Born in Sofia, Bulgaria in 1958, Veselina Tomova graduated from the High School of Fine Art’s Illustration Program before completing a BFA in Illustration and Book Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in 1979. She moved to Germany, continuing her education with a Masters in Fine Art at the Academy of Graphic Art and Book Design,
specializing in illustration, printmaking, and book design.
By 1993 she had moved to Newfoundland and Labrador to make a second home in St. John’s, founding Vis-a-Vis graphics. She’s remained an active printmaker and illustrator, while also doing graphic design.
Veselina’s developed a substantial portfolio of fine art and illustrated numerous books in Germany, Bulgaria and Canada. As a children’s book illustrator, her work’s appeared in Maggie & Hero, A Dozen Silk Diapers, and others. Tomova also designed Patricia Grattan’s City Seen Artists’ Views of St. John’s 1785-2010 and Andy Jones’ Jack and the Manger, and Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves.
She became an artist in residence at St. Michael’s Printshop in 2009 and is represented by Red Ochre Gallery, where she’s had solo shows. Veselina has also had solo shows internationally, with two exhibitions in her ‘first home’ at the National Gallery for Foreign Art and Gallery Paris in Sofia. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, one of the most recent being the Large Year Award, presented to her in 2011 by VANL-CARFAC.
The pieces being presented tonight come from her Ports of Call collection which uses vibrant colours and plays with collage shapes and patterns, while honouring the traditions of printmaking. Her Ports of Call are the symbols of spiritual movement, the longing to find ones place in the cosmic fabric, the delicate balance between the desire to explore and the comfort of safe refuge.