Jackie Bartley received her MFA in English from Western Michigan University where she was also employed in the English department. Presently she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of English at Hope College.
Laurie Baron has worked as a writer and editor for many years and has played with words for even longer. She is a certified facilitator with Amherst Writers and Artists and leads writing groups and workshops for all genres including spiritual memoir.
Sandie Coffman is “specially designed.” This means that although she's hearing impaired, the loss of hearing causes her to see the need, seize the moment, and assist in solutions. Her first name, Sandra, means “helper of mankind.” She takes the meaning literally. It is her joy and privilege to help people use resources to reach their goals and objectives. This makes her perfect to teach the Arts Council’s Art for All program for developmentally disabled adults and teens. In addition to Art for All, she teaches art for the Thursday Resource in Center for homeschoolers and is an art instructor for seniors at Evergreen Commons in Holland, MI.
Gini Cooper has been beading for more years that she cares to divulge and making lampworked glass beads since 2000 when she won a scholarship to Oxbow School of Art. She now incorporates her own beads in jewelry, bookmarks, zipper pulls and whimsical wire sculptures. She recently started including Precious Metal Clay silver into to her jewelry and is eager to share the magic of PMC with others.
Greg Ellis, a West Michigan native, has returned to Michigan after 26 years in Hawaii. He studied art and design at the University of Hawaii and has illustrated two children’s books. He currently works as a designer at Evergreen Commons in Holland. When not teaching or painting he is surfing Lake Michigan.
Lee Ann Frame currently teaches at Muskegon Community College and owns Norris Creek Printmaking Studio. She earned an MFA in printmaking, is a member of the Society of American Graphic Artists and participated in continuing education classes at Kalamazoo Book Arts Center, Hollanders Bookbinding School and West Shore Graphic Arts Society. She is a signature member of the International Experimental Artists Society, and is active in the art community in numerous capacities including as an award-winning artist, curator, instructor and juror.
Carmen Hannah worked as an apprentice while living in the Copper Country (Michigan's Upper Peninsula), digging river clay for Potter Vicki Shirley from whom she learned a purist style of pottery. Carmen has an education degree from Western Michigan University and a Master of Arts degree in administration from University of Michigan. Recently certified as an Interior Alignment Feng Shui Practioner, she's practicing the art of de-cluttering. Living near Lake Michigan, she enjoys kayaking, boogie boarding and yoga.
Derek Johnson earned his BFA in Art from Michigan State University and continues to learn and teach painting and drawing. He has led after school art programs in Grand Rapids public schools, and he develops and teaches art camps for children and teens. A lifelong resident of West Michigan and an award-winning painter, Derek enjoys collaborative painting with his friends and is inspired by dune ecology.
Carol Kuiper, a certified K-12 art educator, has been doing art for fun and therapy since childhood. She has enjoyed teaching art classes for various schools including Byron Center Middle School, Bloomingdale High School, West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics, as well as Gen-1 Arts Camp, Kandu, and Hope College's Upward Bound Program.
Andre Matthews has been teaching ballroom in the Grand Rapids and Holland area for over four years. Andre works full time for Herman Miller, Inc. and enjoys spending his free time sharing his passion for dance.
Dennis Nagelkirk is a local art scene fixture in the Holland, Zeeland, and Grand Rapids Area. He is an instructor at Careerline Tech Center teaching art and design to high school kids. Dennis has been teaching drawing and painting classes for many years and is the founder of the local Drink and Draw club. Currently Dennis is involved in filmmaking in Grand Rapids.
Jeff Raterink. After realizing he could draw Spider-Man better than most of the kids in his first grade class, Jeff pursued a career in art. Jeff attended Kendall College of Art and Design with a major in Visual Communications and a minor in photography. He has been photographing subjects including Drive In Movie Theaters, Diners, old relics of the past and weather phenomenon since the early 1990s. He is on the Advisory Board for the Visual Communications course at the Ottawa Area Intermediate Center. When not designing or taking pictures, Jeff likes to battle the forces of evil from his three bedroom ranch house in Holland.
Mary Sundstrom is a seasoned instructor with a wide range of interests and an insatiable appetite for the process of learning. She teaches watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting as well as collaging and printmaking. Mary specializes in teaching the foundations of color, design and technique while encouraging the students to find their own voice. Mary has been teaching art to adults and children at the Arts Council and in West Michigan for over a decade. As Program Director she assists in the development of curriculum for kids art camps as well as adult classes for the Arts Council. Mary is a published illustrator and an award winning artist whose work can be found in juried shows throughout the region.
Colette Volkema DeNooyer has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from the University of Michigan and taught elementary school for several years. An ordained minister, she has written and published children's religious curriculum as well as delivering many sermons. Four years ago she resigned from ministry to pursue her love of writing. She trained with Pat Schneider, author of Writing Alone and with Others, at the Amherst Artists and Writers Institute in Amherst Massachusetts and has since led AMA weekly writing groups and writing retreats. To sample her writing or for information about the AMA method, writing groups and retreats see her website: www.forwritersandreaders.com.