All our artists are local, professional teaching artists that cover a broad range of practices including drawing, painting, weaving, carving, print-making, sculpture, textiles and photography. In the AIRS program, the artist becomes part of the school community, working with students and teachers out of the studio space one day a week. Each artist, in consultation with teaching staff, develops a visual arts program for age appropriate, inquiry- based projects that connect learning across the curriculum and explore ideas or issues that are relevant to students and their world. These projects can be individual or collaborative, permanent or ephemeral, and can encompass a range of visual media.
“The artist’s ability to guide and encourage helped to boost my confidence in combining various curricular content areas, competencies and school goals. The focus was on experiencing the artistic process rather than creating a product and this approach was deeply engaging for myself and my students.”
Andrew Swain, K Teacher
Annie Canto works mostly with people, food, and humour. She came to the unceded territories of the Musqueam Squamish and Tsleil Waututh people about two years ago to continue her community-based art education. As a graduate student at Emily Carr University, she spent most of her time supporting students and faculty of colour in the constant battle against institutional racism. In general in her art practice, she works with performance, text, comics and food to acknowledge the complexities of the other and question the overarching systems that govern our relationships. You might see Annie screaming down the sidewalk in her pineapple-coloured roller skates or sitting on her porch reading comic books. She watches a lot of horror movies with her cat and loves making empanada.
Cole Pauls is a Tahltan comic artist, illustrator and printmaker hailing from Haines Junction (Yukon Territory) with a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University. Residing in Vancouver, Pauls focuses on his two comic series, the first being Pizza Punks: a self-contained comic strip about punks eating pizza, the other is called Dakwäkãda Warriors, which is about two Southern Tutchone Earth Protectors saving the earth from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches using language revitalization. His highly acclaimed graphic novel Dakwäkãda Warriors has recently been published by Conundrum Press . In 2017, Pauls won Broken Pencil Magazine’s Best Comic and Best Zine of the Year Award for Dakwäkãda Warriors II.
Jack Kenna is a visual artist based in Vancouver. His practice includes painting, drawing, ceramics, and sculpture, often blurring the boundaries between mediums. Emphasizing humour and community building, Jack's practice is rooted in a DIY ethos of opportunity creation for young artists. In 2018, he co-founded Ground Floor Art Centre, a gallery and studio space created to provide more exhibition opportunities for emerging artists in Vancouver. Jack received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in 2019."
Aaniya Asrani is an interdisciplinary artist, graphic designer and visual storyteller from Bangalore, India. In 2014 she graduated with a distinction in Visual Communication for her project ‘Portraits of Exile’ from Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. The series of non-fiction graphic novels based on the lives of Tibetan refugees living in India was later published by Katha, an NGO based in Delhi. Her other published works include The Poetics of Fragility and De Sidere 7 made in collaboration with filmmaker Nicolás Grandi and cultural critic Lata Mani.
Currently she is working and living in Vancouver, Canada - on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam, Nations. She graduated in 2019 with a Master of Fine Art degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design where she now teaches as sessional faculty under the Faculty of Culture and Community. She has also recently been appointed Creative Director for Plain Sight Studio, based in NYC.
Her work investigates social, political and cultural infrastructures in order to critique and question existing injustices, with the ultimate goal of facilitating empathy across diverse communities and systemic disparities. Her current artistic practice focuses on a facilitation of ‘radical care’ that takes the form of community workshops. These workshops have been conducted at Vancouver’s International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art; Centre A, Roundhouse Community Centre, Ground Floor Arts Centre and ECUAD.
In 2007 Rebecca received a Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University and has taught photography and photojournalism courses at several universities. She has worked at the International Center of Photography in New York.and continues to do freelance work. More recently, Rebecca received a Post- Baccalaureate diploma in ECE from Capilano University and has worked in many primary and early childhood settings using photography for pedagogical documentation.
Heyl’s personal work largely deals with social rights issues carried out in the mediums of photography and installation. Her first book, Windows in the Wall (Skira/Rizzoli) was published in 2008.
Kellen Jackson (BFA Film Hons 2017, SFU) is a queer filmmaker/soundmaker/educator on stolen, occupied, unceded səl̓ilwətaɁɬ, Skwxwú7mesh, and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm lands. Their work is generated from an endless stream of hungry questions. Recurring themes include ecological intersubjectivity, myth & magic, and the trouble of having and sharing a body.
Kellen takes an experimental approach to materials, drawing from experimental analogue film traditions and a childhood of making potions in the mud. In their teaching, they are working toward models of collaboration that embrace vulnerability, passion, and curiosity, as opposed to emphasizing technical proficiency.
Kellen’s approach to facilitation comes from a background in theatre, nurtured by liberatory problem-solving pedagogy. They fully embrace clown logic -- non-linearity, non-rationality, and taking the art of play very seriously! Kellen works to enable and encourage kids to engage with big questions from exactly where they’re at, emphasizing that there are no “right answers” -- only generative thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and sensations that we can all keep learning from and building on together.
Alex is a visual artist born in Guatemala, and immigrated to Canada as a political refugee with his family at a young age. Because of these volatile early years, Alejandro used art as a creative outlet, pursuing a degree in Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
The principle themes of Alejandro’s work revolves around cultural identity and the struggle between his competing Canadian and Guatemalan cultures and beliefs. As such, his work is often exploratory, revolving around reconciliation between the two cultures. His work extends into musical performance, photography, traditional Mayan dance, gardening and community-based initiatives, with the desire is to assist people with similar issues.
Amanda begins with the haptic process of exploring materials. In her practice the path is as important as the destination. Her work is concerned with unseen structures and patterns. Documentation as a way of starting conversations and witnessing inter-connectedness. Amanda’s primary medium is weaving. Using traditional weaving techniques and tools within a contemporary framework she pushes the boundaries of her chosen materials. Amanda has a BA in Communications from SFU and a diploma in Textile Art from Capilano University. She is a member of the Canadian Guild of Weavers and the Craft Council of BC. Her work has been shown across Canada and published in multiple publications. Amanda lives and works in Vancouver, BC.
Adiba Muzaffar is a filmmaker from New Delhi, India. In recent years, her practice has evolved into media art and installation work, inspecting film as a body and skin as an interface. Through video narratives led by personal accounts and experiments with materials, moving images and sound she perseveres to yank at invisible stigmas. Ongoing work includes 360 video tours and branded content for a VR art staging platform.
Muzaffar has worked as an educator in varied roles since 2018. While working as an ECE at Frog Hollow in 2019 she came across the Reggio Emilia approach in a Reggio inspired program with 5-12 year olds. Her teaching methodology has hence evolved to include emergent learning and pedagogical documentation (making thinking learning visible).
Originally from Mexico City, filmmaker and digital media artist Yunuen
Perez Vertti, moved to Vancouver 7yrs. ago after being based in Houston, TX for 15 yrs. Her international background is well represented in her work as a filmmaker and digital media artist. She has over 15yrs of experience in the film and television industry. She has worked in various roles and projects and produced films for many public, private and non-profit organizations. Her short documentary "Aparajita" The undefeated. was successfully screened at Tasveer Seattle South Asian Film Festival , Topanga Film Festival and Gulf Coast Film & Video Festival.
She is passionate about education through the arts and the importance of arts as a fundamental tool for education. She believes teaching and introducing kids to all art disciplines, as early as possible, is essential to a healthy society.
Tim Bauer is an illustrator, comic book creator, and educator based in Vancouver. Before settling up in Vancouver, Tim lived in the state of Kansas where he got his first degree in East Asian Languages and Culture. This prompted him move to S.Korea where he was afforded the chance to travel around Asia and teach English for five years. Eventually Tim would move to Vancouver to get a degree from Emily Carr in Illustration in 2015. Since then, he has taught courses in graphic design while self-publishing his own comics. Most of Tim’s work focuses on detailed drawings that create a strong narrative while creating an immersive setting. Tim creates comics that contain queer content and is a proponent of LGBTQ2A+ comic creators and is in the works to create a Queer comic and zine fair in Vancouver. He hopes for all of his students to feel free enough to explore and to tell their story in creative ways, but mostly to have fun while doing it.
Pia Massie is a multi-media artist whose work has been exhibited in festivals, museums and galleries throughout North America and Europe, including The Museum of Modern Art, NYC; Musée Cantonal des Beaux Arts, Lausanne; and the grunt gallery in Vancouver, BC. Her teaching career includes universities, elementary schools and community programs.
Sculpture was the first art practice that I took seriously. When I started to work on site specific, large scale installations in a mono-no-aware approach my sculpture became more about experiencing a moment in time and less about material objects.
Although now I am known for my films, writing and performances. I also practice tea, take care of bees and help start gardens, in a continuing commitment to engage art in the service of activism.
I anticipate creating a studio space where community can expand and create, finding their own voices, and working with the materials that come naturally to them.
Originally from Vancouver Island, Kirsten Hatfield holds a Fine Arts Diploma from North Island College and a BFA from Emily Carr University. She is heavily involved in the local arts community as a practicing artist, curator, art director and art educator. Her personal practice fluctuates between a wide variety of materials but is always centred around painting and colour theory. Her work has been featured on CBCarts, BBC, Huffpostarts, Seventeen Magazine, New York Magazine and locally in Sad Mag and Discorder Magazine. She currently resides in Vancouver where she shows locally and internationally.
My abstract paintings are a combination of memory and dream imagery exploring the contradictions of the artificial and the natural, the digital and the physical, organization and chaos, flatness and depth, synthetic and natural colours, the sublime and the banal, nostalgia and progression. The intention is to explore the physical and cultural environment of a post-internet and technologically progressive society that is obsessed with nostalgia and tradition; simultaneously existing in the past and future.
Andrew Phillips is a community organizer, designer, educator and emerging social practice artist. His interdisciplinary research-based projects explore the entangled relations of human and natural systems through the diverse sites, situations, forms and experiences of everyday life. Experimenting with playful and sometimes eccentric methods and tactics for public engagement and participation, Andrew constructs spaces and processes for conversations, relationship building, and collaborative inquiry about eco-social matters. As a pedagogical process, his works encourage people to ask critical questions to attend more widely and deeply to the plurality of human and more-than-human ways of knowing and being that coproduce everyday life.
Andrew holds a BA in Political Science from Queen’s University, and is a graduate of the Institute without Boundaries’ postgraduate program in Interdisciplinary Design Strategy. He is currently completing a Masters of Educational Studies (EDST) at UBC that centres on critical public pedagogies for future ecologies; alternative ways of being/learning together in/through place.
Guná, also known as Megan Jensen is from the Carcross, Tagish First Nation, located in southern Yukon. Guná grew up witnessing the cultural practices of her community including dance, song, language, potlatching annual harvesting on her traditional territory. she was fortunate to learn and grow surrounded by the practises of her ancestors, and this has inevitably informed her practise as a dancer, composer, writer and the dominant part of her practise - painting. Guná has been a student of formalize for ten years and has previously been apprenticed by Nisga'a artist Mike Dangeli and William Wasden of Alert Bay. She is now in her final year of attaining her Bachelor of visual Arts from Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Guná's mandate is to foster culturally safe and inclusive spaces for students to enable students to experiment and feel comfortable inquiring into the unknown. Guná firmly believes that all students have an innate capacity to be creative, and that their unique gifts must be nurtured. Guná always aspires to find ways to integrate teachings from her community in order to create spaces of cultural understanding.
Heather Lamoureux is an uninvited guest on the Coast Salish Territory of the Musquem, Squamish and Tsliel-Waututh nations. Here she is a producer, artist and facilitator. Her work stems from her relationship with the earth and the dedication to walk with generosity. Heather is the Artistic Director of Vines Art Festival, Community Outreach Co-ordinator at Raven Spirit Dance and has worked for other performing arts organization including the PuSh International Arts Festival and Dancing on the Edge. She is trained in Expressive Movement Therapy from Tamalpa Institute and uses this practice with youth in foster care and runs various youth programs. She has a BFA from Simon Fraser University. Heather is currently being mentored by Cease Wyss at Harmony Gardens on community engagement in Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. She volunteers at BC Crisis and Suicide Prevention Centre and at kwekwecnewtxw – Coast Salish watch house.
Alanna Ho is an educator, community engaged artist (sound-focused) and cultural producer based in New Westminster, BC. Her research is on deep play, female representation and feminist activism in the arts, and accessible art programming in early education. The Rainbow Forecast Project, founded in 2016, an initiative created to examine the critical connection between radical pedagogy in the arts, and empowering children and young womxn beyond the classroom. She is dedicated to integrating child-led play; inquiry and process based learning; and 21st century learning skills into classrooms.
Using storytelling, games and play as the main momentum, she introduces sound and new media technology as a creative tool in combination with traditional materials to aid in the unravelling and discussion of sensitive topics such as diversity in representation and environmental awareness.
Tami Murray holds a BFA from Emily Carr with a major in Photography with additional focus on printmaking, drawing and painting during her education and into her artistic practice. She has taught art to children of all ages for 8 years emphasizing immersion into the creative process as part of her art making ideology. Her love of making art with children comes from their unbridled enthusiasm for experiencing the world around them, the surprising ways that they express their views of the world and the unlimited creative potential an art lesson provides. She is fond of telling people that she learns just as much as she instructs in the classroom studio.
Nura Ali is a visual artist, community organizer and social activist, living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her multidisciplinary practise engages issues of memory, place building, displacement and power. Nura is committed to community oriented organising and for this reason became one of the founding members of the Vancouver Artists Labour Union, a unionized workers cooperative with a mission to transform labour practices within the arts and cultural sector.
Evaly is originally from Montreal, Quebec where she studied Visual Arts at Dawson College and Concordia University. After journeying to British Columbia with an Art collective she fell in love with the West Coast, its majestic nature and its people. She now lives in East Vancouver with her husband, young daughter and small crew of furry family members.
Her work has been shown in group and solo shows in Montreal and Vancouver as well as Commercial galleries. Inspired by music, poetry and nature, her body of work has featured an evolving exploration of intuition, gestural expression and color symbolism and a recent return to figurative work. Alongside her artistic practice Evaly also devotes her time to teaching art and developing creative curricula for elementary and high school students
Susan is an educator and freelance photographer with over 20 years of experience including the UN School in New York. At York University (Toronto), Susan worked as a course director with teacher candidates in the Faculty of Education.
Susan’s most recent workshops in photography are designed to address the important work of teaching visual literacy. Students learn to critique images, question their source and meaning and create their own photos with the use of DSLR cameras. Central to the learning experience is the notion of perspective taking. She encourages students to take time to see through a lens and discover beauty in the ordinary.
Augusta Lutynski has recently completed her bachelor's degree in Industrial Design at Emily Carr University. She currently works in design research and has a background in textiles and traditional shoemaking. In her design practice, she uses making as a means for inquiry, seeking to better understand the objects and systems people engage with. Her work responds to these unique relationships people have to space, whether that is around the dinner table, a neighbourhood, or to the body. Focusing on the contextual narratives within a space has been an important part of her process and final design outcomes. Augusta hopes to prompt dialogues and new perspectives in her work by engaging herself and others in design that is situated, responsive, and experiential.
Master printmaker, Julie McIntyre studied printmaking at the Banff Centre and holds a BFA from Queen's University. She has exhibited extensively across Canada, including her most recent show Travel Stories at Grimsby Art Gallery, Julie has taught printmaking workshops for over 30 years. She uses ordinary materials and a wide range of transfer techniques to create professional results that surprise and delight students. The beauty of printmaking is its serendipity that opens students up to experimentation. Julie's goal is to have students delight in the playfulness of the repeated image, develop a greater appreciation for qualities of paper, deepen their appreciation for surface treatment and above all, surprise themselves.
Maggie is a Vancouver artist/printmaker and long-time art educator. She has over 25 years of teaching experience including at the post-secondary level. Her passion for working with children began in Camden, New Jersey, running art programming for at-risk youth in the inner city and has continued in numerous elementary schools in the lower mainland. Her work with students centres on building a sense of belonging and community through collaborative processes and using art as a means of exploring the issues that impact a student’s world and experience. Maggie has a BFA, and a Diploma and MA in Art History. Maggie is co-founder and director of the Artist in Residence Studio program (AIRS). She twins her art engagement with students in schools with political advocacy for equitable access to the arts for children within public education.