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Visual Arts

The Richmond Arts Centre is proud to offer classes taught by some of the best and brightest instructors from around the Lower Mainland. Below are brief introductions to some of those instructors and their qualifications.

Tony Bowden – Visual Arts
RAC instructor Tony BowdenTony, or Mr. Tony, received his Masters in Art at Case Western University with a concentration in Art Education. He also received a scholarship to the Cleveland Institute of Art where he later joined the faculty. He started working in animation on The Care Bear Movie and later apprenticed for an architecture firm. His curiosity and passion for using art to better the world led him to create and direct Image Eccentric, which dealt with visual multi-media shows as benefits for charities such as ArtCares, a charity organization in which he is the creator and founder of. 

Mr. Tony is a practicing artist who has been published, photographed and exhibited at showcases like Museum of Modern Art in Cleveland. He also teamed with Mark Brown, creator of the popular children’s cartoon series Arthur to do a limited edition print. He is also dedicated to promoting the arts around BC and was featured twice in Over The Edge by the Canadian Federation of Painters. Mr. Tony is also a member of BCTC (British Columbia Teachers College).

Pat Brandon – Visual Arts
RAC arts instructor Pat BrandonAn artist since 1985, Pat Brandon moved back to Canada in 2005 after a career in ceramic sculpture, tile making and teaching in California. Her approach to art is one of problem solving. A latent engineer, she utilizes science, math and history to inform and enrich her students’ experience in her varied workshops.

Christen Burnett – Visual Arts
RAC instructor Christen BurnettChristen studied at the University of British Columbia (UBC) graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Education and a focus in Visual Arts. She previously acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts from UBC in 2005, majoring in painting and photography. As a practicing artist, Christen works in a variety of mediums ranging from oil painting, drawing, photography and textiles. As an educator, she is very focused on creating an inclusive environment where her students can express themselves and explore their identity through artwork.

Tommy Hsiao – Visual Arts
RAC instructor Tommy HsiaoTommy Hsiao is a visual artist, illustrator/writer, and educator residing in Richmond, British Columbia. Tommy obtained his Artist-in-Community Bachelor of Education from Queen's University, Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University, and Certificate of Liberal Arts from Simon Fraser University. Before joining Richmond Arts Centre, Tommy worked with the Vancouver School Board, Arts Umbrella, the Limestone District School Board, the Tett Centre, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, and Richmond Art Gallery, fostering art education and creativity in the community.

Mona Lochan – Clay and Visual Arts
RAC instructor Mona LochanMona Lochan is an interdisciplinary artist and educator who believes in the power of art for creating joy, healing, building community and awakening creativity and self-expression. She has a BFA form Emily Carr and a B.ED from Simon Fraser University. Mona’s formal education and art experience working with diverse communities for over 18 years have given her skills and confidence to be a diligent teacher. Mona is the Family Sunday Facilitator at the Richmond art Gallery and she also works as an Artist in Residence with Community Arts in Burnaby.

David Robinson - Ceramics
RAC instructor David RobinsonDavid Robinson has been working with children and young adults in an instructional creative capacity for over 17 years. It has been through these explorations with youth that David discovered a lifelong passion of providing a platform in which young people can feel the sense of empowerment and individualistic expression, through fostering a creative environment that is both imaginative and nurturing. David runs his own studio practice from his creative Co-Operative work space of DMR Ceramics, located in the heart of Vancouver's Chinatown District. He has a degree in Fine Art (with a focus on ceramic mold making) from Emily Carr University of Art and Design and has shown work across Canada as well as internationally.

Emily Sheppard – Ceramics, Visual Arts
RAC instructor Emily SheppardEmily Sheppard is an Interdisciplinary Artist currently working out of Vancouver and transplanted from South Western Ontario. She is thrilled to join the Richmond Arts Centre team as an Instructor and as the Technician for the Centre. Ceramics, Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media are the classes she is offering through the RAC. Sheppard believes that creating a fertile learning environment is essential to fuel the art making process. She  feels that it is important to encourage students to engage in communication about the art they are making. Her main focus with students is developing a core set of skills, based in traditional techniques, that will serve them as they learn to excel and develop their own stylistic independence. Sheppard has been working in the arts with young people for over well over a decade and received a BFA from Emily Carr and a Visual Arts Diploma from North Island College.

Nicola Tibbetts Visual Arts
RAC instructor Nicola TibbettsNicola Tibbetts is an artist and art instructor who lives in Vancouver, BC. She works predominantly in painting and drawing. In 2008 Nicola received a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 2010. Since 2006, Nicola has exhibited her work nationally and internationally in both solo and group exhibitions and has received grants from the government of British Columbia and private institutions.

As an art educator Nicola is interested in fostering the development of well-rounded artists by promoting a multifaceted approach to art education: strong technical skills, efficient use of materials, a solid grasp of art theory, art history and contemporary art. She endeavours to make her classroom a place of experimentation and spontaneity, critical thinking and inquiry.