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2017 Supporting Artists 

Paddy Barry 


Paddy Barry is a Newfoundland-based photographer with a passion for storytelling, history and documenting. With a strong emphasis on Fogo Island, his photography aims to promote the beauty, inherent value and future success of rural communities in Newfoundland

and Labrador. Whether photographing ocean scenes, architecture,

places of historic significance or people, Paddy seeks to capture the subtle aspects and elements to tell a compelling visual story.


      Paddy’s photos have been published in numerous magazines including National Geographic, The Globe

and Mail,, La Presse and others.




Claudia Brahms

Claudia Brahms is a Textile Designer and Studio Artist living on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Her journey began in New York City, where she was born and raised by a family with lifelong involvement in

fashion and design.

      After studying Textile Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, she continued her studies, receiving a technical degree from Philadelphia Textiles.

      With an interest in manufacturing, Claudia moved out of the city to take a job designing for a textile manufacturer located in rural Maine. While at Guilford Industries, Claudia began to develop what

would become her trademark style.

      The natural world has always captured Claudia’s heart; Maine became her home. With her husband and partner, Claudia co-founded and built a factory, a Brand, and a community of skilled artisans. Brahms Mount Textiles gained national recognition as a

leader and innovator within the home textile industry and retail market in the US.

      An ongoing freelance business has rewarded Claudia with a broad spectrum of design projects. Her woven paper is the foundation for a small business she developed, trade-marking her fabric, Tree Cloth®.

      As artist and designer, Claudia’s daily life is an

alchemist’s palette of natural fibers. With an abiding

respect for the power of plants to effect health, her

use of natural fibers is for their beauty as well as their

functional characteristics.

      Claudia is most definitely guided by her use of

all of the senses. Intuitive and mindful, she understands

the power of simplicity to illuminate.


Catherine Bush

My writing creates worlds that I wouldn’t otherwise get to inhabit and leads me on journeys into landscapes that call to me. Elemental, my new novel, is inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Because of this, I needed to find my way to an island. No sooner had I given voice to this desire than serendipitous things began to happen. An online search led me to Fogo Island and then to TRACS. When I found myself in Tilting, in the Jenny Keefe studio, I knew with certainty: yes, I can write the novel here. I’m not trying to claim a knowledge of the place that in any way compares to those who live there and have lived there for generations. But through TRACS, the Keefes, and everyone in Tilting, I’ve been offered a way to create a relationship with a place and invited to transform it on the page into story – wind, sky, Sandy Cove, other people’s weather lore and stories. I’ve walked the shore paths, listening to characters in my head. Salt spray becomes voices. In turn I’ve been transformed. All this is the hugest gift. Art depends on gift giving. The Jenny Keefe studio is full of the energy of the artists who have created in the space and the Keefes’ vision for it. 


     Catherine Bush is the author of four novels: Accusation (2013), long-listed for Canada Reads; the Trillium Award short-listed Claire’s Head (2004); the national bestselling The Rules of Engagement (2000), also a New York Times Editor’s Choice; and Minus Time (1993), published internationally. Her new novel, Elemental, set on a fictional version of Fogo Island, will be published in 2020. She has been the recipient of fellowships from MacDowell and Yaddo,

numerous residencies, and grants from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council. Her nonfiction has appeared in publications including the anthology The Heart Does Break, the literary magazine

Brick, the Globe and Mail, and the New York Times Magazine.

She has taught creative writing at universities in Canada and the US. For the past nine years she has been the Coordinator of the University of Guelph’s prestigious Creative Writing MFA, based in Toronto, where she lives.


Melissa Hamel

As a printmaker and artist, my work reflects my spiritual and psychological connection to the natural world. While I live and work in the city of Boston, my home is surrounded by parkland and an easy drive to the ocean as well as mountains. I cherish the time I spend walking in the woods or along the shoreline, taking time to observe and reflect on mysterious qualities of that nature offers and how these landscapes become a part of my internal and   subconscious life.

      I aspire to create a narrative in my work that will

connect with the viewer. Many of my images have a magical or spiritual quality, and dreamscapes are a favorite theme in my prints. Sometimes, I allow the image of a landscape speak for itself; other times, I layer people or animals within the landscape to create the story within the image. I am particularly interested in exploring the relationship that women have with nature and animals and how these often replace more traditional spiritual connections. My explorations includes a series of personal dreamscapes that illustrate my flying dreams.

      These etchings have become a sort of journal of my hopes and desires as well as my fears and misgivings. Over time, certain iconic images have repeated in these works. Among them is the patchwork quilt – a metaphor for past moments in my life – which is simultaneously comforting and a burden. I find these works connect with others on a very deep level and remind the viewer of their own internal landscapes.


M’Liz Keefe

In the spring of 2013 I left Boston, after accepting an artist’s residency in the community of Tilting on Fogo Island. I lived and painted in the Jennifer Keefe House that summer and fall. These months of intense work and the Island as a whole had a profound effect on my life and work.

      In the fall of that year, I participated in the annual Partridgeberry Harvest Festival at the local hockey rink where I had a booth to show the paintings I made at the Jennifer Keefe House. A man from British Columbia named Don Paul, who was on a cross country road trip stopped into the festival. Our eyes met. The rest as they say is history. Don and I married in a civil ceremony on February 29th, 2016 – a Leap Year – inside The Jennifer Keefe House. We were joined by a small group of friends, with Frank and Cathy Keefe standing in for us. The house which closes down for the winter was freezing cold. We

could see our breath as we said our vows.

      Don and I have since built our home together, a painting studio for me, and two sheds for Don, in the small community of Barr’d Islands on Fogo Island.

      I have dedicated myself over the years to painting meta- phor and symbolism through the vehicle of Landscape. I was born in New Jersey and graduated from Cooper Union in NYC with a BFA. Since the late 80’s I have traveled, lived and painted in numerous places throughout the States. I seek out remote environments where I feed on the isolation and intensity of seasons, light change, dark night skies, pristine and untouched natural surroundings. I painted many years in Taos, New Mexico in the high desert of the Rocky Mountains, the mid- western plains of Nebraska, on the East River of Brooklyn, and finally in Boston, before moving permanently to Fogo Island.


Ying Li

My goal in painting is to capture nature, in both its toughness and vulnerability, and transmit all of its energy to the canvas.To this end I use intense colors, earthy textures and calligraphic lines, working in the zone where abstraction and representation shade into each other. My interests and training in Chinese painting and calligraphy lead me to a brushwork that is at once free and disciplined.

     Color lies at the core of my painting process. I use it to convey mood and memory, and to express a particular sense of place and time. In my painting, color, line and plane interact, pushing each other until they reach a harmony, a unity. Like a jazz musician,I hear the lines of saxophone, bass and drums, each improvising in response to the others, swinging the piece forward. If and when these responses reach their climax, the painting is done.

      I discovered Tilting while doing an artist residence at Fogo

Village in Fogo Island in 2008. One day my guide Tom Sargent

 toured me around the island, and the last stop was Town of Tilting.

I fell in love with it at first sight. What a magic spot on the earth! When I first heard its name, I time, thought “Tilting”referred to boats, but now it totally made sense when I stood in front of it; layers of houses and fishing stables in every colour you could imagine, teetering on gray rocks and the edge of deep blue ocean, swinging together with the tides, the birds, the clouds, and the broad ocean, making an organic and musical harmony. I said to myself on the spot, “I will come here to paint!” Two years later I settled in Jennifer’s House at Tilting as a resident artist, and on the first day I started schlepping my easel and paint box around the village. 

      During my one month stay I found the villagers were even more magical than this rematkable place. Every day during my stay I was greeted heartily by people, whether I knew them or not.; people stopped on the road to give my a lift to my painting spot; fisherman on the dock handed me cod they’d just caught that morning; they indulged me with home baked goods and wild blueberries. One evening, at a gathering in the boathouse, villagers were singing Irish folk songs, citing poems, and telling stories. I listened while watching the ocean gently swung under a full moon, and felt at home and grateful. Hopefully the paintings I made during that stay show my feelings and gratitude to the village and people who created it.


Sally Van Natta

Photography is my means of knowing, exploring, and interpreting the world.

      I worked for 20 years doing part-time freelance work and wedding photography, while teaching art and photography at the high school level. Finally, in 2013 retirement brought me the time and freedom to do the kind of work that had been floating around in my mind for some time. On my first day of retirement, I got the news that I had a six-week artist residency sponsored by the Tilting Recreational and Cultural Society (TRACS) on Fogo Island, Newfoundland and Labrador. Suddenly I had time, money, and opportunity.

      The result is my “Intimate Landscape” series, started in Atlantic Canada, but continued at my home in Central Illinois, Big Bend National Park in Texas, and West Virginia. I ask that you look at landscape in detail for its abstract qualities, its colors, textures, and shapes.

      The square format is a minimum size of 24x24 inches providing a window for an intimate view of a world underfoot, but often overlooked.


Pascale Ouellet and Barb Fyvie

In June of 2015 Pascale Ouellet and Barb Fyvie spent two weeks in an artist residency at the Jennifer Keefe Studio in Tilting.Their

experience was transformative. The people and their stories; the place and its resolute beauty; not to mention the complete cultural

immersion: all provided rich inspiration for their work.

      On the island, the two artists walked the trails, visited the towns and listened to the stories of the local people. In the “Back Kitchen Studio” they translate these experiences into paint, photography and video.

      Upon returning to their hometown of Canmore, they mounted a two-person show entitled “In the Back Kitchen Studio, Two Artists on Fogo” highlighting the works created during the residency. During that exhibition they also had the opportunity to collaborate on a

work in the gallery in front of an audience. The resulting piece was “In the Back Kitchen Studio,” a painting created in a couple of layers. First, a photo taken by Pascale of the quilt on Barb’s bed at the Jennifer Keefe House was printed on canvas. The photo was then

tinted with reds and oranges to unify the quilt image and to represent the warmth of the homes and people we met in Tilting. Stencils were then applied over the photo and oil paint mixed with cold wax medium was applied to create the watery blue background. This heavily textured layer represents the vastness and power of the natural environment on Fogo and the resilience of its people.

      Pascale Ouellet (“nom de plume” Bigoudi) studied at the Visual Arts Program at the Université du Québec à Montréal and Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Fine Arts and Communications. Since 2004, she has held 20 solo exhibitions in Alberta galleries, participated in

more than 25 juried group shows across Canada, and been awarded two Public Art Commissions by the Town of Canmore. Ahe has also participated in four artistic residencies at The Banff Centre, and have been selected as a 2015 artist-in-residence with TRACS program on Fogo Island.

      Barb Fyvie has been awarded a TRACS Residency on Fogo Island Newfoundland in 2015 and 2017. She produced a Public Art Commission for the Town of Canmore in 2014. The artist completed her BFA at the University of Alberta in 1984. She has exhibited in galleries across Alberta and is currently represented by the Berg Gallery in Kananaskis Village, Alberta. Her work is held in private and corporate collections in Canada and internationally.

Contact: and

Rona Rangsch

My partner Robert Barmeier and myself belong to the lucky group of creative people who were invited by the Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society (TRACS) for a residency at the Reardon House twice, in 2012 and 2015. Already in the first year we were captured by the beautifully refurbished house, the breathtaking natural beauty of Sandy Cove, and by the unique community of Tilting and its residents. We felt very welcome from the start and in only five weeks of working on site – me on my video art project “face to face [across the sea]” (see: and Robert (being a journeyman carpenter) helping with the repair of several bridges on Turpin’s Trail, we made the place a home in our hearts. And the Reardon House and surroundings continued to be our place of longing, our piece of paradise, after we had returned to Germany.

      It was thus an honor and great delight when we were accepted

for another residency in 2015. That year, I was working on my project “The Vinland Phenomenon” (see: and Robert helped with repair work at the Lane House Museum. We also started to paint the Reardon House, which was a way for us to give back to the place that made us happy and to the people who make it all possible: the members of TRACS who, beside the Reardon House also operate the beautiful Jennifer Keefe Studio in Tilting. Thank you so much!

      Rona Rangsch studied physics at the Universities of Cologne and Saarbruecken. After research activities at several institutions she turned to a career as a media artist, studying multimedia design at camedien.colleg Essen and Kunstakademie Dusseldorf. Since is currently enrolled in the Interdisciplinary PhD program at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s with her project “Ambivalent”. Rangsch works with video, photography, installation

and 3D animation, adopting multimedia techniques usually applied to non-artistic contexts. She explores unseen relations between subjects and phenomen, developing her concepts along guidelines

not unlike those of scientific methodology. Her pursuit of unprejudiced interpretation of geophysical, climatic, historic and/or socio-cultural particularities make travel a crucial element in her life.

      Rona was awarded several international residency grants and work/research stipends. Besides exhibiting her own work in Germany and abroad she co-curates the exhibition and residency programs of Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund where she has been a

member since 2003.


Kerri Schmidt

I am a multimedia artist from Boston. I seek to create points of entry in my art that engage and invite interaction and develop new ways of seeing and knowing. My sculptural pieces and installations are created from re-purposed materials and discovered treasures. My photographs mark points in time. I spent the first half of my life in the vast landscapes of Northern California and the second half in the intimate settings of New England. These nature-based experiences and a profound pleasure for the small moments encountered during

daily life are deeply rooted in my artwork and reflected in the conversations I create with the world.

      In July 2014 I was awarded an international artist residency with the Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society (TRACS) on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. During my two week residency I created an ephemeral, site-responsive work, “Fogo Island Pebble Painting,” a short video montage, “Fogo Island Wind,” and a series of abstract photographic images, “Fogo Island Cracks.”

      All three projects were inspired by my experience in an environment that is constantly moving; shaping time, space, tradition, culture, and the people who call this magical place home. During the month of July, while icebergs floated off shore, the island was experiencing very unusual hot weather with no precipitation. Temperatures hit the 80’s (normal temps are in the low 60’s with regular rain showers) and pools of water near the ocean’s edge had dried up and cracked. “Fogo Island Cracks” are abstract photographs of one of those pools along the trail to the Great Auk. I was extremely fortunate to experience a small slice of life in this

magical place (thank you TRACS and everyone I met). Fogo

Island gave me a new way of knowing in exchange for a

piece of my heart, for which I am grateful.


Janice Thomson

I have been painting my whole life, in my spare time, even as I raised my family and held very busy corporate jobs over the past three decades. I have since ‘retired’ to focus on other ventures and aspects of my life’s journey. I settled in to classes and studio time and moved from water colour to acrylics, using modelling paste and a variety of mediums, primarily on wood panels. Painting en plein air, I still love watercolours for sketching and painting.

      Over the last number of years I have experimented with various techniques and styles. I have been influenced by the Group of Seven, Kim Dorland, for his use of bright and dark colours and sculpted canvases, Richard Diebenkorn for his technique and abstraction and a host of other artists. I paint landscapes, birds, flora and fauna with considerably more structural and sculpted components and increasingly monochromatic palettes.

      Increasingly my painting journey takes me down the road of sculpting paint and abstraction. I love working on wood panels as they accept paint like watercolour paper and they hold up to paste and gels and many layers of paint. I love the use of colour that’s a bit unexpected and try and fit bright neons in to my work where possible. I will go big landscape or very close up to try to convey the feelings of the land that is changing around us with each season. I have amazing vistas at my farm in Rob Roy, Ontario and my home on Fogo Island, Newfoundland. Every day I am inspired by the shapes and colours out my windows and on our land and sea. These environments create amazing light which I capture on film and then work it in to my choice of colour palette for my paintings.

      What I like best is the creative time it takes “in my mind’s eye” to develop ideas for the paintings. Then I work in the studio to help my vision come to life.


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