I'm Here With Magazine Issue 1 - Page 20

The Lady of the Masks

Olga Sem is a European Artist, that has created one of the first theatre shows of it's kind in Calgary!

Olga Sem has put together a theatre experience that was inspired by her love of mask making, she and her dance group have been rehearsing for a year to put on the Vizard Show in late June of 2016! She is excited to share her passion for the creation and designing exquisite masks.

Olga learned her craft long ago in the beautiful city of Venice, where she was taught by an old man called Senor Augusto in his tiny workshop. Following her graduation from art school, Olga earned two science degrees and embarked upon her career in Engineering Optical - Electronic Systems and then Accounting and auditing. However, she was so busy with her work and with raising her two sons and being a wife that she never had time to pursue her art.

Olga was born in Kazakhstan to a Ukrainian Father and Russian Mother; she was brought up in both cultures. After moving to Canada (March 2012), she met so many talented people in Calgary that helped her follow her passion and peruse her dream again. As Olga says, she is eternally grateful for her friends continuing to help and support her vision for this Vizard show.

The mask maker draws inspiration from her life experiences and from the people around her. Today the walls of her home are covered in masks, but these are far more than simple artistic creations. Each mask has a meaning and represents a real person with mystical characteristics. For example, none of us are ideal and the Mask of Balance symbolizes the different aspects of a person’s personality. The main positive and negative sides of a character are depicted in black and white, divided by a central red line. Olga has more than 30 masks, all in widely different designs. While some are classic, She has also crafted modern masks with LEDs and ones in a Steam punk style.

Olga Sem