Artist Joseph P. Ghabi in video posted to

Artist Joseph P. Ghabi in video posted to


‘I didn’t start out as a painter’: Late-bloomer Ghabi to talk at Surrey Art Gallery

Since 2017, the Lebanon-born artist has produced hundreds of paintings

Surrey Art Gallery Association’s first Thursday Artist Talk of the fall season features a former engineer, banker and sales manager who only recently found his way into the art world.

Not only is he a painter, Joseph P. Ghabi’s website also describes him as a master healer, speaker and author.

His talk at the gallery, on Thursday, Sept. 9, starting at 7:30 p.m., will focus on how he left the academic world of engineering and computer science to start painting, at the age of 55.

Since 2017, the Lebanon-born Ghabi has produced hundreds of paintings.

“Working by intuition, Ghabi paints bold, powerful works primarily in acrylic that feature intense colours and strong contrasts,” raves an event advisory for his SAG talk. “There is a sense of play, energy, and joy in his creations. He loves experimenting and everything he paints is an expression of himself.”

Ghabi will share his journey toward becoming an artist and describe how healing and painting go hand-in-hand for him, using meditation and blueprint numerology.

“Numbers have vibrations, words have vibrations, and colours have vibrations,” he explained.

More about the artist is posted to

“I didn’t start out as a painter. In fact, I’ve never been ‘into’ art, and I’m awful at drawing,” Ghabi posted on the website.

“So, how did I become a professional artist?

“You see, I got an invitation from one of my clients to his birthday party. His girlfriend had arranged a paint night with one of her artist friends.

“It would have been easy to turn that down, saying to myself, ‘I don’t know how to paint. I am not a painter. I am not an artist,’ but all I remember saying was, ‘Oh, sure! I’ll be there!’

“The party ended up being quite exciting and fun, and I decided that painting was something I’d love to do again.

“That year, I painted five pieces. The following year, 2018, I did 85 paintings. To date, I’ve reached around or passed over 200 paintings, and I’m excited to share them with you!”

Surrey Art Gallery is located at 13750 88th Ave. For details, visit or call 604-501-5566.

Later, opening Sept. 18, the gallery’s fall exhibit will focus on the work of Vancouver-based artist Sandeep Johal.

“Through textiles, paintings, drawings, and animation, Sandeep Johal layers her personal history with those of South Asian women she wished she knew about as a first-generation South Asian youth,” notes a post on “These women are role models, pioneers, trailblazers, vigilantes, and rebels.

“Upon entering the Gallery, the visitor steps into Johal’s bright pink retrospective teenage bedroom that she reclaims as a feminist space. The room pulses with the question, ‘What if?’ What if her formative influences had been daring, defiant South Asian women? Why were such figures unseen and unheard of in both private and public spheres? Johal revisits, reimagines, and reclaims her past by sharing these women’s stories through art.”

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Visual Arts