Board of Directors

SHABNAM AFRAND
CHAIR, ARTIST BOARD MEMBER

Shabnam Afrand is a multi-disciplinary visual artist and educator, born and educated in Tehran, Iran.  She taught in the faculty of Fine Arts at Azad University from 2003 to 2010. Shabnam moved to Canada in 2013 and since then has been based in Toronto. Shabnam’s themes relate to power, the intersection of personal and collective memory, relocation, and fragility through various bodies of work. In 2017 and 2018, Shabnam was a recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s RBC Arts Access Fund.  She recently received the Toronto Arts Foundation RBC Space Award and was the grant recipient of the Toronto Arts Council Newcomer Refugee Artist Mentorship Program.

JOE BOROWIEC
ASSOCIATE MEMBER

Joe Borowiec is a retired civil servant with a bachelor’s degree in urban planning and an MBA. He has had a life-long interest in visual art and admires the technique of printmaking and the tactile product produced by the interplay of a medium and ink. Joe wants to contribute his experience in city planning, budgeting, board recruitment and corporate governance to the arts community in Toronto. He is excited by the opportunity to be part of a long-standing
organization serving practitioners of a historic medium.

KESTIN CORNWALL
ASSOCIATE BOARD MEMBER

Kestin Cornwall grew up in the Windsor, Ontario area. He spent much of his youth in Detroit, Michigan, with his family. Over the past ten years, Cornwall has focused on creating relevant, progressive art. Cornwall explores culture and humanity’s relationship with beauty, sex, nature and a long history of cultivation. In addition, Cornwall uses images to explore the notion that culture, entertainment, including film and other media, shape the mass public perception of Black people and people of colour in North American society. Each piece depicts an analysis of our obsession with beauty, age and change. Kestin Cornwall lives and works in Toronto.

ANDREA DEBRUIJN
ARTIST BOARD MEMBER

Andrea deBruijn has been hooked on printmaking for over ten years. She earned her BFA with a concentration in print media from Concordia University and was selected for the 2014-2015 Studio Practicum in printmaking at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Andrea joined Open Studio in 2018 as an artist member and began serving on the Board of Directors in 2020. Her ongoing print projects combine woodcut, monotype, and installation processes to explore ideas of home and belonging. When she’s not at the studio, Andrea enjoys riding her bike or getting to know a new place on foot. She currently lives in Sackville, New Brunswick, where she works as the Printmaking Technician at Mount Allison University.

ALYSA-BETH ENGEL
ARTIST BOARD MEMBER

Alysa-Beth Engel is a visual artist, writer, and Board Member of Open Studio Contemporary Artist Centre, where she first joined in 1995. Alysa was Open Studio’s Print Sales Manager and Archivist from 1996 – 2002. Previously, Alysa earned her printmaking BFA at Queen’s, where she was the Studio Technician. Alysa learned intaglio at the Santa Reparata Studio in Florence (Emily Carr), worked at Sotheby’s (London, UK), swam with crocodiles in Australia and piranhas in the Amazon. Alysa trekked solo in the Himalayas, and summited Mount Kilimanjaro. Her work is informed by Jewish identity, the rise in antisemitism, and her thirty-year yoga and meditation practice. Her art is included in corporate, public, and private collections nationally and abroad.

LAURA GRIER
ARTIST BOARD MEMBER

Laura Grier is a Délı̨nę First Nations artist and printmaker born in Somba Ké (Yellowknife) and currently based out of Tkaronto. Through traditional print media, they instrumentalize the power of the handmade to explore language, culture, ecology, and Indigeneity. Responding to their urban Dene experiences, Laura’s work is inspired by the dynamism of Indigenous art practices, using printmaking as a tool for resistance and refusal. They hold a BFA from NSCAD University, an MFA from OCAD University, and currently is a York University Ph.D. candidate in Visual Arts.

TEJASHRI (TJ) KAPURE
ASSOCIATE BOARD MEMBER

Tejashri (TJ) Kapure is an interdisciplinary designer who combines strategic thinking, creativity and craft to design better experiences that help brands connect with their audiences. A practicing designer, creative director and occasional printmaker, TJ has been involved with Open Studio since 2012. She has designed marketing material for Open Studio’s various fundraising initiatives as well as Open Studio’s current brand while she worked at q30 design. With strong roots in branding and digital design, TJ is currently pursuing a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCADU.

KATHLEEN LEW
ARTIST BOARD MEMBER

Kathleen Lew is an arts professional and Associate Curator, Public Programs & Learning at Myseum of Toronto. She has worked at Myseum for over three years, shaping dynamic programming that explores the city’s past, present, and future. Kathleen holds a Master’s of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. She has volunteered at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto’s Feminist Art Collective, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. She is looking forward to bringing her programming experience and love for the arts to the Open Studio Board during this exciting new chapter.

ALEKSANDRA SALOMON
ASSOCIATE BOARD MEMBER

Aleksandra Salomon was born and raised in Poland. She left her homeland at 25 and emigrated to Ireland and then a few years later to Canada. She holds an MA degree in psychology from the University of Szczecin, Poland and is currently finalizing a CPA designation. Aleksandra has over ten years of Canadian experience as an accounting and finances professional, working in a broad range of industries with a focus on commercial real estate, land development, and transportation.

Aleksandra is an enthusiastic admirer of printmaking as an art form. Aleksandra will be the incoming Treasurer for Open Studio.

EMMA JULIETTE SHERLAND
ARTIST BOARD MEMBER

Emma Juliette is an emerging bi-racial artist based in Mississauga, Ontario. Her work is focused on processing her own negative experiences with violence and mental health issues through art-making, specifically on photographic and printmaking processes. She graduated in 2020 from Art and Art History, a joint program between the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College. Since then, she has founded The Take Action Gallery, an online gallery for current students of the Art and Art History program and has established a presence with the community.