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
Mary Miriglio, Financial + Administrative 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 responsibilities 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.
Sandra Cruz-Wilson, Administrative Manager
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.”
Kerri Beeker, Development + Marketing Consultant
Kerri spearheads fundraising and external communications for Nimbus Arts. Her experience with nonprofit organization is deep and diverse. Prior to her families 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 support programs and systemizing their communication and administrative function. 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 and Endowment Trust for the past six years 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.
Andrea Cazares, Studio Manager + Artist Instructor
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 husband, family and creating art in Napa.
Erin Arnsteen has always valued education, creativity, work ethic, art, science, and nature. Although she enjoys making visual art herself, her true gift is developing art programs and teaching, coaching, and encouraging others to discover their own talents.
After receiving a full tuition Boettcher Scholarship, Erin earned her BA in Fine Art and her Master’s in K-12 Art Education from Colorado College in just four years. Erin set out to use her own originality to bring out the artistic side in others. She has served as the head of a high school art department, an arts administrator running national art programs, a lecturer for artists’ professional practices, an artist agent, an art council president, a community representative for business and art education consortiums, an organic farmer focused on pollinator conservation, and a self-taught naturalist specializing in entomology.
She and her husband, Jess, recently moved to St. Helena, California for his new position as the Culinary Farm Manager at Long Meadow Ranch. Erin is thrilled to join Nimbus Arts where she can continue to learn and to share her love for education, innovation, and the natural world with the Napa Valley community. Currently, Erin has many teaching and administrative responsibilities at Nimbus Arts, and she looks forward to a bright future supporting its robust programs.