I have always been a lover of the arts and was an avid young artist who drew, painted, wrote plays, and created sets, costumes and stage makeup for home productions with my sister and neighbourhood friends. My maternal grandmother, my favourite person ever, fancied herself a bit of a culture vulture and introduced me to local theatre, galleries and all that Antigonish and Halifax had to offer.
Some of the artistic hats I have worn were local summer festival and community threatre set designer, Theatre Antigonish board member, Arts Canopy artist, artist in residence at our local hospital and coordinator for Musical Pathways; the last three through AHA!. Presently, I am on the AHA! board, the Visual Arts in Education instructor for St. FX, , the Arts Coordinator for our local arts council (ACA), and most recently the Creative Director at The Arts House. In 2015, I received a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in Visual Arts/Inquiry-Based Learning from St. FX University. In 2019, I graduated from The University of Victoria with a Fine Arts Professional Specialization Certificate in Collections Management.
My work with AHA! has proven to me the healing power of the arts whether in retirement homes, schools or in hospital. As the Visual Artist in residence at St. Marth’s Regional Hospital, I worked directly with patients and their families in making, viewing and reflecting on art in both one-to-one and small group settings. My intention was to offer art activities to both individual patients and small groups exploring countless ways in which visual arts and storytelling could enhance our health – of the body, mind and spirit. The art in healthcare experience had a positive impact on patients by aiding in their physical, mental, and emotional recovery, including relieving anxiety and decreasing the perception of pain. Art served as a healing tool, reducing stress and loneliness and providing opportunities for self-expression. Also, witnessing the amazing work that others within AHA! have done has inspired me and I believe help transform the perception of the role of arts of many people in our community.
Although I am quite busy with teaching and other jobs, I still dabble in art making when I can. In my arts practice, I gravitate towards mid-century inspired mixed media, as well working in pastels, watercolours and acrylics. When I am making art, I am totally immersed in the process and feel most connected with my sense of self. It is truly a personal and soulful experience for me.
“A fine work of art – music, dance, painting, story – has the power to silence the chatter in the mind and lift us to another place.”
― Robert McKee
A few of my creations