Our Mentors and Educators are carefully selected. When they confirm to teach, they are committing to a whole team.  Mentors and Educators are genuine and steadfast not only in their own success but the success of their workshop participants, their colleagues and the event as a whole.  Collaboration and investment builds unity and strength that ensures we create together, an experience unlike any other.

“It is a transformative experience, bringing together creative souls who express themselves through a variety of mediums who are beyond generous with sharing their knowledge, wisdom, stories and laughter.” John C Petersen

 

Michael deMeng: Master and Mentor

Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist from Vancouver, Canada who exhibits throughout the United States. As an educator, he has been actively involved with VSA Montana, providing art education and encouraging participation in the arts to people with disabilities. Through these activities, as well as his artwork, deMeng fosters community awareness, and offers creative methods to explore the human experience.

In his art, he addresses issues of transformation. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in his work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.

These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence: from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing. 

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Sharon Payne Bolton: Master and Mentor

Sydney, NSW, Australia
Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Ogden, Utah, USA

Sharon Payne Bolton divides her time between her studios in Sun Valley, Idaho and the San Francisco Bay Area and has shown her work in galleries in both venues. She spent a year living in the south of France, an experience that greatly influenced her work as many found objects from her life there find their way into her work. She recently led a group to the South of France for a week long art retreat.  Her work has appeared many times in the mixed media magazine Somerset Studio and she runs various workshops out of  her studio.  She also serves as a Core Art Educator for Art is You Mixed Media Art Retreats.  She shows her work at art fairs in both Idaho and California, winning “Best Booth” in Sun Valley, Idaho at the Ketchum Art Festival in 2010, and “Best of Show” at the Mill Valley, CA Arts Festival in 2016.

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Seth Apter: Master and Mentor

Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Seth Apter is a mixed media artist, instructor, author and designer from New York City. My artwork has been exhibited in multiple exhibitions and can be found in numerous books and national magazines. Seth has published two books, The Pulse of Mixed Media and The Mixed-Media Artist, and eight mixed-media workshop videos/DVDs with North Light Media. He is an instructor at Pratt Institute in NYC and his live workshops have been held throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia and the UK. Seth also designs product lines with Impression Obsession, StencilGirl Products, PaperArtsy, and Emerald Creek Craft Supplies.

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Kecia Deveney: Master and Mentor

Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Kecia Deveney is a published mixed media artist, instructor and world traveler, living at the Jersey Shore. As a Mixed Media Artist, her eclectic style can be seen in fabric and textiles, jewelry design, sculpture-work and painting. Creating is pivotal to Kecia and becomes, for her, art therapy. Her imagination comes to life and allows her temporary reprieve from her role as a full time caregiver. Scouring flea markets, long forgotten treasures inspired her to transform them into something exciting and distinctive.

Her work is about ingenuity and playfulness. As an educator, it is important to Kecia to teach her students to look beyond being perfect, to be more involved in the ongoing process of creating and leave insecurities behind. Enhancing confidence being the ultimate achievement. Kecia’s workshops are taught through out the United States and also at international venues as well.

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John Creighton Petersen: Master and Mentor

Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

John Creighton Petersen is a lifelong resident of Seattle, Washington (USA). Although his degree is in photography, his vast knowledge of a variety of art mediums has led him to become a mixed media fusion artist.

Even as a child, John has always had an obsession with paper and everything that could be done with it- lettering, painting, collage and even bookmaking.  This passion for paper arts lead him into a variety of different fields along the way including printing and design. In high school he began making journals from old books that I kept sketches, ideas, clippings, and my day to day adventures in which naturally led me into the altered arts- and three shelves of books!  Along the way John a few more “obsessions” including calligraphy, beading, and rubber stamping.  All of these creative endeavors are combined into creating artwork which fuses these mediums into mixed media works.  You can find some of John’s inspirational artwork with these professional affiliations: Creative Ambassador for Finnabair, Prima Marketing Inc. Educator, Educator for Tsukineko and Imagine, “The ICE Prince” with ICE Resin To view his complete professional working experience, visit his LinkedIn Profile.

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Andrea Matus: Master and Mentor

Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Maui, Hawaii, USA

Andrea Matus is a visual artist living in Vancouver BC who exhibits as well as teaches her unique combination of painting, collage, assemblage and sculpture throughout the world with collectors in Canada, USA, Europe and Australia.

In her art, Matus creates powerful visual statements of the role of women in both history and mythology. Through her culling of images from contemporary sources, historic iconography, travels and original designs, a sense of surreal worlds is evoked. Combining colour, symbolism and ornamentation: each motif is a transport to a different time, place and culture. Through her process, discordant shapes and designs are manipulated to find harmony where at first there seems none. A part of the human experience is created when these collections form new narratives and meanings.

The improvisational nature of collage coupled with the very deliberate method of painting creates a balance of spontaneity and premeditation in her work. Always interested in the pushing the boundaries of how different materials can be combined, Matus is forever experimenting with alternate ways of using contemporary materials, most recently materialized in her series of Optical Collages.

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Scott Stabile - Mentor

Redwood City, California, USA
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

About fifteen years ago, a friend asked me what I wanted to do with my life. I told him I wanted to spread as much love as possible. My answer’s still the same.

I know life isn’t always a party. It’s often hard, sometimes brutal. My parents were shot to death when I was fourteen. My brother OD’d on heroin nine years later. I grew up around a lot of addiction, dysfunction and tragedy. And with too much shame over the fact that I was gay. I hid my pain, and I hid my truth. Not anymore.

We all have our stories. We all have our pain. I’ve come to believe the only way to have a chance at healing our wounds is to be honest about them. Brave and willing enough to face them. The healing part may be out of our hands, but the brave and honest part is certainly within our power. And it changes everything. 

For me, love supports it all. ALL OF IT. Love is the base note for everything good—compassion, forgiveness, kindness, authenticity—and choices made from love can only serve ourselves and our world positively. Love’s got the power.

I’ve been fortunate enough to publish some books and write a movie and be a part of a supportive and wonderful social media community also committed to looking at their lives honestly and through the all-forgiving lens of love.

I’ve finally started doing what I want to be doing with my life—as I told my friend, spreading as much love as possible. Any which way I can do it.

I hope you’ll join me.

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Jennifer Cahoon: Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

I’m living the dream of being a full time artist. (*Pinch me!*) I can’t tell you what a thrill that still gives me to write that down on official forms or when I’m asked what I do for a living … This happened after taking a leap of FAITH and leaving my job as a public school teacher in Rhode Island after nearly 20 years. (I loved the kids, but wasn’t such a fan of the politics…)

I’ve been an artist by condition and something else by profession for a very, very long time. So how did this all come to be?

I’m a painter. Now. But up until just a few years ago? I didn’t know how to paint….My college training was in Art Ed and Sculpture (I double majored because ironically, there weren’t enough studio art classes in the art ed program…) In 2011 after finally getting into an art room after teaching SpEd for over a decade (God, how I loved those students…) I knew I had to start making art again. After all, I had to walk the walk.

And I couldn’t weld or do stone carving in my basement with a house full of kids and animals… So? I dove into painting. Head first. And it was glorious.

After a few years of HOURS AND HOURS of practice and work? There was lots of interest in my paintings. I started merchandising my own pieces as prints, mugs, jewelry, magnets and other fun stuff in my Etsy Shop and between sales there, sales of original paintings and commissions that came in and this was all becoming a legit business.

I got one solo show… And another.  And then another. There were lots of group shows sprinkled in there too…work kept selling. The universe seemed to be pointing me in a very specific direction.

For awhile, it was like I was working two full time jobs on top of having a family. Hence, a decision was made and a leap of faith taken. And here I am.

(Are you more of a nuts and bolts person who would rather see the CV and not read through? If so, you can view my CV here!)

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Thomas Mann: Master

Redwood City, California, USA

Thomas Mann is an artist who works in the medium of jewelry and sculpture.

The primary design vocabulary which he employs in the making of jewelry objects combines industrial aesthetics and materials with evocative romantic themes and imagery. He calls this design system Techno Romantic. Though it is not the only design mode in which he works, it is the one for which he and his work is best known.

Thomas Mann lives and works in New Orleans where he oversees a jewelry design and production studio, a sculpture studio, and gallery. He currently exhibits his jewelry and sculpture with some 250 galleries and stores in the United States and abroad, and at premier craft events nationwide.

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Gwen LaFleur - Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

I need to express myself and to nd a channel for my joys, my fears, my frustrations, my successes, and my love. I’m also passionately curious – I want to know what will happen if…? Creating allows me to channel all of those emotions and my curiosity into something productive that gives me a sense of fulllment and also allows me to make a mark in the world, share my creations, and teach others.”

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Rochelle Gaukell - Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

“My passion for what I create began when I discovered a beautiful collection of photos from my grandmother’s life (both as a child and adult). I didn’t want to hide them away in a photo album and forget about them, so I began creating jewelry with the photos so that they could be forever keepsakes for myself and my children as they are passed down from generation to generation. I enjoy creating with someone’s photo for a custom piece made to be loved for years to come.

Inspiration for my jewelry and art comes from old photos, ephemera, and religious relics. My art tends to take on an old world feel from times long ago.” 

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Lorra Lee Rose - Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

Lorra Lee Rose’s journey started in 1986. With feathers as her chosen medium, she has cultivated a network of pet owners and aviaries who gather the molted, natural color feathers. Birds shed a small handful of feathers per season, seriously restricting the supply and thus requiring years of patience and preparation. Self taught, and a recipient of numerous awards, private commissions, showings at art festivals, galleries and exhibits in museums, Lorra Lee has maintained a flourishing career as a prolific artist. 

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Dorit Elisha - Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

I create because it makes me feel whole, accomplished and with high spirit.
I love the process of finding random objects, papers, old photos, and putting them together into a piece of artwork that is meaningful to me. I enjoy both the challenge in the process and the sense of happiness and achievement when the creation is complete. I am especially inspired by colors and textures, which is why I have chosen to work in collage, printmaking and book making.

A day without having created something is an unsatisfying day.

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Jen Cushman: Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

Jen Cushman is a natural storyteller who found mixed media art 18 years ago and never looked back. She’s drawn to the imperfect, the funky, the quirky, the artsy and the authentic: be it people or objects or art. Author of two books, her work has also been widely published in national art and jewelry magazines. She travels and teaches collage, assemblage and jewelry making techniques. An inspiring speaker, Jen’s been invited to share her knowledge and encouragement of women in business and her experiences of living a creative life at industry conferences and art events.

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Amy Beeman - Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

Creating for me is like following the roadmap to my soul. The more I create the further into myself I go and the more I learn to listen to my intuition. I love playing with acrylics, mixed media, and anything crafty, and I am a gypsy soul at heart. I adore breaking the rules and creating allows me to do that every time I put a brush to canvas or a pen to paper. It gives me freedom and control all at the same time. Creating allows me to be me, one hundred percent just me. I don’t have to worry what others will think when I sit down to create, if I don’t want to share my creation, I don’t have to. It can be as personal or as open as I want to allow it. Simply put, when I am creating, I am in my happy place.

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Amber Young: Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

I started designing and making clothing as a young woman of about 15, and supported my travels and adventures throughout the US from the sales of my craft. As a young mom in my 20’s, I wanted to stay at home in the country and care for my kids. I slowly grew Ragged Thistle Clothing , finding inspiration in the beauty of watching children grow and the changing seasons of the natural world. I have been making clothing for over 20 years and have several lines of up-cycled clothing within Ragged Thistle.

I was one of the first people on the west coast to spearhead the cashmere and wool up-cycling craze about 15 years ago. I have a line of coats and dresses made from vintage lace and linen as well as garments made of yardage that is sourced from what is called “dead stock”.

Dead Stock is the left overs or the ends of fabric from the big design houses that would otherwise sit and rot or end up in the landfill. Making and buying anything locally creates big positive impact. The clothing industry is in the top 5 polluters in the world and notorious for violent working conditions. When we make and purchase clothing made locally that has been made with resource conservation and fair living wage at heart, we are creating positive economic and environmental change.

I am currently a full time artist/designer showing my work at a wide variety of events throughout California and the West Coast and feeling grateful for this creative life.

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Andy Skinner: Educator

Redwood City, California, USA

Andy Skinner is an established mixed media artist and tutor who teaches regular workshops all over the world. Andy is an accomplished painter and ceramicist but is best known for his ‘industrial gothic’ altered art and assemblage pieces. His unique style is edgy, dark, and enigmatic, pushing the boundaries of the medium with new and innovative techniques.

Born and raised in Oxford, England, Andy was interested in art from a young age and the influence of his parents is obvious in his artistic style. His mother, a watercolour artist, encouraged Andy’s love of paints, while his father, an engineer with a knack for constructing amazing toys and gadgets from found objects, inspired the quirky and 3D elements of his altered art pieces.

Since giving up his successful ceramics business, Andy has immersed himself in the mixed media world he loves. He works as Executive Creative Consultant for DecoArt Inc, using his expertise to develop their innovative Media line of products, and is also a product designer for Stampendous and Tando Creative.

Stay tuned… many more Educators to come …