When artists Cole Baker and Alexandre-Aimée Rivet agreed to be part of this year’s Valentine edition, they did so with an enthusiasm borne of the joy of living and a youthful exuberance – it was going to be fun! At the ages of 30 and 29 respectively, they express the art of love, combining their talents to embrace those around them in their own personal adventure. Come along for the ride, and bring your paint brush! The couple is working towards their business and art goals together, committed and confirmed in their desire to give back to their community in ways that spark the imagination. They are best known locally for the whimsical and wonderful mural of flowers on a fence in the downtown core of Sturgeon Falls, a mural that now sees high school graduates and wedding parties have their photo taken in front of it. They also operate the Art Studio / Studio d’art, now entirely virtual during COVID, bringing people of all ages together for various art experiences.
COVID has been tough on these young entrepreneurs, but they remain enthusiastic. Aimée says, “Every week is different, but honestly, thanks to the community, we’re not going anywhere, not anytime soon. It’s a Catch 22 right now. I’m finishing a contract – for an organization – then we’re going to make big art, which I’m really excited about!” Cole also has some plans coming to fruition, while he works full time.
This young couple has been together for 3 years. Aimée explains, “Cole and I started off being colleagues and friends. We started off doing art together at the [Musée Sturgeon Falls River House Museum] before we ever started dating. That’s how our relationship started, doing workshops. We really got along, and we didn’t want to say good-bye, I guess.” Cole pipes in, “Something like that!” Aimée continues, “Our first interaction was online, like most people. Our first date was actually those pictures (shown here) we were taking, in North Bay, where there’s a graffiti alley.”
“The first thing we did when we met was go see art. Then we became friends and slowly it turned into romance, which is cool because, especially when I was young, you would always think [love] was instant… but for us we got to know each other. We became each other’s person. A different approach – not like the movies!” And while the art connection is palpable, Aimée says there was something else that drew them together like magnets. “Even more than the art was giving back. The thing we really had in common was that. Yes, we want to paint, but we really want to give back. That’s why we thought, Oh, we have to work together!” Cole, who nods as Aimée explains, adds, “We both share a lot of the same morals.”