Board of Directors

Kate Taylor, Chair, Artists Network

Kate Taylor is an abstract artist born in England, working out of her studio in Toronto, Ontario. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Western University where she was taught painting by internationally-renowned artist, Paterson Ewen. Inspired by nature, Kate is committed to capturing the energy and joy you feel when present in nature. She has gallery representation in Canada, the U.S. and England. She is part of SolidColour and ColourShift Abstract Art Collectives, showing in art fairs across Canada and the US. When not painting, Kate is Co-Founder of Creative Adventures Events, Past President of Kaleidoscope Marketing, Past Chair of the Canadian Advertising Museum and Past President of the American Marketing Association. 

Carolyn Laidley Arn, Co-Chair, Artists’ Network 

Carolyn is an emerging ‘urban artist’ who recently rekindled her love for painting and creating art.  A registered interior designer by trade, she is presently a Senior Vice President at Lennard Commercial Realty in Toronto’s financial core where she is consistently one of the top dealmakers.   

Subscribing to her firms “work to live” mantra, Carolyn carves out time during the work week and dedicates much of her free time to study and paint.  She recently built a studio in her backyard, which she shares with her daughter Stephanie, who is also an artist and fine arts graduate.    

Carolyn believes in giving back and volunteering her time and is on the Artists Network Board, and a member of CARFAC, Don Valley Art Club and Artists Advantage.  She was the President of Toronto CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) in 2007, locally and at the national level and is a lifetime member of ARIDO (Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario), and a member of NAIOP.

Jamie MacLean, Treasurer

It took a 30+ year career in engineering and management to discover what I really wanted to do.  Be an artist.  In 2005 at 55  I made the switch to fulltime landscape artist (and freedom 55) with my first show – the Riverdale Art Walk.  Since then I have participated in well over 100 art shows, presently work with 6 galleries, am an ex chair of the Board of the Artists Network and am now an active member of that board.  Highlights include 4 time “top ten seller” at the McMichael Volunteers Autumn art sale, 2 time winner of the People’s Choice award at the TWAC/CNE juried art show, winner of the Jurors award at the Little Art Show. 

Katherine Palmer, Secretary 

Katherine Palmer is interested in impending disaster such as volcanoes, raging rivers and huge storm clouds alongside seemingly calm animals (dogs, crows and ravens) and humans. She is in pursuit of the sweet spot where there is tension, humour and fear at the same time.  Katherine trained as a sculptor and for the last decade she’s focused on painting.  

She exhibits in Toronto galleries including Latitude 44, Eastern Front and the Carrier gallery.   

She’s a juried artist in outdoor shows including the Queen West Art Crawl (2018), Riverdale ArtWalk (2015 – 2018) and Love Art (2014).  Her paintings and sculpture have been featured online and in print media, including the National Post. She’s a member of the Artists’ Network and represented through Saatchi Art Online.  

Corynn Kokolakis, Director, Leslie Grove Gallery 

Corynn Kokolakis is a figurative oil painter whose practice merges the disparate roles of mother and artist. She earned her BFA in the Drawing and Painting program at OCADU, where she received the Akin and Partial Career Launcher Awards. Corynn’s work has been exhibited at Baycrest Health Sciences, Cedar Ridge Creative Center, the Toronto Public Library, and included in multiple juried exhibitions. She has been featured on Breakfast Television, CP24, CBC Radio, and She Does the City. Her work can be found in private collections in the UK, the US, Australia, France, and Canada.  She lives and works in Toronto. 

Diane Montreuil, Director, Education

Diane was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec.  She studied Interior Design at Old Montreal College where some of her projects were published in numerous design magazines. She now lives in Toronto.  Diane grew up in a creative and entrepreneurial family. At a young age her parents enrolled her to “Les Beaux Arts” for young kids.  Enmeshed in her world of creation she became a self-taught artist over the years. Captivated by the Arts in all its shapes and forms & her love for Landscapes, scenes seemed to magically come together. In later time Diane discovered and understood why her life came together after discovering that she was a Métis (Algonquin) on both sides of her family.  Being Métis, she was designated to the position of Education resource person at the Métis Nation of Canada where she sits on the Board of Directors since 2016. 

In 2019 Diane received a Grant from OAC (Ontario Art Council) in collaboration with the Woodland Cultural Centre. Recently Diane was designated by the Toronto Catholic District School Board as their Knowledge Keeper in Residence. 

Sitting on the Board of Education at The Artists’ Network since last March of 2019 

Jennifer Rideout, Director 

Jennifer is a Toronto-based painter and photographer. Her work examines the relationship between people and various environments, and ultimately, explores the human experience and sense of place. She finds inspiration at her family farm in the Northumberland Hills, coastal landscapes in Atlantic Canada where she is from and by people and places she visits as she travels the globe. Her first degree is a BA from St. Francis Xavier University.  And now as an empty nester, she is making plans for a degree in Fine Arts. Jennifer owns and runs Breton Public Affairs – a government relations and communications firm providing strategic solutions to companies across North America. Prior to this fairly recent enterprise, she was co-owner of another leading national government relations and communications advisory firm for almost 30 years. She is an award-winning consultant having earned industry recognition for her work in brand-building, media relations and events. Her career began in Ottawa where she gained public affairs expertise as advisor to Canada’s Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, then to the Minister of Industry and subsequently to the Minister of Environment. She has served in various volunteer capacities to support non-profits. She is an active member of the National Arts Centre Gala Committee for the past ten years supporting the National Arts Centre Foundation’s annual fundraiser, served as Co-Chair for a Fundraising Campaign for the establishment of Margaret Atwood Library in her Toronto elementary school and director of NORAC a premier Canadian competitive swim club.

Jennylynd James, Director

Jennylynd James is a self-professed Renaissance woman: an artist, writer, and Classical music singer with a long work history as a food scientist. Jennylynd earned a Ph.D. in Food Science at McGill University, and worked for food companies in the United States, Ireland, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America. Her series of travel memoirs recount many adventures in relocation. 

Jennylynd discovered a hidden talent for drawing and painting while working as an entrepreneur in the Republic of Ireland. Her artsy flair in running a food business took an interesting turn when in an amateur art class the instructor found Jennylynd excelled in portraiture and sketching. She uses the vivid colours of her heritage and travel to influence her work. Jennylynd now lives in Bloor West Village, Toronto where she embraces self expression in the arts as a new lifestyle. Her artwork is held in collections in Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom. 

Noelle Hjelte, Director 

Noelle Hjelte is a visual artist based in Toronto, Ontario. Her work in painting and photography explores the concepts of: beauty, the feminine and motherhood, often using deeply personal stories and imagery.  

Noelle has exhibited her work in a number of galleries across Canada. She currently resides in Ontario with her husband and two children. She received her BFA from the Alberta University of the Arts and is pursuing her MFA in 2021 in Florence, Italy. 

Paul Brandejs, Director

Paul Brandejs is a Canadian abstract artist who isolates the abstract that exists in his photographs and print the images on canvas which is stretched onto variously shaped stretcher, producing a 3D effect that enhance the abstract nature of each image. He views the shape and texture of the canvas as a catalyst to unlimited creativity and pushes canvas from a traditional square or rectangle to a new art form. Paul studied in Banff School of fine Arts and holds a four year diploma in Fine Arts from Ontario College of Art, spending his last year of study in Florence, Italy, studying under Canadian Figurative Artist Tom La Pierre. He also received a Communications & Design/Editorial Design degree from Ontario College of Art and is a member for Registered Graphic Designer (R.G.D.) of Ontario since 1996.