Meet Our Instructors
All our Studio Program instructors are practicing artists with a vast range of knowledge and experience to share with their students.
Following graduation with a Fine Arts Degree from the University Of Manitoba in 1979, Alan moved to Australia where he worked and taught ceramics for over 10 years. Returning to Winnipeg, he became activitely involved in the community—joining the Stoneware Gallery, becoming the president of the Manitoba Crafts Council, and teaching in the ceramics department at the University of Manitoba. Alan recently completed his masters degree from the University of North Dakota. Having built a studio on his property in the country near Stonewall, he continues to create functional stoneware vessels which he fires in a wood burning kiln.
Barbara Balfour graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1979 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She joined the Stoneware Gallery a few years later, and established a career as a ceramic artist while raising four children. In the early 90’s, she purchased the old post office building in Stonewall Manitoba, the town in which she lives, and opened a studio and gallery while also maintaining her presence at the Stoneware Gallery in Winnipeg. Working primarily in a white earthenware claybody, she sensitively carves and slip trails her delicate handbuilt and thrown pieces.
Bree Bergen holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (interdisciplinary) from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design as well as Bachelor of Environmental Design and Master of Architecture degrees. She has developed and facilitated visual art and design programming for Toronto's Harbourfront Centre and the Luminat’eau Festival, as an Artist in the Schools for the Toronto District School Board, and has also taught at the Canadian Mennonite University's community school, and the Manitoba Children’s Museum. Bree has led art classes for all ages at the Winnipeg Art Gallery since 2005. She has completed artist residencies at the Banff Centre, at the New York Centre for Book Arts, and with the Pouch Cove Foundation in Newfoundland. Her multi-disciplinary practice is rooted in image-making, and concerns points of exchange between the built and natural environments. Bree believes strongly in the importance and impact of art and design education, and that it is accessible to all students regardless of background.
Chris began dabbling with animation in 1993 as part of the commercial arts course he was taking. He pursued animated film making, eventually completing his first short film, The Urge, which has been screened at several international film festivals and is currently in distribution. Chris is now working on a sequel.
Colleen Chamberlin took a pottery class at the Stoneware Gallery in 1993 on a whim, and quickly became entranced with all aspects of clay. In addition to those classes, since 1996 she has spent many summers at the Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts outside Victoria, BC. While there, she concentrated on throwing and firing techniques, as well as glaze development. Working in such a lovely location inspired her to build a new studio in order to work surrounded by nature. Her work appears in several Manitoba galleries. Colleen holds music degrees from Mount Allison University, Brandon University, and University of Calgary. When not making pots, she works as a band teacher in River East Transcona School Division. She is excited to be part of the Stoneware Gallery, where it all started for her.
Colleen has a BFA Honours with a major in Ceramics from the University of Manitoba, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. She has lived, practiced, and taught Art in Winnipeg, Ottawa, and the Bahamas. She enjoys working in a variety of mediums and finds great inspiration from working with children and Art.
Curtis L. Wiebe is a short-film maker, illustrator, animator, musician, and sculptor. Identifiable by flights of the fantastic in settings of winter forests and prairie landscapes, Curtis' art is full of imaginative characters brought to life as puppets, drawings, and elaborate costumes. His highest profile work of art to date is The Pigeon King, a nine-foot public stature that stands in front of the AirCanada building on Carlton St. in Winnipeg, MB. Curtis has a long history of working with children in camp and daycare settings ,as well as in public schools and inner-city community centres.
David Krindle left a career as a schoolteacher to become a full time professional potter over twenty years ago. HIs work combines functional pottery and pieces which relate more closely to sculpture. Most of David's work is fired in a large wood burning kiln that he shares with Alan Lacovetsky. David produces work that is earthy, shows the marks of the making and the marks of the fire.
One of Studio Programs’ long-time instructors (since 1988), Derek also teaches at the University of Manitoba School of Art and the Faculty of Architecture (since 1998). Derek specializes in teaching drawing, painting, design, and most recently, Photoshop. He has exhibited and performed locally and internationally. Artist residencies for research have been completed in Chicago, Italy, and Vermont. Freelance work includes courtroom drawing for CTV National News.
Derek has lectured at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dominican University (Chicago), the School of Fine Arts at the National Academy of Design (New York City) and in a panel discussion at the 2008 College Art Association Conference in Dallas.
Derek has been the recipient of grants from the Manitoba Arts Council, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and the Vermont Studio Center. Reviews of his work have appeared in Border Crossings, the Winnipeg Free Press, and the Globe and Mail. Education includes a BFA (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York.
'Doug Melnyk works in drawing, video and performance, often in collaboration. He is the author of "Naked Croquet", "Doctor Meist", "Fruits" and the zine, "The Story of Roy". His work is represented in collections at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. '
Doug Smith was educated at the University of Manitoba in the Fine Arts Diploma Program. He majored in ceramics and continued as a sculptor in clay for several years, eventually making a shift towards drawing and painting. His art has been exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions throughout Manitoba, the United States and Europe. Some exhibition venues include The Sculpture Center in Cleveland, Burke University in Ohio, the Kunsthal in Rotterdam and Plug In ICA in Winnipeg. His work also resides in many corporate and private collections, including Manitoba Hydro, Great West Life, Manitoba legislature, Blue Cross Canada, as well as the Manitoba and Canada Art Banks.
Since 2001, Smith has been working primarily on a large-scale and on-going drawing project. In a parallel art-making enterprise, Smith has also been experimenting with collage/painting - a process of pictorial construction that incorporates self-styled and painted paper elements adhered to wooden panels.
Jayne Cormack is a graduate of the University of Manitoba School of Art with a BFA (hons.) She is currently pursuing her teaching degree at the University of Manitoba with a major in Senior Years Visual Art. Her personal focus is on sequential/narrative art (comics/graphic novels) and she is thrilled about the world of comics, as a fan and as a teacher. She has a passion for bringing art to young people as an avenue for self expression, and believes strongly in the profound importance of arts education in schools and in the community.
A graduate from the University of Manitoba in Fine Arts and the University of Western Ontario in Art Therapy, for many years Jill painted large-scale, light-splashed domestic landscapes in oils. When she began to paint with watercolours in 1995 she carried with her a love of strong, rich colour. This fondness for light and colour and her passion of gardening and flowers has resulted in watercolours which are both representational and metaphorical in content.
Artist, educator, and scholar, Leah Fontaine connects with her Dakota/Anishinaabe/Metis heritage to intuitively attain the iconography and worldview display in her artwork and practice. Her mother, Rose Anne Fontaine (Saulteaux/Dakota), band affiliation is Long Plains, Manitoba and her father’s John Orton is from Sagkeeng First Nation, Fort Alexander, Manitoba.
Throughout the past, Fontaine’s education, artistic skills, and abilities have transpired in theatre, television, art exhibitions and national events. In addition, has received many awards for her artistic expressions in both artistic and academia venues. Fontaine also facilitates and teaches Indigenous perspectives in various educational and arts institutions nationally, provincially, and municipally about Indigenous culture and art. Fontaine believes that her role during her art practice is a conduit, like a community helper who oversees a sweat lodge. She believes that art is a reflection of history that is shrouded in veils of historical trauma and the ways in which these traumas are being played out in the present through artists, art enthusiasts and community members is a way of releasing and expressing which is inside us.
During the year of 2010, Fontaine completed her Master of Arts (Native Studies) with a thesis entitled, Spirit Menders: the expression of Trauma in Art Practices by Manitoba Aboriginal Women Artists. Fontaine is currently enrolled as a full time student pursuing her fourth degree, a Bachelor of Education, B.Ed., in the Faculty of Education located at the University of Manitoba.
Fontaine also feels that making trails and assisting others in attaining their voice through and with art is what keeps her going. Lastly, believes that the arts act as a catharsis that nourishes the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual growth with many.
Marianne teaches children’s mixed media and cartoon art classes as well as adult watercolour. Her performance art has been seen at various venues around Winnipeg and she has displayed paintings in several of the city’s galleries.
Megan graduated with a BFA honours at the University of Manitoba in October of 2011. Aside from painting surreal landscapes in her studio, she has taught mixed media to both adults and children, was a mentor for the Young Artists Program through the WAG and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, and is a Mentee in this year's Foundation Mentorship Program through MAWA. She resides in Winnipeg with her husband Jesse, and together they support each-others artistic endeavors.
Originally a photo-based artist Michelle Wilson has expanded her practice to incorporate sculpture, textile and text based works. Wilson received her BFA from the University of Ottawa in 2005, and graduated with highest honors from the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa in 2008. She represented Canada at the Recontres d’Arles in 2008, and more recently presented at the 14th annual Institute for Critical Animal Studies Conference. She will be graduating from the Master of Fine Arts Program at the University of Manitoba fall of 2015.
Neda Kianmehr is a versatile artist who has worked in different areas of visual arts including painting, illustration, graphic design, printmaking, and puppet making. She was born in Tehran, Iran in 1983. As a child she was fascinated with painting and there was always a story behind her paintings. At the age of six, she moved to Ghana with her family where she got enchanted and influenced by the African colorful textiles and mysterious nature. She got her BA in graphic design from Azad Art & Architecture University of Tehran in 2007. Interested in illustrating children’s books, she pursued her dreams in Italy and got her Advanced Illustration Certificate from Scuola del Fumetto (Comic School) of Milan in 2009. Her works have been featured in sereval exhibitions in Venice, Tehran, Winnipeg, Vancouver, Milan, and Torino. She currently lives in Canada where she works as an illustrator and an art teacher.
Racheal Tycoles is a painter whose subject matter is industrial landscape that focuses on the obscure and loss. She has a BFA Honors from the University of Manitoba and a MFA from the University of Cincinatti.
Racheal has exhibited her work on a local and national basis with solo exhibitions at Ace Art, Site Gallery, Franco Manitobain Cultural Centre, Arch II Gallery, and the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Architecture, Winnipeg; Hamilton Artists Inc, Hamilton Ontario; and Michal Mine Gallery in Ostrava, Czech Republic. She has been in group exhibitions at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, University of Winnipeg, and the Art Gallery of Windsor (Edward Day Gallery of Toronto).
Racheal has recieved numerous grants from the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. Her work is in private and public collections locally, nationally, and internationally and has been reviewed in newspapers and art publications.
She has served on several juries and has taught for many years in the Winnipeg art community. Racheal works in her studio at home.
Rose has taught children and adults in a range of gallery, community, and university settings in Canada and England, including the National Gallery of Canada, Kettle's Yard, a University museum of 20th century and contemporary art in Cambridge, England, and the University of London. In addition to a BFA, she holds an MA and a PhD. Her research and writing on drawing have revived her own artistic practice. Her drawings focus on nature and the ordinary and overlooked things of everyday life. She finds inspiration in the fresh vision and spontaneity of children's art work.
When Susanna is not teaching all her talented students at Studio Programs she is acting in films and plays, learning to parler francais, trying to find time to paint at her studio and attempting to fill her life with as much glitter as possible.
Vitaliy teaches classical academic drawing and painting to his students but also has a strong interest in all artistic styles.
He got his art education in Ukraine, Europe studying at the Kosiv College of Applied and Decorative Arts then continuing at the Precarpathian University, Faculty of Art where he received his MFA (Honours) working on research and classification of history of art. For several years he taught university students the fundamentals in academic drawing and painting using traditional methods and organized students in open air practice and field trips. Since 1996 he has participated in regional and national art exhibitions.
After moving to Winnipeg, he is actively participating in different art projects.