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Gina Pierleoni

MFA, Mount Royal School of Art

Class of 1985

Of course, it's not only young people who can benefit from art classes. Gina Pierleoni, who received her MFA from Mount Royal School of Art in 1985, runs creativity workshops for women once a month. "For the most part they're people who have always yearned to make things," Pierleoni said.

"What I do is provide them with a garden bed that's just been composted so they can do whatever they want with it," she said. Pierleoni traveled to Kenya for 10 days in October to help build a school with the people of Masai Mara. Pierleoni believes such a trip does not only help the people of Kenya, but also her art. "Being in a variety of communities deepens my artwork," she said. "It's important that my artwork and what I do are connected and accessible to others."