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The Collective was founded when Korniakova met with a few other artist friends who also live at Lawrence Heights and Neptune. “I met Yuri Malaev and we became fast friends,” she said. Malaev is a renowned artist who immigrated to Canada and was a sculptor for the former USSR government. He previously created works of art ranging from very small to gigantic soviet-themed sculptures, located around the globe. The other two co-founders of the Collective are Eva Pekova, who writes poetry among other artistic pursuits, and Herbie Blaine, a fine artist.
“The four of us started to create art for the community,” said Korniakova, who is an architect by trade. “Yuri made sculptures out of material found in the community and started displaying them outside his building, and combined with Eva’s gardening, our building is very beautiful. People in the other buildings became envious and also wanted Yuri’s sculptures and Eva’s gardening in front of their buildings too.”