15 Minutes of (Student) Fame: Merav Meirovich

Merav and her work. Click to view print version.

By Michael Burton

Let me go ahead and introduce Merav Meirovich, a second year Sheridan photography student. She is more than determined to get her foot in the door of the fashion world, even if it means weathering the Canadian winters.

“I suffer here in winter,” Meirovich said, shaking her head. “Right now, I can assure you that my sister is sitting on the beach enjoying the weather.”

Meirovich grew up in Jerusalem, where she was a part of the Israeli military for two years, a period of time that is mandatory for all boys and girls. At the age of 18 she journeyed across Israel, meeting new people and gaining valuable life experience that many Canadians will never acquire, unless they watch One Week

“I was very excited about it. I was going on a new adventure, leaving my parents and becoming independent,” Meirovich said. “It’s so much different than what everyone thinks. I didn’t leave my house to be a part of a war; I left to become a part of this system. It’s something that I can’t describe, it gives you so much life experience, and you mature. It’s an experience I would never want to take back,” she said.

“Photography with no boundaries, that’s me.”

After completing her term in the army as a graphic designer – not bad, eh? – Meirovich worked in theatre and television production in Israel. She moved to Toronto seven years ago and began work for a seafood import-export company that took her around the world. “They sent me to so many places. I knew this job would keep me travelling, that’s what keeps me going,” she said.

“They sent me everywhere; seafood shows in China, small villages and fisheries. That’s when I decided I wanted to do photography. I feel most of my work is inspired by memories from back home, I want to translate those memories into photographs.”

Meirovich has the type of maturity and drive that can’t be compared to any other Sheridan student. At the age of 33, she doesn’t feel too old to be in the post-secondary world, and isn’t afraid of diving into a second career. She came to Sheridan with an open mind and explained that switching from travelling and working to student life was very difficult.

Out of all the schools in Canada, what made Sheridan so special for Meirovich? Well, we have the best equipment, gear, technology, as well as the best teachers, apparently. She researched as much as she could; asking Canadians which school they thought was the best.

“When I came here for a tour I had a feeling that this is where I wanted to go. I just had a feeling that this was a great arts school. I had a really great girl walking me around the school, I just had a feeling, this was where I wanted to go,” Meirovich said.

“The teachers have so much experience. They don’t teach you just theory, but what’s going on in the business. You know exactly what to do once you leave Sheridan.

“It’s family, I hope that doesn’t sound too cliché. We have amazing instructors with amazing experience in the photography business,” she said.

Meirovich hopes to work in the fashion industry once she graduates and continue travelling the world. Europe is her goal.

“I feel like my style can grow here, but it doesn’t fit the Toronto market,” she said. “Europe is bigger, more radical, less boundaries.”

“Photography with no boundaries, that’s me,” she said. There is no doubt that her heart is in what she does; she even refused an interview because the weather was too nice for her to spend time sitting talking to me.

But as for her instructors, she seems to be leaving a lasting impression with many of them, according to Rafael Goldchain. As the photography program director, Goldchain describes Meirovich as focused, hardworking, energetic and committed.

“She’s the kind of student you want to have,” he said. “She brings to the mix a lot of maturity. She’ll be the type of graduate that will expand the reach of our program to other parts of the world, and because of her maturity, she sets the bar a little higher than the rest of the students. She is always reaching further than what the program calls for,” Goldchain said.

Meirovich is just one of those students that every teacher wants sitting in their classrooms. It’s amazing that after so many years, and after visiting so many countries, she choose to learn here, among thousands of other equally gifted students at our school.

“When I decided to take photography I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to stay here. I was packed with my stuff, ready to go back home. When I was accepted, I was overwhelmed,” Meirovich said.

“It’s hard,” Meirovich paused before finishing her sentence. “My whole family is back home. But,” she smiled, “I am happy here.”

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