Although the art center has seen staff come and go, of course, as do all businesses, it has also held onto certain people--tugged at their heart, sparked their creativity, kept them quickening their steps--just a hair--when they start the walk from the parking lot to that unmistakably colorful front door. We're not always sure the exact combination of magic that keeps them, but we're glad it does. Here is our wildly talented art teaching staff.
Elizabeth Sumerix teaches our 3-5-year-old Pee Wee Picasso course on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during the school year, and Art, Music & Movement during the summer. (And her lovely 4-year-old daughter, Amelia, is one of her students). Originally from Sonoma County, Elizabeth attended Santa Rosa Junior College, where she received her Child Development Teacher Certificate. She has seven years of pre-school experience, including owning her own licensed daycare, which she started when her family moved to the Granite Bay area.
Elizabeth is also married with two children, Amelia and her brother, 2-year-old Zachary. When she isn't caring for children--her own or ours--she loves Twilight and Harry Potter books and movies, and hand makes children's accessories (www.etsy.com/MillieLovesZach).
Elizabeth is also something of a daredevil (although what is more daring than teaching 3-year-olds all day?!?!): she drag-raced a restored '70 Camaro in high school, and--several years ago--eloped to Las Vegas (although they had another ceremony later in Calistoga).
Lastly, Elizabeth has no pets, but says "a cat will follow me from a mile away; my husband calls me 'Cat Lady.'"
Christian Lejeau teaches French at the Center--both private tutoring and French language classes. He is also the second teacher in the Pee Wee Picasso program for 3-5-year-olds, where his specialties are gardening, language and art.
Christian is a trained artist and graphic illustrator (www.rhocorp.org/graphistes/christian-lejeau), and is the artist who created the Center's new (and beautiful) road signs. He received his art degree in his native city, Paris, France. In fact, he and his wife, Kristin Provencher (see below) recently moved from La Ville-Lumiere to the Roseville area, along with their 1-year-old son, Dyami (Dee-a-mi).
Kristin Provencher, who is Christian's wife (see above) and Dyami's mother, is a local girl and Granite Bay High graduate, despite
her international education and teaching experience. She has traveled around the world, from Europe to South Korea, and has even spent time at an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka. Kristin has her bachelor's degree in Studio Art from San Francisco State and is an artist in her own right (see her website at http://bellemaisonkp.blogspot.com/).She finds her real joy in teaching, however--and has taught children's yoga, English to French kids, and worked in an art therapy community for children and adolescents. She now teaches Art, Music & Movement classes here at the Center, as well as fine arts and many workshops (most notably our Canvas Painting Workshops, where she has been producing gorgeous samples the kids can easily replicate).
Cassie Martin teaches drawing and our 8-12-year-old and teen fine arts classes. With her low-key manner and dry wit, she is a natural with the older age group.
She has loved art since she was young, and rediscovered her love of animals during a college zoology class. She often combines the two in art projects for her classes here—bringing in her cat as a live model; sculpting or drawing birds, reptiles, fish and all kinds of mammals; going outside to sketch, either on our property or further afield.
She is currently working on her bachelor’s degree in psychology, and plans to go on for her master’s. She also illustrates and designs jewelry and sculptures for her website: www.SweetlyVenomous.com. She focuses on bright colors and natural shapes, along with making her own “strange creatures.” She has recently taken on an increasing amount of commissioned work--including murals.
Hadley Rood teaches fine arts, workshops and birthday parties, and has recently begun accepting a few music students. She attends Granite Bay High School, and has been an art center student for more than 13 years. She started Art, Music & Movement when she was 4, then joined Mr. Greg’s cartooning at the age of 6—a class she kept for 8 years! She continues to attend the teen fine arts class on Thursday evenings with Miss Cassie, where she paints, draws and still does the occasional cartoon.
She also started piano lessons here at the Center at the age of 5, then flute at 9, and currently takes guitar lessons with Derek and Scott. She is excited to be learning some John Mayer and Coldplay songs, her favorite musicians.
In her spare time, she is more often than not playing one of her two guitars (acoustic and electric), but Hadley is also an accomplished jazz and contemporary dancer. She loves to read, write fiction and horseback ride. And Hadley has a dog at home: Stormy (a black lab).
Anna Minard teaches 5-7-year-old fine arts, workshops and birthday parties. She attends Vista del Lago High School in Folsom, and--like her friend since babyhood, Miss Hadley--has been an art center student since she was little. She too is in the Teen Fine Arts class on Thursday evenings, which she attends with her younger sister, Melissa, who recently began working for the Center as an assistant..
Anna has taken art classes at her high school as well, where she is also a music student and has just been accepted to CME, an elite advanced guitar performance group. She is on the Vista swim team too.
In her spare time, Anna makes jewelry and loves to ride her bike or hike on the trails near Folsom Lake, often bringing along her black lab, Lincoln.