Collective Members

Collective Members

Bruce Ray, Writer/ Graphic Artist
Erin Altomare, photographer
Tchavdar (Chav) Petkov, MA(LS) writer/artist
Haisla Collins BFA, Artist
Karen Irving, Painter
Pierre Leichner MD, MFA, Artist
Stella Castell, Artist
William Pope BFA, Artist/ Painter


Board Members:

Bruce Ray – President
William Pope – Secretary/Treasurer
Lara Fitzgerald, BA, Artist – Member at large
Quin Martins – Member at large
Bernadine Fox – Vice president
Jessica Numminen – Member at large

Bruce Ray

I’ve been a member of the Gallery Gachet for fifteen years. I’ve had six solo shows here. I’ve also taken part in numerous group shows. I’m proud to call myself an outsider artist. I’ve been diagnosed with acute schizophrenia for thirty years. I feel the gallery is a forum for exploration and education It is the alternative to the status quo and functions as a vital pressure valve for the marginalized and displaced members of society.
I believe in the expression of dreams and their reality. All is a flux of visions merging and then tearing apart. I use various mediums to emulate the underlying level of reality. This is the real that hides behind the unreal. I have used acrylics and linocuts. Lately I’ve been making cartoons in Adobe Illustrator. I like to try out different things to provoke ideas. In the process of making art I learn about myself much like dreams teach me.
The mystery of the universe is only equaled by the mystery of the self. To be illuminated means to be aware of what lives inside the confines of the heart. Art is a function of both memory and expectation. If I am an outsider artist I am the one who looks within -from outside I am the one who guards the gate. I am the angel with flaming sword who stands by the entrance to paradise. The artist is the one who holds the key to the locked door. I am the one who takes water from the well and gives it to the people. My profession is a way to give dreams to the ones who’s dreams have been stolen away from them. In this way I am generous and promiscuous. The nature of art is regeneration. It is the bread and fishes that are fed to the multitude. It grows and in growing is passed from hand to hand. Art is the living tradition and we are all a part of its divine society. I want to give art back to the people. I want to return it to the children and take part in the purity of play and pretence. I want to make it available to everyone.

William Nelson Pope

W.N. (Bill) Pope was born in Belleville, Ontario, in 1952 where he started art training at Quinte Secondary School (Belleville) and later O.C.A.(D.) in Toronto. He studied drawing and painting with Gordon Raynor, Graham Coughtrey, and multi-media with Denis Pike. In the 1970’s he was mentored in photography by Murray Mosher, Justin Wonnacott and Bob Anderson. Pope sold slide show “Dupes” to the NFB still photo division and was a founding member of the Gallery 101 collective in Ottawa. In 1991 Pope entered into treatment for depression, hypertension, and alcoholism. Since then he has worked in support of disabilities in the arts through at both Gallery Gachet and the Kettle Friendship Society.


Pierre Leichner

Pierre Leichner has changed career from a thirty-year as an academic psychiatrist to be an artist. He obtained his BA from Emily Carr University, Vancouver in 2007. Early works reflected his view of the artist as an observer and commentator on society. He obtained Masters in Fine Arts from Concordia University in 2011. Since then, his practice has shifted towards environmental and socially engaged work. He is a member of the Art Is Land Network environmental artists collective and the Gallery Gachet artists collective. He is on the board of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver.
Since 2005, he has had 15 solo shows, participated in 35 group shows and presented in 8 art conferences.

CV Arts – Pierre Leichner

Tchavdar (Chav) Petkov, MA(LS) writer/artist

FacadeFor Chav poetry and the visual arts, often photography in particular, collaborate to explore and, sometimes, reveal meaningful human experiences. For him those experiences transcend boundaries that seemingly divide yet contain a possibility to unite. He is interested in the unmasking of facades, in reaching for the other, those on the margins, the outsiders. The sense of wonder, the ambiguous, the obscure belong to the artistic endeavour and the artist’s ability to deliver the depth of their domain. Chav has been exploring the collaboration between the word and the visual arts and will go on. Some of his poetry was published in in 2011 (March through December, Archives).

Stella Castell

2016_Stella_City2Stella Castell is an European artist  residing in Vancouver. Stella has been involved in arts all her life.  She attended music school in Europe and currently she is studying fine arts here in Vancouver.

Stella uses art to express her  intense  emotional response to the world, reflecting on her inner feelings. Her inspiration for paintings comes from the beauty of nature which Stella finds healing and therapeutic.  She paints landscapes, dreams and visions, and also abstract. Stella intends to produce beautiful, real art with a deep message and meaning.

Stella is currently adding more pieces to Beauty of Nature series. She is also working on a series of paintings expressing the soul hidden behind our faces in everyday life. Her next upcoming project is a series about social issues and problems of people who are marginalized in our society, who are struggling without any help, and nobody gives them a chance.

For info/queries contact:

Karen Irving

Karen Irving is a self-taught artist who was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and now resides in the downtown Eastside of Vancouver, British Columbia. She has been painting since 2005, and became a full-time artist in 2014. As a young person, singing, playing the guitar, and fashion was at the forefront of everyday life. While working on a cruise line in the Caribbean she developed a love of rich vibrant colors like the reds, oranges, and yellows that came to influence her work. In 1998 she moved to Vancouver to find work in human resources/training & development in healthcare. Her passion for art started after she contracted bacterial meningitis in 2004 and almost died. Karen’s doctor recommended painting her thoughts and feelings on canvas. She then started to become inspired by a new spiritual energy and the world around her began to open up as painting became her one and only passion.

She paints not for the business side of the craft, but for a sense of being one with the art. Pure bliss of happiness and harmony – coming together as one mind, body and soul. Her art is about transformation and movement; a living testament of blending textures, layers, shading and contrasts. It traverses on an individual, unique, and hidden journey of bold and vibrant colours with dancing texture and mysterious images. Karen’s work is alive. It draws you in with a seductive sublimity of movement and transcends the imagination and soul.

Karen is a Collective Member and Board Member at large at the Gallery Gachet in Vancouver BC. She showed at the 2016 Downtown Cultural Crawl held at the Kettle Friendship Society.

Haisla Collins

Haisla Collins is a mixed media Vancouver artist and is indigenous to territories of northern BC (Tsimshian, Nisga’a Gitsan). She is an award winning artist with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University and has been practising art production since 1992. She has a history of drawing, painting, printmaking, beading, mixed media and textile art. Her work is magical, expressionist and incorporates stories and cultural elements from indigenous peoples across Canada. She is an experienced community organizer and instructor with artists and communities in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver BC and beyond.
Her work has shown in professional and community art shows since 1993. And she has been involved in mural projects such as Through the Eye of the Raven (which is the largest piece of public art is Western Canada), the Big Print Project Chinatown (where she produced 8’X4′ block prints printed with a steam roller in Sun Yat Sen Garden Plaza) and has recently worked on windows at the Orange hall (BC Housing) and is lead artist for the wall at 600 block Beatty street called Spirits of the Realms (which was won through the 150+ Vancouver Mural Contest.) Haisla is also lead singer and harmonica player for blues and roots band Haisla with Nasty, Brutish and Short.

Erin Altomare

Erin Altomare is involved in Vancouver’s noise/experimental music community as
a photographer and performer in the harsh noise duo Molena. Her solo photo exhibit Show Was Great, No One Was There was part of the 2014 Big Joy music festival at the Remington Gallery, Vancouver. Many of her photos can be seen here:

Bernadine Fox

Bernadine Fox, a trauma survivor who lives with CPTSD and Dissociation, also has some 30 years of advocating for mental health issues. She has worked as a support worker for survivors of severe childhood trauma, as a consultant around trauma issues and as a public speaker. She ran the Expressive Arts Group for the West Coast Mental Health Network in conjunction with both the Richmond Mental Health Dept and Gallery Gachet. As an Associate Member of Gachet and now on the Board, Bernadine participated in a variety of programs along with the production of the magazine entitled, The Ear. She is on the board for Kickstart (Disability Arts and Culture) working to ensure that disabilities (whether physical or emotional) impact less and less on the ability of folks to engage with art. Bernadine knows how to talk with folks about hard issues. She raises her grandson and currently lives in the forest with two cats and two rats.

Quin Martins

Born in New Westminster, Quin Martins is an interdisciplinary artist and curator whose practice incorporates painting, photography, installation, and film-making. He moves freely through disciplines to create work that subverts and disrupts accepted social expectations of the artist and issues relating to mental health and marginalization. He holds a BFA in Visual Arts from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

  • About Gallery Gachet

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  • Accessibility Info

    Front door - 32" width
    No steps

    Door - 35" width
    Toilet clearance:
    8'' left side
    29'' front
    Support bars on left and behind toilet

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