Artist Biographies, N - Z

Click on artists' names to see full galleries of their works available in our store.

Meherun Nessa

Meherun Nessa was born and raised in Chittagong, Bangladesh.

Meherun began drawing landscape sketches at an early age, inspired by her parents. Her love of nature eventually brought her to painting. Meherun is mostly self-taught, and has her own unique style. She did attend the Fine Arts program at the University of Chittagong, graduating with a Masters in Fine Arts (Painting), with distinction. After graduating from University, she moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada in 2015. To accelerate her knowledge of the art world, she enrolled in the Saskatchewan Polytechnic, finding opportunities to sharpen her skills further and obtaining a diploma in Art and History. Her exposure to the larger world also broadened her understanding of life, nature and people in general.

Meherun gives form to unexpressed feelings, emotions, philosophy and the spirit of life on her canvases. Meherun portrays the psychological expression and limitations of life and people in her paintings. Meherun shares her concept and practices for translating nature’s grandeur, complexity and colour dynamics into convincing representation of space and light. Her paintings are full of possibilities and open to multiple interpretations.

Christi-Anne Ogilvie

 After completing her BFA at NSCAD University in 2018, Christi-Anne ventured to the West to start her artistic dream. Originally a landscape oil painter, Christi-Anne is now experimenting with different media and subject matter.  Christi-Anne is currently working with chalk pastel on an acrylic painted surface.  In some of her pieces, she incorporates handmade paper from Montreal.   She enjoys working with textures and colours, creating depth and layering in her pieces.  Her preferred subject is currently nature - plants, flowers and insects.  Bees, butterflies and spiders are of great interest, mainly for their colouring and delicate form, and also for the vulnerability they face in their fight against extinction.

Duane Panko

Duane and his twin brother were born in southern Saskatchewan near the U.S. border in 1937. He remembers painting animals and wildlife from a very early age. Later he studied engineering and architecture and continued to paint using a variety of media. Today Duane’s current work is predominantly watercolour paintings and has been described as contemporary impressionistic in style.


Reg Parsons

 Growing up in Western Canada, Reg Parson's school notebook margins were filled with sketches of wildlife and horses.  The desire to recreate wildlife took him into the art of taxidermy, laying the foundation for his work in bronze.  For many years he sculpted mannequins, and reproduced them for the purpose of taxidermy.

 The spring of 1997 brought with it a new challenge to sculpt wildlife, to be cast in bronze.  His understanding of nature, and the anatomy of wildlife, is evident in the life that he captures in each sculpture.  Subjects such as the Golden Eagle, North American wildlife, the Western Rodeo Series, the Lab Puppy Series, the impressionist Series of Creation, and his whimsical pieces that bring a smile, demonstrate the versatility of this award winning artist.  His work is original, and appealing to a wide range of art lovers.  It can be found in corporate and private collections around the world and is displayed in fine art galleries throughout western Canada and the United States.  His work has been internationally recognized in sculpture competitions, and he has received various awards.

 Reg Parsons currently lives with his wife and family in Cranbrook, situated in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.  Reg was recently commissioned to create a monument of a life size sow grizzly bear with her two cubs which is displayed in the Cranbrooks new International Airport.  The demand for his sculptures leaves little time for his love of painting, for which he has also received numerous awards.


Kevin PeeAce

Kevin was born in Kelvington SK and is a member of the Yellowquill First Nation.

He completed a fine arts studio diploma program from UCFV in Abbotsford British Columbia and has explored various programs in art history, archaeology, anthropology and native studies at the University of Saskatchewan.

Kevin's current works, often depicting mother and child with floral motifs, emphasize the importance of family, tradition and respect for his culture and heritage. He says, "These paintings are a tribute to my mother, who was my guide, my grandmother for her strength in cultural beliefs, and my children for the inspiration they give me."

Kevin has been very much influenced by his uncle, Jerry Whitehead, who helped him launch his career.

Through his style of painting, Kevin has been able to do collaborative mural projects with various schools throughout Saskatchewan. He also participated in the northern Saskatchewan International Children's Festival where he was showcased in the "First Peoples" village. The success of the 'floral-children' style captured second place in the annual Peace hills Art Contest in 2003.

Kevin Peeace’s work can be found in the permanent collections of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the University of Saskatchewan, the Royal University Hospital and other prominent collections, both public and private.

Stefania Piecowye

Stefania was born in Saskatoon and raised in rural Saskatchewan near Meacham, Sask. Stefania was primarily self-taught early on in her career.  She later studied with many accomplished artists in workshops, retreats and seminars. Currently Stefania is a member with the Bridge City Artists and a founding member with Group Six Artists in Saskatoon.

Stefania works using a wide variety of mediums and she now teaches to private groups.   Many of her original paintings have been selected in juried shows as well as being displayed in galleries, public and private collections across North America.

In 2002 one of her pictures was selected for publication in the S.G.I. calendar.  The Art Gallery of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan recently purchased one of her paintings for its permanent collection.

Lloyd Pinay

Lloyd Pinay was born on the Peepeekisis Reserve, Qu'àppelle, Saskatchewan in 1955.  As a boy he learned to sculpt from friends on the reserve.  Through the years, he has worked in clay, wood, silver, Ivory, and bronze and has even done some painting.   He now specializes in bronze, often in monumental sizes.

Pinay's themes of native legends and wildlife have been rendered in a variety of stones, as well as bronze.  Lloyd and his brother Dwight were the first to resurrect the tradition of making pipes from catlinite, a stone that retains great heat - and one that his ancestors used to carve peace pipes. Pinay’s other works in soapstone, alabaster, marble or bronze deal with the stories that his Elders told to him. 

Pinay hopes in his sculpture to preserve the tradition and pride of his people.  He is quick to point out however, that he never wants to lose sight of his own individual vision. “I always change things or add my own ideas.  I like some ambiguity in my work.”

Lloyd Pinay has had many exhibitions in Canada and the western United States. He was commissioned to sculpt the Aboriginal War Veterans Monument in Ottawa, has a life-sized alabaster and bronze sculpture displayed at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina, and has bronze sculptures displayed at Wanuskewin Heritage Park in Saskatoon.   He has many other works incorporate and private collections. The Queen Mother owned one of his pieces, as does the Chinese Government.

Scott Prokop

Scott Prokop’s work explores the relationship between being artistically inspired and technically excellent.

With influences as diverse as Ansel Adams and Trey Ratcliff, new synergies are generated from both the traditional roots of photography and modern techniques of the digital age.

Over the past 15 years Scott has created a library of photographs that have evoked an emotional response each time he clicked the shutter.

Scott’s goal is to create top quality captivating photographs. To satisfy his creativity he needs to work on his photographs after the moment after the click on the camera. For him, the creative aspect of photography starts after the image has been recorded by the camera. He feels that a computer and software in the digital darkroom is not merely a shortcut for what is possible with a camera, but instead it allows him to discover the artist inside which is possible in no other medium.

He loves capturing real life in real light and telling stories through the art of photography. Scott’s ongoing mission is to explore the limits of the camera, to constantly strive for new solutions and ultimately to create images that inspire, evoke emotion, and provoke thought.

David Riome

David Riome was exposed to nature and art at an early age. The mixed woodland around his hometown in Saskatchewan provided rich and varied experiences, which fostered an awareness of nature evident in his present work. Self-taught, the artist pursued individual studies and has been trained in a variety of technical and visual skills.

David Riome's wood and stone sculpture is carved with traditional hand tools from imported and domestic materials. His soapstone quarry, located in a remote area of Northern Saskatchewan, is the source of much material for his smaller work. Antler, bone, coral, bronze and other metals are also used in multi-media carvings. The natural materials complement the vital content of his work. In both his wildlife and figurative work, the artist draws from basic forms found in nature. Replicating natural smoothing effects of wind on snow drifts and sand dunes, Dave softens the contours of the pieces he sculpts. His sculptures are smooth and lustrous with flowing lines and curves. Utilizing principles of balance, rhythm, and harmony, he creates work that is uniquely Northern in their synthesis of subject, style and material.

David Riome's work has been acquired and is appreciated by both private and corporate collectors in Canada and the United States.


Rachel Schafer

Rachel Schafer was born, raised and continues to paint in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She was encouraged by family and her art educators to purse an artistic life.

When her mom would ask her while growing up what she wanted to do on any given day, the answer was always coloring. Fast forward twenty some odd years and not much has changed aside from swapping crayons for acrylic paints.

Her painting journey began with watercolors but she has since transitioned solely to acrylic paint. Although she has made this switch many of the skills learnt while using watercolors have carried through to her use of acrylics. Incorporating water helps her to create her unique style including gradients and blends not typically seen in acrylic paintings.

She is inspired by the little details of the human body that often go unnoticed or are taken for granted. This inspiration has led her to try to capture the uniqueness in all of us, our bodies and our experiences.

Her artwork captures strong light to show that not only are we unique individuals but that we are constantly changing throughout our lives depending on our environment and the external forces we are subject to.

As her growth as an artist continues Rachel has begun to explore beyond the human body by incorporating nature into her work. Her aim is to show the parallels of growth between ourselves and nature.


Laurel Schenstead-Smith

“Literature, painting, music – the most basic lesson that all art teaches us is to stop, look, and listen to life on this planet, including our own lives...” Frederick Buechner, Whistling in the Dark

Laurel’s home has always been in Saskatchewan. Growing up in a small city, camping at the lake in summer, skating in winter, gardening with Gran, being given free reign to be creative by encouraging parents marked her early days. After setting aside high school paints and immersing herself in academics and family life, she found her way back to art when she took a sketching class in 2004. Several painting workshops and a regular critique workshop followed. Hours are spent mulling over books by favorite artists and checking out artist websites – these have been her mentors.

 Artist Statement:

I paint in watercolour, acrylic, and oil. Subject wise, I paint what resonates with me, what seems to call me to paint it for some particular, sometimes inexplicable, reason. Places I have been, images I have seen or imagined or that hold a special memory.

 When light and colour flow into one another or reflect back to me from watercolour paper, when acrylic paint is burnished to form the look of worn leather or lightly touched to the canvas to form mist, when oil paints blend into an infinite number of shades – these bring satisfaction. Paint put to paper, canvas, or board reveals nature and mankind’s creations as I see them.

 I hope my paintings will cause you to pause, to call forth in you a feeling of “being there” - a special memory or experience, or perhaps they will awaken within you the desire for more creativity in your life.

 The members of the Big Sky Artists group have encouraged me on my journey since inviting me to join them and it has been a privilege to show with them annually since 2006. I have had three solo shows at Collector’s Choice Art Gallery, which continues to promote my paintings in the gallery and in the yearly ArtNow exhibition.

 “You may take the long view or the close up view, but when you gaze at nature’s beauty, fury, or stillness you are gradually brought into its intrigue. If you gaze long enough it will offer you its gifts.”

Regina Seib

Regina was born in East Germany and immigrated to Canada at age seven with her mother and grandmother. She has lived in various locations in Western Canada, including Saskatoon. She currently resides in Nanaimo.

Art is Regina’s passion, evident throughout her childhood and continuing in to adulthood, always painting as time permits. Over the years she has taken a number of artist’s workshops and several classes at the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina. She earned her AFCA March 2009. Regina paints full time and had the opportunity to attend a workshop with Brian Atyeo at River Rock Studios, Cochrane, Alberta and a workshop and symposium with Jerry Heine, Jack Reid, Teresa Posniak and Doris McCarthy in Jasper, Alberta. She is presently exploring textures, shapes and colours in acrylic and watercolour.

“My desire to create continues to intensify and since the year 2000 I have painted full time realizing a life long dream. With the creative urge God has given me, I am constantly motivated and challenged as I explore new ideas and methods for making marks on canvas. Breaking into abstract images has given me great liberty in expressing myself and expanding my boundaries. It is very gratifying to have my works in numerous collections in Canada and abroad.”

Regina’s work is currently displayed in Saskatoon at Collector’s Choice Art Gallery.


Denyse and Rod Simair

Internationally acclaimed ceramic artists Rod & Denyse Simair reside in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada.  The Simairs  represented Canada in major exhibitions in Europe and North America, with the support of the Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Canada Council for the Arts, and Foreign Affairs Canada.  As invited guest artists, they gave presentations at several international conferences.  They are sole recipients of the highest international honour awarded exclusively to Crystalline, Le Grand Prix du Jury, in France.

Theirs is a true marriage of individual specialization, merging to create breathtaking crystalline porcelain sculpture.  Rod focused exclusively on the wheel, masterfully throwing exquisite porcelains of original design that combine a strength of form balanced with delicacy.  Denyse, through years of experimental research, documentation, and artistic invention, skillfully created, applied and meticulously fired her individually personalized glazes to each piece, advancing the mystery of their crystalline artistry.

Considered pioneers of the Crystalline Renaissance and visionaries in their field, it is rare that two artists are so intertwined and the result is award winning work worthy of collection.  Many of the sculptures you will see are years in the making with months of research, multiple prototypes and numerous firings.  The results are heirloom keepsake originals of aesthetically inspiring crystalline porcelain to cherish now and for generations to come.

Rod and Denyse unfortunately retired in December, 2017 due to health reasons.  Collector's Choice Art Gallery is fortunate to have secured a selection of their pieces and to be able to continue to offer them. 

Leonard Carlyle Skinner

Leonard was born on August 5, 1950 in Victoria, British Columbia. His father was a Canadian Naval Officer, and as a result Leonard spent his childhood living in many parts of Canada. Today, Leonard and his family continue to live and work in London, Ontario.

As a young boy, Leonard and his family made annual auto trips to his grandparents’ farm in Northern Saskatchewan from Ottawa. The trans Canada Highway, in the late 50’s and 60’s exposed Leonard to the natural beauty of the Northern Landscape. In later years, Leonard and his family would spend their summers camping in Ontario, and in particular, the Algonquian and Georgian Bay regions. This kind of exposure during his formative years, is very evident in his work today.

Leonard was enrolled in High School of Commerce Art Program in Ottawa, Ontario from 1967 to 1969. He continued his formal training at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, in the Art and Design Program.

Leonard is a lifelong painter who, for the past 18years, has devoted himself to painting full-time. His works have been represented in several galleries in Canada and the United States, and his work is finding its way into many private and corporate collections.

Artist's Statement: The subject material and inspiration for my work is the Canadian Landscape and, in particular the Canadian Shield. I take inspiration from a legacy of great Canadian painters drawn to the same areas I travel.

Kathleen Slavin

Artist's Statement: My first love as a painter is the countless possible processes of applying paint to a surface.   I use a variety of mark-making techniques to hover between abstract and representational elements.  Canadian landscape offers a spectacular source of inspiration. I am also intrigued by garden plants. I have painted en plein air for many years and enjoy that practice in the summer and love my cozy studio in cooler weather. 

My formal education includes degrees in Art History and in Education.  My training as a visual artist is from University of Saskatchewan Extension Division art classes offered at the Saskatoon campus and the Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake as well as  local classes with guest artists.

In the more than two decades that I have been showing work in Saskatchewan, I have benefitted from the critique of many established artists both at Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus and in the Saskatoon community. I maintain an independent practice and have exhibited paintings in private and public galleries and in community venues. My paintings have also been represented by galleries in Saskatoon, Regina, and in Davidson.  I am also a juried member in visual arts of Saskatchewan Craft Council.


Richard Thatcher

Richard grew up in Canada’s prairie province of Saskatchewan—an area of vast flatlands, rolling hilled parkland,  northern forests, extraordinarily beautiful skyways and a political culture given to experimentation with social organization and health and social policies (the first administrative area in North America that established a [public] medical care insurance program). In addition to being an artist, Richard is a sociologist, social policy analyst and non-fiction writer who lives with Myrna Martyniuk (his spouse and best friend) in a village in the Qu’Appelle Valley, 20 miles north of Regina. Their home is a former 2-classroom, brick schoolhouse. It was originally converted to a home and studio in the late 1960s by the well-known sculptor Vic Cicansky and his late spouse. The building now includes, as mentioned, a working office, as well as a studio, a small workshop and a creative garden and tranquility space (both works in [very slow] progress).

Over the six plus decades of his life, Richard has participated in various individual and group shows in which he has exhibited his art works. In the 1990s, he was affiliated with the former Verve Gallery in Regina. He has also contributed dozens of art pieces to fund-raising auctions in support of various charitable and political causes and has sold and gifted privately. Richard is (semi) retired from the consulting and applied social science work that occupied most of his working energies for the balance of his adult life. He is now concentrating his time creating new art and undertaking independent writing and seminar projects related to that writing.


Jerry Tony

Jerry Tony is from Yellow Quill First Nation who was born in Kelvington, SK in 1963. He lived on Yellow Quill for about 10 years in his early life, eventually moving to a farm with his family. Jerry’s passion for artwork began in grade 7 at Kelvington High School where he took first place in a sketching contest. At that time, it was a hobby for him to draw but his inspiration grew when he was 21. The paintings he makes derive from his own perception of his Indigenous background creating his own style of woodland art. He shares this talent by selling his artwork as a vendor. Two years in a row, he sold ten paintings to the International Education Department at Bow Valley College in Calgary, AB, where his paintings were given as gifts going to different countries. In 1998, his artwork was published through the Alberta Native News and Alberta Native Journal. He continues to bring unique ideas onto canvass and has sold to many businesses, art collectors and galleries. Jerry’s place of residence is in Calgary, AB.

Mark Totan

Mark Totan is an Inuit carver originally from the tiny community of Hall Beach, N.W.T. A heavy duty mechanic by trade, he began seriously carving stone as a young man, in 1988.  In 1993, The Banff School of Fine Arts offered Mark a full scholarship. Today Mark lives in Edmonton, Alta. working as a full time carver.

Mark specializes in realistic carvings of the people and animals of the north. His intricate attention to detail has gained him a worldwide  following of collectors and galleries.

Mark continues to use traditional methods in his carving. When asked to carve a particular image, he has often said that the stone decides what it will be. Since Canadian soapstone has become less accessible, Mark sculpts in soapstone from around the world including East Indian, South and North American and Chinese, all having individual characteristics depending on the geographical region of origin.  He currently is using serpentine from a deposit in B.C.

Mark initially roughs out the block of carving stone with hammer and chisel and then uses files, rasps and sandpaper for finishing. The final touch consists of rubbing with liquid acrylic or Danish oil to bring out the natural finish of the stone. Each stone may vary in colour and markings, from shades of black and brown to various shades of green, as well as shades from cream to pure white. Soapstone is characterized by its softness and lustre.


Joan Weber

Joan has a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Saskatchewan with a major in art. She has improved her skills by attending classes and workshops given by Saskatchewan artists and through University of Saskatchewan Extension classes at Emma Lake and in Saskatoon.

Joan has studied books on painting skills and worked on self development. She works mostly in acrylics and some watercolour and spends many hours practicing her artistic skills. Although her style tends to be realistic, she is making efforts to paint in a more relaxed style. Joan is presently a member of the Bridge City Artists Group.

Artist Statement: I am prairie born and prairie influenced. I love Saskatchewan and like to represent it in my paintings. I feel the open spaces, the prevailing winds and the simplicity of the landscape.

Our province has large open spaces with small pockets of beauty. One has sometimes to look carefully for the wonders of prairie nature: the small but beautiful wild flowers; the subtle colours in the trees and grasses, the small flitting birds or the frost patterns on the window pane. There are as well the large panoramic skyscapes, field after field as far as the eye can see, and series of rolling hills and valleys, prairie ponds and shrubby trees.

I am also enchanted by the forest areas, especially the little things that grow and gather on the forest floor. Saskatchewan has much to offer for subject, lots really to “wet one’s pallet”.

Jerry Whitehead


Over the yearsJerry Whitehead‘s artwork has gone through a number of stages. The one thing that has remained constant throughout this progression is his focus on powwows and powwow dancers.

“Powwow dancers have been an ongoing theme in my work since I began painting. Seeing the dancers as a child had a lasting impression. The subject matter has been ideal for expressing a part of my culture as well as accommodating changes in my work,” says the artist from the Peter Chapman First Nation.

As a child in Saskatchewan, Whitehead says he was interested in art like any of his friends. Unlike the average kid, he used almost any source he could find for his drawings including the ashes that remained from fires and the lead in the bullets his father used as a hunter.

Whitehead obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Indian Art from the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax.

Whitehead says that his style has changed over the years. “I went through a lot of different stages,” he says. But, as in his current work, powwow dancers and powwows remained an integral theme. He currently produces abstract paintings that demonstrate his fondness of vivid colours. This, he believes, was learned from his mother and her brightly coloured, braided rugs. He says that this current style “just developed” over- time.

Whitehead is quick to shrug off labels for his work. He says that many people try to define his style but he refuses to limit himself in this way. He is always looking for new ways to adapt and change.

Jerry Whitehead currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia but his work can be seen throughout western Canada. He has displays in Saskatchewan at Artworks in Saskatoon and at the Wanuskewin Heritage Park.

Richard Widdifield

Born in Gainsborough, Saskatchewan in 1961, Richard began painting in 1983 and participated in numerous shows in Regina and Weyburn areas, garnering many commissions and awards.

In 1987 he moved to the West Kootenays in B.C. where he initiated unique limited - edition fundraising campaigns with such diverse groups as Robson Community School, Kootenay - Columbia Child Care Society and Rural Dignity of Canada. He became well known in the Castlegar area for his many public mural commissions and extensive portrait work. In 1996 he relocated to Saskatoon with fellow artist and partner Sandra Lee Groepler and in September 1997 had his first one-person show since returning to Saskatchewan: “Under Western Skies,” at the Meewasin Interpretive Centre. Also in 1997, Richard was commissioned by the Broadway Theatre to produce a colourful, nostalgic poster of that venue in celebration of its 50th anniversary. 1998 marked Richard’s 15th year as an artist. Among his awards, in 1989 Richard received the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for his work as a promising young Canadian realist artist.

In Saskatoon Richard has exhibited at Meewasin Valley Authority Interpretive Centre and Saskatoon City Hospital’s Gallery on the Bridges. Richard’s work can be purchased at Collector’s Choice Art Gallery.

Shu-Cheng (Shawn) Zheng 郑书成


Shu-Cheng (Shawn) Zheng B.A. (Industrial Design), M.A. (Fine Art) is a versatile and well-known Chinese- Canadian artist.   He was born in Fuzhou, China. He was appointed professor at the Department of Fine Arts, Fujian Teacher’s University before he immigrated to Canada in 1989. Shawn, a long-time Saskatoon artist, has developed a distinctive art style in painting with Chinese brush and ink. He is also an art instructor in Department of Art and Art history at U of S and a photographer, and has participated in several exhibitions  at the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery of the University of Saskatchewan.  

“Shawn Zheng is one of the most important contemporary artists whose work bridges the art worlds of China and Canada in a delicate style.”---Peter S. Li, C.M, FRSC