Have you ever wanted to see inside an artist’s studio? As part of our Arts In Isolation project, Arts Etobicoke will be hosting an online artist studio tour every Tuesday on Instagram Live.
To view the studio tour, follow @artsetobicoke on Instagram and tune in on Tuesdays at 2:00 pm. You will need an Instagram account to view the workshop, once you are logged in, find the Arts Etobicoke account (@artsetobicoke) and then click on the AE icon in the top left corner, it will have a purple/pink circle around it and the word “Live.” Enjoy!
If you are an artist living or working in Etobicoke and would like to be featured in an upcoming Artist Studio Visit with Arts Etobicoke, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“My name is Sonya and I am a photographer and mixed media artist. I am interested in memories and the shapes that our perceptions give them. I’ve taken photos since I was a child—my father taught me. Recently I learned how to use encaustic wax to create mixed media collages with my photographs. I use art paper and my photographs as a mix of memory and texture to yield insights and connections. My greatest influence was my father, Stanley Carl Young, a photographer and inventor.”
Ola Cichy is a multidisciplinary artist and a certified specialist of Neurographica – neuroscience based method of working with subconscious mind through drawing. Ola was born in Russia, had lived and worked in 7 different countries, currently is based in Toronto. A daughter of a professional fine artist and an inventor, she started learning art at a very young age. She loves experimenting with different forms of art. Having a background in psychology it’s no surprise that many of her works show fascination with human nature, facial features and emotion. She mostly draws and paints contemporary portraits in pencil, acrylic, watercolor oil, and digital media. She illustrates children’s books, produces videos for music and poetry, while working on her own music album. Her works are in numerous private collections all over the world.
Ashley Beerdat is a visual artist and arts instructor who primarily works in oil painting using an impasto style to narrate fantastical stories based on references from pop culture, her childhood and imagination. In her practice, she explores themes of mythology, folklore and storytelling to try and make sense of the world around her. Storytelling is an important part of Ashley’s practice and stems from her culture as a Guyanese-Canadian in which she grew up listening to stories from elders to share lessons and pass down knowledge. Through her work she explores these traditional folktales in a contemporary, whimsical and playful manner.
Born and raised in India, Karun studied and worked as an animator on TV shows and movies before making the move to core visual art. Karun immigrated to Canada in 2015 to pursue his goals of becoming an independent author/illustrator of graphic novels for children and adults alike. His work focuses on the more pressing issues of post-modern sustainability, environmentalism, existentialism, and morality. Inspired by nature, technology, and art movements like Impressionism, Karun relies on multiple mediums to conjure his artwork. With a focus on bridging traditional and digital mediums, Karun uses both analog and digital materials to create.
Philip Cote, of Moose Deer Point First Nation is a Young Spiritual Elder, Indigenous Artist, Activist, Educator, Historian and Ancestral Knowledge Keeper. Philip is a graduate of OCAD University’s Interdisciplinary Art Media and Design Masters program. He is engaged in creating opportunities for art-making and teaching methodologies through Indigenous symbolism, traditional ceremonies, history, oral stories, and land-based pedagogy. His art and teaching philosophy evolves from his practice of experiential learning and the transmission of Indigenous Knowledge. Philip has shared his knowledge with numerous institutions from York University, the Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Toronto, OCAD University, Peel District School Board and the TDSB. Philip is also a tour guide with “First Story” since 2005, providing an Indigenous history of Toronto covering the last 13,500 years and as far back as 130,000 years. Philip has won numerous TABIA awards for his public street art murals across the City of Toronto.
Ian Mitchell Dodds
Ian Mitchell Dodds is an emerging Toronto-based painter and printmaker. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from the University of Guelph and has a Postgraduate Certificate in Arts Administration from Humber College. Ian’s practice is influenced by comic books and street art and employs the narrative logic of the comic strip to frame the negotiation between order and chaos. Through the organization of explosive gestures into concordant networks, Ian’s work grapples with disrupted binaries and the nature of duality. Ian works in communications and development at Arts Etobicoke.
Curt Gaudon’s work is largely a study of colour and composition. Suggestive brushwork and vivid pigment pairings enchant the surface with light and colour, evoking emotion and empathy without realism. Curt was born in Ontario, immersed in the creative and technical arts from a young age. He graduated York University with a Bachelor of Design, gaining experience in tech, graphics, and marketing. Feeling the pull back to personal creative endeavours, Curt spends his free time in Etobicoke painting portraits in acrylic and oils, and sketching with ink and dry media.
Josh Kornelow is a third-generation woodworker from Toronto who began by working in the family cabinetry business at an early age. Through Castor Woodworks, Josh creates custom furniture and home accessories using Ontario-sourced wood and by partnering with local craftspeople. In focusing on local materials derived from ecologically conscious sources, Josh hopes to challenge current modes of consumption and present a local alternative for those seeking to create fixtures for their homes.
Jieun June Kim
Jieun June Kim’s painting practice is founded on her love of the natural and urban environments around her and the folk art of Korea; the homeland where she was born and raised. Her paintings are imbued with the symbolic forms and language of Korean cultural heritage, re-imagined in response to the contemporary context of her lived experience. Jieun June Kim has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Canada and Korea. Solo exhibitions include In Between Land, at North York Central Library, North York, ON (2019); Pillow House, Alternative Space NOON, Suwon, S. Korea (2016); and Dreamscape, uJung Art Center, Seoul, S. Korea (2013). Her work has been included in recent group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto, ON (2019); Arts Etobicoke, Etobicoke, ON (2019); and Toronto Center for the Arts, North York, ON (2019) among others. In addition to her painting practice, Kim is an activist public muralist, and produces original prints, illustrations, and ceramics. She currently lives and works in Toronto, ON.
Lisa Murzin is an active member of Ontario Society of Artists, and Gallery 44, Centre for Contemporary Photography. Murzin holds a Humanities diploma from Bishop’s University, Quebec and Certificate in Still Photography from Ryerson University. She transitions comfortably between her personal and professional work, between black & white and colour images and between film and digital technologies. Drawn to the slow time and solitary space of her darkroom, Murzin sees making prints as a meditative practice that manifests in her final images. The textures and rhythms of old-school film development nurture Murzin’s creativity in an increasingly pixelated world. No matter what the medium, Murzin’s images foreground transition: the time and space between states and subjects. Her photographic studies have included abandoned buildings, adolescents on the precipice of adulthood, and apartments in the time between tenants.
David Chinyama is a Toronto based multi-disciplinary visual artist whose work is inspired by color, form, movement and texture. His work is a representation of personal fascinations and experiences often shaped by his upbringing and cultural memories of different African traditions. Working in multimedia, he explores subject matters centered upon aspects of identity, socio-economic, political and religious connotations. These compositions are made out of found fabrics and recycled fibers that are cut, stitched and painted together on canvas to form varying patterns and shapes. His practice can best be described as a form of adaptation, reflection and response to urban subcultures changing societal norms and different cultural influences of those around him. Working in a spontaneous approach, he experiments with the use of unfamiliar materials on how they relate to each other when placed in different frames that assign to them a new function.
Shabnam Afrand is an Iranian-Canadian multidisciplinary visual artist and educator born and raised in Tehran. Shabnam’s body of work reflects her life and the feelings of longing. She obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree with honors from Azad University in 2001. Her thesis examined the interpretation of women in art history. She taught in the faculty of Fine Arts at Azad University from 2003 to 2010 and has been a member of the Iranian Painters’ Society since 2003. Shabnam moved to Canada in 2013 and has been working as a painting and yoga instructor for the Toronto District School Board since 2014. She is currently based in Toronto. Her recent practice is inspired by Toronto’s outdoor landscape in the response to physical distancing in the past six months.
Maureen Da Silva
Maureen Da Silva (she/her), is a Toronto-based printmaker and arts educator. A 2008 graduate of York University’s B.F.A program, with an masters from the University of Toronto in Women & Gender Studies (2009), Maureen has taken her artistic passions into the founding of the printmaking group The Inprint Collective, as well as serving on the committee for the Toronto Feminist Art Collective. She has worked across the GTA with organizations including the AGO, VIBE Arts, and Blank Canvases, and is a member of the Speedball Demo Artist team. Her own practice in feminism and printmaking, as well as the artistic wealth of her print community has inspired Maureen to a lifetime of creativity.
Nazli Nahidi (b. Tehran, Iran) is an artist and illustrator in Toronto, Canada. She received her BFA from OCAD University in 2014. Her work is vibrant, psychologically charged, and responds to everyday objects and topics through humour. As an emerging muralist, Naz has painted two large outdoor murals in her neighbourhood including a private mural of 8’x 24’, as well as two Bell Box murals. In 2019 she illustrated a digital mural at the Fringe Festival’s temporary patio, Postscript.
Astrid Ho is a Toronto-based, Hong Kong-born visual artist working primarily in printmaking, exploring abstract imagery based on architectural spaces such as building rooftops and industrial sites, and the personal narrative formed by memories and family photos. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University and is an Open Studio Artist Member. Recently she co-curated the Gladstone Hotel’s “Come Up To My Room 2020”, taught at Arts Etobicoke, and Havergal College, and is a VibeArts Established Artist. She is the board chair of Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario. Her recent exhibitions include Capital One, Green Door Printmaking Studio (Derbyshire, UK) and Print London (London, ON). Her works are in various corporate and private collections including BMO, Global Affairs Canada and National Bank of Canada.
Kim-Lee Kho is a multidisciplinary artist, and former designer, from a family of scientists and artists, of combined Chinese and British descent, all of which has influenced her work. Kho has participated nationally in exhibitions, residencies, and mentorships. A member of the Red Head Gallery (Toronto), she had a solo exhibition ‘Heartspace’ in 2019, followed in 2020 by ‘Heartspace Hotel’ at The Gladstone Hotel. She has been a feature artist in both ‘In Situ’ art festivals in Mississauga, with multimedia installations and performances. Kho is a popular independent art educator, speaker, and juror, who offers free weekly Virtual Studio Parties on YouTube, and teaches online.
Marjan Verstappen is a visual artist, her practice encompasses drawing, sculpture, photography, and making art with communities. She has been teaching art since 2013. Recent exhibitions include INSTRUMENTA II (National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta) Atlas of Nowhere (Ashburton Art Gallery, New Zealand) and Know The Ways (Flux Factory, NYC). Verstappen was born in New Zealand, where she received her BFA in Sculpture from Dunedin School of Art. She moved to Canada in 2012 and graduated from OCAD University with an MFA in 2014. She lives and works in Toronto where she is a founding member of Younger Than Beyoncé Gallery.
Alexandra Iorgu is an internationally, rigorously trained multi-media artist with an eclectic artistic background. From mouldmaking and bronze sculptures, to editorial illustrations or acrylic paintings, her studio is full of art supplies. While her private studio practice is extremely important, her belief in the power of making and creating is often executed in the context of community, where she has received multiple grants to support her projects. Alexandra worked with clay and drew before she could read or write. She is passionate about instilling kids with an appreciation for nature, as well as the wonder and joy that comes from making artwork.
Kal Honey is an award-winning graduate of OCAD. Often bold (but sometimes subtle), Kal’s work in painting, collage and signage is informed by his design training and his penchant for text, wit and wordplay. Recent exhibitions include: In Situ Multi-Arts Festival, Queen West Art Crawl, The Red Head Gallery, the Gladstone Hotel’s Come Up To My Room, and as part of the National Arts Drive from his front lawn. Since covid, he has been teaching online, including his popular free Virtual Collage Jam. When he’s not making or teaching, Kal can often be found working out or cycling…
Paula Hartmann is a self-taught pajaki maker, crafter and pompom enthusiast. Her love for mobiles, colours, and installations brought her to study the art of pajaki making which originated in rural Poland in the mid 19th century. Paula is giving workshops in Germany and Canada to revive this old craft tradition and hand down the beautiful techniques that otherwise would get lost to the next generations of crafters.
Simone Sicard is an Artist, and Arts & Culture Manager currently living in Mississauga. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2008, specializing in printmaking. Since receiving her BFA Simone has exhibited throughout Ontario. Her practice consists primarily of drawing and explores the themes of constraints, structures, and time. In 2019, Simone received an Ontario Arts Council Grant to support the production of her current body of work exploring the juxtaposition of mark scale and surface size.
Maria Tapal is a Pakistani-Canadian textile artist, designer and maker who uses weaving and natural dyeing to explore the relationship between culture and identity. Using natural materials like fruit and vegetable skins, tree barks, flowers and plants, Maria dyes yarns and fabrics which are used to create woven and stitched pieces. Each piece is unique and one of a kind. The goal is to create pieces with a focus on sustainable methods of dyeing and upcycling old pieces to create new ones.
Apoorva Varma is a Textile Designer/Artiste as well as a Painter based in Mississauga. She graduated from OCAD University’s Material Art & Design Program in 2017. Her work investigates narrative and story-telling qualities art can possess. She is fond of looking at inspiration through an abstract lens, translating ideas through different mediums such as textile and painting. Her Textile Installation ‘Fantasy Foliage’ for DesignTO 2020 was recently awarded the People’s Choice: Favourite New Work. She is currently working as the Display Experience Lead for Anthropologie and working on growing her own artistic practice.
Khadija Aziz is a Toronto-based textile artist and educator who makes glitch art using textile-making techniques and machine thinking. She graduated from OCAD University’s Material Art & Design program in 2020, and she was the recipient of the Craft Ontario Volunteer Committee Scholarship for Undergraduates in 2019 in recognition of her creative practice. Khadija’s part-time work at the Textile Museum of Canada has led her to receive the 2019 Award of Excellence in Community Engagement by the Ontario Museum Association. Her artwork has been most recently exhibited in Toronto and Mississauga in Canada and Fitzroy in Australia.
Olivia Graham is a Canadian artist born in Toronto. She attended the Etobicoke School of the Arts, Music Theatre, from 2016 to 2020 and will be attending Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts for Photography in the fall. She has had her photos published in PhotoVogue, The Trinity Review, a literary arts journal, Picton Magazine, the digital edition of PhotoED Magazine and Mob Journal. She has also been a part of numerous exhibitions including Art ‘n Mind: at Artscape Youngplace, Shifting Environs at Arts Etobicoke and Future Curators at Albright Knox Gallery.
Oksana Berda is a contemporary visual artist working and living in Toronto. She holds a Master of Arts from the University of New Brunswick in Creative Writing, which informs the narrative quality of her work. Her paintings explore interactions between organic shapes found in nature. She reassembles them as ghostly washes, braids of graphing pencil, and soft pastel lines which contain the forms that might otherwise stretch out and over the edge of the paper. Berda treats colour as character; in her work forms interact and converse: they are introduced, they marry and separate. The landscapes are actively constructed and deconstructed within the process and by the viewer. Berda is an avid hiker and gets her inspiration from trips to various parks surrounding Toronto and spending time on Lake Ontario.
Ariana Pickard is a multidisciplinary artist currently living and working in Toronto, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec. She works with digital and traditional illustration, ceramics, and printmaking practices. A key aspect of her work is the heavy use of text, both with and without corresponding drawings. The intersection of art and words is fundamental to the function of her work, being to involve the viewer and allow them to reflect inward. The subject matter for said work revolves around universal experience, sharing moments of fear, guilt, insecurity, and self-love. She does however practice and produce both conceptual and material/aesthetically concerned work.
Sasha Bateman is an emerging artist who graduated from Sheridan College’s ceramic program in 2018. Sasha has been known to explore some of the more curious elements of nature through her sculptures and has most recently been experimenting with the use of other materials to incorporate into or augment her work. At times contentious and antagonistic, and other times soothing and harmonious, Sasha’s sculptures provoke the viewer to explore elements of nature through their own predispositioned lens.
Shane Ackerley is a contemporary artist living and working in Toronto. He attends Etobicoke School of the Arts for its Contemporary Art program and will study Astrophysics at Western University in the fall of 2020. Deeply inspired by astronomy and cosmology, Ackerley investigates ties between humans and the Universe we exist within. To convey what he learns, he uses metaphors that manifest physically in a spectrum of ways. Establishing links between his relationships with the things that surround him and the function of matter in spacetime, Ackerley is able to simultaneously learn about himself and the cosmos we inhabit.
Jacintha Krish is an artist and instructor living and working in Etobicoke. She teaches primarily at Neilson Park Creative Center as well as at other art organizations in and around the GTA. Working in different mediums such as acrylics, mixed media, as well as watercolor and ink, Jacintha is constantly experimenting with colour and form. Her inspiration lies in the rich biodiversity of Canada, my home. The sights and sounds of the world around her constantly challenge her to push her boundaries to paint the ever-changing mosaic that is quintessentially Canadian.
Mirna Chacín is a Venezuelan-born Canadian visual artist and freelance photographer passionate about telling stories through photography which she claims is her third eye. Since the 1990s, her artwork series has been shown in art galleries and museums in her home country, Venezuela, across Latin America, Italy, and Canada.
Shortly before immigrating to Canada in 2011, The University of Zulia (LUZ) awarded Mirna a Gold Medal for her artistic achievements in Venezuela. In 2017, she was awarded the “Community Impact Award” from the Mennonite New Life Centre of Toronto, and was one of the recipients of the Newcomer and Refugee Artist Mentorship grant by the Toronto Arts Council. Mirna’s artwork and exhibitions have been supported by The Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation and Neighborhood Arts Network.
Among her latest solo exhibitions “Where The Sun Rises,” an ongoing public display part of The PATCH Project next to Sugar Beach, Toronto, and “Paraguana Project,” at The Contemporary Art Museum of Zulia (MACZUL) Most recently she has exhibited “Subject to change” featured at Scotiabank Contact Festival 2019; and “Sons of The Sun” projected on outdoor spaces of Los Angeles during the Month Of Photography Los Angeles, Projections MOPLA 2019.
Elham Fatapour was born in Tehran, Iran. Currently a Toronto-based artist and an MFA candidate at York University. Her recent work includes painting, performance, and mixed media installation and has taken up diverse but interconnected subjects including satellite, surveillance, vernacular architecture, modes of communication, and empathy.
Jenneen Beattie of Keepsakes Canada
Keepsakes Canada works in a traditional craft-based media investigating the connections between memory and materials. The work attempts to capture and preserve memories, it addresses notions of souvenir-ship, conservation, and keepsakes. Additionally, the work contains an embedded message around repurposing materials, sustainability, and supporting local markets.
Keepsakes Canada creator, Jenneen Beattie is the Program Manager at Mural Routes. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration and Cultural Management from Humber and a BFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practices from OCADU. She participated in a residency at the Winchester School of Art, UK and the inaugural bursary program at the Artscape Daniel’s Launchpad.
Mr. Hydde is a painter living and working on the dark side in the greater Toronto area. He matriculated through a traditional art education, including a B.F.A and an M.F.A. conferred from two prestigious Canadian Universities before the loving call of Low Brow, and Street Art ruined him forever. Mr. Hydde is an admirer of early Surrealism, Dada, Pop Art, and specifically the great and marvellous European art collective COBRA. He feels a great admiration and spiritual affinity with the work of Jean Dubuffet and the later, “In your face!” work of Philip Guston.
Mr. Hydde has survived a strange extended adventure in Tokyo, a private battle with cancer, and a soul crushing series of day jobs. He juggles his dark creative existence with an alter-ego mostly responsible for helping him hide in plain sight and pay the bills.
As a “people watcher” and a student of human nature, Mr. Hydde is compulsively interested in the dynamics of the subconscious and psychological narratives that arise from the floating bits of flotsam and jetsam that accumulate as we move through our complex lives.
Aitak Sorahitalab is a contemporary visual artist and art educator with more than a decade of experience in both fields. As a creator, Aitak received public and private commissions for producing ceramic art (bas-relief) in Iran, and mural paintings in Toronto; exhibited her sculptural work and installations in group and solo shows; and worked with varied art organizations as a jury and committee member in both countries. As an educator, she worked with diverse communities, peer newcomers, special needs and marginalized groups of people. Passionate about social development, Sorahitalab was an art director of an NGO in Iran, and co-founded a non-profit organization, Airsa, to help and support new Canadians in the arts in Toronto.
Natalie Very B
Natalie Very B. is a Polish-Canadian illustrator, muralist, and educator. She is passionate about facilitating art workshops with a strong focus on the therapeutic aspect of creative expression. Her large scale murals depict modern female empowerment and can be found all across the city of Toronto. She makes art with the goal of changing preconceived notions of feminism and promoting self-love and body positivity in the world.
Akshata Naik is an internationally recognized, talented visual artist, arts educator, and administrator. She works as the Program and Gallery Manager at Arts Etobicoke and is very invested in community arts through her job and art practice. She was an Assistant Professor at Parul University in Gujarat, where she taught drawing and painting in India before moving to Canada. She is a newcomer to Canada and soon after she arrived in 2017, she became active in the arts scene, widely showing her interactive art with several communities across Toronto. Most recently, she exhibited ‘Bloody Boats 2.0’ at the Gladstone Hotel as part of Nuit Blanche 2019 and was also invited as the guest artist by the town of Collingwood to lead an experiential public art project. Her piece, ‘Frozen Voyage’ is installed at the council chambers, townhall of Collingwood. She is also an accomplished speaker, presenting at the Gathering 1.0 organized by Cultural Pluralism in the Art Movement Ontario (CPAMO), Emergence Symposium organized by Neighbourhood Arts Network, and received a Newcomer Artist Mentorship Grant by Toronto Arts Council. She also was awarded a gold medal in her Master’s for best performance and final art display.
Loretta Faveri is a Toronto based visual artist. After graduating from OCAD University’s Material Art and Design program in 2012, she spent several years exploring wearable sensors that generate sound through movement. Recently she has returned to her printmaking practice, creating 3D monotype prints as well as torn and stitched prints. She draws inspiration from Indigenous Canadian and African art particularly the works of El Anatsui and Norval Morrisseau. Faveri has been sober for two years. She recently received an Ontario Arts Council grant to bring art and mindfulness to the addiction recovery community at St. Joseph’s Health Centre.
David Chinyama is an award-winning multi-disciplinary artist who was born in Zimbabwe and is now based in Toronto. His work is inspired by colour, form, movement, and texture and is a representation of personal fascinations and experiences often shaped by his upbringing and cultural memory of different contemporary African traditions. Working in multimedia, David explores subject matters centered upon aspects of identity, socio-economic, political and religious connotations. He creates thought-provoking compositions out of found fabrics and recycled material that are cut, stitched, and painted together onto canvas to form different shapes and patterns.
Darlene’s award-winning work has been featured in magazines and hangs in Canadian Embassies around the world. This past holiday season she was the featured artist in the AGO gift-giving guide and Pomegranate Communications has licensed her work on calendars, cards, and puzzles that are sold internationally. A member of the Etobicoke Art Group and Neilson Park Creative Centre where she studies and paints, you can find her work in galleries across Canada and the United States, in the Mayo Clinic and in private collections around the world.