As an award winning Visual Artist and Internationally recognized Indigenous Artisan you will find Charlene’s work across North America. In 2019 & 2021, she was a winner in Senior Visual Arts Division for Arts and Letters NL. She has also received several Honourable Mentions in various art competitions for her paintings. In 2021, she received an invitation to complete in the prestigious En Plein Air Competition held by McMichael’s Canadian Art Gallery in Ontario.
Although she was born and raised in Ontario, she has been visiting her ancestral homeland since a young age. In 2010, Charlene made the move to Mary’s Harbour, Labrador, a small community that is located in NunatuKavut territory. Her connections to the land are evident in her art providing the subject matter while exploring her cultural connections in many of her pieces.
Charlene started sewing at the age of ten and along the way taught herself embroidery and beading techniques. Also at a young age, she was introduced into the world of art thus fostering her love of being creative. While in her twenties, she became fascinated with natural dye techniques. Art School in the 90’s further developed her drawing and painting skills. While living Labrador, she starting experimenting with local floral and fauna to produce uniquely dyed pieces in silk and cotton. Today, she paints in oils and acrylic, but also enjoys creating watercolour pieces and exploring printmaking. While connecting to her aboriginal heritage, she fell in love with the natural materials used by the Inuit for hundreds of years and incorporates these materials into many of her award winning fibre art pieces.
She holds memberships with VANL-Carfac, NL Craft Council, and NLArts along with being a registered Indigenous Artist with the Canadian Council of Arts and the Inuit Art Foundation.
Charlene has completed a BA in Psychology from the University of Waterloo, an Art Diploma from Georgian College and a Diploma in Small Business Applications also from Georgian College. She started her own Art Studio in 2018 that included a boutique in a renovated shed on the waterfront. 2020 was a big year for this entrepreneur; she purchased a heritage house in Mary’s Harbour and brought it back to life to incorporate her art studio and boutique and added a café. That year, she was also the recipient of the “Resilient Entrepreneur of the Year” from Ulnooweg. 2020 also seen her business being accepted into the Economusee Network as an Indigenous Craft Studio. The Studio received full membership in this prestigious organization in 2022. Throughout the pandemic, Charlene continued to open her doors and grow her business during very trying times for the Arts & Culture and Tourism Sectors.
Charlene enjoys volunteer work and sits on various boards in the province; the Provincial Committee for Come Home Year 2022, Destination Labrador, Harbourview Manor, and the local Heritage Committee.
Charlene currently lives in Mary’s Harbour with her two Standard Poodles; Wally and Eugenia. She is the mother of two boys and grandmother to three.