FetsumFetsum Teclemariam

Artist Statement
My paintings are visual proverbs. Using the figure, still life objects, and landscapes as a means of self-expression, I communicate the cultural heritage and emotions of the places that I come from and the experience of the culture where I live now.
I grew up in a community in Africa where I was not allowed to express my thoughts, concerns, and feelings in public – speaking out had terrible consequences. As a result, I started to express, my anger, frustrations, sense of betrayal, joy and beauty through my paintings, and still do.
The marks that I make with my brushes and charcoal are connected to my feelings, and express and communicate a situation. I depict both ugly realities and joyful feelings through the strokes, and by so doing, address the paradox of human life and my own thoughts and feelings.
Using oil as a medium, I am able to have more layers on the canvas which allows me to capture the experience of having multiple feelings at the same time as well as capture feelings that come in sequence.
My paintings express my feelings of the physical environment around me and the people who live in it, yet, they are not exclusive presentation of self. Hence, I invite my audience to search for connections to themselves in my paintings, and examine how they relate to themselves and to their surroundings.

Born in 1972 in Keren, Eritrea
Lives and works in Edmonton, AB, Canada


2016 Visual Arts Project Development, Harcourt House, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2010 Master Class for Painting and Drawing, Hatahana Studio School, Tel Aviv, Israel

Solo Exhibitions

2018 Life Through Painting Part 2, The City of Edmonton Library Woodcroft Branch, Edmonton, AB, Canada

2017  Life Through Painting Part 1, William Hawrelak Park, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Black History Month, Edmonton City Hall, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Black History Month, Concordia University, Edmonton, AB, Canada

2011 Indoor and Outdoor Painting, Hanina Galley,Tel Aviv, Israel

2004 Topography, Religion and Culture, Keren Hotel Gallery, Keren, Eritrea

Group Exhibitions

2018  5 Artists 1 Love, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada
5 Artists 1 Love, Augustana Campus University of Alberta, Camrose, AB, Canada
5 Artists 1 Love, Scott Gallery, Edmonton, AB, Canada

2012  Hatahana Merkezit Municipality Galley,Tel Aviv, Israel
Haifa University Gallery, Haifa, Israel

2011 Hatahana Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel


2005 St Michael Church, Keren, Eritrea
2005 Wolde Bairay & Hiwet Private Collection, Keren, Eritrea
2003 Holy Savior Asmara Church, Asmara, Eritrea
1999 Asmara University, Animal Husbandry Department, Asmara, Eritrea


Mulue Woldezghi, Edmonton, AB, Canada
Shiff Collection, Marina Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel
Shiff Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel
Naama Kedem Collection,Tel Aviv, Israel
Miki Belkin Collection, Tel Aviv, Israel
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Tel Aviv, Israel
Mary De Jode, London, UK
Sarina Hotel Collection, Keren, Eritrea

Teaching Experience

2014 – present Drawing and Painting, Private Studio, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2013 – 2014 Visual Arts Instructor, Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton, Edmonton, AB, Canada
2011 – 2013 Drawing and Painting Instructor for Youth, Eri-shan Studio, Tel Aviv, Israel

Residencies & Scholarships

2008 – 2010 Scholarship, Hatahana Studio School, Tel Aviv, Israel

Press & Publications

Asmara Show, Interview, Daniel Sium, 2018 (Link)
Radio Blina, Interview, February 11, 2017 (Link)
Tigryna Program, Interview, July 2017
Art at the Marina Hotel, Magazine, Tel Aviv, 2013
Meazin Newspaper 2013: No. 4, Page 12, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Refugee Voice: A Matter of Color, June 2012, Page 26-27, Tel Aviv, Israel
Mestiyat Magazine, September 10, 2010, Page 10, Tel Aviv, Israel
Eritrean Television (Eri-TV), Interview, May 12, 2005, Asmara, Eritrea
Ministry Information, Bilen Radio Program, Interview, July 21, 2004, Asmara, Eritrea