Ursula McDermid, Past President
Ursula’s involvement with FASM as president/past president has been transformative to the organization. “I was motivated to become a FASM board member and volunteer by a desire to share my knowledge and skills that were not creatively based but also to learn more about the field of art.”
Her former careers include business expertise advisor at the Government of Canada, previous owner of Canadian Academy of Travel Education, and her current enterprise as owner of Prestige Gift Selections. Under Ursula’s leadership FASM has made a lasting legacy to Milton’s infrastructure. The Pan Am Mural at the velodrome and the Milton District Hospital entrance mural have had an impact on fostering the creative efforts of Milton artists to enhance public venues and to engage with the community. “The FASM mission means continuing to advocate sharing ideas, seeing members excel and reach their goals, providing opportunities for their growth and educating the community about the arts.”
“The diversity of backgrounds of the Board of Directors contributes to the success of our organization. The common thread we all share is the love of creating. Together, we have and will do great things.”
Lois Freese, Treasurer
Lois serves as FASM Treasurer contributing her seasoned expertise as a self-employed professional bookkeeper for over 25 years and counting. Lois’ long-time interest in art, painting in particular, was piqued by happenstance five years ago, when she first met up with Ursula McDermid, FASM President, who was engaged in a plein air painting session on No. 5 Sideroad.
Ursula mentioned that FASM was in need of a secretary and just like that, Lois was inducted into the FASM fold. Since then Lois has moved into her present role as treasurer keeping a steady hand on the group’s financial tiller. Lois is gratified that she offers financial stability within FASM and enjoys the fellowship of other members of like mind and interests. Her artistic journey has grown through FASM. “I wanted to expand my knowledge and gain confidence and I believe I’ve done both, and of course, I want to continue growing by taking more classes.”
Nadia Ramnarine, Secretary and Youth Programs Manager
With extensive talent management, marketing and business management experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, Nadia contributes to FASM’s strategic planning and implementation. This includes working as a member of FASM’s executive team to identify initiatives that serve the community and therefore achieve the organization’s mandate. As FASM’s secretary, Nadia uses her expertise to support meeting coordination and record keeping.
Nadia manages the development and implementation of FASM’s youth programs including the Youth Visual Arts Mentorship Program. She champions such programs because she believes mentorship and guidance to youth are essential to their growing skills and artistic exploration.
Nadia is a painter who focuses on the Romantic period and its celebration of vivid colours, emotional expression and the use of art as a means of communication. As an experienced calligrapher, she applies her craft in celebration of a variety of occasions.
Nadia is proud to partner with a host of talented fellow artists who work together to nurture and grow the arts in our community and beyond.
Nancy Cuttle, Director and Studio Tour Chair
Nancy Cuttle has always had a passion for collaborative projects and her track record bears evidence. A FASM board member since 2004, Nancy has been in charge of organizing the Milton Studio Tour over the last 4 years. In 2017, she served as construction design and project manager for the 33 foot mural entitled “Milton’s Nature Warms the Soul” created by artist Tina Newlove that was donated to the Milton District Hospital. More recently, Nancy served as Concept Creator and project manager for the CFUW’s (Canadian Federation of University Women) Milton Chapter’s and FASM’s joint creation of an installation celebrating the accomplishments of 100 Milton women trailblazers. As a board member of the Milton Historical Society, this exhibition brought Nancy’s dual passions, art and local history, together in a meaningful way.
Nancy’s art practice was focused on painting since 1978 but in 1995, she discovered that sculpture had eclipsed her former body of work and her studio at a Milton heritage home is where she hones her sculptural visions.
Nancy’s volunteering zeal has not diminished. “When we volunteer, we get back way more than we give. I have belonged to art associations ever since I started painting in 1978 and have served on 3 Boards in 3 different cities. I have brought my experience to the group but I never stop learning from working with artists of various mediums, ages and backgrounds. For that, I say thank you, FASM!”
Diana Tuszynski, Director of Corporate Public Relations
As health insurance broker and owner of The Benefits Edge Insurance Services, Diana brings solid business acumen to the FASM board. Her business connections include membership at the Milton Chamber of Commerce, Chair of the Business Awards Task Force for the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, a past Chair of the Burlington Chamber of Commerce and a BNI Executive Network past president and member for over 10 yrs.
Diana credits FASM with coaxing her out of the artist’s closet and she has been regularly showing her work over the past 15 years. “Volunteering at the member shows gave me exposure to the behind-the-scenes work in creating a show and I gained a greater appreciation of the variety of tasks that need to be accomplished to make the show a success.”
Diana brings vital business skills to aid management of the organization and help promote the awareness of FASM to the business community. “During my tenure, I hope to bring enthusiasm, business principles and a focus on FASM developing a solid and sustainable foundation.”
Diana’s preferred mediums include acrylics, cold wax/oil and alcohol ink. She is one of the founding members of the Escarpment Artists group and has shown in juried exhibitions and hosted art shows and FASM Studio Tours at her property in Kilbride (Burlington), Ontario.
Margaret Anne Fehr, Director of Membership
Margaret Anne brings a background in the arts and cultural sector, arts education, and executive roles as FASM membership director. She is a freelance writer contributing to the Milton Villager covering FASM and other Milton community events as well as fielding writing assignments from clients in Winnipeg, her former hometown.
Margaret Anne is currently exploring new mediums such as coloured pencils, acrylic painting, and lino-printmaking and is inspired by the calibre of work of her FASM associates.
“When I moved from Winnipeg 8 years ago, I immediately sought out an artists’ community and I am glad that FASM was there. I want to encourage others to do the same considering that Milton is growing so quickly, and for new artists, fledgling or otherwise, to join and to nurture their creativity with welcoming, like-minded members.”
Tina Newlove, Director at Large
As a full-time multi-disciplinary artist, Tina Newlove brings her rich artistic perspective to the FASM board as a director at large. Tina graduated with Distinction with an Honours BFA from McMaster University in 1996. She has exhibited across Canada in public and commercial galleries and in artist-run centres including the Art Gallery of Hamilton, The Frederick Horsman Varley Gallery, the Roberts Gallery, Toronto, The Leighton Art Centre, Calgary and the Saint John Arts Centre.
Tina’s work is in the City of Toronto’s Permanent Collection and is part of the City of Hamilton’s Public Art Walk Project. She has been awarded exhibition, travel and education grants from the Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts and was a juror for the OAC’s Artists in Education program.
Tina’s motivation for joining the FASM board is to support the membership in their artistic endeavours and support community projects. “I hope to continue as a member-at-large helping out in small ways where I can, and I look forward to staying connected to FASM with all the great programs that are in the works.”
Sheila Mitchell, Director at Large
After a long career producing trade shows with her husband from 1982 to 2005, Sheila embarked on a new direction exploring art and its creative possibilities through instruction at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
As a FASM member, Sheila brings a wealth of experience to share having being a member of a long list of artists groups throughout the GTA.
Sheila abides by the premise that artists groups are vital to every artist’s journey. Over the years she has been a member of North York Visual Artists, Willowdale Group of Artists, Don Valley Art group in various capacities as president, librarian and executive positions. As well, she created a group, Art for All Canada, to help artists show their work in public places without paying commission.
Since moving to Georgetown, Sheila’s favoured mediums include pastels, oils and watercolours. “I have a home studio and usually paint every afternoon.”
Sheila has connected with Credit Valley Artisans, the Palette and Pencil Guild, and Halton Hills Plein Air Artists and now FASM. Sheila organized paint-together pastel sessions for FASM members and is looking forward to doing more once FASM activities resume.
Gerry Brooks, Director at Large
As a life-long Miltonian, business owner, and former municipal leader, Gerry’s range of experiences and accomplishments has been about enriching the community through his involvement over the years.
While he claims to have no artistic talent, he does consider himself an avid art appreciator who recognizes the importance of a robust, encouraging artist organization such as FASM that contributes to the fabric of Milton life.
“I see this as my way of supporting the community, the organization and the talents of the various members.”