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.
Alison James is a multidisciplinary artist and educator based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In her research-based practice, she utilizes the technical processes of animation, printmaking, and photography to investigate the abstract, reconstructive nature of autobiographical memory and personal identity. Holding a BFA Honours degree from the University of Manitoba, she has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in galleries and film festivals. The recipient of several artist grants from the Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council, she has participated in residencies in Canada and Belgium.
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.
Cara Mason is a multidisciplinary artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She received her BFA from the University of Manitoba in 2013 and was awarded the Highest Academic Standing for the General Studio Degree. Mason works to create visual representations of mental illness with her art. Her dark subject matter is balanced by delicate imagery in the hopes of drawing the viewer in and sparking a conversation about mental health. This is done with the use of painting, silkscreen, and photography. With these three mediums she creates figurative realism with elements of geometry to contrast the organic curves of the body. Her largest body of work is a continuing series of commissioned watercolor pet portaits she sees as shrines to comfort and happiness. When not painting in her studio Mason works as the Studio Programs Assistant for the Winnipeg Art Gallery Studio, occasionally teaching adult Paint Parties.
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.
Crystal has a BFA Honors in Ceramics from University of Manitoba. As well as teaching at the WAG, she is the ceramics technichian for Studio Programs. Crystal likes to read, bake, and spend time at her country home and family cabin, both of which provide inspiration for her work.
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.
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.
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.
Jeanine graduated from the University of Manitoba with BFA honours degree in 2013 with a focus in painting and drawing. After graduating she interned at at Residency Unlimited in Brooklyn where she maintained social media pages and helped artists make work during their Residencies. Upon returning home she helped run programming at CSPACE an underground emerging arts exhibition space in Frame Arts Warehouse. Since CSPACE's closure Jeanine has helped establish and remains on the committee for aceartinc's FLUX Gallery, an emerging artist project space. She takes pride in providing opportunities for emerging artists in Canada as well as introducing, facilitating and maintaining art practices in communities. Jeanine experiments with many materials in her own practice, upholstery foam, building materials, paint and stains contemplating their routine uses which results in minimal painting/sculptural work occasionally dealing with text. She is inspired by generational learning process, focus and comfort levels in routines.
Jesse Krause is a musician, artist, naturalist and inventor working out of the great city of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Raised in British Columbia by artist/biologist/mother Edith and pastor/farmer/father Henry, he moved to the prairies in 2003.
Early in his career Jesse fronted the indie band Flying Fox and the Hunter Gatherers. He now sings with his brother Thomas in Geräuschbiest and directs the Riel Gentlemen's Choir.
His latest work straddles choral composition and instrumental exploration.
He is currently fulfilling a Winnipeg Arts Council grant for the composition of a new oratorio, as well as the design of new instruments to perform the work.
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.
Lyndsay Ladobruk art work has been shown in galleries and venues across Winnpeg. She has also has shown nationaly and internationaly. Lyndsay is the Co-founder of her own artist run center called The Central Canadian Center for Performance. Lyndsay attended the Universtiy of Manitoba with a thesis in Video art and a major in Drawing. She began teaching Children Adutls and teens 6 years ago with the the focus on giving the student their own creative voice and freedom.
"I view art as the physical manifestation of day dreaming. Dreaming of what could be and making it a reality."
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.
Marybeth Dirks holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Winnipeg in bioanthropology. Her studies were fueled by her fascination of the human body, her love of art history as well learning how to dissect the interaction of art and culture. Dirks is a multidisciplinary maker who dabbles in watercolour, acrylic, sewing/textiles/quilting/weaving, macramé, and pottery. She thoroughly enjoys tackling new mediums of art.
She has passionately worked with children as the Head Arts and Crafts Skill Instructor at a summer camp in the Whiteshell. She has also taught classes and led tours with School Programs and directed Spring Break Art Camp here at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Dirks is currently an integral part of the education team at the Winnipeg Art Gallery where she works as the Education Assistant, primarily scheduling school tours/workshops, birthday parties and staff, as well as organizing adult visits/tours and programs. She also leads tours, workshops and occasionally teaches adult classes. She thrives on dreaming up new programs that bring the community together and encourage creativity for the everyday person. She firmly believes that art shouldn’t be intimidating and that it should be accessible and fun for everyone.
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.
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.