Christeen Francis, Executive Director
Christeen Francis completed her BFA at NSCADU, spent nine years in New York City, and returned to her hometown of Montreal to complete her MFA at Concordia University. A printmaker and musician, she ran a print shop in Brooklyn and played in several bands. She is committed to social and political print that engages with local communities and the public at large. She has exhibited in Canada, the United States, Germany, and Iceland and is a member of the Justseeds Artist Cooperative. Her research interests include the right to the city, urban wildlife and wild spaces, and the homogenization of cities and culture.
Christeen has admired SMP from afar for a long time but only recently visited and fell in love with the place and the members. As the new ED, Christeen is passionate about getting more people in the shop on a regular basis, seeing people try printmaking for the first time, as well as seeing how SMP can grow and transform as an ARC.
Rachel Gilbert, Communications & Design Assistant
Rachel Gilbert was born in Texas with family roots in Newfoundland, moving to the island in 2014 to study for BFA in Visual arts from Grenfell Campus. Working as an interdisciplinary artist, Gilbert specializes in painting and printmaking with subjects ranging from animals and nature to still-life and portraiture.
Rachel became particularly interested in working with St. Michael’s after she completed a self-directed summer course in 2019 at the shop through Grenfell Campus. Its scenic views and supporting atmosphere really drew her in. Rachel first started dabbling in print in 2017 at Grenfell’s Printshop and came to love woodblock printing. She naturally has a graphic style, so she finds she gets along quite well with a woodblock. There’s nothing more satisfying to Rachel than the sound of carving wood, one line at a time, until you have a finished block ready for printing!
April Mary Lynn White, Web Design Assistant
April Mary Lynn White (she/her) lives in Tiohtià:ke / Montreal, QC and is an MFA candidate in Print Media at Concordia University. April holds a BFA degree in Visual Arts from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of NL. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards and has exhibited extensively in NL. In her art, April defamiliarizes mundane actions like sneezing and yawning in order to unsettle normalized social expectations.
April has been involved in St. Michael’s Printshop for quite some time: from participating in the Don Wright Scholarship in 2012-13, the Visiting Artist Program in 2014, joining the Board of Directors in 2014, and then becoming the Chair of the Board from 2016-19. She is excited to be involved yet again at SMP. I love printmaking and I care deeply about SMP and what it offers artists.
Andrew Testa, Chair
Andrew Testa is an artist, writer, and educator working through prints, drawings, books, words, and installations. He has been awarded SSHRC and the Elizabeth Greenshields grants for his research, has exhibited nationally and internationally (UK and USA), and has participated in residencies and conferences across Canada. Currently he is working towards a new body of work for a solo exhibition at SNAP (Edmonton, AB) and group exhibitions at Modern Fuel (Kingston, ON) and Eastern Edge (St. John’s, NL) in 2021 that have been awarded a VP Grenfell Campus Research Fund. Testa is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in printmaking at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and has additionally taught at Thompson Rivers University (Kamloops, BC), and Algoma University (Sault Ste. Marie, ON). He completed his MFA and BFA at York University (Toronto, ON).
Printmaking, for me, is inherently about the idea of working ‘with’…whether that ‘with’ is material, process, spaces, or others. To print is to be a part of something that extends beyond the self, bringing awareness to the sense of community that cannot be separated from printmaking. By working with SMP, I have the opportunity to celebrate and support this community…the materials, the processes, the spaces, and the people. With SMP, I get to participate in one of the most vibrant and exiting print communities I have had the pleasure to be a part of!
Mireille Eagan, Vice Chair
Mireille Eagan is Curator of Contemporary Art at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL. Prior to this, she was curator at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in PEI, where she was a founding member of the artist-run collective This Town Is Small. Eagan has curated more than 100 exhibitions, including: Jenny Holzer: Truisms; Folklore and Other Panics; Christopher Pratt: The Places I Go; and the two-part series Future Possible. Collaborative projects include co-curation of the nationally touring retrospective Mary Pratt (with Sarah Fillmore and Caroline Stone), Mary Pratt: This Little Painting (with Jonathan Shaughnessy) at the National Gallery of Canada, enter the fog (with Josée Drouin-Brisebois), and the Terra Nova Art Foundation’s Collateral Project at the 55th Venice Biennale, titled About Turn: Newfoundland in Venice, Will Gill and Peter Wilkins (with Bruce Johnson). She has lectured nationwide and published extensively in catalogues and national magazines and periodicals including Border Crossings, C Magazine, canadianart.ca, Inuit Art Quarterly, and Visual Arts News. In 2017, she won the Gold Medal for Arts Writing from the Digital Publishing Awards. She has been a juror for the Sobey Art Award, Scotiabank Photography Award, RBC Painting Competition, and has served on several Canada Council juries. Eagan holds a Masters in Art History (Concordia University, 2008).
Mireille has been hanging out at SMP for a decade, and loves to be able to support its community as a board member. She can’t print, but she did paint a unicorn in a burger once during a 24-Hr Marathon, which was on display for several years in the shop because she forgot it there. It wasn’t a great painting.
Hazel Eckert, Programming Committee Chair
Sheilagh O’Leary, Member-at-Large
Sheilagh O’Leary is an award-winning art photographer, filmmaker and art educator born and living in St. John’s, NL. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in numerous national art journals and publications. She has pursued studies at Concordia University, Rockport Maine Film Workshops and at Banff Centre for the Arts and is presently pursuing a low residency MFA at Grenfell College, Memorial University. Sheilagh’s passion to study human nature drives her to produce striking collections of B&W portraits and nudes, with an intimate exploration of her subjects and their relationship to the Newfoundland landscape.
As a life-long community activist promoting inclusion, environmental stewardship and mental health, she turned to her eye to politics and is presently elected as Deputy Mayor for the City of St. John’s. She has been an energetic volunteer for over 25 years, a nature enthusiast and a mother of three. An Irish-Indigenous cultural producer, issues of diversity and respect are paramount in Sheilagh’s work, whether creative or political.
As an artist, Sheilagh studied B&W film both stills and filmmaking. She has an avid interest in alternative processes and has always been interested in exploring photo-based printmaking techniques. Sheilagh has worked for or supported a myriad of artist run spaces in St. John’s, spanning her 30 plus years as artist.
Patrick Power, Member-at-large/Lawyer