Our Curatorial Committee

Sharon Burns has been a member of Gallery Gachet (a unique artist-run centre located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside) since 2007. Her current explorations move from photography to mixed media. She finds motivation in discovering new techniques and the possibilities they offer. Recurring themes include time, travel and everyday life. Sharon is a longtime resident of the DTES and misses the way we were.
Stella Castell is an European artist residing in Vancouver. Stella has been involved in arts all her life. She attended music school in Europe and currently she is studying fine arts here in Vancouver. Stella uses art to express her intense emotional response to the world, reflecting on her inner feelings. Her inspiration for paintings comes from the beauty of nature which Stella finds healing and therapeutic. She paints landscapes, dreams and visions, and also abstract. Stella intends to produce beautiful, real art with a deep message and meaning.
Edzy describes his work as “deconstructive painting” after Jacques Derrida’s book “The Truth in Painting” (1987). His target is to develop a metalanguage to facilitate deconstructive events surrounding all closely related paintings. Since 1986, he has expressed himself conceptually through gouged plywood painting, encaustic painting, kinetic painting, nano painting, and pure substrateless painting in a style he’s coined “Reductive Modernism”. At times he has employed sculptural elements, printmaking techniques, and photography within the design of his paintings.
Although we live in a period of great wealth, there continues to exist poverty and hunger; although we are increasingly aware of our environment, we continue to damage it incredibly; and although we have made great strides in understanding human diseases, we struggle to provide person centered care and promote health. There is now growing evidence that participation in the arts promotes health and well being in individuals and their community. It is therefore critical that artists explore collaboratively within their communities the issues that confront people of all ages. I describe myself as an interdisciplinary research artist. I am a full-time artist since finishing my MFA studies in 2011. I left my first career as an academic, research and clinical psychiatrist in 2010. My practice has now evolved to be a composite of socially engaged art, environmental art, and installation art. I use various mediums as needed to explore an issue and because of my interest in creating multisensory works to better understand and communicate. I work on two intertwined tracts: a socially /politically engaged one and one of personal inquiry. I believe art has lost its place to science, business and entertainment as a way of knowing. Most of my research focuses on our environment, and mental health and consciousness. I am a member of the Gallery Gachet and the Art Is Land Network artists’ collectives, on the board of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver and on the Emily Carr Alumni board.
Born in New Westminster, Quin Martins is an interdisciplinary artist and curator whose practice incorporates painting, photography, installation, and film-making. He moves freely through disciplines to create work that subverts and disrupts accepted social expectations of the artist and issues relating to mental health and marginalization. He holds a BFA in Visual Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Tom Quirk has been immersed in the DTES arts and outreach community since March 2004. He has a long work history in the West Coast and Arctic shipping industry on Canadian ships and towboats as seaman and certified master. As a writer and actor he has studied at the New Play Centre and staged at the Arts Club Review Theatre, and made two films with the VFS as principal actor. From 2004 he has been associated with Vancouver Moving Theatre Company; as an actor reviewed in the Georgia Straight for VMT’s ‘We’re All In This Together’ and featured as singing actor in the 2007 Firehall Arts Centre production ‘The Carnegie Opera’. His photo and an in-depth interview on his life were included in the Pivot book project, “Hope in Shadows”, interviewed and featured in the Globe & Mail, CBC Radio and the Georgia Straight. As a videographer and photographer he has been shooting in the Downtown Eastside for many years covering DTES theatre, music, festivals, artist character profiles; most recently he produced stories for Fearless Mobile: ‘Fearless Streams’, ‘Streamwalk’, and for the Out Of The Rain Program and Mad Pride Exhibit at Gallery Gachet. He is grateful to be a member at Gallery Gachet and the Connection Salon and an active participant in the Downtown Eastside creative, cultural and outreach community.
Barbara is a graphic artist passionate about social justice and equality. Her journey to this point has not been linear. Trained as a lawyer, she switched to the graphic arts in 2000, while living in California. Recently she decided to explore her artistic side even further and found an outlet to express her inner self in a more personal way. To her art is healing, transformation, and growth through introspection and beauty. She also believes that via its connective power art generates participation, intimacy and empathy which is exactly why making art part of our life is crucial.


Our Past Members

Vancouver based artist, Karen Irving is a self-taught artist who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and moved to the West Coast in early 1998. Originally, trained as a project manager and software trainer, Karen spent the greater part of her career working in technology and in the healthcare field. While she dabbled in some small art projects, she had never contemplated ever becoming an artist. However, when a life changing event triggered hospitalization, Karen was forced to confront the resulting life changes and trauma. At the encouragement of care-givers, physicians, mentors and friends, Karen begun a journey of self-exploration through art, drawing from her insights of trauma and disability, to express her thoughts and feelings on canvas. Karen draws inspiration from her lifelong experience, including early experiences and travel adventures from Nova Scotia to the West Coast and as far off as the Caribbean. She is particularly inspired by the vibrant colors she experienced travelling through the Caribbean in her early years working as a Chief Purser on a Caribbean Cruise liner. Karen uses these vibrant colors as a foundation of her work, balancing shape and texture to express the sensations she feels to create a visual landscape of her interior language of expression. Karen loves to explore the interplay of elements and often combines shapes, lines, colors tones and textures to express the sensations she feels to create a visual relationship and artful expression to realize a unique and compelling visual image that transcends emotion. Karen’s art has evolved over the years and continues to deepen as she discovers more about the world around her and continues to express the depths of her emotion. Karen believes that much of her artwork parallels her life philosophy that the true beauty of art lies in the imperfections of life. Through her experience, Karen has learned to express her thoughts and feelings she has been forced to face and hope that her art can help others in their expression and transcendence. Karen is a Collective Member at the Gallery Gachet and a works as a volunteer with the Human Resources Committee. She is a member of the Editorial Committee with the Connection Salon and teaches workshops on the Business of Art.
Zola   ZOLA
Zola is an artist and curator who grew up in the beautiful wild rose country with big skies, far horizons and fabulous thunderstorms, close by the Rocky Mountains. The beauty of the natural world informs all of her work. Her focus presently is on atmospheric intuitive landscape paintings. Utilizing a meditative painting technique which allows a person to achieve an altered state while painting, images are drawn from the right hemisphere of the brain. When successful the paintings paint themselves, with hours passing like minutes. Many of the images are depicted from the point of view of a flower, if flowers could see or of an insect or bird. Often in this way perspectives are unusual and engaging. Zola’s landscapes are enhanced through adding small subtle photographic elements into the paintings adding a tiny pop of surrealism; for example birds or small insects.She enjoys this form of surrealism, with its elements of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions, non sequitur and whimsy. Other favorite subjects include flowers as they are so diverse like people. They often stand in as references for people and community.