Staff & Board



juliewebJulie Bevan is the Executive Director at Nanaimo Art Gallery, a post she took up in early 2012. Julie has been leading the Gallery through a significant transformation of its programs, spaces, capacity and roles in the community. Before choosing Nanaimo, Julie lived, worked, and studied in Canadian cities including Calgary, Vancouver and Ottawa. Julie has experience as a writer, curator, and educator, and has worked at museums including Glenbow Museum in Calgary, AB, and Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC. She has served on peer advisory committees and juries for BC Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. In 2017, Julie was a fellow at the Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University in California, an opportunity that was supported in part by a Professional Development Award from BC Arts Council. Julie holds a Masters of Arts degree in Art History (Critical and Curatorial Studies) from the University of British Columbia (2006), and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History (2004) from Carleton University in Ottawa. With her partner Chad, Julie is raising two creative and curious children.   


jessecrJesse Birch has worked as a curator, artist, writer and educator. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts Photography) from Emily Carr (2001), and a Masters of Arts degree in Art History (Critical and Curatorial Studies) from the University of British Columbia (2008). In 2007, he was a curatorial fellow at de Appel arts centre in Amsterdam, and was Co-Director/Curator of Access Gallery in Vancouver from 2008 to 2010. Birch maintains an active practice as a writer, and has published in art magazines including C Magazine and fillip. In 2013, he received the Art Writing Award from Ontario Association of Art Galleries for his essay on artist Kika Thorne for the Art Gallery of Windsor. From 2009 to 2013, Birch taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in the Critical and Cultural Studies faculty. Before accepting the position in Nanaimo, Birch was Exhibitions Curator at The Western Front (Vancouver). He has served on the Board of the Or Gallery (Vancouver) and as treasurer of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres.


chriskuderleChris has been with the Gallery since June 2003. She thrives on variety and her years with the Gallery have certainly provided that. Her favourite work things to do are the creative aspects such as working on communications/marketing and growing programs such as TD Artists in the Schools. She holds an honours BA with a double major in English and Theatre. Her interests include photography and writing. Her photographs have graced the covers and insides of many magazines. Her writing especially travel articles have been published by a number of Ontario newspapers. She is currently writing a fiction book and taking lots of photos of inspiring Vancouver Island.



dawnwpcrDawn has been with Nanaimo Art Gallery since 2011, first as a volunteer then as a casual. Formerly an orthodontic assistant, she returned to school to graduate with a BA in Fine Art (Visual) and Anthropology in 2004. Dawn also brings over 10 years of customer service and sales experience to the position of Visitor Services Coordinator. Her interest in the arts includes training in piano, voice and dance and she currently sings with a local choir.  



yvonnecr2Yvonne Vander Kooi has lived and worked as an artist and educator on Vancouver Island for the past 20 years. Originally from Ontario, Yvonne holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and has continued her studies here and in Toronto. She served on the Board of Directors at the Nanaimo Art Gallery when she first came to the island and has been an active member of the Nanaimo art scene for many years. In recent years, Yvonne has led numerous community public art projects including the painting of large- scale murals and delivering innovative art programming in a variety of settings.


13466017 10154241916453431 8450230751278878694 n Amber is an emerging artist and writer. She is attending Vancouver Island University for her BA in Visual Art and Creative Writing and has won awards in Painting (2013), Art History (2014), and Sculpture (2016), and was published in Portal Literary Magazine (2016). 





Jennifer started as a volunteer with Nanaimo Art Gallery in 2006. She has since joined the gallery as an employee and still volunteers. Jen has over ten years experience in clerical administration as well as assistant managerial experience. A writer and poet, she has been published in Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Synergy Magazine, Bard's Ink, and had her work showcased on various online publications. In the past Jen has assisted with the editing of some gallery publications. She also took part in NAG's 2014 exhibition Ekphrasis: Writing the Collection


Sean Gallagher2 broI am a Canadian visual artist currently living in Nanaimo. I studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, and completed my undergrad and master of fine arts at the UdK (University of the Arts) in Berlin, Germany. Art is not only a means of self-expression and self-knowledge but also a powerful tool for social cohesion and change.



Copper West Portraits-3Arlene is proud and honoured to belong to the Ganhada (Raven) family of the Kitsumkalum (People of the Robin) community within the Tsimshian Nation and grateful to live, work, and play in Snuneymuxw, Snanawwas, and Nanoose. The rich and vibrant philosophies and practices of her Tsimshian culture, as well as other Indigenous communities she has had the honour to work with, inspire her commitment to share with all Canadians better understandings of Indigenous Nations in Canada. Arlene is passionate about art, languages and learning and will share an Indigenous greeting when you meet her!



IMG 5140Emma Sise recently completed her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal with a major in Fibres and Material Practices and a minor in Art History. An interest in inclusivity and learning through play in the gallery space has led her toward making works and curating shows that underline tactility, performance, and the lived experiences of objects. As a member and co-director of the Concordia Fibres Student Association, she organized and curated multiple exhibitions, and workshops on traditional and experimental textile techniques. Sise's practice encompasses a studio-practice, curation, writing and publications, and performance. Her work is also informed by a recent interest in permaculture. 



Marie-EganA comprehensive training program and 8 years of continuous education for docent-led exhibition tours at the Vancouver Art Gallery enhanced Marie's passion for art. Subsequent years as a docent at Nanaimo Art Gallery has been enriching and stimulating, meeting interesting people on staff and during tours. Marie's first involvement with the Gallery was an E.J. Hughes exhibition in 2009 so his work has a special significance for her.




Deborah ZorkincrDeborah was born and raised in Nanaimo. She studied in Vancouver and Victoria, lived in Europe and South America returning to Canada to have her children. She moved back to Nanaimo in 1985 and worked alongside her father in Real Estate and Development for over 20 years. Currently, she has her own consulting business for mediation and conflict management. Deborah has been actively involved in downtown Nanaimo for the past 15 years with the Vancouver Island Symphony Boards, Downtown Nanaimo Partnership and now the Nanaimo Art Gallery board. Deborah has a great interest in art and enjoys painting, mostly with her grandchildren. 




Sarah Casual HeadshotRaised in Port Alberni and Victoria, Sarah knows Vancouver Island well.  In 2002, after completing her Associate’s Degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management, she completed the TESOL certification to teach English in Taiwan and travel throughout Asia. In 2005, Sarah returned to Victoria to work with a Destination & Event Management Company (DMC) where she got a taste for the Meetings & Incentive Travel (M&IT) Industry. In 2008, she launched SEL Conference Services, and as the Principal and Managing Director, has been designing and producing meetings and fundraisers across Canada, most recently working with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada to plan and execute the Festival of Architecture in Nanaimo in 2016. Sarah has over 15 years of board experience, having volunteered for Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, the Island Professional Event Network (formerly the Vancouver Island Meeting Planners and Suppliers), and the Centre for Arts Nanaimo. Sarah is passionate about projects that benefit our community. She is an entrepreneur, a mother of two happy children, an avid reader and gardener, and a health and exercise enthusiast. She is currently pursuing a Fitness Instructor Certification, as well as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) designation through the Events Industry Council. Sarah speaks French and basic Mandarin and looks forward to learning more languages, having come to know that the best cultural insights come through language. 


Caroline webCaroline attended Vancouver Island University (then Malaspina University College) where she obtained her Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a focus in Management. Since, Caroline obtained her Mortgage Broker's license from UBC's Sauder School of Business and is now an owner of Fitzwilliam Mortgage Corp. As a long-time resident, Caroline knows Nanaimo's challenges and opportunities. Her volunteer work is a testament to her dedication to building a bright and sustainable future for our community. She is currently the Vice President of VIU's Alumni Association and was previously on the Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association Board of Directors. She is also on the executive of the Bayview Elementary School PAC. Caroline believes that education is crucial to Nanaimo's future and that arts and culture are a key part of that. Caroline lives in the South End of Nanaimo with her husband, son, and her black lab cross. She spends her free time hiking, camping, gardening and growing her own food. She is a self-proclaimed "newbie" to the art world but loves to challenge herself by stepping outside of her comfort zone and is excited to share her unique perspective to contribute to the continued growth of the Gallery.   


FullSizeRender 3Ian Gove is a lawyer and documentary filmmaker based in Nanaimo, BC. Ian's solicitor practice with Heath Law LLP focuses on business, real estate, and estate planning. Ian is an avid cyclist and outdoorsman, including two extended tours where he cycled from BC to Mexico and then BC to Newfoundland. Ian produces short documentary films focused primarily on vignettes of interesting people doing unique things to make the world a better a place. Ian is a former board member of the Pedal Society, a non-profit society that oversees several bicycle related projects in the Vancouver area. 




tonymTony graduated from St. Martin's School of Art (London) with a National Diploma of Design and attended Alberta College of Art (Calgary) as a Post Graduate in Painting.

Tony has exhibited his work in Switzerland, Germany, Vancouver, Calgary, and Vancouver Island. As Curator/Director of the Comox Valley Art Gallery (CVAG) from 1991 to 2010 Tony was a lead player in the 2005 founding of the new art gallery in downtown Courtenay. Other professional achievements include curating for Artropolis, Vancouver, and for BC Festival of the Arts in Prince George as a mentor. Tony was twice a juror for the BC Achievement Awards and has programmed some of Canada's leading contemporary artists at CVAG. Since 2010 Tony has had his studio in Nanaimo. 


Heather PastrocrHeather Pastro is a Professor of Art Education and the Coordinator of the Post Baccalaureate Degree Program in the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University. She teaches Art Education methodology courses, supervises pre-service teachers, and is an active member of the VIU Senate. Heather holds an MA in Leadership and Curriculum from San Diego State University and a B. Ed. from the University of British Columbia.

Heather is an active executive member of the B.C. Art Teacher’s Association as well as a member of both the Canadian Society for Education through Art and the National Art Education Association. She has received recognition awards from the CSEA and the NAEA for her contributions to art education. Her current research is in the area of Visual Literacy, as Heather strongly believes that creativity and literacy are critical components of a well-rounded education. Although teaching art requires much of her energy, Heather makes time to work in her own studio with a variety of media, and feels that through teaching art and making art, she is in her element.


cheryleAs a Professional Conservator, owner operator of Conserv-Arte Fine Art Conservation Services, Ms. Harrison has a post-Graduate degree in Conservation with Distinction and a comprehensive art history & humanities background. Her expertise includes consulting services for preventative care, project management, collection surveys and assessments for museums, galleries, heritage facilities, regional associations, private, corporate, and government collections.

Cheryle works with contemporary and traditional paintings, mixed media, murals, public art, decorative art, sculpture, heritage projects & collections care. Many projects originate from around the world, and even include a notable Nanaimo project, the E.J. Hughes Malaspina Mural  featured in its own gallery in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. She is dedicated to promoting public communication and knowledge of our artistic and cultural heritage through a conservation & preservation lens. "By understanding the life of art, our art & lives engender more value."    


Ken HammerWith a personal practice of lifetime learning, Ken has devoted himself to an attitude of always being curious. Currently, he is a Nanaimo Realtor with RE/MAX of Nanaimo. He loves to serve, and with a 17-year career as a professor at Vancouver Island University, he has a unique combination of business, teaching and community experience. Ken has served numerous small businesses and individual entrepreneurs through his leadership and management development company, and through Startup Nanaimo. He has served his local community and international community through his involvement with various community groups including the Nanaimo Child Development Centre and Nanaimo Daybreak Rotary. Because of his work, there is a high school in Ghana named after him.



Sign up to receive our newsletter.

Contact Us

150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G6
Tue - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm to 12/23/17 reopens 01/4/18, Sun: 12 -5 pm Spring to 12/10/17



You are here: Home About Staff & Board