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Meet the 2018 Cohort

Meet the Participants

Women with brown hair and weaving artwork

Chris Acton

Fiber Art/Weaving
Chesterton, Indiana

Chris Acton's main creative work is all about weaving. She loves taking traditional techniques and adding her own combination of color/texture/pattern to create something new & interesting.

Her goal is to have a weaving-centric business that supports her and give her opportunities to be creative every day.

Woman with short brown hair and classes; gourd art

Terilu Adler

Madison, Indiana

Hardshell gourds are Terilu's primary “canvas.” As a “traditional folk artist,” she thrives by associating with other artists to share what they know with each other and expand their own efforts.

Her goal is to pursue her art on a full-time basis.

Man with brown beard and hat; public art work samples

Armando Arceo

Public Art
East Chicago, Indiana

As a public artist Armando creates murals that are built for the community & belong to the community. He seeks to strengthen the creative and imaginative minds of the community through artful & educational experiences.

Armando has a three year goal of painting a series of large scale murals (2+ stories) in at least ten different towns in NW Indiana.

Woman with long blonde hair; watercolor illustrations

Emily Austin

Illustration/Graphic Design
Winona Lake, Indiana

Emily is a painter and graphic designer. She's currently working primarily with watercolor, pen and ink, and digital media. Subjects range from landscapes and florals to fantasy illustrations.

Her goal is to turn her artistic practice into a profitable business that she can continue to manage from home.

Woman with shoulder length brown hair; weaving art

Megan Benson

Carmel, Indiana

Megan is a weaver and fiber artist working with themes including identity, motherhood and perfection. Her work blends traditional weaving structures with non-traditional techniques through embellishment, deconstruction or intentional “mistakes”.

Her goal is to open a retail maker’s-space/art cooperative where culturally diverse artists may gather to access looms, share techniques and teach workshops.

Woman with long black hair; design samples

Mary Bolin

Graphic Design
Cannelton, Indiana

Mary is a full time, freelance, graphic designer with 16+ years experience as an Art Director/Senior Graphic Designer/Prepress Supervisor in the printing industry.

As a woman, a new business owner, a Hoosier, and a creative, Mary's goal is to continue to succeed, to see her business grow, and to THRIVE!

Woman with shoulder length black hair; public art work samples

Phyllis Boyd

Placemaking/Visual Art/Music
Indianapolis, Indiana

The creative work Phyllis is engaged in deals with healing from the scale of the community to that of the individual. She's currently experimenting on a series of small “sketches” and exploring the interplay between line, pattern, and color before embarking on larger pieces, which when hung, will be viewed from both sides.

Her goal is make her artistic practice and creative work her full-time profession.

Woman with long brown hair; animal illustrations in oval frames

Bekki Canine

Visual Art
Lafayette, Indiana

Megan works with oil paint and collage to create narrative/symbolic pieces.

Her goal is to continue to create meaningful work and to become a better promoter of her work in order to share it with more people.

Woman with long brown hair; photography samples

Sami Decker

Richmond, Indiana

Sami has been practicing photography for 4 years. Every day she is learning new things about her art but unfortunately doesn't have the business knowledge to go with it.

Her goal is to build her business into a brand that people recognize and stands out.

Women with shoulder length brown hair; ceramics work samples

Jennie DiBeneditto

Ceramics/Graphic Design
Jeffersonville, Indiana

Jennie is the co-owner of Silica Ceramic Studio, LLC in Jeffersonville, Indiana. She was also one of the founding members of the Jeffersonville Arts Alliance, which is now a 501c3 organization. She currently serves as an officer in the Historian position.

Her goal is to learn more about turning her creative work into a sustainable career.

Man with brown facial hair; video work sample stills

Billy Easton

Goshen, Indiana

Billy is a hip-hop artist, spoken word advocate, and youth mentor. His main focus last seven years has been traveling and playing music in alternative jazz hip-hop band. He's also been heavily active in various community projects dealing with arts music and community and youth workshops and fundraisers.

His goal is to start an indie record label/school of the arts.

Woman with shoulder length blonde hair; fabric work samples

Kate Ellis

Fabric Dye
Bloomington, Indiana

Kate Ellis offers natural dye workshops that allow people to connect to natural and the creative process, with sustainability in mind.

Her goal is to open a textile arts studio in southern Indiana.

Man with short violet hair; spray paint on canvas art work samples

Tyler Emery

Spray Paint Art/Jewelry
Holton, Indiana

Tyler enjoys painting in a variety of media, such as acrylics, oils, and spray paints. Through social media, he's developed a fascination towards creating a unique form of fine art jewelry.

His goal is to earn a living through his art.

Woman with brown hair in a pony tail; jewelry work sample

Kenya Ferrand-Ott

Jewelry/Visual Art
West Lafayette, Indiana

Kenya creates watercolor and acrylic paintings of animals in action, and jewelry making with a touch of whimsy (or a lot of whimsy).

Her goal is to make a good living doing what she loves and what she's good at.

Man smiling with brown hair; still images of man performing on stage

LJ Herbert

Muncie, Indiana

LJ is a hip hop artist that performs and records original lyrics.

His goal is to use his music to start conversations around faith, hope, and love. He'd also like to use music as a tool to empower communities economically and unify across barriers.

Illustration of woman with short blonde hair and glasses; various work samples

Bethany Hohman

Public Art/Visual Art/Illustration
West Lafayette, Indiana

Bethany is character-based artist; each figure she creates represents a feeling or a story.

Her goal is to focus all her energy on sharing art with those who need it the most.

Man with glasses and dark facial hair; abstract paintings

Ben Jennings

Visual Art/Landscape Architecture
Noblesville, Indiana

Ben is currently pursuing more artistic, photographic work focusing on abstract concepts and nature.

His goal is to own and run a studio and gallery where art and design are one in the same; with an aspect of ministry and rehabilitation using art as the vehicle.

Woman with long brown hair; public art work samples

Rachel Johnson Kavathe

Placemaking/Public Art
Columbus, Indiana

Rachel Kavathe is an artist/landscape architect/urban designer. After working as a city planner and landscape architect, Rachel began her own business in 2016 focusing on creative placemaking. Rachel’s work explores the ideas of community, place, and the relationship between human-made and natural landscapes.

Her goal is to create public art installations in cities around the globe that help local communities express their unique sense of place.

Woman with teal hat, glasses, and short brown hair; illustration work samples

Hannah Lehman

Illustration/Sellable Wares
Goshen, Indiana

Hannah creates custom orders of family illustrations in water color along with pen and ink. She's constantly humbled by families liking her creative style so much that they ask her to paint these portraits of their families.

Her goal is to open a stationery company.

Woman with short red hair; ceramic work samples

Christine Lussier

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Christine works in clay, mostly hand building using slabs of clay to create vases, vessels, and tiles.

Christine's goal is to create a realistic business plan and make more connections in her local arts community.

Man with dark facial hair; performance stills

Chris Mack

Muncie, Indiana

Chris draws inspiration from the Southern Hip Hop & Soul genre to create rap songs that are anthems, testimonies & stories of daily life, giving a sense of journey and adventure through honest music. He produces records by writing, performing lyrics, recording/ tracking vocals, and engineering the entire session to edit and mix.

His goal is to book more shows within the Midwest region and remain involved in his local community by being readily available to serve it.

Woman with long brown hair and glasses; hyper-realistic Reborn Baby Dolls work sample

Doris Moyers-Hornbogen

Liberty Center, Indiana

Doris is a dollmaker that specializes in hyper-realistic Reborn Baby Dolls.

Her goal is to have her art be self-sustaining.

Man with short brown hair, holding glasses; Movie poster

Paul Nethercott

Indianapolis, Indiana

Paul has credits on films that have screened at dozens of film festivals internationally and won numerous awards. His film BICYCLE won the Crystal Heart Award and the Vision Award for Best Short Film at Heartland Film Festival. BICYCLE was also an official selection at the prestigious Venice Film Festival in Italy, among many other film festivals. Currently, Paul is working on 30 Minutes -- his first documentary film made in Indiana.

His goal is to create a business model that allows him to do what he loves to do -- travel and make documentary films -- while providing a good income.

Man with glasses and short blonde hair; book art samples

Eric O'Dell

Noblesville, Indiana

Eric is a trained printmaker and bookmaker. Currently, he is a Nationally Certified ASL Interpreter employed by the Indiana School for the Deaf full-time. He works part-time making books and prints out of his studio at Nickel Plate Arts in Noblesville.

His goal is to develop a sustainable business model.

Man with short brown hair and glasses; education sample, still from student performance

Jim Peterson

Carmel, Indiana

Jim has been the Director of Theatre and Film at Carmel High School for the past 26 years. During that time, he has directed a lot of one-act plays, full-length plays, and short films.

His goal is to retire from teaching and move into a second career. He'd like for that career to feed his creative side.

Woman with shoulder length brown hair, hat, and braces; bright color paintings of turtles

Claire Reed

Valparaiso, Indiana

In Claire's creative work she focuses on making watercolor paintings that tell a story about environmental issues and the beauty of marine life.

Her goal is to develop a portfolio that will inspire others to protect oceans. She hopes to work alongside educators, activists, and scientists to help inform the public and our youth about the importance of marine life and how we affect them.

Woman with glasses; public installation work samples

Christa Reuel

Visual Art/Large Scale Installations
Goshen, Indiana

Christa creates immersive environments with mylar, burlap, paint and masonite.

Her goal is to pursue art full-time in a variety of locations.

Woman with shoulder length hair smiling; mixed media work samples

Chapin Schnick

Fiber/Community Arts
Martinsville, Indiana

Chapin is an art educator at a Fine Arts Academy in Martinsville. The majority of her creative work tends to be done alongside her students in their shared art studio. When she escapes to create on her own time, she favors working with fibers and finding new methods & materials that challenge her.

Her goal is to open her own studio/ makerspace, using the Teaching for Artistic Behavior philosophy she uses in her art room, where families could pay to come & create by the hour.

Woman with blonde shoulder length hair and glasses; various work samples

Kellie Shidler

Visual Art/Crafts
Ligonier, Indiana

Kellie paints furniture, and also works with watercolor and acrylic paints. her favorite piece is the watercolor that she created of her husband meeting Jesus.

Her goal is to be able to make a living doing what she loves and be able to support herself and her daughters.

Man posing in a tree with jeans and a trench coat; film still

Ty Smith

Indianapolis, Indiana

Ty has over nine years of experience in film sharing challenging stories and ideas. At the tail end of February he produced a film in partnership with a local film company that follows the style of the Italian horror genre, most notably, Dario Argento's work.  By the end of the year he hopes to be rolling into his very first feature length film as a director.

His goal is to sustain a multi-faceted production company that specializes in unique high-quality cinema with a strong focus in storytelling.

Man with blonde hair and grey beard; wood working samples

Kevin Snyder

Nashville, Indiana

Kevin is a self taught artist that works in a wide range of areas including sketching, scrimshaw, pyrography, creative wood design, and painting. He tends to linger in folk and natural subject matter.

His goal is to open up his own shop in the Brown County area.

woman with short brown hair and sunglasses; watercolor illustrations

Becky Stockert

Illustration/Sellable Wares
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Rebecca is a teaching artist, illustrator, and writer; her work is an exploration of growing up female in the rural Midwest.

Her goal is to create a sustainable art practice that serves her community and explores social justice issues.

line drawing illustration of man with short hair

Russ Vossler

Madison, Indiana

Russ' career as a designer/illustrator/sculptor for the toy and collectibles industry working for major companies and studios in southern California began in 1991 and ended with the Great Recession. He maintained a freelance business doing generally the same kind of work for several years.

His goal is to sustain himself as a maker of personal paintings and drawings, graphic storytelling, and sculpture.

Woman with short brown hair and glasses; jewelry work samples

Lisa Walsh

Lafayette, Indiana

Lisa's career began as a flame worked glass artist specializing in beads which she used in her own jewelry designs.  Her work the last couple years has focused more on hand fabricated metal, and most recently, copper enameling and etched metalwork.

Her goal is to bring in more income from her artistic pursuits and become more profitable.

Woman with long brown hair; illustrations of birds

Alex Warnick

Columbus, Indiana

Alex specializes in illustrating avifauna from all over the world and currently splits her time between freelance work for ornithological publications and fine art painting for galleries.

Her goal is to develop creative ways to engage with the community in order to create a revenue stream that is multi-faceted and not merely tied to the isolated world of the studio.

Woman with long blonde hair; abstract paintings

Liz Yager

Visual Art/Fiber Art
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Liz's main creative work is abstract acrylic painting. She then uses those paintings to create surface designs.

Her goal is to market her artwork through surface design and use for functional purposes.