OPOLA KARIM at VIRTUE – an all female creative exhibit

Meet Opola Karim.

An acrylic painter who has recently been incorporating embellishments such as sari borders, sequence, mirrors and fabric into her work. Opola shares with us her creative journey through Bengali roots and her aspirations to bring change through creativity. Meet Opola Karim at VIRTUE – a female creative exhibit on September 13 at Studio 1176.

Find out more about Karim below.

 Boy selling pens, drinking coke on break (2 out of 3)

What inspires you to create? 
“This has to be one of my favorite questions, because what I create becomes a definition of myself, my expression, emotions and my visual of what goes on in my mind becomes actual art.

Ever since I was little, I’d always get my hands on house materials and make it into something, giving it a new life. I didn’t have the latest art tools but Dollarama’s craft section was my best friend (it still is).

Growing up in a South Asian family, I was expected to become a doctor, lawyer, engineer (the typical “good” pay job). My parents, especially my dad took notice that my passion was in art. Nothing was going to change my mind or stop me from what I loved doing the most. I’d love to draw, paint, sculpt you name it. My inspirations have changed throughout the years, and as an artist it is so important to be inspired and motivated.Now as a grown woman, I have learned a lot through my artistic training and learning.

My inspiration has come from my Bengali roots, traditions and culture, as well as Bollywood, the slums, the city vs. country life throughout South Asia, and the garments industry.”

How do you think creative women are perceived in the industry?

“I think creative women are perceived in the industry as now world changers.

More and more females are now creating the most amazing art, whether through photography, sculpture, film, painting etc. Women are making a creative statement through our everyday life, culture, and media and so much more, they are world changers because these creative women have so much to articulate, offer and show which is being expressed creatively and it is catching attention of many. Creative women are now perceived as sexy, bold, strong, passionate who have a lot to present through their form of art.”

Woman carrying waterHow do you perceive feminism?

“I perceive feminism as something powerful now in our time, not something negative or bad.

There is light being shed on feminism, its importance of women and equality. Within the creative field feminism has always been a hot topic, but I now feel it’s a powerful statement and creative women are making their bold step to express who they are and what they are trying to portray without hesitation.”

“I paint my own reality…” – Frida Kahlo “

“Feminism isn’t about making women stronger. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength…” – G.D Anderson

Opola-Mandala 2

Where do you wish to take your art in the future?

“I wish to take my art around various countries, to let my art create a conversation and to make a change through my creativity, as well as become an inspiring emerging South Asian female artist within my community and abroad. I aspire to become a high school art teacher and throughout my creative journey I also wish to help underprivileged youth within Toronto to help bring out their artistic passion, motivate, mentor and also one day create a gallery space to showcase their talent.”

Find Opola Karim on Instagram @okx____ (with four underscores) or contact her for business at opola@hopcp.ca.



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