MEET THE TEAM
The Cannery is managed by a Volunteer Management Committee and staffed by two part-time Co-Managers.
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 organised 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.
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.
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.
Jacqui spent her younger years growing up in rural Victoria. In 2004 she first visited Esperance, staying for two years before returning to Victoria to further her career in the building industry. Jacqui has a strong creative passion and appreciation for architecture and the built form. She is a qualified building designer, specialising in residential projects for the past 11 years. She has worked on a range of projects on the Mornington Peninsula, from small renovations through to high end luxury homes. Her tenacity and creative passion has seen her win industry awards through her career.
Simultaneously she owned a crane business in Melbourne with her husband, and has collected a wealth of business knowledge during the decade of its operation.
Jacqui lived on the Mornington Peninsula until 2018, when she and her husband decided to take a break from their hectic work-life balance and embark, with their young family, on a year long adventure travelling Australia. Ultimately re-locating to WA and the beautiful Esperance community once again.
A self taught artist, Jacqui enjoys getting the paint or pens out in her spare time. The infinite possibilities of a blank canvas and the ability to be completely immersed in a project make it a favourite hobby of hers.
She is pleased to be involved in the Cannery committee and looks forward to the continued artistic opportunities the organisation brings to the local community
Brittany started her journey in New Jersey, USA. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education at Susquehanna University she gave into wanderlust. On a whim she came to Australia 11 years ago and travelled Australia and Asia extensively before meeting her husband, Jon. They spent time going back and forth between countries for visits before Brittany permanently moved over. They originally lived in Karratha together before deciding to establish some roots in Esperance 6 years ago. In that time, they both became heavily involved in the Cannery and attest its little community of volunteers as a big reason for staying in Esperance. In 2020 Brittany and Jon welcomed a baby girl named Lenny to their madhouse of dogs, cats and chickens. Having a baby during a pandemic was a unique experience and Brittany looks forward to the day she can bring her baby back to the states to meet her family.
Previously working as a teacher and in the travel industry, Brittany decided to follow her passion for the Cannery. After years of volunteering, she applied for a job as Administrative Director. She has been enjoying her time working in the not-for-profit sector and is excited to be able to give back to an organization that has given so much to her and her family.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/EVENTS COORDINATOR
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.
Born and raised in Esperance, Sally studied for her Bachelor in secondary English teaching at ECU before moving to live and teach in Margaret River for two years. There, her passion and love for sustainable living grew as she lived in a caravan she rebuilt with her dad into a ‘tiny house’ on a bush block that practised permaculture and other forms of sustainable living and art.
In 2019 Sally moved back to her hometown and now teaches English at Esperance Senior High School and continues to immerse herself in the natural world as much as possible as well as nurture her interest in organic living and gardening at the Cannery garden Forage.
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.
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.
Having recently escaped Victoria, Kelsey is excited to join the Esperance arts and environment community. Nature is very close to her heart. Through sharing her knowledge and dedication she aims to further strengthen the Cannery’s sustainability. She has a Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours, majoring in botany and conservation biology. The last three years Kelsey has worked for Victorian state government in environmental planning and conservation. She now runs her own ecotour business, Botanize. When she is not botanizing, Kelsey enjoys photography, dancing and watching bad dating shows.
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.