Who We Are
ArtSpeaks brings together Community-Engaged Artists who believe in building resiliency through arts-based learning.
Project Developer/Coordinator and ArtHives Supervisor (2017-)
Maria Parrella-ilaria trained in traditional fine arts practices while at the Ontario College of Art (1980-84), she explored fibre arts and installation processes while pursuing her BFA in Art Education at Concordia University (1985-89).
Her graduate training in art therapy (M.A./1989-93 Concordia) encouraged an exploration of the arts as tools for nurturing community and social interconnection. Once back in Sault Ste. Marie, ON, she opened the Sault's first 'art cafe', the award winning Fireball Coffee'n Arts House in 1995 and went on to freelance for CBC Radio: Points North in 1999.
Maria developed art therapy/art-as-therapy programs for a number of local agencies and organizations including the Sault Area Hospital (SAH), Breton House, Algoma Treatment and Remand Centre (ATRC) and taught at the post-secondary level at Lake Superior State University, Sault College and Algoma University for 20 years.
She developed the ArtSpeaks project in 2016 and brought it to the Sault Museum in 2018, where it has lived ever since.
Project Artist: Photography, Digital and Mixed Media (2017-)
Chandra Barnett has been pursuing an artistic lifestyle since she was very young. Her medium of choice and expressive style has evolved through the years, maturing with her as she grew as both a woman and an artist.
Her experience in painting and sculpture, while using a wide variety of mediums and materials, has led to her greatest passion: photography. She graduated with honours from the Digital Imaging Program at Sault College (2011-2013). During which time she launched the self-published, "MAMAFESTO Magazine," with the capacity to not only showcase some of her maternal inspired images but also create a platform of communication for women and mothers to share their knowledge and stories.
While her method of creative communication continues to evolve, she maintains her enthusiasm about sharing her life and experiences with her community through her work.
Sault Ste. Marie Museum Algoma University Intern (2021-)
Carina Joneit is a Community Economic and Social Development (CESD BA with Honours) student doing her program's final year of practicum at the Sault Ste. Marie Museum under the supervision of William Hollingshead, the Museum's Executive Director and Head Curator.
She is assisting in developing a social prescription pilot program at Algoma University (insert tagline/description here).
ArtSpeaks volunteer, supporting in programming, designing and
Previous experience in
Previous Project Volunteers (2017-2019)
Project Artist: Storytelling
ArtHives Co-Facilitator (2019)
Lisa Meschino, PhD (link) brought a unique combination of experience and training both as a community-engaged artist and a researcher with a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience.
Based on her years of graduate and postgraduate research, she is well-versed in qualitative and quantitative methods and research design, literature reviews, ethics protocols, and diverse knowledge translation activities.
Through her work in community-engaged arts projects, she shared her commitment to creative arts education, arts-based health initiatives, and social models of care with ArtSpeaks and its diverse array of participants.