Fabulous Finds: Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante

by Katie Brennan

oook presents:

Profile 3 of 4 of  Fabulous Finds Artisan Vendors

 #3: Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante

Carolina Sanchez de Bustamante is one of those artists whole lives and breathes her craft, where her life and her art are completely intertwined. When I sat down to talk to her about her first time presenting work for Fabulous Finds, it was hard to not talk about her other projects as well. Originally from Argentina, Carolina has worked in a number of areas over the years including archeology, architecture, ceramics and weaving. Her more recent efforts include creating the Ashpa Naira Gallery on Westside Rd and Arte Functionale, a wandering gallery.


oook: How did it come about that you’re going to be a part of Fabulous Finds this year?

CB: I was with Arte Functionale, with the wandering gallery…

oook: What is that exactly?

CB: Arte Functionale is a gallery I created last year, which is a bit of an offshoot of Ashpa Naira Gallery [which I run]. Arte Functionale is mainly a wandering gallery, a gallery that does not have a physical space. So what I do, with my partner in the gallery, Susan Richards, is rent spaces and invite artists who work in different mediums, mostly in functional art, to show their work. This is a niche that is not considered in the main galleries or gift shops. We’re in the middle. This gives an opportunity for artists who work in furniture design or jewelry design or glass to promote their work and make sales.

So we were with Arte Functional at the Rotary Centre for the Arts last November when Rio Branner [the founder of Fabulous Finds] bought a couple of pieces and thus invited me to participate in the Fabulous Finds show.

oook: So are you just presenting your own work or mixture of work from the artists you work with in Arte Functionale?

CB: For Fabulous Finds, I will just show my own work and Susan will show her work, which is jewelry and silver that she designs.

oook: So the work you’ll be showing at Fabulous Finds is an offshoot of your ceramics and architectural ceramics practice?

CB: No. At Fabulous Finds, I will present some of the ceramic pieces, as well as examples of my architectural ceramic work through photos. I will take some of the images of my work already installed in different properties so that people can see that I do more than just sculpt pots.

oook: What had you heard about Fabulous Finds before Rio invited you to this year’s session?

CB: I haden’t heard about it at all. Rio explained a bit to me what it was about and that it was held at the Summerhill Winery, which I had been to before for different events. So I was familiar with the space and location. So in this way, Fabulous Finds will be a surprise for me. I expect it will go really well.

oook: So beyond Fabulous Finds and Arte Functionale, how else do you sell your work? How else do people find your work?

CB: After this March session of Fabulous Finds, I am presenting an exhibition of functional art at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre in the middle of April. So people can find the wandering gallery where ever it wanders. They can also always come and visit my gallery, Ashpa Naira Gallery, which is in part of my home and architectural ceramics studio, and see what’s happening in the studio.

oook: So how to do think working in the Okanagan either helps or hinders your practice? Some people would argue that you need to be in a large metropolitan center to do what you do successfully. Can you sell enough functional pieces here in the Okanagan or do you need to compliment this with on-line sales?

CB: Arte Functionale is a gallery that started last year. Susan and I are really happy with the success we had in that year. We can see it’s potential and want to build on that. We are not looking to go into any bigger centers, not yet anyways.

oook: You have many facets to you practice. One being the functional work, two, the architectural ceramics and three,Ashpa Naira Gallery. Did those three things come about because it was necessary for you to have more than one facet to your practice in order to survive as an artist?

CB: Yeah, I think so. I didn’t see it that way when I was creating them. I created them because I saw a need in the public, a niche that was not covered. That’s how I saw it. But it helps to have the three components. It helps. And one relates with the other; there is no conflict between them.


To learn more about how Fabulous Finds came to be, read the piece we ran on Fabulous Finds Creator Rio Branner, HERE.


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