2020 Mentors and Apprentices

Throughout January – December 2020, Art Apprenticeship Network paired 15 Emily Carr apprentices with established artists, curators, or administrators working or associated with a not-for-profit.


We are pleased to announce Angela Grossmann (85/5 Artist Collective), Kitty Blandy, Henry Heng Lu (Centre A), Dina Gonzalez Mascaro, Jeremy Hof, Glenn Lewis, Landon MacKenzie, David MacWilliam, Lindsay McIntyre, Sherri Kajiwara (Nikkei National Museum), Paul Wong (On Main Gallery), Fawn Daphne Plessner, Dan Starling, Lianne Zannier (VIVO Media Arts Centre) and Valérie d. Walker as the inaugural mentors.

Get to know the mentor and apprentice teams:

Angela Grossmann, Mentor
85/5 Artist Collective

Angela Grossmann was introduced as one of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s “Young Romantic” painters most likely to influence the course of painting in that decade while still a student at Emily Carr College (now University) of Art and Design in 1985. Over the past 25 years, Grossmann has continued to be a significant force in the Canadian art world. In 2006, she joined forces once more with Douglas Coupland, Graham Gillmore, Attila Richard Lukacs and Derek Root to create a massive sculptural installation entitled Vancouver School. Grossmann collaborates with this group on a regular basis for special projects. Grossmann is represented by Galerie D’este in Montreal and Winsor Gallery in Vancouver. Grossmann’s work has been exhibited widely across Canada, the United States and Europe. It is in numerous public and private collections.

Zenyase Hunsberger, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Zenyase is currently a BFA Candidate at Emily Carr. She often works with collage, paint and print, playing with layers and different elements coming together. Visual patterns as well as patterns of behaviour informs her practice, acting as a reminder of the beauty of balance and symmetry as well as the struggle of connecting with ourselves while connecting with the world that surrounds us. Prior to her studies at Emily Carr, she received a BA in Applied Lingustics from the University of Victoria

Kitty Blandy, Mentor

Blandy was born and raised in Britain, into a medical family. Her exposure to the corporeality of others prompted an independent visual training in drawing, print and sculpture. Her work concentrates on the body as a site of physical sensation exploring physiognomical form and states of being. In 1987 she emigrated to Vancouver and continued to exhibit in both the UK and Canada, and her work is included in many collections, notably the National Portrait Gallery, London. Blandy holds a BFA from ECUAD and has received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant and the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver Emerging Artist Award. Blandy has served on the boards of several non-profit arts organizations. Her work is represented by Franc Gallery, Vancouver.

Mary Rusak, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Mary Rusak is a Canadian-born emerging artist who works mainly within a photography and printmaking practice. She attended Haliburton School of the Arts in 2014 to study drawing and painting and then continued on to Emily Carr University and will be graduating with a BFA in 2020, majoring in photography and minoring in social practice and community engagement. Throughout her time in Vancouver she has participated in various community art projects such as Landmarks 2017 and working with Border Free Bees on the project Bumble Baskets. Mary’s practice is environmentally focused and often explores the intersections between art and science. Her concepts revolve around the relationship between humans and non-humans, specifically plant life. She pursues sustainability and plant repurposing in her work. Projects have included using plant dye in alternative photography and finding ways to have a photographic practice leaves the smallest carbon footprint. By looking both into history and the quickly changing world of the present, Mary hopes to create work that speaks on an informative level of the environmental issues we face but also offer an aesthetic that embraces both the scientific and artistic.

Henry Heng Lu, Mentor
Curator, Centre A

Henry Heng Lu is a curator and artist based in Vancouver. Currently, he is Curator at Centre A: Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art. He is co-founder of Call Again, a mobile initiative/collective committed to creating space for contemporary diasporic artistic practices in the context of Canada and beyond. He has presented projects through numerous channels, including Creative Time Summit, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, The New Gallery, Vtape, Modern Fuel, and Trinity Square Video. His writings have been published by Canadian Art, ArtAsiaPacific, Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, C Magazine, Richmond Art Gallery, PLATFORM Gallery, ArchDaily, OCAT Shenzhen and Gardiner Museum.

Centre A is a leading public art gallery currently situated in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, on the unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. Centre A’s mandate is to be an engaged participant in the ongoing production of a pluralistic and democratic society. We strive to activate contemporary art’s vital role in building and understanding the long and dynamic Asia-Canada relationship while tackling questions of broader concern from Asian and Asian-diasporic perspectives. Amidst the absence of institutional commitment in Canada to contemporary art as a vital site for social engagement and critical cultural production in local, migrant, and global Asian contexts, the gallery has continued to be dedicated to supporting the creation of new works by Asian and Asian-diasporic artists in Canada, particularly emerging artists and artists within the Asian milieu whose voices are underrepresented due to the particular intersectional spaces that they occupy; facilitating collaboration and creative exchange between Asian artists in Canada and abroad, in order to engage critically with local, regional and national concerns from a global perspective; fostering meaningful relationships with local arts organizations, collectives, community organizations and groups within the Asian community and beyond; and engaging meaningfully with the call for Reconciliation and contribute to the understanding and navigation of non-European settler identities from Asian perspectives.

Charisma Christal Thomas, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Charisma Christal Thomas joins the Centre A team as a curatorial assistant under the mentorship of curator, Henry Heng Lu. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in May 2020. Thomas’s current work comprises of illustration and printmaking, both of which are based in research methodologies and archival practices. With a focus on environmental sustainability rooted in a sense of place, Thomas looks for the intersection between artistic practices from her Malaysian and Indian heritage and the relationship that can be formed with nature. Her past exhibition experience includes A Zine Launch Event at Access Gallery as part of Far Afield Collective and “A Clinic Unlike Any Other” a collaborative curatorial exhibition at Emily Carr University.

Dina Gonzalez Mascaro, Mentor

Gonzalez Mascaro is a Canadian artist born and trained in Argentina at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata where she received her MFA and later taught. In 2000, she won Argentina’s National Art Prize, the Premio Antorchas and was awarded a residency at the Banff Centre for the Fine Arts. In 2002 she completed a year-long residency at the Western Front, and since that time her art practice has been based in Vancouver.

Faith Nicole Dimen, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Faith works in sculpture and social practice, often in teams to create interactive events. Originally from the Yukon, she brings a unique perspective to my art. Her inspiration changes with and derives from her environment. My sculptures follow a theme of ambiguity. Faith is influenced by landscape, found materials, and social experiences. She enjoys learning from artists working in other disciplines to  get outside opinions and new techniques, and apply these unconventional methods to her  sculptural practice.Faith hopes one day to base her artist practice in Yukon to develop new programs for aspiring artists and  teach. She is of the opinion that small towns need more support for the arts and young students need encouragement to pursue their creativity.

Jeremy Hof, Mentor

Jeremy Hof’s paintings are compellingly sculptural, built from countless layers of acrylic paint over an extended time period in his studio. Many are strategically hand-sanded to expose their construction, revealing the artist’s premeditated colour aesthetic, whether subtly gradient, strikingly optic, or sometimes psychedelic and kaleidoscopic. Hof’s work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Richmond Art Gallery, Galerie de l’UQAM, the Mendel Art Gallery, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Power Plant, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), and numerous other venues. His work is collected by the Vancouver Art Gallery, BMO collection, RBC collection, TD Bank collection, and others. In 2008, Hof was the winner of the RBC Painting Competition.

Kyle Scott, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Kyle has held a variety of experiences in the arts, including experience working as a preparator at Monte Clark Gallery, where he cared for the handling, storage and installation of the artworks. He apprenticed with Squamish and Kwakwak’wak Master Carver Xwalacktun. He is currently completing his MFA at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Glenn Lewis, Mentor

Glenn Lewis graduated from the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr University of Art + Design) in 1958. He also studied ceramics under Bernard Leach in St. Ives (Cornwall, England) (1961-1964). Lewis has worked in video, performance, film, ceramics, photography, sculpture, and writing. As one of the co-founders of the Western Front in Vancouver, Lewis initiated and administered the Video Program (1974-1976), curated the Performance Art Program (1977-1979), acted as arts administrator and program coordinator (1979-1987), initiated and coordinated the Computer-Integrated Media Program (1985-1987). In addition, he was head of the Media Arts Section of the Canada Council (1987-1990). He had solo exhibitions at Douglas Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, Belkin Satellite, Vancouver, Canada. Lewis lives and works in Vancouver.

Alyson Davies, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Alyson Davies is currently an MFA Candidate at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC. She received a BFA from University of Alberta in 2014. She has shown across Canada and the USA. Davies has received the support of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and The Edmonton Arts Council.

Landon MacKenzie, Mentor

Landon Mackenzie has built an impressive body of work and is known for her large-format abstract and mapping paintings and works on paper. Her work has been exhibited in over 100 exhibitions across Canada and internationally, and collected by many museums including the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery. She studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), and received her MFA from Concordia University in 1979 before winning 1st Prize at the Quebec Biennale of Painting in 1981. Mackenzie has received numerous awards including the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2017. Based in Vancouver she is Professor Emerita at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Mollie Burke, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Mollie is a painter, printmaker, and conceptual artist living and working out of Vancouver. Her background is in art history and cultural theory, with a focus on post war abstraction, post internet art, and media theory. Her current practice is focused on painting through mediated processes with digital technologies, in order to question the shift of perception and meaning that increasingly computerized existence has brought. She is looking to expand her practice to integrate painting with new media practices, and wants to focus on more conceptual, research based work in the future as a balance to her material practice.

David MacWilliam, Mentor

David MacWilliam is an artist, educator and independent curator who lives in Vancouver, Canada. He has exhibited his paintings in numerous exhibitions over the past forty years. In 2017, he co-curated Entangled: Two Views on Contemporary Canadian Painting with Senior Curator Bruce Grenville for the Vancouver Art Gallery. With Doug Kirton, he co-curated Robin Peck: Crania that toured across Canada in 2018-19. He is currently organizing Now Bulletin: Artworks from the Garry Neill Kennedy Collection for Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver that opens September 2020. MacWilliam is a Professor Emeritus in the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design where he taught from 1988 to 2017.

Andrea Finlay, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Andrea has worked as a professional Interior Designer for the last 20 years, initially for two high profile design studios for 14 years (Alda Pereira Design& Riesco & Lapres Interior Design) before starting her own firm 4.5 years ago. She is currently exploring her my art practice and finding her way into the art world as a Masters of Fine Arts candidate at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

Lindsay McIntyre, Mentor

Lindsay McIntyre is a filmmaker and artist, who works with 16mm film using experimental, handmade and documentary techniques. McIntyre’s short films focus on themes of portraiture, place, form and personal histories with strong links to Canada’s North. She was the recipient of the Canada Council’s Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Excellence in Media Arts in 2013 and a REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation in 2017. Her award-winning films have been shown worldwide. She is of Inuk and settler Scottish decent.

Svava Tergesen, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Svava Tergesen is a photographer and experimental filmmaker currently completing their BFA at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. They are a member and organizer of EMO, a media arts collective for BIWOC, disabled and LGBTQ2S+ artists. Their short films have screened at experimental film festivals across Canada and internationally, and their photographic works has recently been shown at the Polygon Gallery and Capture Photo Festival.

Sherri Kajiwara, Mentor
Director & Curator, Nikkei National Museum

Sherri is Director|Curator of the Nikkei National Museum at the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre in Burnaby. She has been a fine arts professional since 1992 as a gallerist, gallery director, gallery owner, writer, editor, publisher, and curator. She is a graduate of the Sauder School of Business at UBC and of the Board of Trade’s Leadership Vancouver program where she was the recipient of the Multi-Cultural Television Network’s bursary in 2006. After co-owning the Bjornson Kajiwara Gallery from 2004 – 2008, she launched an online arts communications company Vantage Art Projects to bridge the gap between artists, institutions, galleries, and art fans by creating parallel opportunities for creativity through satellite exhibitions and on-demand publication of prints and books. Sherri remains passionate about the importance of communication and collaboration to support creativity. At the Nikkei National Museum, she is dedicated to the mission of honouring, preserving, and sharing Japanese culture and Japanese Canadian history and heritage for a better Canada.

The Nikkei National Museum (NNM) within the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre (NNMCC) is located in Burnaby, BC. The Museum’s mandate is to honour, preserve, and share Japanese culture and Japanese Canadian history and heritage for a better Canada. We are located Coast Salish territory on the shared, ancestral and unceded lands of the Sḵwxwú7mesh and hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ speaking people. The NNM opened originally as the Japanese Canadian National Museum in September 2000 in this multi-use facility designed by renowned Canadian architect Raymond Moriyama. The term Nikkei translates as “of Japanese ancestry”. NNM is the only professionally-staffed museum and archives in Canada dedicated to preserving and promoting the history and culture of Japanese Canadians.

Kaiwen Yang, Apprentice
Emerging Designer

Kaiwen is an interior designer of residential and commercial spaces, who strives to combine interactive and interior design methods into improving people’s domestic living experience. As part of the Art Apprenticeship program, Kaiwen has been working for the Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre, where he assists with collections and exhibits management, public-facing communications, floorplan development, publications, and marketing. Kaiwen holds a degree in Design and Innovation Management from Oregon State University, and has made many achievements in the renovation and preservation of historical architectures. He is currently attending the Masters of Design program at Emily Carr University.

Paul Wong, Mentor
Artistic Director, On Main Gallery

On Main Gallery is an artist-run organization founded in 1985 dedicated to encouraging, producing and presenting new art by emerging and established Canadian artists that is challenging, contemporary, diverse and enlightening to local, national and international audiences.In a new take on marginality, On Main democratizes access to art by claiming and recontextualizing conventional and new forms of private, public and virtual spaces for artand artistic practices that encourage intersections between culturally diverse generations of artists, artistic disciplines and the public. On Main was established as a direct response to the lack of initiatives in presenting media arts around the issues diversity, and took a leading role in developing anti-censorship and anti-racism strategies. in the 1990s, On Main played a leading role in importing and exporting emerging, mid-career and established artists by exhibiting shows locally, nationally and internationally. The organization has established a strong presence in the local community by focusing on Vancouver art and artists and producing professional, high profile events and exhibitions. On Main’s programming is responsive to changing opportunities with a strong focus on promoting the arts locally, programming works with a connection to the city of Vancouver and bringing work of national significance to Vancouver audiences. On Main continues to nurture existing audiences and partnerships and develop new ones, and has recently re-located to a new office and exhibition space at268Keefer Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown

Paul Wong is a curator and community advocate. He has been instrumental in the development of artist run centres in Vancouver and across Canada. He is the co-founding director of VIVO Media Arts Centre (Satellite Video Exchange Society, established in 1973), a founder of Mainstreeters artist collective (established 1972), and a co-founding director of On Main Gallery (On the Cutting Edge Productions Society, established in 1985), of which he is currently the Artistic Director. Paul is the president of Vancouver Art and Leisure and is on the advisory board of Pride in Art Society. He is also on the artist advisory committee for the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Glory Song, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Biography pending.

Fawn Daphne Plessner, Mentor

Fawn Daphne Plessner is an artist and academic and writes and produces visual and text based artwork and public interventions under the banner of “Citizen Artist”. The Citizen Artist site (founded in 2008) documents Plessner’s interventionist art projects that creatively use investigative journalistic strategies and techniques as a form of art practice in its own right. Her projects employ journalistic strategies to advance the notion of investigative art as a mechanism for articulating and shaping new imaginaries and emerged from a consideration of the activities of citizen journalists and contemporary issues in aesthetics and politics. The interventionist projects trouble the assumption of status and cosmopolitan imaginaries of citizenship and investigate how alternative forms of membership can be explored, expanded and legitimated through artistic practice and vice versa. Plessner has exhibited artwork in a number of countries in Europe and has won several research grants for art projects, including a recent Canada Arts Council grant in support of a collaboration with Doug LaFortune, Coast Salish artist, BC, Canada. She is an Associate Professor at Emily Carr University of Art & Design in Vancouver, Canada and holds a BA (Hons) Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London, an MPhil in Politics from Goldsmiths College, University of London and is currently completing a PhD in Art & Politics at Goldsmith’s College (November, 2018). She studied Fine Art at a number of institutions before taking up study at the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste, Munich, Germany under the artist Robin Page (one of the early members of the Fluxus movement).

Itamar Sitbon, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Itamar’s practice is a hybrid of graphic and sound/installation work, that explores the connections (and oftentimes misconnections) between the senses through visual and auditory means. Recently, he has been involved in a number of projects that speak to his ability to work in both print/digital media, and sound production, as well as veer between these various disciplines.  Itamar was the lead composer on “Dami & Falian”, the first of its kind graphic novel VR experience and a VIFF Finalist. He is pursuing a New Media and Sound Arts degree at Emily Carr.

Dan Starling, Mentor

Dan Starling’s work plays with the conventions of narratives through intervention, extrapolation and reconfiguration to produce exciting juxtapositions that encourage critical engagement. Based in research, Starling’s work deals with how historical and contemporary aesthetic forms frame the narratives that in turn influence how we see ourselves individually and collectively. Starling has studied at Emily Carr University and Städelschule, Frankfurt, and has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. Starling’s work was most recently shown at Wil Aballe Art Projects, VIVO Media Arts Centre and the Libby Leshgold Gallery in Vancouver.

Wake Cook, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Wake is a Queer-Canadian comic cartoonist, character artist, and creature design aficionado. Their style is best described as down-to-earth narratives with dark undertones complimented by bright colours and light humour. They work to push and break the borders of both the comic page and who is represented on it through their practice, chanelling their frustration, sympathy, and compassion for those who have been historically underrepresented in the visual arts. This commitment does not come lightly, and writing and drawing outside of their lived experience has solidified their practice into one of constant self-growth, reflection, research, and compassionate conversations with people cooler and wiser than themself. Through their traditional and digital illustrations, they balance the nostalgia of their upbringing with the importance of constructing diverse representation. As a result, the themes of their work revolve around love, found family, forgiveness, and discovering personal identity. When Wake isn’t hunched over their work desk, they enjoy hiking, gardening, and reading. They hope to not let their father’s collection of seventies sci-fi novels continue to collect dust on their shelves, but will more likely keep rereading the same CJ Cherryh series over and over again.

Lianne Zannier, Mentor
Programming Committee, VIVO Media Arts Centre

Lianne Zannier is an animator and visual artist.  Her work involves integrating an interest in art and cultural history through research and practice. Her short animated films shift between the surreal and the fanciful while exploring a relationship between the medium of drawing with traditional forms of animating on paper. Her projects can range from large-scale group drawings to immersive installations and animated short films. She holds a BA in Art History from Mount Allison University (Sackville), a BFA in Film Animation from Concordia University (Montreal) and a MAA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (Vancouver).

VIVO Media Arts Centre, incorporated as Satellite Video Exchange Society, is a steward of critical history and an agent for emergent experimental media arts practices. Our programs foster formal and critical approaches to media arts, and reflect the diversity of contemporary technologies and communities that coalesce around new forms of knowledge and creativity. VIVO builds an engaged audience through workshops, production support, distribution, artist residencies, workshops, performances, exhibitions and curatorial and archival research. Through these activities and the extensive resources of Western Canada’s largest repository of media art history, VIVO plays a unique role in facilitating and fostering artistic practices in the region. In addition to Lianne Zannier, VIVO’s Programming Committee includes Pietro Sammarco, Education; Sungpil Yoon, Events; Russell Gordon, Communications.

Jae Lew, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Jae Lew is a media artist and filmmaker currently residing in so-called Vancouver, BC (Unceded Coast Salish Territories). Their practice is situated at a place of visibility and invisibility; their work deals with spirituality, disability, gender and the absurdity of the constructs in which we live under. Jae is the founder of EMO (Experimental Media Outsiders) Collective, an experimental media and analog filmmaking artist collective. They are currently completing a degree in New Media and Sound Arts at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. 

Valérie d. Walker, Mentor

Valérie d. Walker is a force of nature, alchemist, trans-media artist, curator, educator, Indigo Griot & solar-radio-wave creatrix. Born in Honolulu, Hawai’i, Valérie holds instructor level Ikebana & Chado (tea-ceremony) certification from Urasenke-Kyoto, plus a BSc. in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science (hardware and software) from the University of California at Berkeley & received her MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Valérie’s TransMedia art-work considers queer feminist poc-agency endowed with Afro-Futurist Indigo Griot Time Travel & Indigenous Earth Stewardship whilst reverberating with anti-deluvian craft knowledge mixed with techno presence(s). V seeks out socially engaged collaborations with community artists and arts and culture organizations. Throughout her career, Valérie helped to establish, Studio XX, Canada’s premier feminist art space, home of HTMLLes, a unique, long-running digital-feminist biennale. V produced and hosted The XX Files Radio Show, a digital-feminist community radio broadcast, with over 25+ years of TechnoFemme radio, all shows are online as part of Matricules Canada’s online digital archives; work supported by Patrimonie/Heritage Canada & Studio XX. Currently, V has a residency award in the Malaspina Printmakers Downtown Vancouver studios where she’s exploring non-toxic printing methods using natural dyes and non-toxic mordants. Valérie d. Walker exhibits work in Canada and internationally.

Emilee Guilfoyle, Apprentice
Emerging Artist

Emilee Guilfoyle is an unsettled queer woman, emerging writer, and theorist-in-training. Her writing practice is rooted in interdisciplinary praxis, where she synthesizes critical thought, art making and poetry. She was born, and resides on Coast Salish Territories, specifically, the Musqueam (xwməθkwəy̓ əm), Squamish (Sḵwx̱ wú7mesh), and Tsleil-Waututh (səl̓ ilwətaɁɬ) Nation, or commonly known as Vancouver, BC. This context has informed her writing practice by investigating non-western epistemologies, and lead to engagement with the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, and cultural theory. Alternatively, her artistic practice consists of exploring the materiality of the land through artistic methodologies. Through using a variety of printmaking and collage techniques, she is involved in the process of repurposing manmade materials to represent something that is visually natural. As a result, Emilee continually explores the space of capitalist/liberalist construction of the land and ways of knowing.