Althea balmes is a multidisciplinary visual storyteller, artist- educator and UX researcher.
At the core of her practice is the embodiment of anti-oppressive framework, process of decolonization and community building. In creating visual narratives, she explores themes and stories of migration, labour and personhood. Her work expands on the decolonial aesthetics of the Filipinx diasporic experience.
Balmes’ films have been shown at Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival, Kaohsiung International Film Festival, Scarborough Arts Bridging Festival. Her illustrations and comics have been published in Briarpatch Magazine, Rice Paper Magazine, Our Times Magazine, Carte Blanche, Looseleaf Magazine and by Between the Lines Press. As part of Kwentong Bayan Collective, she creates work with and about the love and struggle of Filipinx (live-in) migrant care workers. The Collective have exhibited works in Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, A-Space Gallery, Blackwood Gallery, Mayworks Festival among others.
Althea facilitates workshops on visual storytelling and comics working with newcomers, youth, 2SLGBTQI+, racialized groups and under-served communities. She started the Comic- Making Workshop + Residency Program (Cup Doodle Project) in 2016 to nurture and provide a creative space for Asian youth interested in telling their stories through comics.
As a UX researcher she helps designers and developers create consensual, accessible and ethical digital experiences.
She received her B.A in Anthropology and International Development Studies at York University and her Master of Information in UX Design at University of Toronto.