Our Team

The role of the executive committee is to plan and organise Arts Canterbury run exhibitions, seminars, workshops and social events for the benefit of members of Arts Canterbury. The committee is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting and is made up from members of Arts Canterbury.

Mandy Palmer

Chair and Exhibitions Coordinator

Based in Eyrewell, Mandy Palmer enjoys creating figurative studies in a variety of mediums. Mandy believes in “Artists supporting Artists”, and has previously been involved with the organisation of exhibitions for the Waikuku Artists Inc, and is one of the founders of the Pegasus Bay Art Show. Mandy has been exhibitions coordinator for AC since 2018, and has been elected to chair as of November 2022. 

Sarah Beal

Deputy Chair

I am a self taught artist, I paint in three different styles – still life and my quirky ‘girlies’, but my main focus at the moment is creating mad abstract landscape paintings – primarily in oil. Making art is the thing that makes me happiest, though I do a whole bunch of other creative things as well – have done since I was a child. Am so glad to be a member of the AC committee – I have learnt so much since becoming a member and hope to help pass that onto up and coming creative people.

Nikki Parker

Administrator and Membership Coordinator

Nikki Parker, aka Absconditus Creations, experiments with a range of mediums and styles. She is currently on an illustration journey for the young, young at heart, and the slightly twisted. She works out of her studio near Rangiora.

Nikki joined Arts Canterbury in 2018 looking for an arts community to be a part of, she found her way on to the committee in 2020 after saying “Why doesn’t AC do…” too many times.

Nikki has been the membership coordinator since early 2020 and in charge of the administration and finance since mid 2020. 

Tania Wootton


I am a New New Zealand artist. I’ve only been painting acrylics for two years, however I have always had a creative soul, which started in bone carving in my 20s and moved through many different crafts/arts. I am currently enjoying abstracts. 

Jo Wright

Workshops and Seminars

Originally from London and have lived in New Zealand for nearly 20 years. I have always loved urban / contemporary/ graffiti style art and started creating during the original Covid lockdown of 2020 when I was encouraged to try my hand at digital art / painting. I love illustration work and cartoons so I am looking to move more towards that direction in my paintings. 

Expanding my techniques from digital to various other mediums has opened my eyes to the wider art community here in New Zealand and I was surprised at the warmth and sharing of knowledge amongst the Arts Canterbury group.

Nigel Wilson

Social events

I am a metal and Wood sculpture artist. My day job is running a custom Woodworking business called Red Lion Workshop which specialises in old world Timber frame construction, but realistically can do anything wood related. I also help run a 300ha deer farm where I live, at the base of Mt.Thomas near Glentui.

Veronica Ek

Originally from Norway. I have always dabbled in art, mainly photography, but after I moved to New Zealand I took up painting. I explore many different mediums and styles, with the goal of always trying to improve myself as an artist. My motto is to try everything at least once, so I have about 1001 other hobbies to keep me occupied when painting is not cutting it.

I am excited to join the AC committee. This is such a great group of people that loves art and works hard to make this art community the best it can be.

Jackie Hancock

I am a Fused glass artist aka Aroha Glass. I have always loved glass and have tried many different ways of working with glass and finally settled in Fusing last Feb! I have an innate ability to cut myself, and have a ready supply of plasters to hand at all times! I’m new to being on a committee.

Schira Withers

Abstract artist Schira Withers hails from Ireland and now resides in New Zealand. She creates textural works that are born from her love of the unique environment that surrounds her. She is drawn to nature’s colours and uses them as the motivation for her art form, using a range of mixed media. The colours flow, move and intertwine thus asking the viewer to relax into the artwork in all its hues and delve into a contemplative moment. To discover more visit www.schirasart.com, follow @schiras_art on Instagram or Schira’s Art on Facebook.

Seonaid Burnie

Inspired by the green spaces of Ōtautahi Christchurch, local textile artist, Seonaid Burnie looks to create connections between the natural world and the art on our walls. Pre-loved and sustainable fabrics are transformed with plant-based dyes and the natural process of eco-printing. One-of-a-kind textiles, contours of stitch and suggestive threads are carefully composed to form abstract landscapes influenced by the scenery of Aotearoa New Zealand. Her work addresses sustainability in art, highlights the need for green spaces in our cities and champions traditional techniques.

With a degree in textile design from the University of Dundee in her home country of Scotland, Seonaid has been able to combine her love of textiles, traditional craft and sustainable principles in her adopted home of Aotearoa New Zealand to create unique textile creations.

Seonaid has found solace in her creative community here in Canterbury and looks forward to working with the AC committee to gather, share and encourage members on their artistic journeys.