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Helium Arts Artist Team

Employed Artists

Meet our employed artists here…

Chelsea Canavan is Helium’s Children’s Creative Health Programme artist in Limerick. Chelsea is a multidisciplinary concept artist. Their practice explores the dynamic between creativity and community. Grounded in the belief that art has the power to inspire, question, and transform, their work seeks to engage with the rich tapestry of human experience. Chelsea uses the playful to investigate social issues and create spaces where conversations can flourish and co-creation can occur. Central to their approach is a commitment to fostering dialogues and forging connections. Inviting participants and collaborators to become active contributors to the evolving narrative. This participatory ethos reflects the plurality of perspectives that shape society.

Following graduation from Oakland University in Michigan, USA with a BA in Fine Art in 2009, Chelsea moved to Korea to work as an artist in schools. Chelsea’s work with community groups and collaborative projects has been supported by the Arts Council of Limerick, Creative Ireland, and Creative Europe through numerous awards and travel bursaries. Chelsea is a member of the Visual Artists Ireland.

Image of Helium Arts' Artist Yvonne Cullivan

Yvonne Cullivan is Helium’s Children’s Creative Health Programme artist in Galway. Yvonne is a multidisciplinary visual artist. She uses a wide range of creative processes in her work, including drawing, photography, video, sound, mapping and words. Yvonne has made artworks in the form of public sculpture, photographic exhibitions, video installations, sound-scapes, books, apps, outdoor displays and public interventions. She often works with communities of people and in particular places of interest, involving individuals of all ages and expertise in her creative process toward new artworks. She likes to include all kinds of knowledge in her process and draws on history, culture, landscape, storytelling, and community to inspire and inform her artworks. She has collaborated with designers, poets, directors, performance artists, musicians, and many many children and young people in her career so far.

Yvonne teaches on the First Year programme at the National College of Art and Design and also works as a Creative Associate with The Arts Council of Ireland promoting creativity in schools. At the core of everything that Yvonne does, is the belief in the power of the arts as a form of expression and communication and as a transformative tool that everyone should have access to and enjoy.

Laura Cruz de Toledo is one of Helium’s Children’s Creative Health Programme artists in Dublin. Laura is a multi-disciplinary artist, arts facilitator, and arts educator from Brazil, based in Dublin. She holds a Joint Honours BA in Art History and Philosophy from UCD, and has specialised in early years education with a focus on constructivist pedagogies such as Montessori and Reggio Emilia. Laura’s experiences include volunteering for two non-profit outreach initiatives “Núcleo InterAGIR” and “Chá de Arte” acting on community and hospital settings; working as an arts facilitator and artist assistant at the Sesc_Videobrasil Biennial, The Ark Dublin, and the Irish Travellers Ethnicity Celebration; and working as an arts educator in a variety of settings interacting with children, teenagers, and older adults. Laura is passionate about arts education in both formal and informal settings, and she is particularly interested in Sustainable and Community Based Arts, as well as Socially Engaged and Collaborative arts practices. Other interests include philosophy, migrant’s and immigrant’s rights, traditional crafts, folklore, and permaculture.

Ashleigh Ellis is Helium’s Children’s Creative Health Programme artist in Cork. Ashleigh is a multi-disciplinary artist who loves material and process-led art, making art in/with nature and drawing as meditation. She is passionate about sharing this experience with others. She graduated from the Crawford College of Art and Design in 2011, and completed a MEd with the Open University in 2017 in which she undertook research about young artists identity and self-esteem. She has over ten years of experience teaching the arts in different alternative settings and was a residential Art Teacher in the U.K. for four years in an international school where she developed inquiry-based, multidisciplinary curriculum, taught Human Ecology, and was a Curriculum Coordinator. She is also very talented on the harp!

Peggie Mc Keon is one of Helium’s Children’s Creative Health Programme artists in Dublin. Peggie is multidisciplinary artist who works across a variety of mediums including; textiles, ceramics, watercolours, inks, and light, she is particularly interested in making work which explores memory and the body. Since graduating from Fine Art Printmaking at the National College of Art & Design in 2017, she has worked on a number of collaborative and community based projects, exhibiting work in a number of group shows in Dublin City. In 2019 she co-founded HEY, a support network for those wishing to engage with visual art, which took the form of a series of group field trips to galleries. In 2020, Peggie studied Social Care and Special Needs Assisting and has worked in disability and educational services ever since. Peggie primarily worked as an additional needs assistant in both mainstream and specialised schools, in nonverbal units. She has facilitated many artistic projects working 1:1 with individuals and adolescents with additional needs, supporting their self exploration and expression through art making. Her mission is to encourage and facilitate the exploration of individuality and creativity and to be autonomous through art making. Peggie loves spending time in nature, particularly in forests and mountains across Ireland.