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About Our Artist Instructors

Instructors

Kelley Aitken

Instructor

Through the 80's and 90's Kelley Aitken’s work was primarily narrative: dream landscapes and figurative works that used the geography of the body to map psychological and emotional states. These works were executed on canvas, wood, and paper in mixed media and painterly collage. Kelley continues to work with figurative imagery at a larger scale in gouache, acrylic wash, ink, graphite, encaustic and papercut.

Kelley Aitken's teaching focus and specialty is drawing and mixed media.

Amanda Arcuri

Instructor

Amanda Arcuri is a photography based artist from Toronto and holds a BFA from Ryerson University and an M.A.A. from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Amanda’s work has been displayed across Canada; depicting altered and dramatized landscapes of installed light or materials within the greenery. She has enjoyed teaching art classes for the past 10 years encouraging creativity, experiential learning and a focus on developing a keen eye.

Laura Barrett

Instructor

In Laura Barrett’s career as a singer/songwriter/composer, she has released multiple albums, including two feature film soundtracks, and served as music director to several live comedy and theatrical productions. She also holds a Master of Teaching degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, as a certified Junior/Intermediate teacher. Laura has mentored youth through Girls Rock Camp Toronto and at Dixon Hall Music School’s overnight camp, designed curricula and led instruction at Camp Make-a-Game, and currently works with the TDSB as a supply teacher. Her culminating master’s research project examined creative thinking in the classroom, and she brings this ongoing investigation to her work at the AGO and beyond, grounding her artistic and educational practices in empathy, curiosity, and hope.

Claire Bartleman

Instructor

Claire Bartleman’s practice explores the subtle boundaries between painting and textiles. Currently an MFA candidate at Western University, she also holds a BFA in Art History from Concordia University and BFA in Drawing and Painting from OCAD University. Her work has been shown in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and London, Ontario. Claire has held positions with OCAD University, War Child Canada and the Inclusive Design Research Centre.

Jason Deary

Instructor

Jason Deary is an emerging visual artist with an MFA from OCAD University and a BFA from the University of Windsor. His abstract paintings focus on issues of memory, recording and history. His work has been shown in Toronto, London, Calgary, Vancouver and New York City amongst others. Deary was a recent recipient of grants from Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council.

Kimberly Edgar

Instructor

Kimberly Edgar is an interdisciplinary artist that until recently was based out of Dawson City, Yukon. Kim’s practice focuses on drawing, performance, music, sculpture, textile and installation, with an emphasis on self-exploration. Now based in Toronto, Kimberly's work spans pro wrestling performance, with the art collective 'League of Lady Wrestlers', to print installation and soft sculpture. Teaching art to children and youth and fostering the creative process is something Kim is very passionate about.

Claire Greenshaw

Instructor

Claire Greenshaw received an MFA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2009 and a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax in 2002. Greenshaw has exhibited across Canada and internationally. Her solo exhibitions include Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto, Helen Pitt Artist Run Centre, Vancouver and The Khyber Arts Centre, Halifax. She was co-editor and designer for Millions magazine from 2011-2014.

Jim Hake

Instructor

Jim Hake received his BFA in sculpture at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1990, a MA in sculpture at California State University, Sacramento in 1994 and a MFA in sculpture at the Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts, Indiana University, Bloomington in 1996. After graduation, Hake moved to Turin, Italy and became an Italian citizen where he began his career as a professional sculptor and teacher. Before moving to Toronto in 2008, Jim Hake has shown his work extensively throughout Italy and Europe, in particular, Milan, Bologna, Venice, Lugano, Stockholm, and London. In the past 5 years, Hake has mounted 5 solo exhibitions throughout Ontario. He is currently represented by Lonsdale Gallery.

Jim Hake's teaching focus and specialty is sculpture.

Brian Hoxha

Instructor

Brian Hoxha is a painter, printmaker and educator whose work explores the natural world. Taking inspiration by painting on location in Ontario, and journeying to areas as diverse as Western Canada, Newfoundland and Montana, Hoxha works in both oil and watercolour. He also has a studio-based practice in which he translates painted works into etchings, lithographs, and woodcuts. Hoxha is currently being represented by Open Studio, Gallery 133, The Denison Gallery, Art Interiors, Tracey Capes F.A., Gallery Noveau in Regina, Saskatdhewan, Gibson Fine Arts in Calgary, and the Christina Parker Gallery in St. John's N.F. Brian Hoxha currently teaches Introduction to Printmaking.

Brian Hoxha's teaching focus and specialty is printmaking and painting.

Jessie Jakumeit

Instructor

Jessie Jakumeit is an award winning Visual Artist and Educator from Vancouver. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and a B.Ed. from the University of Toronto. In 2015, she completed an International Residency in northern New Mexico funded by the Canada Arts Council. In 2017, she won a Toronto Arts Council grant to create living sculptures. Curiosity led her to teaching Art at the Royal BC Museum, Two Rivers Gallery, Latcham Gallery, the Living Arts Centre and Art City. She loves guiding her students through a creative process filled with experimentation and play.

Brendan Jensen

Instructor

Brendan's earliest yoga practice arose from an effort to find balance within the rigorous regimen of a dance vocation. His performance career has spanned over a decade - having graduated from the National Ballet School of Canada - during which time he has performed internationally with some of Canada's leading contemporary companies. Brendan strives to ensure his yoga and performance practice continue to inform each other. He completed his certified Moksha Yoga training in 2009 and has since developed a successful teaching practice across Canada. In 2011 he trained in Yin yoga with Tracey Soghrati (Soghrati Yoga) and in 2014, studied under Yoga Vini in Rishikesh, India; with further education in Asana, Philosophy, Pranayama and the Shat Kriyas. In 2015 he became a licensed Yoga Tune Up® teacher under the instruction of Jill Miller. Brendan spends the majority of his time teaching in Downtown Toronto. He has also co-led international retreats that offer intensive explorations in the practice of togetherness; operating from the belief that people thrive in community, where the individual can find personal definition in the transformative force of fellowship. Brendan is eager to learn and grow with anyone willing to enter the studio and share their practice. He offers an open mind and heart with a healthy dose of realism; exemplified in one of his late mothers favourite quotes:
“Keep an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out."

David Kaarsemaker

Instructor

David Kaarsemaker’s paintings address the limitations of spatial illusion, creating an experience of depth that doesn't take for granted the transparency of the picture plane, but rather engages in visual dialogue with it. He received an MFA from the University of Ottawa in 2014 and a BFA from Concordia University in 2004 and was selected as a finalist in the 2017 RBC Painting Competition. Before moving to Toronto in 2017, Kaarsemaker taught painting and drawing in Ottawa at Algonquin College and the Ottawa School of Art, and in St John’s NL at the Rooms Provincial Gallery and the Anna Templeton Centre.

Kerry Kim

Instructor

Kerry Kim regards drawing as a vehicle for exploration of chaotic visual reality while he does not imbue his works with symbolism, nor does he merely record what he sees. Rather, he draws out the structural movement within the human form, thus conveying thoughts and emotions that otherwise could not be elucidated. Kerry graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design in 1981 and studied old master drawings in Florence, Italy. He taught drawing and painting at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Dundas Valley School of Art, Sheridan College, Centennial College and Ontario College of Art and Design. He is presently the director of Mississauga Valley School of Art. Kerry's works have been represented through many group and solo shows.

Kerry Kim's teaching focus and specialty is drawing and painting.

Dave Lapp

Instructor

David Lapp is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and the University of Western Ontario (B.A. Psychology). He has been teaching cartooning at the Art Gallery of Ontario and Avenue Road Arts School for over fifteen years. Dave has created three graphic novels, Drop In, Children of the Atom, and People Around Here, which have been published by Conundrum Press. In addition to his graphic novels, his artwork can also be seen in Taddle Creek magazine. Dave’s work was chosen for the ‘Best American Comics’ series for 2010, 2011, and 2016. He is currently working on a 500 page graphic novel for which he has received Canada and Ontario Arts Council grants.

Janine Lindgren

Instructor

Janine Lindgren, AOCA, Hon. BFA, B.Ed.
Janine is a studio instructor for Youth and Children, and has been working in the Education department for 28 years. She is a sculptor, printmaker, and loves life drawing. Art, education, and creation are passions she shares.

Bogdan Luca

Instructor

Bogdan was born in Romania and has been living in Toronto since 1994. After graduating from Sheridan College's Classical Animation program, he worked in the animation world in various roles including animator, designer, concept artist, storyboard artist and art director. Bogdan also studied at OCAD University and the University of Toronto. Since 2010 he works as a drawing and painting instructor in the Faculty of Art at OCAD University. Bogdan has exhibited his work in Canada, Italy, Romania, Germany and the US. He is represented by Neubacher Shor Contemporary Gallery in Toronto.

Bogdan Luca's teaching focus and specialty is painting and drawing.

Carol Matson

Instructor

Carol Matson was born in Vancouver, B.C. and attended the University of British Columbia, where she was granted a B.Ed. with a Double Art Major. After spending time in London, England, Carol completed an Honours Degree in Printmaking from the Emily Carr School of Art and Design, and at Concordia University in Montreal where she received a Masters in Art Education, with Studio Studies. Carol taught at Concordia in the Fine Arts Department before moving to Toronto. Her paintings are in collections in Canada and the United States.

Carol Matson's teaching focus and specialty is painting and drawing.

Daphne McCormack

Instructor

Daphne McCormack is a graduate of OCAD. After a successful career as an illustrator in both Canada and the U.S., she took on a new pursuit as an Artist Educator in various cultural institutions across Toronto. These would include the Royal Conservatory (Learning Through the Arts), Station Gallery in Whitby, and Walnut Studio’s Blank Canvases Program. She has created various large scale murals with in the TDSB. As well she teaches part time at Harbourfront Centre School Visits. Daphne has been teaching at the AGO for several years, most often working with children and youth in the weekend and summer camp courses. She enjoys teaching printmaking, drawing, painting, multimedia and Artist Books. Her personal work is often inspired by the natural world and environmental issues.

Lauren McKinley Renzetti

Instructor

Lauren McKinley Renzetti is an artist, designer, educator, maker and writer who has shown her work throughout Ontario. Her role as an educator has taken her to Georgian College, McMaster University, Ryerson University, the Art Gallery of Hamilton and art Works art School as well as the AGO. Her work predominantly is texture based: relief printmaking,collage,  paper making, mixed media sculpture and high relief detritus painting in acrylic. She is represented by ArtBomb and is  also the artist–in-residence at Unicamp of Ontario where she facilitates large community building art projects. Her editorials on education, art and community building have been printed widely in e-newsletters, The Canadian Unitarian and in Snap. Lauren McKinley Renzetti's teaching focus and speciality is printmaking and mixed media.

Olia Mishchenko

Instructor

Olia Mishchenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine and moved to Canada in 1997. She studied architecture and art history at the University of Toronto prior to becoming a practicing artist. Mishchenko’s artistic practice is predominantly drawings-based and concerned with built environments. She is also an active member of the Terrarea collective that is engaged in site-specific installations. Mishchenko lives and works in Toronto, where she teaches in the Environmental Design Programme at OCADU, and at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Wendy O'Brien

Instructor

Dr. Wendy O'Brien is a Hamilton based philosopher and avid appreciator of the visual arts. She teaches at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning where she conducts courses on contemporary art, creativity and beauty. She is currently working on an interdisciplinary study of the concept of wonder, and also started a blog called 365 Days of Wonder.

Loree Ovens

Instructor

Loree Ovens graduated from Sheridan College, School of Crafts and Design in 1992. In the mid 90s, she had a two-year residency in the textile studio at the Harbourfront Craft Studio. In 2008, Loree earned a Printmaking BFA from OCADU.

Loree works in a variety of media, although better known for her printmaking. She has shown in national and international exhibitions. Her work is part of private and public collections including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Loree Ovens is represented by David Kaye Gallery and Open Studio.

Melissa Pauw

Instructor

Melissa Pauw is a Toronto based artist and educator. She holds an MFA from the University of British Columbia (2004) and a BA in Studio Art and Art History from the University of Guelph (2001). Melissa has held teaching positions at the University of British Columbia, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and Harbourfront Centre. Her photography, drawing and video work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States and Spain. Melissa’s teaching focus is exploration based art-making for early learners.

Brian Piitz

Instructor

Brian Piitz lives and works in Toronto. He graduated from Ryerson Polytechnic in 1986. Since 1984, he has exhibited in solo and group shows nationally and internationally. His work was included in the touring exhibitions Persistent Documents (1995-2000), The Pressing of Flesh (1993-1995) and The Body-Le Corps (1993-1994). He was a founding member of the Blanket Artist Collective and the Phoebe Street Project. Piitz has been an instructor of photography since 1999 and presently he is a sessional instructor at York University.

Kassandra Reich

Instructor

Kassandra Reich is an artist/educator born in Montreal Canada. She's illustrated six books to date working with publishers including Penguin Random House and Kids Can Press. Kass graduated with a degree in Art Education from Concordia University then picked up and moved to Beijing where she worked as an early childhood educator for nearly three years. Working with the little ones inspired her to start making picture. After Beijing she lived in Hong Kong, London England and Melbourne Australia. She now finds herself back in Canada but this time in Toronto.

Fiona Smyth

Instructor

Since graduating from OCADU in 1986, Fiona Smyth has covered Toronto and elsewhere with her distinctive female charged graphics. Her art practice includes painting, murals, animation, zines, comics, and illustration. Fiona's extensive exhibition history has included group shows at the Art Gallery of York University, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Her art works have exhibited internationally in the USA, Mexico, Berlin, France, Venice, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan. Fiona teaches illustration and cartooning at OCADU.

A collection of Fiona's Exclaim comics Cheez 100 was published by Pedlar Press in 2001. Her first graphic novel The Never Weres was published by Annick Press in 2011. Fiona illustrated Cory Silverberg's Kickstarter funded picture book What Makes A Baby in 2012, re-released by Seven Stories Press in May 2013. The follow up book Sex Is A Funny Word was released summer 2015.

Sharon Switzer

Instructor

Sharon Switzer is a Toronto-based media artist and curator. She has, since the early 1990s, exhibited widely across Canada and in the U.S, as well as at international art fairs with Corkin Gallery. For the past 10 years, her curating has focused on bringing contemporary art to public spaces. She founded the not-for-profit curatorial organization Art for Commuters, and produced the Art in Transit program as well as the Toronto Urban Film Festival, offering artists an opportunity to show their work in the public spaces frequented by urban commuters. Switzer has an MFA from the University of Western Ontario, is a Graduate of the CFC Media Lab at the Canadian Film Centre. She is represented by Corkin Gallery, Toronto.

Michael Toke

Instructor

Michael Toke is a Toronto based visual / installation  artist, born Hamilton in 1964. He attended Sheridan College and OCA in the  1980s, then moved to NYC and worked as head assistant to performance artist  J.S.G. Boggs. Michael exhibits internationally in art and film venues and his  installations combine painting, video and sculpture that are hung on a  conceptual armature of documentary film practice. His teaching focus  and specialty is painting.

Kasia Ulbin

Instructor

Kasia Ulbin is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. She completed a BFA in Visual Arts from York University and studied photography at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. She has worked in various creative fields including stop motion animation, film post-production and graphic design. Her passion for the arts and working with Youth and Children led her back into the classroom where she completed a Bachelor of Education from OISE at the University of Toronto in 2011.

Kasia has spent the past six years working extensively as an arts educator at various cultural art institutions including the Harbourfront Centre, Lakeshore Arts, and Toronto International Film Festival.

Amy Wong

Instructor

Amy Wong's paintings, drawings and sound work are a collection of diverse cultural references, oscillating between different systems of representation to evoke non-linear, personal narratives. Both tongue-in-cheek and unabashedly sincere, Wong works with what she considers a bad idea or a cliché in order to redefine them on her own terms.

Amy Wong (b. 1981, Toronto) has lived and worked in Toronto, Montreal, Amsterdam, Xiamen, Brooklyn, Barcelona and Miami. She completed her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec, MFA at York University in Toronto, Ontario, and post-graduate studies at De Ateliers in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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