Nimbus Arts, a community-based nonprofit, ignites artistic expression across the Napa Valley.

Artists & Staff

Jamie Graff, Executive Director

Jamie brings a unique perspective, diverse background, and incredible creativity to her role as Executive Director of Nimbus Arts. After graduating with a degree in Enology and Marketing from UC Davis, she has had a career as a winemaker, an agricultural educator, and a business owner. Jamie has continuously followed her passion for education and using her talent for creating amazing experiences and for connecting people. As a Winemaker and part of the education team at Fetzer Vineyards, Jamie designed innovative “farm to table” programs for schools in Mendocino and Sonoma counties.

Through Jamie’s civic passion she also founded the Napa Valley Soapbox Derby and St. Helena Harvest Festival Fun Run. In addition to juggling the raising of two children with running a retail business, Tapioca Tiger, Jamie offered hands-on arts and science workshops to the whole community. It was through these workshops that Jamie met Dana… and when they discovered their mutual passion for community-based arts activities, Nimbus Arts was born.

Since its inception in 2005, Jamie has been developing the creative programming and organizational direction for Nimbus Arts. A strong believer in the strength of collaboration and the connections we make though the creative process, Jamie has remained true to her passion for developing high quality and high impact arts experiences and community events. “I marvel at the art of writing, painting, and sculpting in the same way I admire someone who is passionate about preparing a beautiful meal or able to describe the intricate function of a bee colony. ‘The artist’ exists in all of us and when given room, surfaces in so many ways.”

Jamie is inspired by both big thinkers and how the tiniest creative action can remain emblazoned in our memory and ignite something deep within us. “If I could fuse the magical imagination of Disney with the scientific artistry of DaVinci, have Goldsworthy chat with Walden, mix the palettes of Kandinsky and Picasso, or frame every moment that I witness between our artist instructors and students at Nimbus, the cumulative inspiration would be a fraction of the artistry that leaves me in awe.”

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Anne Pentland, Resident Artist

Anne remembers sitting at her grandmother’s vanity with paper and pencil, carefully drawing her own likeness as she looked in the mirror. When she got to the neck, she continued the lines to the bottom of the page, drawing her very first “self portrait with long neck”. She was five at the time and has been creating ever since.

Anne received a studio art degree at UC Davis where she studied under Wayne Thiebaud, Robert Arneson, and Manual Neri. For the last 25 years, Anne has been teaching art, making art, and working on fun projects for the Napa Valley Wine Auction, the Calistoga Education Foundation, Cederquist Wine Company, Cindy’s Grill in St Helena, and Safari West in Santa Rosa. “Art is communication,” she says. “We make a difference when we bring awareness to a subject by communicating through art. Awareness is the first step in making a change. Nimbus is making a difference by bringing young people that kind of awareness!” Anne has been pivotal in building awareness in students young and old throughout Napa Valley. She finds inspiration in Marc Chagall, Henri Matisse, Giorgio Morandi, Amadeo Modigliani, Edward Hopper, and Paul Klee. Her favorite sculptor is Andy Goldsworthy. Artist Website: http://www.apentland.com Company Website: http://lovetheplanet.net

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Mary Miroglio, Office Manager

Mary is awed by the amazingly abundant and inexhaustible array of ideas that come through Nimbus Arts. She is particularly impressed with the way staff and artists work together to share the wonder of art throughout Napa Valley. “There’s so much joy in the exchange,” she says. “It’s a real blessing to work at Nimbus Arts.”

After earning a degree in microbiology and immunology from UC Berkeley, Mary worked at Queen of the Valley Hospital as a lab technologist for twenty years. She is now the office manager at Nimbus Arts, juggling many responsiblities to ensure the magic continues in the classroom, within the community, and during every spring and summer camp.

Mary and her husband live in St. Helena where they have raised their five children.

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Sandra Cruz, Administrative Assistant

Sandra has helped coordinate special projects and events for Nimbus over the past three years, but she was thrilled to realize her dream of joining the Nimbus team as an Administrative Assistant.  You may find her hosting artist and volunteer gatherings, organizing and labeling the abundant supplies and artist media, or even teaching her own tortilla making classes.

Wherever there are people and/or needs, you are likely to find Sandra.  Growing up in St. Helena, Sandra has held a variety of positions including retail, construction, restaurant, winery, design and, most recently, her own estate management company.

Sandra currently lives in Napa and keeps Nimbus in the family; her daughter is an artistic student, volunteer, and part-time worker at Nimbus.  Sandra’s passion for helping people and developing community started at the Yountville PTA where her daughter attended elementary school and continues today as the Parent Club President of Napa High School.

What is Sandra’s favorite part about working at Nimbus?  “I feel very fortunate to be a part of this amazing, fun, and creative organization.  It’s never the same day at Nimbus.”

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Melissa Baker

Inspired by her upbringing on her family’s cattle ranch, Melissa’s artistic style embraces abstract images found in nature. After graduating in 1999 with a fine art degree from the University of Wisconsin, Melissa returned to Napa Valley with her sister Mercedes, converted an old 1920’s hay barn into a working studio, and established the Ehlers Artists Collective.

In 2009, the Napa Valley Mustard Festival selected Melissa as “Artist of the Year.” She has exhibited in galleries, universities and museums from New York City to Buenos Aires and is involved in set design, movie making, and playing in a rock band, Samvega. Melissa feels very fortunate to be able to make a life with her sister and their amazing artistic family on Ehlers Lane and to teach drawing and painting at Nimbus Arts.

Artist Website: http://bakersistersart.com/links.html

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Mercedes Baker

A native of Napa Valley, Mercedes is passionate about exploring the many facets of art, from painting murals and stage sets, to bronze casting and the creation of found-object sculpture. She was educated at the University of Wisconsin and studied anthropology and traditional painting in Bali. Along with her sister Melissa, Mercedes founded the Ehlers Collective Art Studio in 2002, where she continues to paint and inspire others. Twice a year she tours the United States as part of the rock band, Samvega.

“Artists need each other,” Mercedes says, “We give each other courage and help each other remember that art is the mirror of humanity. It direclty correlates to our surrounding, both physical and emotional, and it allow us to process all things seen and unseen.”

Mercedes teaches drawing and painting at Nimbus Arts and exhibits her work both nationally and abroad.

Artist Website: http://bakersistersart.com/links.html

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Nick Cann

Nick Cann has been creating graphic images since 1965. After studying at San Jose State University, L’Ecole de Beaux Arts in Paris, and The Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Nick began his career at MGM, illustrating sets. He spent the next 30 years in Los Angeles as a freelance designer-illustrator. He has designed sets for Diana Ross, Gene Wilder, and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and has been commissioned to do murals and assemblages for Hyatt Regency in Buffalo, NY, the New Orleans and Dallas airports, Bonanza Steak Houses, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Nick has worked for Stephen Spielberg and Tom Cruise, and has designed posters for the San Francisco Ballet and sets for the Stapleton Ballet. Since coming to the Napa Valley, Nick added Erin Martin Deisgns, Jeni Osen Design, and many Napa wineries to his clientele. In 2006, he began teaching calligraphy and drawing to students at Nimbus Arts.

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Nikki Ballere Callnan

Nikki Ballere Callnan is a ceramicist who revels in every aspect of the studio, from making glazes and clay bodies to exploring a wide variety of firing techniques and kilns. Her inspirations come from natural forms and patterns as well as found objects. She is drawn to organic, asymmetrical shapes, and often throws on the wheel and alters forms to reflect the beauty found in imbalance. Recently, she graduated with her Masters of Fine Art degree from San Jose State University. Nikki works out of her home studio creating and exhibiting artworks as a professional fine artist. Her work can be found in private collections across the country.

Currently, Nikki works at Napa Valley College, where she is the Instructional Assistant in the ceramic studio. Additionally, she teaches various art classes at Nimbus Arts for both children and adults.

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Emily Bondor

Growing up in rural New Jersey, a strong emphasis was placed on fine arts, performance arts and music in Emily Bondor’s family. Emily graduated with a BA in Psychology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011. While studying abroad in Spain, she became interested in issues of global sustainability. Over the past few years, her work has focused on urban forestry, early childhood education, sustainable agriculture and orchard management.
While apprenticing on a permaculture farm in Maui, Hawaii, Emily developed a fascination with honey bees. Unlike most folks who begin keeping bees as a hobby, Emily dove head-first into the technical and scientific realm of breeding queen bees. After relocating to Santa Cruz, Emily began working part-time managing colonies for Napa Valley Bee Company and teaching classes to kids and adults. You can follow her bee adventures on Instagram @fuzzy_bee_love
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Will Callnan

William Callnan earned a BFA from the school of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University in Boston in 2002. Since then, he has continually worked in the arts, teaching, doing public works and commissions as well as creating original artworks for exhibition and sale. In making ceramic work, William shows the touch of his hand in his finished works in order to convey his unique expression. His work strives to be original and speaks to the plastic nature of clay as a medium. Currntly he is a ceramics and general arts instructor at Nimbus Arts. He exhibits locally throughout the Bay Area and works out of his home studio in Angwin, California. His work can be found in private collections across the country.

Artist website: http://www.artscouncilnapavalley.org/admire/artist_display.html?ID=460

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Olivia Cowell

Olivia is a director and actor who focused her attention on teaching children while obtaining her M.A. in Drama from San Francisco State University. Local directing credits include: A Chorus Line (The Napa Valley Opera House), Private Eyes (Lucky Penny Productions), Late: a Cowboy Song (Sonoma Backstage Theater), Eternity (8×10 Play Festival), Lend Me a Tenor (Napa Valley Playhouse) and Alice in Wonderland (Studio G). Olivia has taught as a teaching artist in over 15 schools throughout the Napa Valley since joining cafeteria kids theater in 2008. She is the currently the Performing Arts teacher at Napa Christian Campus of Education.


Paulo Fernando Paiva Ferreira

A native of Lisbon, Portugal, Paulo has lived in Mozambique, England, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and the United States. His professional experience includes theater production and management, graphic design and marketing, commercial illustration, 3-D product design, and environmental design.

From an early age, Paulo’s artistic expressions took form as Painting and Sculpture. The aesthetics of his work are derived from the many different cultures he has experienced. Sculpture is a form of art that requires one to think in space without boundaries or handrails and where the agility of a young person’s mind can discover its freedom.

For Paulo, teaching at Nimbus for the last two years has been a wondrous involvement in the world of unfettered creativity where both the teacher and student are gifted with the amazement at their creation of art.

Artist Website: http//www.coloredhorse.com/art

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David Garden, Jr

After majoring in film production, David created award-winning shorts as a film editor at Colossal Pictures in San Francisco. In 1998, David moved to Napa Valley and in 2005, when he heard about a new art center called Nimbus Arts, he jumped at the chance to become an instructor. He has been jumping ever since, working with students and bringing the joy of art to the Napa Valley community and beyond. “I am grateful for the freedom to include a variety of arts and sciences in my curriculum,” David says. “From outer space studies to toy-making, puppetry to music, alternative energy to game design, Nimbus Arts helps me ignite the creative spark.” Although David is 6′ 2″ tall, he lives in a chicken coop. “The close quarters are a constant reminder to watch out where I’m going and to observe the world around me.”

In addition to serving on the board of Nimbus Arts, David is also a board member of Arts Council Napa Valley.

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Jorge Garibay

Jorge is fascinated with understanding the basic form, function and purpose of items. He began ‘tinkering’ at a young age attending vocational classes in woodworking, metal fabrication and electronics. During college Jorge took on paining which led him to an exploration of colors and acrylic paints and subsequently to live abroad which gave him an appreciation for craftsmanship of all things wood, metal, leather and stone.

For the last decade Jorge has been refurbishing vintage items as a hobby and in mid 2014 he launched ‘Huesos Viejos’ (old bones), a workshop producing unique, functional, purposeful items out of bulky outdated industrial objects. He fabricated for cafe’s, bars, private homes, and helped with set design build-outs including one for Patrons of Peace and another where he rented out most of his workshop for a Diesel Jeans campaign. Jorge hopes to bring his skills to Nimbus to help ‘breathe life back’ into timeless old bones that should stay above ground and out of our landfills. If you visit his home you will find many vintage items still in operation either as they were intended to work, or re-engineered for a greater purpose.

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Aimée Guillot

Aimee began cafeteria kids theater in 2007, and founded Lunchtime Productions Inc. in 2014. As an actor Aimée appeared Off-Broadway at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the Obie-award winning production of Big Love, also HERE Arts Space, and St. Ann’s Warehouse. She has also performed at The Goodman Theatre, the Long Wharf Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and the La Jolla Playhouse. In the Bay Area she has performed at Berkeley Rep, Encore Theatre, Shotgun Players and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. She has taught drama in classrooms in San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto, San Jose and Napa. As a director Aimee has staged productions at The Napa Valley Opera House, The Little Theater @ NVC, and Lincoln Theater. She was most recently the drama teacher for Blue Oak School where she taught for seven years. Aimee received her MFA from UC San Diego.


Shelly Hanan

Shelly began taking photographs when she received a brownie camera for her 5th birthday. After taking an astonishing number of pictures of her 3-year old sister, Shelly turned the camera on the world around her. Shelly attending Humboldt State University where she became enamored with the early 20th century artists who experimented with surrealism and abstraction, as well as the avant-garde photographers of the early 1920’s and 30’s. She began, and continues, to explore capturing a similar sensibility, while staying true to the realistic medium of photography.

Shelly received her teaching certification in K-12 Art Education from New York State University at Stony Brook. She has truly enjoyed sharing her talents with pre-school, middle school and high school students, focusing primarily on photography and film in recent years. Having the opportunity to work with very young children again at Nimbus Arts has been refreshing and delightful!

Shelly serves on the board of Arts Council Napa Valley. Her work may be viewed in their online Creative Directory and at: http://www.shellhananphoto.com/

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Tegan Henry

Tegan Henry teaches reading and writing at the elementary and middle school levels. She received her teaching credential and a Master of Arts at Sonoma State University and a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology and Spanish at the University of California Santa Barbara. As a creative writing teacher for Numbus Arts, Tegan enjoys observing children make sense of the world through writing, poetry and art.

Tegan lives in Calistoga with her husband, two children, their dog, a tortoise, and an ongoing rotation of fish. Some of Tegan’s most notable pleasures include the thrill of Ah-Ha moments and the joy of gumball machines.

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Lisa D Hinz

A licensed clinical psychologist and a registered art therapist, Lisa earned a doctorate at Louisiana State University and a postdoctoral certificate in art therapy at the University of Louisville. For 25 years, she has been helping people with eating, weight, and lifestyle concerns achieve their goals for optimal health in body, mind, and spirit. Lisa appreciates how the creative process allows people to access deep inner wisdom and facilitate profound change without getting caught up with lots of words. She is an adjunct professor of art therapy at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College and the author of two books, Drawing from Within: Using Art to Treat Eating Disorders and Expressive Therapies Continuum: A Framework for Using Art in Therapy.

Lisa facilitates SoulCollage™ at Nimbus Arts. “I love the relaxed and accepting atmosphere at Nimbus,” Lisa says. “It can be very intimidating for non-artist adults to pick up art materials for the first time in years. Nimbus provides the perfect supportive place for this to happen; there is never judgment, only encouragement to trust the process.”

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Rob Keller

Rob Keller received his MFA in 1999, where he became interested in incorporating bees into his art practice. As the owner of a small bee business The Napa Valley Bee Company, his goal is to build a community of beekeepers that practice responsible, sustainable hive management, where the bees come first. Rob currently manages three large-scale apiaries in the Napa Valley and teaches the vocation of beekeeping to junior high kids at The St. Helena Montessori School. He lives in Napa with his Yogini wife and ten year-old beekeeping-son Davis.

Artist Website: The Napa Valley Bee Company

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Mikey Kelly

Mikey Kelly received his Master of Fine Arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2003 after studying at San Jose State University and earning a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts at the University of Oregon in 1996. He lived in New York for six years where he worked as a fabricator for various artists and created retail displays for Urban Outfitters, Barney’s and Bergdorf Goodman and interiors for The Ace and Standard Hotels. He has worked professionally in the fields of glass, ceramic, steel, drawing, painting, printmaking, interior design and as a project manager overseeing many large-scale public and private commissions. In 2012 Mikey struck out on his own opening his studio in Napa, CA.
Mikey’s work is shown and sold at major art fairs and galleries across the United States and is represented in many museum, corporate and private collections.
 Artist Website: http://mikeykelly.com

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Joel Kurtz

Joel grew up in the Northwest exploring wilderness and the arts in equal measure. He went on to major in glass, with a minor in media/performance, at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. His exploration continued into wood sculpture, metals casting and most recently slip-cast ceramics, inspired by anthropology, architecture and industry. Joel taught sculpture at the high school level for nine years where he expanded the program to include metals casting and fabrication, glass slumping and fusing, and ceramics. After twenty years in Oakland, California he made the decision to move on to a new adventure in the Napa Valley.

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Dave Massaro

A true Napa Valley native, Dave has been working with the metal arts and fabrication for over ten years. His work primarily consists of industrial scraps of steel but it also composed of stainless steel, brass, copper, bronze, aluminum and other types of metal. Voted one of Napa Valley’s Top 25 Most Interesting People by Napa Valley Living, his passion for life and art are visibly transmitted through the welding and plasma cutting classes at Nimbus. His work can be seen on the St. Helena High School campus as well as in local galleries. Have a blast with 30,000°F of molten fun while transforming dreams into realities.

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Oscar Aguilar Olea

In the mid 1970s, along with 20 other student artists from the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City, Oscar took to the street. The group gave themselves the name SUMA and began to use the fences of Mexico City as their canvas. With the attention the murals attracted, SUMA was invited to show at local galleries and museums and the group was part of the first biennial for young artists in Paris. SUMA also caught the attention of artists like Rufino Tamayo, Juan Jose Arreola and others, and won a place in the evolution of Mexican Art.

Following his involvement with SUMA, Oscar dedicated several years to research techniques, studying egg tempera al fresco, oils, watercolors, etchings, drawings, woodcutting, and sculpting. As an artist and teacher for Nimbus Arts, Oscar applies the techniques he learned and brings his expertise representing the human figure.

Artist Website: http://oscareggtempera.com/ 

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Helen Jane Hearn

Helen Jane’s history as an illustrator and writer has been at the front edge of digital creation for 20 years. Since 1997, she has written at helenjane.com, exploring the impact of digital culture on social spaces. Studying art through the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota, Helen Jane has spent much of her adult life working as a designer and creative problem solver. Inspired by the Napa Valley’s generous hospitality, she believes wholeheartedly in inspiring creativity through celebration.

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Holly Hubbard Preston

Holly is a journalist, essayist, and recently published fiction writer. Her non-fiction work has appeared in the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Forbes, and Newsweek, among others. Her fiction has been published in many literaly reviews including Palimpsest, the Southampton Review, and Glimmer Train. Holly holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Stony Brook University in New York, as well as a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and modern european history from the University of Southern California. Save for one day when she was 21 and thought of being a trial lawyer, Holly has never considered being anything other than a writer.

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Emma Higgins

Emma is a Calistoga native who takes inspiration daily from all the beauty of this valley. With an multi-disciplinary artistic and culinary education from the City College of San Francisco, she has come to realize that art is everywhere you look. From sharing a family recipe to working on a collective art piece, it is the human experience of creating and expressing together that has kept her active in the arts. She views developing art skills and an interest in the arts to be as fundamental as food to create a full, vibrant life and community. She celebrates the Arts’ liberating and healing properties and hopes to ignite that spark in others. My Website : www.troublemarie.com

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Erin Ramsey

Erin Ramsey was born in raised in Durham, North Carolina where she gained an early appreciation of the power of community and homegrown vegetables. After studying theatre for many years, she decided to pursue her culinary interests at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, where she emerged with a Bachelor’s degree in hospitality management, and a husband, Kipp Ramsey, to boot.

Erin moved to Napa with her husband in the summer of 2010 and was immediately enthralled in its myriad of culinary opportunity. Upon her arrival to the valley, she joined the team at Robert Sinskey Vineyards and has since relished her position managing the biodynamic winerys’ culinary program; a veritable stage for farm to table practice and creativity.

She embraces all opportunities, such as those provided by Nimbus Arts, to enthrall Napa’s youth in the many culinary adventures inspired by its incredible community.

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Kipp Ramsey

Kipp plays in the very busy intersection of farming and food purveying activities at Long Meadow Ranch. He is the guy who knowledgably plans, delivers, prepares, and presents the bounty of Long Meadow Ranch from vegetables, fruits, honey and eggs to freshly made olive oil to grass-fed beef and lamb.

A native of Madisonville, Kentucky, Kipp moved to Mississippi to attend Ole Miss, where he received a bachelor’s degree in applied sciences with an emphasis in hospitality management. After graduation, Kipp moved to New Zealand where he worked in orchards and vineyards while traveling, skiing, fly fishing, kayaking, camping, and hiking. Upon return from traveling abroad, Kipp decided to pursue his love of cooking and service at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York where he graduated with a degree in culinary arts.

After years of experience, Kipp has learned the importance of “less is more” when preparing seasonally driven food by focusing on the ingredients and letting them shine.

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Loren Rehbock

Loren Rehbock has been a practicing Artist for 30 plus years. Since the fourth grade Loren knew he wanted to become an Artist.  Making art, for him, was a way of understanding the world and still is today.  His passion for art continues to grow.  Loren studied at the California College of Arts and Crafts and holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Art from UC Berkeley. Although he has studied and worked in many media, for most of his career he specialized in watercolor and figure drawing. He has taught at Hartnell College in Salinas, Merritt College in Oakland, the Richmond Art Center as well as giving private lessons in his Studio. He has exhibited his work in Washington, DC, San Francisco, Paris and Sweden, as well as in local Bay Area venues.  His early 60’s poster work is included in The History of the Rock and Roll Poster and Peter Selz’s Art of Engagement.  Artist Website: www.LorenRehbock.com

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Elizabeth Stokkebye

Elizabeth Stokkebye holds a M.A. in Scandinavian Languages and Literature and is currently working on a Short Story Collection that focuses on women protagonists. She is an active blogger as well as an artist of storytelling.

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Jami Taback

With numerous exhibitions to her credit, Jami Taback is a highly accomplished visual artist.  Her ability to manipulate and master her medium is a wonderful compliment to her expansive cosmic vision and the subject matter she chooses to depict.  From painting to drawing to print making, Taback uses her considerable skills to bring life and vitality to her work.  The work is highly personal in both her choice of subject matter and her articulation of it. It reflects a deep interest in the spiritual universe and its impact on our lives.  She refers to herself as an artaholic…obsessed with the craft of making art, looking at art, and living an artist’s life.

Jami uses her abilities to both help those in need and to foster creativity in others. For over 30 years, she has successfully run Talk Art, Inc., a private art history lecturing service, which brought art lovers to museums, art collections, and artist’s studios all over New York.  She has lecturing privileges at major museums and galleries where she has entertained, fascinated and enlightened countless individuals.  Finally, this wonderful desire to help and instruct others has led her down another equally rewarding path.  Remembering her own youthful challenges, Taback has sought out programs where she has worked with children and teenagers at risk while directing Adventures in Printmaking: Art in the Shelters.

Currently teaching at Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, Ca.

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Coming Soon-Plans are in the Works……..

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Clair Tiwald

Claire Tiwald is an avid traveler and artist creating multiple forms of visual art. Armed with her BA in Art from Nebraska Wesleyan University creates photographic realist portraiture, sculpture, art dolls, collages, inks, and digital paintings. She uses all these skills to create her comic-books. “Sequential art is an open road: comics can be a venue for both childish whimsy and more serious adult themes.”

Her work was featured at the San Francisco Cartoon Art Museum in 2013 and the Lone Star Studios collective in Oakland. Currently she is self-publishing her first full length graphic novel Age of Avarice, which currently has content published online at www.ageofavarice.com. Her full artist portfolio can be found at www.clairetiwald.com

Claire is always available for commissions and is teaching comic booking and other art mediums at Nimbus Arts.

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Adam Wiedmann

Adam Wiedmann was born and raised in the Berkshires of Western Massachu- setts. He was named for his great great uncle Adam Clark Vroman, the Pasadena based photographer and naturalist. Adam traveled west for college to his familial roots and found himself in the arts. After college he returned to the East Coast to start a family in Maine and had immediate success as a sculptor, showing in galleries and selling his work to public, private and corporate collections world- wide. After too many New England winters, he and his family decided to once again move out West. Recently, they were drawn to Napa Valley, where people practice the art of living—be it food, wine, the arts or philanthropy. As an art- ist, it is his goal to transform a hard industrial material into soft balanced works inspired by nature.
Artist Website http://www.hammerswinger.com

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Jessica Wilhelm

Jessica graduated in May 2010 from California State University, Chico with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education, Option in Ceramics. Her personal work is mostly small ceramic sculptures reminiscent of undersea life and organic formations. She also enjoys painting abstract works and as well as famous reproductions, mostly from her favorite surrealist, Rene Magritte.

Jessica feels it is important for kids to explore their senses through a variety of tactile mediums. She believes that all children have a natural affinity for creativity, and as a teacher it is her job to nurture the “creative process”. She believes it is the act of making that is important, and strives to help children be in the moment and enjoy it. She enjoys working with kids of all ages, but especially likes introducing our youngest artists to the world of art through our Young Artist and Ro- Sham-Bo programs.

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Nancy Willis

Artist Nancy Willis lives and works in the Napa Valley. Principally an oil painter, Willis works with themes of intimacy and connection across paint, printmaking, and video mediums. She has created multiple series exploring the bed, the dinner party and the chandelier as well as work based on her annual trips to France.

Willis is entrepreneurial in her practice. In 2007, she successfully launched annual Path of the Artist painting tours to France leading artists through an intimate view of Paris, Bordeaux and Bergerac and the Mediterranean. In 2013, she debuted a weekend workshop at Sundance, Utah amidst the natural beauty of the Timpanganos Mountains.

In addition to teaching painting and printmaking at the Napa Valley College, and Nimbus Arts, Willis also teaches design at the Culinary Institute of America/Greystone and San Antonio. There is little difference between her art practice and her life. In 2011, she curated the exhibition Discrepancy/living between war and peace at the Napa Valley Museum, which grew out of work in her studio. She is currently curating an exhibit about the intersections between art and the dinner table.

Willis sees the world through the eyes of a painter; tactile, evocative and filled with sensations. She advocates good wine and long dinners for all artists and can be found looking to stir things up in and out of her studio.

Artist Website: www.nancywillis.com

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Amanda Wright

Originally from Southern California, Amanda Wright studied studio art at UC Santa Barbara before earning a degree in fashion design at FIDM in Los Angeles. She had a career as a costume designer for Fox Netowrk and worked as a stylist on multiple music videos and Indy films. In 1997 Amanda started her own resort clothing line. After meeting her husband and having three children the Wrights moved to the beautiful Napa Valley. Amanda discovered her love for pottery while joining her children at their pottery class at Nimbus Arts. Her work has recently been featured in the Los Angeles Times and Luxe Interiors & Design.

Artist website: amandawrightpottery.com

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Kerri Beeker, Development

A nonprofit professional with extensive experience in organizational, fundraising and marketing management, Kerri and her family moved to St. Helena from Washington DC nearly four years ago.  In our Nation’s Capital, Kerri led a division of one of the country’s most prominent nonprofit management consulting companies and later ran development for one the country’s largest health charities.   Kerri is a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and continued post-graduate work at the Universite Catholique de Ouest in Angers, France.  Kerri serves as a board director on the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation and Endowment Trust and is highly involved in helping advance and improve public education in our town.  When she’s not working, Kerri enjoys traveling to Cape Cod with her husband and two young sons.

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