Jennifer is the founder of the art program. Starting in 2006, under the name “Estey Creations” Jennifer introduced her curriculum and learning approach to the New Brunswick elementary school system. The program soon began to play an important role in the enrichment opportunities throughout the province.
In 2016, a decision was made to restructure to a non-profit organization. The program would now be known as “Estey Art Initiative Inc.” It had become increasingly apparent that there was a greater need to provide an opportunity for EVERY child with a true desire to participate in an artistic experience. As a non profit organization, it was felt that there would be a better opportunity to fundraise and partner with other organizations to enable children in less fortunate financial circumstances to participate.
In addition to Jennifer’s duties as executive director, she is shared between all schools as an instructing artist. It is Jennifer’s passion for creating, captivating, and inspiring students through art that is the backbone of this program.
Instructing Artists - Saint John
Joanna Carson Skead
Joanna describes herself as the creative type, with interests and experience in art, photography, online marketing, writing and design.With a background in art gallery management and interior design, she feels right at home drawing and painting with the students.
This opportunity teaching art with The Estey Art Initiative has given me more than I could have ever hoped for. We are making a positive difference in the lives of children. What more could I ask for? Also getting to draw unicorns and sharks as a job is pretty darn great. – Joanna C
Kelita is a devoted wife and mother of 3 children. Her passion for art has had a shaping influence on the culture of her family and creative expression is an everyday occurrence within her home. Paint brushes, pastels, pencils, and sketch books are almost always within arm’s reach and often found tucked away in unusual locations. Kelita’s sketches, paintings, and photographs can be found displayed throughout the home.
Kelita has a strong interest in photography, which she studied for two years at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Whether capturing shots of her children, landscapes, or architecture, Kelita can often be found in the greater Saint John area, with a camera in her hand.
Kelita is very much within her element when surrounded by children, and given the opportunity to share with them, her passion for art.
Elisa has lived in Rothesay for 28 years. She worked in the KV area as a French Immersion Substitute Teacher for 15 years, as well as a math tutor. She enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, outdoor activities and well as volunteer work and travel.
Elisa’s experience as a teacher and her wonderful way with children make her a valuable asset to the team!
Anna is an self taught artist from rural NB, Belleisle which which reflects in her botanical style of artwork. She has always had a paint brush or pencil in her hands for as long as she can remember, and art is a part of her identity. She has always been one to follow her passions, and let them guide her through life and is loves to pass on that value to children that she works with. Anna has been a Child and Youth Care worker for 5 years, working with children with exceptionalities which will be valued greatly within in the classroom. She cannot wait to combine her two passions of art and children, it is truly a dream come true for her!
Instructing Artists - Moncton
Ashlee is an artist with expertise in the therapeutic elements of creation. Ashlee has a diploma from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute, and a B.Sc. with honours in Psychology from St. Francis Xavier University.
Ashlee has experience with art as a form of therapy with all ages, and we love the feel good approach she brings to our classrooms.
“I’ve always been creative, whether it be story-telling, music, painting, and poetry, my outlet has always been through creative pursuits. As an art therapist, there is nothing more rewarding than helping others find their creativity, help them tap into their imagination and find the magic that comes from spontaneous artistic expression. My passion for people and for art alike shine through my work and I can’t wait to share this with others.“
In Moncton, this self-taught artist grew up in Grand-Barachois on the Northumberland Strait coast. Surrounded by nature, Marc draws his inspiration from the beauty of a sunset on a deserted beach, in the intense blue of the sky and the majesty of an isolated tree in a field. In fact, his latest collection, which includes ten acrylic paintings, was inspired by trees.
Marc began his career painting scenes of nature and celebrations in local shop windows. His works are so well received that he begins to make murals in 1996. “This was the turning point in my artistic life and I began to take painting more seriously,” says Doiron. In fact, his creativity, attention to detail and ability to create paintings on large surfaces quickly caught the eye of interior designers, and his works are in great demand throughout Southeastern New Brunswick.
In 2002, he became a member of a photography club in Shediac. He learned the photographic composition and techniques he now uses in his works of art.
Jessica is a self trained young artist currently living in Moncton and is passionate about all avenues of creativity. She is currently working as the operations manager for Plant Nite and Paint Nite NB, and enjoys the differences and similarities to teaching art to both children and adults. She loves sharing her passion with those curious about the arts, and being a part of their progress and achievements.
Instructing Artists - Miramichi
Jessica Martin (Jessii the Artist)
Jessii the artist (Jessica Martin) is an artist and musician from New Brunswick, Canada. She uses her synesthesia to blend her artwork and live performances into one experience for the audience. She graduated from the Introduction to Fine Arts program at Algonquin College in 2013 and has been studying independently for 9 years. She has been drawing realistic coloured pencil portraits for years, and recently decided to jump into large drawings and acrylic paintings for her shows.
Anne Maloney Assaff
Anne Maloney Assaff can trace her love of the outdoors to her years growing up in the Gatineau valley north of Ottawa. Family outings to national parks as well as a “wolf howl” in a junior high ecology class had her hooked. That inspiration continued when her family moved to New Brunswick. With 100 acres of field and forest to explore, there were always songbirds, hawks, owls, white-tailed deer, moose, coyotes and black bears to watch and sketch. As a member of the local naturalists’ club, she has had the opportunity to observe and paint hawks of the Tantramar Marsh; seabirds of Miscou Island and Barred Owls of the Miramichi forests. But, closer to home, she doesn’t have to look any further than the backyard bird feeder or her own flower garden for inspiration. Employed as a graphic artist for many years, she is happy to be focusing full time on her art these days, and reaching a wider audience. Her work can be found in homes and corporate collections throughout Canada.
Instructing Artists - Fredericton
Hannah is a mother, maker, and teacher.
Hannah is a Surface Design graduate of the NB College of Craft and Design, and an entrepreneur. Through her company, Whimsy Birch, Hannah shares children’s yoga and art with children, families, and educators.
Hannah is a strong believer in the healing powers of art, and incorporates art into her yoga classes as a tool for meditation and relaxation whenever possible.
Angela Black is an inspired arts educator and works with multiple organizations in New Brunswick and has been working with The Estey Art Initiative off and on for 8 years.
Angela’s current creative adventure has been expanding a permanent teaching workshop, Open Your Art, in downtown Fredericton to accommodate her unique semi-private and private art classes. Focusing on a transformational teaching approach Angela uses her position as a leader to gently inspire people of all ages to find and open their art and individual creativity. Bookbinding, screen printing watercolour and ink painting, combined, are Angela’s ultimate mediums, she has been successfully producing and wholesaling one of a kind artworks since 2007. Her hand bound books, especially, have found homes all over the world.
Alison Willms, an emerging artist from the east coast of Canada, is a graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Mount Allison University. Alison uses a wide range of media in her practice, including analog photography, printmaking, film, sound, and installation, as she works between three locations she considers ‘home’: Fredericton N.B., St. Andrews by-the-Sea N.B., and Sackville N.B.
Willms’ work explores a spectrum of ideas from relationships to ritual as she shares her experiences.