Tastemakers was a series of artist talks that took place at Queen Alexandra Elementary School in the spring of 2017. These talks brought a diverse array of artists and cultural producers into conversation with grade 4/5 students. The short talks were followed by workshops where the artists’ ideas were enacted, tested, and unraveled by the student population.


February 10 – Elizabeth Milton

Elizabeth Milton is a Vancouver-based performance and media artist who utilizes character-play to investigate constructions of identity and affective expression. Her recent performances and exhibitions have taken place at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Nanaimo Art Gallery and the grunt gallery and developed through national and international artist-residencies. Milton holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of British Columbia and a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University. She instructs courses in Studio Art at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and Langara College.


February 17 – Terrance Houle

Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and raised on the Great Plains of North America, Terrance Houle is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary media artist and a proud member of the Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe). Involved with Aboriginal communities all his life, he has traveled to reservations throughout North America participating in Powwow dancing and native ceremonies. Houle makes use of performance, photography, video & film, music and painting in his work. Likewise, Houle’s practice includes various tools of mass dissemination such as billboards and vinyl bus signage. Houle graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2003 with a BFA Major in Fibre. Houle’s work has been exhibited across Canada, the United States, Australia, the UK and Europe. Houle lives and maintains his art practice in Calgary.


March 3 – Cole Pauls

Cole Pauls is a Tahltan First Nation comic artist, illustrator and printmaker hailing from Haines Junction, Yukon Territory with a BFA in Illustration from Emily Carr University. Currently located in Vancouver BC, he focuses on his two comic series Pizza Punks, a self-contained comic strip about punks eating pizza and Dakwäkãda Warriors, a series about two Southern Tutchone earth protectors- Saving the earth from evil pioneers and cyborg sasquatches. Dakwäkãda Warriors also is a language revival comic book that has 25 Southern Tutchone words. He’s currently working on his next two publications; The Pizza Punks Collection and Dakwäkãda Warriors II.


March 10 – Phranc

Phranc introduces herself as “the All-American Jewish Lesbian Folksinger.” As a visual artist she has adopted the moniker  “The Cardboard Cobbler.” As a teenager she attended The Feminist Studio Workshop at The Woman’s Building in Los Angeles, California, where she focused on songwriting and silk-screening.  In the late 1970’s she was a member of Nervous Gender and Catholic Discipline in the L.A. punk rock scene. She has recorded for Rhino Records, Island Records, and Kill Rock Stars and toured internationally with many acclaimed and notorious artists. Both her music and visual work employ humor to raise consciousness, trigger response, and provoke discussion. She exhibits her visual work at the Craig Krull Gallery in Santa Monica California (www.craigkrullgallery.com) and at Friesen Gallery in Ketchum, Idaho (www.friesengallery.com).


March 31 – Ron Tran

Ron Tran employs a wide range of media, including sculpture, photography, video, performance and installation, as a means to blur the boundaries between public and private space and authorship and identity. Tran was born in Saigon and moved to Vancouver in 1987. He holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver. Tran has participated in group and solo exhibitions in Canada, Europe and Asia. He was recently awarded a Mayor’s Arts Award (Vancouver, 2015) and the Künstlerhaus Bethanien residency (Berlin, 2014). His work is featured in Art Cities of the Future: 21st Century Avant-Gardes, published by Phaidon Press.


Mrs. Wong and Mrs. Nickel hosted us, along with their students: Anna, Andrew, Anthony, Arianna, Asia, Aydin, Cathy, Cami, Celest, Charlotte, Clara, Coebe, Coleen, Daniella, Danielle, Darlene, Derrick, Edwin, Ella, Ellaine, Emi, Gabby, George, Jachin, Jacky, Jaymes, Joey, Jospeh, Justice, Kaleb, Kiera, Keira, Kia, Levi, Lily, Linden, Lucas, Naomi, Nirbhay, Nicholas, Ruby, Ryan, Sophia, Tatiana, Tessa and Yoni.

Special thanks to Emily Carr University students: Lydia Bao, Dong Ding, Celina Hui, Ruby Liu, Vivian Ngo, Brianne Siu, Kylie Joe, Eve Lansink, Madison Mayhew, Grace Noh, Sam Taylor, Melanie Whorton and Willy Zhuang.

And Additional thanks to: Deborah Edmeades, Cynthia Brooke, Bopha Chhay, Erik Hood, Vanessa Kwan, Hana Kujawa, Dominique Norvall, Jess McCormack, Harrell Fletcher and Holly Schmidt.