#LifeIsArt: An Interview With Sian Trombley

Sian Trombley is the founder and curator of the non-profit project “Life Is Art,” also known as the L.I.A Project. She is making a huge difference to end the stigma around mental health. Partial proceeds from chosen artist pieces are donated to foundations that help make a huge difference in today’s society. The L.I.A project supports Born This Way Foundation, The Trevor Project, The International Bipolar Foundation, and The Arts of Life! Read about how this single mother, art curator, MACP grad student, and teacher fuses art and philanthropy in her community.

Why did you create the L.I.A project? 

The L.I.A. project was inspired by my years of featuring artists on my previous website and also by my new career as a therapist. I have been fortunate enough to connect with hundreds of amazing artists, and their creativity has been truly inspiring. When I was going through a tough transition in my life, creating and curating art helped in my healing process. There is a powerful healing power in art. When I started grad school, I realized I could no longer commit to running a full-time website, but it felt wrong to completely exit the art world I had grown to love. I was inspired to continue to promote the artists I respect and, at the same time, spread mental health awareness. I believe #LifeIsArt, and we have the power to make it a masterpiece.

Tell me about the artists involved in L.I.A and their work? 

The artists involved in the L.I.A. Project are artists I have known for some time and who have continued to believe in my mission. I carefully handpick each artist that I feature in my gallery, and that makes it all the more special and heartfelt I believe. The level of trust and mutual respect is inspiring. I would like to mention each artist as they have truly been preset in the growth of the project. Thank you for your kindness: Sylvain Tremblay @syltartist, Lexi Bella @lexibellaart, Anja Van Herle @anjavanherle, Lani Imre @bocaseda, Lane Gabbard @figuringshitout, Taka Sudo @tifdyl, Greg Frederick @gregfrederick, Kristin Kossi @artkristinkossi, Louise McNaught @louise_mcnaught_artist, Phoebe New York @phoebenewyork, Jennifer Vollmer @grandcerulean, Michelle Vella @michellevellart, Liz Longo @wolfandsparrowart,  Jace Kim @jacethekim, Defective Barbie @defectivebarbie,Relm @relmxx, Amanda Smart, @amandasmartart and Raphael Gonzalez @zurbaran1!

And I am very excited to feature our first young artist Dana Devereuax @danadevereauxart

Could any artist get involved with the L.I.A. Project? How?

 I carefully curate my gallery, but I am always open to featuring artists I feel are a fit for my project. I continuously search for new artists on Instagram. I call myself an #arthunter, as I love to discover and feature new art that inspires me. If an artist is interested and feels like they would be a good fit for the project they can simply email me at curator@theliaproject.com.

What’s one thing you would want to see happen to L.I.A in the future? 

I would like to see L.I.A. continue to grow and partner with artists who are passionate about using their craft to give back and make a difference. I would also like to work with more young emerging artists in the future. As a future therapist, I am an advocate for mental health, and I would like to spread awareness through creativity. I would like to continue partnering with impactful foundations with the hope of tackling the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

How do you manage to work a full-time job, getting your master’s degree and keep L.I.A running so smoothly? 

SELF-COMPASSION. As a single mother, art curator, MACP grad student, and teacher, my workload are very heavy. I try to be gentle with myself and practice self-compassion. Part of my self-compassion involves heading out into nature and graffiti hunting. I spend a lot of time in the forest and under bridges with a camera and I take my two sons along for the adventure. Life is not easy but if we can learn to be gentle with ourselves it can be a work of art.

What’s one thing that you would like people to know about L.I.A?

I would like people to know that L.I.A. is a non-profit gallery that is trying to give back. I donate my entire commission from each sale back to impactful mental health foundations. The L.I.A. Project is a passion project from the heart.

What’s one story that somebody shared with you that made you realize that L.I.A helped/inspired them?

L.I.A. is a new nonprofit and I have only started to hear stories but I can see the excitement and positivity surrounding pieces being purchased and the profound gratitude from the foundations that we partner with. Art has the ability to heal and bring light into an individual’s life. This light begins at the hands of the artist and flows through the collector and later to the foundations and community they reach. This is a beautiful process.

To learn more about the L.I.A Project visit: http://www.theliaproject.com