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.
Brann Fizzard, Studio Assistant
Brann Fizzard, BFA (They/Them), is an interdisciplinary artist living in St. John’s, NL who graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from Memorial University in 2020. While they love horror and making monsters, Brann, at heart, is an activist and has a strong belief in caring for one’s community. As such, they hope to further unite the various arts communities in Newfoundland & Labrador through working with St. Michael’s Printshop. They are excited to get to know more artists in the province and help them create works and relationships to support their practices in the years to come.
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!
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!
instagram: @andrewtestaart, headshot by Lucas Morneau
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
Hazel Eckert is a St. John’s-based multidisciplinary artist and designer from Toronto, ON. She received a BFA in printmaking from OCAD University (2008) a diploma in graphic design from the College of the North Atlantic (2017). Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and she is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and residencies from the Ontario Arts Council, ArtsNL, Open Studio and The Rooms. She is also the creator of Nothing New, an independent publishing insignia focused on the production of small-scale artist editions and contemporary print-based works.
Hazel has extensive experience working in commercial and communal print shops. After university, she worked as a letterpress printer at Lunar Caustic Press for nearly ten years and has been actively involved in a variety of educational, production, and programming initiatives with several Canadian artist-run centres and galleries. As a member of the SMP Programming committee, Hazel works collaboratively with the board, staff and community to develop exciting and supportive opportunities for artists of all skill levels.
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
Patrick Power is an associate lawyer in the St. John’s office of Cox & Palmer. While Patrick is well-versed in the law, leadership, and all things sports, this is his first role in the arts community. Patrick is excited about his experience with the board already and is eager to help attract new members and promote SMP as a valuable member of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts community. When he isn’t acting as a lawyer or SMP board member, Patrick enjoys running, cycling, golfing, and playing hockey.
Diana Daly, Member-at-Large
Diana Daly is a multi-instrumentalist, performer, designer, storyteller and songwriter, production manager and arts administrator. Originally from St.John’s, NL she has lived and worked in BC, Montréal and Nunavik and is currently the Managing Producer of the St.John’s International CircusFest with Wonderbolt Productions. A lover of story through song, image, dance and spectacle, Diana has a keen interest in printmaking and Ethnomusicology. The medium of printmaking has always fascinated her for its magical elements and immediate graphic impact. HOW it is made is as exciting as the image itself. Creating image and texture in negative space. Diana is happy to devote time to this important cultural space and hopes that it continues to foster creation and camaraderie for artists in all stages of their careers.
Lily Taylor, Member-at-Large
Lily Taylor is an illustrator and designer based in St. John’s, NL. She graduated from OCAD University with a BDes in Illustration and a minor in printmaking. Her work consists of drawings, paintings, murals, screen printing and structural forms. Lily is an avid print maker and loves to be involved with local arts organizations. She’s on the board of SMP to learn from fellow artists and organizers, and to offer support and involvement in making the print shop a functioning and welcoming space.
Dr. Marlies Rise, Secretary
Marlies Rise is the Director of Strategic Institutional Research Initiatives (SIRI) at Memorial University. In addition, she is currently enrolled as a BFA student (Major in Print Media) at Concordia University. As a Senior Administrator at Memorial, Marlies leads and manages initiatives in the Vice-President Research portfolio to facilitate services in support of the institution’s growing research activity. She is responsible for oversight of Memorial’s core instrumentation network which includes approximately $60M in infrastructure, and over 30 highly skilled research associates. Marliesfirst became interested in printmaking by attending a workshop at SMP nearly a decade ago, and has sought to engage with artists and learning opportunities at SMP since. The aspects she values most about print are strength of community, inclusivity and collaboration in the practice. She hopes that her growing experience as an artist, combined with her career experience in fundraising and management of communal infrastructure, will enable her to offer a unique perspective on the activities of artist run studios towards benefiting the mandate of SMP.