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Alumni Profile: Mavis Chen

Meet a brand-new alumna: Mavis Chen (BDes 2022), a designer and jeweller who moved to Canada in high school from Nanjing, China. Winner of the Canadian Silver Society Student Competition and the Avondale Artist Village Pin Competition she channels her creativity into playful, unique creations that tell a story. 

What drew you to NSCAD? 

During my high school years in Bridgewater, I was educated by an NSCAD alumni, Mr. Lawrence Knapp (BFA 1986), who inspired me to go to NSCAD. 

What was your proudest moment at NSCAD? 

My proudest moment at NSCAD was working on my design for the Topiary Pin, which was selected as the winning design for the Avondale Artist Village Pin Competition. I liked that this competition was worked into the curriculum and that we had time to really develop our ideas. My teapot was also successfully juried as the winning piece for the Canadian Silver Society Student Competition. NSCAD helped me grow in confidence and skill. 

What is your biggest takeaway from your time at NSCAD? 

During all the little talks with my instructor, I learned an artist can put such an unbelievable amount of work, research and thought into an area, just because he/she loves it so much. Learning from another artist is definitely very supportive as an emerging artist. Being surrounded by a fine art atmosphere still feels like a dream. 

What is next for you? What are your post-graduation plans?  

After graduating, I plan to take some residencies and further develop my portfolio and body of work. I love when you can look at someone’s work and know immediately who created it.

What was your favourite part of NSCAD? 

My favourite part of NSCAD was the opportunity for open credits, they give students the chance to build relationships between the departments, as well as bring disciplines into one another. What I did in design shaped what I created in jewellery and similarly my jewellery work shifted my perspectives in design. 

What inspires your art? 

My design work is often inspired by fine art, whereas my jewellery and holloware are inspired by illustration and graphics. My research and exploration for each discipline affects the other. 




There Will be a Bird, 2022. Sterling silver, basswood. 20 x 17 x 9 cm