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 and marketing and growing our programs. 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). Amber's role is partially funded by the Canada Summer Jobs Program.    




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


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!




Emma Metcalfe Hurst is a multi-disciplinary arts practitioner and facilitator. Born and raised in Vancouver, BC on unceded Coast Salish territory, she holds a BFA in Critical & Cultural Practices with a Minor in Curatorial Studies from Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2016). Prior to moving to Nanaimo for the position at Curatorial Intern at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, she was the Curatorial Assistant at Access Gallery in 2015 and was an original member and co-founder of the gallery, studio, and project space, Avenue (2013-2015) in East Vancouver. Currently, in addition to working on a variety of small projects, Metcalfe Hurst is co-cordinator of LIT LIT LIT LIT; a bi-monthly literary reading and podcast series that invites artists, poets, and writers to consider the performative aspects and social implications of reading their own work aloud to an audience.


IMG 4515Maggie Hinbest is an emerging artist who was born and raised in Nanaimo. She is currently a student at Vancouver Island University, working towards a BA with a major in Visual Arts, where she has received awards in Watercolour Painting (2017) and Art History (2017). Before starting at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Maggie was a Gallery Assistant at VIU’s View Gallery, and a Program Assistant at the Nanaimo Arts Council. Maggie's role is partially funded by the Canada Summer Jobs Program. 


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, Downtwon Nanaimo Partnership and now the Nanaimo Art Gallery board. Deborah has a great interest in art and enjoys painting, mostly with her grandchildren. 






Brock DykemanCR2Brock was born in Saskatchewan and raised in British Columbia.  He attended the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan obtaining degrees in Economics and Accounting.  He became a Chartered Accountant and specialized in corporate taxation.  He eventually became an accounting instructor at Thompson Rivers University and over time took over more administrative roles at the university.  He moved to Nanaimo and Vancouver Island University and Nanaimo in 2006 where he is the Director of the Master of Business Program at VIU.  He joined the Art Gallery board in 2013 and is also on the VIU Foundation board.  He is keen to support the increase in cultural amenities in Nanaimo and on Vancouver Island.



mark ashbyMark Ashby is an architect based in Nanaimo, BC, and an active member of the art and design community. His artistic practice explores the phenomenology of place through design. Sometimes physical, sometimes economic or historical, each place is shaped uniquely by its own set of forces. Using material and form, his work creates coherence, bringing viewers to a richer understanding of their context.

Mark graduated from the University of Waterloo, Environmental Studies in 1996 and from the University of British Columbia, School of Architecture in 2004. Mark has acted as studio mentor for the RAIC Syllabus program and has been invited to student reviews at Illinois Institute of Technology, University of Illinois in Chicago, at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and at UBC School of Architecture. Mark has lectured on “Collaboration in Design” at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and has exhibited work in the “Illuminate Yaletown” festival, the Vancouver Convention Centre and at Pecha Kucha Night in Vancouver. 



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."   







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