About Us

Maria Calleja – Teacher and Entrepreneur

Maria Calleja teaches art and runs art camps throughout London, ON. She is a qualified Ontario teacher and has taught in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and London, ON.

Founded in 2007, Budding Artists grew from a simple idea – you can encourage and value creativity by preserving and showcasing artwork. It’s an idea nurtured by mom, teacher and entrepreneur, Maria Calleja through art experiences with her own children and students.

Laurie Tomé – Artist and Educator

As a professional scenic artist for the theatre and as a certified teacher, Laurie has a unique background in art education. Her Fine Arts degree from Western has equipped her with a foundation in art theory and criticism making her a diligent, critical thinker. Her background as a visual artist means that she is able to apply artistic understanding to the creative process.

Laurie’s B.Ed provides her with the experience required to create a learning environment that is both inclusive and supportive. She has worked with a wide range of ages and abilities, which currently includes teaching a Design Communications course for Fanshawe College’s Technical Theatre Program. Laurie has conducted many innovative workshops and art camps around the city of London in which she shares her own unique brand of creativity.

Her 20+ years as a scenic artist and props builder means that she also happens to be a highly resourceful artist. As a scenic artist, Laurie is more than just a painter. She understands the painting process itself. Her work with unconventional materials has become very much apart of her overall approach to teaching art to children and youth. From drawing to sculpture to painting, Laurie’s years in theatre have furnished her with a multitude of practical skills. She very much believes in providing young people with an opportunity to experiment with both concepts and materials as a way towards discovering individual potential and preferences while building skills and confidence.

Laurie’s commitment to the arts extends beyond the classroom and into the heart of Old South London every October in the form of the ever-popular community event known as Halloween in the Village. As co-founder and head coordinator, you can often spot Laurie on the day of the event, darting about Wortley Village in a wacky costume; see her on stage or leading the parade of costumed revellers. Laurie seeks to inspire creativity in the workshops she conducts and in the many who participate in this fun, grassroots gathering. Her energy and good humour colours all that she endeavours to create.