Our Leaders have been there

Our Board The Portage Board is made up of seasoned professional artists of faith with broad international experience in visual art, communications, arts education and missions. We have been active in the “Theology and the Arts” field for 25 years, but with a special interest in the therapeutic side of artmaking. We specialize in that place where theology, psychology and aesthetics converge and inform one another. We represent very diverse styles, or what we call languages of art, but have in common a love of Canadian geography and the original artist Jesus, who made it all.

James Tughan      Executive Director and Education Artist, Poet, Arts Educator,  James is best known for his drawings. He is founder and Exec. Dir. of Semaphore Fellowship,  Portage Group, and Flagship Gallery, as well as a former art faculty member at Sheridan University, Redeemer University and Tyndale University College. He is currently studying in the MTS/DPT doctoral program at McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, ON. tughansemaphore.wordpress.com

Heidi Brannan     External and Internet Promotion and VP Over the past three decades Heidi has worked in stone, glass, fabric, silk, dry media and oils. Her work explores themes of growth, transformation, healing, and celebration. After years of doing custom work for clients, running a gallery and exhibiting her own work, she went into EMS for eight years, which influenced her art significantly. She is now building visual arts workshops and programs for survivors of trauma. heidibrannan.ca

Amanda Leblanc     Portage Gatherings Gatherings                Amanda is an artist and educator working in the GHA. She is passionate about creating safe places for people to make and play while expressing their inner worlds and has been working in her field for over 10 years. Many of the topics explored in her artwork relate to struggles with emotional trauma and mental illness. She believes that creativity can play an important role in promoting wellness. amandaleblanc.wixsite.com/portfolio

Marina Wastle       Show Coordination Marina is a multilingual arts supporter and English instructor hailing from Georgia in the former;y Soviet Union. She is a long time TESL educator and Russian translator in the Canadian court system. She also happens to be very familiar with most of the major public fine art galleries in Europe and Russia, and brings to the support of Portage a wealth of commitment to our flourishing.

Darek Wieczorek     Internal Newsletter Darek is an experienced graphic designer, and an animator from Lublin Poland, an MFA graduate of the Fine Art Academy of Krakow and owner of graphic design and publishing firm there, with a specialization in the pharmaceutical industry. He is especially concerned with pattern making and image perception and optics.

Penny-Jane Jolin Prayer Artist and educator, Penny lives in Northern Quebec, where the distinct cultures within Indigenous, French and English communities create many challenges. Through working with art groups, she has experienced the power of building relationships between these communities. Penny is struck by the “Interconnectedness” God has created among us and captures this in her art. Through the use of Japanese papers on a canvas circle loom, she prayerfully shares this gift found in Jesus.

TBA   Treasurer and Fundraising

Special consultants: Elizabeth Brooks (education), Ela Malara (plein- air expeditions and painting), Jim Huszti (tech assistance and digital art), George Wastle (painting, illustration and editing) Rachel Major, (graphic design) and Alaina Agnew.