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Rising Stars: Meet Juanita Bellavance

Today we’d like to introduce you to Juanita Bellavance. 

Hi Juanita, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I embraced my art journey in 1998 after having decided to leave my elementary music education career. I became ignited about art as a career when I met a muralist who said she would tell me everything about how to get started with a decorative wall finishes business. 

I immediately became immersed in a constant stream of learning and work. In 2000 some of my work done in a Home Depot Expo home was featured in Atlanta Magazine. 

In 2008 the wall finish industry changed and I began teaching both art and music as enrichment classes after school at local Montessori Schools. That is when I became serious about learning fine art and now have transitioned fully as a professional working artist. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The road has been fairly smooth until stepping fully into the fine art end of it. Fine art is much more challenging than many people realize. I find visibility the biggest challenge since I spend a lot more time in my studio than out and about socializing. 

I’m beginning to embrace that challenge more fully now by being a resident artist with Arts Beacon in Atlanta starting this month, September. I’m also planning to teach a holiday art camp to middle school age at Alpharetta Arts Center in December. 

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in contemporary impressionist paintings. A common comment about my art is that it’s calming. In 2021 I made a portfolio of work inspired by the Chestatee River in Dahlonega. 

I’m proud that when those works are hung together in a space of their own a feeling is experienced when walking into the space. It feels spiritual. Maybe that moment of pause I want to cause through my work is a moment in the presence of spirit. 

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
My perseverance and constant seeking of knowledge. I love learning and believe taking action on what is learned is a mark of success. 

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