Sarah Windsor is an expert at bringing creativity to any kind of job.
Though she is now executive director at the Revelstoke Art Gallery, she wasn’t always working in the arts directly.
“I had parents who weren’t really buying into a career in art,” she said with a laugh.
Out of high school her first year and a half of studies at the University of Guelph were in nutritional science.
“I was always really good in science and math but I kept seeing all these students walking around with their portfolios and the art building was kind of in the centre of campus,” she recalled. “It was really cool, atrium like, and there was a lot of glass. It was just like ‘I don’t want to do this, I want to do that’.”
So she switched to the Fine Art program and studied water colours and print making.
However, upon graduating she struggled with getting her feet on the ground and making a career for herself as an artist. In the meantime she worked as a personal trainer and an aerobics instructor.
Even in the fitness industry she found a creative outlet.
“I used to do crazy routines, they were so elaborate, I used to work really hard on them, but I had a really good following for that reason,” Windsor said.
At the same time Windsor was teaching herself graphic design, and got a job at a design company through one of her clients. She started on a week long trial at the broadcast software company and ended up working there for five years.
“It was quite a learning curve but a really good education,” she said.
The job started out as testing and debugging software and developed into the marketing side of things, which eventually brought her to Revelstoke to work at the resort.
“I always wanted to move to a mountain town for my artistry,” Windsor said.
Her and her husband left Ontario and lived in Calgary for a few years, watching the real estate market and trying to decide where to settle.
They chose Revelstoke, bought a house two years after moving here and haven’t looked back.
“We love it, big adventure advocates for sure,” Windsor said.
She worked for the resort for two years before venturing out on her own as a graphic designer, while also working part time with the City of Revelstoke.
Through that period she was constantly developing her art. She rented a studio at the art gallery and joined the Art First Gallery. Her first exhibit showed that the Revelstoke gallery in 2013 and she recently had a show in September 2017.
At the moment she is working with water colours and ink and taking that into a digital world. She said she is also experimenting with wood burning.
However, taking on the new role at the art centre is putting her on the other side of the community.
“Now I’m not the active artist now I am the curator/leader of the artists, to help them,” she said.
Windsor said she hopes to continue to support and grow the art community in Revelstoke, bringing people into the gallery but also doing outreach into the community.
“It’s a great opportunity, I am pretty pumped about it,” she said. “I am, I feel really privileged that I have this opportunity and I’m super passionate about the arts and the arts in our community.”