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Anna Polkovnichenko


Anna Polkovnichenko is an emerging artist, living and working in Surrey, BC, on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, and other Coast Salish peoples. She began her artistic journey later in life as a way of coping with significant life events and mental health conditions. She is a third-year fine arts student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, and she is also undertaking coursework at the University of the Fraser Valley and Thompson Rivers University. She has taken part in local shows with the Langley Art Council, the Art Council of Surrey, and Kwantlen Polytechnic University student groups. She works primarily in monotype, a printmaking technique that creates a unique print by drawing or painting an image on a non-absorbent surface and transferring it to the paper using a printing press. Anna's art practice focuses on mental health and is inspired by abstract shapes and bright colors. 

Anna’s work explores the relationship between hope and despair and the effects of mental illness on the human being, oscillating between happiness and darkness. Monotypes are created by layering images one over another, several times, until the overlay of bold colors and shapes creates dense and unexpected interactions, reflecting on the multiple identities of an individual going through transformational life experiences. Occasionally, Anna incorporates collage elements and mixed media into the monotype background. The unique and unrepeatable nature of each monotype speaks to the individuality of human emotions and experiences. Anna’s Eastern European upbringing exposed her to formalist art movements, and she is influenced by the formalist approach in her compositional and coloristic exploration of mental health questions. Undiluted bright colors convey positive emotions that counteract the often-dark space of mental illness. 


Bryan Schwartz

Bryan William Schwartz is a creative writing student at KPU with a background in music and fine arts. He is graduating with an associate degree and looks forward to publishing his work in the future. Presenting at the Wake Up Festival is the perfect opportunity to unite these two passions of fine arts and music.


Nicole Avanrenren


I am a mixed media artist currently in their fourth year in Kwantlen’s BFA program. After working with digital media for many years, I decided to utilize my skills in another way, combining parts of traditional and digital together as experimentation, eager to see what the outcome will be. I use art as a way to respond to the world around me, and mull over my personal experiences. I’m grateful to art as a tool I can use to document my thoughts, opinions, and observations.

I feel very honored that I get the chance to be a part of this festival. I look forward to seeing and hearing the product of our creative, and social justice endeavors and having the opportunity to expand my domain and meet others who share similar interests.


Susan Pellaers

I have been working towards a degree in FIne Arts since September of 2020, alternating between student and stay-at-home mom; I have one more term to complete. Originally from Winnipeg, I learned oil painting as a teenager but switched to acrylics after briefly becoming a member of the South Delta Artists Guild when I moved there in my 20’s. While raising my family, I discovered the artwork of Douglas Coupland, whose assemblage style of communicating life’s truths had a great effect on me. During my studies at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, I have expanded my interest to include installation and performance art. I am currently the treasurer for the KPU Art Collective.

I am excited to be able to show my work, Out of Stock, at the Wake Up festival as it is an opportunity to communicate with a broader audience; one that is not necessarily interested in art. This experience will be a test to see if I am able to successfully communicate in the visual arts, affecting others as I was by Douglas Coupland.

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