Carla SonheimSeattle, WA carlasonheim.com
Carla Sonheim is a painter, illustrator, and creativity workshop instructor known for her fun and innovative projects and techniques designed to help adult students rediscover a more spontaneous, playful approach to creating.
She started teaching art in her sons’ elementary school classrooms as a volunteer, and then taught adults at mixed-media art events for about five years. She is the author of three instructional art books, including Drawing Lab for Mixed Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun; Drawing and Painting Imaginary Animals: A Mixed-Media Workshop and The Art of Silliness: A Creativity Book for Everyone. In 2013 she co-authored Creative Photography Lab with her husband, Steve.
Lynn WhippleWinter Park, FL lynnwhipple.com
Lynn Whipple writes, “I am deeply grateful to live my life as an artist. Play and discovery are my dearest and most constant companions. There are a zillion tiny challenges in each art making experience, and so often I find, just as many small, sweet victories. Without a doubt, living creatively is the most enjoyable and satisfying game I know.”
Lynn shares a warehouse studio with her husband, John Whipple, in Winter Park, Florida. Lynn’s work includes “Big Bold Bloom paintings,” found-object mixed-media assemblages; found images altered with a combination of drawing, painting, sewing and more; and her well-known Ninny Boxes, collages combined with found objects, and assembled within a box format. Her unique pieces have a playful, quirky, charm.
Lynn’s work has been exhibited extensively throughout the United States and her new book, Expressive Flower Painting, was published July 2017.
Diane CulhaneSeattle, WA dianeculhaneart.com
Diane Culhane is a professional artist and art educator who lives in West Seattle in a 1910 home, and works out of her studio in Ballard, Building C. She received her BFA from the University of Utah and Master’s Degree from Seattle University.
Diane has taught for The Bellevue School District, Seattle Pacific University, Kirkland Arts Center, Bellevue Arts Museum and currently directs and owns Kelsey Creek Fine Art Camp, ‘Go Go with Van Gogh,’ for children in the summer.
When Diane is not in the studio painting you can find her on her bicycle or hiking.
Fred LisaiusSeattle, WA fredlisaius.com
Fred Lisaius is a painter, sculptor, and a popular art teacher at Bellevue College, WA (“Fred is perfect!”). Fred is represented by the Patricia Rovzar Gallery in Seattle, and his work is in many private and corporate collections. Fred recently had a show at the Bainbridge Island Art Museum.
From his artist’s statement:
The deeper I go into the forest the closer I feel to the truth. Off of the trail, there is a quiet calm where ideas can be contemplated and refined. In my paintings and my sculptures, I utilize the forum of nature to explore our relationship to the natural world and to each other.
Karine SwensonCerrillos, NM karineswenson.com
Karine Swenson grew up just outside of a town called Rapid City, South Dakota in the Black Hills. The closest neighbor was a mile away. Reared in this environment, Swenson’s connection with the natural world was strong. After receiving her BA in painting from Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, she moved to Colorado. She has spent most of her life in small towns that sit right next to the last remaining bits of wilderness. From the mountains of Colorado, the ocean surrounding Maui, Hawaii, the desert near Joshua Tree, California, and now the high desert outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Karine feels the most at home out in nature.
In the studio, her second home, she can explore her relationship with the natural world. Her oil paintings are reflections of this relationship. Swenson has been a full-time artist for the past ten years.
Alison O’DonoghuePortland, OR aliorange.com
The artwork of Alison O’Donoghue can be described as contemporary folk art. Partly naïve, sometimes illustrative, at times cartoony, with some of her pieces being heavily patterned. Her paintings are mostly playful with creatures and people that are quite often glowing with life… awash in dimensional color and shade in a mostly two dimensional world. She combines everyday objects such as cups of coffee, fruit, plants, humans, birds and odd, made-up animals, into a fluid motion of interaction of intertwined shapes. The playful next to the sinister, give the paintings a sense of humor and the complexity of an unfolding story.
Alison O’Donoghue’s contemporary folk art and patterned worlds invite us to explore visually the simple beauty, complexity, interactions and sometimes the humorously sinister aspects of everyday life.
Cat BennettWatertown, MA catbennett-art.com
Cat worked as an illustrator/designer for about thirty years. Her illustrations have appeared in The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The Baltimore Sun and Time Magazine, Houghton Mifflin, Scholastic, Harcourt Brace and many other publications. She has also made short animations for CBC-Sesame Street, Nickelodeon TV, WHDH-TV, WGBH-TV and various non-profits. She has exhibited her art in group shows in Boston, New York, and Tokyo.
Her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, LA Yoga Magazine, Yoga Magazine UK, Integral Yoga Magazine, Red, The American, Lightworker, High Spirit Magazine and others.
Dar Hosta JamesNew Hope, PA darsworld.com
Dar Hosta James is a collage artist, a painter of trees, a writer/illustrator of children’s books, a teacher of both children and adults, a public speaker, and a life coach.
She is the daughter of an artist with a BA in creative writing from the University of Missouri and a secondary education certification in Language Arts. After a brief stint as a high school teacher, she became a stay-at-home mom in rural Ohio where she discovered a love of collage while spending days at home with her two young sons. She continued working in education through writing and art as a visiting author, an artist-in-residence and a national speaker on creativity in education. In 2003, after a move to central New Jersey, Dar started an independent publishing company.
She is the mother of two grown sons and lives in New Hope, PA. When she is not busy creating art, Dar is an avid runner, a regular yoga practitioner and an amateur student of tarot. She recently became a Certified GOLDEN Artist Educator.
Lendon NoeJackson, TN lendonnoe.com
Lendon Hamilton Noe is a native of Jackson, Tennessee, where she has been a Professor of Art at Lambuth University, Head of the School of Arts and Communications, and Chair of the Visual Art Department. She taught primarily, drawing, painting and design. She graduated from Rollins College in Florida, earning the BA in Art and English Literature. She studied in Denver at the Rocky Mountain School of Art and then returned to Tennessee and completed an MS in Art Education at UT Knoxville. She completed her MFA in Painting and Mixed Media at Vermont College.
Her work includes oil painting, original prints, mixed media, and installation.
Stephanie HargraveSeattle, WA stephaniehargrave.com
Stephanie Hargrave has been painting and/or working in clay since college, where she studied color theory, ceramics, sculpture, drawing & painting, as well as creative writing. She started a line of functional ceramics as a small business in 1997 after studying with Carol Gouthro, and has worked with metal, oil paint, watercolor and acrylics over the years, but her medium of choice is beeswax. She learned a great deal studying with Jef Gunn and Larry Caulkins at Pratt Fine Arts Center, and later began co-teaching at Pratt (using wax as an element in sculptural collage) with Rickie Wolfe. She also teaches at NW Encaustic, various other venues, and from her studio.
She has shown her work in Seattle, Minneapolis, New York and Atlanta. Encaustic has been her focus for the last 16 years – it is the one medium that affords all the other materials she has worked in to overlap and inform one another.
Anita LehmanSeattle, WA anitahlehmannartist.com
Anita Lehmann is a registered architect in the state of Washington. She is also a teacher and an artist. After receiving training at the University of Washington, she taught freehand drawing in Rome and in Seattle, and currently offers small group classes in drawing and painting. Her other skills include architectural design, graphic design, community planning and design illustration. Using figures as disparate as bugs and urban monuments, Anita has designed several series of alphabets, which have been acquired by the Smithsonian Institution. Prior to receiving the 2013 NAIUSI fellowship, Anita was a graduate student at the University of Washington Rome Center, in Rome, Italy in 1985.
Anne Marie GrgichTacoma, WA annegrgich.com
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1961, Anne Marie Grgich began making spontaneous art at the age of 15, mostly junk constructions and clandestine paintings in her family’s books. She first introduced collage into her work around 1988, but took it to a higher level in 1997 during a period of illness. After her recovery she began to produce collage paintings – images of people encountered over time in the street and in mind journeys that manifest themselves and recombine, according to her mood, in the process of creation. Over the past 30 years, Anne has been featured in numerous publications and exhibitions, and her books and paintings are in public and private collections worldwide.
Anne was mentioned in The New York Times in January 2018 and is exclusively exhibiting her prolific work with ZQ Art Gallery in NYC and New Jersey City (visit their site in April when they hold a huge international auction of her work!). Anne lives with her sweetheart and collaborator Steve Fisk, Seattle record producer. Together they create and support each other and live in Tacoma, WA.
Bari ZakiChicago, IL barizaki.com
Bari Zaki has been a professional bookbinder for 28 years, and a paper person her entire life. Her dad, a printer, regularly brought home paper in various forms: stacks of paper, scraps of paper, pads of paper…and assorted printed samples. This was her FAVORITE part of the day. In Bari’s bedroom she had a little walk-in-closet, where she often hung out for hours, amusing herself arranging all her paper samples. She still thinks of her bookbinding studio as a larger version of that closet.
Bari attended the University of Iowa for a couple of years, but continued to feel restless and decided to come back home to Chicago. There she met a friend for coffee who had brought her a blank journal. The friend had made the first entry; a doodle with an endearing sentiment, and it was that afternoon she refers to as her “Dorothy Moment.” She instantly sought somewhere to learn about bookbinding and discovered Artist Bookworks (now the Columbia College’s Book & Paper Arts Graduate Programme). After completing various classes and workshops, Bari opened Ardour Bookbinding, now Bari Zaki Studio; Bookbinding Studio & Shop, where she now offers a range of classes in Hand-bookbinding, Calligraphy, Paper-marbling, and Drawing.
Kara KramerBrooklyn, NY karakramer.com
Kara studied illustration at Washington University as an undergraduate in St. Louis, Mo. A few years later she moved to New York and got an MFA at the School of Visual Arts.
Tracie Lyn HuskampWichita, Kansas thereddoor-studio.blogspot.com
Tracie Lyn Huskamp holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from Wichita State University. After graduation, she worked as a Product Designer/Illustrator creating mass-market products. A number of her designs sold in Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s, and Walgreens. In 2007, she left her corporate position to focus full-time on her own art. In 2009 her book, Nature Inspired, was published by Quarry Books. Her work has appeared on the cover of Somerset Studio Magazine and in Somerset Memories, Artful Blogger, Quilting Arts Gifts, and Life Images. Tracie licenses her artworks to manufacturers of fabric, calendars, stencils, scrapbooking, stationery, home goods, and bath. She shows in various galleries and recently participated in an invitation-only exhibit hosted by her hometown, the City of Wichita, Kansas.