LaTiesha Fazakas is passionate about promoting a diverse selection of contemporary art with a special emphasis on works by established and up-and-coming Indigenous artists. Located at the heart of Vancouver’s Gallery area, Fazakas Gallery offers a vibrant program that features an array of art aimed to enhance, enrich, and broaden visibility and understanding of Indigenous art.
Meet the Maker: Fazakas Gallery
What inspired you to open an art gallery?
My passion for arts while taking the Bachelor of Arts in UBC. I fell in love with arts because it connects with everything. I like that arts push back and fights the status quo and requires lots of thinking outside the box. My first job related to arts was in a gallery of indigenous arts. It really connected with me. I opened my gallery because of the lack of indigenous galleries – there was only one at that time.
How do you go about selecting artists and artworks to feature in your gallery?
I have a lot of connections with many artists in the business though my involvement with arts for over 20 years. I trust my artists and always open to new connections and community building. I also use lots of social media to get to know new artists and people related to this world.
What’s your favorite part of working in this business?
I love being around creativity and people who think outside the box. I am now part of the “Women Presidents Organization”, where I learn a lots of new things and can connect with brilliant people.
For how long have you been in Strathcona?
Fazakas Gallery has been in Strathcona for a little over 7 years. I chose to be in Strathcona for economic reasons as well as personal ones. The landlords here cared about my business and wants it to do well and not only the money. And this is an artsy district, there’s lots of galleries, and really interesting and creative people here.
Can you tell us about the Vancouver Gallery Walk?
Vancouver Gallery Walk (vancouverartwalk.com) happens on the first Saturday of every month. Its main goal is to encourage people to visit different galleries. As one of the participating galleries, I hope to continue to expand this project, to market and brand it so more people get to know it and hopefully get more involved. Appreciate the Strathcona BIA in supporting this project from the very beginning and helped to get this project moving forward. Our neighborhood is filled with artists, galleries and people who are related to arts in some way. There are 14 galleries in the region and they are involved with many different initiatives, not only selling goods.
Strathcona is an artsy neighborhood. Do you feel there is support from the community?
I can see the enthusiasm from the community, and I always want to engage with different organizations in the area through arts. “Cultural Days in Strathcona” and “Our Voices, Ourselves Storytelling Workshops” are examples there we can see momentum building.
What are the opportunities and challenges of being in this neighborhood?
Strathcona is a unique district for businesses. This is one of the few areas with small businesses. The area has this grass root mentality and has sufficient spaces for entrepreneurs. On the other hand, safety is the biggest challenge. I want to attract more business and more people to the area. To continue to do, we need to ensure businesses, residents, people working in the area, visitors all feel safe when they are in Strathcona. Another challenge that I face as a business owner is having to be a “jack for too many trades”, as one needs to do everything things including things that I may not necessary like doing, but that’s part of the deal as a business owner. Every single week and month can be different. Planning for things too much in advance is not always easy. But I also love this insecurity.
What would you like the community to know about you/your business?
That Fazakas Gallery is a local business but they have international outreach – so it’s a local and global business at the same time, and we are located here, in Strathcona.
When you envision the future of Strathcona, what do you see?
I would love to see more small businesses in the neighborhood and all the store fronts activated.
What would you like to see more of from the Strathcona BIA?
I think Strathcona BIA is doing a good job. I hope Strathcona BIA can continue to support and create more opportunities for businesses to connect with other businesses and entrepreneurs in the neighborhood. This is a neighborhood filled with really interesting people.
Visit Fazakas Gallery to get inspired and connected Located at 659 E Hastings Street.