MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
From Character Design and Animation to Drawing for Beginners and Art for Kids, the classroom setting is a wonderful and creative space to be in. A place to acquire skills that equips you to express yourself in a healthy and beautiful way. For many years now I have been a Character Design Instructor at Sheridan College’s BA Animation program in which I am also an alumni. Along with portfolio review and tutoring, I enjoy teaching at Neilson Park Creative Centre, Toronto School of Art and several other private schools.
Toni is a mixed-media expressive artist where her life’s journey and her creative vision have allowed her the opportunity to translate her skills into hands-on experiences with her students. She aims to encourage her students’ creativity through positive experiences in a fun and friendly learning environment.
She has been instructing children and adult programs for over seventeen years with a variety of organizations including TDSB’s Learn4Life Community Program, Artsjam, City of Toronto, Haliburton School of Art & Design and Neilson Park Creative Centre.
Toni is an honours graduate of Humber College’s Recreational Leadership program with a fifteen-year background in event management at major Toronto venues.
Abigail Cudjoe is a multimedia artist and educator of diasporic heritage. Abigail considers the representation of black beauty, aiming to both evoke emotions and connect with the perceiver. In focusing on features that are simultaneously shamed and coveted, Abigail reclaims their perfection. The bold colours and lines intertwine to create uplifting feelings, allowing their abstraction to meet the viewer halfway as interactive stimuli. In addition to her work as a freelance artist, Abigail is an educator who works with students in various contexts, she is a visual arts teacher, storyteller and French tutor. She aims to integrate her practice as an artist and her social justice work into all of the lessons with her students.
Malcolm Cullen is an illustrator, artist and instructor. He grew up in the small English Village of Cookham. Malcolm was inspired early on by the “British tradition” of illustration. Especially Edwardian illustrators such as Arthur Rackham, Heath Robinson and Edmond Dulac and looked to their illustrations in pen and ink and watercolour on handmade paper. He studied Graphic Design at the Art College in London, United Kingdom. While in school, Malcolm was introduced to the writing of Mervin Peake, which has inspired an ongoing personal illustration project. Malcolm creates work for a wide variety of clients from design agencies to book and magazine publishers.
Kal Honey was creative and obsessively detail-oriented from an early age: drawing, building models, embroidery, and photography. After attending Northern Secondary School’s specialized art program in Toronto, Kal went on to become an award-winning graduate of the Ontario College of Art.
After a 2009 travel sabbatical from his 20-year graphic design career, Kal re-focused his career on art and art instruction.
Often bold (but sometimes subtle), Kal's work in painting, graphics and collage is informed by his design sensitivity and training, his love of contrasts, and his penchant for text, wit and wordplay.
Recent exhibitions include: In Situ 2, Multi-Arts Festival and ArtWorkX, Mississauga: Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Red Head Gallery, Otto Art, Queen West Art Crawl, Art Square Gallery, and RAW, Toronto. In 2017 Kal was awarded an Ontario Arts Council grant for the creation of new work.
As an instructor, Kal teaches regularly here at Neilson Park Creative Centre, as well as at Haliburton School of Art + Design and Visual Arts Mississauga. He also leads workshops, gives lectures and juries exhibitions throughout Southern Ontario.
When not in the studio or classroom, Kal can often be found in the gym or out riding one of his beloved bicycles…
Bareket is a Toronto based visual artist, muralist, graphic designer, curator, writer and eternal optimist. Bareket received an MA in History of Design and Curatorial Studies at Parsons the New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Smithsonian Institute. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Design from York University/Sheridan Institute.
“I create art to spread joy, bring people back into the present moment, cultivate gratitude and foster new social interactions. I am an inquisitive, adaptive and active urban resident dedicated to making Toronto more socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable. I am a passionate street artist and street art photographer and can often be found spreading smiles as I explore Toronto’s alleyways and hidden corners on my bike.”
Kim-Lee Kho is a multidisciplinary artist who has participated in exhibitions, residencies and mentorships in Ontario, Alberta and BC, and been awarded grants by the Ontario Arts Council, including a creation grant in 2013.
In 2015 Kim had her first solo show at a public art gallery, creating a multi-layered installation for the XIT-RM space at the Art Gallery of Mississauga with drawing, video, textile and sculpture. A featured artist at both the 2016 and 2018 In Situ multi-arts festivals, she presented large scale installations in multiple media along with live drawing performances. In 2019, Kim will exhibit at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre in Scarborough and The Red Head Gallery as a new member.
Kim teaches at Neilson Park Creative Centre, and the Haliburton School of Art + Design, as well as jurying, speaking and presenting elsewhere by invitation. She also runs an independent, periodic Gallery Walk & Talks around contemporary galleries in Toronto.
A painter for many decades, I consider art a journey which breathes life into my soul along its path. After many decades of juggling a career in business and administration as well as creative and visual arts, I now enjoy life in this vibrant city of Toronto being engaged as a full-time artist.
I play an active role in our art world, participating year round in solo, group and juried art exhibitions and other art related events in Toronto as well as in other cities.
My work involves teaching workshops, courses and painting demonstrations in various creative organizations in the GTA. I currently instruct at Neilson Park Creative Centre, Humber Valley Art Club and Oakville Art Society. I also teach workshops in out of town locations Southampton Art School and Meacham Art Society. My work is currently featured on international websites Saatchi and Artfinder and sold in Canada, USA, UK and South Asia.
Veronica Loi received her Bachelor of Design from OCAD University specializing in Illustration. Loi also holds an undying interest in textile designs. Veronica’s current portfolio explores a wide range of materials and techniques, including, printmaking, papermaking and dry/wet felting. Veronica currently lives in the Greater Toronto Area and has completed her Post-Graduate education at Humber College for Hospitality and Tourism Operations Management.
A graduate of Sheridan’s Illustration Program, Helen has been making art for more than 40 years. Her main focus is on Figurative work – creating Expressionistic drawings and paintings that speak to movement, energy and the deeply personal.
Helen’s Figurative work always begins with drawing from live Artists’ models – looking for the elusive ‘something’ that carries the work beyond the skill of the drawing. It is mostly created in-session, using models with whom she has worked closely over many years. She sometimes brings in outside elements – found imagery, which is then incorporated into the work to create a narrative. Helen also works with Paper Engineering as counter-point to her drawing and painting, creating Abstract Pop-Up sculptures incorporating hand-painted papers and collage.
Helen instructs at Visual Arts Mississauga, Halliburton School of Art & Design and Neilson Park Creative Centre.
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.
Joan has been spinning since 2007. In 2017, she completed the spinning education program from the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners (OHS). Joan was later awarded an OHS Certificate of Excellence in Spinning.
Joan has taken many spinning, weaving and dyeing workshops with her guilds, OHS, in Ireland and in Vancouver, BC with the Maiwa Textile Symposium. Of particular interest to her is the use of natural plant material for dyeing. Joan successfully led in the development of a Dye Garden at Neilson Park Creative Centre, with starter plant materials generously donated by Black Creek Pioneer Village.
Joan is a member of the Etobicoke Handweavers (EHS) and Spinners and the Etobicoke Rugcrafters (ER). She practices a number of techniques – spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting, knitting, rug hooking, crocheting, tatting and various forms of needlework. Joan’s work was displayed in EHS and OHS exhibitions.
Akshata Naik is a talented visual artist and arts educator currently living and working in Canada. She has a Masters in Visual Arts from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and completed graduate studies at Humber College for the Arts Administration and Cultural Management program.
Akshata is an art instructor at Arts Etobicoke, Art Ignite and VibeArts. She has teaching experience as an Assistant Professor & Incharge Dean at Faculty of Fine Arts at Parul University. Most recently, she presented at The Gathering 1.0 organized by Cultural Pluralism in the Art Movement Ontario (CPAMO), at Emergence Symposium organized by Neighbourhood Arts Network and Toronto Arts Council and at Neilson Park Creative Centre.
Akshata has exhibited internationally in Britain, India, and Canada. In 2016, she exhibited in a solo show at the Artcore Gallery in Derby, UK. In 2018, Akshata participated in multidisciplinary art exhibitions organized by CPAMO at Artscape Youngplace and at the Coldstream FineArt Gallery in Toronto.
Starlee Lively Odorico
Starlee Lively Odorico is a neuroscientist at the Krembil Research Institute at the Toronto Western Hospital by day and an energetic and enthusiastic calligrapher by night. Her calligraphic journey began three years ago when she decided to teach herself pointed pen calligraphy to be able to incorporate personal touches into her wedding invitations and reception décor. Fascinated with drawing and letters since being old enough to hold a pencil, Star’s recent pointed pen excursion has developed into an all-consuming passion and creative outlet, and is in the process of developing her own unique style.
Star has studied under Master Penman Harvest Crittenden, world-renowned calligrapher Heather Held, and professional calligrapher Mark Lurz. She is a current member of the Calligraphic Arts Guild of Toronto. Star has done logo and design work for Drew Hodges, founder of New York’s SpotCo, a creative agency responsible for marketing some of Broadway’s most iconic productions. She has also given calligraphic demonstrations at Scriptus, Toronto’s Pen and Writing show.
Osman Okey is a multinational, multilingual, multi-talented, percussionist, singer song-writer born in Enugu State in Nigeria. Originally from a small village called Mgbagbu Owa (Enugu State) in the eastern part of Nigeria where songs, chants, percussion and music in general is part of everyday living. At a very young age, he would play the "Ekwe" a two tone Igbo log drum. He became even more immersed in traditional African rhythm at an early age due to his mother's active involvement in traditional Igbo dance troupes. Osman went on to study Computer Engineering in Turkey where he also studied and competitively performed the highly intricate and energetic Turkish folklore dance called Kafkas originating from Anatolia, Turkey. He naturalized in New Zealand where he joined a West African percussion group called ZohZoh ensemble performing Kpanlogo, Agbadza, Gahu, highly spiritual. He toured and played in numerous festivals one of which is still New Zealand's coolest afro-carribean-latin music festival, Jambalaya. He was invited for a jam by a group of highly talented kiwi artists which later resulted in a reggae/ska band called Earthtone Rockers. He fronted and wrote all the original songs performed by the band (Naughty Delilah, Gone for a while, Earthtone Skank etc.) In 2006 he once again migrated to Canada where he joined the super-ultimate West African traditional dance ensemble called IjoVudu led by Sani Abu Allen (Founder and CEO). He studied and mastered the Djembe playing West African rhythms such as Sosoner, Sunu, Guinea Fare, Kakilambe, Yankadi, Sinte, Tiriba, Koukou, Djole and Dance of the Forest. To further diversify his musical portfolio, he drew from all the cultures he has been immersed in over 20 years and formed MoptiDrums.
Steve is a graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design with a major in drawing and painting. He has exhibited his work in over 70 shows 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 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 heartfelt desire to obtain a MFA designation either in Canada or abroad.
Joanna Schleimer is a hand weaver using fine, natural materials to create delicate, personal and nostalgic textiles. Her studio work focuses on embedding imagery within cloth, exploring both additive and subtractive processes, both on and off the loom. She is particularly interested in memories and feelings that are evoked from meaningful garments and heirloom objects. Joanna studied Material Art and Design at the Ontario College of Art and Design University, graduating in 2011. Joanna maintains a studio practice in Hamilton.
Bruce Sherman has been painting for many years and especially enjoys painting outdoors. In the mid-90s, his twin brother talked him into directing his artistic enthusiasm into the “eternal animation project.” Along with this playful endeavour, Bruce has fallen upon many stories in life, whose very existence required “cartooning.” Whether tales of his own or those of his active children, the lighter side of life has provided an abundance of subjects for visual quips and characterizations. Last summer, he was commissioned to draw 10 cartoons depicting a series of comedic analogies. The cartoons seen here are a compilation of personal images and work for that client.
An accomplished artist/teacher, Brenda completed an Honours BA in Visual Art and Education from the University of Western Ontario, London. Additional art training in various media followed at OCAD, Haliburton School of Art, Neilson Park Creative Centre, Open Studio, Hamilton Print Studio and Japanese Paper Place. Rural roots in her formative years have been the inspiration and direction of her artistic endeavours. Primarily a printmaker, the various techniques of etching, lithography, serigraphy, solar, drypoint and monoprints provide much experimentation and innovation, especially in combination. A teacher with Brant County Board of Education, TDSB and Neilson Park Creative Centre, young artists continue to be a part of her focus, adding the Milkweed Collective which offered a program, “Exploring Creativity in Depth” where everyone finds their “inner artist”.
I am an avid knitter who was taught to knit as a child by my mother. In those days, knitting was not the social activity that it is now. The renewed interest in knitting allowed me to develop my love for knitting into a career.
I attended a weekend retreat for women called “The Get-Away Gang” and eventually became an instructor. I developed and taught ‘learn to knit’ classes at Village Yarn, the Knitters Frolic, Creative Needlework Festival, Neilson Park Creative Centre and various yarn shops. I also spent a few years working as a yarn representative covering the area from Kingston to Windsor.
Gloria is a member of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners and the Toronto Knitting Guild, where she served two terms as President.
Louise is a multi-media artist whose works include acrylics, collage, watercolour, coloured pencil, pastel and printmaking. 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 continues to teach small and private art and art history classes at her studio. Louise is a member of the Colour and Form Society, and a member and facilitator of the Milkweed Collective. She has overseen the design and production of several large works of art by youth artists, one for permanent installation at NPCC and one for St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto.
Louise has participated in many exhibitions; solo, juried, collective and invitational, and has won several awards. Her works are in collections across Canada, The United States, England and Turkey.