WARM Board of Directors & Staff

WARM Board of Directors

Tara Tieso

Tara L Tieso is an abstract artist who calls Saint Paul home and lives in the original Lowertown Artist’s Lofts Cooperative, one of the oldest live/work artist communities in the US.  She works in encaustic, an ancient beeswax and resin medium fused to its substrate with a torch. Her work focuses on translating memory and depth of feeling into color and texture that can be experienced viscerally. Of her medium,Tieso says, “Wax mimics the ebb and flow of our lives, the warming and settling of our passions, the ever new dance of leaving our marks and then going back into the yielding surface of our evolving story again and again. The ability to use fire is not just an obviously primal experience, but a powerful and unpredictable tool to wield creatively.” A 2011 recipient of the McKnight Foundation-funded Metropolitan Regional Arts Council’s Next Step Grant, and 2012 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, her work hangs in collections in the Twin Cities, greater Minnesota, and Philadelphia.

Layl McDill
Vice-President & Programming Committee Co-Coordinator

Layl McDill creates mixed media sculptures of animals, women, flying machines, and other worlds of wonderment. She is co-owner of Clay Squared to Infinity in the Northeast Arts District where she teaches her millefiore technique in polymer clay. Layl shows her work at art centers, galleries, and arts festivals around the country. Recent awards include “Best of Show” at the Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts Member show and “Best in Sculpture” at the Oconomowoc Festival of Art (2014). Her connection to WARM began in 1994 when she first moved to Minneapolis and was looking to connect to the thriving artist community. She was a protégée working with Mimi Holmes. After years of building her art career, she became a Mentor herself in 2009 and co-chairperson for the WARM programming committee in 2011. She has a passion for bringing women together so their art and creativity can thrive and build from each other’s strengths and experience.

Patrice O’Hanlon
Board Member

I am a photographer creating images with traditional film photography. I adore the Holga camera, which is a primitive, simplistic tool that allows for chance to become incorporated into my work. I am able to focus my attention to composition, enabling myself to get lost in my environment, appealing to my wanderlust sensibilities.

I have a studio art degree from the University of Minnesota and have taught several youth photo projects; providing youth a voice through journaling and allowing them to make decisions in realizing their capabilities thus instilling a sense of esteem, value and accomplishment.

I became aware of WARM after moving to Lowertown in St Paul and meeting several of my artist neighbors. I am thrilled to be recently elected to the board and to become part of WARM’s legacy.

Holly Tappen
Board Member

Holly Tappen is an oil painter. On most days you can find her in Studio 504 at the California Building in NE Minneapolis, swearing at a new painting, or kicking back and eating Smarties. Her influences are Picasso and Leonardo Da Vinci, so she will become the world’s first Abstract Realist as soon as she can visualize what that looks like.

Holly went to Emory University a million years ago, and since they had no studio art program, she got a useful degree in Philosophy. This has come in handy about two times. She has interests in all the arts, and works towards the goal of having art in all aspects of her life. The IRS does not appreciate this.

She became a Protegee in WARM’s wonderful program, with Rochelle Waldorsky as her talented and generous Mentor. Together they accomplished every written tactic in Holly’s 2-year strategy, in 4 months. This enabled Holly then to break free of some restrictive habits and delve into a more relaxed and expressive style in her art. She still paints dancers, but now they look better.

She labors over master copies at the Art Academy, Inc. in St Paul every Monday night of her life. David Feinberg of the University of Minnesota has been an instructive and helpful mentor to her for 15 years. And she has a cat.

Catherine (Katie) Palmer
Board Member

Katie Palmer is a busy body, she likes to keep herself busy with creative activities. She has tried to keep her life art centric. She received her BFA at the University of MN in 2001, she has had multiple studios throughout the Twin Cities over the last 14 years and just currently moved her studio to her South Minneapolis home. She worked retail for 14 years in art supply stores which help her gain a lot of practical knowledge about different painting supplies. She has worked with NEMAA for two years on their communications committee and she currently volunteers at The M (Minnesota Museum of American Art). She was part of the 2015-2016 protege cycle where she worked with Ellie Kingsbury to hone in on her business skills and grant writing techniques. She has enjoyed the work she has done in many community projects and the relationships that have grown from them.

Her philosophy is that arts should be available to everyone who is interested in it. She says “art is a conversation that I have with myself, It is a conversation I have with other artists and it is a conversation with the community I live and work in”. For Katie process is much more interesting than a message, it is an action and a reaction, it is a compositional puzzle exploring three main elements: color, texture and abstraction regardless of the subject matter.

Katie enjoyed her personal experience with The WARM Mentorship Program and since she is a community minded individual with a goal to live an art centered life, it was a natural choice to become a board member and to assist Tina Nemitz and Karen Searle with the mentorship program. Katie see the mentorship program is an integral component of WARM and hopes to ensure its continued success into the future.

April Hanson
Board Member

I am a classical singer/performer. The real deal is this: operatic repertoire has the potential to express the very core and rawness of what it means to live this human life. It  also depicts many female characters who are objectified, controlled, and bound by the expectations created by our misogynistic society. I enjoy bringing to life  female characters and musical works which  shine a light on the countless paths a woman’s story can manifest.

I have most recently  appeared in  mezzo-soprano roles such as Riders to the Sea as Maurya,  L’incornazione di Poppea as Arnalta, Suor Angelica as Principessa, Street Scene as Emma Jones, Le Nozze di Figaro as Marcellina, Turn of the Screw as Mrs. Grose,  Gianni Schicchi as Zita, Iolanthe as the Fairy Queen, Mama Cavelleria Rusticana as Mama Lucia and Falstaff as Dame Quickly.  In concert. I have performed as mezzo soloist in the Mozart Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater.

Brandi Rasmussen
Board Member

Medicinall (Brandi) has been practicing the art of DJing since 1998. Her name reflects the concept medicine for all. She is a philosopher and a dreamer of dreams. Her hope is to open your heart, cleanse your mind, and engage your chakras. She is also a multimedia artist who dabbles in video, sound, fabric and space.

Susan Kaulbars
Board Member

With an educational background in art, music and theatre, Susan is driven by a love of creating and design. She has been actively involved in the arts and custom framing industry since 2000.

Using her creative influences, she discovered her designs offered a “unique art service” by enhancing all types of artwork which positively impacted ones’ enjoyment of the family home or work environment. She developed her artistic design style through years of experiences as a Custom Frame Shop Manager, Art Gallery Manager, Industry Vendor and Trainer/Educator to the industry. Believing in education, she continually seeks out current conservation and preservation techniques

Susan opened Framing Solutions Custom Design Center in 2014. She is known for her unique, innovative, and unconventional artistic concepts being incorporated into her framing compositions and has received numerous competition awards for her designs and craftsmanship. Susan’s vision and ability to blend cohesive compositions for her customer’s projects (whether a textile, object, collectable, original fine art, or other unique projects) is the key to her success.

In 2015, Susan added an art gallery, artbarn52, to assist local artists in showcasing their work 52 weeks a year. For smaller functions, the gallery is available as a venue for both business and personal events. artbarn52 offers an opportunity for artists to host their own private art events, meet customers in a safe environment, and participate in additional marketing efforts provided and coordinated by the gallery.

As a WARM board member, Susan looks to support these local artists through her resources and experiences whenever possible.

WARM Staff

Vanessa Merry
Editor of the WARM Wednesday Newsletter

Nature intrigues and inspires me. It is why I paint. To me capturing those fleeting moments in nature, like the colors of the sunset against the clouds. Or the awe inspiring beauty I see when I look at  a fern frond in bloom make me want to create. The intricacies in the natural world are inexhaustible. When you open your eyes to all the details around you, it’s hard to not be inspired.

In my paintings I am sharing those moments with you. They are intimate and emotional renderings of what I find so beautiful in our natural world. I’m preserving my memories through the use of colors and the play of light, shadow, and texture to reflect only a mere amount of the pleasure I get when I am outside exploring and part of nature.

Heather Tinkham
Website design and maintenance, WARM Technical Support

I am a Mixed Media artist, primarily working in fiber and polymer,  based in the Northrup King Building at the Studios @ Chautauqua Lane (#155) and owner of Tiglio Arts. I am a late comer to full time art, having left my decades old IT consulting career for a wonderful new adventure. I have always balanced the arts and sciences in my life and love helping others to find workable bridges for themselves. I see art and the acts of making as a human need that speaks deeply to our unique and wonderful souls. At its best, art is a way to bring more beauty, joy, honesty, and authenticity in to a world that is increasingly busy and chaotic.

I am excited to be working with the WARM board and members to grow and support women throughout the MN art communities.