Meet Our Instructors
Coming from the far off lands of Classical Animation, it might seem like a no brainer that the work I love illustrating most comes in the guise of cartoons. I don't quite know why, but I find it bridges the gap when having something to say. It helps us relate. It's got a face. And putting a face on something helps us in being honest with our experiences.
Having graduated in Classical Animation from Oakville Ontario's Sheridan College in 1990, my immediate experiences in animating for both Disney and Warner Bros., came as a fulfilment of a childhood dream. As that chapter closed, the next unfolded in the form of taking a position as a Character Designer at Nelvana Studios in Toronto. Many good people and several television shows later, that too came to an end. Goodbye Little Bear, goodbye Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, goodbye George Shrinks and Jacob Two-Two.
Shortly thereafter, I found myself teaching Character Design to first year animation students at Sheridan College. As sons return, this too came as a fulfilling surprise that forced me to learn quickly what it was to translate things to students of several backgrounds. I learned to speak the universal language of humour and pain. This too, sat well with me.
Over the last year or so, the experiences I've portrayed in my illustrative work contain motion and tension wrapped in a fluid line and bold colours. Proven elements in weaving together scenes in inadequacy, dread and overblown confidence. The moments where satire swims. The reactions it generates. The faces that tell. As an Artist right now, these are the places where I want to be.
Toni is an Honours graduate of Humber College's Recreational Leadership program. She has been teaching a variety of art workshops to children and adults through Neilson Park Creative Centre, the City of Toronto's Community School Centres, the Toronto District School Board's Learn4Life program and at Haliburton School of The Arts. Through her business, Stones By Toni, she designs one-of-a-kind creative stones for shows and sales along with creating her own art work through shadow boxes, printmaking, wood, and more with most of her work in private collections. Visit http://www.stonesbytoni.com/
Kal describes himself as…
"a visual artist working in mixed media, with a Pop Art sensibility, often including text, humble materials and the graphics associated with bicycle racing. All applied with a refined design sensibility elevating the raw ingredients through a kind of alchemical process in my studio, revealing their subtle (and not-so) pleasures."
Kal is an award-winning graduate of OCAD, trained as a graphic designer. After 20 years' experience, his focus has shifted more and more to his artistic practice, so that art and teaching have become his primary occupations. Kal's work in mixed media explores the alchemical magic that can be created by combining rough-and-ready materials like corrugated cardboard, staples, plywood and found objects with a highly refined aesthetic. As an instructor, he likes to create an environment that is at once supportive and adventurous: for it is only from a place of safety that one can feel free to take the necessary risks to extend one's limits. Kal teaches at Fleming College, the Koffler Centre of the Arts and Station Gallery in Whitby. In addition to Neilson Park Creative Centre, he has taught at various other art groups, including Visual Arts Mississauga and the Markham Group of Artists.
To see more of Kal’s work go to: www.flickr.com/photos/kalhoney
Kim Lee Kho s a visual artist and artist-instructor with over 20 years’ experience as a graphic designer and art director. Her art practice includes painting, drawing, photo-based mixed media and sculpture. In 2013 Kim was awarded an Ontario Arts Council Emerging Visual Artists grant for the creation of new work. She has participated in exhibitions, residencies and mentorships in Ontario, Alberta and BC, and shows regularly at the Renann Isaacs’ gallery in Guelph. Kim is on the faculty for Fleming College’s diploma, certificate and summer programs in Haliburton, including their new “SPA” graduate certificate. She also teaches regularly at Neilson Park Creative Centre, as well as being a workshop leader, lecturer and juror for community art groups throughout southern Ontario. A popular instructor, Kim like to create a safe and adventurous environment to encourage students to learn and explore without fear, having fun while being challenged. www.kimleekho.ca
Helen is a graduate of the Illustration Program at Sheridan College. For over 20 years, she has been a partner with her husband in Eaglewood Studios, providing freelance illustration and graphic design services to the publishing industry. A member of the Etobicoke Art Group and Visual Arts Mississauga, she participates regularly in members’ shows and fundraising activities such as the popular Muskoka Chair Silent Auction at Sherway Gardens.
Helen has taught children’s art classes and cartooning for many years at various art centres including the Living Arts Centre and Neilson Park Creative Centre. She also designs art programs and workshops for schools and has twice been invited as a guest to the Language Arts Festival held at Bishop’s University. Her art works span a range of media and styles including cartooning, acrylic painting, paper sculpture, paper engineering, figure drawing, dollmaking and quilt design. She likes to experiment with new techniques and ideas and is enthusiastic about bringing these ideas into her classes. View her artwork at http://www.eaglewoodstudios.blogspot.ca
Paul McCusker graduated from both the Illustration and Media Arts Cartooning programs at Sheridan College. He has been freelancing as a Cartoonist/Illustrator since 1976. First as a local cartoonist for the Guelph Life Newspaper and later for the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Paul was also one of the Orb comic artists.
Paul has worked in Educational Publishing and has Illustrated several Children and Young adult books. He also served as a courtroom artist for five years and worked on Canada’s most infamous “Bernardo Trial” for the Toronto Star. He was the artist on Owl Magazine’s long running “Mighty-Mites” comic strip (Written by Harold Eastman.) from 1993 until 2000. Paul now works full time as a concept artist and designer for Forrec Ltd. Forrec designs theme parks and entertainment facilities around the globe. Paul lives in Mississauga Ont.
Steve is a graduate of OCAD with a major in drawing and painting. He has exhibited his work extensively and has a diverse and experienced background as an artist/educator. His work is collected in private and corporate international collections. There are three main areas of interest to the artist, those being non-objective painting, life drawing and printmaking (generally in the medium of lithography). In addition to an active independent studio practice, Steve enjoys teaching and lecturing on art and art history as well as constantly taking workshops such as his life drawing sessions every Wednesday evening for the past 17 years. Steve is also involved in mentoring less experienced artists and various artistic collaborations. On a personal note, he has a heart felt desire to obtain a MFA designation either in Canada or abroad.
Exhibitions: Participation in over 70 solo, two person, and group shows.
Education: BFA, Ontario College of Art and Design, Drawing and Painting Major 1999.
Educator: Experienced and enthusiastic artist/educator with an extensive exhibiting history possessing excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
To learn more and view Steve's work, visit http://www.steverose.ca
Louise is a multi-media artist whose works include acrylic, water colour, pastel, colour pencil, fabric collage and paper relief/sculpture. She has been an active artist since childhood, on the executive for the Burlington Fine Arts Association as a teenager, studied at Ontario College of Art, and a mother and self-employed artist since. Louise taught art voluntarily for ten years at her daughters' elementary school and has taught all ages in regularly scheduled classes and workshops at Neilson Park Creative Centre since 2002. She has also taught at the Koffler Centre and privately. Louise is a member of and facilitator for the Milkweed Collective, writes for and co-edits “The Milkweed Newsroom”, a quarterly newsletter. She is also a contributing writer for “Artists in the Park”, NPCC's quarterly newsletter.
She has participated in many exhibitions; solo, juried, collective and invitational, has won several awards and curated a collective exhibition for the Milkweed Collective.
You can view Louise's works at http://www.lczych.com
I am often asked how long I have been a painter. I respond to say I cannot recall a time when art has not been part of my life! I have always held a pencil or brush in my hand while I lived and travelled in different countries and focused on different careers throughout my life. Art has always been an intrinsic part of me. Painting makes me whole.
I try to capture the world around me with bright and cheerful splashes of colour onto my canvas and let my spirit soar with my paints! I paint the world around me, what I see, whatever stirs my soul. After a career for many years in accounting, design and administration (yes, both sides of the coin!) in Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary and China I am now back in Toronto immersed in painting full time. My travels and experiences in different countries have greatly influenced my artwork.
To keep abreast with art and its ever-burgeoning world, I am active throughout the year in many art events, workshops, committees and organizations in Toronto. I participate in juried shows both here and in Ottawa, where my husband and I lived and raised our family. We now live in Toronto where I belong to a few select art groups in and around the city and find it enormously stimulating and deeply satisfying to be a part of the cultural art mosaic of this vibrant city.