Marilyn Adlington | Program Coordinator

programming @

sophia bartholomew | Operations Coordinator

operations @

Julie Hall | Development and Outreach Specialist

outreach @

Caitlin Sutherland | Director

csutherland @




 Sharl 2 th_0.pngSharl G. Smith | President and Board Chair

 Artist / Architect

Originally from Jamaica, Sharl Smith lived in the U.S. for 17 years before moving to Canada in 2015. She received her Bachelor of   Architecture with honours from New York Institute of Technology, where she was also the founder and Editor-in-Chief of NYIT’s Campus Newspaper. She practiced at architectural firms in the U.S. for 6 years before moving to Canada in 2015. She now operates Sun Drops art studio in Waterloo where she creates beaded sculptures and jewelry.


Conan Stark | Vice-Chair

Teacher / Artist

Conan Stark is an artist and teacher working at Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute in downtown Kitchener, where he is the head of the visual arts dept.  He is a graduate from the University of Waterloo obtaining a B.F.A. (2002) and later a B.E.D. (2003) from the University of Western Ontario. As an arts educator in the Waterloo region he is inspired by the diverse community of artists and practices.  He is intent on extending his art classroom to enhance his students' learning by engaging in community art projects and initiatives. He was born in Northern Ontario growing up in a low tech atmosphere and moved to the region in the mid 1980s. This contrast presents itself in the themes and production of his work through his fascination with both traditional and contemporary art practices.


lauren weinberg.pngLauren Weinberg | Secretary

Founder, Open Sesame

Lauren Weinberg is the founder of Open Sesame, an online shop that was also a Downtown Kitchener art gallery and performance space from 2015 to 2019. Lauren is a former art critic and Art and Design Editor for Time Out Chicago. She lives in Waterloo.




tara cooper.pngTara Cooper | Director

Artist / Educator

Tara Cooper is a printmaker, photographer, animator, installation and book artist and an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, Department of Fine Arts. Recently she has participated in residencies at Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass, Colorado), The Wassaic Project (Wassiac, New York) and Landfall Trust (Brigus, Newfoundland). Tara is co-editor of Printopolis (along with Jenn Law), a volume examining contemporary print in Canada published by Toronto’s Open Studio and co-director of the documentary Follow the Bones (along with Terry O'Neill), a film that tells the story of Northern Alberta’s Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum. Tara is a resident of Kitchener.  


Žana Kozomora | Director

Artist / Curator / Arts Administrator

Žana Kozomora is an emerging interdisciplinary artist, curator and arts administrator based in Kitchener and originally from Sarajevo, BiH. She is a graduate of the Honours B.A. Fine Arts Studio Program at the University of Waterloo with a Professional Practice Specialization (2015). She curated a solo exhibition of the artist collective XVK at Cambridge Galleries | Idea Exchange (2018), acted as assistant to Co-curators Jane Tingley and Nina Czegledy for the 2020 exhibition Agents for Change | Facing the Anthropocene, and is currently the Curatorial Assistant at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. Her involvement with CAFKA began as a volunteer in 2014 and she has served on the Programming Committee since 2018. She is excited to continue working with CAFKA as a board member supporting the transformative role of contemporary art in public spaces.


Brubey (Wanzhi) Hu | Director

Fine Artist / Graphic Designer

Brubey (Wanzhi) Hu is a recent MFA graduate from the University of Waterloo. She holds Bachelor of Fine Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) with major in General Fine Arts and concentrations in Graphic Design and Book Arts. Brubey works mostly with but not limited to painting and artists’ book, with interests in architecture, dualism, translation, memory, and colour theory. Originally born in Xiamen China, Brubey moved to Vancouver Canada in 2011 for high school, and then to the United States for undergrad. Brubey’s work has been exhibited in Canada, the US, and China. In 2018, Brubey participated in BAiR Emerging Visual and Digital Arts Residency at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.


Ginger Whitney | Director

Real Estate Broker

Ginger Whitney is a Real Estate Broker, Vice President and Managing Partner at WHITNEY & Company Realty in the Region of Waterloo. With 11 years of experience, 2 international designations and being a 5th generation WHITNEY realtor Ginger has established herself as a real estate entrepreneur. Ginger is focused on helping local companies grow their businesses and getting more involved with the community. Joining CAFKA’s Board provides an opportunity for Ginger to contribute her knowledge and expertise towards the ongoing development of the thriving local arts culture. Ginger has a keen interest in architecture, design, photography, contemporary art, music, dance, commerce and fitness. In her spare time Ginger enjoys outside activities that include - photography, walking her dogs, cross country skiing and downhill skiing.


Rita M. Palacios | Director

Scholar / Educator

Rita M. Palacios is a professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Conestoga College. She holds a doctorate in Spanish (Latin American Literature and Culture) from the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on contemporary Maya cultural production (literature, visual, performance, and installation art) and privileges Indigenous perspectives above all. She has written about Indigenous literature and art and, alongside Dr. Paul M. Worley, co-authored Unwriting Maya LiteratureTs’íib as Recorded Knowledge (University of Arizona Press 2019).


Roshan James | Director

bio/ headshot coming soon...