Let Vahe Tokmajyan mould your artistic identity.
"Passion. Creativity. Skill. For someone to become an artist, they need these characteristics."
These are the words of Vahe Tokmajyan, artist, sculptor, and much-loved Continuing Education instructor, a man well-versed in the foundations of art.
The programming team at UCalgary Continuing Education all agree. Passion, creativity, and skill are essential, but what they also know is that students need someone who can help them pull those attributes together into one harmonious expression of art. They entrust that job to Vahe.
Today, with over 30 years of experience in professional sculpture, Vahe is known internationally.
"My teaching methods have helped many students," says Vahe. "I help them obtain skills and a belief in their own abilities, and I work with them to create their own path in the world of art."
In Vahe's classes, Continuing Education students are carefully guided through the basics. Whether you're an adventurer dabbling in your first art course, or a student pursuing a certificate in visual or graphic design, you will likely be one of Vahe's students.
As a young man, Vahe earned a Master of Fine Arts specializing in Drawing and Sculpture from the State Institute of Arts and Theatre in Armenia. Vahe joined UCalgary Continuing Education as an instructor in 2005, shortly after immigrating to Canada from Armenia.
Today, with over 30 years of experience in professional sculpture, Vahe is known internationally. His pieces are shown in museums, galleries and private collections around the world. Back home in Armenia, both his father and brother are renowned sculptors as well.
Vahe has accumulated extensive experience teaching adults, always with a focus on hands-on practice.
"My philosophy for teaching drawing and sculpture is based on a combination of theory and practice," he says. "I strongly believe that there is no theory without practice ... and there is no practice without theory. I believe in using simple forms to understand the world that surrounds us."
"I use this idea and combine it with effective exercise, such as gesture drawing, to provide the student with a method that will help them discover their talent."
Vahe points out three benefits to using gesture drawing as a warmup exercise:
- It creates a connection between your eyesight and your head.
- It focuses on the general before the specific and does so in a limited period of time, no more than 2 minutes.
- It provides understanding. What is in your sketch? Understanding what to capture and what to leave out is important. This is the foundation of the student experience.
Says Vahe: "Using this method of combining the academic idea of geometric forms with fast exercises of gesture drawing, I build a groundwork for students to take into further studies."
Vahe has incorporated his knowledge as a practising artist into his teaching and has accumulated extensive experience teaching adults, always with a focus on hands-on practice. He has developed his own courses for Continuing Education and taught many classes in art and sculpture.
Dance, Vahe Tokmajyan, 2021.
Stained glass and cast concrete, Unity Park, Calgary, Alberta.