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Image by Augustine Wong
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Chanel DesRoches is a painter and printmaker based in Guelph, Ontario and holds a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Studio Art from the School of Fine Art & Music at the University of Guelph (2019). She is a Master of Fine Art Candidate at York University (2024), researching theory and methodology around abstraction through queer studies, deviance, societal issues, anxiety, and resilience. Expressed in her painting, she often leans on deflection tactics as an easy escape and avoidance strategy in social interactions or conversations that provoke dialogue and reflection from her younger self. Her practice informs the acts of pretending and reacting to each mark, gesture, colour, and form – the removal from reality and the creation of a new in-between, something that can be revised, reimagined, and repeated. Driving from personal experience, Chanel relentlessly engages with painting in the moment, allowing herself to interchangeably utilize intuition and compulsion as a means for mark making. Her work constantly investigates risk and feelings of fear when creating, acknowledging the vulnerability of her identity as a queer woman with an assumingly rebellious past.

Chanel is the owner and director of Necessary Arts Collective, located in Downtown Guelph. Leading with overall goals of community and accessibility, the space offers rentable studio's at varying sizes and price points for artists in all career stages. Having a passion for supporting the emerging arts community, Chanel targets early career artists looking to ease into a studio-based practice while maintaining inclusivity, diversity, safety, and affordability as a top priority. The studio includes a ready-to-work environment offering 24/7 access, wifi, white walls, spare storage, kitchenette, bathrooms, etc. Through this, Chanel was able to additionally launch a project space called "N/A Gallery" that introduces a non-intimidating bite-size gallery experience for artists. N/A Gallery is situated along the studios front floor-to-ceiling windows so viewers can productively see, enjoy, and talk about the work at any point in time.

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