Oxygen Art Centre announces the Board of Directors for 2023! We are delighted that Anita Levesque (Chair), Carol Wallace (Secretary), Samonte Cruz (Director), and Gabby Asbell (Youth Chair) are returning for another term! Alison Talbot-Kelly and Chelsey Freyta have been working with the board in an interim capacity since 2022, and we welcome them officially this year, along with new members, Marilyn Lee, who is stepping into the Treasurer position, Suzanne Simoni, and Laurel Terlesky. As artists and volunteers, Oxygen’s Board of Directors are excited to work together on youth outreach initiatives, our accessibility action plan, non-hierarchical organizational structures, and developing new ways to support arts and culture in our community! Welcome!

Learn more about Oxygen’s Board of Directors below and here.

Anita Levesque graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with Drawing as her major in 2001, going on to complete her B.ED in visual art education in Nova Scotia at Mount St. Vincent University / NSCAD. She has worked as a solo artist and collaboratively with husband Bradley Smith as heartlab, a site specific installation/text based duo. Levesque has shown at various art galleries across Canada and works predominantly with drawing and installation art. She is the co-founder of Oxygen Art Centre’s successful children’s art camps and has held a seat on the Oxygen board of directors for numerous years. Levesque has spent the past eleven years focused on family life, while also working as an educator, program developer and communication coordinator with the SelfDesign Learning Community. She lives in Nelson, BC.


Carol Wallace is a visual artist living on unceded Sinixt Territory, also known as Nelson BC. Her art practice consists of drawing, painting, textile and sculptural installation focused on geological phenomena. Carol holds a degree in Geology from the University of Calgary (’92) and worked as a geologist for 20 years, locally and in northern BC, Yukon Territory. For the past 8 years Carol has worked exclusively as a professional artist in her studio located in the beloved Brewery Building in uphill Nelson. This will be Carol’s fourth year as secretary on the Oxygen Board. web: insta: @carolwallacestudio


As a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design with a major in Textiles, Marilyn Lee has taught at the Kootenay School of the Arts @ Selkirk College in the Textiles department since 1999. In 2006 Marilyn received a British Columbia Achievement Award for her work in textiles. Her work has also been featured in many publications including Canadian Living, Vancouver Sun, the Globe & Mail, Style at Home, and Canadian House.


Samonte Cruz is a Filipinx metalsmith, artist, and educator with over 17 years of community organizing experience. Samonte makes custom, one- of-a-kind jewelry, while running their own online shop. Samonte also offers beginner jewelry courses at Kootenay Studio Arts, Selkirk College and works as an apprentice to award-winning master goldsmith, Paul Durkin at Lauener Brother’s Jewellers in Trail, BC. In their spare time, Samonte enjoys playing music & spending time with their pup. For more information about the artist visit or find them on Facebook and Instagram: @samontecruzstudios.


Gabby Asbell is a local highschool student and aspiring artist. Gabby is looking to pursue a career in filmmaking, and is very grateful to be a part of Nelson’s thriving art community through local theatre, choir, film and organizations like Oxygen. Recently she has been working on her portfolio through photography work at Tiny Lights, videography for social media and her own creative writing. Community is very important to her, especially in the arts, and her goal is to better the connections between young creatives and seasoned artists in the area.


Alison Talbot-Kelly: I love learning and being moved and challenged by art continues to feed and stretch me. I am an educator currently working in employment services and programs. My work in Restorative Justice and Hospice fuels me and my desire to help build healthy communities.


A graduate of OCADU in Sculpture and Installation, Suzanne Simoni is an interdisciplinary artist working in sculpture, installation, multimedia and public art. The winner of two public art competitions, her works are in collections including Labatt Brewing Canada and First Capital REIT. Simoni has participated in Artscape Gibraltar (Toronto Island) and The Bentway residencies, and created a multimedia installation at Nuit Blanche (Toronto). Navigating the landscape of being in relation to our communities, Simoni explores the notion of interconnectedness within social and biological ecosystems, expressing interdependence and resilience in a fragile world. Insta @suzannesimoni


Laurel Terlesky is an interdisciplinary Canadian artist. She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in International Creative Practice from Transart Institute (New York / Berlin), accredited by Plymouth University (UK). Her works have been experienced internationally on-screen — television, large-scale projection, the internet — and in exhibitions. Terlesky’s work examines the use of technology to communicate and for building relationships. She explores what is often left out: tacit recognition and implicit awareness through a physical encounter: visual, touched and sensed. Website: Instagram: twirlingsky

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