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.

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.

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.

Susan Kaulbars
Board Member / Treasurer

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.

Cory Favre
Board Member

Cory Favre is a visual artist living and working in Minnesota. She has a BGS from Ball State University with focuses in Studio Art and Interior Design and is an alumni of The Women’s Art Institute. Cory is a member of Arts Roseville and the Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, and is now serves on the Board of Directors for WARM.

Cory’s primary mediums are oil and encaustic (beeswax). She is influenced by such artists as James Rosenquist, Kiki Smith, Jenny Holzer, CJ Hendry and Shawn Huckins. Her recent work lives in the space between sarcasm and snark, humor and the serious, fun and not so fun. Social issues, politics and human nature are all inspirations for her work.

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.

Julie Hamilton
Website / WARM Technical Support