Educate, Engage, Activate

Women’s History Month Honoree 2023: Fenway Fan

Growing up in China, Wei Fan – who is known professionally as Fenway Fan – always knew she wanted to be an artist. She remembers drawing on the walls and floors of her home at 3 and 4 years old. Her mother never discouraged her, but suggested that if she drew on paper, they could keep her art and enjoy it later. When other children went out to play, Fenway drew or painted, and art became her primary focus very early in her life.

In 2010 she moved to the United States to pursue an MFA in Film and Animation from the Rochester Institute of Technology and fulfill her dreams of becoming an acclaimed artist. After graduation, she worked as Lead Character Designer for renowned filmmaker and documentarian Tee Bosutow.

After moving to Florida, Fenway was hired as a Graphic Designer for Disney Theme Park Merchandise, creating unique products and designs there and later also for Shanghai Disney Resorts, Hasbro, and Blizzard. Her commercial creations continue to be a major draw at these venues.

At the same time, Fenway pursued her own creativity by making fine art pieces in paper crafts and oils. Fenway made her original pieces working literally from her subconscious and her memories of her dreams. Over time she found that she did not need to be as literal in quickly capturing the images, but could capture the essential qualities, emotions and colors.

Seeking to encourage and support the natural creativity of children she began to outreach to her wider community.  She initially volunteered at her son’s preschool in Medford, assisting with art projects. In 2018, when Fenway and her family moved to Winchester, she began teaching art at the Winchester School of Chinese Culture. Her weekly art classes there are unusual in that the students are grouped by interest instead of age, so those from age 5 to 12 may be exploring the same aspect of artistic creation together. Each year she designs a totally new class. Students can create flip-books, Pixilation animation, stop motion and use special super-light air-dry clay to make creatures and even feature them in their motion apps.

Fenway’s desire to bring out the creativity in all children led her to her greatest challenge: designing her nonprofit studio, Magic Soul House, located in Woburn. The mission of Magic Soul House is to connect the young generation with the freedom and delight of their creativity while simultaneously watching renowned artists create. Magic Soul House’s purpose is to establish “a space for people who are attracted to various forms of arts, learning arts, and sharing ideas of how art can enhance our daily life.”  By “bring[ing] arts closer to audiences” Fenway seeks to inspire the community she works with “to find inner peace and serenity.” 

To that end, Fenway draws and paints in a windowed room that is open to the children’s view through sliding glass doors. The children can paint, draw, use crayons and mold clay, and Fenway invites them into her personal painting area, answers their questions, talks about how she works, and draws or paints during the time they are present.

This March, Fenway, her husband, and son are traveling in Japan where she has been invited to present her fine art pieces in a large exhibit at the Tokyo Tower Art Fair. She will be working on more art events in the following next couple of months.

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