“I have been a teaching artist both in and out of educational settings for ten years. Although I dabble in many different mediums, my very favorites are acrylic painting and darkroom photography. The best part about art is that it is a catalyst for releasing hard emotions and a process for feeling good ones. We are so lucky to live in this beautiful world where there is always something more to explore and appreciate, and the Artablity program is an excellent resource to that end!”
Jenny ( she/they) has been a teaching artist in Minnesota and Wisconsin for over 11 years. They’re skilled in numerous art techniques but specialize in watercolor and fiber arts. Jenny believes that a meaningful art practice can’t be limited by a person’s age, ability, or experience and enjoys guiding students to recognize their creative potential. In their spare time, Jenny loves to create artwork influenced by cephalopods and other water creatures.
Rajine Williams is a visual multimedia artist, teaching artist, and educator based in the Twin Cities. Her work centers around Black women’s femininity, body, and identity. Her artwork is an amalgamation of what it means to be a proud Black woman. She calls her aesthetic ‘Afrocentric Eclectic’. She plays with different mediums and textures as she would with her hair.
She’s a Minnesota native who graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in May of 2020 with a B.A. in Art. She is attending Augsburg University in the fall to obtain her master’s in visual arts/ k-12 licensure.
Rajine’s work encompasses drawing, painting, sculpture, and filmmaking. She incorporates 3D elements and found/recycled objects. Besides being a practicing artist, Rajine teaches art to all ages, creeds, and all walks of life. She likes to teach with a specific theme or goal to be achieved from work but not with a predetermined notion of how the work is going to get there.
Colin Chambers is a lifetime reader and writer. He studied creative writing at Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota. Over the years, he has won various poetry competitions at the state and national levels. His chapbook “Gladly We Are Made Clumsy And Unwise” was published as the 2009 Florence Kahn Memorial manuscript competition winner. He has worked as a freelance writer contributing his copywriting and editing skills to businesses and periodicals in Southern Minnesota. He currently works as a marketing manager at an IT company in Mankato.
I am a self-taught artist by night and a medical and technical writer during the day. I started taking classes at Artability soon after being diagnosed with cancer in 2017. During the pandemic, I painted almost every day. I am a first-time art teacher here at Artability and a bit nervous, but I am very excited to give back to Artability for everything it has given me. My favorite mediums are watercolor, acrylic paint, pottery, and knitting. My favorite thing about art is getting lost in the process for hours and getting into the state of flow. Art is therapy. I am lucky enough to have an art studio in Northeast Minneapolis where I try to sell the things that I make. My motto is: “It’s great practice until someone buys it, then it becomes art!”
Alison Bergblom Johnson
Alison Bergblom Johnson is an artist whose work crosses media and genre, exploring disability, identity, and joy. She collaborates with community care and art organizations, from small grassroots endeavors (some examples: Fresh Eye Gallery, Strike Theater) to very large, established institutions (for example, the Wilder Foundation, Springboard for the Arts, and the Walker Art Center). Her genres and media include essays, collages, and storytelling – an artist, a writer, a performer, an artist organizer, a consultant, and a teaching artist. She will be collaborating with Mixed Blood Theatre’s 12×12 project in early 2023.
Ever since taking an art therapy class as an early teen, I knew it was something I wanted to lead. With mental health experience as a practitioner, student, and patient, I offer a unique perspective when it comes to uplifting those around me. I am passionate about self-expression through the creation of any kind and am especially passionate about body art. As a first-time teacher, I am so excited to introduce others to the healing powers of art-making as therapy. I truly believe there is no such thing as bad art!
I have been a consumer of mental health services since I was a small child, and mental health care is crucial to my success and happiness in life. One major saving grace for me has been art and being able to cope through creation and thrive through building skills and being proud of my accomplishments. I am a Certified Peer Support Specialist with People Incorporated’s Corrections Integrated Support Program and have found a profound sense of purpose in my work. Much of my time outside of work is spent creating art in various ways, which is crucial to my self-care. I am thrilled to help folks experiment with different mediums, as this kind of experimentation has fueled my recovery. When I’m not creating or working, you can find me hiking with my dogs and my partner or driving back roads to small towns.
Catherine A Palmer BFA, University of Minnesota Minneapolis, MN. While I have been in the business of making art for as long as I can remember, my work as a student began in earnest in 1987 when I was awarded a scholarship to the Split Rock Art program. Since then, my study has led me from the precepts of life and figurative drawing to the freedom I have found in theory and an abstract vision. In other words, you need to know the rules to break them. And in the process of doing so, catharsis is found. My starting place is color; color leads me through space to composition. My subject matter can be identified as a conversation with the world I live in, influenced by feminism, personal circumstance, and the ongoing attempt to create a pure art object, one that exists solely for the experience of the beholder. I have shown my work in Minneapolis since 1997 in Galleries, Community Colleges, and Coffee Houses. As a result, my paintings are held in personal collections across the United States and Norway.
I am a native Minnesotan born in Mankato and based in the Twin Cities. I welcome you to come visit my studio in the Dow building and the Creative Zone of St. Paul. I am a Mixed Media artist, which means I am willing and love to explore all possible media, anything that will make the image emerge stronger and obtain the voice it is meant to have. My favorite thing is to vacillate between media and observe how the image can transform and mature as it is manifested in different clothes, so to speak.
MA, Teaching Artist (On-Demand)
Sarah received her MA in Visual Arts & Art Therapy from the UW-Superior and has 10+ years of experience teaching visual arts techniques and facilitating various healing art groups. Sarah holds the belief that art IS therapy and that engaging in creative processes is innately cathartic and deeply healing. She is also a professional artist; art is a tremendous part of her life, and she takes great pride in making it available and approachable to others.
MA, MT-BC (Music Therapist – Board Certified), Teaching Artist (On-Demand)
Melody began working with People Incorporated in 2017 and currently works as a board-certified music therapist. Melody holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music (minors in psychology and mathematics) from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. Melody believes in the innate power of music as an avenue for healing, hope, self-exploration, self-expression, and building community and connections with others. Melody is passionate about mental health and holistic wellness, striving to adapt creatively to the needs of diverse clientele through music and other artistic mediums.
BA, LPCC Candidate, ATR (Art Therapist – Board Certified) Candidate, Teaching Artist (On-Demand)
Corilyn was with People Incorporated and the Artability program from 2014 to 2022. She is currently pursuing a Master of Art Therapy at Adler Graduate School, working towards becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC) and a board-certified Registered Art Therapist (ATR). She received her Bachelor of Arts from Hamline University in Psychology and Fine Art. Corilyn believes that everyone has the ability to engage creatively to find healing, bring balance, or make changes in their lives. Corilyn strives to integrate authentic and exploratory artistic expression that allows clients to honor their experiences, create their own narratives, and explore more adaptive ways of living.