Meet the Artists
Much of Darren Lowe’s work is concerned with the joyful expression of the popular culture he grew up with, including films such as Grease and musical artists such as Michael Jackson and Patti Smith. He also has a fondness for illustrating animals, especially elephants. His work also relates to memory, and the tendency of memories to be all at once intense, at times involuntary, and also fleeting. This sometimes gives his work a distorted and at times deconstructed and dreamlike quality.
Deidre Snow has an outgoing attitude and an active social life. The joy and energy of her lifestyle comes out in her art, which often includes drawings and paintings of hearts, home-made cards, paper flowers, as well as abstract paintings. The paintings often feature the use of multi-colored, thickly poured, splattered, smeared and otherwise manipulated paint. It is often thickly applied to the canvas without brushes, relying instead on blow dryers, scraping devices, pouring implements, and her bare hands. There is a relishing of the material properties of the paint, and an emphasis on process over product, a vital impulse to continually explore the qualities of the paint itself.
Delenn Schoeber is a creator of fantastical worlds. Each canvas tells a story. Winged creatures against detailed landscapes transport viewers into her rich inner world. As a natural storyteller, each piece is character driven. Beginning with a sketch of the creature, she lets her imagination build the world around it. In addition to drawing and painting, Delenn writes murder mysteries featuring fearless female characters. When she is not creating, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her family capturing the outdoors with her camera. She is always gathering information and inspiration for her next story.
Fariha Farhat describes herself as, “a happy human” and her drawings as, “fancy words like a poem”. She likes “blue – because of the sky and swimming in the ocean, and pink – because it is the universal of love”. Fariha is known for her drawings of “sensoory” boats. She describes every boat as having, “lots of colors and containing every life in the water”. Some of her favorite things are pop music, camping, stretching, Chinese horror movies, and family time. She believes that “a good person is like a butterfly, laughing is good for the heart, and all people are important”.
Heather Kingsbury draws and paints what she loves. Her work features flowers, cats, and various shades of purple. She often works by breaking down images carefully re-constructing them piece by piece to create a completed work. Through this meditative collage process, Heather is able to slow down and bring order to a loud, chaotic world. Recently Heather has also been using her iPad camera to amass a small archive of photos, which is still finding it’s direction. When she is not making art, she enjoys shopping, going on walks, and collecting items that make her happy.
Jessica McDaniel’s vibrant line art drawings and paintings of smiling animals transport viewers into her whimsical world. Describing herself and her art as, “happy, happy, happy”, Jessica transmits her gleeful personality into her art through bright colors, bold shapes, and bunnies named, “Lucky”. When she is not making art, Jessica enjoys going out with her family and friends, and dancing to Michael Jackson.
Judy Chow’s artistic work often relates to her sense of time, space, and place. This finds its clearest expression in her passion for creatively copying schedules and lists related to her life. She finds immense meaning in these tokens of the day to day rhythms and routines, as well as the more exceptional events punctuating everyday life. Lists of the names of important people in her life, creative reproductions of daily schedules, holiday themed cards, group projects and spontaneous bursting into song encompasses much of her creative output.
A calm, thoughtful observer, Mark Wolak paints and draws his impressions of the world around him and channels aspects of his personality. Mark and his work have a great stillness. Formally, his work often looks very clean, deliberate and symmetrical, conveying a visual feeling of stability. With his attention to detail and nature-inspired, yet simplified color palette, Mark’s artwork invites viewers to pause and appreciate the beauty of their surroundings, as well as, meditate on the abstract purity of his art’s forms and colors. When he is not creating art, Mark finds joy in going for walks, watching cooking shows, going to the movies and listening to music.
Marty Wong has an intense interest in music and movies that comes out in his art. He loves the sounds, the looks, and the celebrity culture around the music. He often depicts rock stars and other celebrities in his work. Marty also dreams of learning to play the guitar and having a rock band of his own one day. At Alternatives his preferred mediums are painting and drawing, and he is also known as an actor with the Stage Door Theatre Troupe. At Stage Door he has often played larger than life characters and occasionally musicians, performing his parts with a lot of gusto.
Richard Wong describes his world as full of colors that make him happy. Every color evokes a different sense and emotion. His work is characterized by brightly colored shapes, faces, and happy smiles. When Richard is not creating, he enjoys walking around the city, enjoying the fresh air, seeing flowers, hearing music, and tasting coffee.
Samira D’Souza is happiest working in bright open spaces full of people and music. Her love of nature and people is expressed through her watercolor drawings and paintings of brightly colored flowers and dreamlike landscapes. Friends and family are important to her. When Samira is not drawing or painting she enjoys spending time with her family, singing and dancing.
Sharon Bessey loves to express herself through writing and visual art, sometimes combining them. She draws and paints what brings her joy; one of her greatest passions is cartooning. Sharon has also been writing her interests in a biographical way and producing drawings to accompany the writings, including depictions of her time in elementary school, Neil Diamond, Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, and the penguins at the Vancouver Aquarium.
In the studio, Tanya Kwan expresses herself through color and movement. Using vibrant reds and swift, energized strokes, Tanya’s work captures the spontaneity of her motions .With an affinity towards texture, her layered paint and paper collages provide a tangible record of her tactile experiences with each medium. Tanya values the friendships she has made being part of the studio. When she is not creating art, she enjoys spending time outdoors with people, playing sports and participating in the Special Olympics.
Inspired by fame and fashion, Tina Parris’ art commands attention. Featuring bold colors, shapes, and patterns, Tina dresses each canvas for the runway. In addition to designing, Tina is passionate about producing. When she is not creating, she is planning all details of her future fashion shows from casting and photography to catering and contracts. Outside of the fashion world, Tina enjoys going shopping, cooking, and baking with her mom.
Kiersten Halford creates enchanted worlds alive with music and friendship. She treats every canvas with great importance as they are used to tell epic adventures of magical creatures in mystical lands. Ethereal watercolours contrasted by sharp black lines and bright colours reflect the fantastical process in which she creates them. Narrating and singing as she works, Kiersten gives all of her pieces unique lives and voices, including her art materials. Carefully adding final touches to make every animal and blade of grass special, she acts as both their creator and their friend. When Kiersten is not creating, she enjoys playing guitar and camping with her family where she can sleep in the forest under the stars.
Quiet and focused, Kage Torres-Kim draws his inspiration from media viewed on his iPad. Some of his favorite things to draw include anime and manga, in some cases creating his own combinations of related characters, but also variations on pre-existing subject matter. Kage wants to increase his animation skills and dreams of doing things such as game design and creating new anime and manga comics and drawings. Kage is also interested in incorporating manga and anime in other kinds of art here at the studio. When he is not creating or viewing anime and manga, Kage swims, skates, plays videogames and loves hanging out with his pet dogs at home.