Our Instructors

Artists and Teachers

Button Factory Arts is a community of artists and students working side-by-side in a friendly environment that encourages and inspires artistic growth. 


Each and every one of our instructors has experience in the studio and in the classroom meaning you get not only teachers with great art technique, but also great teaching technique too. 


We are dedicated to providing inclusive arts programs for different experience levels, age groups, and in a range of materials. 

Robert Creighton

Robert is a Master Printmaker educated in Canada (McMaster University, BA) and the United Kingdom (Edinburgh College of Art, MFA). He has exhibited worldwide for over 30 years and is included in many private and public collections in North America, Europe, South Africa and Australia. His primary focus is a humanist-expressionist technique involving the figure in various environments and modes of interpretation. He also held the Senior Artist- In-Residence at

Button Factory Arts.  



Life Drawing, Oil Painter

Born in Italy, Fabio came to Canadain the mid sixties and was immediately enrolled in art classes at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Hamilton Ontario. Alan K. Scott was the resident instructor at the time. He was an excellent painter and portraitist and instilled in Fabio a love for art and art history. 

Fabio went on to complete the sat program at The Central Technical School in Hamilton. This was followed with a year in animation at Sheridan College.


Subsequent to this, Fabio has attended numerous drawing and painting courses at The Dundas Valley School of Art along with a sustained studio practice of nearly forty years. Fabio has acted as an instructor at The Dundas Valley School of Art, Button Factory Arts, and The Cambridge Centre for the Arts.

Fabio currently lives and works in Cambridge, Ontario.



Performer, Felt & Fibre Artist

As a performer, Sarah Granskou is a scald, applying her Canadian sense of innovation to Scandinavian oral traditions. While Sarah draws on ancient art forms, her work is accessible today, based in contemporary experience as well as her interpretations of Nordic folklore and music. Sarah’s tapestry of poetic narrative and song lyrics provide a moving and humorous context for 8-string fiddle, mouth harp and innovative puppetry.

As a textile artist, Sarah works with wool, using wet felting and needle felting techniques to create puppets, hats, shoes, clothing and more. She began felting more recently, as a means of creating puppets for performance and has been entirely smitten with the artform, now processing her own local and Canadian wool with natural and accessible dye sources. Sarah was the 2016 Artist in Residence for the City of Kitchener.


hiba Abdallah

Interdisciplinary, Social Practice

Hiba Abdallah has lived most of her life in Windsor, Ontario, a city that has heavily influenced her interest in the convergence of art and social practice. She is part of the artist collective Broken City Lab, which was long-listed for the 2011 Sobey Art award. She completed a BFA at the University of Windsor and her MFA at the University of Guelph.


suzanne Thomson

Art Therapy, Social Practice

A registered art therapist for over 25 years, Suzanne Thomson integrates mindfulness and sensorimotor psychotherapy to facilitate healing and community engagement.  Her work as an artist and a rinzai zen practitioner shapes how she works with clay to transform habits of thinking, feeling, and behaving. She provides psychotherapy, supervision, and clinical consultation.   Suzanne also teaches art therapy and co-creates community-based arts projects. Transformation By Fire at the Gardiner won the 2013 Award of Excellence in Exhibitions—a direct reflection of Suzanne’s deep commitment to working collaboratively to address social justice issues through the arts. Join Suzanne in discussion of her Embodiment in Clay sessions as part of the BFA Outreach Programs, her work with the Gardiner Museum, and her ongoing commitment for using art as a tool for social change.


crystal bradford

Eco-Art, Youth Programs

Crystal is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and passionate about the natural environment, youth and community. Crystal enjoys engaging others in the use of recycled materials to create works of art. Crystal Bradford and her partner Liam Kijewski own ‘Wildlife Gardening’ a landscaping, restoration and native plant nursery.



Liam Kijewski

Eco-Art, Youth Programs

Liam is works  an eco-arts instructor for youth classes, camps and PD day with Button Factory Arts. He is the coordinator for Kitchener Waterloo's Procession of the Species Celebration with his partner, Crystal Bradford. Graduate of OIART, Liam is also a musician, playing bass, drums and rapping in several different groups in the Region.


ciaran myers

Acting, Playwright

Ciaran's background spans dance, acting, poetry, and mime. While completing his Master's Degree and living in London and Edinburgh he performed in multiple short pieces performed in different communities in the United Kingdom. One of which, Egon Schiele, won a modest award with Almost Random Theatre's 'Valentine Plays' competition. In the meantime, he spent his degree writing full-length plays, some of which were long-listed for other awards with Theatre 503, the King's Head, and the BBC. Ciaran's work is willingly influenced by a keen interest in puppetry, performance art, Romantic poetry, and the intersection of creative narratives and social politics. Put them together and ... bibbity bobbity boo? 


lee angold

Botanical Illustrator

Lee Angold is a botanical and scientific illustrator based in Kitchener-Waterloo, Canada. She is a co-founder of the KW Artists Co-op, a unique co-operative shared studio/workspace.

Lee is a member of the Botanical Artists of Canada and the Southern Ontario Natural Science Illustrators (SONSI).

Lee is currently working towards the the Society of Botanical Artists Distance Learning Diploma Course.  She specializes in ink, watercolour and coloured pencil.

Lee also enjoys urban sketching with the KW Urban Sketchers.



Terry o'neill

Filmmaker, Artist

Originally trained as an architect, I split my time working as a filmmaker crafting short documentaries and as an artist collaborating with Tara Cooper. From 2000-2015 I worked as an art director in the Documentary Unit at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation crafting the look and feel of award-winning feature-length documentaries including Love, Hate and Propaganda and Geologic Journey. In 2008 I co-created and co-produced The Suzuki Diaries for the science series The Nature of Things. Over the past five years I have built site-specific artworks in a former factory in Hamilton, Ontario, in a restored grain elevator in Wassaic, New York and at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. I have attended artist residencies in New York, Newfoundland and Colorado. I am a member of of the Documentary Organization of Canada, Ed Video in Guelph, and a board member at the Canadian Clay and Glass Museum. Nowadays, I combine my background in creative non-fiction with my design chops to create short films.


Trevor Waurechen

Cartoonist, Illustrator

Trevor Waurechen is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & Design. He has been a cartoonist, illustrator, painter, printmaker, designer and more. And, in fact, is often still many of those things. Trevor brings 15 years experience as a teacher to his classes.



Nancy peng

Watercolour Artist, Printmaker

Nancy Peng is a visual artist from Waterloo Ontario Canada.  She is a watercolour and mixed media instructor at Button Factory Arts and is exploring various printmaking methods.  She also designs and creates jewellery using precious metals at The Jewellery Studio, Kitchener.

“I am an artist but forever a student.  As a teacher, I strive to encourage and share my joy of art."




Printmaker (Mezzotint, Drypoint)

Laine Groeneweg is printmaker currently living in Hamilton. He received his BFA from York University in 2004 and subsequently trained as a professional printmaker at Fondazione Il Bisonte Per Lo Studio Dell’Arte Grafica in Florence, Italy. Laine is most widely recognized for his work in mezzotint & etching and exploring the possibilities of traditional technique in the wake of more contemporary production methods. His whimsical imagery is often characterized by themes of dream and play. His prints have been exhibited Nationally and Internationally in Canada, Australia, Russia, Japan, Finland, Italy, Taiwan and the United States. Currently, Laine has focused attention towards building his own custom print studio, Smokestack, in Hamilton, Ontario. He also instructs and editions work for others at Toronto's Open Studio and is the studio technician at Centre[3] For Print and Media Arts in Hamilton.



Printmaker, Green Printmaking

Donna Stewart is a printmaking artist and founding member of the Riverside Print Group, Cambridge.


Experimenting with new materials and techniques, especially non-toxic ones, is instrumental to Donna's practice. In 2017, Donna completed a 150-hour certificate program in green printmaking: intaglio at Zea Mays Printmaking in Florence, MA, USA. A Chalmers Professional Development Grant from the Ontario Arts Council
made this education possible; Donna gratefully acknowledges the OAC's financial support.



Gail Ivanco

Watercolour Painter

Gail has been involved in art since her childhood in Montreal, Canada, where she took art lessons with her family.While raising her own young family, Gail operated a ceramics business, teaching in her home studio. She studied with Maureen McNaughton, and obtained N.C.M.A. teaching qualifications for ceramics. Gail also earned a B.A. degree from Trent University, and B.Ed. from Queens, following which she began a full time teaching career.

Using various media, Gail has been painting and exhibiting work for many years. The love of art and belief in its ability to enhance personal growth has been a major component for teaching several subjects to both high school and elementary school students, including those with special needs. Now dedicated to art almost full time, Gail is a member of the Central Ontario Art Association and regularly exhibits in different Canadian locations.

eric euler


Eric Euler is an interdisciplinary artist, musician, and cultural worker currently based in North Bay Ontario. His professional art practice balances the use of printmaking, painting, installation, graphic design, and community art practices to activate themes as diverse as regional identity, pop culture, music culture, internet politics, mental health, and Jungian psychology. Since returning to his Northern Ontario hometown following the completion of his graduate studies at Louisiana State University and Tamarind Institute, he’s had three solo exhibitions, lectured at numerous universities, and launched Upside Down Press - a mobile woodblock t-shirt printing workshop. Currently he chairs the board and promotes music events at the local artist-run centre White Water Gallery.


catherine mellinger

Art Therapist, EXAT, Collage Artist

Catherine Mellinger is an analogue collage artist and mixed media artist whose works find inspiration in ideas originated by the feminist artists of the Dada period as well as the early Surrealists, lending to the exploration of dichotomy in many of Mellinger's works. She seeks to create works of beauty whose themes are not always beautiful; grappling with trauma, loss and challenging relational dynamics, all while visually exploring those events with an imaginal mind.Inspired by female artists such as Hannah Hoch, her works use vintage paper ephemera and personal photographs mixed with pencil, pen, and watercolour –the latter often portraying circular portals through which the viewer can be invited in to the image. She has most recently explored motherhood in her series The Sea and Me — in which photos of women from 1950s fashion magazines are layered with gorgeously grotesque images from the ocean. This series was the basis for the project Deep Salt Water; in collaboration with Toronto writer Marianne Apostolides; producing a book of the same title to be published by BookThug in Spring 2017.

Her works have been published in literary magazines, and she has been commissioned by musicians, writers and private collectors. Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and having studied in Toronto,Catherine now lives Waterloo, Ontario with her husband and son. 


michele purchase


Michelle Purchase is a printmaker who has been working at Globe Studios in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, since 2004.  Originally from the Niagara Region, she studied printmaking at the University of Waterloo and landscape architecture at the University of Guelph.  Michelle's work includes a mix of printmaking techniques including etching, monoprint, and lithography, printed on Japanese washi.  Her work has been shown extensively in group and solo shows, notably at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, and The Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.  She has received Ontario Arts Council grants and won awards at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, and Guelph's Art On The Street.  


Tara Cooper

Printmaker, Sculpture, Installation, Video

Tara Cooper’s art practice draws from meteorology and creative non-fiction, resulting in projects housed under the moniker Weather Girl. The creative outcomes conflate the language of meteorology (forecasting, predictions, and atmospheric conditions) with the personal impact and experience of weather—visual poetics with scientific fact. She has an everything-but-the-kitchen sink approach to materials and media, and often joins forces with her all-in-one collaborator and husband Terry O’Neill. Their work combines print, found objects, sculpture and text along with documentary filmmaking. Recent accomplishments include residencies at Haystack, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow, Anderson Ranch, The Wassaic Project and Landfall Trust, as well as arts council grants from Ontario and Canada, and a public art commission for Kitchener Waterloo’s ION light rail transit system. She is also the co-editor of Printopolis, a recent publication examining contemporary print culture, as well as the coordinator of S.A.I.L., a University of Waterloo outreach arts program that runs out of a vintage Airstream trailer. Tara is a member of Open Studio and the Toronto artist collective Loop, and is an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, Department of Fine Arts.


trevor waurechen

Comics, Zines, Youth Programs

Hiba Abdallah has lived most of her life in Windsor, Ontario, a city that has heavily influenced her interest in the convergence of art and social practice. She is part of the artist collective Broken City Lab, which was long-listed for the 2011 Sobey Art award. She completed a BFA at the University of Windsor in 2012 and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Guelph.


Karen Fletcher

Sculpture, Life Drawing, Acrylics

Karen Fletcher works as an artist and educator in Waterloo. She has a summer home and studio in Keels on Bonavista Bay in rural Newfoundland. Since the early 80’s Karen has exhibited her work throughout Ontario and in Newfoundland. She is represented in a number of public and private collections.


Allie Brenner

Sculpture, Installation, Mixed Media, Ceramics

Since her graduation from the Ontario College of Art and Design, Allie has continued to show her work in galleries, public locations, and festivals. Her application spans installation, sculpture, drawing, ceramics and social practice. Allie has been working to connect artists and community through classes, collaborative projects, artist talks and engaging programs. 



heidi argyle

Art Therapist, DTATI, EXAT

Heidi Argyle is a professional Art Therapist with the Canadian Art Therapy Association. She is a graduate from the Toronto Art Therapy Institute, and a current MA candidate.

Creativity and healing are two things I believe go together. Often when we struggle there is something within us we are trying to express. Creative expression of our struggles can help communicate or to be seen and heard; art and Art Therapy allow us to see into our thoughts or feelings, to externalize negativity, while strengthening growth and resilience. 


Gouache, Printmaker

 Robert was born in Yorkton, Saskatchewan and currently lives in Kitchener, Ontario. His undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba focused on printmaking, and he has studied in France, Mexico and Toronto. 


Michele Braniff

Urban Sketching, Drawing, Painting

Michele has had an eclectic working career: lawyer, mediator, adjunct lecturer at University of Waterloo, self-employment coach; and holds degrees in law and counselling. Michele recently completed a graduate diploma in social innovation. She is currently a program manager for the mental health services department of Lutherwood. Michele has been drawing, painting and making colourful art since high school. She has received art instruction through informal settings, such as adult art classes and small classes with local Cambridge artists. Michele’s technique, is largely experimental and self-taught. Her paintings have been juried to art shows at the Woodstock Art Gallery, Cambridge Centre for the Arts, with showings at Cambridge City Hall, Centre in the Square, The Hub and The Accelerator, and other exhibits in Kitchener/ Waterloo and Cambridge. Her paintings can also be found in many private collections. Michelle was the City of Waterloo's 2016 Artist in Residence.


Connie Melnik

Oil Painting

Connie Melnik has lived and painted in the Puslinch (Cambridge) area for over 27 years.Her subject matter ranges from still life and landscapes to portraiture and scenes of people and events. Her reflections of people in everyday life give a narrative quality to her work. Connie depicts everyday people with provocative expressions through her own distinct view and style. Connie has participated in many juried shows over the years, and has also been recognized and invited to participate in the Biennale Internazionale dell'Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy, in 2003. Connie is represented by Gallery Double T, Waterloo; Barber Gallery, Guelph and the MacDonald Stewart Gallery, Guelph and various establishments in Guelph and surrounding areas.

Art-in guelph.com/Pages ConnieMelnik.html

katie wilde

Painting, Sculpture, Installation

Katie is a Guelph-based visual artist with an affinity for nature, oddness and interactivity. She believes that art has the power to transform communities and alter people's experience of their environment in a positive way. Art in unexpected places is one of her greatest joys. She paints primarily in oil, and her paintings often feature plants and birds, occasionally people and architecture. Her sculptures work with natural phenomena such as magnetism, convection, and animal behaviour, and feature natural objects and occasionally live animals. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Ottawa, and has exhibited in galleries and public spaces in Ottawa and Guelph/Wellington, and Waterloo including Gallery 101, Studio 66, Kloepfer Gallery, and the Elora Centre for the Arts.

​K​atie's work has been installed in a variety of contexts, including galleries, a biochemistry laboratory, a crosswalk, the surface of a public square, and a shed wall facing the neighbourhood.


meghan bunce

Music, Youth Programs

Meghan obtained a Bachelor of Music degree in Composition with Voice as her instrument from the prestigious faculty of music at Wilfrid Laurier University. She has worked for the University of Waterloo Drama Department, The Multi-Cultural Theatre Space and Lost and Found Theatre, both as a composer and music director. Her performance credits include the 2009 Impact International Theatre Festival, and the 2009 and 2011 Open Ears Festivals. She was awarded the 2009 K-W Arts Award, Leading Edge Award for her entire body of work. Meghan is a past Director of Operations for NUMUS Concerts, one of Canada’s foremost new music organizations. She brings an energetic, fun and interactive style to lessons, while focusing on building good technique and bringing out the natural ability in any voice.  


paula rostrup

Printmaker, Printmaking Technician

is a printmaker living in Waterloo, Ontario. Paula creates work that expresses her ideas and explores the medium of print. The natural world provides the stimulus and inspiration. Currently, Paula is working on the addition of collage elements to print and sculpting.

Paula Rostrup is the Button Factory Arts Printmaking Technician.



Ceramic Artist

Being born and raised in a small village in The Netherlands with extended travels to India during childhood, living in, and in between, two worlds was just a given fact. A fact that provided lots of inspiration as the two are so far apart, visually and in every other way but can also be very close. They are definitely both close to the heart.

After studying some Fine Arts and finishing a bachelor in Art Education (Utrecht). I realized my other love needed some study too, India! I completed a bachelor and masters in Indology (Leiden) and ever since the music, literature and art of India continued to inspire me. Another big source of inspiration is mother nature and all her wonders.

I've always considered myself more a painter. But, that was before I got properly introduced to ceramics. Since fall 2015 I have been spending most of my available time in the potters studio. I am so grateful to have this opportunity as a member of the wonderful community of the Waterloo Potters Workshop. I am learning and enjoying the many processes of working with clay each and every day.

My main focus lately is the connection with (our) nature and cultural expectations.


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