January 6, 2018 – January 27, 2018

Opening reception Saturday, January 6th from 6 to 9 pm. 

Thinkspace is pleased to present new works by Canadian artist Sarah Joncas and Southern Californian artist Kelly Vivanco in Betwixt and Between. An exhibition about the creative potential of unscripted spaces and the generative possibility of in-betweens, Joncas and Vivanco, forego the limits of the aphoristic for the contiguous freedom of the fable. Both create narrative-based works that embrace the ambiguity and imaginative potential of the subconscious. Creatively playful with elements of the surreal, they capture a feeling of melancholia and aesthetic nostalgia in their styles, Joncas with her cinematic invocation of neo-noir film and Vivanco with imagery influenced by classic fairytales and vintage illustration. Fundamentally, both artists’ work offers an intrinsic pleasure in viewing and the kind of escapism possible only in worlds that lie beyond rationally dictated limits.

Toronto-based Sarah Joncas first exhibited with the gallery in 2009 when only 19 years old. Since then, her accomplished work has developed technically and conceptually, garnering international attention for its moody stylization and emotive impact. Her portrait-based paintings focus primarily on female subjects that function as alter egos or symbolic avatars for social, psychological, and personal themes. The figurative becomes a vehicle for more existential and constructivist emphases, an armature around which to posit narrative suggestions and symbolic inferences. Always striving to create a moment of discomposure or tension in her works, Joncas aestheticizes with melancholy and melodrama, tapping into an emotionally charged visual spectrum.

Joncas began her art career intending to pursue illustration and animation, directions that clearly still inform the visual diction of her current work. Highly refined areas of figurative rendering, like the lush skin tones she achieves with oils, are combined with elements of a more graphic sensibility, executed in acrylics, to establish compelling visual tensions between realistic dimensional space and flattened stylization. An early interest in animé and manga, as well as in those neo-noir cinematic references aforementioned, helped to galvanize Joncas’ interest in character-based works. Often posited in heightened emotional contexts, her protagonists are framed by suspenseful allusions to an overarching story or caught in the midst of ambiguous or invisible unfolding scenes. This penchant for plot, mystery, and symbolism is captured in moments of dynamic stillness in which action is both suggested and seized. The surrounding elements in her works, whether animals, objects or patterns, take on concomitant meanings, further reinforcing the larger thematic intimations of her works.

Based in Escondido, California, Kelly Vivanco’s depicted world is one of fantastical tall tales and mysterious encounters. Not unlike the magical wardrobe of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia or Lewis Carroll’s Alice and her rabbit hole or fugitive fleet through the looking glass, Vivanco’s paintings themselves are thresholds. Each is an aperture into an alternate world of enigmatic episodes and apocryphal creatures, at times beatific and at others unsettlingly sinister; these storied landscapes and characters are more brooding and mysterious than flippantly whimsical. Playful and nostalgic, however, her works are far from sentimental or honeyed. Like the best fairy tales and all of their allegorical apologues, a darkness lurks in the beauty of their imaginative distortions and hyperboles.

The subconscious undeniably shapes Vivanco’s images. By exploring her figurative subjects through surreal shifts in scale and shadowy casts of mood and light, her paintings feel like their drawn from the recesses of dream. Psychologically inflected, the depictions of her characters range from the lighthearted to the more somber and foreboding. Vivanco works primarily in acrylic on panel and canvas, and her stylized hand is immediately recognizable, as is her signature palette of muted and darkened vintage-inspired colors. The speculative scenes she stages remain slightly intangible; we are given moments from a more substantial story that is then left to our imaginative work to unfold. The mystery lingers in these captures, as little is explicitly unraveled but rather implied. In addition to her fine art practice, Vivanco has been commissioned to illustrate children’s books, including Snow White and the Red Rose in 2014 and her second, Thumbelina, in 2016.

Both Joncas and Vivanco, though distinctly different in their unique styles, share an interest in the tangential work of the subconscious and all of its surreal textures and, potential, looking to the symbolism of the strange and relinquishing control of these mysterious spaces to the unscripted nature of its “in-betweens.” The ambiguity of their worlds is one in which enigmatic encounters remain partially unseen, and the suspenseful irresolution of the unknown lingers; whether through allegory or avatar, both Joncas and Vivanco look to the openings rather than the seams.


Preview of Sarah Joncas Mural for “Vitality & Verve : In The Third Dimension”

In an interview and film by Selina Miles, we get a preview of Sarah Joncas‘s installation for “Vitality & Verve: In The Third Dimension” presented by the Long Beach Museum of Art in collaboration with Thinkspace Gallery and Pow! Wow! Long Beach.

Tickets to the kickoff event this Friday, July 15th are available at

“Vitality & Verve: In The Third Dimension” will be on view at LBMA from July 16th to October 16th, 2016.  For more information on the exhibition please visit the Thinkspace Gallery website.

Supported by:
Montana Cans
Flex Fit
Monster Energy
Thinkspace Gallery
Jet Blue
Port of Long Beach
Visit Long Beach
Long Beach Museum of Art
Pow! Wow! Worldwide

Beauty in the Breakdown – Sarah Joncas & Camilla d’Errico + free prints opening night!


beauty in the breakdown sarah joncas and camilla d'errico

In our main gallery:
Sarah Joncas & Camilla d’Errico
‘Beauty In The Breakdown’

Opening Reception with all three artists on hand:
Saturday, February 28th 6-9PM
Both exhibits on view February 28th through March 21st

Beauty In The Breakdown is an exhibition by two Canadian based artists who wear their femininity on their sleeves. Having first shown together almost a decade ago, this special exhibition is a reunion and anniversary of sorts for both artists.

Each artist wields a certain kind of mojo that make human hearts skip a beat. The more one looks at their works, the more one will start to see the emotional complexity that makes their paintings far deeper than just being eye candy for the soul. Their works span the full array of human emotions, from longing to innocence, to surreal flights of fantasy that only begin to hint at the more solemn emotions that most of us try and hide.

Sarah Joncas oil painting Schoolgirl Burial Sarah Joncas ‘Schoolgirl Burial’ – oil on canvas – 24×30 inches

Sarah Joncas was born in 1986 and grew up in both Hamilton and Niagara Falls, Ontario. Her interest in the visual arts developed at an early age, starting with the dedicated drawings of dinosaurs and lizards. Eventually the study and enjoyment of working from existing images stirred up the need in Sarah to create images of her own; ones that could reflect the world, yet also appease the personal feelings/ideas that she herself maintained. With this, her direction changed gradually from the world of animation, towards a path in fine art.
Joncas is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and currently resides and works out of Toronto, Canada. Her work focuses on the mysterious lives of her female protagonists placed within film-noir atmospheres. In this exhibition, Joncas explores themes of mystery, troubled relationships and betrayal taking cues from modern day symbolism and contemporary technology.

Camilla d'Errico Madame Butterfly

Camilla d’Errico ‘Madame Butterfly’ – Oil on wood panel – 9.5×11.75 inches

Camilla d’Errico is a product of her split heritage, Italian and Canadian rolled into one: Italian fiestiness, Canadian politeness, and an early addiction to Saturday morning cartoons, comics and manga. Growing up she was more often doodling sexy damsels and dragons on her textbooks than reading them. In 1998 when Camilla first attended her first San Diego Comic Con she realised that a 9-5 day job would kill her and this was what she wanted to do. Thanks to her relentless energy, dedication, and just enough sleep deprivation, she has followed her dream of working creatively for a living.

Camilla’s unique style continues to be in demand and her client list includes Dark Horse Comics, Image Comics, Random House, Tokyopop, Hasbro, Disney, Sanrio, Neil Gaiman and she also works with video game and movie companies on character development. Her own characters and properties, Tanpopo and Helmetgirls, are loved by fans and followers and now inspire Cosplay costumes. She has successfully merchandised and licensed her beautiful artwork across a variety of categories: clothing, stationery and gift, accessories, art prints, etc. and continues to expand her licensing program. Her emotive and eloquent paintings have propelled her to the top of the ranks of the New Contemporary art movement
~ Free Prints To The 1st 30 Guests Through Our Doors This Saturday ~ 
Free to the 1st 30 guests through our doors this Saturday evening. Please do not call or email asking for one, they are strictly for our local patrons on opening night.
Camilla d'Errico 'Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Camilla d’Errico
‘Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble’
Edition of 30
8×10 inches
Hand-signed by the artist

Sarah Joncas Nightshade

Sarah Joncas
Edition of 30
8×10 inches
Hand-signed by the artist

An interview with Sarah Joncas

An interview with Sarah Joncas

Can you share a bit about your new body of work for ‘Between Wind and Water”? What do these new works represent for you?

Unlike many of the larger shows I’ve done in the past, I decided to go into this body of work with no particular theme in mind. I also decided I’d keep my planning for the show to a minimal, just painting and letting ideas stir as I got further and further into it. Since I tend to work on 8-10 pieces at a time, I did find some similar ties between them and emphasized ideas as I went along.

For me, I see this work symbolizing change and transformation though. Destruction and renewal, sexuality and identity… An emphasis on character both vulnerable and powerful. Not every piece plays to this, often I simply love the look of an enigmatic face, but I can see now how my afterthoughts about the work have started directing me in my newer sketches still. I think it’s necessary sometimes to just let go and see where things take you.

We’re often asked if the female character in your work is intended to be yourself and I know sometimes that is the case. Would you care to talk about this a bit? 

Yes, I get that question all too often. To be honest, I don’t intend self portraiture unless the title suggests it, which is few and far between. I think maybe when people say ‘self portrait’ they simply mean the painting looks like me though. When we were asked to make self portraits at OCAD, students would come in with abstracts and far less straight forward ideas of what the self meant… So, though I can admit the resemblance of myself to my girls at times, I don’t actually see myself in these paintings. Trying to analyze it objectively, I did grow up learning to draw from my own face though, I spent a lot of time alone, I’ve never used models and my whole family looks a little alike… I often think of these paintings to be more like alter ego’s instead, or my way of acting out ideas and feelings that concern me. I’m a very quiet and reserved individual, so in a way, I also find these paintings to be manner of breaking free from that restriction, playing out characters that are bold, moody, angry, powerful and unapologetic. I guess I’m as much a self portrait artist as Cindy Sherman was, or as any actor should be considered. Obviously your empathy and ability to express certain emotions truthfully comes from an inner experience, but it’s a tool, not the story.

What fuels you to keep creating?

Simply that it makes me happy, but also just the continual emergence of ideas for painting. Creating becomes a way to express beauty and find understanding, which makes life much more meaningful.

Please describe your dream project if time and money were not issues.

I’ve dreamed of being able to make a book of my own someday, since I was little. Either a graphic novel, storybook or children’s book. I have no ideas for one as of yet, but imagining an end product with pages of illustrated work and a well thought out story… Such a huge feat, and I really would need so much more time and money to set things aside and complete it. Even if it were a book of themed poems with illustrations… I made a simple version of something like that in high school.

Favorite item in your studio?

My cats! Not really an item, but I love those little guys far more than any of the ‘stuff’ in my studio.

If you were to take us out on the town in Toronto, what might we get up to?

More than anything I love just walking around Toronto. But we’d have to check out the AGO, Second City and the Harbourfront. It’s fun getting out to Toronto Island at night to see the sun set over the city, as well. There’s just too many good restaurants to choose from, so lunch and dinner would be necessary. In the winter, skating at Nathan Phillips is fun and getting on top any building with a roof top is a great way to view the city!

Is there anyone in particular, artist or otherwise, that you’d like to mention here?

No one in particular, I think… I’m not really sure how to fit anyone into a conversation like this, but I suppose I’m always thankful to my BF who has to put up with my craziness and worry while developing a body of work for a show like this! I try to pry opinions from him about the paintings and what he thinks I could improve, which makes him uncomfortable, haha.

Any special projects coming up after your exhibit with us here at Thinkspace you would like to mention?

At the moment, just getting in more group shows and I’ll be working on a new solo body of work for December at the Last Rites Gallery in NYC. I will also be participating in a project that can’t be mentioned at this point, but it should be pretty exciting! Will post all about it come due time.

‘Between Wind and Water’ on view through this Sat, June 30th at Thinkspace

New prints now available from Sarah Joncas and Caia Koopman

Sarah Joncas 'Decadence and Despair'

Sarah Joncas
‘Decadance and Despair’
Edition of 25 + 3APs
Hand-signed & numbered by artist
18×18″ paper size with 16×16″ image area
Giclee print on Museo Portfolio Rag Paper

Available here:

Caia Koopman 'Endangered'

Caia Koopman
Edition of 30 + 3APs
Hand-signed & numbered by artist
16×19″ paper size with 14×17″ image area
Giclee print on Museo Portfolio Rag Paper

Available here: