Born in St Catharine’s, ON, Maria Epp remembers drawing wildlife and playing the piano her whole
life. Her training as a graphic designer and experience in this field informed her linear style. She is
largely self-taught in painting, textiles, print-making, and other media. Her passion as a community
artist is to advocate art accessibility in low-income neighbourhoods at projects such as Red Road
Lodge. “I learn to use as many media as I can, so I can share varied skills in my community work,”
she says. “For me, Artbeat has been an energizing self-esteem booster, where I feel safe expressing
A mother and Winnipeg North End resident, she identifies with the narratives of the people in her
community and cares deeply about social justice and the environment. She gets artistic inspiration
from Paul Klee and Indigenous artists such as Métis painter Christi Belcourt and local First Nation
painter-animator Jackie Traverse.
Maria practices collagraphy, a way of making prints by applying materials to a rigid substrate.
She also paints with acrylic on canvas and plywood, makes decorative mixed-media sculptures,
and does embroidery and other fabric art. Thematically, Maria is conscious of traditions and
generational trauma from her own Mennonite heritage. Detachment from the land and loss of family
interconnectedness are topics that have an impact on her art. “Focusing on images of mother and
child and the role of the female character are ways to recover strength and healing through art,”