Glenda Bartosh

freelance writer, editor, artist

BIRCH TREES: [Listening to Neil Turok]

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art, activism + the overlooked

“Glenda never stops asking questions. Her creative endeavours in the studio bring science to the street, where her enthusiasm for scientific and exploration-based knowledge is truly infectious. ”

— Ingrid Koenig
Artist in residence at TRIUMF
Associate Professor,
Emily Carr University of Art + Design

“Despite more than 900 environmental treaties coming into force over the past 40 years, human-induced environmental degradation is reaching unprecedented levels. Human societies must change course... This requires a fundamental transformation of existing practices.”

— Tapio Kanninen
Sustainable Global Governance Project
From: Crisis of Global Sustainability

As an award-winning journalist and a longtime arts and social activist, my art practice is based on two connected themes: sustainability and the overlooked. Responding to scientists and policy makers like Tapio Kanninen, I strive for “a fundamental transformation of existing practices.”

With sustainability as the impetus, my artwork often springs out of science while challenging accepted norms and values in the art world.

My originals are often meant to break down or disappear; I give them away or transform them in surprising chain reactions, sometimes keeping residues as a trace. For the most part, I use fragile, overlooked materials that usually reside in domesticity, science or nature: beeswax; beakers; gold leaf; thread; graphite; rice; wax paper.

I also like to democratize art and weave it into everyday life whenever possible. In 1982, I founded Whistler Arts Council (now Arts Whistler), and have been part of numerous public art juries, committees and task forces related to arts, culture and heritage across Metro Vancouver. My writing on art and culture can be found in various publications including The Tyee, The Georgia Straight and Pique Newsmagazine.

To democratize my own art practice, it's frequently collaborative and participatory. I often take my work to “the streets”, giving people creative agency so they can become agents of change themselves.

Themes range from quantum physics and climate change to identity, waste and heritage issues.

My art training started at age six at the Edmonton Art Gallery and went on to graphic and commercial arts at Victoria Vocational School. In 2017, after 18 years on campus part-time — an amazing experience enjoyed by few! — I received a BFA/Visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design.


2017 The Show 2017, Concourse Gallery, Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Group show) Vancouver

2015 Telus World of Science (Group show) Vancouver

2013 Telus World of Science - Quantum Entanglements (Group show) Vancouver

2013 TRIUMF (Canada's national laboratory for particle + nuclear physics and accelerator-based science) - Quantum Entanglements (Group show) Vancouver

2012 City of Richmond Public Art Program - The Necklace Project

2012 Surrey Art Gallery - Mirror, Mirror (Group show)