Golnaz Khadivi Zand is an artist originally from Iran, now based in Toronto, Canada. She has a master’s degree in Architecture from the Azad University of Tehran in 2001 and taught at the Islamic Azad University of Mashhad, Iran from 2001-2007. After numerous awards in the field of architecture and moving to Canada in 2011, she focused her creative energy on painting. Her work explores the experience of migration from a female perspective through the creation of large-scale figurative paintings employing symbolism. Her work has been exhibited in Toronto, Zurich, Luxembourg, and Iran and the first artist of the month in IBEX Collection. Khadivi’s murals can be found in Henderson.P.S, Thornhill. She is currently self-employed as an artist and runs and instructs at Violet Art Studio.

Artist Statement

Immigration is one of the most important issues in our world today.  As a painter and an immigrant to Canada, I want to portray the struggles and concerns that immigrant women face. I do this in my work by combining the personal with the societal through imagery that recalls surrealism and is painted in a naturalistic manner

I was educated in the Middle East with the beliefs, values, traditions and culture unique to Iran.  Yet, no matter what country one emigrates from, these are like the contents of a suitcase that one carries throughout their life in a new country. In entering a new land, far from home, I recognize that I have not been able to leave these behind, despite the opportunities that immigration gave me.

The experience of migration led me to question my identity. I use my daughter as the model in these works as a way to consider the differences between my generation and life experience and hers. Iran’s restrictions on women are in great contrast with the freedom my daughter knows in Canada and the future that awaits her is beyond my own experience.

This introspection has led me toward the symbolism of Surrealist and Expressionist artists like Salvador Dali, Andre Breton, and Chiharu Shiota, as well as Persian philosophical poets like Rumi and Hafez. In this new series of paintings, I use the image of the frame to portray the idea of limitations, both individual and contextual. Each painting, in this series of six, shows a woman holding a frame. The last planned piece in this cycle will depict the breaking of the frame as a way to symbolize human freedom and flight. In these paintings, I try to reflect on myself in both a personal way and in relation to society. In this series, I draw attention to my homeland, and also my new home in Canada. For example, I use the Persian carpet as it references Iran and symbolizes heaven on the earth. I feel unable to fully find home in this new place and so this carpet from my homeland is not laid fully flat upon the ground.

Golnaz Khadivi zand

Exhibition :

  • 2022 20th Annual International Exhibition & competition “ON THE EDGE ” Federation Of Canadian Artist
  • 2022 The colour and form society member’s Exhibition “Reflection our roots and times”
  • 2022 The SCA’s open international Juried Exhibition
  • 2021 69th Annual Exhibition    Colour and Form Society
  • 2021 Windows Open    Markham Group of Artists    Markham
  • 2021 53rd International Society of Canadian artist
  • 2021 John B.Aird Gallery   Drawing Exhibition  Toronto
  • 2021  Richmondhill group of artists Richmond Hill ( Art Walk )
  • 2021 The first artist of the month in Ibex art insiders ( Facebook) Ibex_ collection ( Instagram)
  • 2020  68th Annual Exhibition    Colour and Form Society
  • 2020  Windows Open    Markham Group of Artists    Markham (Member awards)
  • 2020  Artbox Project    Swiss Art Expo    Zurich 
  • 2020  Luxemburg Art Prize  Luxembourg (certificate)
  • 2020  Richmondhill group of Artists Richmond Hill  
  • 2004 Sara & Navab Pilgrimage architectural competition Project Iran Third place
  • 2003 Khorasan Razavi Engineering System Organization Architectural Exhibition Third place
  • 1987 World children’s Art Exhibition Yokohama Japan (Honorable mention)
  • 1984 Children Art Exhibition culture of Khorasan Iran (Honorable mention)


  • 2001 Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering at Islamic Azad University Central Tehran Branch Faculty of ART & ARCHITECTURE
  • 2013 General Art-English for Academic Purposes Seneca College Toronto

Experience & Achivement

  • 2022 The First place award The colour and form society member’s Exhibition “Reflection our roots and times”
  • 2022 Member elected colour and form society CFS
  • 2020   Member  award   Markham Artist Group    Markham
  • 2020 Member IBEX ART Insiders Facebook
  • 2019  Mural    Henderson Public School    Toronto
  • 2017  Mural    Henderson Public School    Toronto
  • 2018  Art Instructor     Violet Art Studio    Toronto
  • 2001 – 8 Years Instructor of the university of art and architecture of Islamic Azad university of Mashhad
  • 2000 – 11   Vice President    Iranshahr Architectural Consulting   Mashhad Iran
  • 2000 – 11   Vice President    Iranshahr Architectural Consulting   Mashhad, Iran


  • 2022 Member elected colour and form society CFS
  • 2021 Academy of Realist Art Certificate Bouguereau portrait painting Toronto
  • 2020  Academy of Realist Art Certificate Portrait Painting Toronto    
  • 2020  Academy of Realist Art Certificate Still Life Painting Toronto  
  • 2019  Academy of Realist Art Certificate portrait drawing Toronto
  • 2020  Lucas Keratockwil Landscape Painting Vancouver  
  • 2020  Luxemburg Art Prize  Luxembourg
  • 2020  Artbox Project    Swiss Art Expo    Zurich 



  • oil painting
  • Acrylic painting
  • Colour pencil
  • Mural painting
  • Drawing
  • Mix media
  • Ceramic