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‘Life is one big canvas, throw all the paint you can on it.’ – Danny Kaye

Gabriella Fourie has certainly been making the most of her life since matriculating from Curro Hermanus in 2019. This up-and-coming artist uses her work to create awareness surrounding environmental issues and has recently received the Honorable Mention Award in the art category of the Ocean Awareness Contest for 2020 – a remarkable achievement! Gabriella, who was selected from approximately 5 300 participants from around the world, currently lives in Rome where she is majoring in art history, but it was during her early school years that she started developing her creative skills.

‘My first memory of school is doing messy arts and crafts in the nursery school classroom. I never would have thought then that I would have been pursuing art as a future career path.’ For Gabriella, her creativity and the way she perceives the world is in part due to the fact that she was exposed to different types of schooling systems throughout her school journey. She received schooling in the USA, Italy and of course South Africa. ‘Each schooling system was so very different as the languages varied, methods of teaching changed, and so much more. I believe this unique experience has given me the chance to really grow.’

Gabriella is currently studying at the John Cabot American University in Rome, Italy and has big plans for her future. ‘I am majoring in art history and minoring in marketing and business. My course is four years long, after which I will do my master’s at Sotheby’s in New York.’ Being passionate about other individuals’ art and the meaning behind their work, Gabriella plans on becoming an international art dealer. She finds the business side to art fascinating and has quite a bit of experience in this regard. Over the course of 2020, I started my own party-decor brand, Funfetti, that creates unique high-quality boxes filled with all the themed decor goods one might need for a one-of-a-kind celebration. I had so much fun creating and building the brand and I can’t wait to watch it grow internationally.’

Gabriella is strongly inspired by her parents, who have always strived to provide the best opportunities for her and says it’s thanks to them that she is able to step outside her comfort zone on a daily basis and work towards reaching her dreams – not only for herself, but also for the world. ‘My hope, not only for South Africa, but for the future of the world, is that we may learn that our dreams are never impossible. With hard work, determination and strength anything is possible.’

We should all follow Gabriella’s example and do our part for the environment. For more information on Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, the sponsor of the Ocean Awareness Contest, visit https://bowseat.org/.