Sarah Peacock is the director of Magpie’s Nest Community Art Society. She and the Magpies aim to connect community and reduce social isolation through creative art making. They are working toward opening a grassroots neighbourhood studio in East Vancouver that is accessible and affordable, nurturing the creativity of each individual. Sarah facilitates art therapy workshops primarily in addictions and mental health, and also works with veterans. She hopes to combine the inherently therapeutic aspects of art-making with community work to create a catalyst for social change.
Jessica Hamm is an art therapist passionate about the creative process. She believes art-making invites all people to explore themselves, connect with others and promote positive change. Jessica has facilitated groups and worked one-to-one with diverse clients including children, youth, and people with developmental disabilities of all ages. Currently, Jessica is working at the Richmond Society for Community Living as an Infant Development Consultant and continuing to pursue the nourishing nature of the expressive arts.
Paddi McGrath is an art facilitator, painter, mixed media artist and weaver who has worked with children at Hastings Community School, Place des Arts and privately. She ran an art program at Kin Village Care Home, Tsawwassen and works at Brock Fahrni Pavilion. She is currently working at in Artworks Studio in George Derby Centre with war veterans and has a private studio practice.
Eleanor Reardon is a photographer, printmaker, and weaver and new mom. Eleanor has done professional personal and corporate portraiture, and a variety of photography for fashion shows and catalogue shoots for independent designers. She worked as a teaching assistant at Columbia College Chicago, where she also received her degree.
Community Art Space Vision
As our paths have woven themselves together we realize that we have all dreamed of a community art studio that is accessible and nurtures the creativity of individuals and the community. We have struggled to find such a place locally, and we believe that others would access this important means of self-expression in a safe and welcoming space. An art space with trained facilitators who encourage self-expression and creativity outside of formal art teaching and without a specific end product has thus far been unprecedented in Vancouver. In contrast to the perception of art as elite and expensive, we offer art as an affordable and natural outlet for all.
Together with the community, we envision a vibrant and inspiring grassroots studio space that will help members along their creative path. Creative self-expression and art making helps and heals by giving a feeling of possibility, hope and empowerment. Artwork can act as a compassionate witness to the feelings of the creator, and can mirror feelings and experiences that are not in the conscious mind of the artist. Creating art in a supportive group setting is a powerful and validating experience for each group member, as well as a fun social experience.