Richmond Arts Awards: Youth winner a better artist than baker

Richmond artist Rotem Levy almost forgot about the cookies in her oven when she received a call about her winning the Youth Richmond Arts Award.

“I was very surprised and overjoyed because I was nominated last year and thought it wasn’t going to happen this year (due to) COVID and everything,” said Levy, adding that her cookies turned out pretty good and doubled as a celebratory snack.

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“Even though the person who contacted me said to not tell anybody, I had to tell my mom … and she gave me a quick thumbs up during her work.”

The 19-year-old told the Richmond News that she was doubtful about applying for the award at first.

However, with some encouragement from a youth mentor with the Richmond Youth Media program and a “bit of courage” she applied for the award in 2019.

Levy’s art journey began in Israel and in Hong Kong prior to moving to Canada in 2008.

Her move to Richmond, said Levy, exposed her to even more types of art than what she experienced overseas.

“When I entered into my first year at Emily Carr, there was a heavy focus on Indigenous art and I was pleasantly surprised because those types of art have not been addressed a lot.”

She added that she enjoyed it even more when the school “pushed” her out of her comfort zone.

Being exposed to different types of art, added Levy, let her find her path as an artist, which has led her to working in different industries such as Foundry Richmond – a mental health therapy hub for youth.

“I’ve gotten great opportunities and I’m thankful for them.”

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