Ann studied figurative sculpture at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. A former co-owner of Third Dimension Studios, Ann specialized in making life-like recreations for international museums such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the DNA Learning Center in Cold Springs New York, and the NASA Space Center in Houston, Texas. For 16 years Ann worked as a special make-up effects artist on A-list feature films and television productions and helped create memorable characters such as X-Men’s Mystique. In collaboration with FXSmith Studio in Toronto, Ann helped pioneer silicone filled prosthetics which revolutionized the entire effects industry. She later explored new avenues of her medium by studying forensic facial reconstruction and employed these skills in creating portraits for a Missing Persons Unit.
As an instructor in the Media Arts Department at the Art Institute of Vancouver, Ann introduced real-world sculpture skills to 3-D computer students. In her own art practice, Ann combines her love of figurative sculpture using different materials. Her pieces, which reference art history, prehistory, and popular culture, have been exhibited at Vancouver’s Artropolis, the SAG and the Community Arts Council of Vancouver.
Ann found her passion in anaplastology while visiting a clinic in the U.S. where she learned to make custom breast prosthetics. She later volunteered her skills back home in Vancouver at the BC Cancer Society’s Wig and Breast Prosthetic Bank. More recently, Ann joined the Craniofacial Prosthetic Unit at Sunnybrook Health and Science Centre where she’s taken her lifelong experiences and applied them in a practical way that makes people’s lives better.
Danielle is a textile artist and designer with over fifteen years of experience creating clothing, accessories, and other soft treasures. Having grown up steeped in nature, the wild and pristine environment of the West Coast instilled in Danielle a devotion to natural beauty, spirituality, and preservation, and a desire to create physical manifestations of these values to share with others.
While studying Industrial Design at Emily Carr University, Danielle focused on sustainability and the challenge of applying it to her growing interest in fashion. Following graduation, she worked in the local industry gaining hands-on experience in responsible production methods resulting in thoughtful, zero-waste “slow fashion”. In 2018, Danielle began her own entrepreneurial practice, Elen Danielle, using old-world techniques and her interpretation of goldwork embroidery to create wearable works of art.
Each of Danielle’s handmade pieces is one-of-a-kind, feather-light, and has a timeless look consistent with her “slow living” design principle. Through her designs, Danielle savours the opportunity to share the healing power of art with those who have invited her into their lives.
Owner of Nicholas Purcell Furniture, Nicholas’ dedication to his craft is evidenced in the exacting joinery and meticulous attention to detail given to each piece he creates. Both design and quality of making are paramount in the work he produces.
With an early background in painting, woodwork and graphic design Nicholas would later pursue furniture making full time, studying in England under renowned tutor and maker David Charlesworth. Believing in the intrinsic value of good design and the handmade object, Nicholas creates bespoke work for discerning clients as well as exhibition pieces for select galleries and showrooms.
Most recently Nicholas has been experimenting with new materials, forms and techniques and values collaborating with the local community of gifted makers. Nicholas believes in the need to encourage emerging artists to seek out constructive criticism, strive for original design, be thoughtful in the development of concepts and to carefully edit their ideas so that they are producing their best work and can find their own voice in the design community.
Janaki is a ceramist and founder of Janaki Larsen Studios or as she refers to it Studio of Imperfection. It’s where she creates graceful bowls, plates and vases that reconnect users with the physicality of their world.
Influenced by the Japanese Wabi-Sabi philosophy, Janaki sees her role not to change or control the material but merely to observe it, honour it and coax out its unique essence. While her collections might suggest similarities, each piece is unique, made to be used daily, showing their traces of time and recording their history of use. Janaki is often inspired by a single visual concept – a flash of light across the wall, the colours along the decaying edge of a leaf – and her passion lies in producing functional objects imperfect in nature.
Janaki has collaborated with world-renowned chefs to bring their vision to life and had her work featured in major publications. She is also the mastermind and co-owner of the beloved Vancouver coffee shop – Le Marché St. George. Under Janaki’s creative direction Le Marché has become the launchpad for multiple artisans and entrepreneurs.
Inspired by kids and their liberal acceptance of the bizarre, Beaumont is widely known for creating whimsical, imaginative and masterful furniture pieces. Beaumont graduated from the 3-D department of the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (ECU) in 1985, and since then has been producing one of-a-kind, interactive designs from his custom design studio, Straight Line Designs Inc. His company has completed unique design projects and installations throughout North America and around the world, including pieces for children’s hospitals, museums, libraries, Disney cruise ships and various exhibitions. His most recent initiative centres around his designs and products using wood from B.C.’s mountain pine beetle forests, thus taking an under-utilized raw material and creating beautiful and unique value-added wood pieces.
Michael Barton and Mari Fujita are multidisciplinary designers who share backgrounds in art, film making, and architecture. Through their roles in the design practice Maiku Brando, they endeavour to produce delightful and useful human-scale products.
Michael and Mari aim to share a feeling of joy through design. Their practice is focused on the development of inventive and elegant design solutions, while seeking the potential for their designs to deliver a greater impact. They apply traditional and emerging technologies and materials in novel ways, while constantly questioning conventional industry practices and production methods.
Their design practice stands out as symbolic of the times we are in. The pandemic demands a practical response – and their face mask design unites functionality with extreme comfort, unique graphics, and an ethos of care. Each product is designed, hand dyed, hand printed, and hand sewn in Vancouver, transcending the medium. Genuine practical and psychological needs are met by their product: people need PPE and they also needed to feel uplifted. Maiku Brando strives to give both. “When society is faced with challenges, it is time to double our commitment to the acts which elevate us.” — Michael Barton
Benjamin Kikkert is a hot glass and mixed media artist whose work explores themes of landscape and history through cultural, industrial and impressionist artifact. The vibrant and gritty textures of this work at once evoke senses of familiarity and discovery within the viewer. Collections document specific places and can include work installed in situ, with past projects including expeditions to the high Arctic, Newfoundland and Georgian Bay to name a few.
Working from his studio, Vancouver Studio Glass on Granville Island, Benjamin offers the public an “open kitchen” approach to a professional glassblowing studio. Contemporary custom glass design and traditional craftsmanship are presented together with ever changing variety. His goal is to offer the visitor an original experience with each visit to his studio, and to share his passion for the possibilities of glass.
Through a studied use of clean lines and an unwavering commitment to a minimalist aesthetic, Karen’s studio, KONZUK has developed a renowned modern line of handcrafted concrete jewellery for the contemporary design lover. Her wearable architecture is artfully constructed from the meaningful use of industrial materials inspired by her appreciation of the west coast landscape and the majestic sky.
Karen has garnered international attention including being invited in 2019 to develop an official jewellery collection by the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation on Wright’s works. She has retailed in internationally recognized museums and art galleries such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Guggenheim, NYC—and closer to home, at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Polygon Gallery.
Karen has recently expanded her designs to include household objects that evolve the striking aesthetic of her jewellery pieces into a series of extraordinary objects that bring a sense of drama to the living space.