OUR INSTRUCTORS

Current Instructors

We wouldn’t be who were were without our incredible instructors.
Our teachers honour Homer Watson by teaching the next generation of Canadian Artists.

Instructor Scott McNichol

Scott McNichol

Scott graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in Fine Arts and Philosophy. Scott is also a graduate of Journalism Studies from Conestoga College in Kitchener. Mr. McNichol has been a dedicated and loyal working artist at the Gallery since 1994, and holds the title of Staff Educator/Artist. He currently teaches visual art to high-school students at Scholar’s Hall Private School in Kitchener and adults at Conestoga College. Scott’s passion is found in sculpture, but he is also recognized for his acrylic paintings and extensive work in photography.
Instructor Ralf Wall

Ralf Wall (Raflar)

Energy has always played a important role in my body of work. I am inspired by my surroundings, be it the woods or a distant skyline. When I create, it is my desire that those who view my work feel the energy of the surroundings in which the work was created. Often I paint outdoors, “en plein air”, and I will use the water of the natural environment in the dilution of my paint. My acrylic landscapes and abstracts require a palette knife, which allows me to convey the natural environment in an expressive and impressionistic manner. The natural environment not only inspires my work but also compels me to experiment and explore new mediums and techniques. It is my hope that my love for nature, the energy therein, and the freedom of creation is impressed upon the public through my works. You can see Ralf’s work on his website: www.raflar.com

Instructor Ana Vatres

Ana Vatres

Art has been a large component of my life since childhood. At the age of 11, I was selected to participate in an exhibition in a national gallery: this gave me a goal, a purpose, and since then I never wanted to be anything other than an artist. I was enrolled in an art-specific highschool in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and later completed my BFA in the Academy for fine Arts in Serbia. For last 20 years I have been creating and teaching art in Kitchener. My art currently focuses on stylised landscapes and abstract.
Instructor Candice Leyland

Candice Leyland

Candice is a contemporary watercolour painter and art teacher living in Kitchener, Ontario. Her work has been described as dreamlike and whimsical. It focuses on light and mood, using bright, vivid colours to explore her subject matter in a loose, impressionistic way. She trained at the University of Guelph in their Studio Art program but developed her watercolour style more recently. With a background in history and heritage, her paintings are often influenced and inspired by heritage gardens, buildings and landscapes. https://candiceleylandart.ca/

Dottie Locks (Jennifer Joyce)

My life has always been driven by awe of colour and beauty. I began creating stories and my own characters in books when I was the age of four. I was one of those kids who was picked on; and became ultra shy. If I ever found myself unable to vocally respond to someone I would simply draw them a drawing to explain myself. My parents recognized I was different and encouraged extra art lessons outside of elementary education. After I graduated from highschool I immediately went into the art fundamentals program at Sheridan college in Oakville; and during my time there I applied for Emily Carr Institute, which I was accepted into immediately.

Being a spiritualist and visionary artist I found the contemporary art school structure a challenge, but it only helped me grow and develop stronger core concepts to my work. Entering into Emily Carr I was primarily a painter and drawer, by the time I was graduating I was welding large geometric shapes and silkscreening 8 meter long pieces of fabric. Today I continue making silk screens and acrylic paintings mostly and lately I have been trying to reuse items that cannot properly be recycled and have entered the upcycle mixed media phase of my life. Art has always been my outlet, and I believe deep in my bones that it us important for every person to connect to this self expression to expand our minds and limitlessness.

Our past instructors

Abeer al Harir

My name is Abeer Al Hariri. I was born in Syria 1985 and moved to Canada in 2017. My mother and my sister are artists as well so, I belong to an artistic family. I am a visual artist who was involved in different art fields like animation, illustration, beadwork, painting and art teaching for kids. I also volunteered in some public community art works with different local artists in Canada. I studied English literature in Syria. I got Diploma of Animation Arts from Conestoga College 2017-2019. I have over 10 years experience. I love cultures, arts, history and fun. I like to meet new people and make new friends.

Atena Ganea

Atena Ganea is an artist and educator who resides in Kitchener. She has a degree in Fine Arts and has taken courses at both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier. In her work Atena incorporates a nice blend of traditional European style with contemporary North American modernism.

Ayesha Shafiq

I’m an abstract painter as well as black and white line sketcher. I create art with multiple dimensions and textures… I enjoy experimenting with different media to create pieces that are vibrant and expressive. My focus is to create multiple layers of textures and dimensions in my pieces and most of my work is inspired by nature around me. I love the multiple layers of colours and hues in nature and I am always using my creativity and imagination to present such vibrant beauty of nature through my work.  
I’m also an Elementary School Teacher and my students inspire a lot of my work. I feel that teaching art can be a lot of fun and I enjoy teaching art to children and youth, they bring a great energy and a vivid imagination to their unique art and create beautiful and expressive pieces. Teaching children and creating beautiful and meaningful art is my passion….follow me @artsy_ash.

Barb Di Renzo

Barb Di Renzo is a mixed media artist, jewellery designer and art instructor from Cambridge, Ontario. Her contemporary artwork includes paintings, sculptures and jewellery that incorporate metals sourced from recycling plants and metal industries. Barbara’s work has been exhibited in galleries and private collections across Ontario and she regularly teaches workshops here at Homer Watson Gallery and her own art studio, Left Align Design. leftaligndesign.ca

Brenda Alexander

Brenda has been creating hand built pottery for more than 25 years. She is a self taught artist and uses her experiences and travel in her art. Rhubarb and other leaf dishes have been her signature. Birds, bird houses and fairy gardens and other outdoor inspired pieces have been added over time. She specializes in working with children diagnosed with learning differences during the school year and shares her passion for clay with campers at Homer Watson during the summer months.She brings 21 years as an educational assistant to her classes which she designs to be fun and educational. She enjoys every day finding ways to be thankful and to love, laugh and laugh some more.

Brett Holmes

Brett is a graduate of Sheridan College of Art and Design, with a working background in journalism. He was also a guest of Walt Disney Studios Australia at the invitation of Australian animator, Darryl Pennington. Brett began drawing and using watercolour at an early age. They continue to be his medium of choice. Classified as an abstract artist, Brett works in what is classified as visual persuasion. BrettHolmes

Carrie Lam

Carrie Lam holds a Bachelor of Education from York University and she is an educator who teaches students from 4-15 years old. She also teaches modern calligraphy to adults. Carrie is a modern calligrapher who has a passion in teaching the art of hand lettering. She has created custom work for weddings, events, and much more. She is interested in adding a little extra to any surfaces to make it more unique and personalized.

Catherine Herzog

Catherine has been a visual arts teacher for 18 years in the Waterloo region. She graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Fine Arts degree and she continued her education with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. In the year 2000, Catherine was named, “Artist in Residence” at the Homer Watson House and Gallery. Since then, she has taught children’s classes at the Cambridge Art Galleries and at the Homer Watson House and Gallery. During the year, Catherine works as an elementary school teacher in Kitchener. In her spare time, Catherine enjoys drawing and painting however, the “act of creating and communicating ideas through visuals” is her real passion. She has exhibited pieces of her work at several galleries and spaces in Kitchener, Waterloo and Hamilton.

Elvan Suzer

Elvan is a local multi-genre artist and instructor. She is experienced on many diverse art forms, including acrylic paintings, oil paintings, Encaustic (beeswax + oil colour), mixed media and sculpture (Paverpol – fabric sculpture) and Turkish traditional art called ‘EBRU’.  She incorporates different mediums to express her artistic voice. Elvan is showing her work on regular basis at Art District Gallery and currently the Board Member at The Clay and Glass Gallery, a member of Advisory Council Committee of City of Waterloo as well as member of Public Art Committee of City of Waterloo.  She also teaches various at various art venues as well as at her own studio. www.elvansuzer.com  

Erienne Rennick

Erienne Rennick is a multidisciplinary Canadian Artist who resides in Kitchener-Waterloo. She graduated with a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo in June 2018 and is currently an emerging artist in southern Ontario. In addition to working at the Homer Watson House and Gallery, Erienne helps children and adults further develop their art skills at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery. She has a strong passion for ceramics and loves expressing colour through both hard edge and fluid acrylic paintings.

See what she’s creating now on Instagram @crawlingturtleartistries

Joe Fansher

Joe studied art at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), specifically the off-campus program in Florence, Italy, where he focussed on the renaissance and classical art period with a prominence on drawing. He taught at Sheridan College for ten years and currently teaches at the Homer Watson House & Gallery. Joe’s current body of work stems from the representational with an emphasis on a naturalistic approach to drawing.

Katie Jetter

Katie Jetter is a local fashion and costume designer with a Masters in International Fashion Design. As a self-taught bridal seamstress and designer for more than 10 years, Katie is often on and off the runways as both designer and model with collections that are inspired from Asian cultures and period films. Katie has taught children and young adult’s how to sew and tailor clothing and design collections.

Kristine May

Kris May is an art therapist and educator who works with children, adolescents, adults, and individuals of all ages. As a trained facilitator and arts specialist, she uses an art therapy approach in much of her professional work. She has over 15 years of professional involvement designing and implementing diverse expressive art workshops, classes and educational art programs.

Dedicated to the link between the arts and well being, Kris brings experience in a wide variety of areas and is trained to work with many different types of individuals in a variety of settings. Her goal is to promote the benefits of creative expression and provide opportunities for individuals to tap into their own innate creativity, where they are free to explore and expand their creative pursuits and potential. Kristine carries strong qualifications. She has an Honours Degree in Visual Arts and completed her Masters level training in Art Therapy. www.kw-artzonestudio.com

Laura Perrin

I am an artist, educator and printmaker from the Waterloo Region.  As well, I am a member of the Riverside Print Group.  The RPG  works out of the Mary Misner Print Studio, at Design at Riverside, and has exhibited their work in several local venues over the past 11 years.  Our group events can be found at www.riversideprintgroup.com  My work, including relief prints and greeting cards, can now be found at nowords, on Ainslie St., in Cambridge, ON.  #shoplocal #galtlove

I am also a mother to two very energetic young boys, and the wife of a very wonderful husband. My work – most recently – is a reflection of the whimsy and energy that my family brings to my life.  It is colourful and vibrant, and of course very playful.   I make a variety of differently printed works, including small and large scale relief prints, art greeting cards, and some etchings and monoprints.

Marion Anderson

Anderson has been a Teacher and Visual Arts Department Head in the Waterloo Region for over thirty years. She now teaches both acrylic and watercolour classes at her home studio, Alder Creek Studio, as well as for many galleries and organizations. Because it is important for Anderson to balance the theoretical with the practical, she encourages her students to express themselves through art. Anderson is represented by Gallery Double T and the Southampton Art School and Gallery. She is the feature artist in the Kitchener-Conestoga Rotary Dream Home and an annual contributor of an original watercolour to the K-W Symphony Tour of Note silent auction. Originally from Kent County, Anderson currently makes her home and studio in New Dundee Ontario. MarionAnderson.ca

Meg Leslie

Meg Leslie graduated from Interior Design, and worked in the industry in Vancouver and Toronto before settling in Kitchener-Waterloo. A pivotal experience for Meg was in 2009 when she attended a mosaic workshop in Philadelphia where she learned the ‘pique assiette‘ style of mosaics. She has since created a number of large-scale mosaic murals, using recycled ceramics, including one for Kitchener’s House of Friendship and one for the City of Kitchener. Meg has recently moved back to her hometown of Orillia, Ontario but works returns to KW frequently to teach and to visit. Meg is creating a line of handmade porcelain tiles, and also creates jewellery and whimsical mosaics. www.atherleyarts.ca

Mélika Hashemi

Mélika Hashemi is a local artist working primarily in sculpture and installation. Her work is informed by her understanding of a culture she has only experienced in hyphenated ways. Mélika holds an Honours degree in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Curator’s Choice Award and the Fine Arts Excellence Award from the institution. Alongside her studies, Mélika has earned more than five years of teaching experience in school and gallery settings. The artist will be starting her Master of Education at the University of Toronto in the Fall. www.melikahashemi.com

Michael Wiens

Michael Weins’s philosophy is that a concrete understanding of design, colour theory and technique can serve as a visual framework for personal expression of ideas and concepts in any media. Having studied at both a conceptual-based Fine art program, as well as an atelier-style academy, Mr. Wiens classes will help develop both critical thinking and practical skill building. Michael holds a BFA in Art and Design, as well as a BEd in Elementary Education from the University of Alberta. Additionally, Mr. Wiens completed an MFA in oil painting at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. His works are currently represented at the San Francisco Design Centre, and in Carmel California. MichaelWiens.com

Patricia Beader

Patricia has been a visual arts teacher for 7 years. She has taught children’s classes at the Edmonton Art Gallery and currently teaches at The Guelph School of Art as well as at Homer Watson Gallery. She has created and taught two separate art programs for adults with special needs. Patricia graduated with a BA in Fine Art. Patricia enjoys creating in a variety of art forms and is hard pressed to choose her favorite. She has a love for nature and has done botanical illustrations that have been published in the scientific journal Systematic Botany and in a first year university course book Woodlot Biodiversity.

Pearl Van Geest

Pearl has been exhibiting and teaching art since graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1996. She also holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Fine Art. Pearl’s paintings are part of the Canada Council’s Art Bank collection and she was shortlisted for the RBC’s Canadian Painting Prize in 2003. She was the City of Guelph’s inaugural Artist in the Community 2014 and the recipient of the Canadian Art Foundation’s National Art Writing Prize in 2015. She is deeply committed to the creative process itself, and the possibilities that develop for innovation and expression. She loves working with young artists and is continually impressed and delighted by the reflective, expressive and visually impactful work that they make.

Visit artist website: www.pearlvangeest.com

Rachel Tanner

Rachel is a potter with a focus on bright colors and bringing natural elements into her designs. Rachel began teaching children=s pottery classes 5 years ago from her home studio after having worked as a social worker for over 15 years in Waterloo Region. It has been a very exciting and rewarding experience for Rachel to be able to combine her passions for creating with clay and for working with children and individuals with special needs. Rachel has a BSW from Ryerson University, Toronto.

Ruza (Rose) Vatres

Ruza Vatres has been a lifetime student of the artist Ana Vatres, has graduated from Eastwood Collegiate’s Integrated Arts Program, and is currently attending Queen’s University as an undergraduate student of Fine Art. She teaches art at the KW Chinese School and works as an after-school art tutor in addition to instructing at Homer Watson. She has five years of teaching experience in visual art. Ruza creates paintings and illustrations for a wide variety of subjects.

Singithi Kandage

Singithi Kandage is an emerging artist and educator who divides her time between Toronto and her hometown of Kitchener. She graduated from with a BFA with Distinction from OCAD University (2013), and has since attended residencies at the Banff Centre, The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Vermont Studio Centre. She has exhibited at galleries including Hamilton Artists Inc., XPACE, and Gallery 1313; her work has also appeared in Canadian Art among other publications. She is known for a multi-disciplinary practice investigates representations of time, process, repetition, and how value is socially defined. As an educator, she has taught at galleries and museums including the Glenhyrst art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. In late 2015, she founded The Artist’s Time Bank of Toronto, a community-organizing service/social practice project which serves the needs of artists and cultural workers throughout Toronto and GTA.

Soheila Esfahani

Soheila K. Esfahani grew up in Tehran, Iran, and moved to Canada in 1992. She received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo and completed her Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. She was a semi-finalist for the 2004 New Canadian Painting Competition through RBC Investments and the Canadian Art Foundation. Recently, her work has been acquired by the Canada Council’s Art Bank collection. Soheila currently teaches our school-based programs along with public programs offered to both children and adults. Sohelia.ca

Supria Karmakar

Raised in England and of East Indian heritage, Supria Karmakar uses the encaustic mixed media, as well as the altered book mediums as avenues to work out her musings about life’s journey.  These mediums are the perfect ‘vessels’ for her work, as they unfold stories, contain depth, intrigue, vibrancy and the unknown. A resident of Fergus, Ontario, Supria is a member of a number of artist groups including Whitestone Gallery in Guelph, Ontario, the UpTown Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario and the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour, in Centre Wellington. Her artwork has been shown in numerous commercial and public galleries across Ontario, Canada and the United States of America. She currently works as a fulltime artist and facilitator, providing encaustic collage and altered book workshops; as well as, creative wellness services to companies.

Todd Durnan

Todd Durnan was introduced to photography through an interest shared by his Father at the age of 13.  Shortly after purchasing a film SLR camera his eye developed into something that offered a unique vantage point of the objects and things that surround us daily.  Todd is a self-taught photographer who has learned through experimenting and reading various books and publications. He continued to shoot for himself for 19 years before deciding to pursue his love of photography as a way of sharing the world through his eyes with others.

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