Dana Johnson, Founder and Board President
A long-time believer in the power of art to bring joy, empower, heal, and connect people, Dana Johnson was inspired to to create Nimbus Arts after her family’s experiences with art in a children’s hospital. “At Nimbus, I love seeing people get completely absorbed by the process of creating something,” Dana says. “The calm and joy is contagious.” At Lewis and Clark College, Dana combined her study of art, English, and psychology to create a Community Arts major. She then studied library and information science at the University of Washington. After working as a librarian and then as a software designer in New York, Dana moved with her family to Napa Valley where she and her husband started Ovid Napa Valley Winery and where, in 2005, Dana founded Nimbus Arts. In addition to being empowered by art in general, Dana finds herself inspired by Pierre Bonnard, William Kentridge, Jacob Lawrence, Laura Owens, Rob Ryan, and all the artists at Nimbus Arts.
David Garden, Jr., Board Vice President
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 six-foot, two-inches 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.
Matt Rogers, Board Member
Matt is an artist and community leader living in St. Helena with his wife and three daughters. A graduate of The San Francisco Art Institute, Matt works in various media and focuses on painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking. Matt’s work is the visual manifestation of his inspiration, travels, and life events—and he finds inspiration everywhere. When not working in his St. Helena studio, Matt is turning life into an event, bringing people together. As a working artist, father and philanthropist, Matt brings his extraordinary energy, commitment to art, and enthusiasm to the Nimbus Board.
Matt shows his work at the Caldwell Snyder Gallery in St. Helena, San Francisco and New York, Ma(i)sonry in Yountville, and recently exhibited at St. Supery Winery.
Claire Stull, Board Treasurer
Claire grew up in a family of artists and art-lovers and this early appreciation for artistic expression formed the basis for her successful career in interior design. Moving to Napa a decade ago, Claire is one of the valley’s most important and influential art patrons. She served as a di Rosa board director for six years and brings incredible passion and a deep understanding of the importance of art in education and as a means to connect communities to Nimbus Arts.
Laurie Shelton, Board Member
Laurie is the daughter of an artist: painting, crafting and creative endeavors were a part of her daily life growing up. After the birth of her daughter in 2001, Laurie’s passion for art was renewed and she began to paint seriously. She furthered her art studies at Napa College and later at the Academy of Arts in San Francisco. Over the years Nimbus Arts became a place of great joy and comfort for Laurie and her daughter, especially after losing her husband Tom to cancer in 2008.
Art is centering and foundational for Laurie, now remarried and living in Palo Alto. Her art is shown in the Silicon Valley Open Studios and in Paris. Laurie finds inspiration in the paintings of Diebenkorn, Bonnard, Gregory Kondos and Lucian Freud.
Martha Doornink, Board Secretary
Martha Doornink, M. Ed. is a trained Montessori teacher and a practicing Certified Integrative Health Coach. A founding member of the Nimbus Arts board, she spends some of her time in St. Helena and most of her time in Los Angeles. She is a passionate educator, gardener, and philanthropist with targeted interest in supporting both education and cancer prevention projects via the Doornink Family Foundation, which she and her husband Ron direct. With four nearly-grown children, Martha appreciates all travel opportunities and is inspired by the creation of art wherever she finds it – from the most humble personal efforts to the art found in the great museums of the world. She especially relishes the concentration and creativity occurring at every art camp and class at Nimbus Arts. Martha also serves on the non-profit boards of The Besant Hill School of Happy Valley in Ojai, CA and Growing Great, Inc. in Los Angeles.