Jessica has over 15 years of experience working in the Arts and Culture sector across delivery, community engagement and education. A graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts with a Bachelor of Performing Arts she furthered her studies in Communications and Media at the University of Notre Dame Australia.
After working across the media, television and entertainment industry as performer, reporter, writer and voice over artist she consolidated her passion for arts and education by gaining a Diploma in Secondary Education at Edith Cowan University.
Jessica has coordinated regional festivals and been part of the team delivering Perth International Arts Festival with a key role in driving engagement in the arts for young people.
Jason is an artist and teacher from southwest London. Originally completing a degree in Graphic Design and Illustration from De Montfort University in Lincoln UK, he continued his studies to train as a teacher in London. Jason worked as both a professional artist and a teacher in the South of England for many years before being persuaded by his wife Karen to leave everything behind and start a new life in Australia. Posted by the Department of Education to Esperance in 2009, Jason and Karen have never left. The last 10 years has seen a huge development in his Art practice, this has been mainly due to an exposure to the workshop environment in his role as a Design and technology teacher and the learning of many new skills.
Jason now creates mainly forged and fabricated steel sculpture, with gallery representation in Margaret River and Singapore. Seeking out talented local artists and makers, Jason has organized a few collaborative shows at the Cannery with two successful ‘Elements’ exhibitions in 2017 and 2018. Jason is committed to the development of the professional artists in the local community as well as developing and running fun and engaging arts based workshops for all.
Kyron Smithson is an Esperance local having attended the Esperance Senior High School prior to a five-year stint in Perth where he studied and completed a bachelor degree in Tourism Marketing and Management. A return to his family farm in Scaddan was short lived with Kyron developing a small music production business Kyza Presents in 2014. Kyza Presents went from strength to strength, with key goals being the development of local musicians, and gigs to support their performance. A strong interest in the coordination of local music-based events lead to his involvement in the Festival Of The Wind 2017. Multiple FOTW events with a live music element where run at The Cannery Arts Centre across the festival with the potential to for live music and art exhibitions to co-exist recognised. Kyron joined the Cannery committee not long after, and used his skills and networks within the music industry to develop a strong music program at The Cannery arts Centre.
In late 2018 Kyron formed Esperance local act Grand Casual with Joe Franzone and Matt Cooper. Since formation they have performed multiple shows locally and further afield, the trio considering themselves ambassadors for The Esperance Music Scene. Grand Casual acts as Kyron’s artistic outlet and gives him perspective when working within the arts industry in Esperance. Kyron enters his second two-year term as a member of The Cannery Art Centre committee joining the executive team in the role of secretary. With a clear goal of aiding the Cannery team in developing what the Art Centre is able to offer the local Esperance community.
Born and bred in Esperance, at 18 Jay left for Perth to study Civil Engineering at Curtin University. In 2003 Jay began his career with one of Australia’s largest construction and engineering companies and over the following 16 years worked on a number of iconic Western Australian projects. He received a number of state and national awards for successful delivery of projects and contribution to the construction industry, including the prestigious Master Builders Rick New Medal for Excellence and the Australian Institute of Building Professional Excellence Award. In recent years Jay has worked in Project Management and Commercial Management positions overseeing projects ranging in value from $7m-$350m across a range of sectors including Health and Corrections.
Jay thrives on collaboration, solving challenging problems and is passionate about building thriving teams and bringing big visions to life. He believes in utilising his skills to serve his community and hopes to contribute towards creating a growing arts scene in his beloved home town where he now lives, by serving on the Cannery Committee. Jay loves all things involving adventure in the great outdoors and is an advocate for preserving our natural world. In his spare time he loves to surf and brew craft beer.
With almost 20 years of experience in working for Not For Profits and community organisations, Shannan Gillespie has a range of skills to complement the Management Team. She has worked in the community arts sector for seven years with previous Manager roles at the Cannery and Southern Edge Arts. She has served on the board of Art on the Move for five years, two as Vice Chairperson, is a former Vice Chairperson of the Cannery and Secretary and Committee member for two Festivals of the Wind. Shannan returned back to Esperance and a Co-Manager role at the Cannery last year. She has a passion for contemporary arts and local art history and brings strong financial management skills, corporate relationship management and a special interest in governance to the management team.
In her spare time you will find her hanging out with her musician husband and two young children, renovating their mid-century house, writing poetry and studying accounting.
Originally from Canada, Kimberly made the move to Australia in 2005, shortly after completing her undergraduate studies in Canada and obtaining a degree in social science. With an interest in education, Kimberly is currently completely post secondary studies in education. She brings to the Cannery a love of the arts and a passion for community engagement. After getting involved in the 2017 Festival of the Wind, Kimberly found herself on the Cannery committee later that year. Following this she assisted with workshop programming and by 2018 a step down from her committee role corresponded with a step up to the management role, which she currently shares with Shannan Gillespie. Kimberly coordinates both the Kickarts and ART LAB programs.
Paul is a medical professional, who has spent various stages of his career in Esperance over the last 13 years initially as a student, then junior doctor and now as a medical specialist residing in Esperance. Paul has held leadership positions in and out of the arts, including previous roles as Chair of the Esperance Medical Advisory Committee and Secretary of the Cannery Arts Centre.
Paul is passionate about Esperance, its tight-knit but welcoming community, and how Arts & Culture play an ever-increasing role in the town. He is all for self-sustaining art models and activation of space. He is always keen and available to have a chat with anyone interested in getting involved in the ever-growing art and cultural hub of Esperance.
Kate is a local business owner with Advanced Certificate in Art and Design and an Associate Degree in Fine Arts from Curtin University. Her passion for socially engaged and empowering projects, connecting community, audience and artists has driven her to serve on community festival committees and with environmental initiatives to use the arts as a catalyst for change.
Kate’s passion for events, people and education has led her to work in both the private and non-profit sector coordinating both the delivery and art direction of many events such as Art to Wear and The Halloween Pride Ball. Kate continues to put her gifts of attention to detail, concept design and contagious enthusiasm to work with local business Sweet Events.
Originally from the West Midlands in the UK, Karen is a passionate teacher of Biology and Special Needs with over 15 years of experience. Karen graduated with an honours degree in Biology from Southampton University in 1998, she then took some time to travel before completing a teaching degree at King’s College in London. Karen continued to travel when time allowed and developed a passion for scuba diving and marine conservation. A brave move to Australia 10 years ago brought Karen to Esperance where she has started a family and continued to develop her teaching career.
Karen has become involved with the Cannery Arts Centre through involvement in educational programs, exhibitions and performances. Karen hopes that her skills and experience can be of benefit to future event planning and educational programming.
Esti is a graduate of Curtin University with a Bachelor of Graphic Design and Illustration as well as a graduate of the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture. As a landscape architect she worked for a small private firm in Perth, and was involved in many public landscape projects and also responsible for the design and project management of the new landscape development at Joondalup Private Hospital Health Campus.
Over the past five years, Esti has focused on her art practice, and has completed several large scale public murals commissions, while completing further studies to qualify as a therapist. In addition to a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy, a year ago she completed an Advanced Diploma in Transpersonal Art Therapy and she wants to bring her passion for art and all things creative to help others heal and thrive, with a special interest in working with adolescents. She strongly believes in the power of art to help people connect to themselves and to each other. Esti is a member of The Australian, New Zealand and Asian Creative Arts Therapies Association and is committed to ongoing training in order to bring and to provide quality mental health care services in her community. She is currently working on creating art therapy programs for youth as adults with mental health challenges.
Jonty has lived in Esperance all his life and loves what our amazing town has to offer. He is currently working for a disability support organisation encouraging inclusion and acceptance, and has a background in Logistics and Planning. He has a keen interest in the local arts scene and being involved in organising programs and events that work towards improving the community and promoting social activities.
Jonty enjoys bringing a young person’s perspective to the Cannery Arts Centre and helping to create a sustainable and enjoyable arts scene in Esperance. His hobbies and passions include photography, gardening, surfing and the beach, live music and the arts.
Marcia graduated from The University of UNSW with a Bachelors degree in Visual Arts, Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne University, with a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts and Monash University with a Diploma of Education, Art Specialist. Her professional interest and practice as an artist is in storytelling and the environment, combining printmaking, mixed media and digital media. She has gained further professional experience as an exhibiting artist, curator, high school art teacher and in 2015 was part of the Artful Leadership for Community Building Program participant (Country Arts WA).
Marcia is currently curating the exhibition titled ‘Anonymous: How should we tell the stories of forgotten women today?’, a program she developed for the Cannery Arts Centre and Connect to the Creative Grid project, through the Regional Arts Partnership Program (RAPP) supported by the State Government of Western Australia and Country Arts WA.
John Ratcliff is an Esperance local who has been heavily involved in the arts sector as a volunteer and performer. At the age of seventeen John began writing and performing original music which became his key artistic outlet. Experience across a number of different areas of employment including construction, landscaping, as well as owning and operating his own business, have shaped his involvement with the Cannery Arts Centre. As a committee member Ratcliff is a key driver in the maintenance and upkeep of the grounds, and is also passionate about expanding the potential for financial sustainability. John is a brilliant communicator and the relationships he has developed within the Esperance community strengthen the Cannery Arts Centres ability to gain support from local business and associated organisations. John’s creativity through song writing and live performance has led him to recognise the significance of the arts on the well-being of individuals and the wider community, and by joining the Cannery committee he strengthens the organisation’s ability to provide space and deliver programs that positively support artistic expression.