VISUAL STORYTELLER. ILLUSTRATOR. FILMMAKER. WORKER IN THE COMMUNITY.

VISUAL STORYTELLER. ILLUSTRATOR. FILMMAKER. WORKER IN THE COMMUNITY.

ALTHEA BALMES  is A MULTIDISCIPLINARY VISUAL STORYTELLER and artist educator INTERESTED IN COLLABORATIVE CREATIVE EXPRESSIONS TO TELL STORIES AND MAKE ART. 

Her work is informed by her Filipino roots, her diasporic experience as a queer woman of colour and her interest in anthropology, critical theory and decolonial aesthetics. It touches on themes of migration, diasporic experiences, personal narratives and culture for the sake of knowledge sharing.

She approaches arts-education as a way to build and bridge communities.  She takes a self-reflexive, feminist and constructivist style of facilitating various forms of visual storytelling. She has worked with immigrant women, newcomer youth, queer youth and in underserved communities. She began the Comic- Making Workshop + Residency Program (Cup Doodle Project) in 2017 to nurture and provide a creative space for young Asian emerging cartoonists.

Her work as has been shown at Toronto Reel Asian Film Festival, Kaohsiung International Film Festival, Scarborough Arts Bridging Festival as well as Workers Arts and Heritage Centre, A-Space Gallery, Blackwood Gallery, Mayworks Festival among others. Her illustrations and comics has also been published by Briarpatch Magazine, Rice Paper Magazine, The Peak Magazine, Our Times Magazine, Looseleaf Magazine as well Between the Line Press.

She has sat in programme committees and juries including Reel Asian Film Festival, Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival and Ontario Arts Council. She has also been a recipient of the Women in Film and Television-Toronto (WIFT-T) Award, Min Sook Lee Award and various OAC grants. She has been featured on CBC Arts for her projects including Kwentong Bayan: Labour of Love--a community based comics about Filipinx caregivers and Cup Doodle Project.

She is also currently completing her Master's of Information in User Experience Design.  

[photo by Haseena Manek]

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