FRANKE JAMES

Down Syndrome Victory! Teresa Pocock wins an Arts Grant in Vancouver

by Franke James

Freelance writer and DTES Sm’Arts Grant advisor Carolyn Wong interviewed Teresa Pocock at her home about winning a Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grant (DTES Small Arts Grant).

My sister, Teresa Pocock, is all about exceeding expectations!

Teresa holds her DTES arts grant cheque with prideAt age 51, Teresa is blossoming in Vancouver, B.C. She is showing the world her true potential and artistic talent. In early February, Teresa got the big news that she had won a DTES Small Arts Grant (“DTES” is short for Downtown Eastside, the oldest neighbourhood in Vancouver which includes Gastown, Chinatown, Oppenheimer Park, Strathcona, Thornton Park and Victory Square).

Teresa is thrilled to have won the grant as it recognizes her as a professional artist and gives her $1,000 to create her artistic project. She is making an illustrated-photo book about her experience of living in the DTES neighbourhood. She will be showing people the Downtown Eastside through her eyes.

Vancouver Foundation created the Downtown Eastside Small Arts Grants Program, in partnership with the Carnegie Community Centre, to give DTES artists “the opportunity to advance their careers by supporting and showcasing their work”. The grant was open to any emerging artist who lived or worked in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — so it is a remarkable feather in Teresa’s cap to have won the grant in such a competitive field.

Gastown Rainbow drawing by Teresa PocockTeresa’s art shows a strong sense of graphic design, sense of place and sense of humour. Prado is a coffee shop in Gastown that Teresa loves. The words “Jung Le Mouth” are a joke about having jungle mouth!

Teresa is creating new illustrations daily. Her book will be self-published in late June and available for sale on Teresa’s website. The working title for her book is, “Pretty Amazing: How I Found Myself in The Downtown Eastside” — because Teresa’s journey to the Downtown Eastside was ‘pretty amazing’…

In 2013, her future was written off when she was wrongly declared ‘incapable’ and put into an old age nursing home. She did not want to be there — and she did not belong. Luckily with the help of Teresa’s father, she got out and she came to live with me and my husband. Because Teresa has a full life to live…

Teresa has places to go! Things to do! People to meet! And awards to win!!

Please send an email to Teresa (Teresa AT JamesGang DOT com) if you want to be notified when her book is available for sale.

Visit Teresa Pocock’s site

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