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.
Kristin Provencher 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 www.sehkah.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).
Brynn Appelman teaches 5-7-year-old fine arts and workshops. A recent graduate of Granite Bay High School, she was a successful advanced artist in the well-regarded GBHS art department. She's continued taking art classes at Sierra College, where she is completing her G.E. units before transferring to the UC system. She plans to eventually pursue a career as an art therapist.
Brynn has experience working with children with special needs, and fell in love with our art students first as a volunteer and then as an assistant this past summer. She is now one of our most popular art teachers.
In addition to being a kid-magnet, she is also a huge animal lover--with a pet cat, Goo, whose face she sketches every week on her Art Center time card.
Lauren Willis teaches in the Art, Music & Movement program at the Center for 3-5-year-olds, teaming with Christian Lejeau several days a week. She has a bachelor's degree in psychology from Sacramento State University and has 18 units in Early Childhood Education.
She has worked with kids for 12 years, and is currently a nanny for a local Granite Bay family (the children are now in school all day and we are lucky enough to have her until afternoon pick-up). She also is a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) for children for El Dorado County.
Lauren lives in Cameron Park with her husband of 2 years, Matt Willis. The couple are avid soccer players--they have both played since childhood--and they play together now on a co-ed adult team. They also have a goal of eventually traveling to every state in America, and Lauren collects t-shirts from every state they visit.
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 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.
Anna Minard teaches 5-7-year-old fine arts, workshops and birthday parties. She recently graduated from 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 was in our Teen Fine Arts class up until a few months ago, when classes at Folsom Lake Community College conflicted.
Anna took art classes at her high school as well, where she was also a music student and a member of CME, an elite advanced guitar performance group. She was 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.