When Agata Teodorowicz first told people she wanted to teach how to draw and paint, she got some bad reaction. “Why would you want to give away your secrets?” they criticized.
Because, she responded, everybody has the right to learn. Teodorowicz said she came from an elitist society and her goal was to translate the artists’ language to be understood by the layman.
“Making art is for everyone.”
The Polish-born artist was the third in line to practise the craft. Her grandfather and father were highly respected and, after she obtained her MFA, Teodorowicz travelled and exhibited around Europe.
Education is something she holds dear to her heart and encourages her students to pursue their post-secondary studies.
Teodorowicz often comes out with pearls of wisdom to guide her students along their jour
Over the past two decades at the Port Moody Arts Centre, Teodorowicz has been a kind a life coach as well as an art instructor.
And she has seen them grow, literally and artistically.
There are students still with her from her early days at PMAC, when she was employed by the city of Port Moody. There are others who began their art classes young and are now working in the field (including the son of PMAC’s own curator, Janice Cotter) as well as young women who have come in pregnant and now have kids taking lessons.
Just recently, Teodorowicz had an 88-year-old woman learning art for the first time.
All along, her goal has been steady and strong: “I wanted to bring the arts to the community. And it is a gift to have continued to do so for this long.”
Next Thursday, the community will be able to thank Teodorowicz for her 20 years of service. The Port Moody Arts Centre will hold an open house for Teodorowicz’s past and current students as well as faculty members and everyone else who’s been touched by her skill and words.
She can hardly believe time has passed so quickly. “I can’t imagine it,” she said, “because I’m still so full of joy and fulfillment and excited about art and teaching. I haven’t lost it and that is a blessing.”
• The celebration of Agata Teodorowicz’s 20th anniversary at PMAC (2425 St. Johns St.) starts at 5 p.m. on Nov. 5. It will be followed at 6 p.m. by the opening reception of Winter Treasures and Christmas Marketplace exhibits.