Vessela Brakalova was born in communist Europe during the Cold War, and her country, Bulgaria was a strong ally of the Soviet Union. She grew up in the capital city of Sofia and began rigorous art training at 12 years of age. Vessela earned her Master’s degree in Fine Art and worked in book publishing before moving to Newfoundland and Labrador as a political refugee in 1990.
Soon after, she became a founding partner of the successful design firm Vis-a-Vis Graphics Inc, a company with a reputation for ingenious design, branding, publishing and interpretive design. Her special touch with unconventional techniques and varnishes has won a gold medal for book design at the ICE Awards, Halifax, in 2012.
Then classical mosaic hijacked her artistic life.
Modern, personal interpretations of this ancient medium led to major exhibitions at home and abroad, notably in International Art and Contemporary Mosaic MUSIWA15, Florence, Italy, followed in 2018 by a major commission of mosaic-inspired murals for St. John’s International Airport with the estimated annual audience of 1.5 million travellers.
In 2021 Vessela was a proud participant in the Bonavista Biennale 2021 – a bi-annual exhibition of contemporary visual art by Indigenous, Newfoundland and Labrador, and other Canadian and international artists on the Bonavista Peninsula.
When not making art, Vessela watches the ocean from her home in St. Philip’s, NL.
Dec 1—Dec 31, 2023
Oct 26—Nov 2, 2023
Sep 29—Oct 31, 2023
Dec 9—Dec 31, 2022
Brilliant colours and pieces of glass are this artist’s way of talking about climate change, by Arlette Lazarenko for CBC News, 2023