Accomplished artist and poet hopes to inspire others


‘Everyone has a dream, (and) they should follow their dreams’
Michelle Strutzenberger

One of the biggest hopes of accomplished artist and poet Elizabeth (Liz) Etmanski is that people who see her art and read her poetry will be inspired to follow their own dreams.

“We all have a dream. Everyone has a dream, (and) they should follow their dreams and follow their heart,” Liz tells BACI Blast.

Asked about what inspires her in her work, Liz says it’s everyday life.

“Everything out there is pretty and fun to paint,” she says, adding that the renowned Emily Carr is also a source of inspiration.

“I’d like to be the next Emily Carr,” she says with a chuckle.

The first person with Down syndrome to graduate from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Liz has had some noteworthy up-take of her work over the last couple of years.

In 2009, an anonymous patron donated eight of her paintings to the Vancouver General Hospital Gifts of Art Programme, to be put on display in patient rooms.

Elizabeth Etmanski's art

Last December, she sold her art for the first time in an arts and crafts show that was part of the City of Vancouver’s Annual Celebration for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Her story and involvement in this particular show were featured in a Global TV segment.

Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion’s Kevin Lusignan, who was interviewed for the show, referred to Liz as a “shining example of what people can do.”

One of her poems has been adapted for stage for the Kaleidoscope Theatre Company in Cork, Ireland.

Asked about which of her achievements she’s most proud of, Liz says it’s “getting through school,” noting some of it was really difficult.

She also feels a great sense of accomplishment from opening her own studio and also moving into her own place.

Looking to the future, Liz says her plans obviously include art.

“I think the main thing I want to do is continue with my art and go from there, and do more traveling,” says Liz, who has traversed Europe.

To read one of Liz’ poems, click this link.

To learn more about Liz, visit her blog.

If you have feedback on this article please contact michelle(at), or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 27.






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