Emergence: What does hope look like?

Lots of color! And hopefully the tender love and care generated by conversations with those who dare to hope and seek to activate it in spite of uncertainty.

What was the inspiration behind the project?

I was (and still am) one of those people who doodles a lot. I’m a multi-tasker and I always need to be doing something with my hands. Through grad school especially, doodling during lectures helped me to retain information I didn’t want to forget. I was really interested in seeing how I could push that idea and make the process less one sided. What would happen if my drawings became the goal of an exchange rather than a byproduct of absorption? Also as an educator, I have an innate interest in navigating the thoughts of different people and trying to find a common ground. Hope or the lack of it, is something anyone can relate to as the authority of their own lived experience.

What drew you to work on this project as part of the BCA’s Public Art Residency?

I was really excited when a colleague sent the call for this my way because I have never done artwork that was meant to be outdoors before and I wanted to challenge myself. The added bonus was the community component because I have been trying to find more ways to infuse that into my practice. So it seemed like a win win.

If you were not an artist, what would you be?

If I was way more bold, I would love to be an actor. I like the idea of transforming yourself to tell someone else’s story. Plus, do you see those gowns they wear at award shows?! What’s not to love?

Click here to learn more about Emergence: What does hope look like?



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