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Susan X. Billings is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and currently splits her time between studios in southern Baja and Southwestern Colorado. She is an instructor, painter and graphic designer whose vibrant, signature paintings can be seen at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. In 2011, Susan was selected by Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine as one of ten “most collectable” Colorado artists. She has been hired as the poster artist for several Telluride festivals, including the Sheridan Arts Foundation’s Wild West Fest, Telluride Wine Festival, and Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. She was also the Ah Haa School’s featured artist for its 2010 New Year’s Eve Gala.
Cody Borden graduate of the Culinary Academy of Santa Fe. For three years afterwards, he served as special assistant to Chef Judith Cockerham (of Le Cordon Bleu London) while managing the largest fromagerie and boutique wine shop in Ashland, Ore. Since his return to Telluride, Cody has worked as a sous chef for the Peaks Resort & Spa and as an executive chef for Telluride Ski and Golf Company. He is now the sous chef at a new restaurant, The Village Table in Mountain Village.
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Sara Chaffin is a multi-media artist, living in Telluride. Her awards include the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s Foundation Graduate fellowship, Peter S. Reed foundation Grant, Atlantic Center for the Art’s Residency, State University of New York Graduate Grant, and two Anderson Ranch Field Expedition Paris scholarships (France and Jamaica). She has also been nominated for Outstanding Student Achievement award by The International Sculpture Center. At Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass, Colorado, Sara has worked in painting, printmaking and collage. In addition, she has assisted distinguished artists such as Judy Pfaff (MacArthur Fellow), John Buck, and Buzz Spector on installation’s and print projects. Her work is based in site installation, 3D sculpture and drawing. Sara was born and raised in Colorado.
After deciding to switch her major from elementary education to the culinary arts, Rhiannon Chandler attended culinary school at AB Tech College in Asheville, North Carolina. Upon her graduation in 2003, she moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where she spent five years working in fine dining and catering, specializing in pastry. Over the years she helped cater noteworthy national events, including a five-summer stint at Bohemian Grove in Monto Rio, Calif.; the 2008 Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.; and four PBR Phoenix Open golf tournaments. Rhiannon moved to Telluride in 2008, after taking a job as a pastry and dessert chef for Jake Linzinmeir, who had four restaurant establishments in Telluride at the time. Later, Rhiannon became pastry and sous chef for Capella Telluride. In 2011, she started her own catering business, Sweet Rhi’s. She now splits her time between Sweet Rhi’s and Telluride’s The Butcher and The Baker restaurant.
From an early age, Ouray artist Ann Cheeks knew that art was her only option for a lifelong career. After working as a graphic designer with clients such as American Rivers, World Wildlife Fund and the Land Trust Alliance, her eyes were opened to the need for attention to our wild and natural places. This knowledge and her love of the outdoors makes painting the best job she can imagine.
Ann is the co-founder of Pathfinders Nature Art Camp in Charlottesville, VA, a summer camp for children ages 7-15, which focuses on a variety of art projects using many different materials and techniques. For eight years she taught private art classes to children and adults at the McGuffey Art Center in Charlottesville, and for three years she taught art at The Village School, a private school for grades 5-8. Ann has been an artist in residence for Semester at See Enrichment Voyage through the Panama Canal, taught art at the University of Virginia’s “Kids College,” and served as project developer/artist/teacher/curator of Forest Discoveries with the Charlottesville Boys and Girls Club. For more information on Ann and to see her work, go to www.anncheeks.com.
Craig Childs is a writer who focuses on natural sciences, archaeology, and remarkable journeys into the wilderness. He has published more than a dozen critically acclaimed books on nature, science, and adventure. He is a commentator for National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, and his work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Men’s Journal, Outside, Orion, The Sun, and High Country News. Craig’s subjects range from pre-Columbian archaeology to US border issues to the last free-flowing rivers of Tibet and Patagonia. The expeditions Craig undertakes often last weeks or months, informing his writing with a hard-earned sense of landscape and culture. The New York Times says, “Childs’s feats of asceticism are nothing if not awe inspiring: he’s a modern-day desert father.” He has been called a born storyteller by the New York Sun, and the LA Times says his writing is like pure oxygen, and “stings like a slap in the face.” He has won several key awards including the 2009 Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, 2008 Rowell Art of Adventure Award, the 2007 Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award and the 2003 Spirit of the West Award for his body of work, an honor he shares with Wallace Stegner, Terry Tempest Williams and N. Scott Momaday. Childs is an Arizona native, and grew up back and forth between there and Colorado. Childs lives off the grid with his wife and two young sons at the foot of the West Elk Mountains in Colorado.
John Clark is a self-employed glass artist/Macintosh computer consultant who has lived in Ridgway since 1982. Having started with the traditional art of leaded glass as a hobby in 1980 (then owned and operated Alpine Art Glass in Ridgway since 1985), he evolved to the point where he was focusing almost exclusively on the more obscure ‘fused glass’ style. In recent years, John’s glass art has become more of a hobby as he began to focus more on his Mac Doctor computer business, which he started in 1993. Discovering the Macintosh computer not only allowed John an incredible new level of flexibility in designing his glasswork, it also enabled him to tap into an alternate realm that involves much of the same attention to detail and technical awareness that first attracted him to the glass medium. The Mac Doctor now serves a region from Telluride to Grand Junction, and offers resources such as hardware/software troubleshooting, some hardware repairs, and classes and one-on-one tutoring.
Barclay Daranyi was raised on an organic farm named Caretaker Farm, in Williamstown Massachusetts. After earning a degree in art from Yale University in 1982, she taught art in various schools until buying some land in Norwood ,Colorado. In 2002 she and her husband began Indian Ridge Farm and Bakery. Barclay now spends most of her time farming their 100 acres and not as much time as she would like, painting.
Jennifer Dewey has a diverse background in jewelry making that began as a child in Madison, WI. Back then, nearly every craft project seemed to turn into a piece of personal adornment. After receiving a BA from Wisconsin’s Ripon College, and working in PR and event planning in Chicago, Jenn moved to New Orleans where she developed and produced several multi-media jewelry lines for an artist-owned French Quarter gallery. She went on to study torch work, wax carving and metalsmithing in 1995, after which she was hired by “Techno-Romantic” jewelry designer, Thomas Mann, in his New Orleans production studio – a most valuable experience which led to the launching of her wrought iron and nature inspired jewelry lines. Since moving to Telluride in 2003, Jenn has directed local galleries, served as the house goldsmith for a local jeweler, and has found great inspiration in her surroundings. Working in gold, sterling and platinum, Jenn provides Telluride galleries, jewelry stores and personal clients with custom designs, repairs, stone setting, pearl knotting and more. She sells her work through galleries, at juried art shows and via her website www.jennsjewels.com.
From pottery to jewelry, Cindy Farny has discovered ways to work on things a little smaller. Her first jewelry class was with Ah Haa instructor Hilary Douglass, and then she took several classes with Harold O’Connor. She recently took a soldering “boot camp” in Massachusetts, and she’s now ready to pass on what she learned.
Her interest in wine, its culture, history and geography, and, of course, the taste and enjoyment it affords, led Bunny Freidus to complete the first level Court of Master Sommelier Program. She brings these new skills and enthusiasm to Ah Haa’s culinary arts program.
Kathy Green began silk dyeing in 1990 during one of Ah Haa’s very first classes. That class, taught by Rita Bernstein, left an indelible mark on her. Kathy’s keen interest and talent for silk dyeing led her to become an instructor, and in turn, she has inspired many of the area’s silk-dying obsessed. Scarves and silk prayer flags created by Kathy and her students can be found in local galleries, shops, and bazaars.
Brucie Holler, a South Carolina native, received a BFA in painting from Florida State University and did graduate work at the Maryland Institute, College of Art in Baltimore. She then moved to Telluride, Colorado and worked for seven years teaching and serving as Director of Exhibitions for the Ah Haa School for the Arts, a non-profit art school. She has studied with a variety of internationally known painters including Richard Smith, Mario Martinez, and Truman Lowe among others and has shown her work in galleries in Florida, South Carolina and Colorado. She moved back to South Carolina in 1997 where she maintains a studio.
With an MFA in metal smithing from Colorado State University and a BFA in metals and jewelry from the School for American Crafts at Rochester School of Technology, Jon Hubbard now devotes his time to creating and teaching. Jon has taught metal smithing classes, including welding, to both kids and adults at Ah Haa since the summer of 2004.
The essays of San Miguel County resident and Utah native Amy Irvine McHarg have appeared in Orion, Climbing, High Desert Journal, Triquarterly and in numerous western, nature and environmental anthologies. Her second book, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land received both the Orion Book Award and Colorado Book Award – while the Los Angeles Times wrote that it “might very well be Desert Solitaire’s literary heir.” Her essay “Spectral Light” (Orion, January-February 2010 /The Best American Science and Nature Writing of 2011), was a finalist for the Pen Award in Journalism. Amy has taught non-fiction creative writing and memoir workshops throughout the nation, works as an apprentice archetypal dream analyst, and is currently a faculty fellow in the MFA Creative Writing program at Southern New Hampshire University. Her forthcoming book, Terra Firma, grapples with the archetypal world of dreams and their relevance to the physical waking world.
Daniel Kanow has a degree in fine art from UC Santa Cruz and received his certification to teach high school art from Humboldt State University. In 1997 he participated in a sculpture apprenticeship with Ted Egri in Taos, New Mexico, and he has periodically taught for the Ah Haa School since 2010. Daniel loves teaching art and making art – something that provides him an outlet of creativity that he enjoys seeing come to life with his young and adult students. Daniel encourages his students to find their own voice and manner of expression as he helps them advance their skills, regardless of their previous art experience. In his personal artwork, Daniel focuses on abstract impressionism in both mixed media painting and sculpture.
Carrie Kaser grew up in Western Colorado and has lived in Rhode Island, New York, New Mexico, and American Samoa. She studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and has a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the University of New Mexico. She studied lithography at the Tamarind Institute and completed a master’s degree in Visual Studies at the University at Buffalo. Her artwork is grounded in her love of drawing and narrative, and her recent work explores ideas related to technology, media, and the changing perception of time, while also addressing the stillness and beauty of the natural world, untouched by human technology and infrastructure.
Carrie’s work has been shown nationally and internationally at venues including the Bauhaus in Weimar, Germany, University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Mouseprint Gallery in Montreal, and recently, the Fort Lewis College Art Gallery. She has taught classes for adults and children since 2004 and currently teaches in the Printmaking Area at the University of New Mexico. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico with her husband, dog, and two cats.
In addition to her adult drawing and painting classes, Carrie will be teaching a number of Ah Haa’s youth classes this summer. To learn more about Carrie, visit her website.
Laura Kudo has been drawing and painting since she was a little person. She studied art history in London through Christies Institute and worked in two fine art galleries. She has a BFA from Ohio State University and Elementary and Fine Arts Teaching certification from Fort Lewis College. IN her personal art, Laura enjoys working on paper with graphite, charcoal and pastels.
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Julie McNair received her M.F.A in sculpture from the University of Wyoming. Before moving to Telluride, she was an assistant professor of ceramics and sculpture at Mississippi State University. For 17 years she owned and operated Telluride’s East End Gallery, which she sold in 2003 to concentrate on making art. She is currently represented in Dallas, Tucson and Telluride at Telluride Gallery of Fine Arts, for whom she frames part time, as well. Julie’s clay classes have been popular at Ah Haa for years.
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Katie McDougall hails from Nashville but happily spends time in Telluride as well. She holds a BA in English from Colorado College and an MFA in Fiction Writing from Colorado State University. Her short fiction has appeared in BarcelonaReview.com, Storyglossia.com, and in Soundtrack Not Included, a collection of work by Nashville writing enthusiasts. Having spent fifteen years as a teacher of literature and writing, Katie is now taking time off to pursue the publication of her first novel, The Color Wheel, while working on her (as yet to be named) second book. Additionally, she founded Sense of Place Writing Workshops and has worked as a freelance writer of non-fiction.
Catherine McNamee splits her time between Telluride and Napa Valley, California, where her husband’s family owns and operates Silverado Vineyards, in the Stags Leap District east of Yountville. The winery produces Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as an estate olive oil. Starting in the 1990s, Catherine served on the Ah Haa School board of directors for many years, acting as its president for several of those.
Lauren Metzger has used various forms of art as an outlet for self expression throughout her life. Originally from Chicago, IL, Lauren gained her formal training from the Parsons School of Design in NYC. Since 1993 she has worked as a professional graphic designer while always painting on the side to maintain a certain balance in her life. It was also in 1993 that she moved to Telluride, surrounding herself with the beauty and serenity of the town, allowing her self expression to blossom. In the fall of 2012 Lauren decided to devote more time to her passion, painting, and started Moon Dog Portraits. Graphic design, painting portraits and her dog BG keep her busy while Telluride continues to inspire her to constantly try new and exciting mediums of expression.
Buffalo, New York native Michelle Montague arrived in Telluride, site unseen, in 1986, and she hasn’t left since. She is happiest when she is creating, whether sculpting with clay, knotting or unknotting a necklace, or working with metal. Becoming completely engrossed in art is the best way she is able to clear her mind. In clay, she has transitioned from functional to sculptural pieces, enjoying the process of visualization and feeling her work take on a life of its own. Similarly, her beaded and semi-precious stone jewelry work stems from her admiration of colors, shapes and textures and how she can combine those qualities into different, visually interesting groupings. Examples of both Michelle’s ceramics and jewelry can be found at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.
Meredith Nemirov grew up in New York City and received her BFA from Parsons School of Design. She has exhibited her work in many galleries and museums around the country, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Queens Museum, and her drawings have been featured in American Artist Magazine. In recent years, Meredith did artist-in-residence programs at the Vermont Studio Center and Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, Colo. This year she spent most of the winter living and working in Northern Spain. Visit her blog at meredithnemirov.blogspot.com to view images from her journey there.
Greta Neumann originally grew up near Chicago, IL. She received her BFA in sculptural ceramics from the University of South Florida in 2006. She spent time after graduation teaching children’s art classes in Western North Carolina as well as learning the craft of throwing pottery. Throughout her work themes from nature are widely present, and often times she uses techniques such as slip-casting and paper-clay sculpting. She has spent the last four years living in Argentina and Europe, before arriving to Telluride.
Joseph Paczosa began his career as a blacksmith in 1995 after a four year apprenticeship with a Master Blacksmith in the Vail Valley. He has lived in Telluride with his family since 2001, creating both architectural and artistic works for individual clients, businesses and galleries. His specialties include one-of-a-kind fireplaces and accessories, as well as custom lighting and most recently engineering forged BBQ smokers and sculptural fire pits. He is enthusiastic to share his knowledge and the craft of metal working with others.
As a certified yoga and meditation instructor and teacher of art integration for well being, Angela Pashayan dedicates her skills to the empowerment of children and youth around the world. Her 2010 national award-winning Kids Crossing Cultures program with the Boys and Girls Club in San Francisco exemplifies the vision and success of her integrative methods. Furthermore, her non-profit Telluride Flights Worldwide Children’s Relief Fund focuses on the needs of domestic and international youth through programs such as: entrepreneur creative sewing; art empowerment in India; creative healing with terminal children in Australia; Emotions Affecting Education in Peru; sustainable farming and science in Tanzania; and education and life goals in the U.S. One of her long-term projects is the Slum Art Slam & Empowerment program in Kibera, the world’s third largest slum located in Nairobi, Kenya.
Angela has been a guest presenter at various public events including UCSF Cancer Center, San Francisco Health Services, San Francisco Foster Care, Dubai Yoga & Music Festival for Int’l Peace, Evolve Festival in Australia, Community Development in Itahari, Nepal, Hamilton Shelter for Children & Families in San Francisco, Hanaq Pacha in Peru, and IDEP Foundation in Bali.
Angela has a BA in Psychology and an MA in International Relations and Diplomacy. She is also the author of Living a Bhakti Life.
See the Visiting Artist page.
See the Visiting Artist page.
Flair Robinson is a self-taught mixed media mosaic and assemblage artist working primarily with ceramic tile, hand-cut glass, and recycled junk. She is first and foremost a colorist and is fascinated by the endless combinations of color. Flair is constantly seeking new, different, and exciting color variations like those found in early American folk art, vintage road signs, vintage ephemera and advertising from the 1940s and 1950s.
Flair has branched out in her work by creating art that serves no other purpose than to be just art, her past work has been primarily functional in nature. She continues to create painted and embellished pieces, which express political and local humor, her work is in a constant state of evolution. Flair Robinson’s studio is housed in the historic Stronghouse building in the heart of downtown Telluride.
Bio coming soon!
Since Corinne can remember, she has drawn, painted or created art in some form or another. Painting is her way to stay connected to her center, the world, and the universe. She studied art at the University of Vermont and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. Corinne moved to Telluride in 1988, where she has studied with Robert Weatherford, Mark English and Deborah Paris.
Carol Smith has lived in Telluride for 13 years with her husband Steve and their two daughters, Sophie and Carly. Having recently retired from public education, Carol taught for a combined 32 years in Alaska and Colorado. Integration of art, literacy and culture served as a foundation for learning for her many students. A master teacher, she looks forward to carrying her experience with publishing books to the Ah Haa School of Arts, inspiring students in the creative art of making books.
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Colin Sullivan was born and raised in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. He attended St. Lawrence University where he earned a B.A. in Theatre & Writing. From there he went to the acting apprentice program at The Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, before moving to New York City in 2002. Over the next five years, Colin slowly transferred his love of theatre into the classroom and earned a M.A. in teaching from Fordham University. A classroom teacher since 2004, Colin moved to Telluride, Colorado to be closer to his three sisters, his brother and his eight nieces and nephews. Since moving to Telluride in August of 2009, Colin has become a company member and managing director of Telluride’s professional SquidShow Theatre group and immensely enjoys his position as Director of Curriculum Development at the Ah Haa School.
Bio coming soon!
Joanne Taplin considers herself a fabricator, not a forger, and she finds joy in joining pieces of metal to create highly original furniture pieces. Intrigued by the lyrical symmetry of mathematical forms like the Realeaux triangle, challenged by the demands of function and captivated by the infinite possibilities for design solutions, Joanne has found her artistic niche as a metals artisan. Joanne studied at the Center for Creative Design in Detroit, Mich. In Chicago, her pieces were chosen for the Merchandise Mart and the prestigious, cutting-edge Sculptural Objects and Functional Art show. After being lured to Colorado, she eventually set up her home and studio in Ridgway, where she remains today, with her husband and three boys.
Bryan Thames became a Certified Sommelier through the internationally recognized Court of Master Sommeliers in 2011. He has expanded his hands-on knowledge of wine and its production by traveling through several noteworthy wine regions, including California’s Napa Valley, Russian River and the Sonoma Coast, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and the regions of Burgundy and Rhone’s Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France. Bryan has been the general manager and wine buyer for Telluride Bottleworks since 2006.
First introduced to clay when she was 10, Belgium native Goedele Vanhille went on to study ceramics in art school. Since, she has thrown pots and smashed pots, built intimate pieces and monumental work, has studied and worked with numerous ceramic artists, and has even worked in Crete. She has built her own studio, where she has raw-glazed pots, salt-glazed pots, and slip-trailed pots. She has subjected her pieces to multiple firings in self-built kilns – from wood to electric to gas. She’s also instructed throwing and hand bulding classes, purchased pots for herself, and sold her own pieces. All these years later, when Goedele works with ceramics she still feels the same joy and excitement she felt when she first discovered clay.
Rosemerry Trommer “is a chanteuse of the heart,” says poet Art Goodtimes. She has served two terms as San Miguel County’s first poet laureate and authored and edited thirteen books, including a book of conversations with Rumi, The Miracle Already Happening. Her work has been widely anthologized and has appeared on A Prairie Home Companion, in O Magazine, on back alley fences, on batik scarves, in her children’s lunchboxes, and on rocks she leaves around town. She leads poetry workshops and performs with the poetry troupe, EAR. Favorite one-word mantra: Adjust. (Photo by Kaycee Clark)
Born in Laredo, Texas in 1951 Robert earned a Masters in Systematic Theology at Union Seminary (NY) in 1986. This was followed by a Masters in Painting at Claremont Graduate Art School in Claremont CA. He moved to Telluride in 1977. He was commissioned by the Sierra Club Books to create seventeen paintings for a children’s book entitled Desert Dog, released in Fall 2001.
Weatherford resides in Telluride, Colorado painting and teaching at the Ah Haa School for the Arts where he also serves on the Board of Directors.