Artist Portrait with Emerge

Emerge is a program at The Reach Gallery Museum for up and coming artists, age 16-30, that provides opportunities to submit artwork for exhibitions and to gain relevant experience in the visual arts. I have been a member of Emerge for the past two years and am excited to announce that I will be showing in their Annual Exhibition opening this November. 

To learn more about the Emerge program follow this link:

Recently I had the opportunity to do an Artist Portrait with Emerge and responded to the following question:

Q: “What sort of research do you do?” 

A: “That is an interesting question because typically we associate the term “research” with a strictly academic context in mind, but I believe research happens in our lives on a daily basis whether we are conscious of it or not. One dictionary definition of research addresses it as “a systematic investigation or study to reach new conclusions.” With this in mind, even the most mundane tasks can become research if we perform them fully engaged and open to reaching new conclusions. In my personal art practice I like to begin my research by taking everyday experiences or objects that spark an interest in me and further investigate from there. 

Research can take on many forms and once I have found a subject matter that has captured my imagination I typically begin by finding companion artists to study or other writers with similar interests in order to expand my knowledge of that particular field. For example, one of my current fascinations are the small paper tags at the end of tea bags. This interest developed from my daily ritual of making tea and I have now collected several jars filled with tea tags of all shapes, sizes, and colours. I recently began my next phase of research which includes the study of other artists who use tea in their art as well as current issues and possible connotations surrounding tea and its production. The next stage will be the development of a concept and the actual execution of an art piece with the tea bag tags, so stay tuned and visit my website for updates. 

ABOUT DARBY: Darby Arens recently completed her Bachelor of Art Honours degree in Art and Design from Trinity Western University and is currently working as a graphic designer in Fort Langley, BC. Through her art practice Arens is always seeking methods and themes that push boundaries of conventionality in a quirky, whimsical, and engaging way. 

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