meet our artists, artisans and makers
"I have painted in some form or another all of my life. It is a process where I feel most at home and where my curiosity is always piqued.
In each painting I explore the evocation of mood through texture and colour. With blatant overlapping strokes and under mixed colours I aim to reflect the unrefined, richly textured landscape that is my backyard."
Tara Higgins has a full background in the arts. At Clark University in the States she received her BA in theatre set design and scenic painting. She has had the privilege to study under K.B Hancock, a world-renowned landscape painter and to have been mentored by the reputed Canadian artist Angela Morgan.
Now residing in BC and Tara is strongly connected to the natural world around her; this connection is reflected deeply in her work. Her bold brush strokes and an intuitive sense of colour in her paintings become striking impressions of iconic Canadian Landscapes.
Tara Higgins’ work has appeared internationally in magazines, newspapers and television and is hung in private and corporate collections across the globe.
"Growing up in Southern Alberta the influence of the Prairie landscape is strong within my work. Through sculpture, wall art and pottery my work focuses on the study of process and progression, exposing the accumulation of form and surface over time. My work is greatly influenced by the process of making within the discipline of ceramics."
Juliana Rempel is a graduate of Emily Carr University in Vancouver where she received her Bachelor in Visual Arts degree. Following this, she attended Cardiff School of Art and Design in Wales, UK where she completed her Master of Arts degree in Ceramics. Juliana has had the opportunity to attend art residencies such as the International Ceramic Studio in Hungary, Fourwinds Arts Residency in France as well as here in Canada at Medalta International Ceramic Residency in Medicine Hat, Alberta. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally.
Juliana resides and maintains a studio practice in Bragg Creek Alberta and is currently teaching as sessional faculty at AUarts.
"The pots I make are an exploration of how sculptural form, function and simplicity can exist in the everyday, utilitarian object. The soft slab, hand building process is a direct reference to the construction of old-timey, worn tin ware. Surface created through wood firing helps evoke a sense of nostalgia, creating a dialogue of memory between user and maker through everyday use."
Heather began her study of clay as a metal student at Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC. This study and constant reference to metal continues in her hand-built soft slab, wood fired ceramics.
She is interested in the development of relationship created by placement and repetition, and the use of functional ceramics to create sculptural works. Heather has participated in residencies, given workshops and lectures and has exhibited her work across Canada and the United States.
"I believe that artwork should be both calming and beautiful. As someone with anxiety I know how it helps improve your overall wellbeing to decorate your home with items that make you feel good. After several people told me that my art is calming, I realized I was trying to soothe my anxiety through art. I’m so happy to extend that peaceful feeling to the walls of your home."
Meghan Bellamy is known for creating calming landscapes and lovely floral pieces. Her main mediums are paper, paint and wood. She uses these materials in order to create one of a kind artworks.
She is currently living on Vancouver Island, Canada. When not creating artwork, she is constantly looking for inspiration by exploring the island with her dog, Luna.
"My work utilizes a mid-century modern aesthetic combined with a contemporary twist, and so is focused on making functional art pieces that make a statement. Hand-making each item with individual care and focus, I aim for our products to add a sophisticated and eye-catching polish to any space."
The artist behind the designs at Dougherty Glassworks is Cameron Dougherty. As the founder and namesake, he has a true passion for glassblowing. Originally from California’s central valley, Cameron now lives and works in Vancouver BC with his wife and their dog.
Studying and working with glass has allowed Cameron to work in studios up and down the entire west coast of North America. However, the initial spark behind his lifelong journey with glass came over 12 years ago, while he was earning his degree in Business Information Systems at California State University Chico. After graduating he enrolled at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, followed by a 5 year apprenticeship in California.
Along with his own artistic development, Cameron is passionate about the growth and development of the glass blowing community. He enjoys training new students and apprentices and cultivating a love for glass in others.
"Stories are important to me... the ones we are immediately aware of and the ones that come through excavation."
Beverley Hawksley is primarily a figurative painter, describing her figures as being in a "state" rather than a "location". She is self taught and currently resides in Muskoka, Ontario.
She describes making as being intrinsic throughout her childhood and into the current day. Initially remembering cobbling her own shoes because of a fascination with some boots that Patsy Cline wore on an album cover.
"resourceful creativity has felt as necessary as breathing."
Beverley's background in hairdressing and costume are inherent influences her work - she continues to explore this through combining eras, or indulging in fantasy. Attention to hair styles and head gear are important as well.
“I’m making art but I’m also making something that’s practical that people take into their homes and use day after day. I feel like having craft in you home elevates it and makes your coffee taste better!”
Bronwyn Arundel is a potter making fun functional pottery in Nanaimo BC. She graduated with a B.F.A from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.
Her passion is joining form and image, to put humor and whimsy into your hands.
“The greatest joy comes from the act of discovery, of finding new ways to express my sense of wonder for the world. I love to explore many subjects in my work and find the beauty and magic in them. I strive to make work that is innocent and childlike, fresh and from the heart.”
Lucy Schappy is a Vancouver Island artist who has been painting professionally for 20 years. After graduating as a Dentist and moving to BC she rediscovered her passion for painting. Eventually she traded in the drill for a paint brush and has been developing her artistic voice ever since.
Having an adventurous nature, her art path has been one of invention and exploration. She paints in many mediums but prefers oils for their richness, color and layering ability. Much of her work is developed over time, layer upon layer which adds depth, texture and history to the piece, as well as an element of mystery.
Lucy is known for her enthusiastic use of vibrant color which is joyful and optimistic. She is an award winning artist, has shown extensively in Canada and the United States and is represented by galleries across Canada. Her work is also in private collections around the world.
"I aim to bring the allure of bold shapes and striking forms to the everyday. Designing every season's collection begins by hand with paper and brass maquettes. Each piece undergoes many stages of testing and material exploration and all of the designs are developed with the wearer in mind."
Vanassa Chan, founder & designer of PURSUITS, draws her inspiration from design, architecture, and fashion. She earned her bachelor's degree in interior design in the United Kingdom and worked for years as a designer in Canada before launching PURSUITS in 2014. Her background in interior architecture has deeply influenced her jewelry designs, and traces of her past career can be seen in the playful way she approaches composition and geometry. Her passion and desire to create pushes her to experiment with new materials: exploring combinations of surface and shape and their potential as wearable art. Each piece is meticulously formed, and finished with care, in small batches in PURSUITS Toronto studio.
"We believe that being surrounded by beauty is vital to our well being and that nature’s spectacle is an ideal source of artistic inspiration. We aim to create beautiful objects that respect our planet by using upcycled materials and the latest low energy LED technologies. We thus hope that generations to come can continue to admire nature’s beauty."
The years Jean spent traveling across Africa, South America, South East Asia, and sailing around the Atlantic have helped him develop a deep consciousness of our fragile planet's limited resources and sparked his passion for sustainability.
Claudine is what one would call a classic “Renaissance" artist in the sense that she likes to experiment with many mediums and is always looking to learning new techniques to expand her artistic vocabulary.
Claudine & Jean had the good fortune of meeting Hariomsinh, a creative and passionate electronics engineer. Hari brings a very wide range of technical skills and an insatiable desire to improve our designs.
The team members are artists, environmentalists and light engineers.
"The paintings and drawings of animals that live in the Rocky Mountains alongside humans disrupt the infinite patterns that cover my ceramic objects. They appear upon and inside of objects that normally reside in the domestic space such as cups and bowls, functional objects that themselves are central to many everyday patterns of human behavior. The animal depictions are, I hope, a reminder that we share this world with other beings who we so often forget about."
Katriona Drijber is a ceramic artist who was born and raised in the small coal mining town of Elkford in British Columbia, Canada. Drijber was only sixteen when she graduated high school and left home to attend Kootenay School of the Arts. It was here that she took her first clay class and began a lifelong fascination with ceramics.
"I am excited to share my love of fabric in a unique medium."
Working from a fabric stash decades in the making Sam uses upcycled materials for her fabric collage. Therefore her work is thoughtfully economical and environmentally concious. Sam has made a commitment to creating her art only from collected scraps and dumpster diverted materials (including the frames) but still producing work of immense skill and quality all from her multi-generational home in Fernie, BC.
"I love the endless challenge that clay and everything to do with pottery provides. Clay is the medium through which I reach out to community and inwards, to create peace."
Red stoneware reminds Kerri of the Nova Scotia mudflats were her family reunited every summer. It's a warm and earthy reminder of humble beginnings. Kerri alters wheel thrown shapes. Her signature white glaze is rich in titanium that responds well to surface textures.
She studies ceramics at Kootenay School of the Arts and Alberta College of Art and Design. She teaches worshops for adults and children as well as volunteering at the Fernie Arts Station in their pottery studio.
Kerri's pots are for everyday service. They may be put in the dishwasher or microwave.
"I illustrate my memories, moments I've experienced and things that are important to me hoping that you can also draw a narrative from a similar, happy experience."
Becca is a Printmaker and Illustrator working from her home studio in Fernie, BC. Having completed a degree in furniture design and making she wanted to continue her enjoyment of using tools to create and took up linoprinting.
Ever curious and on an endeavour to learn she flits between mediums to illustrate her imagery. Her work evokes a vintage feeling through the use of canvas continuing her love of storytelling. However migratory her hands, she always endeavours to create art with strong narrative, bold graphic with a nod to expressive mark making.
“Similar to how a poet employs metaphor and allusion, my goal is that each painting inhabits a space between representation and abstraction.”
Shantael Sleight grew up in rural Alberta and is now based in Victoria, BC. Since completing her BFA in 2002 from the Alberta University of the Arts (PKA Alberta College of Art & Design) she has maintained a studio practice and has exhibited publicly and privately throughout Canada.
Shantael has always been interested in capturing the ordinary beauty and essence of nature, related to our human experience. The embodiment of joy or loss mirrors itself through natures cycles and seasons and is reminiscent of a deeper connection to something bigger than self.
"A collector reached out and told me they use one of my mugs every day. It makes me happy to hear that a piece I thoughtfully made with my hands is used for someone's everyday ritual."
Janet Ng, TopoPots, is based in Saskatchewan where she works as a Wildlife Biologist and Photographer alongside her popular small pottery business.
Alongside completing a PhD in science Janet cites her proudest accomplishment as establishing her own studio practice. It allows her the space to throw larger objects creating big canvases to etch into.
Janet incorporates digital methods into art processes through the use of satellite imagery and digital geography. This allows her to document landscapes and cartography on her pottery through a variety of surface decoration techniques.
"I have loved making these pieces, taking the fish that my family has caught, and making art from them! Each print is an original, and the fish were caught in Southern Alberta."
Since childhood Erin has concentrated most of her time on creating art. Nature acts as inspiration for Erin's artwork, travel fuels it. Subject matter remains strongly attached to her surroundings, what ever they may be at the time. Erin grew up in the lush environment of rural northern Alberta, and this is where her motivation has its roots. Now, having been in southern Alberta for the past 13 years, where the dry landscape is dramatically different she has grown to appreciate the term 'big sky' and the vastness of the prairies.
Erin has adopted the ancient Japanese art form, Gyotaku, originally fisherman used this technique to record their catches. A fresh fish is inked and rice paper is applied to it to reveal a fascinating print.
"I'm Brenda, the heart and hands behind Discovery Ceramics. I’m a self taught ceramic artist living and creating on Vancouver Island, Canada."
I first encountered clay in 2018 and learning this craft has uncovered the joy of the creative process for me – I’m delighted that you are here to share that. What started as a hobby has led me on a path of exploration, challenge, and so much growth. Discovery ceramics was created along the way and my work exists to highlight beauty, simplicity, joy in the process and it’s an invitation to slow down and enjoy what is present.
My work is primarily wheel thrown and each piece is crafted thoughtfully, with care and creativity. The process of making things by hand reminds me to slow down and savour each moment and I invite you to do the same when you encounter my work. In a season where goods are mass produced and quickly discarded, hand thrown pottery feels like a rebellion, a thoughtful alternative that creates elegant, quality pieces designed to be part of everyday life.
“Every painting is an intuitive experiment in layers of colour, shape and texture. I draw inspiration from my surroundings, my memories and the dialogue in my head. My work combines a tension of gestural mark making and consciously executed elements with layer upon layer of colour. There is a definite chaos as each painting evolves until eventually a visual order seems to emerge.”
Lisa Roy grew up in Northern Ontario and studied fine art and graphic design at Sheridan. After an 18 year art director career, she left it behind to become an expat in Ireland and Dubai and paint full time. After a career of precision and staying within the lines, she discovered the energy that comes from painting intuitively. She works in series as she explores her ideas and alongside her abstract work, her recent move from BC to Nova Scotia inspired her abstract landscape series, Life Shift. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and is in private collections internationally. She paints in her studio overlooking the beach in beautiful Kingsburg, Nova Scotia.
Oksana Alekseeva is a contemporary landscape artist born in Saint-Petersburg. After receiving her law degree in 2009, Oksana spent nine years working as a lawyer.
However, her passion for art never faded, and she continued to explore her creative side through various mediums.
Eventually, she decided to take the leap and pursue her passion full-time, making a career switch to become a professional artist.
As a contemporary landscape artist, Oksana's work is defined by her ability to capture the beauty and essence of the Canadian landscape. She uses bold colors and sweeping brushstrokes to create paintings that convey a sense of movement and energy.
Currently, she lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two boys, and German Shepard pup.
"My work is a reflection of my inner spirit and the journey of my creative purpose. It speaks of my return back to Canada, the farm girl I have always been, and the Prairies that called me back home."
Jamie McCallum grew up on a cattle ranch just south of Brandon, Manitoba. Her early years on the farm have always been a source of inspiration and her love of animals and the vast prairie landscape are often reflected in the subject matter of her work.
Her work is contemporary, gestural, and celebrates a broad subject range full of whimsy and humanity. Jamie pushes proportions to evoke mood and curiosity and utilizes the power of color and texture to further extend these boundaries.
After spending time in BC, where she painted with long-time friend and mentor Canadian artist Angela Morgan, Jamie returned to her home province of Manitoba and now resides outside Riding Mountain National Park.
"I am beyond grateful to have my little home studio. It is a humble happy working space. It houses paint and brushes and piles of mess and tea cups and candles. It has stacks of rejected work that patiently waits for a second chance. It is warmed with music movement and a pellet stove. It loves it when friends hang out from time to time. Making art in this space is a privilege and a joy."
Chantey gratefully lives, and makes art in Quw’utsun’ mustimuhw Territory. She is a colour addict, a stargazer, a plant lover, a meal maker, a conscious dancer, and is always on the lookout for delight. Her paintings are an earnest celebration of life. As a first generation Canadian of Indian and Middle Eastern descent, Chantey's art strikes the viewer through a bold use of colour, shape, and contrast. She is often steeped in poetry, mythology, rhythm, ritual, and the fables of faraway places. This ignites and compels her towards all that is deeply feminine and life-giving. Her process has abstract beginnings, which then gives way to recognizable forms themed on women, nature, and patterns. The result is a juxtaposition of visual playfulness, and serious yet heartfelt content.
"I love abstraction as it allows me to be intuitive and expressive. Non-objective painting is soul nurturing for the artist and viewer. I don't subscibe to one particular style or approach with my art. Exploration is key."
Nature is a big inspiration in Jackie's color choices and how she see combinations. She has serious wanderlust and loves hiking, biking and traveling whenever possible. Jackie loves being in or near water and appreciates the influence these experiences have on her work. Jackie lives in Fernie, B.C.