Artist Instructors

Enzo Avolio

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. It’s a place to acquire skills that equips students to express themselves in a healthy and beautiful way. For many years now, Enzo has been a Character Design Instructor at Sheridan College’s BA Animation program from which he is also an alumni. Along with portfolio review and tutoring, Enzo enjoys teaching at Neilson Park Creative Centre and several other private schools.

Khadija Aziz

Khadija is a textile artist and educator who investigates spontaneous experimentation in my process-based practice. Her fascination with the unknown has brought her to the creation of textile glitch art from her paintings and photographs through hand and digital manipulation collaborations. She graduated from OCAD University’s Material Art & Design program in June 2020 with a BFA and is currently pursuing an MFA at Concordia University’s Fibre & Material Practices program. Khadija received the 2019 Award of Excellence in Community Arts Engagement from the Ontario Museum Association for her work at the Textile Museum of Canada. In recognition of her creative practice, she has recently received the Shanks Memorial Award in Textiles from Craft Ontario and the Creative Promise Award from Surface Design Association in 2020.

Tawni Bramley

Tawni is an instructor, creative educator, and mixed media artist. From a young age, she has always been involved in the arts. Some of her practices include fluid art, acrylic painting, sculpting, and drawing with oil pastel. Tawni is passionate about helping her students unleash their creativity through artistic self expression. She is a recent honours graduate of Humber College’s Child and Youth Care degree and Social Service Worker program. After completing her degree, Tawni developed even more interest in her artistic practice through exploring the emotional benefits of art and learning new mediums such as watercolour and soft pastels.

Toni Caldarone

Toni is a maker, art instructor, and freelancer. She has been teaching children and adults for close to twenty years through various organizations such as TDSB’s Learn4Life Community Program, Artsjam, Parks & Rec and private workshops. She currently teaches through Neilson Park Creative Centre and Haliburton School of Art & Design’s summer program. Toni was an honours graduate of Humber College’s Recreational Leadership program with a corporate background in event management at a major Toronto venue/tourist attraction, having extensive experience planning and running programs in both the arts and leisure activities areas for all ages. Her artwork strays between reality and its counterpart, where natural and recycled materials find their way into her work. Toni is currently experiencing a renewed interest in collage, mixed media and 3-D work.

Dani De Angelis

Dani is a multidisciplinary artist, focused on discovering new ways the arts can bring communities together. Dani completed her BFA in Visual Art and Art History at York University in 2019, specializing in abstract, impressionism, and textile art. She completed a post-graduate certificate in Arts Education and Community Engagement at Centennial College in 2020, and has since worked with such organizations as Pride Toronto, Tarragon Theatre, Arts Etobicoke, and the Neilson Park Creative Centre.

Lamis Haggag

Lamis Haggag's practice is an ongoing process of disturbing social autonomy and displacing boundaries without giving alternatives. She perceives her projects as subtle infiltrations to social confines. Well aware that those attempts contradict themselves and absurd in many ways, she sees them as a reflection of how people cope with restrictions. Lamis developed this approach to her work as she saw change proceeding towards her home country, Egypt, in 2011 and then re-evaluated it as she witnessed how far back Egypt's situation has receded. Surrounded by social confines, sexual harassment, corruption, Police brutality and militarization of every project and aspect of life, the general public in Egypt is still making the conscious decision of adhering to it, whether out of conviction or despair.

Kal Honey

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 art and art instruction career. 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. As an instructor, Kal regularly teaches at Neilson Park Creative Centre and Haliburton School of Art + Design and Visual Arts Mississauga. He also leads workshops, gives lectures and juried exhibitions throughout Southern Ontario.

Jacintha Krish

A painter for many decades, Jacintha considers art a journey that breathes life into her 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.” Her work involves teaching workshops, courses and painting demonstrations in various creative organizations in the GTA. She currently instructs at Neilson Park Creative Centre, Humber Valley Art Club and Oakville Art Society. Also, She teaches workshops in out-of-town locations Southampton Art School and Meacham Art Society. Her work is currently featured on international websites Saatchi and Artfinder and sold in Canada, USA, UK and South Asia.

Rosemary Marchant

Rosemary has an irregularly shaped pincushion made of green velvet with 2 buttons sewn on one corner that she made at age 4. From that first effort, her love of stitching led her to complete her certification at the Royal School of Needlework. Her non-stitching life included raising two children, starting an elementary Montessori school, practicing medicine across Canada, teaching at two universities, and now coaching students applying to medical school. She loves making and sharing the passion for anything that requires a needle – embroidery, quilting, knitting, crocheting and needle lace.

Helen McCusker

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.

Steve Rose

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: 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 and 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.

Hamed Tabein

Hamed is a freelance documentary photographer with a specialty in ethno-photography and story telling. An artist and a photography instructor. My work traverses both Canadian urban topography and the diverse landscapes of Iran, India, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Afghanistan and …. It has been exhibited all over the world and published on the National Geographic website. Awarded by CALQ/ Conseil des art et des lettres du Quebec for the documentary and humanistic project, called” The Afghan Smile“ in Afghanistan in 2017. Supported by such significant international and Canadian experiences including cooperating with the biggest oriental festival in Toronto and Canada as a member of the jury and curator for photography award. Member of the jury of “My City" photography award in Montreal, Cooperating with “Tik Art Talk” an art magazine and Hafteh magazine in Montreal. Collaborating with Center3 in Hamilton, CICAF/Canada International Children’s Art Foundation and Workman Art in Toronto, Neilson Park Creative Centre in Etobicoke, McGill and Concordia University and laso Chakavak Cultural Center in Montreal, an educator and photography facilitator.

Juliana Venair Ford

Juliana is a Jamaican-Canadian painter from Scarborough. During her third year in the Bachelor of Child and Youth Care Degree program at Humber College, Juliana began her relationship with NPCC as an intern in Summer 2019. As a busy college student with limited free time, she was able to redevelop her passion for art while working at the centre by participating in community outreach, instructing two day camp workshops, engaging with members, learning from fellow NPCC instructors and much more. In January 2020, two of her acrylic paintings were displayed in the NPCC Catch Phrase Instructors Exhibition. Upon graduating from Humber and completing her first summer of teaching full-time as an art instructor for summer camp at the centre, Juliana has grown as an artist, a leader and instructor by combining her CYC knowledge and love for art into her work with children and youth. She hopes to demonstrate that children young and old are more than capable of creating beautiful artwork with guidance and a bit of patience!

Marjan Verstappen

Marjan was born in New Zealand, where she received her BFA in Sculpture from Dunedin School of Art. She moved to Canada in 2012 and graduated from OCAD University with an MFA in 2014. She lives and works in Toronto, where she is co-director of Younger Than Beyoncé (YTB) Gallery. Her practices encompass drawing and sculpture, photography, and working with communities. Through these actions, she explores concepts of mystery, truth, and how narratives about a place can be woven through objects and drawings. Recent exhibitions include Life, Onions and Hotdogs on Parade (Zalucky Contemporary), Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood (Art Gallery of Ontario), Gallery Galleria (Galleria Shopping Centre, Toronto), and the Fung Wah Biennial (Flux Factory, NYC).