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staff

staff

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.

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, Operations + Safety Manager

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 operations and administrative responsibilities at Nimbus Arts, and she looks forward to a bright future supporting its robust programs.

Mae Vader, Administration & Events Coordinator

Mae was introduced to Nimbus Arts in 2021 when her partner Grace worked as a Teaching Artist at the summer camps. After being wowed at NIMBASH, she is especially excited to join the team as the Administration and Events Coordinator. Mae’s important role at Nimbus Arts will include office administration and organization, scheduling, marketing, website management, and events coordination. She is excited to join the team to bring her skills to the table and develop new relationships.

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. Her pursuits and passions align with social, racial and climate justice issues, with special regard to Indigenous empowerment. Mae’s core values are guided by authenticity, relationship-building and freedom of expression.

Mae is proud to have worked nearly a decade in the restaurant and customer service industry, where she had the privilege of meeting and working with people from all walks of life. She has completed internships at the Montana Film Office, in Los Angeles and in Cape Town, South Africa. Mae can’t wait to work with a group of strong female leaders as she grows to become one herself. She lives in Yountville with her great loves: her partner and her animals.

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