Perri Sparks has been painting and illustrating for over 25 years! Perri received her Liberal Arts Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse and a Master’s Degree in Art as Applied to Medicine from the Johns Hopkins University Medical School. Her illustrious career includes medical illustrator at Stanford’s Medical School in California and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and she served as the Director of Medical Illustration Services at UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas.
Perri’s transition to the fine arts happened when she began attending a local Friday night figure drawing group. There, she developed a love of classical techniques for painting the figure, using both pastels and oils. Over the next 14 years, Perri’s work won multiple awards, attracted gallery attention( including a show at the Comox Valley Art Gallery) and generated an ever growing list of portrait clientele.
In 2005, Perri moved to Quadra Island and her partner, Larry, built an art studio that she continues to use to this day to create art and tour visitors. Perri is a part of the Quadra Island Studio Tour, and a Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists.
Perri continues to accept portrait commissions and plein-air sketching, and has recently begun investigating non-toxic printmaking techniques. She enjoys incorporating the island’s local wildlife and landscape into her prints.
Ellen was born and raised in the small coastal community of Campbell River. As the daughter of a commercial fisherman, she has a long and direct connection with the sea and with nature.
In 2006, after a Fine Art Diploma at Malaspina College (now VIU) and Raku work at North Island College, while balancing career and family, she made the decision to work full time in the studio, and has never looked back.
“When I get my hands into the clay, all is right in my world. Clay is truly a magical material and I have not begun to exhaust the possibilities.”
Her most recent work has focussed on botanical textures and impressions. While working with three dimensional forms Ellen rarely uses a template. She prefers instead to find the shape within each piece of clay, searching for the graceful lines and feminine shapes she is known for.
Her work is sold in BC and Alberta, and has found homes around the world.
The Hobbyist (Tamara Neal)
The Hobbyist is a collection of mindfully made home and body goods, inspired by family-life in the magical, coastal town of Tofino, British Columbia. For Tamara Neale, “every piece represents a thoughtful moment, made to share”.
Tamara has always had a love for creating, starting from when she was a young girl growing up on Vancouver Island. Some of her favourite childhood memories include creating with her two sisters, mother and nana in a house that was always full of strong, creative female energy!
One winter, a few years ago, a very good friend showed her the basics of soap-making and she ran with it! She began making soaps from her kitchen, as a way to focus their energy during the rainy days. Before she knew it, she had organically grown a full-blown business. Every bar of soap, botanical bath bomb, bottle of plant perfume and yummy snack,” she says, “is carefully made — full of love, and as earth friendly as can be.”
Tamara is very grateful to count herself as part of an incredible group of Tofitian female business owners and artisans, who all take home-made to the next level. “Hopefully through the Hobbyist, I’m able to pass down that same passion for crafting to my own daughter.”
Janet Baker Art
Janet loves to create pendants, earrings, bracelets and rings. Each piece has a unique design, texture and colour that is inspired by the beauty around us.
There is beauty in everything: a creek, a stone, the sun, the moon, a tree, a toad, a building, a bridge, a park, a map… Janet’s design ideas are inspired by what she sees around her.
The “Streams and Stones” collection represents the movement of water around rocks with pieces crafted in sterling silver, hand engraved and set with custom bezelled gems or adorned with other metals.
Influenced by an early love of printmaking, primarily block and screen printing, Kiley Granberg’s approach to jewellery captures the clean crisp lines between positive and negative space.
Born in Alberta, Kiley spent much of her adolescence exploring the outdoors and creating art. A deep reverence for the natural world influenced her artistry and eventually led her to Red Deer College to earn a Visual Arts diploma with a focus in printmaking. She subsequently earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Alberta University of the Arts, where she majored in Jewelry and Metals, graduating with distinction.
Under the instruction of Charles Lewton-Brain and other art professionals at AUA, Kiley gleaned valuable skills in both design and execution when creating art jewellery. She was honoured with several student awards in addition to being a finalist in the Niche Jewellery Awards, hosted in Philadelphia, PA.
On Kiley’s first day of Jewellery 101, she was introduced to the work of Joan Irvin. Immediately taken with her precise saw work, Kiley envisioned her own art aesthetic translated into metal. Piercing, a technique using a hand saw and exceptionally fine blades, has become her calling.
Now, with several years of practice refining her skills, Kiley continues to push the limits of her tools and process to produce one-of-a-kind art jewellery out of her studio in Comox, British Columbia.
Forever hungry for adventure, Kiley’s next endeavor will take her across Canada in her vintage travel trailer turned jewellery studio. She aims to continue capturing the fleeting moments of awe found in nature while sharing her experience and technical skill with others.
Lesley Assu – Standing Spruce
I am Lesley Assu, of the Haida nation; local Haida witch, herbalist and mother that trusts in old world medicine, the plants and spirits of the trees. I am also owner & operator of Standing Spruce Farm & Apothecary
Traditionally raised in both Haida Gwaii and in my father’s community of the We Wai Kai, I developed deep roots to the land and sea. My passion of traditional medicine expands outside of the business; it’s my entirety, and is a practice shared with my family and communities. I am a mother to two children; Daala (the rain) and SGaalan (The yellow cedar), I am also an adoring aunt to two nephews: Aliwas and Ember. As I share Standing Spruce with you, I am raising my children and nephews with traditional knowledge and the practice of harvesting medicine. In my life these teachings were learned from my elders; to ensure, we are passing down this knowledge for future generations, I develop my products with sustainability and all of our future in mind .
Plant medicine is an important part of our history; our foundation is built on ancestral knowledge and old world medicine. We believe in magic, and in the importance of mother earth for our health and wellbeing.
The gallery shop carries a range of wildcrafted products and remedies; including but not limited to: skin care, healing oils, balms, candles and soaps.