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From Banking to Brushes: Vidya Birkhoff's Artistic Journey to Tobago

I just came across this wonderful Karia Douglas interview with our member artist, Vidya Birkhoff. In it, Vidya shares her inspiring story of rediscovering her passion for art after years in the banking industry.

Overcoming Discouragement and Embracing Art:

Her story begins with the familiar struggle of many local artists - a family's discouragement and their belief that art is not a viable career path. However, after a lifetime of envy of those who could freely express themselves through art, a chance encounter with the Ani Art Academy in Anguilla in 2017, ignited a fire within her.

Learning and Growing as an Artist:

At the Ani Art Academy, Vidya dedicated herself to a full-time art curriculum for four and a half years, honing her skills in drawing and painting. As a result, the dream that had lain nascent within her flourished into the establishment of her own studio, Yellow Butterfly Studios, in Tobago.

Capturing the Essence of Trinidad and Tobago:

A Vidya Birkhoff painting of an Afro Trinidadian woman dancing in colorful headwear and dress
Shamika in Full Flight

Vidya's art focuses on the vibrant culture of Trinidad and Tobago. Her aim is to evoke joy and positive emotions through her paintings. She takes inspiration from everyday moments and the stories they hold, as seen in her painting of Shamika experiencing the Tobago Heritage Festival.

Beyond the Canvas: Sharing the Love of Art:

Vidya's passion extends beyond her own artistic journey. Last year, she offered free art classes to inspire and empower Tobago's youth. This year, she has graciously agreed to co-facilitate, with fellow local artist Ken Crichlow, WIAOTT's first annual Artists' Retreat, FIRED UP!


You can view Vidya's work on her website

or visit her studio the next time you're in Tobago, at the Esplanade on the Scarborough Waterfront. t

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Unknown member
May 08

Excellent articles

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