Interview with artist Marge Somkuti

With COVID 19 RAW the largest art organisation in the world, had to cancel all of the showcases for the next several months. Their team started the RAW Artists Canada Mask Making Initiative. They send out an emailing calling on the community to make PPE masks to be donated around the country. To date they have just under 10, 000 masks made that are being delivered throughout the country by volunteer couriers.

Marge is one of the Mask Makers. She is a painter, but also made 100 masks for the challenge. Read the interview to find out more.

How did you get involved in the RAW Artists Canada Mask Making Initiative? 
It started with my membership in the Edmonton Art Club, which occasionally collaborates with RAW,  another arts organization.  A co-member of EAC passed the Mask Making Initiative info on to me.  (Thank you Connie Clarke). As a plug for the club, the EAC had its start in 1921, so we will celebrate in a big way next year. 

Have you worked with them before? 
A few years ago I was involved in a RAW Art Event here in Edmonton.  As it says on its website, it is for artists, by artists.  I appreciated the exposure that RAW Natural Born Artists gave me at that event by connecting me with other artists, in my first public forum. 

You make outstanding watercolor paintings.  Where do you get your inspiration?  
I work primarily in watercolours but have recently picked up the acrylic brush.  A lot of my work stems from my travels.  Recently I have concentrated on landmarks.  My father was a draftsman, my stepfather an architect, so being drawn to architectural lines may have rubbed off on me.  

Your masks will be donated to the Mustard Seed in Edmonton.  Can you tell us why this is so important to you?
I have a very comfortable lifestyle for which I’m grateful.  I am a Dutch immigrant and my husband a Hungarian refugee.  Both of our families did not have it easy in the early years. I ‘m cognizant that there are many people in our community that are less fortunate.  This is an opportunity for me to give back in a small way. 

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