WACC Board of Directors
Christopher Shotola-Hardt, M.F.A. - President & Co-Webmaster
I retired from one of my jobs in June 2020: Artist-Teacher & Art Director at Wilsonville High School, after 32 years of service in the WLWV School District. Being an art educator requires one to maintain one’s own studio practice, which is now my single, full-time job. I exhibit my own work and plan special programming at Blackfish Gallery (www.blackfish.com), one of the oldest artist-owned and operated galleries in the nation, and located in Portland's Pearl District. I have shown my work in galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest and in New York. Being an art educator also requires one to be a warrior for the arts, devoted to advocacy, devoted to networking, devoted to knocking down the barriers between school programs and the wider public. I served on the board of the Oregon Art Education Association (OAEA) for many years, including six years in the presidential cycle. I founded and ran OAEA’s statewide “Beyond the Demos: Oregon Artists Who Teach” exhibition series for ten years.
I am the founder of the Wilsonville Festival of Arts and served as the Festival Director for the first three years. I joined Theonie Gilmore and the board of the Wilsonville Arts & Culture Council in 1999 and have served on the board since then, with only a two-year hiatus when I was President of OAEA. Besides making art, teaching art, and arts administration work, I am a lifelong musician, composer and performer, and have been playing with a core group of musicians for the past 28 years: the progressive folk ensemble Bug Toast (www.bugtoastmusic.com), which played in clubs throughout the 1990s and early 2000s and now plays festivals and special concerts, and records albums. I live in Wilsonville with my wife, children, and cats, and I live my life by these two mantras: “Family. Art. Music.” & “Be About Love.”
Joan Carlson - Secretary
Joan Carlson lives in Wilsonville and has chickens in her backyard. She was the Artist-in-Residence at Boones Ferry Primary School in Wilsonville for over 20 years and has also worked in many of the other primary schools in the WLWV school district. She recently retired in 2019. Joan was the school liaison for the Beauty & The Bridge tile mural project under I-5 along Wilsonville Road. She worked with over 1,000 students in all five of the Wilsonville's K-12 schools during this project. Joan has been serving on the board of the Wilsonville Arts & Culture Council and on the planning committees for the Wilsonville Festival of Arts (WFA) for over ten years.
Joan’s artwork is inspired by her unruly garden, the feathered ladies in the backyard, her journals of life, and her love for family. She is a working artist, volunteer art teacher, gardener, and grandma to a growing tribe. Acrylics, watercolors, collagraph prints, colored pencil, and mixed-media are her favorite mediums. Joan has shown her work in local cafés and coffee shops, corporate offices, and retail spaces.
Tom Whittaker - Treasurer
Tom Whittaker attended Whitman College and the University of California at Berkeley. He served on the Whitman College Board of Overseers for fourteen years. Tom has lived in the Wilsonville community since 1975. His community highpoints have been coaching 5th and 6th grade boys and girls YBA Basketball, serving on the Library Expansion Committee, and acting as an adult leader for Wilsonville Scout Troop 194, where his two sons achieved Eagle Rank, and whose grandchildren - boys and girl - continue the scouting tradition!
He retired after 40 plus years as an architect and senior partner with Waterleaf Architects, a 24-member firm in Portland. His licenses and work included Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Washington DC. He served as Secretary on the Board of the Portland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and as President of the statewide Oregon Council of Architects.
Tom also contributed more than 30 years of community service on Planning Commissions for the City of Tigard, Clackamas County, and the Portland Area Regional Boundary Commission. In retirement now in Wilsonville, he believes that life is still a 'full time job' as he continues to serve on multiple boards and commissions, including the Wilsonville Arts and Culture Council.
Kit Whittaker - Registered Agent
Kit Whittaker attended Whitman College and the University of California at Berkeley. Kit has been a Wilsonville area resident since 1975 and has watched the community grow and prosper. Over the years she has taken part in city projects and initiatives and has participated in many local organizations, including the Wilsonville Arts & Culture Council since 1999.
Professionally, Kit has been a school teacher, reporter and editor of the Wilsonville Spokesman community newspaper, and worked for the Oregon State Representative serving the Wilsonville area. She retired from a position as Clackamas County’s public information and citizen involvement director, where she learned the strength of personal commitment and group participation to build community and effect change.
All the arts have long held a central place in Kit’s life. She appreciates, creates and collects both fine art and handcrafted art, and enjoys cultural experiences of all kinds. In retirement, Kit pursues her horticultural passions in the family vineyard, orchard, perennial border, native plant hedgerow and raised bed vegetable garden. She and her husband Tom have travelled extensively, and also enjoy exploring Oregon’s lakes, rivers and ocean estuaries in their home-built wooden kayaks.
Troy Mathews - WLWV School District Arts Liaison
Troy Mathews is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. He is an art educator who currently lives, works and creates in Portland, Oregon. Troy graduated from Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2016 with a Bachelor's in Fine Arts with a focus on painting and curation. While getting his undergraduate degree he also started a graduate degree in Art and Teaching which was attained in 2018 from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Troy's Art is focused on ideas of social justice and equality. He often blends scientific theories and historical ideas with current issues to create a conversation about the world in which he navigates. The paintings are not necessarily answers but more often questions that challenge the viewer to think in a new way. It is his drive and passion that transcends his love of simply making and bleeds into every part of his life.
Angennette Escobar, M.F.A. - WLWV School District Arts Liaison
Angennette Escobar is a working artist and teacher living in Milwaukie, Oregon. Escobar has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Sculpture and a minor in Art History. Escobar also studied for her MFA at the University of California, San Diego with a focus on Sculpture and Performance Art. Escobar currently exhibits in the Portland area, as well as California, Texas and Washington. Escobar holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching from George Fox University and is the Artist-Teacher & Art Director at Wilsonville High School, teaching Sculpture and 3D Design.
Escobar is a Mexican-American artist that was raised along the Mexican border in South Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. Her most recent work often involves Mexican religious iconography, specifically Milagros, small metal charms that represent miracles. She uses body imagery intertwined with religious objects to explore her cultural identity and heritage as well as her corporeal reality as a human being. Escobar rarely sculpts full figures, instead she treats the body in parts or pieces like the Milagros. She often sculpts or paints onto found objects and combines them with other media like clay or plaster. Oftentimes, she embeds religious objects into the surfaces of her work. Escobar also uses memories and events from her childhood as subject matter in her work.
Toni Avery is a Pacific Northwest artist. Her artwork reflects the diversity of the natural surroundings from the high desert, forests and beaches to the farmlands of the Willamette Valley. Nature also inspired Toni’s abstracts and still life works. After receiving her art degree from Marylhurst University, Toni worked as a design consultant while continuing with her painting and photography. Toni often uses her photography as a “point of departure” when starting a new painting. Her paintings are included in a number of private collections, and her artwork can be seen in many public collections, as well, such as Kaiser Permanente’s “Healing Artwork Collection,” on display at the Westside Medical Centers in Hillsboro and Beaverton, Oregon. Toni’s artwork is also featured in the 2013 publication, “Tranquil Relief Through Nature.” Toni’s work continues to be a part of many local exhibitions, including shows presented by The Wetlands Conservancy, Clackamas County Arts Alliance, and the Fairweather Gallery in Seaside Oregon. You can enjoy Toni’s work at www.toniavery.com.
Benjamin Mefford - Co-Webmaster & Grant Writer
Benjamin Mefford is an interdisciplinary artist based in the Pacific Northwest, where he draws inspiration from the natural environment. His formal education includes a B.A. in Studio Art and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary studies. As a production assistant he has worked on video, stone, textile, and public art projects for master artists. Benjamin has unique expertise in sculpting stone for public art commissions, and trained as an apprentice for 4 years carving site specific granite sculptures. He has been invited to two artist residencies in Portland, Oregon and one in Toyota City, Japan. Major works include site-specific public art commissions for Lake Oswego, Oregon and the Underwater Museum of Art in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. Through material exploration, he examines fluid dynamics and how these patterns are captured in solid materials. Symbolically, he looks for themes of interconnection and universal meaning. Dreaming, visualization, and experimentation are central to his process. Visit https://www.benjaminmefford.com/ to see his work.
Lauren Salgado - Logo Designer
Lauren Salgado is a Wilsonville High Alum (2013) and a proud Oregon State University Alum (2017) with a degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Fine Arts. She works full time as a Graphic & Marketing Designer for Wild Rose Foods, dabbling in social media, photography, marketing materials for Basics Market, as well as creating packaging and developing brands for the many entities that fall under the Wild Rose Foods umbrella.
Lauren is an avid Instagrammer and enjoys creating work outside of her day job to inspire others to create. You can find her working in various mediums, including gouache, embroidery, pen/markers, food, and watercolor. Charlee, her Scottish Fold makes regular appearances on the page. Her love of color is infectious, and you can follow along here.
Jenni Kadwell is a nature landscape photographer. A film 35 mm Minolta was her first camera to accompany her to Europe and other adventures. “The ability to film wildlife while backpacking in Glacier was awe inspiring.” Her creative spirit led her to earn a dual Bachelor of Arts from Carroll College, Montana. After teaching in Japan, never keeping her camera too far, she returned home and completed her Master of Education, Oregon State University.
With a 16-year professional career as a language teacher, cross cultural / STEAM curriculum writer, and consultant, her passion for volunteering and supporting our community continues. Jenni is president emeritus of the Charbonneau Art Association, served as a board member after establishing its non-profit status in 2015.
Currently, Jenni has returned to pursing her artistic life, focusing on family, Make-A-Wish kids, and gardening. Jenni’s Garden is not only educational, her motto, “Let’s Grow Together,” focuses on helping others, especially those with special needs, seniors, and veterans.
Theonie Gilmore - WACC Founder & Executive Director Emerita
Following a twenty-five year career as a music educator in the David Douglas School District (Oregon), Theonie Gilmore continued as an advocate for the arts and became and arts administrator. Gilmore was a founder of three pivotal arts organizations: the Center for Endangered Arts - MUSIC (CEA-MUSIC), the Clackamas County Arts Action Alliance, and the Wilsonville Arts & Culture Council. In 2008, she was awarded “Wilsonville Citizen of the Year” by the Rotary Club of Wilsonville.
“My basic essence is arts. I want the city of Wilsonville to be nurtured in the arts. They enrich one’s outlook and being. People involved with the arts do better academically. They have an open outlook, a more flexible perspective. Arts develop the creative side of our lives. It’s important for pre-school kids to be exposed to music, dance, theater and literature. It starts with that first crayon.
“I’m committed and passionate about this and I seek volunteers who share my passion,” Gilmore says. “It’s not about having your name on a list of board of directors. It’s about people taking action.”
2020 Wilsonville Festival of Arts PLANNING COMMITTEE
[Cancelled due to COVID-19: Thank you to our committee for countless hours of planning!]
Benjamin Mefford, Festival Director
Joan Carlson, Student Art Pavilion
Angennette Escobar, Volunteer Coordinator
Jenni Kadwell, Community Partnerships
Kevin Luby, Main Stage Music Programming
Troy Mathews, Wilsonville Community Portrait Project
Lauren Salgado, Graphic Design / Social Media
Christopher Shotola-Hardt, Student Art Pavilion / Wilsonville Community Portrait Project
Kit Whittaker, Northwest Authors