Her Art Artists: Who Do They Think They Are?
Joy Baker is a multimedia artist and owner of Createful Studios, LLC. Her personal quest is to cultivate beauty and inspire joy through intricate, colorful Mandalas and other works. She works as a full-time studio artist and art instructor at InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park, Kansas.
Joy Baker’s Mandala work appeals to her, because the process requires working from the inside-out to create beauty. It is fascinating that the artistry radiates from the center. One starts at the core and expands into fragmented pieces that fit together in a maze of color. A kaleidoscope creating order that would otherwise be considered chaos. And through this process, an entire piece is created that tells a story moment by moment. Because that is how all stories are created - moment by moment. It makes sense that Joy is drawn to this impression. She feels that is how life works. She is constantly striving to create a beautiful life by working from the inside-out.
You can find more information about Joy Baker, and her work as an artist and art instructor by visiting her website at https://createfuljoy.art/
I have been a photographer since age 13 (actually before, but you wouldn't want to see my "early" work) when I bought my first SLR 35mm camera. Horses were among my first subjects -- and, ironically, I earned the money to buy that first camera by working a colt for my mother. I have been a professional photographer since 1996 when I put out my shingle under Midnight Productions, Inc. Since then I've had the privilege of traveling all over the country shooting photos of horses and people and other animals (and Indian ruins and abandoned stuff if you want to get technical). I also volunteer as a photographer for various rescues and shelters. Check out the KCMO Shelter and Special Projects under the Galleries drop down menu to see some of my volunteer work. No matter what I'm photographing, I enjoy every minute I spend behind the lens!!
NedRa Bonds (born 1948 in Kansas City, Kansas) is an American quilter, educator and activist, born and raised in the Quindaro neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas. Bonds creates quilts and mixed media fiber dolls using fabric, beads, and symbolism to explore issues dealing with human rights, race, women, politics and the environment. She is most well-known for her Quindaro Quilt, a 4’x6’ quilt detailing the important history of the historic Quindaro neighborhood and its role as part of the National Underground Railroad System of Historic Trails. As a community activist and educator, Bonds advocates for legislation, taught workshops locally and internationally, and attended the United Nations’ Earth Summit Conference on Environment and Development as a delegate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Bonds currently lives in Kansas City, Kansas, and is a practicing artist and retired teacher. Her recent projects include her Common Threads quilt, commissioned by the Kansas City Chiefs for their Arrowhead Arts Collection, the Wak’ó Mujeres Phụ nữ Women Mural collaboration, sponsored by the Charlotte Street Foundation’s Rocket Grant Program, in Lawrence, Kansas, and her recent cancer project.Bonds was appointed to the Kansas Arts Commission by Kansas Governor Joan Finney in 1992.
Artist Lorrie Boydston explores the conceptual nature of suburban life and architecture. Her diverse body of work evokes references to ideas of environment, architecture, spirituality, diversity, consumerism, domesticity and time. “Spring Cleaning” suggests the spiritual ideas of cleansing and renewal through a zoomed in view of suburban life and architecture. Boydston received her M.A. in painting from UMKC in 2006 and has a B.S.Ed in art K-12 from MSU. Her work has been featured in various publications, local and national exhibitions. More at www.lorrieboydston.com
Lori Buntin lives and works at her home and studio on Troost Avenue, in the midtown area of Kansas City. She moved to KC in 2001 after having taught drawing and painting courses at Wichita State University where she received her MFA in painting. Now self-employed, Lori teaches classes and workshops at her own studio, operates a custom framing business and does contract and commission work for individuals and corporate clients. Her artwork is represented by STUFF, in Kansas City. Her paintings and other artworks are in homes and collections across the country. More at http://www.hoopdogstudio.com/loribuntin/
Annette loved drawing from an early age, and excelled at many art forms in her youth. In her late 20's, she fell in love with photography. She taught photography through the Bemis School of Art in Omaha to kids from all backgrounds and ages.
She loved sharing how important and expressive photography can be.
Since then she has enjoyed doing senior, family and wedding photography, as well as artistic explorations into her own photographic interests, including series on Legos and superheroes.
I’m a Kansas City artist who is trying to show the beauty of what the eye doesn’t see. There is always beauty around us that we may glance at but don’t take the time to enjoy. My wood pieces are all about feeling. So now, what do you feel?
Jenine’s current body of work reflects her political views and her personal experiences as both a single working mother, and an educator. The medium of embroidery is a perfect outlet for her feminist perspective as it is something that has been viewed as a distinctly feminine practice throughout history. Her pieces depict women as naked, vulnerable subjects that are straining against unseen weights. They are a statement of the pressures and ideals placed upon women which they are constantly forced to fight against and work beyond. More at
Mary Ann Coonrod
I was born in Warrensburg, Missouri a small college town and now live in Overland Park, Kansas. I enjoyed drawing and painting in my teenage years, creating cartoons, whimsical graphics, and abstract art. I studied art in college receiving my BFA in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute. After college I became interested in photography and worked for years as a photo retoucher and digital imager, entering many juried, group, and one person shows with my photographs, and collages. The last 12 years have been spent creating colored pencil drawings, watercolors, mixed media, and acrylic paintings. I now teach abstract watercolor and colored pencil at JCCC in the Continuing Education Department.
For Ramona E. Davis, art has been a lifelong passion. Since her youth, Davis has loved and studied art. She currently identifies as an avid art collector, artist and an arts advocate in the Kansas City area. Her professional work experience in the area of sales, marketing, and project management for both private and public sectors has enabled her to work in many diverse arenas, including Gallery Manager at The Central Park Gallery, Constituent Relations Marketing Manager at MidAmerica Arts Alliance, and charter board member of the Kansas City Museum Foundation. Perhaps because of this unique experience, Davis was uniquely poised to found the KC Black Arts Network. The KC Black Arts Network exists as an “advocate of local artists of color,” and it supports the local black artist community through services such as its online artist directory of local artists and promotion of artists’ work through social media and advocacy. According to Davis, the goal with the network is “to cultivate and support experiences between local artists of color and local art enthusiasts.” Her interests and activities include photography, acrylic painting, and color theory. Davis is a member of the African American Artist Collective and board member of Friends of Art Council at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.
Growing up in Kansas City, Lizzie was exposed to a wide range of rich culture and world-class experiences from a young age. Greatly influenced by her grandmother, a vibrant and strong female with a passion for all things artistic, Lizzie has been encouraged to create for as long as she’s been alive. With a vivacious personality and strong sense of self, the question has never been would Lizzie express herself, but how. The medium of choice has changed over the years, but paint and fiber have remained constant throughout recent years. With a background in science and nursing, Lizzie takes an analytical look at the temperament of her surrounding milieu, those that inhabit it, and the interplay between the two as a mirror for her art. More at http://Www.ldisilvestroart.com
ALexis L. Dupree
Alexis L. Dupree is a Kansas City bred commercial model and performance artist.
Caitlin Fields is a New Mexico native and senior at UMKC studying health and exercise science. Her drawings focus on the everyday challenges of chronic illness and her relationship to her own body. In a political environment where women’s voices and bodies are marginalized, she appreciates opportunities for women to express their experiences through art. More at http://caitlinmfields.wixsite.com/website
Julie Flanagan uses her 28 years of teaching at Nelson Atkins Museum to create artfully altered photos in impressionistic, baroque, pop art and post-modern styles. Chosen for countless juried exhibits and winning national awards, she shows at the prestigious Torpedo Factory in Alexandria VA and at KC's 2010 Gallery. A 4th generation KC creative figure, she's hosted 3 years of arts segments on KCTV5's Better KC Show. As a former KU artist and athlete, she founded ARTrageous Studio for 12 years. More at http://www.artrageousstudio.com/home.html
I began studying art at Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1961, and completed a BFA degree with Honors from the University of Kansas in 1999. In between those dates, I married and had four daughters; worked on our rental property by knocking out walls and painting; refinished furniture and sewed clothes and costumes galore. These activities provided valuable experience and a foundation for my work in mixed media - collage and assemblage. More at http://www.joelleford.com
Julie Forsyth, Jersey girl, Helplessly ruled by the moon! Maiden, mother, and crone.
As a lifelong artist, my identity was set long before I picked up a paintbrush. After graduating with a degree in art from the University of Missouri, I taught art grades K-12 in both public and private schools. All the while, I’ve pursued the artist life, developing my own skills as a painter.
Considering myself a plein air painter, my studio is outside in the natural world where I need sticky eyeballs for a scene to lodge in my memory. Plein air painting appeals to my senses with an interpretation that’s strictly my narrative; a mix of the real and unreal. My goal is to render this imprint of time and place with my own vision. Trees may be red, streams fuchsia, prairies blue. Mother Nature’s handiwork is everywhere outside but to capture it requires concentration and grit. More at http://gloriagaleartist.com
I started taking printmaking classes about 15 years ago and immediately fell in love. I find the technical challenge and creative variety printmaking offers very satisfying. Although I don’t make multiples in the usual way, I do utilize printmaking to create multiple versions of the same image or idea. I like the process of printmaking and the element of surprise it offers while working under a self-imposed series of constraints. I am hoping to create new ways of seeing the same thing. I want to see the world in new ways. Printmaking allows me to do this while controlling the chaos.
After retiring as a senior product designer, Rita left the corporate world to dedicate herself to creating fine art paintings. She has exhibited work in various Kansas City Metro area galleries and in numerous juried exhibitions around the country and in the UK. Much of her work is focused on inequality and the oppression of women’s rights. These acrylic paintings incorporate words of abuse or painted symbols such as blinded eyes, a raised hand, and silenced mouths. More at http://www.ritaguile.com
Born in Pennsylvania, Lisa Wild Healey moved to Kansas with her young family many years ago. She has an art degree, masters in art education, and art has always been part of her life. After 25 years of teaching, she now explores art fulltime. Lisa has a reverence for nature and love of the outdoors. Spending time there is a spiritual experience for her and all of her work is drown directly or indirectly from it. Lisa believes nature brings us beauty that can hardly be surpassed in art form, but rather art is able to express what nature inspires. She finds the soft curves and intertwining lines in nature to be enthralling and the demure and saturated colors intriguing. Lisa works both in ceramic figurative sculpture and macro photography. She puts to you these questions: why is it important to have a women’s only exhibition and what levels can young girls who love art expect to reach (with how much resistance)? Lisa hopes these questions become less important over time.
Please follow Lisa’s art at Facebook page-Lisa Wild Healey Art and
MA, Painting and Printmaking UMKC; BA, Studio, Avila College; KCAI; Baker University.
Hunter-Putsch was a high school art instructor and administrator for nine years, following her years in school. She then served as a Director of Admissions for KCAI and The Corcoran School of Art, in Washington, D.C., there, becoming the Associate Dean. As Vice President and Academic Dean, of the Lyme Academy, College of Fine Arts, in Connecticut, Hunter-Putsch directed all academic, faculty and student affairs until her retirement in 2003. Throughout the years in teaching and arts administration, her paintings, drawings, collages and prints have been exhibited in group shows, and purchased for private collections across the country and in Japan. Hunter-Putsch continues to paint her Family Heirloom commissions, creating large oil paintings, as lasting memories, from old family photos – 26 images, to date.
As a professional photographer, visual artist, and academic instructor Laura Hurcomb is a story teller that uses multiple platforms to explore identity, perception, ancestry, dreamscapes, intimacy, and the natural world. Born in Los Angeles, California, USA to Parents at odds of diverse backgrounds which still feeds into her work. She received her BFA in Studio Art, Fiber from the Kansas City Art Institute, an MA in Studio art, Photography from the University of Missouri, Kansas City. Currently, She works as an instructor in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. More at https://www.laurahurcomb.com/
Mary Clara Hutchinson
Mary Clara Hutchison is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Kansas City, Missouri. Her most recent projects include House//Hold, a solo installation-based exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana. Her work deals with tradition, ritual, obsession, and their intersection in our daily lives. More at http://maryclarahutchison.com
In grade school my mom taught me how to draw faces and by high school they were my favorite subject to capture in drawing and painting. I went to college for Scientific Illustration but soon started a career at Hallmark. Life put a stop to my personal art creation for over a decade but turning forty made me want to revisit what I loved most in art. Painting portraits. Almost three years in and now I am working towards becoming more purposeful in the story that I am telling with my portraits. Looking forward to growing more with every year. Follow me at jenhuttonart.com or @artbyjennivere .
Jamie James, also known as Beauty Out of Chaos, is a 34-year-old black female artist from Kansas City. Kansas. Her art empowers women of color & captures the essence of their resilient nature, their unapologetic & free spirited ways. Her philosophy of art is that it is essential because it soothes the soul & speaks to the heart when the world doesn't make sense. Even as a young student, art was very therapeutic, & healing. Creating and cultivating was especially essential during the passing of her mother, while she was battling stage 4 cancer. She attests that her mother is the reason that she is the woman she is today. Creative, intuitive, influential, & spiritual, are just a few words that have been used to describe this young and upcoming artist. Forever DBC.
Since childhood, “making things” has always been my wellspring of happiness. Although born and raised in Kansas City, I lived on the west coast for 30 years, returning to KC in 2013. I received my BFA and MFA in Printmaking from the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, but worked as a graphic designer while raising my two children. My current work is primarily oil painting, as I love the richness of color and immediacy of painting. However, printmaking and artist books continue to be important vehicles for my work. I’ve exhibited on the east and west coasts, and one of my artist books is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. More at http://www.susankieferart.com
Raised in Delaware, Ada Koch won scholarships to the Delaware Art Museum before studying art in DC and Chicago. Studies at KCAI preceded awards in US and Italian galleries. She has been invited regularly to show in Italy and this year has been in four Open Spaces KC Expanded Field installations, most notably with her first sculpture at the National WWI Museum & Memorial.
Ada teaches at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and as a guest instructor at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, AZ. She actively promotes the local art scene by serving on boards for ArtsKC, KCAC, PV Arts Council and Mothers In Charge. Her activism work has been featured on Channel 4 FOX News morning edition live with Matt Stewart, been favorably reviewed in local papers and magazines, been discussed on KCUR and KKFI radio stations and been published in two books of her paintings.
More at http://www.adakoch.com/
Ritchie Lynne, a KC native, has a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is an inter-disciplinary artist who uses painting, printing, sculpture, video and installation in her work. Her work is in numerous collections.
Polly Alice McCann
Polly Alice merges oil painting and soft sculpture with imperfect stitching to demonstrate the improvisational nature of relationships. Polly received her BFA in Studio Art from Messiah University near Harrisburg, PA and her MFA from Hamline University in Writing for Children and Young Adults. As an author, artist, curator and speaker and publisher, she is a multipotentialite. Her art has been published in US newspapers and magazines and is showing across the US. Visit her in North Kansas City at DesignWerx or at www.thatpollygirl.com
It's hard to say what i'd like to in words which is why I made this painting. This self portrait is about my identity. It is about assumptions, perceptions, and perspectives and how those are affected by what you know and what you don’t know about a person. It's about femininity and strength and depicting strength without utilizing masculine imagery.
I don't want to tell people what to think when they look at my art. I want people to think about the perspective from which the piece was created. I want people to think about what they know, what they assume, and what they don't know about the point of view the piece was created from. I want my art to ask people to be honest about their own places in society and to think about how that might affect how they interpret and see my art as well as how they see the rest of the world.
Nancy Morrison was raised in Kansas City, Kansas by her immigrant mother. Her work, drawn from childhood memories and emotional responses to her thoughts on life, seeks common ground in her experiences. Nancy received a B.F.A. from the University of Kansas and a M.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her work has been shown at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Mulvane Art Museum and Chautauqua Institution in New York, to name a few. Nancy has been an art educator for nearly thirty years at various institutions including Notre Dame de Sion High School and Longview Community College. Nancy lives in Lee’s Summit where she maintains her studio. More at www.nancymorrisonart.com
My name is Yvette Morton from Leawood, Kansas. I have been here for over 25 years.
I am a Quilter, a fabric painter, a quilt designer, draw, knit, crochet, etc
I am a member of the Mo-Kan Heart Quilters Guild and our group is part of the “Kansas Regional Quilt Festival” since 2015 as we started. We are also the only African American Guild in the Festival with members of black and white members.
Mixed Media Artist, Deborah Drake-Murie, finds solace in a meditative studio practice, working intuitively with abandoned and disparate found-objects from her studio in the KC Livestock Exch. Guided by a transformative philosophy of beauty in imperfection, she explores narratives common to our shared humanity and private worlds; suffering, brokenness, longing and uncertainty, through metaphors of transcendent paradox. She studied Fine Art at Azusa Pacific Univ., Azusa, CA, with exhibitions plus collectors in several states, and enjoys facilitating contemplative + art process workshops. More at www.deborahdrakemurie.com
ONOH is an interdisciplinary artist based in Lawrence, Kansas. Her art takes many forms - video, digital collage, performance, puppetry, and most recently creative coding. ONOH exhibits her art nationally and abroad, while also performing and teaching in Lawrence, KS. She holds a B.F.A in Expanded Media from the University of Kansas, and a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Baker University. She is proud to serve her community as a non-profit arts coordinator at the Lawrence Arts Center, and as a freelance puppet workshop leader. more at http://www.xonoh.com/
I am a poet and photographer who likes sports, jazz and art inspired by other art. Since 2001, I have attended and/or volunteered with a bereavement support group; and grief is a recurring theme in my poetry. My work has appeared in publications such as Thorny Locust, The Enigmatist and Kansas Time + Place An Anthology of Heartland Poetry. I combine poems and photographs into visual art. My work has been on display most recently at The Downtown Neon Gallery, InterUrban ArtHouse, Johnson County Library's Gardner Branch, the Liberty (Missouri) Community Center and All Souls Gallery.
Christina M Santner, 23, is a photographic artist based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She recently graduated from Hendrix College with a BA in Visual Arts and is currently continuing her study of photography at the University of Arkansas. Her practice utilizes a variety of photography and printmaking techniques while exploring family relationships, the particulars of grief, and its effect on our lives. An uncompromising maker and a tenacious experimenter, Christina's work investigates how photography connects us to the past and helps to make sense of our present. More at http://www.christinamsantner.com/about
DeAnna Skedel has been an artist and professor in Kansas City since 2002. Her wide-ranging studio practice of late has been influenced by and akin to the practice of Ikebana, the intentional meditative arranging of elements from her environment; her overlapping environments of teaching, parenting and partnering. She is drawn to Ikebana by its elevation of the rational observation of things. The value of observing delicate changes, the value of paucity. That art and arranging is a sacred link as well as a link to the sacred. She contemplates the assemblages rather than analyzing them. They are, mostly, a record of a fleeting moment, a pause to arrange. More at https://www.instagram.com/deannaskedel/
Kansas City Local artist V. Soto was born in Juarez, Mexico and began selling paintings at age 13. Inspired by proud cultural icons such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, she connects with her by heritage by maintaining influential traditions from this rich past.
Building on this theme, Day of the Dead symbolism is prevalent in her work, again as a way of connecting to the longstanding customs of her family and community and expressing its beauty through art.
Her main media is acrylics and she also works in mixed media. She describes her work as realism with a pop of surrealism. More at http://vaniasoto.com/
Bernadette Esperanza Torres
As a storyteller I communicate with my hands, translating stories into clay. My sculptures are autobiographical narratives with animal imagery, such as Java Sparrow Finch birds as symbols of humanity, facets of myself or of others. My birds are both cheerleaders and naysayers to me. My sculptures serve as spirit guides that manifest intentions, relieve anxieties, and whisper secrets.
As a daughter of a florist, flowers are intrinsic to my sculptures they create a dialogue internal to my work. Flowers are always present and dying at monumental life changing ceremonies. Currently I am working on a “Blooming” series of soft slab hand built female nude figures with ceramic flowers and another series called “Fragrance” of Memory. Each wheel thrown large wall mounted platter is a memory that multiplies. More at www.bernadettetorres.com
Shakendra Vann has displayed her art in various venues around the Kansas City area. She started capturing works of art with acrylic a year and a half ago. Through out life she has always been very fascinated with the beauty of movement, seeing people speak only with body language. Focusing on the nature of human expression, through facial form and body image. She is aims to depict androgyny, sensuality, and real life in all its imperfections and oddities. Learn more at www.itsawkwardkennie.bigcartel.com
Colleen Wagner has always been involved in creating in some form and has won numerous awards nationally, in Arkansas and in Missouri. She is more interested in the viewer making their own interpretation of her work rather than a literal depiction. Currently she is enjoying the flexibility and freedom of working in mixed-media, however, watercolors, oils, and acrylics have also captured her focus. Colleen earned a BA in Fine Arts from Kansas State University and has continued to develop her understanding of the artistic process, and specific media skills through recognized artists in the field. She recently moved to Kansas City and is exhibiting at Images Art Gallery in Overland Park. The artist may be contacted at email@example.com.
Dee Dee Walters
I was born in Ottawa, Kansas, and grew up just outside of town on eighty acres of land. The far youngest in the family, I had plenty of time to myself to explore and create on the farm. I always had a love of making and decorating.
After graduating from Ottawa High School in 2001, I went to the University of Kansas. I discovered a love of wood-working and an interest in street signs. Majoring in sculpture and minoring in art history, I finished my career at KU in August of 2005. I was able to find a job related to my art background at a retail gallery in Downtown Lawrence, where I learned about running a small business and making it on my own. More at http://80acresart.com
I am a self taught seamstress and textile artist. My SPIRIT guides me in every aspect of my life, especially art.
As a youngster, I was surrounded by a generation of women who were great seamstresses. Being totally fascinated by the beautiful fabrics that my grandmother would bring home, I was determined to learn how to sew.
The process of creating, I have learned, is very healing to my spirit and soul. To share that experience, I often teach workshops and give presentations, which chronicles the moments that have inspired me to create. I’ve also been traveling back and forth to Tanzania, East Africa since 2001, sharing my love of sewing and quilting with my sisters and a few brothers who live in Imbeseni Village.
It’s imperative for me to share the spiritual healing of art with others whether it is through teaching or completing an art piece that touches the soul of the viewer.
I will share this excerpt from "The Tenth Insight" by, James Redfield: “When we have an intuition or a dream to pursue a particular course in our lives and we follow this guidance, certain events transpire that feel like magic coincidences. We feel more alive and excited. The events seem destined, as though they were supposed to happen.”
This is how my work came about. It started with going on walks and finding bizarre trinkets left for me by the universe and trying to make some sense about them. Then in the most improbable places I find something interesting and the theme just continues to grow. All this with a sense of amazement at how engaging it is to feel my way through these project and it. Each project picks its own title. Made of bits and pieces that come together in a mobile sort of way.
For Libby Youmans, the ideal work of art should come alive through texture, materials, and colors used to add depth and life to the surface. She studied painting at Park University. Although she has used a variety of mediums over the years, she prefers to work in acrylic paint with mixed media and found objects on canvas. Unexpected color and texture combinations are key elements in her work. She is currently working on a series of portraits where the subject is turned into a religious-like icon with the use of found objects and gold leafing. More at libbyyoumans.wix.com/artist
Growing up in the Ozarks with three generations of strong, sustainable women my days were spent learning traditional craft, or romping through woods and creeks. The expansive quiet of nature connected with the small and intentional surroundings of home to create a great sense of comfort within me.In my current works I focus on these two environments and ideas surrounding sustainability through sculpture, installation, and performance.
Jillian is a visual artist living and working in Kansas City, Missouri. She studied art at the Kansas City Art Institute and currently works as Outreach and Media Coordinator at a non-profit arts studio supporting artists with developmental disabilities. Her work has been shown nationally, with exhibitions as far away as Alaska and California. She is a former Charlotte Street Resident, as well as a Charlotte Street Visual Artist Fellow and received the Byron C. Cohen award in 2018. She is currently a resident in the Livestock Exchange building.
Joy Zimmerman is a soulful singer-songwriter known for compelling vocals, award-winning songs, and captivating performances. A traveling musician based in Kansas City, Joy is currently working on “To the Girl”, her sixth album of original music. Joy is a multi-instrumentalist whose eclectic music might be best described as folk rock with extra helpings of favorite genres.
Born with a tooth on Shakespeare’s 400th birthday, Joy feels lucky to have discovered her singing and songwriting voice. Her musical path began with violin lessons before kindergarten and evolved with guitar lessons after her own children were in kindergarten. Now her songwriting awards include an American Songwriter Lyric Contest Honorable Mention and eight Walnut Valley Festival NewSong Showcase wins.