The ArtStart roster of artists for our summer programming includes both artists and arts educators who represent diverse cultural backgrounds and art forms. All have a deep commitment to the arts and nurturing each person’s creative artist within. ArtStart artists and staff cordially invite you to start your summer with the arts!
DRAWING/PAINTING • CLAY
Karen Anderson is an elementary art teacher for Hopkins Public Schools and lead art educator for the elementary art program. She especially enjoys teaching drawing and painting to young children. Her personal artmaking interests range from drawing and painting, to photography, to pottery. She is an avid traveler and outdoor enthusiast.
PUPPETRY • MASKMAKING • ARCHITECTURE
Gustavo Boada is a theater-based multidisciplinary artist with more than 22 years of working in professional theater in Peru, Chile, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania and Minnesota. He is known for his work with traditional dance and performance masks, as well as designing and building puppets, performance structures and set design. In 2007 he was invited by Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre to be part of the May Day staff.
PUPPETRY • MASKMAKING • BEADWORK
Julie Boada is an Anishinabe artist, storyteller, puppeteer and art educator. She has worked regionally and nationally for the past 25 years, both with Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and independently. Julie has received grants from Minnesota State Arts Board and Jerome Foundation. She has a B.A. in Studio Arts and American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota. She is passionate about work that fosters cultural pride and value.
PUPPETEER • STORYTELLER
Laurie Witzkowski is a maker of theater, music, ceremony and gardens in both English and Spanish. In addition to her theater work with In the Heart of the Beast, Bedlam, TigerLion Arts, Theater Mu, Mixed Precipitation,and many others, she has performed widely across the country and the world, in venues from Lincoln Center to war zones, prisons and sacred sites; with Mikis Theodorakis, Meredith Monk, orchestras and opera companies, as well as film and recordings.
PAINTING • MOSAIC • MIXED MEDIA
Jeanette Dickinson received BA in art with a focus on sculpture, from the University of Minnesota. Jeanette has works in private collections, and recently illustrated the book, Nature Seeker Workbook. “It is my belief that bringing art to a community is an expression of how we perceive, respond and record the world around us. We share in a moment of creation our thoughts, feelings and history as an individual and as a society.”
PAINTING • PRINTING
Meg Erke is a painter, collage and book artist and art educator. Before working as a professional artist, Meg was a visual arts teacher in middle and high schools. Meg loves taking old discarded things like windows, old books, maps, and fabric and bringing new life to them through art. In addition to working with youth, Meg has developed and implemented art lessons in a variety of mediums for adults with developmental disabilities.
INSTRUMENT MAKING • MUSIC COMPOSITION
Born in Jamaica, Douglas R. Ewart is a professional musician, composer, and instrument builder. His appearances in the Twin Cities and Chicago are met with rave reviews by the contemporary music community in which Ewart showcases his musical and instrument construction skill performing/improvising on instruments he builds using a variety of recycled and salvaged materials. Ewart has taught in ArtStart’s summer interdisciplinary arts program since its inception in 1992.
FOLK ARTIST • DANCER
Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra is a multidisciplinary post-modern folk artist. She works in visual art, music, and performance. Crisanta studied studio art at St. Olaf College and folk art at Holtekilen Folkehøgskole in Norway, and is both self-taught and family-taught in traditional art techniques. She is also a Mexica/ Azteca dancer and a musician of the band Lady Xok. She is a founder of the Xican@ arts collective Electric Machete Studios on St. Paul’s West Side.
Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli Aztec Dancers signifies the warriors of the first cactus flower. This group is composed of families that are committed to teaching our children, families and the community through the traditions, history and the art of dance of the Mexihca (Aztec) culture. The alliance of families (Kalpulli) is in a constant state of learning; as we learn from our youngest children to our oldest elders.
DANCER • CHOREOGRAPHER
Rebecca Cusick founded Los Alegres Bailadores in 1977. Today, Los Alegres Bailadores is one of the most established folkloric dance groups in the state of Minnesota with students ranging in ages from three years old through adults and a current enrollment of over 100 students. Rebecca travels to Mexico regularly to study and archive folkloric dances that can be introduced to her students in Minnesota. The group’s costumes, music, and rich repertoire of dances are a direct result of Rebecca’s passion to keep this beautiful art alive for generations to come.