Apanaki Temitayo M
Apanaki Temitayo M is Workman Art’s Visual Artist In Residence. Born in Toronto & raised in Trinidad & Tobago, Apanaki is an author, actor, multimedia artist & teacher. Her artworks are an expression of her Trinidadian heritage & spirituality. Her visual artworks have been exhibited at the Workman Arts Being Scene Annual Juried Exhibition at Hart House, University of Toronto, Gladstone & at the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival. Her poetry has been published in PHOTI, Fresh Arts Literary Journal, Black Girl Talk Anthology, Black Women & of Colour Press, the Caribbean Erotic Anthology, Poetry, Prose & Essays, Peepal Tree Press UK & the Re-Imagining the Sky Anthology. Apanaki was featured in the award-winning independent movie Sistagod at 2006 TIFF.
Mel Bender is a visual artist, writer and editor. Her work taps into the subconscious through nonlinear and automatic processes such as blind-contour drawing and stream-of-consciousness writing. Mel has a BFA in Drawing & Painting from OCAD University and a BA in Psychology from the University of Waterloo. She is currently working on her first book with working title kind of like wilson.
Ani Castillo has been drawing for over 3 decades. Born in Guadalajara Mexico, she emigrated to Canada in 2006. She studied Fine Arts & Communications at Universidad de Guadalajara & del Valle de Atemajac. Her work is an offspring between fine art & cartoon. Her art has been published & exhibited in Mexico, Canada, USA & Spain since 2004. Her current project Imaginary Friend, is the result of the 3 years of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy she received in order to overcome her social anxiety, which became oppressive once she emigrated to Canada. Because of her experiences, Ani Castillo’s work is irrevocably linked to the issues of being a woman, mental health, immigration & compassion towards her Fellow Humans.
Jaene Castrillon is an interdisciplinary artist (artist, activist, author & filmmaker who explores her relationship to the world through various spiritual teachings & the wisdom of the land. Jaene would describe herself as a settler to Turtle Island of mixed heritages, Hong Kong Chinese & indigenous Colombian. Jaene was adopted as an adult, by Elder Isaac Day of Serpent River First Nations. Her spirit name is White Bear Woman of Bear Clan. Having survived abuse, institutionalization, homelessness & sex work Jaene found herself in Isaac’s lodge where she learned to feel again. Since then, Jaene’s art has become an adventure that celebrates the brilliance & heart-break of living a life less ordinary. She believes art creates an alternative to harmful notions around wellness, illness & worthiness. Jaene uses her art as medicine.
Erella Ganon has been illustrating her experiences in journals for most of her life. She worked as a writer/journalist/radio announcer & in 1986, as a producer of Canada’s first AIDS benefit. Erella was one of the organizers of Kumbaya for AIDS, helped to establish Canada’s AIDS hospice, Casey House & the literary event, Word On the Street. She has plied her trade as a reviewer/journalist for NOW Magazine, CKLN-FM, CFNY-FM & for CBC Radio & TV. She was a New Media Designer for Extend Media/ Digital Renaissance & continues to be a strong community advocate as the Moderator for the Dufferin Grove Neighbourhood. In 1998 Erella was diagnosed with a brain tumour caused by a usually fatal, rare disease called Cushing’s. She documents her world living with an invisible disability from a patient’s perspective.
Hanan Hazime is a poet, a story teller & an avid scripturient living in Toronto. She has a MFA in English Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. Hanan’s poetry & prose have appeared in a number of publications, including The Windsor Review & Generation magazine. Currently, she is in the process of revising her novel Rosewater which challenges stereotypes about Muslim women, & working on Hymens & Hijabs, a collection of short stories & poems that explore Muslim female sexuality. She is also working with her husband, Shae Stamp, on Chiaroscuro, a collection of poetry, which aims to dispel myths surrounding mental illness in both Eastern & Western cultures.
Jim LeFrancois is Workman Art’s Musician In Residence who is an award-winning artist & producer. He is a trained pianist & singer, & holds a BFA in musical theatre performance from the University of Windsor. Jim has enjoyed a 10-year stint with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as Artistic Producer, & received a Dora Mavor Moore Award (Outstanding New Musical) for his work on Buddies’ 2007-08 Season Opener, ARTHOUSE CABARET,created with David Oiye. He was the inaugural winner of the Leonard McHardy & John Harvey Award, which recognizes 10 years of demonstrated commitment to the performing arts, in addition to having made an impact on the industry in Toronto (administered by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts). He is also the recipient of a Harold Award & a Silver Medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Julie Riemersma grew up in Vancouver, lived in Ottawa for 6 years, & after an abrupt turn away from a career in medical science, moved to Toronto to attend Humber College. She graduated with honours from the Creative Photography program in 2012. Commercially Julie pursues a career in fashion & portrait photography. Julie has been published internationally for her fashion & art work, was an Adobe Design Achievement award Semi-Finalist in 2012, as well as recently won the Rise Asset Development Dr. Paul E. Garfinkel Award as the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year for 2017.
Jan Swinburne is an alumnus of Dawson College & the Ontario College of Art & Design University. Her visual & interdisciplinary practice approaches all media from a painter’s sensibility. She makes use of traditional & digital media, including large-scale, site-sensitive installations. An experimental approach to art is central to her practice. As a video-sound artist, her interest is oriented to meta-exposure and image degeneration in the form of music-video-painting. Apart from creating original soundtracks, Swinburne collaborates with musician-composers, primarily, Philippe Gerber (JOHN 3-16). Jan Swinburnes videos have been screened in Brooklyn, NYC at Experi-MENTAL Festival 6 & New Jersey Filmideo Index Art Centre & Vector Festival Toronto. In 2015 she signed with Alrealon Musique. Jan Swinburne’s work has been exhibited internationally & her work resides in various public & private collections.