ReCreative Staff

JENNA BOITANO
Executive Director & CO-FOUNDER

Jenna has over 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She has been part of organizations working on a variety of issues from adult literacy to youth in the juvenile justice system. She most recently worked as the Executive Director of Crayons2Calculators in Durham, NC. While in Durham, she served on the board of The Scrap Exchange and fell in love with creative reuse.

When she’s not exploring Seattle with her two small children, Jenna is actively involved in the Seattle community, and currently serves as the President Elect of the Junior League of Seattle.  She received her Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University Law School and is a member of the California Bar.  Jenna also holds a BA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in History. 


Darrah Parker
Program Manager (on maternity leave until early 2018)

Darrah was born into an artistic family. She has fond memories of watching her grandfather make found-object sculptures out of treasures he found at the dump. Her mother taught her to draw before she could write. As a young girl, she took an interest in theatre and went on to receive a BFA in Acting from the University of Florida and a Masters degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College. She has been a teaching artist at Seattle Children's Theatre and Youth Theatre Northwest, a museum interpreter at Pacific Science Center, and was an education program manager at Experience Music Project, where she oversaw classes, camps, and workshops. Most recently, Darrah has been a professional photographer, specializing in documentary style family and newborn photography.

Few things bring Darrah more joy than fostering creativity in the next generation. She gets to witness that daily as her young daughter explores, creates, and delights in the world around her. She has been bringing her daughter to Seattle ReCreative since it opened and loves supporting an organization that is not only environmentally conscious and encouraging of creativity and innovation, but also a place that brings people of all ages together for a positive purpose.


EMILY ELLINGSWORTH
OPERATIONS & MATERIALS MANAGER / retail assistant

Midwest born and raised by a creative reuser, Emily Ellingsworth earned her BA in Fine Arts at Flagler College with minors in Creative Writing and Stained Glass. She received her MFA in Non-Figurative Painting and Drawing from Academy of Art University where she made huge found object mixed-media abstractions and studied fashion illustration, for a non-classical drawing approach.

Emily has built curriculum and taught many forms of art over the years, stressing the importance of environmental awareness/responsibility and community engagement, while encouraging using materials and tools in unconventional ways to make colorful, original works of art.

Transplanted in Seattle from Richmond, Virginia, a year ago, she has hit the ground running, teaching art, facilitating community outreach, and stepping in as the first Operations/Materials Manager at Seattle ReCreative. She also teaches camps and classes as well as keeping up the social media at Thrive Art School

Check out her artist website www.emilyellingsworth.com and her online store www.twirlyskirts.net


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MARVA HOLMES
OUTREACH COORDINATOR / lead teacher / RETAIL SPECIALIST

After 15 years teaching preschool and prekindergarten students Marva decided it was time to shake things up. She started back to school almost 30 years after graduating with her BA in Children's Theater from Central Washington University. Before she was a classroom teacher, Marva worked as an administrator and arts specialist  at Seattle Children's Theater, Studio East, and many other locations in the Seattle area.  In her spare time you can see Marva participating in art parades. Marva has been in 2 Fremont Solstice Parades, 4 Burien Arts-a-glow , and 2 Buskers in the 'Burg . This summer Marva will be participating in West Seattle's first Mermaid parade and in her third Solstice parade. She was Seattle ReCreative's first intern before joining the staff. Follow her adventures @marvamaker on instagram!


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courtney Chaney
Programs assistant / teaching assistant

Born and raised in Seattle, Courtney earned a BFA at the University of Victoria in Victoria BC with a focus in video, photography, and performance art. Growing up as a dancer, she practices therapeutic body-based art often incorporating themes of the environment and a mind-body connection.

She has previously worked as an Artist Assistant and Web Designer for a local artist and as an Art Gallery Manager at the Kirsten Galler. Recently, Courtney interned at the Seattle Art Museum coordinating art-environment programs for families at the Olympic Sculpture Park and at Gage Academy of Art curating and installing student exhibitions and assisting in public events. In addition to working at Seattle ReCreative, she works at Gage as their Event Assistant.

Courtney values the healing benefits of art-making and continues to help people find this connection in their own art. As a growing student of the healing arts, her background includes training in yoga, Reiki and astrology. She is a certified yoga instructor and offers astrology readings to clients. You can find her work at www.courtneychaneyarts.com


MARiA LeFrance
Operations Assistant / RETAIL SPECIALIST
 

Maria is a Seattle native with a love of jewelry and dance. Both loves have lead her to pursue degrees in Dance and Anthropology from the University of Washington and graduate work at the University of Hawaii. She has performed both Bellydance and Persian dance in the Seattle area as well as studying Balinese Dance and Hula while living in Hawaii. In the last few years she has shifted her focus from dance to jewelry. Copper, Sterling, leather and semi-precious stones are cut, hammered, folded and woven to create jewelry meant to inspire and empower the wearer to live boldly. She also teaches jewelry class in the Seattle area. You can find her jewelry for sale at www.lunabulan.etsy.com while class information can be found via Facebook at LunaBulan Jewelry.


Jonath OcHS
Operations Assistant / RETAIL SPECIALIST

Jonath grew up admiring portraiture and as a young kid really wanted a dynamic black and white portrait of himself with intense Rembrandt lighting. In high school he took fate into his own hands and started taking self portraits. He later went on to earn a BFA at the University of New Mexico where he further developed his skills as a creative self portrait artist. He continues to this day taking self portraits— toying with the idea of gender expression through make-up, wigs, and fashion. His inspirations include Cindy Sherman, Ryan Burke, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, and Egon Schiele. He also plays violin, piano, and ukelele; makes jewelry; is a graphic designer; and has experience in early childhood education. He’s very much a Jonath-of-all-trades. 


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Tamera Mickelson
Retail assistant

Tamera is a full time jewelry artist and owner/sole proprietor of T. M. Originals Jewelry. Tamera has been a crafter since early childhood. She's been making jewelry of one sort or another for more than 20 years now along with other crafts - jewelry is her main focus. She works in a variety of mediums including: bead stringing, wire work, beadweaving, bead embroidery, resin work, metalsmithing, and enameling. For her resin pieces she works primarily with recycled watch and pocket watch parts, hard drive/electronics parts, mixed media, found objects, and acrylic painting. She has pictures of her creations in two publications: 1000 Steampunk Creations and Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry. Examples of her work can be found atwww.tmoriginalsjewelry.com.


lisE bengson
Retail assistant

 pic and bio coming soon. 


Amanda Drewniak
RETAIL assistant

Amanda Drewniak is a multi-media artist, filmmaker,producer, and artistic curator currently living in Seattle, Wa. She is heavily involved with the Seattle Film Community; creating content and the founder the Non-Profit Ardor Creative Media, curating screenings, pitch fests, and producing local productions. She also paints, crochets,  and works in digital art and photography. Her latest public installments are the Octopus Banners along Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue) in Shoreline, Wa. To learn more about her go to www.amandadrewniak.com

 

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Jona Shoe
lead teacher 

Jona is a freelance illustrator and designer who grew up frequenting her local creative reuse shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and still loves any excuse to create and get messy! Jona worked for over 3 years as an arts educator at the Chicago Children's Museum, then provided counseling and art therapy in community mental health agencies for 3 years. She earned her B.F.A. in Film, Photography and Visual Art from Ithaca College and her M.A. in Counseling and Art Therapy from Adler University. Check out her work at jonashoe.com!


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Mike BErry
Lead Teacher

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Mike recently returned from Albany, New York, where he taught for 10 years at the Free School (an urban alternative school). There, Mike found that origami is a wonderful catalyst to work in other subjects besides art. He has used origami to help teach math, science, cultural/social studies and other subjects. When not working with children at Seattle ReCreative, Mike loves to focus his energy on weight training and exercise, teaching and practicing martial arts (holding a black sash in Jeet Kun Do), teaching origami, and folding paper as his form of art expression.

 


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Kathryn Stewart
Lead Teacher

Katie Stewart has enjoyed working with children since she was in high school, babysitting and nannying her way through Smith College and beyond. Originally from the East Coast, she worked as a Teaching Assistant and Lead Counselor for Glen Urquhart School's GAIN @ GUS-- a program that hosts intelligent, motivated kids from the poorer areas of Boston-- where she taught art and theatre classes as well as assisting in the classroom. Here in Seattle, she has taught theatre classes for Youth Theatre Northwest and Stone Soup Theatre. 


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Barbara Alfeo
Lead Teacher

Barbara Alfeo has been working with kids as an art educator for three years. Before moving to Seattle, she taught at the Cantor Art Center and DeYoung Museum. Her background is in art history, and her teaching style uniquely connects critical thinking about visual culture and art-making projects. She has her masters and is ABD toward a PhD in Contemporary Art History from Stanford University, and her dissertation is about feminist art and aging. She couldn't be happier to be making messes and talking to very young artists about what they see!


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Allison Agostinelli
Lead Teacher

Allison is a local artist and graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, where she studied drawing, painting, printmaking, sculpture and photography. She has worked for Daniel Smith Artists Materials, The Seattle Art Museum, Pratt Fine Arts Center, The Seattle Art Academy’s teen drop in Friday night program, and worked as a Camp Counselor for The Camp Fire organization of Snohomish, WA. She was a nanny for many years, and her love of children is akin to her love of art. Her approach as a teacher is play based learning and exploration. Her philosophy is that children already know how to create, and it’s the teacher’s job to listen, facilitate and offer suggestions for how they can achieve their vision.


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Laura CAldwell
Lead Teacher

Laura Caldwell is a Canadian artist, art therapist and community arts facilitator currently residing in Seattle. She received her undergraduate education in fine arts in Toronto, Ontario and her masters in art therapy in Montreal, Quebec. It was there that she discovered her love for community arts-based practices and working with undeserved communities, particularly children and youth. Her art practice includes painting, drawing, printmaking, alternative process photography, miniatures and fiber arts, the subject of which often include explorations of memory, domestic spaces and the natural world. In her role as an educator she emphasizes self-exploration, developing a unique artistic voice, and finding beauty in the imperfect. 


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Jeanette Miller
Teaching Assistant

Most can find Jeanette using fibers and string for knitting, crochet, cross stitch or encaustic work. These are self driven work, commissioned works, and some self designed. Jeanette especially loves to design cross stitch patterns. She loves dabbling in other art mediums, but those remain her constant interests. 

Jeanette most recently worked outside the home as a parent educator and children’s teacher in the Parent/Child Center at Seattle Central College. P/CC children’s teachers facilitate process oriented art and emergent curriculum with ages 12 months to 3 years. Jeanette had also worked in preschool and K-8 educational settings supporting art exploration and skill acquisition in different mediums for students in Seattle Public Schools. 

Jeanette has worked with people of all ages, has a BA in developmental psychology and an MA in Student Development Administration. 


Ardis Burr
Teaching assistant

Ardis taught herself to sew at the tender age of eight. She’s not one to follow directions too closely, so her family kept the peace by surrendering the 1960s Bernina and looked the other way.

She studied weaving and indigo dying at Macalester College, and during a year abroad in Sendai, Japan at the Akiu Craft Park. In 2015, she began Up & Undies, a handcraft business that turns fun tee shirts into awesome underwear for grown ups. She hopes to teach you how to make your own undies and upcycled fashions at Seattle ReCreative someday.

Sunny Sundays you can often find Ardis and her undies, handknit dog sweaters, and latest projects at a pop-up in Bergen Square, Ballard. Stop by and say hello for a special Seattle ReCreative discount!


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Isobel Williamson
Intern / materials assistant 

Isobel is a recent graduate of Lakeside School, where she found a passion for art, performing in theater productions and taking Drawing and Painting classes. Her favorite media include watercolor and acrylic paint. At her high school, she took part in Ethics Bowl, Model United Nations, tennis, Frisbee, and peer tutoring and mentoring. Her nonprofit experience includes volunteer work as a Youth Ocean Advocate for the Seattle Aquarium, where she taught guests about the various marine exhibits. She also briefly co-taught at the Seattle Children's Theatre. Isobel is a recent graduate of Lakeside School and will attend the University of Washington in fall. 


Kayla Ritchie
Teaching Assistant

 pic and bio coming soon. 


Corinna Storch
Teaching Assistant

 pic and bio coming soon. 


Hannah Wist
Teaching Assistant

 pic and bio coming soon. 


In addition to our regular staff members, we work with professional artists and creative community members to bring you unique programming. To learn about our teaching artists, click here.  If you are interested in teaching a class at Seattle ReCreative, please complete a class proposal.