National Newspaper Week is upon us (an October happening that’s close to our hearts) and there’s a new Champion The Truth collection of art available to honour it. Canadian artist Ola Volo has created a custom piece of art entitled Champions to celebrate local news media. Champions is available for purchase as a limited-edition signed print and softcover journal (with the art emblazoned on the cover), and a portion of proceeds from the sale of these items will be donated to Canadian Journalists for Free Expression. The artwork is really cool, but you don’t have to take our word for it—read our interview with Ola below, and enter to win a print of your own! —Noa Nichol
Hi Ola! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
Hi! I’m Ola Volo, Canadian mural artist and illustrator from Kazakhstan. If you’ve seen any of my previous work you probably will recognize that my art is a form of visual storytelling creating fairly complex narratives that use symbolism, people, places and nature together in a modern folkloric style inspired by my background. I love that my art gives me a way to connect with people and start conversation about important issues and causes I am passionate about—like my partnership with News Media Canada to support independent local journalism in Canada.
You’ve created a beautiful custom piece, Champions, to mark the occasion of NNW; can you tell us about the inspo/meaning behind this work of art?
I’ve always been a supporter and reader of local newspapers. So when News Media Canada approached me to collaborate on a custom artwork that celebrates Canadian news for National Newspaper Week, I was excited and just knew it would be a great fit! My artwork, Champions, was inspired by conversations I had with representatives from local newspapers across the country. I was able to hear from them first hand just how important local reporting is and the ability of newspapers to keep communities informed especially during the past few years. Champions features three stoic, trailblazing characters that represent both journalists and readers. I wanted the work to feel like it’s full of diverse stories and subject matters, just like our papers. You’ll also see a variety of iconic landmarks from across the country featured in this piece which represents and celebrates the diversity of people, places, and perspectives in Canada. Combined these elements demonstrate the ability that newspapers have to spark conversation and connect local communities together through art. National Newspaper Week is a chance to celebrate the essential service newspapers provide and their ability to spark important conversations from coast to coast. I hope that when readers see my artwork, they feel empowered by the subject of news. I also wanted the viewers to connect not only to the story of the piece, but to take the time to search through all the details and surprises you will find when you look closer at the artwork.
Has a particular piece of Canadian journalism ever made a big impression on you? Please tell us about that.
When I was a child, as a Canadian immigrant, I remember my parents reading the local newspaper every morning to stay connected to our community—which often started our conversation at dinner to talk about what we read and the things that were happening right in our community. And now as an artist, these same newspapers have been supporters of me and my art, for years! Every time I create a mural or a piece of art somewhere in Canada, I feel incredibly supported by local newspapers and it’s been an amazing way to share my story and my artwork with people across Canada. When I create my artwork and discuss the story behind my murals with a local journalist, I feel they give the artwork a voice.
Win! A Signed Print Of Ola Volo’s “Champion”!
Congrats Darci P. of Prince George, B.C., who will receive a signed print of Ola Volo’s “Champion” (frame not included)! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.