Valerie Dixon, Gleaner Writer
RESOURCE, Manchester:AVA-GAY OSBORNE laughed when I asked her if from an early age she was able to 'colour inside the lines'. Her answer was a resounding no. She said she began to feel the stirring in her soul to become an artist when she was a grade four student at the Grove Town Primary School.
She looked forward to going to school on Fridays, unlike most of her classmates, because Friday was the day that her teacher taught the visual arts class. She said for her, the classes were fun and she enjoyed herself immensely.
Osborne gained a place at Manchester High School and soon, her art teacher, Mrs Bernard, saw her zeal and passion and encouraged and helped to hone her talent.
Due to financial constraints, Osborne could not apply for training at the tertiary level upon leaving school. So she worked at the library in her community and took lessons with an art teacher to keep her focus and sharpen her skills.
She was soon able to apply to the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts as well as to HEART/NTA. She smiled when she said that both institutions called her for an interview on the same day and said it was not difficult for her to choose the Edna Manley College.
Osborne sailed through the preliminaries and further impressed one of the interviewers, who told her that she "loved her portfolio".
In the poem 'Invictus' by William Ernest Henley, the two last lines say, "... I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul." But one has to wonder if we really decide our own fate and destiny or if our fate and destiny are already decided and we are merely actors who play out our roles and purposes and then we depart this earthly life.
In Osborne's case, it seems that it was her destiny to become a painter and an exquisite jeweller. She signed up to study painting as her major area of concentration and, elected to study jewellery-making as her minor.
As fate would have it, she got an 'A' grade in jewellery-making in her first year. She was faced with a hard choice in her second year as her art teacher was very disappointed that she wanted to switch her major from painting to jewellery-making. She decided 'to leave well enough alone', but she admits that the pull to become a jeweller was becoming stronger and stronger.
For practical reasons, Osborne does not yet work in gold and silver materials, which are very expensive, however, she produces very delicate and refined pieces using copper, brass, and aluminum. She is encouraged to become an entrepreneur in the very near future as she says that her pieces are attractively priced and she is kept busy supplying customers. However, she has not fully decided whether she will become a painter or a jeweller, or maybe even both.
Osborne is from the historic community of Resource. She is being very proactive as local and foreign visitors come to her community, and so she is planning to operate an art and jewellery store in the local plaza that is soon to be completed, as well as join the Countrystyle Community Tourism Initiative known as 'Villages as Businesses'.
In the meantime, Osborne works with an established jeweller as an intern and is learning the business from the ground up. She looks forward to the day when she can agree that she was destined to be a painter and an exquisite jeweller.
Ava-Gay Osborne can be contacted at 477 5993.