Creative Connected Calgary Sisay Shimeles and his work created for the International Avenue BRT shelter adjacent to 52nd St. SE | Photo: Courtesy of Sisay Shimeles January 22, 2019 Sisay Shimeles Month of the Artist celebrates the valuable contributions artists make to Alberta Sisay Shimeles Sisay Shimeles studied art at the Addis Ababa University, School of Fine Arts and Design in Ethiopia. His work has appeared in several group exhibitions and community-oriented projects including art workshops for children and people with disabilities in Calgary and around the world. Like him on Facebook at sisay.shimeles.art. What city ward do you live in? Ward 5. How do you describe yourself as an artist? I am a visual artist and graphic designer. My art style has a mixture of African traditional art and a western academic influence. What does living a creative life mean to you? For an artist, creativity is everything. Any opportunity that allows me to practice and express myself in art is a fulfilling endeavour which I call “living a creative life.” What do you love about Calgary and what is one place you go to find inspiration in Calgary? Calgary has a lot to offer to artists and is getting to be a desirable art hub. Heritage Park is one of my favourite places in Calgary where I get inspiration due to its unique European and North American cultural assets/attributes. If you could do one thing this year to make Calgary a better place to live, what would it be? If I would be given the opportunity, I always dream of creating a masterpiece somewhere in the city by engaging immigrant children and youth who can gain confidence and a sense of ownership in making their home city a great place to live in. What piece of advice would you give to an emerging artist? To be an artist is a very special gift from God, so be it and use it to make an impactful change. What are you currently working on? Beside my new series of acrylic paintings for a possible solo exhibition in the near future, I am working on three public art pieces (in collaboration with another artist) for the Spruce Cliff community here in Calgary. About Alberta’s Month of the Artist January is the Month of the Artist in Alberta, an annual celebration of artists and the value they bring to the province, both socially and economically. Dedicated by the Government of Alberta, the Month of the Artist is a way to say thank you for making the province a better place to live. Calgary Arts Development is pleased to share the stories of artists who choose to live and work in Calgary. Have a story to share? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.