The heart and soul of Willamette Art Center works tirelessly to bring their love of art to the community.
Roger Williams – DIRECTORcotton_60@msn.com
I am the executive director as such am responsible for the day to day operations of the WAC. I returned to pottery by taking a several classes here. My involvement with the board of directors was brought about by the encouragement of both Jim Ransom and Ken Jacobson. My becoming the director was brought about by the need for the WAC to have one. My first year, I acted as a director while serving as the president of the board. I suppose I am most known for throwing large pieces on the wheel. It’s a funny thing but I can not throw small object such as coffee mugs. Can’t do it. But I can throw 10-20 pounds of clay into a serviceable bowl or pot. As far as sharing I would have to say that the Center is very fortunate to have such an amazing staff and a strong core of volunteers. I am continually blown over by their efforts.
Nikki Svarverud – Facility Coordinatornikki.firstname.lastname@example.org
Nikki Svarverud has taught adult and children’s handbuilding and wheelthrowing classes at the Willamette Art Center for six years. She also teaches in elementary and middle schools in the Salem Keizer School District after school program, as well as assisting with the WAC field trip events. Nikki is the WAC Facilities Coordinator, responsible for all aspects of the studio and grounds, including firing the kilns and mixing glazes.
Nikki grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Rosary College outside of Chicago with a degree in Biology. She attended the University of London for one year. Nikki taught Chemistry and other science classes at Pacific Palisades High School for six years before moving to Salem in 1997 where she currently resides with her husband
and son, Zachary, on a farm featuring a garden, chickens, and two adorable dogs.
“I’ve had a passion for clay since high school and have been playing with clay on a daily basis for the past 16 years.” Nikki creates earthy, functional pottery with unique glaze designs and textural elements. She also produces abstract wall hangings and sculpture. Her pottery has been featured at the River Gallery in Independence, the Elsinore Gallery, and can currently be seen in the WAC Oaks Gallery.
Sue Karnosh – Financial Operations Coordinatorsue.email@example.com
Sue Karnosh is our Financial Operations Coordinator, responsible for all financial aspects of the organization, as well as preparing and printing class schedules, helping with grant writing, assisting at the Monitors Desk when needed, and also putting in many hours at Artisans’ Village and Empty Bowls.
Sue grew up in Eugene and graduated from North Eugene High School, received a Certificate in Management from Lane Community College in 1984, and worked as a Legal Secretary/Assistant for SAIF before moving to Salem in 1989. Sue left SAIF in 1992 and worked for 16 years as a Legal Assistant for several area law firms. She currently resides with her husband Ken and a feisty little rescue kitty named “Silly” Zillie.
Sue first started “playing in the clay” at the old Bush Barn facility in 1992 and then came back to play in the clay at the old Marjorie T. Sherman Center on 12th Street. After the Center closed in 2005, she became the bookkeeper when a group of potters formed “The Friends of the Visual Arts (dba Willamette Art Center)” in December 2005. When time permits and she is feeling creative, you can find her out in the studio taking a class and creating, helping her granddaughters create, a piece of art.
Joseph V. Merino – Family Clay Sunday Instructor
Joseph V. Merino combines ceramics and woodsculpture to create organic forms. He started working in clay about three years ago. The commanding and sometimes fickle nature of the process keeps him ever on a learning curve.
– Family Clay Sunday Instructor
Pamela Prosise – Community Outreach Coordinator
Pamela Prosise is a 35-plus-year veteran semi-retired K-12 classroom teacher who has incorporated art into her classroom throughout much of her career. After having returned to hand-building and wheel throwing in the last several years, she is eager to provide skills, inspiration, motivation, and is excited about including a pinch of scientific observation and journaling into classes with young people.
Jeannette Johnson – Photographer
In 2000, my parents purchased a gift certificate from Visual Arts Center for a pottery class. Once I started, I haven’t stopped. There is nothing like having clay between your fingers. Once I retired from Salem Keizer School District, I’ve been able to spend more time throwing on the wheel. In addition, to working on the wheel I am also the Willamette Art Center’s photographer. If you take a class or attend an event I’ll be there with a camera to document the event.
Board of Directors
- JIM RANSOM – President
- ED DALY – Vice President
- – Secretary
- KAREN HACKNEY – Treasurer
- CARLA BARELA
- PAM BALDWIN
- RICK NOYES
- HOLLY CHAMBERLAIN
- CONI RAIKES
- Tempie Roberts
- Karen Hackney
- Greg Gregg
- Margrethe Gregg
- Jeannette Johnson
- Kelly Lawrence
- Sue Allen
- Pat Donenfeld
- Pam Prosise
- Gordon Minten
- Donald Outland
- Cindy Nelson