Jamie Graff, Executive Director
Jamie Graff brings a passion for arts and education, a diverse business background, and continuous creativity to her role as Executive Director of Nimbus Arts. After graduating with a degree in Enology and Marketing from UC Davis, she had careers as a winemaker, an agricultural educator, and a business owner before co-founding Nimbus Arts with Dana Johnson in 2005.
In our founding years, Jamie worked with a core group of artist-instructors and Nimbus participants to invent and refine Nimbus’ unique inter-disciplinary approach to developing a community art center with courses taught by working artists. In her ongoing role as Executive Director, Jamie works with the Board and staff to sustain and increase the capacity of this fast growing and dynamic organization. Jamie is also responsible for producing and managing Nimbus Arts’ diverse programming, which includes classes, camps, NIMBASH, and a wide array of community outreach and educational offerings.
Jamie is a strong believer in the power of collaboration and the connections we make though the creative process, and has established impactful partnerships with the Napa Valley Unified Schools, the hospital and wellness service community, agricultural industry leaders, and other cornerstone community nonprofits. Jamie is truly gifted at organizing and directing collaborative high-quality/high-impact art experiences and programs such as our always-outrageous annual NIMBASH arty party and Nimbus Arts’ inspiring Hundreds of Hands inspiring public art projects.
“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. I love that my job allows me to make creative, impactful, and connecting art experiences possible for so many people in Napa Valley. Art is a powerful force and together we will create a place of expression for all, and work of enormous consequence, meaning and beauty. “
— Jamie Graff
Anne Pentland, Staff Artist + Assistant Program Manager
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 and Mending Wall Winery in St Helena and Safari West in Santa Rosa. “Art is communication,” she says. “We can make a difference when we communicate through art. Awareness is the first step in making change. Nimbus makes 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 nature and wildlife, and works by Andrew Wyeth, Edward Hopper, Paul Klee and Andy Goldsworthy.
Artist Website: http://www.apentland.com
Molly Bjorkman, Office Manager
Molly is thrilled to join the passion and joy she has found at Nimbus Arts, through art camps for her children and by attending NIMBASH. After a critically-acclaimed career in the wine industry, Molly comes on board to take on the financial and administrative needs of Nimbus Arts. “We in Napa Valley are so lucky to have this magical organization that supports artists and the arts and I look forward to supporting the powerful artistic mission.” Molly and her husband continue to be involved in the wine business with their single vineyard, Swedish-influenced wine brand GRO Wines. Nature and the environment are a particular passion for Molly, having designed and built her own green home in Calistoga and having volunteered with the Land Trust of Napa Valley. While working at Nimbus, Molly plans to pursue her MBA and bring what she learns to support the non-profit organization. Molly has coached her children in soccer and basketball and has been on the board of Calistoga Little League, the Calistoga PTA and participated in the St. Helena PTG. Her two children attend schools in St. Helena and she and her winemaker husband live with them in Calistoga.
Emily Griffin, Administration & Events Coordinator
Emily Griffin grew up in Napa Valley and is absolutely thrilled to be serving her community in her new role as Administration and Events Coordinator at Nimbus Arts.
Emily started in the performing arts and quickly realized how much she loved running things behind the scenes. Her interest in arts administration was sparked at Linfield University in a Theatre Business class. After graduating from Linfield, Emily moved to Galway Ireland to be with her now husband, Sebastian. In Ireland, Emily pursued a master’s in Arts Policy and Practice from the University of Galway. Emily had the opportunity to work in the Societies Office in University of Galway as part of the administrative team. While in Galway, Emily also worked for the Town Hall Theatre as front of house, was part of the Galway Film Fleadh team and picked up any extra art related gigs she could find.
After convincing Sebastian to move back home with her in January 2020, Emily returned to her family’s roots and worked for a Vineyard Management company. Emily is thrilled to be back in the arts world and especially to be joining the team at Nimbus Arts. Emily is proud to bring a love of all art forms, a hope that people never stop creating and a dream of helping everyone find their place in the art world.
Kiera Louttit, Program Development Assistant and Community Outreach
Kiera grew up taking classes at Nimbus, later became a teaching artist, and is now thrilled to take on her new role in Program Development and Community Outreach for the organization she has known and loved for so many years! She has a background in Education, Environmental Studies, and Art and can’t wait to help develop programs where these three passions intersect. She is a strong believer in the power of hands-on experiences as a path to deeper knowledge of oneself and the world around them. She has deep roots in Napa Valley and is excited about connecting community members, partners, and other nonprofits through art.
Kerri Beeker, Development + Marketing Consultant
Kerri provides strategic planning, fundraising, and communication services for Nimbus Arts through her nonprofit consultancy. Prior to her family’s move to St. Helena from Washington DC, she led the development arm of one of the largest international health charities and served as a division head of a leading nonprofit consultancy. In California, she’s worked with arts, education, and cultural organizations- strengthening their advancement programs, systemizing communications and administration, and elevating management to best practice standards. 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 served as a board director on the St. Helena Public Schools Foundation & Endowment Trust and is highly involved in helping advance and improve public education and conservation. When she’s not working, Kerri enjoys traveling with her husband and two teenage sons.
Andrea Cazares, Resident Artist
Not only does Andrea have the multifaceted job of overseeing the studio spaces and maintaining the vast inventory of supplies at Nimbus Arts, she is also an amazingly gifted visual artist. When she’s not managing the studios, she is excelling as an Artist Instructor during one of her many inventive classes at Nimbus or engaging kids and adults at community events. She brings over eight years of fine art experience in painting, drawing, printmaking, clay sculpting, and sewing, and has a wealth of knowledge regarding art materials and techniques. Andrea earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The American University of Rome in 2017. She has worked as a clothing designer, illustrator, art events coordinator, fine arts program assistant, creative advertising designer, interior and graphic designer, and art instructor for many well-respected companies around the world, and as an independent contractor/consultant. In her free time Andrea enjoys spending time with her family and creating art in Napa.
Mae Vader, Database/Website Administrator Consultant
Mae’s important role at Nimbus Arts includes database and website management to effectively communicate with donors and community partners.
Mae graduated from Bard College with a B.A. in Film & Electronic Arts. She has always been highly observant, seeking to use these detail-oriented skills inherent to her in art and in her career. She lives in Montana with her great loves: her partner and her animals.