Artist Bios / Contact Information

Jennifer Aguirre

Jennifer Aguirre’s love of puppetry began as a child and blossomed through her own children~ experience of Waldorf Education. She performs puppetry throughout our greater community and teaches the art to both adults and children. She teaches a curriculum-based “Puppetry Through the Grades” program for Sierra Waldorf School.


Kandi Angermiller

Kandi Angermiller taught kindergarten at Curtis Creek Elementary for 31 years. She had great success with this program in her classes. She attended the Institute of the Arts workshops held at the University of the Pacific. She believes everyone is an artist, and that this program gives children an opportunity to experience the artist within.


Sifu Berchtold

Sifu Berchtold grew up in Switzerland and has been teaching pottery to groups of children and adults for many years in her studio, in classrooms, and at Amazing Glaze, now Out of Hand Creative Arts Center in Sonora. Her work is sold commercially throughout the local area.


Molli Cantrall

Molli Cantrall holds degrees in Fine Art and Child Development. This combined training allows Molli a unique capacity to teach the fundamentals of art to children and youth of all ages. She has also been designing and painting murals for 18 years, and has worked on numerous private, commercial and community projects in the area.


Dianna Craig

Dianna Craig holds a BFA from Humboldt State University and has been making and performing with masks for more than 20 years. She performed with the Constance Street Stage Company, based in New Orleans, for three years, and has taught for the Davis Art Center and Davis Waldorf School in California. She is currently a member of the Voice of the Wood, a storytelling, music, and mask movement performance group.


Mark and Bear Dyken

The Dyken brothers have been playing music together since childhood, touring steadily since 1987 with their band Clan Dyken. They have released six albums on the Forward Productions record label and are considered a local treasure here in the Sierra foothills, performing in both large and small venues, as well as teaching in schools. Their work is influenced by a wide variety of music including Native American, African, Latin and Reggae.


Lynette Eads

Lynette Eads has been afiber artist for more than 20 years. Weaving and knitting clothing and art objects, she uses natural fiber from many sources including alpacas, angora rabbits, mohair, sheep, and dogs, and frequently she uses the wool from her family’s llamas. She demonstrates throughout California for both children and adults and writes for the trade. Lynette owns Mountain Lady Yams in MiWuk Village.


Allison Fairfield

Allison Fairfield holds a BS degree from the University of Massachusetts and a California teaching credential in both art and community health. She taught school for 17 years, has received several awards for her photography, and has taught alternative processes for photography classes at Columbia College. She currently runs a wedding and portrait photography business out of her Sonora studio.


Judy Grossman

Judy Grossman holds a BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts in San Francisco and received a credential to teach art from San Francisco State University. She is an accomplished commercial and residential muralist, working as large as 20′ x 50′. She founded the Golden Chain of Murals project in Tuolumne County to promote local history and community pride.


Marilyn Hobbs

Marilyn Hobbs holds a BA degree in English from Portland State University and has taught in California for 35 years. She has had a career-long interest in introdUcing students to art and great artists in the classroom, and she has assisted in the development of programs and teaching tools for arts education projects at both Sonora and Soulsbyville Elementary Schools.


Patrick Karnahan

Patrick Karnahan has been playing music for more than 30 years. He is a professional musician and painter whose instrumental repertoire includes banjo, guitar, concertina, melodeon, and trumpet. He is a master storyteller through his vocals and songwriting, and his Black Irish Band is included in the California Arts Council’s Touring program.


Tracy Knopf

Tracy Knopf was born in Turlock, California. She Graduated from California State University at Stanislaus in 1992 with a degree in Fine Art. Tracy is a quilter, mosaic artist, sculptor and muralist, and just recently completed the mural at the Tuolumne County Childrens’ Library. She loves working with children and is hoping to share her art with the children of Tuolumne County. “Protecting wildlife and preserving our clear streams and alpine lakes is of utmost importance to me. From found hubcaps to broken fine china, making art from recycled items helps me, in a small way , to give back to nature.”

209- 586-4397

Arno Lascari

Arno Lascari has a BS from University of Michigan, an MS from University of Southern Connecticut and a PhD from University of Wisconsin, all in physical education. Semi-retired former Professor of Physical Education, Kinesiologist and Gymnastics Coach at the University of British Columbia, Amo has training in over 70 dance styles plus choreography and dance music.


Rosemary Aliyah Lee

Rosemary Aliyah Lee is co-founder of both the Next Generation Swing Dance Club and the Metronome Ballroom, the largest dance studio in San Francisco. She is a member of the Golden State Dance Teachers Association. Her dance experience, musical interest, and organizational development skills enable her to conduct classes of exceptional value and quality.


Louise McPeeters

Louise McPeeters earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance and theater and has done graduate work in music and visual art. She is a certified Orff-Schulwerk Instructor. She was a teacher of the Visual and Performing Arts at Curtis Creek School for 33 years. Since her retirement in 2008, she has been teaching various arts classes including Orff-Schulwerk, a music education technique, voice, piano, guitar and visual art. She also teaches teachers through the California Arts Project and is involved in advocating for the arts in education.


Lisa Nelson

Lisa Nelson, Native American artist, owns and operates Crow Girls Beads in Sonora where she teaches beading. Lisa’s Blackfeet heritage is evident in all of her creations, and she is one of the few artists who continues the authentic Northern Plains beading technique. Lisa has contracts with Doth Yosemite and Yellowstone National Parks.


Tricia Noble

Tricia Noble is a self-taught mosaic artist. In addition to traditional mosaic tesserae she incorporates unusual materials into her work-mirror, pebbles, found objects, glass beads, buttons, wire, broken plates, etc. She finds inspiration in many objects from her everyday life.


Shelley Oeverndiek

Shelley Oeverndiek specializes in using music as a tool to teach and help children learn and love the world around them. She began performing and writing children’s music over 25 years ago for schools, libraries and benefits. Shelley later became a Music Consultant, Juther developing her skills, teaching music fundamentals and music theory in the classroom, as well as establishing two of the first keyboard programs in Tuolumne County. As founder of “Making Music,” a community music program, she has provided private and group instruction in voice, songwriting, guitar and keyboard. She currently works as a teacher at Sierra Outdoor School and is converting California State Science Standards into easy “repeat after me” chants that enable her students to understand content and vocabulary.

209-532-2826; 209-532-5021

Jan Palemone

Jan Palemone holds a BA degree in fine art and a teaching credential from California State University, Sacramento. She has been teaching watercolor, drawing, and papermaking to children and adults for many years. Her work has been included in several Gallo Spring Shows, and she has won awards in a number of Mother Lode Art Association shows and the Tuolumne County Fair. Jan is also a TCAP-trained Art Specialist.


Missy Payne-Hutchman

Missy Payne-Hutchman is the former artistic director of the Central Valley Dance Company. As director of the Central Valley School of Ballet, she taught ballet, character, modem, folk, and jazz dance and aerobics. She has taught in Mariposa, San Joaquin, Merced and Tuolumne Counties for more than 25 years. She now teaches at Connections Academy.


David Rainwater

Dave Rainwater, in the 38 years he has been a folk musician, has played at every kind of venue including bluegrass festivals, folk festivals, wakes, grand openings, fiddle competitions, and ethnic dances and parades. “Fiddling has always been part of the fabric of American life and is as old as horse racing, trout fishing and as down home as apple pie,” says Dave. As a member of The New Christy Minstrels, from 1997 to 2005, he played with Randy Sparks in Washington, D. C. for the grand opening of the Burl Ives Museum and can be seen in the PBS Television Special “This Land Is Your Land.” As afiddler, Dave has played in over 50 competitions winning top honors in most, including a blue ribbon at the country’s oldest and largest competition in Galax, Virginia.


Cynthia Restivo

Cynthia Restivo combined her love of tales with her dramatic flair to become one of the most cherished treasures of both children and adults in Tuolumne County. She has taken her stories to festivals, libraries, social and professional gatherings, campfire circles and schools. She received a Parent’s Choice Gold Award for a CD she released with the Story Quilters. Cynthia performs regularly throughout the Western States and in 2005 performed at the National Storytelling Festival. She conducts storytelling/theatre residencies throughout Central California.


Bill Roberson

Bill Roberson was a preschool and kindergarten teacher for 30 years with San Francisco Community College Parent Education Department and Sierra Waldorf School. For the past four years he has been an adult educator working with teachers, parents, board members, administrators and after school-care providers. Bill holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University in Psychology and Child Development. He has been a musician, singer, and storyteller for over 25 years, working in schools, Forest Service interpretive programs,festivals, churches, libraries and public parks. His CD with The Storyquilters won a Parents’ Choice Gold Award, and he has recorded a solo CD of original and traditional songs. Bill is committed to keeping alive the rich tradition of songs and stories that have served us as part of our whole education.


Gini Seibert

Gini Seibert’s focus has been on pottery for over 30 years. She owned and operated Pottery Plus, a retail pottery shop, for 21 years, and developed a successful line of wholesale pottery while teaching both children and adults in schools, camps, and  hospitals. She currently directs Out of Hand, a nonprofit creative arts center, in Sonora. Her focus is to serve community groups by integrating innovative clay experiences into programs and curriculum.


B.Z. Smith

With training in Visual Arts Education and 36 years as a professional storyteller, B.Z brings a large repertoire of stories, participation activities and personally designed art curriculum to her work. In addition, B.Z was trained in classical piano and choral music throughout her childhood, which led to a strong interest in a wide spectrum of musical styles and genre.

In 1973 B.Z. moved to Tuol Co from SoCal. A year later she became the local “Children’s Library Lady” at age 24. She has worked actively in the arts and literature community ever since. As one of the “Story Quilters” she toured throughout California, performing for schools, universities, libraries, community concerts, festivals and intimate gatherings.

With 20 years in public education, B. Z. was one of the Arts Lead teachers for Sonora Elementary School, and served as a Teacher Leader for Valley Sierra California Arts Project, a region of TCAP. After retiring from the classroom, B.Z. served as Central Sierra Arts Council’s Community Arts Programming Specialist from 2005-2008. B.Z. is at home on the stage or in the classroom, in theater, music and visual arts. Currently she is a specialty teacher at Connections Academy for “The Art of Storytelling for Film Making.”

209-532-7697; 209-559-7692

Timothy Lee Smith

Timothy Lee Smith holds a BA degree in the humanities, with a focus on arts and social change, from New College of California. He has had the pleasure and the honor of working with the renowned San Francisco shadow theatre company, Shadow Light Productions, since 1993. The company has toured California and has performed at festivals throughout the United States.


Dianne Stearns

Dianne Stearns has been a Fine Art Instructor in Tuolumne County for twenty-two years. She is well known for her watercolor paintings shown in galleries and private collections around the United States. Dianne’s initial career of being a nurse was changed by the skill of Calligraphy. The art allowed her to change her professional focus to become a graphic artist and freehand glass engraver. Designing business cards for hospitals, Doctors and many other businesses, it met her objective of creating a home based business so she could raise her son at home. Her artistic career blossomed and finally le to her passion of teaching. Although Dianne still creates and shows her paintings in galleries, she is devoted to teaching children and adults how to truly See this beautiful world through the arts.


Mark Stoltenberg

Mark Stoltenberg released “Tuolumne County Fathers and Sons” in October of 2005. This 80 minute radio play on CD features local actors and musicians and has been received with enthusiastic acclaim. The educational show is a 40 minute version of this radio play and includes three of the original songs.

209-928-3436; 768-3441

Sonora Children’s Theater

Sonora Children’s Theatre held its first set of classes in February of 2007. In the summer of 2008, the theatre rented the historic “Vault” building on Washington Street. With its own space, the theatre will now offer classical ballet and various adult classes. Bonnie Cerruti is the Executive Director and is very excited to see her vision become a reality.


Irene Taylor

Irene Taylor has a BA from San Jose State and an AS degree in Computer Information Systems from West Valley College. Her career as a graphic designer included positions in ad agencies, printing companies, public relations groups, and corporate business. Most recently Irene is concentrating on painting in watercolor.


Vicki Vermeer

Local horsewoman Vicki Vermeer specializes in creating fun, funky, unique gemstone, metal and natural jewelry and embellishing  horseshoes.


Lane Willey

Lane Willey has been a quilter for many years and is also a writer of children’s stories. She sews quilts that depict themes common to children and popular children’s books and has taught hand quilting to children of all ages. Lane is a retired elementary and special education teacher as well as an administrator.


Barbara Young

Barbara Young received an AA degree in Art from Sacramento City College and has been teaching arts and crafts in Tuolumne County for over 15 years. She paints in oil, acrylic and now watercolor. “I try to capture in my draWings and paintings the memory of a place by setting down textures, feelings, and characteristics that express its uniqueness and special qualities. In crafts, I like to have fun with the kids, in creating and exploring different media, yet produce a completed project. ”


Leave a Reply

Monthly Archives

Central Sierra Arts Council on Facebook