Meet our Staff

 

An important part about building community is getting to know the friendly faces behind the initiative. Meet our amazing staff members who assist in facilitating safe spaces to house artistic endeavours through mental health advocacy. We could not engage in such robust and dynamic arts and mental health programming without the collaboration of many individuals.

Thank you to our participants, alumni, volunteers, board members, funders, community partners, creative partners, health care workers, and many more who continue to build this community with us.

photography by Joanie Peters

Uyen Pham – Executive Director

 

Uyen Pham (she/her) is Artbeat Studio’s Executive Director and works to bring successful leadership, management, and delivery of programs, services, and initiatives that support the ‘voice’ of Artbeat Studio.

Uyen’s excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills were developed and honed through nearly 15 years of working in the nonprofit sector as an Accountant’s Assistant, Programs Manager, and Executive Assistant prior to coming to Artbeat. No stranger to wearing multiple hats, Uyen dons what’s necessary to aide in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization to better serve its community and the health of its members.

Uyen earned her Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba, double majoring in Marketing and Human Resources Management. In her free time, Uyen enjoys trying new and different restaurants, exploring new countries, playing soccer, and spending time with family and friends.

What inspires your creative expression?

I was drawn to Realism as a kid, drawing still life in grade school and poring over small details to make sure I've got them all to make my picture as life-like as possible. Now, my creativeness is inspired by Anime, which is largely characterized by colourful graphics, vibrant characters, and fantastical themes - which is how I like to view my surroundings: brightly coloured filled with cool and complex beings with imagination to bring forth a better world.

Nigel Bart – Studio Facilitator

 

 

Nigel Bart (he/him) founded Artbeat Studio in 2005 with the support of his parents and the community. He continues to be an integral part of the organization as the Studio Facilitator of the Artist-in-Residency program aiding in the mentorship and facilitation of artists in recovery.

Nigel was born in 1975, the second of 5 boys to parents Lucille and Ernie Bart.  Music, art, and poetry have always played a strong role in his development. In late adolescence, Nigel developed schizophrenia.  He graduated from Fine Arts in 1999 with a major in Videography. His achievements include being the recipient of many awards including the Honorary Artist award from the Manitoba Foundation of the Arts in 2004 and The Flag of Hope award from the Schizophrenia Society of Canada in 2005.  Nigel was a member of The Hallway Group (Mental Health Commission of Canada) from 2009 to 2018 and has been a strong advocate for mental health rights on a national level.  In his art practice, he developed an award-winning performance and video piece entitled Inside Out shown across Canada and has had work displayed at the National Gallery of Canada.  

What inspires your creative expression?

Artists like Willem De Kooning and Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Abstract Expressionists inform my practice. 

Kristen Wiltshire - Executive Assistant

 

 

Kristen Wiltshire (she/her) is the Executive Assistant and works directly with the Executive Director to cultivate and strengthen the relationships with members of the community, volunteers, funders, as well as with employees throughout the organization.

Kristen is a community development professional and a watercolour artist. She has over 10 years of experience working in the non-profit sector in Winnipeg in the areas of community building, social inclusion, harm reduction, program development, and poverty alleviation. She is an active volunteer board member of St. Matthews Nonprofit Housing which oversees a community housing and resource centre called the WestEnd Commons. What Kristen loves most is to see people thrive and be celebrated for their unique gifts and contributions while being their authentic selves.

Kristen holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Peace and Conflict Transformation and spends much of her free time painting with watercolours.

What inspires your creative expression?

My artistic inspirations include poetry by Nayyirah Waheed, and dance choreography by Mia Michaels.

Marissa Hoff – Art Program Director

 

 

Marissa Hoff (she/her) is the Art Program Director at Artbeat Studio, where she oversees the planning and daily operation of their urban arts centre, Studio Central. She acknowledges that creativity can be a vulnerable process, and values the opportunity to house a safe, accessible space where others can experience different forms of art through free workshops and establish a sense of belonging in their community.

With a B.EnvD. from the University Of Manitoba School Of Architecture, Marissa has developed her design education into an appreciation for the social make up of community and a concentration on how arts and culture strengthen the built environment. Within an aspect of social care, Marissa has been involved with working and volunteering at Siloam Mission, as well as multiple fundraising efforts for the MS Society. She is interested in the sense of community and vibrancy present in downtown Winnipeg, and values the individual creation and vitality which art can bring. Marissa practices visual art through paper collage, print layouts, and simple form sculpture.

What inspires your creative expression?

My inspiration stems from an appreciation of identity and space, as well as the exploration of new materials and methods to conceptualize ideas. Sculpturists like Isamu Noguchi, David Umemoto, and collage artist Micheal DeSutter greatly influence my creative process.

James Dixon – Community Projects Coordinator

 

 

James Dixon (he/him) is the Community Projects Coordinator and works closely with alumni while engaging our central community. He is dedicated to creating space for creative growth and forging new partnerships that engage the public with Artbeat Studio's message of hope and recovery.

James is an Indigenous filmmaker and artist based in Winnipeg. With a BA in Film and Indigenous Studies from the University of Manitoba, James’ work revolves around his personal process of decolonization. His films have exhibited widely in Canada, broadcasted on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, and collected by the Alexander Street Press.

James is an accomplished arts educator who has worked with Freeze Frame, the Winnipeg Film Group, and Camp Aurora, providing workshops on film history, documentary film making, and painting for both youths, and adults.  James brings his enthusiasm and creativity to Artbeat Studio, with demonstrated experience and knowledge working within community development, media arts and management. 

What inspires your creative expression?

I’ve always been drawn to the work of Canadian artist William Kurelek, his work is realistic and symbolic, an ongoing search for artistic identity through an idiosyncratic and deeply personal manner.

Holly Enns - Project Assistant

 

 

Holly Enns (she/her) is the Project Assistant at Artbeat Studio and works from our social enterprise, Upbeat Artworks. She engages alumni through capacity building while creating and facilitating new projects to incorporate our community.  

Holly was born in Winnipeg in 1988. In the wake of a boxing injury, she says, “I found that art literally helped bring me back to my senses – it heightens my hearing, sight, and tactile perception. It integrates the flow of information between my head and my body and helps relax my defenses – which is easier said than done,” she adds. Holly describes herself as friendly and energetic, with a good sense of humour. “Art has been, at times, my main reason for living; I see it as play, not work.”

More recently, Holly has decorated leather boots and shoes, spontaneously using them as a cheap canvas and “for the stories they have to tell.” The interior parallel lines characteristic of many of her forms – originally a type of shading – eventually came to convey different emotions depending on the directions in which they were oriented.

What inspires your creative expression?

I think I would have to say it is catharsis; experiencing and witnessing art’s ability to heal and transform myself and others is what inspires me most. 

Please connect with us through email or online on our many platforms:
Artbeat Studio: Facebook and Instagram
Studio Central: Facebook and Instagram
Upbeat Artworks: Instagram