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 from left to right: MJ Steenberg, Snaige Sileika, Karen Curry, Yael Brotman and Liz Parkinson

The Gibson Girls, Yael Brotman, Karen Curry, Liz Parkinson, Snaige Sileika and MJ Steenberg, have been together in some form for 25 years. We have mostly known each other longer through our early shared printmaking experiences working alongside one another at Toronto’s Open Studio and Artscape studio space. Our ironic title is a nod to early trips to an off-grid cottage on Muskoka’s Gibson River and the fact that we were anything but stereotypic girls in our competence in the bush. Over the years we moved from the relative comfort of the cottage to canoe trips where we packed minimally, portaged far, saw no one but each other, drew, photographed, read, talked about life and art, and loved every minute of it.

The Gibson Girls' Artist Biographies


Yael Brotman’s work examines themes that consider humanity’s ingenuity for construction juxtaposed with implications of chaos. She has developed a hybrid practice of printmaking, drawing, sculpture and installation, exploring aspects of architecture. Brotman has participated in numerous solo exhibitions across Canada and international group exhibitions including in Berlin, Spain, New York, Taiwan and Egypt. Brotman has been awarded grants by Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Councils. Residencies include China, Ireland and Haida Gwaii. Brotman is an advocate for artists’ rights, sitting on the board of CARFAC National.


Karen Curry works in the mediums of painting and photography.  A Toronto based artist for 20 years, since 2009 her home and studio have been located on Gabriola Island, BC. Moving to Gabriola has fuelled her interest in aspects of island shores, erosion and dynamic atmospheric changes. She continues to participate in international residencies to inform her work, most recently in New Zealand and the Azores. Curry has exhibited widely in solo and group shows, nationally and internationally. Her work is held in numerous public, corporate and private collections including Global Affairs Canada, The Donovan Collection, The Burnaby Art Gallery .


Through the collection, categorization and display of representations of the natural world,

Liz Parkinson considers the stories we tell ourselves about our lives and our environment. She has received Ontario and Canada Council Grants to support her projects, participated in numerous artist residencies, solo and group exhibitions. Her prints are included in public, corporate and private collections in Canada and abroad including Global Affairs Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank and The Toronto Stock Exchange. Liz is a founding board member and head of the curatorial committee of Critical Mass, A Centre for Contemporary Art in Port Hope, Ontario. Liz Parkinson divides her time between studios in Port Hope and Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico.


Snaige Sileika is an artist working in Toronto.  Her many years as a printmaker influenced her approach to the landscapes she now paints. Her search for essential lines in panoramic views result in highly graphic images. When completed, the gestural quality of these lines, the bold colours and the texture of the paint often push the images into the realm of abstraction. She has had solo exhibitions of her paintings in Canada, France and Lithuania. Snaige Sileika’s work can be found in many public, corporate and private collections.


MJ Steenberg is a painter and photographer living and working in Toronto and Newfoundland. Her connection to ‘This Magic Island’ of Newfoundland began with a Pouch Cove Artist Residency in 1994. Her photography is used to document place and process and for the telling of tales. M.J.’s work strives for a rawness, speed and intensity to speak of the land and her connection to it.  Her working method involves laying canvas on the land to lift with graphite the underlying traces of the geological passage. MJ was closely involved with Toronto School of Art, Toronto Artscape and was active in the forming of Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts. Her work is held in private, corporate and public collections.

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