Instructors and staff
Melanie Chikofsky, Director, Lead Instructor
Melanie Chikofsky is an award-winning sculptor, mixed media artist and teacher who brings a wealth of experience to the school. After graduating from Sheridan College School of Design, Chikofsky worked in the fashion industry designing hats, jewellery and home accessories. She then pursued a career as an art teacher and spent twenty-five years working in inner city schools with the Toronto Board of Education. In 2000, Chikofsky joined the Al Green Sculpture Studio and School as its school director, lead instructor, and exhibition curator.
Chikofsky’s artistic practice is personally reflective, themed based, and materially driven. Melanie has been exhibiting her art since 1983, primarily in group and solo exhibitions, In 2020 Melanie won the KDS Fibre & Textile Award, Established Female Artist award, from the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum In 2019, she was awarded a sponsored award for ”Relic I” by The Japanese Paper Place, and in 2008, Melanie was awarded “Best in Show Award” for “Threadbare” both from juried Ontario Society of Artists exhibitions. A short documentary about Melanie and her exhibition “Remains To Be Seen” was produced in 2019 by CBC the Exhibitionist.
Please visit Melanie Chikofsky’s website at www.melaniechikofsky.com
Laird Henderson, Instructor, Assistant Director
Laird graduated the Sculpture/Installation program at OCAD in 2008. Since then his career has focused on the commercial side of sculpture. The industries he has worked in range from product design, television commercials, stop motion animation, mascot costume production and special effects/props/makeup.
His personal art practice focuses on the niche market of art toys (often referred to as designer toys). They are small scale sculptures of original, playful characters, produced in multiples via resin casting. His “Ghost Pig” was nominated for a Designer Toy Award, featured in DesignLines Magazine and was sold/shown through Magic Pony in Toronto and Rotofugi in Chicago.
Laird brings some new skills to the studio with detailed wax sculpting and pressure casting techniques.
See all of Laird’s art toy products at www.lairdoftoy.com
Bruce Brown, Instructor
Bruce Brown, a Toronto born artist is an accomplished sculptor, teacher, and instructor with almost 20 years developing and providing community programs for people of all ages, skill levels and abilities, Bruce has developed programs over the years for a wide variety of organizations and foundations throughout the city, some of which being, Creative Works Studio, the CNIB, Program Director for the Senior Wish Foundation and in 2019 CBC Radio’s Community Champions for The Acorn Arts Project. Bruce has been featured in several articles and documentaries.
Bruce’s work explores the human condition and how we are all connected , by using art and sculpture, imagination and the creative process to express, explore our experiences and emotions that we all share and the meanings that we give to them.
Barb Cooper, Relief worker and landscaper
Having retired in 2018 from a career in professional sport and coach education Barbara has returned to a lifelong passion in the Arts. She has worked extensively with stained glass, wood, clay, and icing sugar but has always wanted to explore sculpting. Joining the studio in September 2014 gave her that chance. Proud to be able to help the studio in any way possible she was happy to reinvigorate our garden this summer.
Lorne Winters Technical Advisor, Founding Member
Lorne Winters is a Canadian, born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He began sketching and painting in his early youth. He studied and graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto, after which he pursued a career in engineering construction. In his leisure time he continued to paint and also began sculpting. After having accomplished his career goals, he decided to make a change and pursue the one thing he considered more important and satisfying — to create art in painting and in sculpture. For the past several years he has devoted all his time to this pursuit, primarily to sculpting.
While honing his sculpting skills, he experimented with various materials and eventually developed and perfected a unique sculpting media, “WINTERSTONE”. He works exclusively in this medium — be it a working model destined for eventual bronze casting or a finished unique sculpture in itself. He counsels numerous sculptors across North America and abroad on the techniques of using WINTERSTONE in their creations, whether small indoor pieces, or large outdoor sculptural works, monuments or fountains.
He is a member of the Sculptors Society of Canada, and a past long-term member of the Association of the Professional Engineers of Ontario
Information and examples of artwork made with Winterstone can be found at www.winterstone.com