Roushan knows how to look on the bright side of life

Roushan knows how to look on the bright side of life
Raziah Roushan with her chalk creation at the 2014 Palo Alto Chalk festival. (“Selfie” courtesy of Raziah Roushan)

 

“If I haven’t mentioned it lately, I LOVE BEING ALIVE! Life is exhilarating, inspiring and challenging. My mind is tingling with worlds of expressive possibilities.”

So begins a recent Facebook timeline update by artist Raziah Roushan, written from her sunlight drenched Quonset hut studio in Vista.

Her consistently positive attitude, love of art, and giving spirit create opportunities to impact North San Diego County and beyond.

Roushan became hooked on art as a sophomore at Rancho Buena Vista High School and has never looked back. Several art classes at Palomar Community College, Laguna College of Art & Design, and Saddleback Community College resulted in a portfolio that secured instant admission into the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Ore. After receiving her bachelor’s of Fine Art degree, she traversed North and South America and Western Europe creating and exhibiting artwork and building an extensive network of relationships.

Completion of a master’s degree in Art Administration from the Savannah College of Art & Design advanced her business skills as a professional artist and allowed her to offer greater service to the many non-profit organizations with which she volunteers and partners.

Roushan reflects on volunteerism, “Communities are built by the hands of volunteers, large or small. A 10-person nonprofit organization’s staff may facilitate cultural offerings, but a program is brought to life by dedicated volunteers. That kind of passion impacts thousands of that community’s residents.”

She feels fortunate to have worked with many organizations such as the New Village Arts’ Foundry Art Studios and Flight 64 of Portland, Oregon. A board member and program director for the San Marcos Arts Council, Roushan has served as artist coordinator of the San Marcos ArtWalk, the Chalk Artist Committee chair for the Carlsbad ArtSplash, and as a mentor for the San Diego Foundation’s Great Neighborhood Challenge Grant.

Roushan remarks, “Although I cannot give all of my time, I’ve finally mastered the art of delegating appropriate volunteerism that satisfies my soul and challenges my talents and skills. I know where my own heart lies, so I tend to seek out organizations that work with the arts.”

While volunteering much of her time for the benefit of others, Roushan reserves enough for her career as a professional artist. Having recently completed an exhibition at the Twin Oaks Gallery in San Marcos, she is scheduled for another solo show there in 2015.

She describes her artwork, “I’ve always used my art as a form of storytelling. I juxtapose symbolism of varying genres on the picture plane to create a narrative.”

Through her painting “Does Your Freedom Come Gold Plated”, which won the People’s Choice Award at the 2014 San Diego County Fair, Roushan questions the viewer’s notions of vanity and how our collective society has acquired assumed freedoms.

She explains, “It’s not my place to tell people how to live, I just want to ask them if they’ve thought about certain things in a conscious way.”

Exemplified by her recent “Gypsy Bride” exhibition at Carlsbad’s Georgina Cole Library, Roushan juxtaposed iconic symbols of domesticity with vibrantly colored bride-inspired figures, prompting viewers to re-examine the concept of matrimony and to contemplate the life cost of being in a committed relationship.

She adds, “We as artists are here to document our times and to say the things others may not know how to express. I want my art to capture our economic, political and social struggles.”

Roushan also works in non-traditional visual mediums. As a muralist who has painted with Studio 2 of Carlsbad and the Philadelphia Mural Arts, she enjoys working with clients to bring their vision to life on a grand scale. She was one of 4 artists recently selected to paint the “Route 395” mural in Historic Downtown Vista.

As a chalk artist she has won multiple awards including the “Judge’s Choice” for the first annual Chalk Alive at the Vista Strawberry Festival, “Best Reproduction” from the Mission Viejo Art Alive, and “Most Creative” at the Festa/Gesso Italiano in Little Italy, San Diego.

Roushan’s ever-positive and generous approach to life is a gift to all.

As her recent Facebook post concludes: “Everyday isn’t always so exciting but today is especially sunny in my little Raziah-world.”

To learn more about the artist and to see her artwork visit raziahroushan.com

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