Victor Mashaal

Joy Berkson's childhood friends knew she was going to be an artist even before she did. "She was always the most creative kid on the street. Equal parts rebellious, innovative and gentle - the friend with the old soul and wisdom beyond her years." *  By the time she was 10 years old, Joy had developed an awareness of the cultures and flavours of city life well beyond her own neighbourhood - traveling by bus downtown to take classes at the Musée de Beaux Arts.

Balancing her need for creative and artistic self-expression with the realities of paying the rent, Joy earned a DEC in Creative Arts in college and then embarked on a very successful career in advertising as Commercial Artist and then as Art Director.  After five years as an Art Director, Joy immersed herself in full-time university studies and earned a Baccalaureate in Fine Arts (Major - Studio Arts) from Concordia University. Wishing to further explore different cultures and societies, Joy went to the island nation of Guadeloupe where she designed a line of bright, bold, hand-painted clothing for Club Med. The clothing line was sold throughout Club Med Resort stores and - upon Joy's return to Montreal - in select retail outlets in Old Montreal.

Back in her hometown and familiar haunts, Joy was named as Creative Director of a manufacturing company - putting her signature creative flourish on many highly-recognizable package designs in the consumer marketplace.

On a parallel path - the same she's been exploring and navigating since she was a child - Joy continues to paint and create. Joy's painting and drawing is featured in the permanent Avmor collection represented by several well-known Canadian artists. She has always been fascinated - and connected - with people and culture and that connection influences her work at every level.  She is proud of her strict work ethic and discipline. Joy works hard to ensure she maintains her ability to create consistently - and the passion and love for her craft is evident through the broad spectrum and body of her work.

Only a wildly creative artist could find inspiration in watching an ER orthopedic technician apply a plaster bandage cast to help mend a fracture her son sustained. Joy began sculpting a collection of wondrously irreverent little people she calls #peopleofjoy.

Joy loves that an encounter with her art makes people feel good and smile. She is constantly striving to find the humour and good spirit in the art she creates.

The girl on the bus is all grown-up now. Joy's art reflects the splashes of culture, the fantastic people, and the professional and personal challenges

encountered in the course of a life spent on a constant journey of gathering essential wisdom.

* Hal Newman, EMT & Director Stanstead House Concerts Network & childhood friend

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