At the age of 16, everything clicked for Bonita Silver, when she saw the Frank Lloyd Wright house on a school trip. Inspired by M.C. Escher, Bauhaus and the art movement of constructivism with its aesthetic combination of geometry and architecture, Bonita is a unique self taught artist from Guelph whose work is defined as art deco constructivism.  

Over the course of Bonita’s career since the late 70’s, she has worked in a variety of mediums such as painting, drawing, textiles, clothing, glass and wood.  Amongst her art history influences, her use of colour is inspired by the yearly pantone colour release, couture fashion shows and the themes she is focusing on. 

Bonita’s art engages audiences to look closely and challenges them to find meaning in geometrical shapes and lines. She uses directional lines and shapes to move the eye through the work and colour or the lack thereof to pause. Using symbolism and conscious artistry, Bonita tells a story in every piece, using themes to create a variety of series. She shared that she doesn’t sign the front of her work in order to allow a four way view, enhancing the environment of her art so the audience never gets bored. 

When the pandemic hit and shut everything down, Bonita saw an opportunity to paint and created 250 pieces of a variety of series such as Womanhood, several Egyptian series and creative one offs. 

Artwork by Bonita Silver

Fast forward to 2023 and Bonita is breaking into the global art world with a feature in a French online magazine, La Gazette de Nicole, an art calendar being produced in Italy, as well as participating in this year’s “2023 Art2Life International Juried Art Exhibition” in California, USA. 

Bonita Silver is the definition of ‘the sky’s the limit” in regards to art.  She shared, “I have to do it, it’s a passion.” Her advice to emerging artists is, “Just don’t let anyone dissuade you, don’t let anyone stop you. Make it happen. Keep going.  Don’t listen to the naysayers” and network, network, network, stating” You have to be in people’s faces. You want people to recognize your work before they recognize your face.” 

My favourite line of our chat was, “Never take no for an answer because it’s just a two letter word. You can’t let it affect you.”

With a background in business, Bonita preaches that the use of both sides of her brain (business and art) have helped her immensely over her career. While that is not a common combination for most artists she recommends actively reading business books because the skills that you learn in business like negotiating with people, composing business letters, bookkeeping  and accounting are all very transferable skills to an artist trying to make a name for themselves. 

Her last piece of advice for all artists far and wide was, “you can’t be afraid. If you let fear overpower you, you will never do anything.”

To find out more about Bonita, her work and what she is up to next check out her website:

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