This page recognizes the contributions and expertise of the individuals who helped grow Mississauga’s public art collections in 2023.
Ai, born Aimua, merges a Canadian upbringing with a Nigerian adulthood, infusing diverse influences into his art exploring identity and the human experience. Initiating his artistic journey at three, drawing patterns with twigs, Ai’s classical European training evolved into a personalized narrative, liberating him from realism-centric constraints. His portfolio encompasses sculpture, product design, poetry, and more, transcending traditional spaces to engage with society through brand collaborations, digital interventions, and sustainability initiatives.
Transitioning from a successful career in advertising to prioritize his art and product design, Ai aspires to impact the public sphere. Currently conceptualizing an innovation and art studio in Ontario, Canada, he aims to harness immigrant perspectives to address societal challenges, presenting art as a vital tool for meaningful exploration of consciousness and societal placement.
Ann is the owner and creative director of Pixie Blue Studio in Port Credit; offering art curation, photography and content creation for social media marketing. Ann also facilitates and teaches weekly art classes to individuals with intellectual disabilities as a form of creative wellness. With Ann’s varied interest in the arts, she enjoys participating in art selection committees that work together to provide insight and feedback on public art projects in support of artists in local communities.
Ann pursues her own artistic endeavours including writing, music and painting. Her main creative outlet is photography; she is inspired by the concept of visual storytelling through street, nature and travel photography. Ann was vice-chair of the Port Credit BIA and is co-creator of the Port Credit Arts Collective.
Ashley Beerdat is a visual artist, muralist and arts educator based in the GTA. She has a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Western University and is currently completing her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. She is a recipient of the SSHRC fellowship and a sessional instructor at the University of Waterloo. Her work is held in Mississauga’s permanent corporate art collection and has been exhibited at the Small Arms Inspection Building, Latitude 53, and The Artist Project.
Audrina Stewart is a visual arts student at Cawthra Park Secondary School. Her mediums include acrylic, watercolour, coloured pencils, and digital art. She is passionate about public art, design and the environment.
She believes in advocating for the needs of youth in public art selection committees. She enjoys working with members of the community and attending community engagement events and public consultation sessions for development citywide. She is always wondering what opportunities youth artists have to reimagine public art for various spaces where development is happening. She is open-minded when it comes to different art pieces and how to utilize space and planning in cities; and engaged in conversations about race and space and why representation matters in the environment, especially in cultural planning.
She is a volunteer at the Small Arms Inspection Building.
Daniel Maluka is a Toronto-based artist and writer hailing from South Africa. His work takes an Afrocentric approach while incorporating surrealist elements to bring what lurks in the deep recesses of the mind into the forefront of his work.
Deborah Wang (MFA, M.Arch, OAA) is a Taiwanese Canadian curator and architect based in Toronto, with a broad range of experiences in contemporary art, design and architecture that spans two decades. As Artistic Director of DesignTO, she has experience building and running a non-profit arts organization that produces Canada’s leading and largest annual design festival, while curating numerous public programs and exhibitions for DesignTO and independently. As a community leader and design expert, she has been interviewed by The Globe and Mail and Monocle Radio, and profiled in Azure Magazine. Alongside her curatorial work, Deborah recently launched her own architecture and design studio dw /a.
Devon Ross is a visual artist who specializes in painting, photography and drawing, and is a 2015 graduate of the Visual & Digital Arts program at Humber College. He has participated in many art exhibitions throughout college and now outside of college, and also has some experience with painting competitions.
He prefers to work with a range of analog mediums, from graphite on paper to acrylic on canvas, varying in subject matter.
Devon has been working very hard on managing his small business of freelance art and photography.
Glodeane Brown is an arts and culture writer, an arts management professional with experience in contemporary public art and visual arts related project coordination, and a curator. Glodeane is a Mississauga resident and is the founder and editor of Culture Fancier, an arts and culture blog she started in 2016 to educate, entertain, and inspire. She has juried art competitions for local businesses, for Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Art on the Street in Guelph, Stratford BIA, and for CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum – Kitchener and Area). Glodeane believes that public art plays a crucial role in fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Taking art out of the gallery and museum space and placing it in public space makes it accessible to everyone and enhances the urban environment
Gloria C Swain (she/her) is a Toronto based multi-disciplinary artist, curator, and writer whose art practice includes abstract paintings, performance, and photography. Her practice centres around storytelling and advocating for anti-Black racism, violence against women and Trans people, mental health, senior’s rights, and ageism.
Her work has shown in Toronto, Manitoba, Montreal, New York and Kingston, Ontario. Her writings have been published in Cultivate Feminism, Marvellous Grounds, the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Shades of Noir Journals and CBC Arts. Her works have been commissioned by Pride Toronto office and is part of The Wedge Collection, Toronto.
Greg is an architect with Diamond Schmitt Architects, Toronto. He is dedicated to advancing the firm’s mission of designing to transcend, particularly within the firm’s healthcare and community centre portfolio. Joining the firm in 1988, he has been responsible for many of the firm’s most complex and ambitious building projects, including Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, which won the 2016 Governor General of Canada’s Medal in Architecture.
Community centres are significant public spaces designed to enable healthy living, promote wellness and prevent illness – they are also places for simply having fun. Designing social spaces for wellness and prevention is complementary to Greg’s interest in designing complex spaces for treatment and care.
Jennifer Cortez is a creative, business, and higher education professional, formally educated in design, graphic design, fashion business, and has a Master of Arts Degree in Higher Education, Administration and Leadership from Royal Roads University.
Jennifer has been a resident of Mississauga for over 30 years and has a deep love and appreciation for the arts, including visual arts, music, dance, and fashion.
Jennifer is a Professor at Humber College for the Faculty of Business, and Faculty of Media and Creative Arts, and most recently at Sheridan College for the Pilon School of Business.
With over 19 years working in art direction and graphic design, Jennifer has had her creative work published in popular fashion magazines, product packaging, signage for retail stores, and more.
Kyla Radoja is a public art consultant and multidisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Kyla’s passions for art, design and connecting public spaces with the community’s experiences are united fully in her role.
Prior to this, Kyla was an Interior Architect in her hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Kyla has since travelled and lived around the world and moved to Canada over a decade ago. Within Toronto, Kyla has gained rich experiences in event planning, production management, and art curation at Nuvango Gallery and Notion Manufacturing, before moving further into the public art management realm at Artscape Atelier from July 2020 until August 2023.
Kyla also exhibits her artworks in galleries throughout the city, including large-scale public art Installations and spends as much time walking in nature and urban exploring as her feet will take her. Art was the foundation that allowed Kyla to feel like part of the community and the City on her journey to becoming a resident and now a citizen of Canada; it is a connector of people from a variety of cultures, languages and backgrounds.
When artists are part of the fabric of the environment, the community’s experiences thrive.
Leeay Aikawa (B. Japan) lives and works in Toronto/T’karonto. She received her MFA in the Interdisciplinary master’s in art (2021) and BDes in Illustration (2009) both from OCAD University. After working as an illustrator for over a decade, she became a yoga teacher and her desire to pursue spiritual wellbeing through fine arts became stronger.
Her artistic practice thus deals with the means of healing and exploration of an archetypal language that bridges race, culture, age, class, gender, past, present and future in the face of an increasingly divisive time. Never settling on one particular medium or style, she tends to work with found objects, seasons, and place-based materials to respond from the here and now with her utmost playful awareness.
Lorraine Tuson believes life is about taking on new challenges. She is an award-winning art director, designer, artist, and illustrator. She has also shares her unique experience in art and design as an educator. Working with brands including Ford, Delta Airlines, Conde Nast Traveler, Rosemount Estates and Mondavi Wines, she has honed an illustration and design approach that is informed by history, ideas, and an intuitive use of media and materials.
Her latest evolution, creating work using a variety of natural materials, exemplifies a deep respect for the handmade, a passion for surface design and curiosity paired with a love of experimentation. Her cushions, jewelry, handbags, wallpaper, art and rugs combine the geometric with the painterly and celebrate a diverse modern aesthetic for the spaces we live in and the products we use. Art for living.
Michael Barker is a landscape architect and artist. He has a BLA from University of Guelph and a MLA from University of Toronto. His art projects include installation work as well as abstract painting. Barker is a Principal at SHIFT Landscape Architecture, an office of 7 people which he started in 2010. SHIFT’s work is generally positioned at the intersection of landscape, ecology and art. Previously, Michael was a sessional instructor at the University of Guelph, University of Waterloo and Georgian College. He has been a member of the City of Guelph’s Public Art Advisory Committee as Vice Chair and a member of the art jury for a public art installation project. He is also a past member of the City of London and the City of Burlington’s Urban Design Review Panels.
Michael Belmore employs a variety of materials and processes that may seem disjointed, yet, the reality is that together his work and processes speak about the environment, about land, about water, and what it is to be Anishinaabe. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design, he completed his Masters of Fine Art at the University of Ottawa in 2019.
Practicing for over 30 years, Belmore is an internationally recognized artist and is represented in the permanent collections of various institutions including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Museum of the American Indian – Smithsonian Institute. His exhibitions include: Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON, Shapeshifting: Transformations in Native American Art at the Peabody Essex in Salem, MA and Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3, Museum of Arts & Design, New York, NY.
Norwin Anne is a Filipinx multidisciplinary artist / designer, (re)maker and eco-culture communicator. They studied Fashion Techniques & Design at George Brown College with a waste conscious approach and slow fashion mentality. Primarily working with secondhand materials, they started focusing on textile waste as a research study during school which evolved into learning more about waste generally to understand its environmental impacts and beyond. They want to continue developing their ideas and merge their knowledge of fashion with other subjects by creating wearable art and installations to visually translate complex topics through culture jamming. They always prioritize using discarded materials and found objects in their work, they’re dedicated to this kind of art-making and enjoy the intuitive process of creating conceptual or functional things from what’s seen as useless — it initiates this challenge of exploring different alternatives and they try their best to avoid using new items as much as possible.
Rachel Tham is a trained illustrator and a practising designer bringing small businesses to life through print and digital spaces, concept design and combining illustration and design together. Passionate about making an impact within the community, Rachel strives to include people outside the design world by creating projects that are experimental, fun and answer questions. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Design in Illustration from OCADU and currently resides in Mississauga.
Sandy Leluk graduated from the University of Toronto and licenced as a pharmacist, she has spent past decades in community-based practice in the GTA.
Sandy has served in the volunteer capacity as President of two non-profit skating clubs. As the current President of Mississauga Skating Club whose home base has been the Tomken Twin Arenas since its original construction, she is a proud representative of our community. Her passion for the skating world has also included her participation in the Skate Canada programs as an adult skater.
Supportive of the arts, Sandy enjoys such venues as ballet, symphony, opera and live theatre. Artistic interests lead to further education in acrylic painting and introductions to various drawing mediums and to dabble in photography.
Theodore Walker Robinson (they/them) is a Black, low-vision, hard-of-hearing, nonbinary broadcaster, scholar and multi-disciplinary artist. Theodore was born to parents of Maroon Jamaican and Afro-Chinese Trinidandian descent who settled in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the early 1970s. They are a creative consultant based in Toronto and Executive Director of Lakeshore Arts in South Etobicoke. As a consultant, Theodore focuses on providing recommendations to arts and culture agencies on accessibility for people with disabilities based on lived experience. They are a regular host on the Luminato Festival Toronto’s Radio LUMI and an ambassador for Brampton Arts Organization. As a singer, Theodore researches and explores transgender voices in Jazz applications.
Sima Naseem is a Pakistani-Canadian mixed media artist and filmmaker whose artistic approach encompasses animation, illustration, and public art. Her creative endeavours incorporate elements of character, nature, and movement. Her narratives, conveyed through vibrant colours and playful designs, positively impact her community, promoting inclusivity, exploration, and environmental awareness.
As an Honours Bachelor of Animation graduate at Sheridan College (2023), Naseem’s stop-motion animated films have garnered recognition at prestigious events such as the Ottawa International Film Festival, MIFF and Stop Motion Montreal. Her work is also prominently featured on numerous large-scale murals across the GTA. Her dedication to sharing cultural and personal expressions drives her ongoing quest to create innovative artistic forms, evident in her contributions to film, murals, and mixed media projects.
Steven Barr is the Director of Development for Urban Capital, a private equity real estate development company behind the ground-breaking M City master planned community in Mississauga’s city centre, as well as other award-winning mixed-use developments in the GTA and across Canada. Steven brings hands-on experience working with artists, municipalities, selection committees, and stake holders in overseeing public art commissions from procurement to final delivery. He is a proud supporter of Canadian contemporary art, and in particular the Inuit art practice of Cape Dorset.
Wandy Cheng is an artist from Hong Kong whose work is expressed through illustration, ceramics, paper-cut and public art. Inspired by memories of lived experiences, architectures, and environments, she helps businesses create a memorable presence in their communities by translating conceptual ideas into vibrant visuals. She has experience coordinating and facilitating collaborative workshops to bring meaningful installations to life. In recent years, her illustration can be seen on the streets of Toronto and within pages of international publications.
Zarmina Rafi is a Pakistani-Canadian public arts curator, writer and editor. Rafi has worked in Mississauga, Berlin, Lahore and Dubai. She was Assistant Curator of the first, and second Lahore Biennales held in Pakistan in 2018, and in 2020. From 2012 on, Rafi has been on various juries for literature and the visual arts, in Canada and abroad, and is the recipient of several fellowships as a writer.