Teachers

Art Garage Volunteers

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AJ Andrews

AJ studied Art & Design at California Polytechnic State University, where she focused on Photography and Digital Imaging as well as Dance. Her love for these arts has progressed her work and expanded in so many more ways. She worked as a freelance artist and instructor in Chicago for several years, in a range of different mediums, and now continues her adventures in Denver. Her most recent interests involve acrylic painting and digital art. But her real passion is sharing the joy of art-making with others. You can view her work at www.amberjeanette.com.
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Allison Avery-Wollenhaupt

has been a teacher with The Art Garage for the past three years, and before that was an art teacher in Ohio for six years. She enjoys helping students access their creativity through the use of art media and techniques, and feels lucky to have such amazing students here at The Art Garage! Allison has her MA and BA in Art Education, and attended Kent State University in Ohio for both degrees.
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Yasman Azimi

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Kylle Been

Kylle has been working in clay consistently for the last 14 years. She has a casual style of teaching with both hand building and wheel throwing. She has a working knowledge of the art of pottery making and history of clay. Asking quests in always encouraged. Clay is something you have to develop a feel for. "Let your experiences be your best guide"
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Brittany Bell

Brittany has her Bachelor's in Art Education from Colorado Mesa University and has experience teaching art to pre-K through high school age students. She has been doing art her whole life and in versed in a range of media and materials including drawing, painting and ceramics. Brittany mostly enjoys art for relaxation and fun.
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Molly Berger

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Dimetric Boykin

is a renowned artist who goes by the name, (G)nosis. He toured extensively in the United States, gaining national and international recognition for his work in the music industry - humbly ranking above legends like Lauryn Hill, Talib Kweli, and De La Soul. Outside of that, Dimetric is involved in non-profit work with various organizations, all of which focus on transforming the current realm of the entertainment industry (and the world in general for both children and adults alike. His goal is to reach the masses with his message of unity through creativity and education. (G)nosis actively teaches, mentors and works to spread knowledge around the world. Working with world leaders as an ambassador of peace, his vision is to bring the world to balance with truth through individual reflection. He philosophy is simple: each one, teach one.
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Bailey Breiner

has always had a love for working with children and the creative arts. As a young child, she dreamed of being an artist and is proud to have participated in several art shows around Denver. Bailey's specialty is drawing, painting and collaging, but also enjoys sculpting and so much more! She has over ten years of childcare experience working with children from ages 0-18 years old. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to combine these two passions at The Art Garage.
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David Bridges

David Bridges is a musician and artist currently living in Denver. He received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Drawing and Painting from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2016. Recently his work has focused around the subject of sound and the relationship it has with the visual world. This manifests in both sound visualization and in visual-based sound-works. He also plays in several bands and other musical projects.
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Fiona Cannon

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Jane Chavez

is a Denver mixed-media artist with a passion for art, teaching and the creative process. She holds a BA in English with an emphasis in writing. She also has extensive experience in primary education. Her engaging lessons take students on an artful journey that will ignite creativity while learning new aspects of art and art history.
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Elle-Han Collings

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Kelly Craighead

Kelly graduated with her B.A. in Fine Arts from Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado. She enjoys painting large scale, and her intaglio prints have been recognized via a juried printmaking show at Denver’s Core New Art Space. In 2016, Kelly took a leap of faith and left Rocky Mountain Human Services, an organization in which she had passionately dedicated almost 9 years of her life working with adults with developmental disabilities. She now combines her two loves of art and a community of children and adults who are differently abled by teaching at Art Garage through the ARK program.
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Sara Donnelly

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Christina Doyle

grew up in rural Ohio, where she enjoyed riding horses and dreaming of world travel. She went on to study studio art and education at Kent State University, and in 2007 received her BA in Art Education. She has been teaching artists of all ages ever since, and specializes in painting and mixed media. In 2012, Christina & her husband fulfilled a dream of theirs and moved to the big city of Denver. In addition to enjoying the area's natural beauty and culture, they are also avid travelers who hope to see the world together.
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Jack and Pam Farrar

The Farrars have created a public art experience in the alley between Hudson and Holly St. at 22nd Ave, and on fences throughout the area. This in turn has created a "movement" where each year neighbors enter a competition, “The Park Hill Alley Art Contest”. Supporting our interest in recycling, it is with pleasure to have Jack and Pam teaching at the Art Garage. Jack and Pam will show students how to recognize unique qualities and applications of found materials, encouraging students by providing materials, building skills and more. Making art from other materials is natural to the creative process.
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Andrea Floren

Andrea Floren is an illustrator and designer. Born and raised in the Great Plains of South Dakota, she hails from an industrious family of self-starters, craftspeople, musicians, eccentrics, inventors and collectors. Dreams and adventure took her to both coasts, overseas and below the Border before settling in Denver, Colorado with her family. Her experience comes from a blended background of advertising, design studios and leading art workshops in preschools. She admires curiousity, whimsy, thoughtfulness, delight and the courage to be true to you. She loves creating with children and working in any medium but has soft spots for creating art with natural elements, cultural meaning and storytelling.
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Jennifer Ghormley

is a working artist who employs a variety of techniques in the translation of ideas into works of art. She received her MFA in printmaking in 2006 from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln and her BFA in 2002 from Metropolitan State College of Denver. From 2007 to 2009, Ms. Ghormley was the Printmaking studio manager of at Anderson Ranch Art Center, located in beautiful Snowmass Village, CO. Jennifer actively shows her work through national juried exhibitions and invitational portfolios; she is Managing Editor for the Mid-America Print Council Journal; on the Board of Curators for the Aspen Chapel Gallery; and serves as Program Coordinator for the Venice Printmaking Studio in Venice, Italy. Currently, Jennifer teaches printmaking courses and artistic workshops to adult and children around throughout Colorado, and nationally. In order to embrace all of her creative urges Jennifer creates artwork under her own name, as well as Jen G Studios.
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Joy Giles

Joy Giles has been an art teacher for K-8th grade students in the Denver area for the past 13 years. Before that, she taught English in Japan for 5 years to students ranging in age from 3 years old to adults. She has a BA in Printmaking from The Kansas City Art Institute in Kansas City, Missouri. She believes everyone has some kind of creative inclination and helping people find theirs is a passion of hers. Through art, she loves to learn and teach about world cultures, geography and history. She is very happy to be a part of the Art Garage family.
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Sal Greenberger

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Jessica Gross

received her BFA at the University Colorado Denver with an emphasis in sculpture. Her installations have included a range of materials from metal and car tires to feathers and fabrics. Presently Jessica is pursuing her love for teaching and for ceramics teaching art classes for Downtown Aurora Visual Arts and ceramics classes and birthday parties at the Art Garage.
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Lauren Hamilton

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Karen Heaney-Chapman

Karen Chapman is a practicing artist and art educator. She has a BFA in Interior Architecture from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and teaching license from the University of Colorado, Denver. Karen’s art is often inspired from observing nature. She works in acrylics, collage and ceramics. Karen enjoys working with students exploring new techniques and considering different perspectives. Her goal as an educator is to support students in expressing their unique ideas through creating art.
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Kayla Henry

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Kari Hess

Growing up with a grandmother who breathed art, Kari Hess has been creating in some form for as long as she can remember. Her passion for working with children is just as deep. Kari earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and has taught in schools of all shapes, sizes, and philosophies for more than the past decade. She believes in the power of the arts to encourage communication, confidence, understanding, acceptance, and expression. Kari strives to reflect these beliefs in her teaching and community interactions each day. She is very excited to explore and create with you at The Art Garage!
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Julian Kramer

Julian Kramer, originally from Montclair, New Jersey, has a BFA in Art and Design Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. He has experience working with kids of all ages in many different settings, including public schools, summer camps, a homeless shelter, and extracurricular art classes. Previously a summer camp director, Julian now works as an art teacher in Cherry Creek School District, where he teaches at the elementary level. He has a strong passion for art and teaching, and likes to work with painting, collage, printmaking, and ceramics. He is excited to bring his passion and strong background to the Art Garage!
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Amy Leiter

Amy Leiter is a practicing artist and art therapist that grew up in the midwest, where she enjoyed art, nature and dreaming of a way to help and serve others. She has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Ohio University in Athens, OH and a Masters in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology: Art Therapy from Naropa University in Boulder, CO. Amy has a diverse background in the arts including graphic design, art education, and art therapy in community-based and mental health settings. Her main interest is creating mixed-media paintings using pastels, acrylic paints, and paper. Amy has a passion for working with children and a desire to encourage them through art to pursue personal growth through self-expression. She teaches camps, birthday parties as well as participating in the ARK program at the Art Garage and offers therapeutic services at Violet Hive Art Therapy.
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Sara Lornitzo

Sara Lornitzo is a sculptor, illustrator, animator, jeweler and photographer. She grew up in rural Vermont where a hands-on approach is the only approach and works that way in all her endeavors. Now a Denver resident, she is finishing her BFA in Sculpture and developing a name as an illustrator and artist. She is a three-time ArtsBridge Scholar working with the Kunsmiller Arts Academy to create claymations with their 5th grade classes. She is currently creating works in cast iron at UCDenver.
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Olivia Martinez

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Barb Mckee
President and Founder

Barb Mckee and her family have resided in Park Hill for over 17 years. She is a multi-facet studio and public artist. With Art and Textile degrees from several universities, she has worked as a pattern designer and colorist. Forming a company called Surface Strategy, she was able to consult with and design the sound walls along the I-25 Denver corridor for the TREX project. She founded the Art Garage in Denver and along with several friends, filed paperwork to make this a non profit community organization. Within the Park Hill community, Barb was interested in connecting the local highly-skilled artists with the residents eager to live and learn about Art. Before the Art Garage, there was no such gathering place in NE Denver.
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Sophia Means

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Laurie Milwid

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Jeremy Moore

Using both digital and traditional painting media, Jeremy illustrates for a variety of publications. His work gains recognition across multiple industries and has been accepted into highly prestigious publications and annuals. Outside the studio, Jeremy helps to bring local illustrators and artists together in a burgeoning art community called The Denver Illustration Salon.
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Katie Moran
Executive Director

graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a BFA in drawing and has a Masters in Teaching specializing in children with special needs from Pace University. She has taught art in the NYC public schools to children with severe special needs. She served in the Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean where she worked in community development focusing on special education teaching and training. She also co-directed Grenada's inaugural nationwide Camp G.L.O.W. (Girls Leading Our World) to empower secondary school girls to assess and take action on personal goals and community issues. She is a practicing artist specializing in drawing, oil painting and bookmaking. Art and community development is her passion and she has been able to bring those together with her work at the Art Garage.
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Laurel Nook

is a Visual Arts teacher at Skinner Middle School and an artist. Her educational background includes a BA in Sociology and a K-12 Art Education Certification from Metropolitan State University-Denver. She has traveled to Guatemala to provide relief to schools in impoverished areas while bringing smiles to their faces through art and collaboration. While working on her art education license she taught Special Education and provided case management services for individuals who are differently abled. She also enjoys collaborating with others for larger installations and will be working with the City of Denver and a visiting artist to create a mural at the Montbello Recreation Center this Spring. Laurel believes art is for everyone and finds joy in sharing the art experience with individuals, groups and the greater Denver community.
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Karl Orion

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Ian Paisley

Obtaining his BFA at Metropolitan State University, Ian has an emphasis in ceramics and spatial media. He has a passion for creating art and actively participates within the art community throughout the Denver-Metro area. Growing up reading Bill Watterson's, Calvin and Hobbes, Ian appreciates that your imagination can be your best friend and through art making your creativity can be brought to life.
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Patty Paul

has a BA from the University of Denver in Theater. She has worked on sets for Walt Disney, the Rolling Stones, Willy Nelson and many more shows at Red Rocks Amphitheater. She has also painted logos on the basketball court for the Nuggets at the former McNichols Arena in Denver, CO. Combining her background in painting, drawing and stage sets with her love for researching children’s literature; Patty guides students through a variety of techniques, materials and images to create projects that offer new insight into the story that inspires the visual arts in both classes and birthday parties.
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Kimberly Putnam

Kim Putnam is a contemporary multi-media artist and adjunct instructor at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. She has been teaching at the college since 2009. Putnam also leads workshops in printmaking, Portraiture and Life Drawing at the Art Students League of Denver. She is represented by Core Gallery in Denver, Colorado. Putnam has a Masters of Fine Art degree from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, a Masters of Art degree in Art History from Ohio State University. Putnam is a contributing writer to Rootstalk on-line magazine and has published several articles in the CAEA Collage magazine.
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Lisa Rooney

After graduating from Rutgers University with a BA in Visual Arts and Art History, Lisa worked as a sculptor for several years in New York City in fields such as architecture, jewelry making, furniture making, and animation. She specializes in ceramics and woodworking, and is the designer / maker of a jewelry collection called Gossamer. She recently relocated to Denver to find some inspiration a little closer to nature.
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Stuart Sachs

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Jamie Smith

Jamie was born in Colorado but raised in Washington State. Growing up on a farm instilled in her a love for animals, gardening, and the outdoors. She came back to Denver for school, receiving her degree from Metropolitan State University of Denver in Art Education. She has been teaching for about 8 years with a professional licensure and is certified in grades K-12. Her first job out of college was at a residential treatment center in Aurora called Excelsior Youth Center/High School (EYC). There she taught art in different mediums and various forms to grades 6 to 12. Jamie started a graphic design program through a grant received from the Jared Polis Foundation. The Sheila Fortune Foundation also gave grant money to the program so that she was able to have two bronze pours with her advanced art class. At EYC, she was able to see the benefits of art therapy and facilitate healing on many levels with students. Since then she has worked at a few charter schools growing in her teaching experience. Jamie enjoys being active including activities such as dance, biking, yoga, drumming, gardening, making jewelry, reading, and supporting local musicians and artists. She especially loves spending quality time with her husband and her daughter. She is extremely passionate about education and knew teaching was her calling when first spending time in a classroom with students. She strongly believes in educating the whole child and removing barriers to self-discovery. Jamie thinks that the perfect educational environment is a safe place where students are encouraged to ask questions and make connections to the world around them. It is her goal to inspire students to learn, where they incorporate into their lives, something that forever changes them personally.
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Lucy Sroka

is a Denver School of the Arts graduate and current student at The University of Washington's School of Art and Design. She has worked at the Art Garage for three summers and loves working with kids and the great community the Art Garage has in general. Living in the Pacific Northwest now, she's excited to come back to Colorado and the Mile High city to teach this summer. She loves drawing, printmaking and embroidery, music and animals.
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Njeri Summey

Njeri graduated from Colorado College in May of 2017 with a BFA in Feminist and Gender Studies, an education which completely changed the way she sees the world. She studied issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality and is in the process of learning how to use this lens in her teaching practice. Since graduating, she has focused most of her energy working with the Art Garage, as well as building her business for her own work. She primarily makes wearable art, including healing crystal jewelry and hand-dyed clothing, but also spends time in the ceramics studio throwing on the wheel or hand-building. She also has a strong background in film photography. Njeri is a native of the D.C. metro area and is excited to continue creating an art- filled life in Colorado.
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Tess Swickard

A Denver native, Tess is an artist of canvas and pottery as well as an interior and clothing designer. She has been a pre-school assistant and lead teacher for almost five years at Park Hill Children's Center and she now aims to explore early education through a strictly artistic scope. Tess brings great experience and positivity to The Art Garage.
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Courtney Throndson

graduated with a BFA in Metals and Jewelry Design from CSU in Ft. Collins, CO. Courtney’s teaching methods include community building while introducing advanced techniques in a variety of medium; paint, metal, glass and more.
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Teacher To Be Determined

We are currently running background checks and observing teachers as they implement lesson plans to determine if they are a good fit for The Art Garage. We will announce their names soon!
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April Tsosie

has an extensive background in the art world, as well as working with youth in a variety of non-profit programs. She graduated with a bachelors degree in Psychology and an emphasis in Child Psychology from the University of New Mexico. April then completed a Fine Art degree at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has shown her artwork in juried art shows across the country. Her work with youth includes guided after school programs that incorporated tutoring, sports and cultural programming.
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Emily vonSwearingen

offers extensive experience of creating art programs and working within therapeutic arts. Her projects focus on arts expression for people with different physical, mental and developmental abilities through mixed-media and photography, often incorporating tactile forms of storytelling into her therapeutic approach to integrative based art making. Her diverse history includes founding the Artist in Residency program at the former Denver Children’s Hospital and collaborating with numerous organizations such as VSA Colorado/Access Gallery, the Colorado Center for the Blind, Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Denver Public Library, DPS STAR program, Easter Seals, Denver Housing Authority, Jefferson Hills Mental Health Care, and Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association. Emily is also a non-profit consultant providing expertise in prospect research, grant writing, content review, network collaborations, organizational infrastructure, program design, curricula development, workshop facilitation and communications.
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Samantha Walker

recently graduated from the University of Colorado with her BA in Art Practices, emphasizing in Ceramics. She also received her license to teach General Education at an elementary level. She has taught students of all ages in multiple setting, but aspires to be an Art Teacher in an Elementary School. After exploring many different art techniques and materials she is excited to share unique and out of the box projects with young artists. She encourages dynamic and innovative thinking from her students and hopes that they will bring new perspectives to her projects. Outside of teaching and creating, Sami loves to get outside and hike or snowboard, watch Disney movies, and spend time with friends and family.
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Holly White

Holly is a native of Colorado that grew up with an appreciation for sustainability in arid climates. While studying Environmental Design at the University of Colorado, she took interest in the societal challenges that face our growing urban centers and how design could facilitate environmental conservation. She was inspired to apply her design skills to the type of work that builds community. In 2011, Holly took a hiatus from designing to travel and learn about other cultures. After spending a year and a half teaching ESL in Seoul and touring Southeast Asia, she found her way to the GrowHaus - a food justice nonprofit that seeks to empower under-served communities. There she worked as a farmer, teacher, and community organizer. Holly has been working in farming, education, landscape design, and graphic design positions for many years and admires the creative energy found when working among youth. She has recently focused more energy towards the path of illustration and is well versed in painting, drawing, drafting, and fiber arts mediums.
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Alison Winterle

Alison has a Masters in Art Therapy from Naropa University and has extensive experience working as an art therapist and in elementary and middle school educational settings. She has worked in a variety of settings such as the Denver Children’s Home as an art based psychotherapist, guest lecturer at Metro States using art to support the group process and creating open studio opportunities for adults and children. Alison Winterle has been teaching as an ARK facilitator working with the Joshua School (2017), Synergy (2016-2017) and Shiloh House (Teen Girls, 2016)
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Leadership

Katie Moran
Executive Director

graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY with a BFA in drawing and has a Masters in Teaching specializing in children with special needs from Pace University. She has taught art in the NYC public schools to children with severe special needs. She served in the Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean where she worked in community development focusing on special education teaching and training. She also co-directed Grenada's inaugural nationwide Camp G.L.O.W. (Girls Leading Our World) to empower secondary school girls to assess and take action on personal goals and community issues. She is a practicing artist specializing in drawing, oil painting and bookmaking. Art and community development is her passion and she has been able to bring those together with her work at the Art Garage.
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Abi Ostendorf

is a local jewelry designer originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. She additionally enjoys painting, furniture restoration and stone cutting in her Denver studio. A majority of her inspiration comes from nature and simple geometric patterns. Being a part of a strong artistic community is very important to her and also contributes to her day to day creativity.
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Hannah Bean

is a writer, artist, and Denver native who recently graduated from MSU with a bachelor's of English. She enjoys collaging, drawing, painting, crocheting, and trying her hands at just about any craft you can think of. Hannah loves to travel and finds inspiration all over the world, but can't stay away from the mountains and the people of Denver too long. She is excited to combine her passions for art and her community at the Art Garage.
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Board of Directors

Melanie Brazil-Aksland
Treasurer

more than 20 year resident of Park Hill, has been in the banking industry for almost 30 years. She has worked for one of the top mortgage lenders in various management positions and currently serves on the national underwriting operations team. After completing her B.S. degree from CU Boulder, she enrolled in fine art classes and taught pottery for community centers in Colorado and Washington State. The Art Garage represents everything she believes in for giving back to the community through the arts. Melanie and her children attend classes at the Art Garage. She is excited to contribute to the wonderful Art Garage community.
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Linda Brown
Accountant

is a proud alumna of CU Boulder and University of Denver and her education developed skills that led to a career with various CPA firms specializing in small business, banking and non-profits. She and her family have resided in Park Hill for 40 years and Linda is adamant about volunteering in the community. She has worked with the Art Garage to realize its potential as a non-profit community center that inspires the artist in all of us. Her current diversions are traveling, photography, and gardening.
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Pat Clarke
Board Member and Teacher

is a nationally recognized Watercolorist exhibiting her work through galleries in Santa Fe, NM and Vail, CO. She is a signature member of the Colorado Watercolor Society and the Park Hill Art Club. She has had the pleasure of traveling the world painting landscapes in Spain, Egypt and more. Pat has been teaching students of all ages and skill levels for the past 26 years. She supports the development of the Art Garage as a non-profit, offering strength and knowledge drawn from her experience as co-founder of the Park Hill Bike Depot.
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Kathy Gorham

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Karrie McBryde

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Marion Richardson
Board Member and Teacher

has more than 18 years of experience teaching painting and drawing to students of all ages through such DPS schools as Smiley Middle School, Steck, Park Hill, Merrill, and Hallet Fundamental Elementary School. He has also taught at Sunrise Senior Center in Glendale, CO. As a self-taught artist, his drawings and paintings give Realism new definition. Marion serves on the Board of Directors and also teaches students how to execute such techniques as blending, shading, stippling, feathering, drawing and more. Students always leave with a deep understanding of certain paint techniques, color mixing and with a painting ready for a frame!
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Rob Shikiar
President Elect

Robert Shikiar and his family have been Park Hill residents since 2001. He presently works as an attorney for the University of Colorado physician group practice on the Aurora medical campus. He serves on the board of another non-profit organization, Adoption Options, and as a volunteer attorney for the Colorado Health Equity Project. He participates in the Habitat for Humanity Interfaith Alliance home building project as well. He feels that the Art Garage brings a very positive element to the community because it serves as a neighborhood gathering place for students and artists alike. His children, Sam and Alex, enjoy taking classes at the Art Garage.
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Cara Sterling

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Janine Sturdavant

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Pam Sweetser
Board Member

and her husband Dan are the adoptive parents of two children; Lacey who was born in Korea in 1986 and Sam who was born in India in 1989. Her children catapulted Pam into a career she never expected as the founder and Executive Director of Heritage Camps for Adoptive Families, Inc., a non-profit organization that runs 11 annual camps for families with children born in countries across the world, including right here in the U.S. Pam also helped to start and run the Art Lab at Park Hill Elementary School many years ago when there was no art program in the school. She continued to teach art at Park Hill in the Art Lab and in the after school program, and then at Smiley Middle School for several years. Pam is a long time Park Hill resident, and loves the idea of a community art center like the Art Garage in the neighborhood.
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