Haley Bassett

This project was awarded the Opus Art Supplies Graduation Award (BFA), and received an Honourable Mention for the Vancouver Art Attack Award

Haley Bassett is a Métis and Austrian-Russian visual and social practice artist from Dawson Creek, BC. She was born in 1991 to cattle-rancher parents, and now lives and works in Sunset Prairie, BC. She completed her BFA in Visual Art from Emily Carr University, minoring in Social Practice and Community Engagement in May 2020.

As part of her social practice, Bassett founded the Northern Arts – Community Development Program in 2019, in partnership with the Dawson Creek Art Gallery. This program is designed to alleviate barriers to artistic professional development in the Peace Region. As part of this program she writes a weekly arts column, teaches and organizes workshops, as well as curates and organizes art exhibitions in public venues.

Bassett started out as a painter; however, her practice is now focused on sculpture and social practice. Her visual work explores how time, place, family histories and personal traumas converge as formational aspects of the self. She use floral motifs and natural materials, including dried and fresh flowers, to create these coded narratives by drawing on the Victorian tradition of floriography (the language of flowers), the cultural significance of certain plants as well as her personal associations with them. Much of Bassett’s work celebrates the culture and landscape of the Peace Region, and she hopes to make a positive impact on northern communities by representing them authentically in her work.

Website: https://haley-bassett.format.com/

Instagram: @haley.bassett

Zoe Mandell | Surfacing

Looking In


Why do I paint myself?

Because I do not understand myself.
And the action of creating self-portraits is a form of research more than anything else.


Why do I paint myself?

Because the image you see is not me. It is a representation that other people associate with me, but my relationship with myself is made up of colours and smells and sounds and textures … A picture of my painting palette is a much truer self-portrait as far as I’m concerned, as it captures a moment in which I am the freest.

Living Waters | מים חיים

I’ve fallen in love with a surface before
whether expertly placed or haphazardly smeared
If they really knew who we were underneath
Would it tear us apart?
Would it be as we feared?


Looking Up

LEARNING TO SEE  |  a photographic journey through Israel

“Surfacing” is a personal artistic exploration through painting, drawing, and photography to experiment with light and colour and water. Zoe is a multidisciplinary artist mainly focusing in oil paint as well as multiple mediums to convey her visual method of storytelling. In her paintings, drawings, and photos, her ideas manifest in bright colours, bold shapes, and unconventional contemporary portraiture. Her self-portraits explore a story of interpersonal self-discovery through colours and textures. While studying abroad at Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, Israel last year, she focused her skills in photography and used this as a stepping stone to grow and evolve her painting practice. She learned to search for the “unseen” elements in her photos to transport viewers to new realms of visual thought. This project connects pieces from multiple years of work to create a conversation between surface and substance, all exploring a tie between reality and fantasy.

Zoe Mandell

Contact: bazikem96@gmail.com

Mobile: 604.999.0714

Zoe Mandell grew up between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean in beautiful Vancouver, Canada. She is an artist, a storyteller, and a dreamer, though laughing is by far her favourite hobby. When she’s not busy drawing, writing, teaching kids, or making music, you might find her hiking a mountain, or perhaps painting one. Since completing her bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts at Emily Carr University, her hope is to build a solo painting career and make the world a little better in the process.

Vivien Elizabeth Armour | Carnival, Folklore and Catharsis

This project received an Honourable Mention for the Landon Mackenzie Graduation Award for Visual Arts

About Vivien

Vivien Elizabeth Armour is a multidisciplinary artist from Trinidad & Tobago. Over the last ten years Vivien has achieved degrees in Theatre from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Film Production from New York Film Academy and Vancouver Film School, and most recently a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art & Design, majoring in Visual Arts with a minor in Social Practice and Community Engagement.

Having grown up in the Caribbean, Europe and North America, Vivien’s practice explores her relationship to her childhood home of Trinidad & Tobago and its complex multicultural history. In particular, Vivien is interested in the festivals, folklores, hybrid cultures, and how the history of slavery, indentured labour, and colonialism in the Caribbean are both critiqued and celebrated through a myriad of cultural expressions. In particular, the crossroads of Carnival that separates the modern, glamorous, hyper sexualized embodiment of jubilation and release or “Pretty Mas”, and the dark, rootsy, visceral “Traditional Mas” that take place simultaneously across the country and in the diasporas, and the core that connects them.

Vivien’s work investigates her feelings of displacement and cultural fracture and the relationships between culture, race and geopolitical influences on identity. Through the allegory of misanthropic fictional characters such as the “Jab Molassie”, “Blue Devils”, and “Douens”, Vivien situates her work in a sort of in-between world of belonging and not belonging, exploring notions of personhood, alien-ness, indigeneity, post-colonial trauma, cultural erasure, ethnic hybridity, bodily autonomy and sexuality. Vivien is fascinated with how all of these complex factors influence both personal and community expression and how the arts can be a tool for understanding alternative therapies in a complex, and ever expanding, interconnected world.

In her painting practice, Vivien employs the use of vibrant acid colours to reflect the energy and visceral nature of Carnival and the rituals of masquerade, dance and embodied catharsis. Her works invite the viewer to be immersed and overwhelmed with visual stimuli, incorporating a number of other textures, such as yarn, mud and spices to create a haptic and sensory experience. 

In her ceramic practice, Vivien explores the materiality of clay and the body through figurative representation, traditional firing methods and, in this particular collection, the way a lack of colour and glaze can highlight the raw beauty of the clay bodies, which then, juxtaposed with colourful displays, create conversation between the painting worlds and the grounded sculptures; existing not separate but of each other. 

Vivien will continue to push the boundaries of hybridizing ceramics, painting and installation as she moves back to the Caribbean to explore new techniques and materials and delve deeper into the research and community of these traditional and surreal spaces.



Blue Boys Diptych, 2019, 72” x 48” (approx.)
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Dutty Mass, 2019, 24″ X 36″
Oil, acrylic, turmeric, ceramic slip, on canvas

Dutty Mass, 2019, Detail

Studies, 2020, assorted
Acrylic, oil, pastels, ink, on paper

Blue Boys, 2019, 72″ x 96″ (approx.)
Oil, acrylic, madras curry, turmeric, yarn, thread, on raw canvas

Blue Boys, 2019, Detail

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Unglazed ceramic sculptures, terracotta and stoneware clay

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)
Unglazed ceramic sculptures, terracotta and stoneware clay

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)

Devils & Douens, 2020, 6” – 25” (approx.)

Wine An’ Fling It Up, 2018, 65” x 55”
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Cyah Play Mas If Yuh Fraid Powdah, 2018, 72” x 60
Oil, acrylic, pastels, on raw canvas

Hol’ Man Down, 2019, 32” x 32”
Oil, acrylic, ink, on wood panel

Blue Devils, 2017, 48” x 60”
Oil and acrylic, on raw canvas

Bacchanal, 2017, 48” x 60”
Oil and acrylic, on raw canvas



Instagram: @vivien_e_art

Website: https://www.vivienelizabeth-art.com/

Email:  vivienelizabeth.art@gmail.com

Tess Collens | Faded Ink

“Faded Ink” is a project that looks into the way people create and lose their memories. With themes of identity, personhood and nostalgia, “Faded Ink” comes to life through a series of different studies. These studies include oil paintings, watercolour pencil drawings and multimedia works.

This project was inspired by mental health struggles and the issues surrounding the way people retain and store memory. Although each work has its own style and technique they all reflect the same thing, a need to understand ourselves and the world we perceive around us.

Artist Statement


In my work, I create portraits in the hope to find an idea or story in the way each person is captured. Throughout my time at Emily Carr, I worked to understand the ways in which concept is important in an artist’s practice. In my practice, I look to portraiture to find my concept. I seek to help express not only what I feel through my work but also help create ways to access subjects difficult to understand.

Artist Bio

Tess Collens’ grew up in Vancouver, B.C. and first attended art school at NSCAD (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) before transferring to Emily Carr University of Art and Design.  She is currently based out of Comox, a small town on Vancouver Island.

Instagram: @carribeanjerk

Samantha Harrison | Recreating Depictions of Myth and Spirit

1. Jeong Min as Bacchus, oil on linen, 30″ x 36″, 2019

2.. The Last Supper (Jeong Min as Jesus), oil on canvas, 48″ x 38″, 2020

3. Self-portrait as Narcissus, oil on canvas, 48″ x 38″, 2019-2020

4.. Nigel as Mars, God of War, oil on canvas, 38″x 48″, 2020

Artist Statement


The narratives associated with these mythological and spiritual subjects have been painted many times over the last five centuries in Western Art, and the influence of the cultures that produced these images continue to be felt among artists as well as others. The religion and mythology that gave way to the production of many works of art influenced many aspects of Western society. What can be learned from these images, and how does recreating and changing these images add new meaning to these narratives, while shifting positions of power for both the models and potential viewers? Hope and despair, perseverance, failure, and the continued question of the spirit and the divine, have never ceased to be explored in human culture. In recreating these images I intend to ask these questions and invite all viewers to ask them as well- without the exclusion that would have historically been based on gender and ethnicity, among other differences.

Other Works


Instagram: @samanthas.painting

Guná - Megan Jensen | "Strong Ships Are Not Conquered by the Sea"

As a Tlingit woman, where I come from our artwork is also a form of documentation. I consider this to be one of the many works I will create to document the world we are currently living in, because there is no doubt that these extreme tests and difficulties we are living through will also be written in history books. The heartache I feel from the current events of the world was the inspirations for this design. “Strong Ships” depicts a dorsal fin moving through violent waves. The dorsal fin is symbolically us. Us artists, us students, teachers, people, humans.. it depicts how we must continue to push through trying times, even when we really just don’t want to keep fighting anymore. But we do, and we will. As an indigenous artist, when I feel like giving up, I think of my ancestors who survived genocide, plagues, colonialism, indoctrination, and loss. My ancestors suffered so much loss, yet they never stopped fighting for the privileges and rights I have now. resilience. They knew they had to keep living, and survive, and work hard, and persist in this journey of life. And I wish to do the same, and I hope you do too. 


"Self Portrait"




In loving memory of a dear friend and Emily Carr alumni, late William Callaghan


Megan Jensen (Guná) is a young Indigenous artist, dancer and a student of Northwest Coast design. Guná, is of Dakhká Tlingit and Tagish Khwáan Ancestry from the Dahk’laweidi Clan (killer whale) which falls under the wolf/eagle moiety. Her family has made the beautiful area of the southern lakes in the Yukon Territory their home for numerous generations. Megan is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, with a BFA in Visual Arts. As an artist, Megan continues to build on her knowledge of Tlingit Formline and acknowledges that this will be a lifelong endeavour. As a contemporary artist, Megan plays with the relationship of ancient Tlingit designs merging with contemporary and sometimes ironic materials, enabling her audience to reflect on the relationship of the indigenous lens functioning in a colonized, and permanently industrialized world.


“Since time immemorial our people have been malleable to the winds of change, had they not done this, we simply would no longer exist. This is about telling their story, however, this is also about documenting our stories through art, song and dance for all the future generations to come.” — Guná 


Though venturing into post-secondary school proved to be a very difficult period of Megan’s life, these tests and difficulties became the generators that would begin the next stage of her painting practice. After addressing the culturally harmful structures that exist and persist in post-secondary institutions, Megan became vocal about these injustices that both her indigenous peers and herself experienced. After years of working through critiques and presentations that too often seemed to end in misunderstanding and judgment, Megan envisioned “Self Portrait,” A pivotal and monumental piece of work in Megan’s journey as a visual artist. The painting incorporates the traditional renditions of Tlingit formline, yet it is painted and mounted by materials of colonial origin. In literal terms, this exemplifies the relationship between indigenous and non-indigenous people, that we will never be able to regress back to a time prior to the devastations of colonialism. We are now in a paradoxical period of reclaiming and healing ourselves, our communities – while simultaneously attempting to heal our relationship with a colonized world. These tensions are ignited through Megan’s oil paintings through the energy circulating behind the human and animal figures, perhaps it is a fire or a spiritual entity that is not bound to a physical world. Layered in the foreground are often figures who propel from the ground, pushing the boundaries of the colonial borders, yet still being “contained” within the painting. Existing, but not completely liberated. Though the contemporary colonial project continues to assume supremacy over our ways of knowing and being, we resiliently push forward without requesting permission to speak, to share our worldview that manifests in the exceptionally complex and stunning art forms of our ancestors.

Sam Schembri | Iconic

This project received an Honourable Mention for the Chick Rice Award for Excellence in Photography

Visit: www.samschembri.com or @s_schembri on Instagram



Artist Statement

Sam Schembri is a queer artist and graduating student from Emily Carr University of Art & Design. Their involvement in the queer community inspires their research in Gender studies and Greek antiquity. They express modern sexuality, gender, and identity, through reworking myths to expose homosexuality embodied in classical histories.

All media explorations are informed by the previous, bringing sculptural aspects into their paintings, drawings into photography, painting onto printing, abstraction into figuration, and bridging the gaps between different artistic realms. Their studies have included mono-printing, silkscreen printing, drawing, photography, digital art, communications design, and multiple painting mediums, generally combining several approaches into a collage.

Their vast approaches to art-making have allowed them to stray from their main focus to play with ghostly abandoned places through photography and mono-printing. Other works capture queer portraiture through photography and installing collected personal items.



Their recent showing of “Iconic” re-envisioned myths of Aphrodite, Hermes and their intersex child, Hermaphroditus, also known as Androgyne. Sam reframes these associated homosexual mythologies by using real present-day queer people. They built magnetic circular canvases to attach physical prints and materials; as well as screen-printed freestanding mirrors made from their photography of queer friends posing as Greek gods/goddesses in drag.

Alongside the altar-like positioning of the flanking mirrors and the central magnetic canvases, personal objects are displayed. Such as cork-boards of photos, jewellery, tickets, letters, and sentimental objects are placed on plinths to raise their worth as offerings to the “queered” gods.

“Iconic” was meant to be its own space of worship, incorporating personal elements of fetishism in object-hood alongside iconic centrepieces to utilize the ritualistic behaviours of museums, domestic spaces, personal collections, queer expression, and narcissism.


Narcissus & Dysmorphia

A mirror of Narcissus accompanies “Iconic” as an anecdote to dysmorphia and queer shame. As the modern term of narcissism is quite different from the original myths of Narcissus. Several stories depict his admirers, men and women, inevitably killing themselves for his unreciprocated love.


“Nemesis, the Goddess of revenge, decided to punish Narcissus for his vanity. The Goddess lured him to a pool where he leaned upon the water and saw himself in the bloom of youth. Under a spell, Narcissus did not realize it was merely his own reflection and fell deeply in love with it as if it were somebody else. HE, IN FACT, MISTOOK HIMSELF AS ANOTHER. Unable to leave the allure of his image, he eventually realized that his love could not be reciprocated and “he melted away from the fire of passion burning inside him, eventually turning into a gold and white flower”. In other stories, he committed suicide or drowned.

This print is meant to make your reflection look like another, as the myth provides. And what does that mean? To not recognize yourself? To love something that is unknowingly a version of you? To try and love your body when it won’t love you back? Here I am, looking at my reflection, creating a reflection, and reflecting in the reflection. Thinking about self-love, gender dysphoria, vanity, and Queer shame, in relation to this myth. CHEERS to learning to make history fit my confused Queer body through my art and stretching it out till the threads break apart.”

— Sam Schembri


A Note from the Artist:

Queerness has been exhibited throughout human existence and it is time to bring it to the forefront of the contemporary art scene to reimagine its meaning. History has moulded our (mis)understanding of ourselves, and each other, leaving a lot of damage in society and I am constantly reimagining myself in an attempt to rewrite my own history and embrace who my authentic self is. This does not just relate to queer bodies but rather to human experiences altogether. The act of rewriting stories here is acknowledging what has been expected of us and what we expect of ourselves. Simply put, I want to rewrite stories; through art, about me, about my world, and about history. These stories may be homophobic, racist, sexist, transphobic, classist, and traditional, but they can be altered.

After all, history has made me, and now I want to remake it.