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.
KAREN MACDONALD (BEd)
Karen has a love for learning and is often involved in a self-directed process of inquiry. She participates in many programs, courses, and workshops that relate to creative endeavors. Most recently, she took a three-month program that introduced participants to a variety of construction trades. After learning some basic skills in 5 different trades, she discovered her favorites were welding and carpentry. She is now on a path of investigation to become an apprentice carpenter.
Prior to this endeavor, Karen was a substitute teacher and received her teaching degree from the University of Calgary in 2014. As a teacher, the process of inquiry, project-based learning, and interdisciplinary teaching and learning are of particular interest. These three concepts are also explored in her practice as an artist.
After graduating with a degree in fine art from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1994, Karen has continued an art practice that has evolved and changed over time. Having majored in drawing, she now uses an array of nontraditional materials (sticks, bones, raw silk and linen threads, stones, bees wax, wasp nests, fire, gold leaf, etc.) to construct sculptural forms that relate to nature, beauty, and the mind. When she is not immersed in assembling sculpture, she enjoys cyanotype image making and photographing shadows!
Karen’s work has been shown in numerous group exhibitions in Calgary.
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.
yANNA pAPADOPOULOS (BEd, mEd)
Yanna has been a teacher for the public board, in Calgary, for 16 years, she is a college instructor, a professional development workshop facilitator for educators, the Vice president of Seeds Connections Organization, and founder and owner of Teenacers, where she offers academic and leadership coaching for teens and young adults moving through their academic careers and entering the workforce. Yanna holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts, a Bachelors of Education, and a Masters in Educational Leadership from Gonzaga University; she inspires students to have an impact in their schools and communities. Her love for teaching brings her back to her passion, and where it all started, drawing! Yanna is passionate about supporting students cultivate their artistic capabilities because she has experienced great success and personal fulfillment by doing just that!
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 fuelled 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 in 1991 and created 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 alikisartinmind.com