YEDaily: Jennifer Dooley

Jennifer Dooley started her creative endeavours as an independent artist in February 2010, an effort that has merged into what is now called Art House – All of Us Together in June of this year. Find out more about the inspiration behind her business in today’s YEDaily…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your business in a nutshell.
Art House – All of Us Together brings together artists from all disciplines living in Calgary, Canada and Sydney, Australia to empower, collaborate, build community capacity, and provide international networking opportunities both between and within the two cities. 

In conjunction with running art-related events, I also focus on my own creative efforts. First and foremost has been an art photography series (exhibited in Sydney and Calgary using projected light graffiti) entitled “Inspiring Femininity.” Inspiring Femininity focused on capturing the unique female essence in everyone through digital artwork. Further, I have continued my work on portrait photography for artistic branding and promotion; the most recent work has been with the prominent Calgarian independent rock musicians Reuben and the Dark.

Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
I spent my 20s traveling and living in different countries around the world: the United Kingdom, South America, Australia, and South East Asia. During one trip to Australia, I came across a Melbourne art exhibition. In the city centre, there was a giant photography collage with a portrait dedicated to one person in every country around the world. I found the work so touching that I decided I would do my best to pursue the common goal of expressing this idea of connectedness.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
I am in love with the concept of being able to share the people, places, and histories I encounter during my journeys, which are truly never ending. I am now spending my time living in Calgary, Canada and Sydney, Australia with travel back and forth and loving every moment of such an unconventional way of life! I’ve been so blessed to meet talented artists along the way who are passionate about creating beauty in our world. It is so fulfilling to facilitate artistic collaboration between artists and we have created some magical art pieces as a result of doing so. 

Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
Currently Art House – All of Us Together has established a partnership with a Sydney group of artists living in the suburb of Newtown. Within 5 years I would like to have a similar partnership established in Berlin, Germany. Ideally we would have event spaces in Calgary, Sydney, and Berlin for multidisciplinary artists to visit on international exchanges with the opportunity to sell and share their work – to help empower them to be successful and fruitful in their future creative lives.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
I think it would be the first Art House event we did. Little planning and organizing went into it and basically two Sydney artists flew to Calgary at the last minute to share their work: the creation of a street art movement in Newtown, Sydney during the 90s. In what was a very short time, we pulled together two fantastic events and managed to even find time to show the artists a good time at the Stampede and by exploring the Rocky Mountains. The whole experience taught me that if things are meant to happen, they tend to fall into place quite nicely. Find out more about these events here and here

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I have three pieces of advice that keep me going:

(1)  As a dear friend of mine and supporter of Art House – All of Us Together, philanthropist Tony Spanos often says to me: We are all Champions of our own world. If dedicated people work together from their hearts, anything is possible.

(2)  Want to make great art? Start from a place of joy and remember Give it Up, Give it Away and Get on With It… brilliant minds making it happen. – Artist Juilee Pryor

(3)  And lastly, my very own: Don’t be afraid to take risks, to believe in yourself, and to open your hearts to one another – after all we are all in this together.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
While I do not directly fund any charities, I have worked on several projects pro bono as part of building my work. One of these efforts has been event photography for the Ssubi Foundation, a charitable foundation dedicated to building schools, providing scholastic opportunities, and child sponsorship in Uganda. I hope to be making enough money in the future that my work can support a charity that would be in a similar vein. It is definitely in my long-term plan. 

What is Notable to you?
A space dedicated to connecting like-minded passionate people. 

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone of course, to share my world in photos on Instagram. 
How do you keep active, energetic, and vibrant?By surrounding myself by beautiful people and places that weave all of us together.

Photo by Aldona Barutowicz