Melissa-Jo Belcourt Moses (MJ) comes from a rich Métis ancestry and possesses a wealth of cultural skills, acquired from Métis and First Nation Elders and Knowledge Holders throughout northern and central Alberta. Her passion lies in her cultural heritage and as a certified instructor, she has taught decorative arts and creative skills that touch on Indigenous culture, history and traditional art skills. The former Indigenous Artist in Residence for the City of Edmonton, MJ has been recognized by the City of Edmonton’s Salute to Excellence and was awarded the Aboriginal Role Model of Alberta Art Award in 2009.
Elene Hartman’s creative inspiration has always come from nature and kids and she learns so much from both. Elene took her first clay class at 6 years old and the experience opened up a world of endless possibilities for her. She was hooked on clay from that moment and is excited to share her knowledge with the next generation of students. Elene is a member of the St. Albert Potters Guild and has been teaching clay programs to kids, youth and adults for over 10 years.
Tessa Stewart is a Métis Artist born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba and has been living and working in Edmonton for the last two years. She is the Visitor Services Coordinator and Indigenous Visual Art Instructor for Art Gallery of St. Albert. Tessa is inspired by nature, utilizing digital images, collage, charcoal and paints. Much of her artwork is focused on animals, plants, and organic materials.
Long-time St. Albert resident Julie Anne Hage has worked as a Potter, Raku Artist and Woodworker since the late 70s. Over many years as a clay instructor with the City of St. Albert and the Art Gallery of St. Albert, Julie has mentored hundreds of students from novice through to accomplished potters. While Julie specializes in corporate gifting, she remains an active member of the St. Albert Potters Guild. Her artistic focus centers on unique and original items created in a variety of mediums. Julie currently instructs Art Gallery of St. Albert pottery wheel-throwing and hand-building classes.
Heather Shepherd is a potter and pottery class instructor from St. Albert, AB. She holds a Diploma in Ceramics from Kootenay Studio Arts, Selkirk College (Nelson, BC), and has spent much of her early adulthood exploring craft mediums. She has been a member of the St. Albert Potters Guild since 2014 and is a passionate pottery instructor with the Art Gallery of St. Albert and Edmonton’s Studio72! Keep in the loop with her current work, pottery classes and studio process by following along on Instagram at @hsceramics.
Kathy Aldous-Schleindl holds a Bachelor of Design Degree from the Emily Carr University of Art & Design and started her career as a graphic designer working for Penguin Books in Toronto and Fifth House in Calgary. Simultaneous to her design work, Kathy began running art programs in her children’s schools about 18 years ago, and this led to a career teaching art.
For the past 11 years her experience as a professional art instructor has included working at the City of Calgary’s art centres, after-school programs, elementary schools and community centres. She has also facilitated several community art projects and volunteered for eight months at Inner City Arts in Los Angeles. Kathy is a member of the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and the Canadian Network for Arts and Learning. In her own practice, she works primarily in acrylics, oils, watercolours and fabric.
Examples of her work can be found at kasdesign.org
Ameena Kadri is an artist by day and a mermaid by night, yes you heard right! Creativity has always been a passion of hers, so after attending the NAIT Event Management program and dabbling in designing and planning events for about a year, Ameena reignited her artistic side. Combining her drive for entrepreneurship and her love of Disney princesses, Ameena became the proud owner of the AquaMermaid Swimming School in Edmonton which teaches swimming lessons while wearing mermaid tails!
But one venture was not enough for Ameena, so to further surround herself with things she loves, Ameena turned to the fine arts! She managed and taught art classes at a local art studio.
Her newest venture is photography. Photographing events, lifestyles and portraits are her specialities! Her favourite colour is pink, she has purple hair and you’ll always find her smiling from ear to ear!
Follow her journey on Instagram at @artbyameena_ and @photosbyameena_