Summer Artist Roster

ArtStart Artists
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!

Karen Anderson Karen Anderson
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.
Gustavo Boada Gustavo Boada
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.


Julie Kastigar Boada Julie Kastigar Boada
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.
Majken Elsberry Majken Elsberry
VISUAL ARTS • PRESCHOOL

Majken Elsberry teaches art at Aspen Academy. She has a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Art Education K-12 with a Studio Arts minor from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She holds an additional teaching license certificate in Elementary Education K-6 from Hamline University. Majken has taught with ArtStart for 5 years. Her positive approach to making art reinforces and unlocks each child’s artist within.


Jeanette Dickinson Jeanette Dickinson
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.”
Meg Erke Meg Erke
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.


Douglas Ewart Douglas R. Ewart
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.
AnneSawyerAitch Anne Sawyer-Aitch
PUPPETRY

Anne Sawyer-Aitch has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Latin American Studies, with emphasis in Creative Writing from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Graduating with Distinction. Anne has worked as a puppeteer, arts educator, and stilt walker for many Twin Cities groups, including In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Open Eye Figure Theatre, the Ordway, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Chicks on Sticks, ArtStart, and the Minnesota Zoo.


Shakun MaheshwariShakun Maheshwari
VISUAL ARTS • FOLK ARTS OF INDIA

Shakun Maheshwari is a visual artist who specializes in photography, graphic design, henna art, painting, and textiles. Her residency work with students meshes her Indian heritage with contemporary life—a blend of folk art and graphic design, traditional styles with modern materials, impermanent with permanent. Her greatest satisfaction comes from passing on her cultural and artistic knowledge to the next generation.
Megan Monson Megan Monson
VISUAL ARTS • PAINTING

Megan is a professional artist and free-lance teaching artist. She has taught with ArtStart for 7 years offering adult and youth art classes that explore the creative potential of reuse materials in fun and exciting ways. Megan is deeply involved with issues of social justice and the environment.


Rita Mustaphi Rita Mustaphi
DANCER • FOLK ARTS OF INDIA

Rita Mustaphi is an internationally renowned choreographer, dancer and educator of Kathak style of Indian classical dance. A native of India, she graduated from the University of Kolkata and Rabindra Bharati University with a major in dance. She is a recipient of three McKnight Fellowships for choreography and a 2012 Education award from the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Rita’s positive approach to teaching makes this beautiful Indian dance form both accessible and a joy to learn.
Nirmala Rajeskar Megan Monson
MUSICIAN • COMPOSER

Nirmala Rajasekar is a world renowned Carnatic veena virtuoso and educator of South Indian Music. She has performed in venues throughout the world and is a recipient of many awards including a Bush artistic fellowship, a McKnight fellowship, and Rotary Vocational Excellence award. As a teaching artist she presents the musical elements unique to Indian music in a dynamic and accessible way for young children.

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