In Pursuit of Creative endeavours

By Press Release

MJ Pollak

Meet MJ POLLAK, currently an art lecturer at Lakehead University Orillia Campus. In her free time, MJ practices painting and photography and exhibits in various galleries in Orillia. MJ studied at Ontario College of Art, the Banff School of Fine Arts, and the Julliard School, after which MJ was faculty in the Theatre Department at The Banff School of Fine Arts. Following that MJ worked as a free-lance set and costume designer. As well, as MJ published a novel, Summer Burns, with Insomniac Press, and has had several short stories and small pieces featured in other publications.

MJ settled in Orillia in 2018 and continued to pursue creative endeavours. As well as honing her skills in painting, MJ has been practising photography, inspired by the natural beauty of the area. Much of her work focuses on her love of the outdoors.

Upon arrival in Orillia, MJ very quickly got involved with the arts community in the city. She was on the board of the Orillia Fine Arts Association for four years, until it folded into the Orillia and District Arts Council, where she is now Visual Arts Director.

She also sits on the City of Orillia Art In Public Places Committee, where she has been overseeing exhibitions at the Stack Gallery. And she is an administrator for Urban Sketchers Orillia, organizing many outings where people get together to sketch in designated locations.

MJ has twice been nominated for the ORAH Emerging Artist Award. She placed first in the 2022 Sustainable Orillia art contest. Her Hippie Van design was selected for the Orillia Streets Alive exhibit celebrating 60 years of the Mariposa Festival, and as well her designs have been chosen twice in juried competitions for Oro-Medonte Art Trees.