Staff & Board



Jessica Vellenga [Executive Director]

Jessica Vellenga is an artist, curator and cultural worker, with over 16 years of experience in commercial galleries, territorial galleries, and artist-run centers.  She has her BFA from McMaster University. Her artistic practice is grounded in community collaboration, which combines art, craft, and activism through textile arts. Performing and facilitating community collaborative textile arts, mending, embroidery, knitting, crochet, yarn bombing, and other interactive textile workshops. She has experienced a wide variety of art exhibits, conferences, workshops, and public lectures at modern and contemporary art spaces throughout Canada and Europe. She has exhibited her artwork and design in Canada (Whitehorse, Dawson, Inuvik, Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Hamilton, and Toronto) and the United Kingdom (Leeds).


Caitlin Sutherland

Caitlin Sutherland [Programming Director]

Caitlin Sutherland is an independent curator and art critic based in Hamilton, ON. Currently, she is Programming Director at Hamilton Artists Inc. Her academic background is in criticism, curatorial practice, and museum studies and management from the Ontario College of Art and Design and the University of Toronto. One of her more recent curatorial projects for the Inc., Into the Wild, featured the work of Sonny Assu, Jason Brown, Leisure, Duane Linklater, Alex McLeod, Darren Rigo, Elinor Whidden and Young and Giroux as well as select works from the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Workers Arts and Heritage Centre. Sutherland has worked independently as well as with a number of contemporary arts organizations within the greater Toronto-Hamilton area for well over a decade, including, the Art Gallery of Hamilton, the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, the University of Toronto Art Centre, Xpace Cultural Centre and the Art Gallery of Burlington. She is a member of the Hamilton Arts Council’s Visual Arts Committee, a board director with Artist Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO) and sits on the advisory committee of ArtsBuild Ontario. In addition to numerous exhibition texts, she has written for Canadian Art, Beautiful/Decay, Hamilton Arts and Letters, Critical Superbeast and was the Ontario correspondent for the online contemporary art publication, Daily Serving from 2011-2013.



Taien Ng-Chan [Chair]

Taien Ng-Chan is a writer, scholar and media artist, whose work investigates everyday urban life through experimental and locative cinema, cartography, poetry, and documentary. She has published five books and anthologies, produced multimedia CDs and websites, and written for stage, screen, and radio. Her video and media works have been shown across Canada, in the US, Korea, New Zealand, Sweden, and the UK. She is a founding member of the Hamilton Perambulatory Unit (HPU). Visit


Heather Kanabe [Vice Chair]
[Photo and Bio to come]



David Xu

Peng (David) Xu [Treasurer]

Peng (David) Xu holds a MBA degree in Finance and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics from McMaster University.  With over six years work experience in a Big Five Canadian bank, David has demonstrated strong financial management and communication skills.  The recent stints with federal and provincial governments in the capacity of project management, data analysis, policy advisory further broadened David’s horizon in the public sector.
In 2005, David was featured in a Toronto Star article for achievements to simulate into Canadian society and for dedication to community volunteer work.  Being a proud new Canadian, David shares his experience and success with international students at McMaster University as a guest speaker at seminars and round-table discussions.  David also acted as a mentor to new immigrants in adapting to the way of living in Canada.
In his spare time, David enjoys watching hockey, baseball and CFL (Go TiCats Go!).


Bio pic

Clay Pearn [Secretary]

Clay is a writer, editor, and new Hamiltonian. He received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2015 and his BA in music from Western University in 2009. He is currently a Zell fellow and working on a collection of short stories.


Brandon Vickerd [Director]

Brandon Vickerd is a Hamilton based sculptor and Professor of Visual Arts at York University. He received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1999) and his MFA from the University of Victoria (2001)

Purposely diverse, his studio work straddles the line between high and low culture, acting as a catalyst for critical thought and addressing the failed promise of a modernist future predicated on boundless scientific advancement. Whether through craftsmanship, the creation of spectacle, or humor, the goal of his work is to provoke the viewer into questioning the dominate myth of progress ingrained in Western world views.

He has received numerous awards and grants from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Toronto Arts Council, and the Ontario Arts Council. Recent and upcoming exhibitions include Chopper at Art MUR Gallery (Montreal) and Ace Art (Winnepeg), Dance of the Cranes presented by Franklin Furnace Archives (Brooklyn NY), Sputnik Returned at Pulse (Miami), Clutch at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery (Waterloo, ON), and Monuments to a Perfect Future at the Rooms Gallery (St John’s, ND). Visit



David Trautrimas [Director]

David Trautrimas is a visual artist whose work explores themes related to architecture and the built environment. While his practice is primarily lens-based, it has recently expanded to include sculpture and public art installations. Trautrimas received a diploma with honors from OCAD and a multi-media technical certification from Fanshawe College. Recent solo exhibitions include Eidolon Point at the Prince Takamado Gallery, Canadian Embassy, Tokyo (2015) and Spyfrost Industrial Habitat at Hartell Gallery, Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. (2014). He has participated in numerous museum exhibitions including Imagine Earth at the Korean Arts Center, Seoul Korea (2011) and Empire of Dreams at MOCCA, Toronto (2010). His first major public art installation Ramps & Tread will be installed in 2016 as part of the public art program at Ice Condominiums, Toronto. Visit



Simone Sciascetti [Director]

Simone Sciascetti is a visual artist living in Hamilton. Sciascetti received her BA Honours and Minor in English at McMaster University and her MFA from Western University. Her current work is sculpture based, exploring the relationship and influence of the human body within constructs of nature through the mediums of wood, plaster and latex.



Kelly Drennan [Director]

Kelly Drennan is a Graphic Designer, Curator, and Multidisciplinary Artist living in Hamilton, Ontario. She received her BA (Hons) in Studio Art from the University of Toronto Scarborough, and a Diploma in Graphic Design from George Brown College. Kelly’s work explores love, loss, sex, power, and fear. Visit



We welcome interest in getting involved with the Inc.  You can download the application in PDF here or as a word doc here then and email it back to us.

We are always interested in hearing from you and encourage our members to join the Board.  For more information email

Subscribe to our mailing list: