New Brunswick color blind artist unveils portrait collection

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Colour-blind artist unveils portrait collection in Fredericton
WATCH: A portrait artist with a visual impairment that prevents her from seeing colours is showcasing her artwork at Fredericton’s Charlotte Street Arts Centre. – Mar 11, 2021

Fredericton artist Ysabelle Vautour cannot see color, but she isn’t letting her visual impairment halt her creativity.

Ysabelle Vautour’s says her newly unveiled collection of figurative portraits were spawned when she was experiencing the winter blues and was searching for a way to overcome them.

“I’m interested in making art more inclusive and [taking] away those barriers to creativity because I feel like that really helped me as a person and I would like to help others do that,” said Vautour.

While working in a call centre Vautour did a career test that suggested she focus on creative projects with tangible results. She was motivated to start painting this exhibit in January 2019. She now has 40 pieces ranging from $150 to $750.

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“All of the shots are really close up and it’s kind of like an intimate setting that’s mostly because of my visual impairment, because I need to see things really closely. It wasn’t an intentional thing but now that I look at it retrospectively, it does make sense,” said Vautour.

The Charlotte Street Art Centre in downtown Fredericton. Megan Yamoah / Global News

“One of our main goals at the centre is to work with marginalized and under-served communities and to see how better we can bring that, either through expressive arts or arts as therapy,” said Courtney Steeves, executive director of the Charlotte Street Art Centre.

Vautour’s work displays expression and emotion and the theme of the collection is ‘connection through feeling.’

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“It just impresses me to no end,” said visitor Darci Arch. “I think it’s a great, great inspiration.”

Darci Arch views artist Ysabelle Vautour’s collection at the Charlotte Street Art Centre. Megan Yamoah / Global News

“People find it interesting because I guess they match?! I don’t know, I have no idea how they see it, I don’t even know what the result of my art is, so its hard for me to talk about that,” Vautour said.

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“I had a bit of a teary moment because I really could feel the emotions that are exhibited in each individual piece,” said Jacqueline Carr, exhibition Chair at the Charlotte Street Art Centre.

The collection is inspiring others to grab a canvas.

“Art can be made by somebody who doesn’t have any formal training. Art is not just the technical aspect,” said Carr.

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The exhibit is open now and can be viewed and purchased online.

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