Get to know our arts instructors!
Enda enjoys unleashing the inner artist in students with her expressionist, loose wet on wet approach to painting watercolours. Generous with her knowledge and experience, Enda makes it fun; encouraging each artist to find their style, using various techniques and strategies for the recovery of a wayward brushstroke. Teaching and coaching mostly watercolours and some acrylics at the beginner and intermediate level, Enda has a strong following of dedicated students. She is an elected signature member of North West Watercolour Society, Society of Canadian Artists and Federation of Canadian Artists. Two of her early abstracts are in the permanent collection of Estonian Art in Exile at KUMU, the national museum of art in the country of her birth, Estonia.
Neil Carroll is a North-Shore based photographer andvideographer who studied photography at Notre Dame College in Glasgow Scotland before coming to Canada in the late 1970's. Neil's experience as a pilot led him to take drone videography as a natural extension of his visual experience. Neil's work with sports videos - in particular with sailing regattas (e.g. Southern Straits) - can be seen on his website at
www.hitecimages.com. However his basic interest and training is in still photography - across the spectrum from darkroom to Lightroom. Neil enjoys teaching and has developed courses for in-class and online
learning in the IT field where he spent the majority of his career. His passions are sailing and the visual arts.
Nancy Ruen-Fen Chen
This leading practitioner is known for her distinctive style of Chinese brush painting that blends traditional and contemporary methods. Nancy is often asked to participate in international competitions in this art form. She teaches courses and workshops throughout the Lower Mainland and abroad. A generous spirit, she fosters a studio atmosphere that is informal yet focused, with demonstrated practice and individual instruction.
Maureen has been a student of art most of her life, learning and creating along the way. She has a Diploma in Therapeutic Recreation and an Associate Degree in Fine Art from Capilano University and studied studio art at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and Kingwood College. Maureen is always looking for opportunities to learn new techniques and evolve her own artistic works. Teaching art is a great joy and pleasure for her and she takes delight in the excitement that her students feel when they have that "aha" moment and are energized to continue painting. Maureen says, “I can't imagine painting without teaching too… they both stimulate the other.”
Known for her exhibits of bold and colourful paintings, Elizabeth teaches watercolour painting at the West Vancouver Community Centre and Music Box. She graduated from the Art in Merchandising program at Langara College and worked as a window display artist for ten years before returning to Langara College. There, she has been a visual presentation instructor in the Display and Design program for seven years.
Ashlee Davidson has a Masters of Education degree specializing in Arts for Social Change, with a discipline in dance and expressive movement. She is currently a student of Dance Movement Therapy and has ten years experience facilitating healing dance and expressive movement classes to a range of populations, including students with special needs. Ashlee grew up practicing, performing and competing in dance, propelling her to teach and perform overseas in Japan. Her passion is to work with all populations, regardless of skill, background, ability, status and age, as dance is a practice inclusively for everyone. Throughout her journey, Ashlee has experienced the quality of depth and spirit that art touches within her soul and inspires others to explore their emotional spirit through the wonderful world of dance.
James started painting at age 10, in children's programs at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He grew up in Richmond; attended as a teenager the programs at the Vancouver School of Art; forerunner for the Emily Carr University. He sketched and painted everything around him as part of his course.
He joined the Royal Canadian Navy in 1953, during the Korean War; and served an apprenticeship in Aircraft Technology. Served 27 years in the Canadian Forces; and left in 1980 to start another career in business management.
While on the east coast, he attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and continued his education in fine arts at every opportunity. He was invited to instruct this group of artists at the West Vancouver Senior's Activity Centre about 8 years ago, and took it on as a volunteer challenge. After many years of instructing in the military plus his curiosity in new tricks in art techniques, it has proven a good fit for him and his fellow artists. Teaching your senior peers is rewarding.
Daryl Fretz is Principal Teacher for all Dramaworks’ classes, having taught alongside the Director since 2014. Her love of working with young students, knowledge and vitality are at the core of our programs. Daryl trained in the Capilano University’s Acting for Stage & Screen Program and has experience working with Arts Umbrella and other musical theatre troupes.
Masoud Habibyan specialized in Art in high school where he studied drawing and anatomy. He would draw over 30 drawings every day for more than 4 years and ended up top in his class. Masoud graduated with a Bachelor of Design and worked as an animation project manager for a couple of years. He has dedicated his whole life to art and is currently a board member of the National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS). One of his paintings has been selected for the NOAPS's Best of America Show (2018) for an exhibition in Cincinnati.
Throughout the years Masoud has been inspired by old masters such as Ilya Repin, Sargent and the French Impressionists. He has studied with Jeremy Lipking and Robert Johnson but over the last few years master artist, Dan Gerhartz has been his greatest influence. Dan has also been a personal mentor to Masoud and under his direction, Masoud’s work grew and developed and his own individual style emerged. He paints his figures in natural settings that evoke a sense of timeless idealism. He also excels as a commission portrait artist who is able to capture the likeness of his subjects perfectly.
Mary Hay has over 17 years’ experience as an art educator. She works with watercolour, acrylic, oils, encaustic, digital collage, drawing and textiles. Curiosity and a thoughtful approach to contemporary visual culture are driving forces behind the engaging surfaces she creates; which fluctuate between abstraction and recognition. Mary earned her BFA and studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, the Ontario College of Art and Design and Sheridan College. Mary’s career in art spans from running a professional fabric design studio, an arts-oriented daycare and the founding Director of artmania, an arts organization that teaches all ages a diverse range of art mediums.
Caitlin Hill is a recent graduate of the UBC opera program who actively performs in musical theater and dance. She shares her love of theatre with students to develop a lifelong appreciation of the arts and is one of the instructors on the Dramaworks staff teaching children at the Music Box studio on the waterfront.
British-born artist Cath Hughes has a BFA in Painting from Oxford University, and an MA in Museum and Gallery Education from the University of London. She has a wide range of art education experience, including working as an educator in some of London’s foremost art galleries including Tate Modern, the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. Her painting practice begins with an engagement with the landscape, but it is less a depiction of a scene than an attempt to explore the relationship we have with the natural world. She has a passion for oil paint and its capabilities, and enjoys exploring both traditional and contemporary processes and techniques.
Rosa Jafari is a freelance designer, Intern Architect, sculptor and artist. Painting and Sculpture has always been an everyday activity of Rosa’s life since childhood. She teaches Art and Science to students at all levels as well as drawing and painting with watercolour, acrylics, oils and pastels at West Van Art Centre (westvanartcentre.com) and West LA Art Center (westlaartcenter.com). Rosa helps students to prepare their portfolios, and also assists university students with computer 3D programs. Rosa immigrated to Canada from Iran in 2002. She holds a BSc. in Applied Chemistry and worked internationally in related industries for many years. Once in British Columbia, she pursued her education in Art and Architecture at the Art Institute of Capilano University in North Vancouver, BC where she received certification in Advanced Sculpture in Bronze and Ceramics. Subsequently, she pursued her Master’s Degree in Architecture, graduating from Southern California Institute of Architecture, LA, CA in 2014.
Danyne Johnston is an award-winning artist that loves the light, rich shadows and colour of local BC forest hiking and Biking Trails. While working Plein air (outside) or in her shared ‘3 Brushes Studio’, she loves painting these beautiful west coast landscapes, beaches and oceans. She also enjoys working with her students as they develop skills and a love of painting as they progress through various projects. Danyne has her work in International collections all over the world and exhibits in over 10 shows a year. She is also an active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the North Shore Artists Guild and is in Vol. 4 of the Artists of BC Book Series.
Sheree was born and raised on the North Shore. Her life-long passion for the arts has led her down many paths. She paints both in her studio and en plein air, choosing to explore her subjects directly from life. Her plein air painting adventures include trips to Spain, Costa Rica, California and many of her favourite Gulf islands. An active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, her work is shown in many national juried shows. Teaching both in oils and acrylics, Sheree’s enthusiastic energy creates a positive and supportive classroom setting.
Vancouver-born Artist Sonia Mocnik is inspired by the outdoors. Her artwork captures colour, light and the relationship they make with the stroke of a paint brush. She explores different techniques and subject matter and works primarily in watercolour, pen and ink and acrylic. Her works are collected internationally in Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, Netherlands and the UK. Sonia is an Active Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists and an avid Plein Air artist, winning awards for her paintings. She instructs individual and group classes, including enrichment programs in watercolour on cruise ships and, presents art demonstrations.
Sarah Moldenhauer has been a professional photographer for over ten years, shooting everything from weddings, families, commercial work and fashion. She has continually taken workshops and courses to be on the top with her skills and creativity. It has always been a passion to share and teach others what she has learned over these years. Sarah has taught the whole continuum from beginners wanting to learn how to use their cameras to private mentorships with advanced photographers. Her intent is always the same, to help anyone interested in taking pictures to improve their photography!
Educated at the University of Tehran with a master's degree in fine arts, Nurieh brings 22 years of university teaching experience to her workshops. With extensive knowledge in the fundamentals of art, Nurieh encourages students to pursue their artistic endeavours. She has been exhibiting locally and internationally since 1984 and is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Tracy Anne Northey
Tracy Anne Northey is an artist, writer and therapist. She holds a Master of Arts degree in anthropology, as well as a Master of Social Work degree. In an effort to balance what was becoming a predominantly left brain and cerebral existence, Tracy Anne began painting and writing several years ago. Her work has been exhibited locally and abroad. Alongside her evolving art, Tracy Anne’s profession as a social worker and psychotherapist increasingly incorporates journaling, art and paying attention to dreams to facilitate healing and a deeper understanding. An enthusiastic group facilitator, Tracy Anne believes the journey towards authentic wholeness is through discovering and honouring the creative self. To quote Marion Woodman: “In our creating, we are created”.
One of Vancouver’s leading actresses and acting teachers, Sarah-Jane has an extensive theatre education and practical experience, and her students benefit from her wealth of knowledge and love of the art. After moving to North Vancouver from Toronto to study acting, she attended the William Davis Centre for Actors and started her own theatre company shortly after. A few years later, she began working in film and television. Since, Sarah-Jane has had her own series, had leading roles in feature films and continues to work and teach today.
Fort Langley painter Janice Robertson is a professional artist who enjoys teaching occasional workshops to students. She honours and respects each student’s own artistic approach. Her artistic career spans more than twenty years. She is currently a member of the Northwest Watercolour Society and is past-president of the Federation of Canadian Artists. Janice has received numerous awards for her work, which is published in several leading art magazines. She is represented by a number of commercial galleries in BC and Alberta.
Shelley has had solo and group juried exhibitions nation-wide, including the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Nickel Museum in Calgary. Her work is in the Fine Arts Collection at the University of Alberta and at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Her professional experience includes working as a courtroom artist. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours majoring in painting in 1995 from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. In 2000, she obtained a master's degree in painting from the University of Alberta in Edmonton.
Nazanin has an abiding love for painting that dates back to her childhood when she first took an interest in making art. Nazanin practices many forms of art, in painting and music. In 1996, she pursued her dream to be a professional painter and has since dedicated her career to the arts. She held her first solo exhibition in 2000, and to this date, has had more than 16 solo and group exhibitions. Nazanin is a member of the Visual Arts Association in Iran, and has a B.A. degree (2003) in Management from Tehran's Azad University, as well an associate degree in music (2005). The passion and interest that she has for painting is a reflection of her family's artistry and the creative environment in which she was raised.
Javid Tabatabaei is passionate about painting, especially watercolor. His education in art started in early childhood and developed to the point where he is now recognized internationally as an accomplished artist and instructor. He has led several professional workshops in China, Italy, Pakistan, Turkey, Japan, and Serbia.
Javid has participated in several watercolour competitions and has had solo exhibitions in Istanbul, Japan, Switzerland and group exhibitions in Russia and Albania. He received the excellence award from the Museum of Kyoto, Japan in 2015 and Meran Pakistan University in 2016.
His experience includes being invited to jury for different international watercolor competitions. Recently, he became a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Amanah Elizabeth Triggs
Amanah Elizabeth began her acting career in theatre, film and television in England at the age of 16. Trained also in dance and singing, she has enjoyed a successful career in the UK, South Africa and Canada. She embraces directing theatre performance, private coaching for auditions, workshops for colour in film storytelling and producing visual art exhibits.