instructor bios 

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Cindy Baxter
Cindy focuses on photography, and photo-enhancing techniques including hand painting, transfers, collage and embellishments, and watercolors. Cindy first began doing watercolors in 1995, and when she moved to Michigan in 2003, Cindy quickly signed up for a class taught by Taylor Jacobsen. When she first moved to Michigan and was no longer working in Early Childhood Education, Cindy started taking pictures at her children’s sporting events. Inspired by the pictures, Cindy yearned to do more with them, which led to her transition into photo tinting techniques and painterly tinting techniques using water-soluble oil paints. In addition to tinting photos, Cindy also enjoys using Photoshop to enhance her digital photos and turn them into photo art pieces. Cindy has taught classes in Hand Painting Photos, Inkjet Transfers, Photoshop, and is currently focusing on photography and "Get to Know Your Camera" classes. Cindy is teaching a series of paper collage classes this spring. Outside of her career in teaching, her artwork, and instructing at Salt Valley Arts, Cindy spends much of her time with her family and traveling with her husband.

Trena Brannon

Trena is a woman of Faith, a wife & mother, an artist, a business owner, a manager, a change agent and an encourager. She has a passion for people and a passion for color. Trena has always been a doodler and loves all colors. Her dear friend Marge introduced her to the art of stamping in 2002, which rekindled her joy of creating. Trena started teaching stamping and coloring workshops in homes and at various events. She has taught many classes in Chicago land and in Southern Michigan, including at Dick Blick. Trena received her Copic Marker Basic Certification in 2008 and Intermediate Certification in 2010. She has also received a certification in Tombow Marker Techniques and Spectrum Noir. Trena contributed as a designer on the Sunday International, Art Impressions and Crafter's Companion Creative Teams, as well as she is a founding contributor to the Alcohol Art Ink Community.  Trena has been a guest designer for StencilGirl Products and her artwork has been published in various stamping and art magazines and has appeared on product packaging. Trena lives in southeast Michigan with her wonderful husband. They have two beautiful, bright children. Weekdays she works as an IT professional. On week nights and weekends, she colors!

 

Visit Trena’s blogfacebook and Instagram to view her work.

Christy Howden

Christy, who earned a BA and MBA in Economics and Sociology from the University of Michigan, her classes focus on practical crafts that can be used in everyday life. As a crafty child of the 1970s, Christy has always had a knack for creating. Christy teaches a variety of classes at Salt Valley Arts including sewing-related classes, Michigan String Art Creations, Fairy Doors, Clothesline Baskets and more . In addition to teaching at the arts center, Christy is also the Craft Community Contributor for Ann Arbor.com, a Girl Scout Leader, and the owner of an online sewing and craft supply store . With classes focused on getting students to create a practical and successful product, Christy notes that she loves figuring out her projects and cherishes the “TaDaa” moment that comes with the completion of each project.

 

Visit Christy’s Website @ www.tadaastudio.com


Valerie Mann
Val Mann Art is the website for American artist Valerie Mann. She has shown her work professionally in the U.S. and abroad for 23 years. Her work has received numerous awards and is in public and private collections in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Mann is inspired by the outdoors, people, materials and pushing the boundaries of possibility with those materials. Valerie teaches a variety of classes at Salt Valley Arts, from printmaking to the week long Drawing Boot Camp, she does it all!

 

Visit Valerie’s website for more information about her art at: valerie-mann.squarespace.com

Julie Mariouw

Julie Mariouw believes she was born to teach writing. She grew up in Grosse Pointe, got a BA

in English from the University of Michigan, and studied teaching at Eastern Michigan

University. She taught Reading, Writing, ACT & SAT Prep in Ann Arbor, and eventually became

fascinated by the healing potential of creative writing. She wrote creatively on her own, got a

few poems published, and then discovered her deep desire to lead people through their own

creative experiences. Julie became certified in the Amherst Writers & Artists workshop

leadership training program. Soon afterward she created Wellspring Writing Workshops, LLC,

through which she offers creative writing workshops in Ann Arbor, and now in Saline. Julie’s

workshops are designed to help writers bypass their inner critics, and go directly to images,

feelings & memories. Julie uses timed writing exercises to help participants find natural voices,

and perfect their writing skills.

Visit Julie’s website for more information about her work and her workshops:

https://www.wellspringwritingworkshops.com

or visit her Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/wellspringwritingworkshops/

Keith McGuire
Keith McGuire is a watercolor artist and instructor. Currently he teaches watercolor painting and traditional
drawing techniques. Keith also designed our new Salt Valley Arts logo.

Visit Keith’s Blog at rkmcguires.blogspot.com/

 

Susan McDowell
Susan McDowell has always loved stained glass and the emotional experience of color and light. After dabbling in other art forms, she was convinced to take a fusing class at the Toledo Museum of Art in 2002 and has been hooked ever since. Since then, Sue has taken glass-specific classes at Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, Urban Glass and the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. She also visited the UK and taken Master Classes with engraver Alison Kinnaird at the Ruskin Glass Centre, in Stourbridge, England. Sue is a member of America Craft Alliance and the Ann Arbor Arts Alliance. She is a full-time staff member at the University of Michigan where, as a Desktop Support Manager she, and more realistically her staff, support the Executive Officers of the University. Sue’s glass works are initially fused, and then she coldworks the piece. Coldworking is the process of using tools to affect the surface of the glass—sandblasting, engraving, etching, etc. She calls nature her muse, and loves the idea of being able to recreate the experiences she has when immersed in nature with a medium that is so flexible and emotive. Her favorite part of the creative process is the “I did this?” moments, and she’s continuously excited about where her skills are taking her. Stay tuned for new work from Sue as she explores fiber and how it provides a new creative way to capture the wonders of the world around her!

Visit her website: beachgirlglass.com

Nancy Miller
Nancy, who was born and raised in Saline, began sewing, crocheting and embroidery as a child to guarantee a large wardrobe for her dolls. Nancy developed her art tastes and skills as time passed, creating her own teaching materials and illustrations as an elementary teacher. Currently, Nancy is retired and finding that she can spend more time exploring different mediums. In addition to her artwork, Nancy is a prominent member of St. James United Church of Christ, a garage sale enthusiast, and frequently visits Lake Huron. In addition to crocheting and quilting, Nancy focuses on knitting, soap making, and handcrafted spa products; having taught the latter two art forms previously at the Two Twelve Arts. Nancy has been hooked to soap making ever since a co-worker at Clinton Schools taught her how to make cold process soap and has been adding to her knowledge of the subject ever since. Nancy’s favorite part of creating is collaboration with others. She loves the artists at Salt Valley Arts, finding them inspirational and knowledgeable. Nancy heads our community mitten project at SVA which makes and donates warm recycled woolen mittens to social services.


Daniele O'Brien
Danni has always been an artist, and recalls always drawing in class, filling her notebooks with images while teachers were lecturing (it even got her into trouble once). As a young adult she was the crafts instructor at her aunt’s camp. Danni received her BA from Eastern Michigan University with a concentration in Graphic Design. She worked for several companies in the Ann Arbor area, but eventually found that she was so involved in the daily creation of printed material and the computer that she got away from her art. That’s how Danni found the Zentangle process, and now she focuses on freelancing, teaching Zentangle, and illustration. She illustrated a children’s book “Into Fairyland, A Treasure Chest of Stories,” which was published in 2012. In addition to offering numerous levels of Zentangle classes, Danni is an avid gardener. One of Danni’s Zentangle pieces was featured in “The Beauty of Zentangle” book featuring artwork from 135 Zentangle teachers (CZT’s). Danni is inspired by artists of the impressionist era, including Van Gogh, Monet, Cassat, Matisse, and Degas. Danni’s favorite part of the artistic process is getting a glimpse into another artist’s mind, process, and inspiration. She finds Salt Valley Arts supportive, friendly, creative souls that love to share, and feels it is a wonderful resource for inspiration and art.

blog: dobriendesign.blogspot.com

Ann Stofflet

Ann Stofflet was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY and made Michigan her home in 2005. Ann has always been very involved in the arts, specifically writing, directing, acting, singing, drawing, painting, and sculpture.

 

Ann has performed, directed and written for many successful productions with theatre companies in New York and Michigan. Her first play, a full-length comedy/drama entitled Making Change, enjoyed a successful production in New York City.  Most recently, Ann worked with From Around Here Productions as an actor, director and writer. Her monologue, A Pretty One, was in their successful production of Suspicions. Ann’s full-length comedy, Seventeen Ways to Win a Man’s Heart had a great staged reading right here in Saline. Ann looks forward to finalizing some changes she made after the reading and hopes to one day see the show enjoy a successful production.

 

Ann is excited to be part of the wonderful, talented community of instructors at Salt Valley Arts in beautiful Saline.

Jean Canavan

Jean Canavan is an artist living and painting in Southeast Michigan. Her watercolor still life and landscapes often reflect her interest in the transitions of light and shadow, and strive to express a sense of memory of time and place. A travel journal of small works is her constant companion and is often the starting point for larger works. A BFA graduate in Watercolor from Eastern Michigan University, Jean has exhibited in several solo shows and many group exhibitions. Her work is included in many private and public collections. Jean is a long-time resident of Saline and taught Watercolor, Travel Journaling, and Happy Art Hour at Two Twelve Art Center. She now features her Brushes and Brew painting classes at several Salt Valley Arts Crafternoon Workshops. Jean notes that she loves teaching and watching her students progress.

 

Visit Jean's website and facebook to view her work.


Katherine Downie
Katherine started creating from a very young age. Inspired by the artists in her family (her aunt and grandfather), she sketched and painted whenever she could. Her passion for art took a firm hold in high school, where she was president of the Saline High Art Club, and it flourished years later when she pursued her degree in art education at Eastern Michigan University. Her focus at this point was on watercolor, and she enjoyed developing an unconventional style with the medium. After receiving her degree in 2007, she taught in a k-8 charter school in Ann Arbor for a couple of years before deciding to go back to school herself. In 2009 she moved to Grand Rapids to attend Kendall College of Art and Design, where she graduated summa cum laude with her Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art – Painting. It was here that her love for abstract painting grew, and where she transitioned from watercolors to oils. Katherine still paints with both media, choosing the medium that will best serve her subject matter. She refers to herself as an Abstract Realist, as most of her paintings are painted very realistically, but are cropped so that they become abstract. Katherine teaches oil and acrylic painting at Salt Valley Arts, and shares her love of crafting through occasional workshops. She also enjoys teaching kids camps in the summer when she’s not busy working as one of the chairs of the annual Saline Celtic Festival. Outside of art, Katherine has a passion for poetry, literature, architecture, and history (especially world’s fairs and old or abandoned buildings!).

 

For more info and to see her work, please visit katherinedownie.com

 


Stacey Harper
Stacey has been creating art for as long as she remembers. In fact, in elementary school she recalls selling drawings of dinosaurs for $.05 each until the teacher put an end to her enterprising ways! For Stacey, art is a way of life. In her home décor and garden design, she strives to create beauty and good design. Stacey studied graphic design at Western Michigan University but was drawn to printmaking and landscape design as elective courses. Currently Stacey is fascinated by fiber art, specifically collage and needle work. She has found that she is drawn to heritage arts like spinning and dying, quilting, and preserving food and recipes. This is why Stacey teaches Pysanky; which means to write – on an egg, that is! Although Stacey is not Ukrainian, Polish, or Russian, she was drawn into the art of wax-resist egg dying by a dear elder friend who would invite her over on Good Friday and Holy Saturday to spend the day with friends and good food while creating numerous Pysanky – very much like a quilting bee. Eventually, her friend passed all of her supplies on to Stacey and asked her to continue the tradition. That’s what she has been doing for about 20 years. Stacey has also been a children’s instructor through her church and her gem and mineral club for many years. Stacey's favorite things about being a part of Salt Valley Arts are the amazingly friendly people and talented artists undertaking the same journey as she. Stacey has missed the camaraderie and critiques from her college years and the years of raising her two daughters, now grown and gone. Stacey is glad to be a part of this vibrant art community called Salt Valley Arts.

 

Visit Stacey’s Blog at manydreamz-stacey.blogspot


Kelsey Keyes
Kelsey has been an artist her whole life. She recalls her first experience with bead work, when she was playing with a lovely necklace of her mother’s that belonged to her great-grandmother. Sometimes while playing with it, it would break, and in order to avoid punishment Kelsey would have to figure out how to repair it. Kelsey has a degree in archaeology and was formerly a conservation tech at the Science Museum of Minnesota. She also worked for a long time as a museum exhibit fabrication artist, and had a half dozen other jobs in the museum world. She has always been fascinated by treasures of the past, and is inspired today by the practical beauty of her 160-year-old house that she shares with her husband, John. Kelsey is also inspired by John’s Lego creations that are present in every room of their home. His playful creations always bring a smile to her face and to any visitors. Kelsey taught a wide variety of art and jewelry-making classes at Two Twelve for both children and adults, including week-long workshop offerings for kids and teens. For her own work, Kelsey also focuses on a wide variety including Art from Upcycled and Recycled materials, Beaded Sculpture, Beaded Jewelry, Wire Sculpture, Wire Jewelry, Photography, and Fabric Dyeing. She loves the collection of good friends she has gained through her involvement with Salt Valley Arts.

Check out Kelsey's work at etsy.com/shop/thebeadediris
 

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400 W. Russell Street, Saline, MI 48176