Miranda Urbanski (BFA '06)

Portrait of Miranda Urbanski.


The BFA program at Queen’s taught me that creativity knows no bounds. I now consider myself a creative hybrid having completed advanced training in fine art, digital design and art business. Queen’s for me was the root of all things – my eclectic creative journey began but did not end at Queen’s. The BFA program initiated my exploration of artistic identity as changing and multifaceted social performance – a theme I further explored during my MFA at the University of Waterloo through painted self-portraiture. I am indebted to the professors for encouraging my conceptual and technical development as a figurative painter. Flesh has remained my focus and paint my medium of choice.

Queen’s also taught me the value of study abroad. Creativity does not exist in a vacuum. It requires a rich, stimulating and challenging environment to flourish. One of my fondest memories of my BFA is the time spent at Queen’s Venice Summer School. As it turns out, one summer of art in Italy wasn‘t enough. I returned for two more summers of painting in Florence at the Lorenzo de’ Medici Art Institute and a few years later to the Slade School of Fine Art in the UK. My overseas exposure to the art world ecosystem (artists, galleries, dealers and auction houses) aroused my curiosity in the dynamics of the art market. This curiosity eventually led me to enrol in a Master of Art Business (MAAB) program offered through the Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, England in partnership with the University of Manchester.

Between my BFA and MFA studies I cultivated another facet of my hybrid persona. The creative potential of digital expression was something I began to explore at Queen’s through the multi-media lab and a time-based-media course. By taking a New Media Design Post Graduate Certificate at Sheridan College I further developed my digital design skills as well as web and marketing knowledge. I was later hired as the Web Producer for Flare Fashion Magazine. Since that time I have undertaken a wide variety of freelance digital projects, examples of which may be seen by visiting my Digital Portfolio. I also continue to paint and am represented by Rufus Gallery in Oakville. My Fine Art portfolio.

In addition to my art and digital design practices, I hold a full-time position with Sotheby’s Auction House in Toronto working in the Canadian Art Department. I use my fine art, business and digital design backgrounds to procure, market and sell both historic and contemporary Canadian art. Participating in Sotheby’s fall and spring auctions inevitably reminds me of the excitement that always surrounded the annual Cezanne’s Closet auction at Queen’s. Each step in my development has been linked in some way to my four years in the Queen’s Fine Art Department. I most especially value the close personal and professional relationships developed with Queen’s professors and peers who remain at the very hub of my art network today. These people continue to challenge me and encourage my creative development and expression. Saying “thank you” does not seem adequate. Realizing my creative potential may be the best way to repay my debt to them.


Artwork: 'Staring Contest'
Staring Contest
oil on canvas
60 by 72 in.
Artwork: 'Expensive Habit'
Expensive Habit
oil on canvas
48 by 84 in.