Written by Kevin Griffin – Published by the Vancouver Sun – May 15, 2015 – See original article here
Art! Vancouver may not feature works by well known Vancouver artists but Wolfin has been able to attract high profile international art and artists.
The newly formed Jerry Garcia Foundation, for example, has donated paintings by Garcia’s ex-wife and daughter to raise money for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995, was one of the founding members of the rock band the Grateful Dead.
By far the youngest artist coming to Art! Vancouver will be Charles Gitnick, a 12-year-old from Venice Beach who uses guns to make socially-committed art against violence. Because of his youth and the subject matter of his art, he’s received media attention around the world.
Wolfin has also introduced something new in the world of art fairs — an opening night Art Runway. Artists will walk down a runway carrying one of their paintings so that “the public can associate an art work with a face.”
Wolfin worked for two years for Christian Dior in Paris as an apprentice in wedding gowns and evening wear. Despite speaking only high school French, she survived by making a bilingual friend and practising at night the words and phrases she heard during the day at work.
Back in Vancouver, she started Wear Wolfin Designs, a women’s clothing company, and success came when she started making bustiers in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Her timing was perfect because it coincided with Madonna wearing bustiers by French designer Jean Paul Gaultier.
Wolfin then took a break from the fashion world to focus on raising her three children. Although she kept working as an artist, she returned to the business world in 2009 when she noticed that the Hollyburn Country Club had a lot of empty walls.
She made a proposal to them to use their walls to hang paintings. They agreed and for the past six years, her Hollyburn Country Club Gallery has rotated about 100 works by local artists every two months.
Wolfin said she already has the convention centre booked for Art! Vancouver in 2016. She hopes the fair eventually expands to a weeklong series of art events.
“If Basel can do it for 40 years, Vancouver can too,” she said. “It’s a matter of starting and building.”
Art! Vancouver runs Thursday to Sunday, May 21 to 24, “under the sails” at the Vancouver Convention Centre East Building. Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door; youths aged 10 and under are $8 and $10.