Meet the Artists!
Jaspal Birdi (b.1988, Toronto) is an eclectic artist inspired by colourful communities/environments she experiences in reality and virtually. Often playing with digital photos in conversation with paint, Jaspal Birdi reproduces narratives based on similarities between the real and abstract to question the physicality of our realities — the value of time as it shapes our understanding of the space we live. Holding a Bachelors of Fine Arts: Drawing & Painting from OCAD University plus a Masters in Arts Management from Istituto Europeo di Design (IED), Jaspal Birdi has received many awards for painting in Toronto and Italy. With solo and group exhibitions in Biella, Venice, Brescia and Toronto, her works have been featured in various publications such as Zoomers Magazine Canada, Corriere Della Sera Firenze, IO Donna and BOOOOOM. Currently, Jaspal Birdi is an Artist in Residence at Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa in Venice, Italy.
Samantha is a volunteer in the Art Rheum program at Sickkids Hospital. Samantha will be graduating with a Honours degree in Sociology from McMaster University this fall. Her passion for art has led her to pursue a Masters of Counselling with a specialization in Art Therapy. She has been painting for several years.
Kristy Gordon was born in 1980 in Vancouver, Canada. She received a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design (Toronto) in 2011 and an MFA from The New York Academy of Art in 2013. Her numerous solo exhibitions include Cube Gallery in Ottawa, Canada, and LIC Arts Open in NYC. Gordon’s work has been featured in group exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and China at venues including the National Academy Museum, NYC; Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN; Dacia Gallery, NYC; Flowers Gallery, NYC; and the Kelowna Art Gallery, BC. Her awards include the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant (2010, 2013 and 2015), Best Portrait Award from the Portrait Society of Canada (2016) and an Exceptional Merit Award from the Portrait Society of America (2014). Gordon’s work and art writing has been widely featured in magazines, books, radio and television shows, including International Artist, Fine Art Connoisseur, The Artist’s Magazine, The Artist Network and Bravo!’s Star Portraits. Her paintings hang in more than 600 collections worldwide including the Government of Ontario Art Collection.
Gordon has ten years of experience teaching and conducting painting workshops, lectures and classes internationally. She has taught at numerous institutions and academies including the New York Academy of Art, The National Academy (New York), The Academy of Realist Art (Ottawa and Boston), and Art Escape Italy (Florence). She has lectured at China Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, New Century Artists in New York City and the Art of the Portrait in Washington, DC.
Gordon is represented by Dacia Gallery in NYC, Grenning Gallery in Sag Harbor and Cube Gallery in Ottawa, Canada. She lives and works in New York City.
Steve Mcdonald is an established Toronto/Canadian artist who has been exhibiting and creating work across Canada, India, Italy, Scotland and Indonesia for the past twenty years. Steve is represented worldwide by the Illozoo illustration Agency. He graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a diploma in Editorial Illustration in 1992. His work has appeared in many publications and he has held numerous shows in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, and India. Steve’s work consists of small on-site studies that are usually done with pencil/chalk on colored paper and large format studio work which is usually done with pencil & charcoal/chalk with acrylic washes on paper. Recently he has become known for creating unique digital manipulations of photographs as well as his own drawings and paintings. These are released as limited edition archival prints or utilized in print or web media. His work can be found in many corporate collections ( Scotia Bank, Manu-Life, OliverFinancial, Caladonia ) as well as a large number of private collections. Steve has also gained a lot of attention for his highly detailed ‘ bird’s eye view ‘ renderings of villages, cities and rural scenes as well as his compositions of machinery and his popular flying vehicle series.
Steve is the author of a series of coloring books of his line drawings which will are published by Chronicle Books.They are titled FANTASTIC CITIES, FANTASTIC STRUCTURES and FANTASTIC COLLECTIONS.
Michelle Shook is a Toronto-based oil painter and ceramic artist. Her work can be found in private collections across North America and in Germany and Japan. Shook’s paintings are also featured in several public spaces including Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital and the Toronto Hydro building.
“My goal as an artist is to try and touch people with the beauty I see every day in the world around me,” she says. While Shook has traveled, lived and worked in such diverse locales as Haiti, Guatemala, Guyana, Canada’s Maritimes and the Ottawa Valley, her latest work explores pockets of natural beauty in Toronto’s city scape. “Whether it is a stand of birch trees on Toronto Island or a hydro line reflecting in the Humber River at sunset, I find endless moments of beauty and grace in our urban landscape.”
Michelle Shook studied Fine Art and International Development at the University of Guelph. Her art career took off almost immediately upon graduating in 1998 with a large 7-painting public commission from her thesis show. This kicked off an incredibly productive decade resulting in Shook mounting several solo shows a year. Throughout this period, she also taught painting, drawing and held ‘art-as-therapy’ workshops for people with special needs, psychiatric survivors and dialysis patients. This work allowed her to combine her love of making art, with her passion for teaching and community building.
While continuing to do private commissions Shook paused from public exhibitions while her three children were preschoolers. “I never stopped painting while they were young, but stepping back from it a bit in order to dive fully into being a mother has deeply affected my current work and perspective,” she says.
This year, Shook is excited to return to regular exhibitions. Colour theory has been the subject that intrigues Shook the most in her current explorations, developing an oil painting style that is infused with warmth and energy.
Shook embraces social media and posts regularly. She keeps her followers engaged with interesting projects like her 30 Day Challenge, painting 30 paintings in 30 days. Sometimes she holds contests asking her followers to guess the theme of the painting she is working on and rewarding the winners with her art cards. She also shows paintings in progress, and glimpses of how she hangs a gallery show. Her work is currently showing at the Oak Gallery in Port Dover, Ontario. She will also be a guest in the Perth Autumn Studio Tour near Ottawa this Fall.
All Proceeds from the Auction to benefit The Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship
The Dr. Bonnie Cameron Post-Secondary Scholarship program is in its fourth year and hopes to assist in allowing students living with arthritis to achieve their educational goals. It is presented by Runanthropic.org because of the inspiring work and dedication of Dr. Cameron and the entire Rheumatology staff at SickKids Hospital. The scholarship award is $2,500.
To read more about the Scholarship, including past winners and/or download an application, click here: Dr Bonnie Cameron Scholarship 2016
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Colouring book of Steve McDonald line drawings.
Signed by the Author.
Artist Steve McDonald