STAFF

 

Marilyn Adlington | Interim Director

programming @ cafka.org

Marilyn Adlington (she/her) is an MFA graduate of Criticism & Curatorial Practice from OCAD University with a background in Art History and Museum  Studies. She has a dedicated passion for curatorial work and exhibition development, with several years of experience developing contemporary art programming in communities throughout Ontario. She has published art writing in the Journal of Curatorial Studies, PUBLIC journal, and The Senses and Society journal. As the Interim Director for CAFKA, Marilyn strives to facilitate public art experiences that engage audiences in unique and innovative ways, generating meaningful community dialogue.

 

Eric Almberg | Education Coordinator 

education @ cafka.org

Eric Almberg (he/they/she) is an emerging artist and educator currently living and working on land traditionally cared for by the Haudenosaunee, Anishnaabe and Attawandaron Peoples, in an area colonially known as Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. They graduated with a BFA from the University of Lethbridge, and a Diploma in Visual Art from Grant MacEwan University. Eric's work revolves around the themes of connection, internal awareness, re-skilling, and environmental sustainability, exploring these themes through community programs, workshops, participatory and collaborative performances, storytelling, installations, and sculptures. Eric is currently building a timber frame bicycle cart for workshops, and investigating wood-focused alchemy with support from Pat the Dog 
                                                   Theatre Creation.
 

3/4 view of sophia sitting amongst greenery and flowers smiling at someone off camerasophia bartholomew | Operations Manager

operations @ cafka.org

sophia bartholomew (they/them) is a queer person and interdisciplinary artist, descended from Norwegian immigrants on Treaty 3 territory and English and Irish settlers. Working outwards from the ruins and runes of their own cultural inheritance, their practice spans drawing, writing, sculpture- and installation-making, collaboration, and small, daily negotiations with found materials and household waste. They have attended residencies with the Khyber Centre for the Arts in Halifax, Plug In ICA in Winnipeg, and arte no es fácil in Havana, Cuba. Their writing has been published by cmagazine, Artforum, BlackFlash, Public Parking, and Peripheral Review. They received their BFA from UBC in 2012 and their MFA from the University of Guelph in 2022, and between 2012 and 2015 they co-directed Connexion artist-run centre in Fredericton.

 

Julie Hall | Development + Outreach Coordinator

outreach @ cafka.org

Julie Hall (they/she) is an artist and writer of settler descent concerned with perception and language. Julie grew up outside of Kjipuktuk/Halifax and, before attending art school, was a research scientist until their fascination with objectivity ran its course. They work collaboratively with their partner, Jacob Irish (he/they), developing a ten-year co-creative practice in sculpture, video, and audio. Julie seeks the unspoken through artmaking, probing the ideologies and structures so ingrained in their own life and settler-colonial Canadian society that they go unnoted. They thrive in uncertainty and are calm in chaos. Earning a BFA from NSCAD University in 2017 and an MFA from the University of Waterloo in 2022, Julie has exhibited work at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax, Centre Bang! in Chicoutimi-Saguenay, the Art Gallery of Guelph, Hamilton Artists Inc., and the University of 
                                                   Waterloo Art Gallery.

 

 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

 

 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 Prousky | Programming Chair

Artist / Writer / Culture Worker

Lauren Prousky is an interdisciplinary artist, writer, and culture worker based in so-called Kitchener. Her visual practice, which centers curiosity, experimentation and collaboration, consists of installation, painting, social practice, performance and video. She has an MFA from University of Waterloo and a BFA from Concordia University. Lauren was the inaugural 2023 AGOxRBC Emerging Artist-in-Residence, where she created the participatory performance project, Black Tie Soup Night. Recent exhibitions include SPACEMAKER II, Public Sweat x UWAG, School of Art Gallery, The plumb, Xpace and Cambridge Art Galleries. In 2021, she was selected to participate in the COVE/COVOX program, facilitated by Inter Arts Matrix and funded by Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Trillium Foundation, to develop the large-scale collaborative performance piece, "When we speak at the same time we speak the same language". Lauren has published writing with Public Parking, 
                                                   Untethered, SUM and Peripheral Review and has curated exhibitions for Lumen Festival, Gallery Stratford, 
                                                   Apollo Cinema and a public pool.

 

Edgar Ferreira | Treasurer

Accountant

Edgar Ferreira is an Accountant working in the Life Sciences Sector. Here, he blends his academic background in health sciences with his work experience in Audit and Assurance to support financial projects, reporting, and analysis. He is a certified Management Accountant and currently working towards completing the Chartered Professional Accountant designation. Having previously lived in Kitchener in 2006 - 2009, Edgar recently returned to the region in 2023, where he now applies his financial acumen to support CAFKA's goals and contribute to the local arts community.

 

Ginger Whitney | Fundraising Chair

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.
 

 

Amara Pope | Director

Scholar / Artist 

With over a decade of work experience in marketing, brand management, and digital media across several industries, Dr. Amara Pope also holds a Ph.D. in Media Studies from Western University. Her Ph.D. research focused on the nuanced intersections of media, culture, and race, particularly within popular music and digital media. She also earned a Master's in Communication Studies from Wilfrid Laurier University and completed a Joint Honours Bachelor's Degree in Rhetoric and Professional Writing and Fine Arts with a Digital Media Specialization from the University of Waterloo. Dr. Pope is dedicated to amplifying underrepresented voices and fostering diversity, as exemplified in her TEDx Talk. She has delivered impactful lectures at prestigious universities such as the University of Southern California, and more. She has also spoken at conferences and served as a guest panelist across Canada. Her insights have been featured in notable media outlets including CTV, CBC, Vice, and others. When not immersed in her professional pursuits, Dr. Pope enjoys weightlifting and experimenting with oil, acrylic, and mixed-media painting.