Board of Directors

Meet the team. Below you will find the dedicated board of directors at Southampton Arts this year.

Sharon Barfoot

Contact Name
Sharon Barfoot
Contact Title
Board Member

Sharon Barfoot has worked in the arts for 40 years as an instructor, curator, textile artist and painter. Her studies include Fine Arts at University of Western Ontario and Textile Arts at Sheridan College. These studies led to several positions in costuming at Stratford Festival Theatre and several smaller local theatres.  She has been an active supporter of the arts in Bruce County since relocating here 20 years ago.

Sharon’s past experience includes Director of the Southampton Art School and a board member of the Southampton Arts Society (now the Southampton Arts).  She also served on the board of the Bluewater Outdoor Education Centre in Wiarton and the boards of the Bruce Trail Association and Gallery 96 in Stratford Ontario.

“Southampton Arts has been ‘home’ for me for several years and I strongly believe this organization is an influencer in the arts and has been for over 60 years.  I feel fortunate to be a part of this journey.”

Joyce Carr

Contact Name
Joyce Carr
Contact Title
Board Member | Vice Chair

Joyce is retired from a career in Education and Social Services specializing in the sector of persons with intellectual disabilities. For the first few years of her career she worked in Special Education with several Boards of Education. The later years of her career she effectively and decisively directed support systems ensuring overall effectiveness in the areas of person-centred planning, community development, networking, service planning, evaluation of outcomes and satisfaction on day to day operations working within the Ministry requirements.

Joyce received several awards and recognition for her outstanding contributions in removing barriers for individuals in business.

Joyce was raised in a household where volunteering and contributing to one’s community was a way of life. Some of her choices were Board of Directors for Adult Education and Learning, Victorian Order of Nurses. She was Instrumental on the ground floor planning and launching of Ronald Mc Donald House, London, and Geranium House (Hospice) in Chatham-Kent.

Over a course of several years Joyce managed, operated and marketed a cottage industry consisting of the design and manufacturing of children’s clothing. Joyce also taught various courses at St. Clair College as an outcome of this retail business.

Elizabeth Davaze

Contact Name
Elizabeth Davaze
Contact Title
Board Member

Before moving to Bruce County almost 10 years ago, Elizabeth Davaze worked in arts
administration and communications for two non-profit community arts organizations: St. Thomas Art Public Art Centre, and Scarborough Arts.

As a journalist and photographer, Elizabeth once interviewed award-winning pig farmers and the Premier of Ontario in a single day. Elizabeth has worked for a variety of news and magazine publications, including the Port Elgin Shoreline Beacon, the St. Thomas Times Journal, and freelance work for the Victoria Times-Colonist and Vancouver Island Newsgroup.

Most recently, Elizabeth has been involved in community projects and organizations in Bruce County including the Alzheimer’s Society of Grey Bruce, the Saugeen Shores Refugee Fund, and Women’s House Serving Bruce & Grey. She currently works from home as a writer and creates fine art pinhole photography with her husband and family.

Gerald Guenkel

Contact Name
Gerald Guenkel
Contact Title
Board Member | Chair

Gerald Guenkel loves forests, wood and art – in any combination! As a professional forester for 35 years, Gerald has worked as a forest manager for a large forest corporation and as a college professor / forest program coordinator. In all these roles he developed skills in strategic planning, budgeting, teaching and effective communication techniques.

What does this have to do with art? Gerald always loved creating from an early age. Many years later, he now has extensive small business experience in creating and selling chainsaw art. What did he learn? Marketing, understanding the customer, value of a dollar and how to rise above the competition.

Currently, Gerald is continuing his chainsaw carving business while volunteering with three different local organizations. Remember, be creative and have fun!

Tanya Linton

Contact Name
Tanya Linton
Contact Title
Board Member

Tanya Linton has worked in the television industry for the past 20 years as a producer, broadcast executive and executive producer.  She is the co-owner of Nikki Ray Media, a Toronto-based production company, specializing in lifestyle content.  Tanya is a creative thinker who has developed numerous original television formats for Discovery Science, Cottage Life, HGTV and Food Network Canada.

In addition to her passion for making television, Tanya has been a freelance writer for a variety of lifestyle and news publications including Canadian House and Home Magazine, Style at Home Magazine and The National Post.  Her writing credits also include two cookbooks.

Having bought a second home in Southampton six years ago, Tanya and her family have fallen in love with the community and all it has to offer.  They split their time between their homes in Toronto and Saugeen Shores.

Antje Martens- Oberwelland

Contact Name
Antje Martens - Oberwelland
Contact Title
Board Member

Antje Martens-Oberwelland is a fine artist. She grew up in Germany but moved to Canada in 1999 and has been living on a farm in Bruce County ever since. The nature surrounding her has always served as her greatest inspiration as an artist. She studied her field at the University of Fine Arts in Hamburg, Germany and also studied education at the University of Hamburg. Throughout her career she has taught many adult and children’s art classes from beginners to advanced.

Since 2008, she has been involved with the Southampton Arts as an instructor, guest artist and juror. She is excited to take on her new role as a member of the Southampton Arts Board of Directors. 

Melanie Myers

Contact Name
Melanie Myers
Contact Title
Board Member | Treasurer

Melanie has been living in Southampton for just over 28 years and in that period of time has enjoyed involvement with community-based health care in Grey-Bruce, local school projects, hockey team operations, Chairperson of the Southampton BIA, and the Administrator of a small manufacturing business. She is keen to support the collective community of Southampton and use volunteering to help contribute to growth of organizations and associations in Saugeen Shores.

Melanie values our thriving downtown, its unique character and charm. The Southampton Arts Centre is a historic cornerstone, a home base for artistic influence in the economic landscape of Southampton and she is excited to carry on the important work of previous directors.

Shelleen Nelson

Contact Name
Shelleen Nelson
Contact Title
Board Member | Secretary

Shelleen grew up in Ontario. She has a degree in English Language and Literature from Wilfrid Laurier University (then, Waterloo Lutheran) and a teaching certificate from McGill. She worked as costume and props designer and maker (and occasionally, actor) for Youth Theatre, Montreal. She taught in isolated schools in the Magdalen Islands, Quebec and Igloolik and Iqaluit N.W.T. (Nunavut). She retired to Southampton in 2012 after teaching for the Waterloo Board.

She has volunteered with the Butterfly Gardens in Saugeen Shores. Taking a variety of courses with the Art School over the years has given her knowledge, enjoyment, and a high regard for the instructors and the School.

With Board members and the staff she hopes to support the growth and success of the SAC and enhance its presence in the community.

Valerie Cargo

Contact Name
Board of Directors I
Contact Title
Board Member

Valerie is a fine art photographer and artist. Before her passion for photography was awakened she travelled the world as a Flight Attendant with Canadian Airlines. When a back injury grounded her at age thirty seven,  she returned to school taking Media at Humber College, Toronto. There she immersed herself in photography, television production and anything media,  winning the Polaroid Award for photography and the Presidents Award.

After successfully completing college she was hired by the Etobicoke Board of Education (Toronto) as a Media Specialist honing her new found skills.

Twenty years ago after a vehicle accident ended her media career, her husband retired and they moved from the Toronto area to Kincardine on beautiful Lake Huron to enjoy small town living. The beauty and mystery of the lake and it's surrounding area never ceases to inspire her. Her striking landscapes capture the solitary and often barren mood of her fall and winter images. This of course changed when her fascination turned to Cyanotypes and Lumens. Now summer with every ray of sunshine is the treasured season. Valerie is truly a women for all seasons.

Elizabeth Rickerby

Contact Name
Elizabeth Rickerby
Contact Title
Board Member

Elizabeth has had strong connections to Saugeen Shores, one way or another, for more than 50 years. First as a high school student in Port Elgin, then as a constant visitor and property owner, and now as a permanent resident of Southampton, recently retired from a career in the public and private sectors.

Elizabeth has broad experience in management consulting, strategic planning, finance and business process risk analysis. Her projects and workplaces have spanned everything from a small manufacturing start-up to provincial and federal crown corporations. For many years she was a leader, key volunteer and ultimately president of her local public school’s Family and School Association.

She received a Community Service Award from Toronto Police Services for school safety initiatives. Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed engaging fellow employees through her volunteer work on the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee of a large financial services company. 

As a keen observer of the arts and a strong supporter of arts education “it is a privilege to contribute to Southampton Arts, an organization that is an integral part of what makes Southampton a unique community”.

Sam Taus

Contact Name
Sam Taus
Contact Title
Board Member

With almost two decades of experience working in the art, entertainment, and music industry, Samantha Taus is filled with a desire to uplift the community and increase awareness of the beauty found within Southampton. Growing up in town, Samantha Taus has always felt the pull of Bruce Country.  It was this pull that led her to create an Instagram account dedicated to her community connection (@southampton_on), creating content that celebrates the beauty of the place she calls home.

Holding a degree in Cultural and Medical Anthropology, Taus continues to have a vested interest in the history of communities and culture that drives them. This, coupled with her vast knowledge of how to create successful public relations and communication campaigns, allows for her to give back in a very unique and measurable way.