First year Textiles: Craft Apparel & Design student Bruno Eduardo Vinhas De Almeida has won a first place award in the 2016 Art Showcase from Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). There were over 100 submissions from colleges and institutions across the country in the national competition, with Bruno receiving first place in the Textile/Mixed Media category.
In addition to a cash prize of $300, Bruno’s award winning embroidery will be displayed on the walls of the CICan offices and on their online gallery.
The 33-year-old Brazil native moved to Canada specifically for College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) Textiles: Craft Apparel & Design program. Bruno’s love for design began at the age of 16, where under the tutelage of his seamstress grandmother, he developed his embroidery skills.
His love of craft and design led him to Ireland in 2010 where he used a sewing machine for the first time and further honed his skills. He travelled through Europe, spent a couple of months in Portugal reconnecting with his roots, and finally settled in New Zealand for three years before applying to CNA. Each location and experience added more to his design repertoire.
“The Textiles program opened my eyes for a lot of things because I never had proper training,” Bruno said. “I have vices because I do techniques in a different way that is not industry way. It’s been an amazing journey. My teachers are fantastic and they really give you freedom – a controlled freedom – to do your projects, especially for my design and embroidery. They always try to push me.”
In fact, it was Bruno’s instructor Susan Furneaux who encouraged him to enter his work into CICan’s Art Showcase, although he admits he never expected to win.
“It was a surprise for me,” Bruno said. “It felt like all that happened along the way for me to become a textile artist has paid off. Having an art piece winning a national award was like having faith that art, especially textile art, has its place in the world.”
Bruno can see details, texture and pattern in everything around him, but his favourite part of the world of design is seeing how people interpret his work.
“I read a quote from Oscar Wilde ‘It’s the spectator, and not life, that really art mirrors.’ I believe that. I make my art with my own feeling and my own experience, but you will never see that the same way I do because your life experience is a different one. Seeing that transformation from what I feel when I am making a piece, and what the spectator is feeling when he is seeing it, I think that’s the most joyful thing I can get from this career.”
For more information about CNA’s Textiles: Craft & Apparel Design program visit www.cna.nl.ca/program/textiles-craft-and-apparel-design.
Public Relations Specialist
College of the North Atlantic