Meet Our Team
Passionate about art education
DIANA DIDRIKSON (MSc, SLP)
OWNER & STUDIO MANAGER
Diana became the owner of Aliki’s Art House in 2012 after experiencing the life-changing impact of art for herself and her family as both a student and parent.
Trained as a Speech-Language Pathologist at the University of British Columbia, she brings a strong knowledge base of right and left-brain functioning, including the value of using art and drawing to enhance self expression, thinking, problem-solving and learning. She enjoyed much success and fulfillment when she specialized in neurological communication disorders for almost 15 years in both public and private practice. She remains connected to her professional community by hosting fundraisers and integrating students with aphasia or other disabilities into classes and camps at Aliki’s Art House.
Diana gained valuable entrepreneurial, leadership and team-building skills through her involvement in numerous non-profit initiatives in her profession and community. Diana’s caring nature coupled with her leadership skills, dedicated work ethic and educational background is a perfect fit with Aliki’s mission of delivering superior quality art education with exceptional customer service. She enjoys operating the art studio located in the quaint neighbourhood where she lives with her husband and 4 children.
JAYE BENOIT (BFA)
Jaye holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Alberta with a focus on contemporary painting and drawing. Her studio practice includes painting, mixed-media works, and installations that deal with the concept of home, focusing on the intersections between the built environment and nature and its effects on human spirituality. Her work is exhibited across Canada, and resides in private collections internationally.
Jaye provides instruction and mentorship for artists of all ages and has been involved in the development of many community events and artistic initiatives through her work in arts administration. She also dabbles in illustration projects under the name “Jaye Gray”, and maintains a spiritual yoga practice. Jaye feels deeply connected to nature and seeks out unadulterated landscapes and wild animal sightings at every opportunity.
To connect with Jaye and to see more of her work, visit www.jayebenoit.com and follow @jayebenoit and @grayjayestudio on Instagram.
Alesha Buczny Brown (BFA)
Alesha was born in Lethbridge, Alberta and grew up in beautiful British Columbia. Her path along art education began with a Jewelry and Metals Diploma Program in the basement of the Vancouver Community College. From there, she came back to Alberta to further her studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree, Major in Jewelry and Metals.
Alesha is best known for her jewelry, ornamental sculptures and mixed media paintings. She uses many different mediums and found objects to express herself. Everything from pottery, paintings, metals, organic materials like dried roots and dried vines from her garden, and has discovered a new love for the fiber arts. Alesha’s creations deliver organic structures with a heavy influence of the invaluable existence of beauty and the hidden destruction that follows.
Alesha’s work has been shown in many exhibitions in Alberta. She has shared her art and talent in a range of community initiatives and volunteer activities including the Visions & Voices project, Garage Art Gang and as a guest artist at Nose Creek Elementary School, Airdrie, Alberta.
DEBORAH LAWTON (BFA)
Deborah Lawton (B.F.A.) studied art at the Alberta College of Art (1982) and also at the University of Calgary. It was here that she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture (1988). She also studied Costume and Set Design at the U of C.
As a sculptor, Deborah has exhibited her sculptures in several locations in Alberta and private collections in Western Canada. She is passionate about sharing the love of art with her community. She encourages fellow artists to pursue their talent and has been teaching Fine Art in Alberta since 1985. Deborah loves to ignite the potential of young artists and it is this desire that led her, in 2005, to teach for Airdrie Kiononia Christian School as the Sr. Drama and Fine Art instructor.
Active also in the theatrical community, she has designed and constructed costumes and sets for several local theatrical productions. Since 1999, she has worked for the Canadian Badlands Passion Play primarily in the wardrobe department and has filled the role as the Production Designer.
As the owner of Art Branch Studio Deborah is also able to ‘branch out’ into the many areas of her creativity (sculpture, teaching, graphic design, custom jewelry and clothing). She lives with her husband, Jim and has 2 adult children, Linnea and Bryson.
Maraya Loza-Koxahn (BFA, BA)
Maraya has degrees in Art Education and Psychology from the University of Calgary. Starting out as a figure painter with oil, Maraya has since dabbled in watercolour, and especially enjoys working with mixed-media in a 3D format. While travelling, Maraya uses her camera to express her creativity. She has exhibited internationally, won competitions for her photography, and had many photos published—online and in magazines.
Maraya is a published author of three books of poetry and a memoir. In addition to teaching art, she teaches creative writing, and is a freelance editor and book coach. Maraya taught drawing to children with Young Rembrandts, and incorporates drawing instruction into her writing classes with adults and children. She loves to dance.
We are pleased to have Maraya share her experience and artistic expression with our adult students as well as our younger students.
ALICE (ALIKI) SIROUNIS
(BEd, HH Dip (A.Th.) Aus, Visual Artist)
Growing up Greek in the family restaurant business ignited Aliki’s interest in business, and begrudgingly being dragged to church every Sunday fueled her love of aesthetics, art and spirituality.
Alice began her career as a classroom teacher and has been an art educator for over 35 years. She founded Aliki’s Art House (Calgary) in 1991 is best known for creating a 7-Step-System that teaches anyone how to draw. An entrepreneur at heart, she continued her second business, Aliki’s Art in Mind, while living in Brisbane, Australia.
Alice has taught in several countries, published a book, & exhibited her work in collections throughout Canada, Europe & Australia. She is most passionate about watching what happens when a client has an epiphany. That “aha” moment never gets old. Aliki continues to help people through Art Mindfulness, creating a safe space where art becomes the vehicle for connecting to self and others and where people are seen and heard.
When Alice isn’t working, she is spending time living in the moment with loved ones, preferably near water. Dancing or having coffee, sometimes even over Skype.
To connect with Alice, please visit www.alikisartinmind.com