Chloe Bennett has been living in Vancouver since 2008. Originally from Kelowna, she is currently studying landscape architecture at UBC. Her background in arts administration and art history led her to this profession, which marries fine art with environmental awareness. Her final thesis will look at how residents might use garden design for creating habitats for other species through creative expression. As urban populations continue to increase, habitat for animal and insect life continues to decrease. Contact with nature, and other species, may be a vital part of a rich and meaningful existence. Many people feel restless and stressed in urban life, and experiences with nature such as observing life cycles, such as those of the mason bee, can be restorative. Habitat and art, or ‘habitart,’ is fun and enriches the lives of not only the artist, but their neighbours, as well as the surrounding ecosystem. She believes that change starts in your own back yard!
Meaghen Buckley has been a dancer, linguist, data mining analyst, knitter, activist, layabout, and student. She is a graduate of McGill University and is homesick for at least four different places at any given time. Meaghen is a current student in the BFA program at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, with interests in multidisciplinarity, participatory practice, and art therapy. In her spare time, she teaches children to dance at Arts Umbrella. Grow is the first public art project she has been a part of.
Barbara Cole is the founder and Executive Director of Other Sights for Artistsʼ Projects Association, a practicing artist, independent curator, educator, and curatorial consultant in public art. She has led workshops, lectured widely, and published articles on the subject of art in public space. Barbara has worked with a range of artists on public art projects, including Liam Gillick, Ken Lum, Janet Echelman, Fiona Bowie, Renee Van Halm, Carol Sawyer, and Susan Point. Her curatorial projects through Other Sights includes The Games are Open by Köbberling & Kaltwasser (2010), Last Chance by Eric Deis (2010), Vox Pop by Antonia Hirsch (2008) and Marble Infrastructure Project, (co-curated with Patrik Andersson) by Cameron Kerr (2006). She taught sessionally at Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design from 1983 to 1999, recently joined Artspeak Gallery’s board, was a past trustee of the Vancouver Art Gallery and Chair of the Contemporary Art Gallery, and has participated as a jury member for numerous art initiatives.
As a designer, Ocean Dionne’s work evolves from materiality. Wood, clay, wool and plants are the basis for all of her design explorations. Her concern for the long term effects of poor material selection for our built environment focussed her interest in designing plants into our urban ecosystem. Ocean prefers for people to take ownership of the designs she creates with their own opinions. To learn more about Ocean Dionne’s design practice visit her website.
Duane Elverum is Assistant Dean of Curriculum for Foundation, and Assistant Professor in Design at Emily Carr University. He is a sustainability educator with an interdisciplinary practice working in the areas of design thinking, dialogue process, community engagement, transformative education and project–based pedagogy.
He has taught design studio since 1995 in the areas of architecture, sustainability, green design, industrial design, life cycle assessment, furniture design, community service design/build, creative process and foundation. He is also an associate with the Center for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. He received a bachelor’s degree with honours in architecture from the University of British Columbia for his thesis on Sustainable Urban Housing.
His teaching and research examines the ways that universities can prepare students to participate in a life that promises to be somewhat different than the one we are living now. He proposes that universities create immersive project-based, collaborative and dialogic learning models that are trans-disciplinary and oriented toward civil engagement.
This coming spring he will be co-facilitating a Sustainability Education Across the Province workshop in Vancouver, BC. He has crossed the Pacific Oceans in a sailboat 6 times, most recently last summer with OceanGybe’s Global Outreach plastics research expedition.
Maria Keating, B.Sc.(agr.) from the University of Guelph, has been working with insects for the last 16 years. Primarily she works as a Biological Control Consultant for the greenhouse industry. Recently, she has diversified her teachings to gardeners of all kinds, as the “Bug Lady” for City Farmer, the non-profit organization that runs the Compost Hotline.
Alicia Medina Laddaga
Alicia is an architecture and urban designer/researcher based in Vancouver. Alicia is originally from Mexico where she studied and practiced architecture until she moved to Canada to pursue a Masters of Advanced Studies in Architecture at UBC which she recently completed. While trying to bridge the gap between two cultures (Mexico and Canada), Alicia keeps on developing her ideas about the ways in which dynamic and spontaneous processes transform cities into vibrant urban environments.
Nigel Laing is a Canadian photographer working primarily with digital processes. His current work explores the changes taking place in communities across the Canadian Arctic through documentary–based photographs. While working primarily in photography, Laing has also incorporated video, sound and other media in his engagement with various subjects. Laing’s work been highlighted in magazines such as Photo Life Exposures, and showcased at art festivals such as the Works Festival in Edmonton, Alberta. He is also an active member of the Canadian Association of Photographic Art. Currently, Nigel Laing resides in Vancouver, British Columbia for the winter months and spends the fall and autumn months working as an expeditor in the Canadian Arctic. To learn more about Nigel Laing’s work visit his website.
Fabiola Nabil Naguib
Fabiola Nabil Naguib is an internationally active artist, author, and activist. She has contributed to numerous public, gallery and community projects. Naguib’s art, critical essays and poetry have been published in various journals and anthologies such as West Coast Line, Fuse, Yishu and Collision: Interarts Practice and Research (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008). She is the author of Uninhabiting the Violence of Silencing: activations of creativity, ethics, and resistance (Creativity Commons Press, 2007) and was awarded the Usamah Ansari Creative Justice Award in 2010.
Duncan Martin has been living in Vancouver since 2003, when he first moved here from Vermont to go to UBC. After an English degree and some years of teaching, Duncan began drawing on other interests such as design, building, agriculture, and art, to form the fledgling chicken coop business that he now runs at www.DailyEggs.com. It is a work in progress that thrives on educating, connecting, and most importantly, getting people started with a flock of healthy, happy, and productive laying hens. When he’s not building coops, Duncan is either baking bread, mushroom hunting, tinkering, or out and about with family and friends.
Holly Schmidt is a Vancouver artist with a participatory art practice. Her work involves a range of research activities that overlap with the natural sciences, sustainable food systems and agriculture, engaging participants in different modalities such as eco-tours, social dining and growing. Living in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood she has observed the changing landscape of SEFC and has become intrigued by this locale as a site of exploration and experimentation for sustainable practices. Schmidt is a recent graduate of the Master’s program at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and a Governor General’s Gold Medal recipient. She has exhibited nationally at internationally at Cineworks, Vancouver, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, the Computational Aesthetics Conference, Banff Centre, the Visningrommet, Bergen, Norway and MAD Emergent Art Centre, Eindhoven, Netherlands, TEI: Tangible Embedded Computing Conference, MIT Boston.
Rajdeep Singh Gill
Rajdeep Singh Gill is an interdisciplinary scholar, curator, and educator. His research areas and interests include creativity, ethics, cognitive, social, and environmental justice, theories of media, science, and technology, and the intersections of spirituality and socio-political transformation. Rajdeep has served as a Pierre Eliott Trudeau Foundation Scholar at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Curator-in-Residence at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He has taught at UBC, Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the University of the Fraser Valley. Rajdeep is the co-founder and managing editor of Creativity Commons Collective and Press.
Jason draws on a variety of educational and work experiences in his role as sustainable building consultant. With an honours degree in Administration, a diploma in Building Technology and several years working in the building trades, Jason is dedicated to applying his experience to help develop effective green building strategies.
He has volunteered with a number of environmental organizations including the Lighthouse Sustainable Building Centre and is a member of the BC Sustainable Energy Association working to promote renewable sources of energy. Jason has worked on a number of LEED and Living Building Challenge projects and is particularly interested in LEED for Neighbourhood Development, urban design and community based solutions to environmental issues. Despite his fascination with sustainable buildings, technology and urban design, Jason is happiest outside in the woods.