Osi Cruz-Lahtinen earns a bright spotlight

16 – Innisfail Province, Tuesday, July 22, 2014

MVP Staff

Osi Cruz-Lahtinen Innisfail Province

Tim Lasiuta MVP STAFF
Mexican-born Innisfail artist Osi Cruz-Lahtinen puts on finishing touches to a recent painting-sculpture in her home studio.

Innisfail artist Osi Cruz-Lahtinen has survived her first solo art show reception and is poised for future art success.

Last June, the Mountain View Museum and Archives in Olds hosted Cruz-Lahtinen’s art show entitled “Life in Central Alberta” which garnered support from the artistic community in Olds and the surrounding region, including Innisfail.

“The museum was very good to myself and other artists in Olds,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “They are supportive of our work and our efforts to celebrate culture and build a local art community.”

The Mexican-born artist has not always been in the artistic spotlight, training as an architect and youth minister when younger.

“I was born in Mexico City and my earliest memories are when I was painting,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “When I was four or five years old I would draw or paint with watercolours on every piece of paper I could find. Even today, when I pick up a brush or palette knife, I start seeing the possibilities or am transported to my childhood memories.”

As a 12-year-old artist, her art teacher recommended she choose another option in school. It did not work.

“My mentors were other young artists in Puebla, Mexico with whom I painted whenever I could,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “While in university, one of the classes I had to take along with architecture was an art class. Having an artistic background was a benefit to me, but soon I realized that art was more important to me than drawing buildings.”

She added her growth as an architect/artist led her to using different media such as oil, pastel, acrylic and textures, which she uses to this day.

“My painting journey has been an exciting one,” added Cruz-Lahtinen. “The learning curve I have had has taken me from artist to the business of art, and I am still learning. While I have been in other art shows before as part of a community, my first solo show has taught me many things.”

She held her first art show reception June 12 and it was well attended.

“It was nice to get feedback on my art,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “One very important thing that I realized was that while I was painting I was preparing for a show like this, developing contacts, building a body of work, and becoming a show artist.”

Cruz-Lahtinen moved to Canada almost 14 years ago and found a calling in the ministry.

“When I moved to Canada, I could not work as an architect and began my career as a youth minister, which I still do to this day, although in a limited fashion,” said Cruz-Lahtinen. “As my two children get older, I realized I had to balance my art with my family, which is not easy.

Thankfully they both continue the family business and paint when they can.”

Cruz-Lahtinen added she aims to capture meaningful experiences of “life” and the way the human soul absorbs them in the search for purpose.

Following the Olds show the artist travelled to Edmonton where she exhibited in the city’s Art in the Park event. Cruz-Lahtinen is a member of the Wellspring Visual ArtNetwork Association and the Alberta Community Art Clubs Association.

The artwork of Osi Cruz-Lahtinen can be found online at www.cruzlahtinenart.com

Innisfail Province 2014-07-22