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Alcona-based artist invites community to book launch

'Innisfil not only inspires, but the community is a huge supporter of my art practice,' said Kelebeev

Alcona-based artist, Maria Kelebeev is proud to offer her first book, Meditations 2022 to the community of Innisfil.

The book combines Kelebeev’s art — some pieces are inspired by the nature and landscapes of Innisfil — with sentences that are intended to be used as tools to inspire calm and good mental health.

The content of Meditations 2022 was derived from advice that Kelebeev gave herself as she continued to create art — and life — throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. A mother of three, Kelebeev found solace during times of uncertainty in her meditation practice, which inspired the thoughts found in her book as well as the creation of pieces of art that complement each phrase.

Though Kelebeev has been painting all of her life, she did not think about pursuing her passion as a full-time venture until the pandemic forced professionals of many industries to re-evaluate their occupations.

In fact, before moving to Alcona, Kelebeev told InnisfilToday that she wondered if she should even bother pursuing a career in the arts, but that changed when the community of Innisfil rallied around her.

“Innisfil not only inspires, but the community is a huge supporter of my art practice,” she said. 

Kelebeev explained that she earned her degree in business in Austria so that she could be surrounded by art even though she was not studying it at the time. A marketing professional, Kelebeev worked with companies to sell technical and surgical products, but she realized that she would rather spend her time working on her art and teaching her children that a career in the arts is possible. Her two eldest children are unlikely to forget this important lesson, as they spent time covered in paint, while then-pregnant Kelebeev, completed her ice hut titled Simcoe Journeys, which is currently on display at Innisfil Beach Park.  

In addition to creating works of art in her home studio (her favourite mediums include watercolour, acrylic, conté and pencil), she shares space with other artists at the Spare Room in Barrie, and she teaches art from her home studio and at the MacLaren Art Centre.

Kelebeev likes contemporary artists, but when asked about her favourites, the late French artist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Austrian artist, Egon Schiele (1890-1918) are at the top of her list.

Readers are invited to join Kelebeev at the Meditations 2022 book launch on Mon. Feb. 20, 2023, from 10-12 pm at Moon Café & Craft Beer (located at 1041 Innisfil Beach Rd). Books will be available for $25 (cash and major credit cards will be accepted). You can check out Kelebeev’s website.

Amber Green is a freelance journalist for Village Media Inc.

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Amber Green

About the Author: Amber Green

Amber is a freelance journalist with InnisfilToday. Dedicated to the craft of writing, she is a storyteller at heart who writes novels, poetry, and short stories. She lives in Innisfil.
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