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.”
Anne Pentland, Staff Artist + Assistant Program Manager
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
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.