Co-Founder, Director of People and Culture
Director of People and Culture
Specialties: Mindfulness-based art activities training, individual/pairs/groups (for self-care, stress and anxiety, chronic pain, relationship enrichment, communal artwork projects), reflective-based art activities (combining paint, collage, words and journaling, activity and class planning for at-risk youth, seniors and all-abilities programming. Meg specializes in multi-medium art instruction (alcohol ink, water colour and acrylic painting, collage, art journaling, landscape paintings, jewelry making, drawing mediums, lino-cut printing, and more). As a practicing artist, Meg creates small and large scale multi-medium art works and alcohol ink paintings on commission and for sale in our clinic.
Bachelor of Arts, UBC
Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology (specializing in the Anthropology of Art and Museum Studies), UBC
Mindfulness-Based Art Therapy Level 1 and 2
True Point with Margaret Callahan Jones
Meg is co-founder of Alongside You with her husband Andrew. As the Director of People and Culture, Meg strives to create a welcoming space for people of all ages, abilities and diagnoses and to foster a supportive and compassionate work environment.
Having a twin sister with a rare genetic condition and profound hearing loss has been a driving force behind Meg’s desire to create accessible programs and creative projects for diverse populations and families. Growing up, making art was an activity her family could do together and this helped to develop Meg’s ability to adapt the art-making process to the surrounding environment and the skills and abilities of participants.
As a teen, Meg spent countless hours on the soccer field and just as much time in her school’s and community’s ceramics and art studio. At 15, along with her friend and sister, Meg planned and implemented a day camp out of her home with a heavy emphasis on art, worked as an art director at a large BC island summer camp, and worked at several museums/art studios and ESL camps. After three years in the Fine Arts Department at UBC, Meg became more interested in current culturally diverse artists, storytelling, and community-led and public exhibitions. She earned both her Bachelors of Arts and Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology (specializing in the Anthropology of Art and Museum Studies). Her time working alongside artists and elders in the museum and art world, and interacting with youth and kids with different abilities helped her gain a better understanding about how culture, people and art intersect, why people make art, and what it means on an individual level and on a community level.
Teaching courses both at UBC and Douglas College in Anthropology, Meg continued to learn and teach about the importance of the creative process for passing down meaningful lessons and how making art can have a significant positive impact one’s self and on the lives of others.
As a result of a motor vehicle accident, Meg suffers from daily chronic pain and has regular ongoing procedures to aid in pain management. It has been during her own rehab that Meg has focused her attention on how art can be used to improve overall health and physical and emotional wellbeing and the role mindfulness can play in building stronger and more effective coping strategies. It is through this that Meg understands the importance of an individual’s active involvement in their own health plan. Meg sees the long-term benefits of using integrated approaches to reach health goals using a variety of methods to create stronger and healthier minds, body, and social relationships.
Meg creates customized art programming for individuals and pairs-based needs, interests, and abilities. Meg specializes in adaptive art instruction, mindfulness-based skill building, self-care/reflection and self-management skills to help in chronic pain management, anxiety, depression, perfectionism, and self-esteem issues.
Group Classes (Check our website for current classes)
Open Studio Sessions (weekly): in our on-site art studio are open to the public, and offer weekly art projects for people of all abilities, ages, and diagnosis.
Pain in the Arts (8 sessions): is an art class that teaches mindfulness-based art activities for coping and pain management strategies for those with chronic pain and conditions.
Be You: Art Journaling (8 sessions): focuses on simple book binding, a series of journal/multi-medium techniques and reflective writing prompts.
Weekend Workshops (two hour): are one-time art making sessions had have been on a variety of topics (examples of previous classes: Tween and Me: Mixed-Medium Painting, Introduction to Alcohol ink on tile and glass, Beach Day mixed-medium canvas).
Professional Development, Education classes, and Public Speaking Engagements:
Meg works with organizations to design art-making experiences and provides training to professionals, medical/mental health providers, educators, teens, churches, youth events, respite programs, families, and community groups on how to use art for self-care and positive relationship building. Previous and current agencies participants include:
The Boys and Girls Club Alternate School Program, South Delta’s Home Learners Program, the Delta School District, UBC Medical School’s Doctors and residents, UBC Dean of Arts Leadership, Fraser Health, several care homes, church groups, arts organizations, and respite programs.
Both Andrew and Meg have been contributing members of Delta’s Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Local Action Team and with National Hope Talks in Calgary and Delta, bringing individuals, families, services providers and agencies together to listen and learn about stories of resilience. Along with public speaking and training, Meg connects with the community in a variety of different ways. She has been the co-author of “An Artful Life,” a monthly column in The Delta Optimist, runs outreach art events, such as Ladner’s Family Fun Craft Day (an art day for families with kids with special needs), facilitates art projects at community events (May Days, Reach Child and Youth), has run Friday Night Knitting Club Events and raising donations to The Union Gospel Missions Women’s Shelter and for Azure House, Delta’s transition house for battered women (run by W.I.N.G.S) and sells her own jewelry and art work to fund our Step Forward Program, that helps subsidize the services of Alongside You for those who need financial assistance to access services.
Why is Alongside You different from other agencies in Delta, Surrey or Vancouver?
Being able to provide timely and effective programs for those in our community who may be falling through the cracks. We use evidence-based research to plan and develop our interventions and approaches to health. We bring people together in new and different ways in order to create stronger relationships and families. Meg likes that Alongside You can be responsive to the needs of our community, meet these needs in whatever way we can, and if we can’t, connect them with someone who can.
What is Meg like outside of work?
Meg is an anthropologist at heart! She loves people and has a thirst for learning about different cultures and people. Meg loves reading, walking, being near the ocean, visiting museums and window-shopping! She finds inspiration for her own artwork in nature and thrift/artisan shops and loves exploring a range of patterns, designs, textures, techniques in unlikely objects. She also loves upcycling, baking, singing, writing, and spending time with her family and dog, Buttercup. Meg loves the colour turquoise and the colour fuchsia…(her hair is usually this colour). She also loves finding inspirational quotes! Her favourite statements are, “Be you,” and, “There is nothing more truly artistic than to love people” by Vincent Van Gogh.
Interested in hearing more from Meg?
You can read her blog posts here.