Martin (Marty) Wollesen is a believer in the power of imagination and that creativity is core to the human spirit. A life-long learner, he brings over 25 years of innovative leadership in the arts and arts education having lead several multi-disciplinary performing arts organizations through significant expansion. As the Executive Director of Ah Haa School for the Arts, his wide-ranging curiosity and commitment to community engagement creates experiences for everyone to learn something new and share something meaningful about themselves. Marty has lived in New Mexico, Washington DC, California, Singapore, Philippines, Egypt, Portugal.
Wilber “Chip” Schilling has worked as a book artist since 1992, under the imprint of Indulgence Press. His work is collected and exhibited internationally. His work is featured in the many publications including Masters: Book Arts, Major works by leading Artists (Sterling Publishing) and Volumes 1 & 2, book art object (Codex Foundation). Schilling earned a BA in history and photography from Clark University (Worchester, MA) and an MFA in book arts and printmaking from The University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA). Schilling currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. He taught as a full-time lecturer at Columbia College Chicago in the graduate program of the Interdisciplinary Arts Department. He is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota USA.
Tara comes to us from Columbus, OH, where she received her BA in Ceramics, Sculpture, and Photography at Otterbein University. She later added a Printmaking concentration to the mix during post-graduate studies in Art Education. Tara continued her studies at Otterbein and earned a Master of Business Administration while serving as the Graduate Assistant Coach of the women’s soccer team. During this time, she taught summer art classes at the local rec center and the Columbus Arts Festival and also launched her own sports photography and ceramics businesses in Columbus. After graduating, Tara continued to coach and teach summer art classes while working as a Project Manager and then Account Manager for a retail decor manufacturing company, gtc Artists With Machines. She made the move to Telluride in October of 2016 to pursue her passions of the arts and the outdoors and, in her words, has been living the dream ever since.
Malarie came to Telluride 12 years ago from her home state of North Carolina. She holds degrees in Photography and Art History from East Carolina University. She found her passion for supporting artists after working in emerging galleries across the Southeast. Malarie is proud of her 15 years in the fine arts world, creating community, curating and directing at Telluride Gallery. After launching an art advisory business, her focus shifted to helping artists hone their marketing output to better share their own compelling stories. She loves time spent in the Appalachians and San Juans, especially big mountain snowboarding and shooting 35mm film.
Kris’ interdisciplinary approach to curation stems from a background in conflict resolution, philosophy and creative practice. After receiving her BA from Colorado College, Kris moved to Dublin Ireland to complete her masters and doctoral work in Islamic philosophy in contemporary human rights discourse at Trinity College, Dublin. During her graduate work, Kris worked with Xena Productions Bespoke Weddings and Special Events, and free–lanced in interior signage and installation design. In 2010, Kris joined the team at Brown University’s Granoff Center as a Program Coordinator for the Brown Arts Initiative, where she designed arts research grants, artist residencies, public events and community engagement and arts education programs. Upon moving to Telluride in 2015, Kris joined Ah Haa School for the Arts as the Adult Curriculum Programmer, before shifting into her current position as Exhibitions Manager in 2021. As Chair of the Board of Directors for the Telluride Dance Collective and an active participant in multiple other local non-profits, Kris curates the Daniel Tucker Gallery at Ah Haa with a focus on experimentation, interactive learning and collaborative partnerships.
Christin is an event producer, organizer, and arts administrator. She holds a BA in Art History and Sculpture from DePaul University in Chicago. After many years in the city’s non-profit arts community, she uprooted to Park City, Utah to produce venues at the Sundance Film Festival. This led to an extensive career producing film and music festivals across the country, ultimately setting in Telluride. She has over 10 years of experience as a gallerist, consultant, and artist liaison in the fine art, non-profit, and entertainment industries. In her role as a producer, she plans events and programs focusing on supporting the missions of arts and culture within the Telluride community. Using a collaborative approach to working with artists, clients, businesses, and organizations alike, she allows creativity to permeate every part of the event process.
Jess Newens grew up in Boulder, CO and received her BA in English from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. She’s been in the Telluride region since 1992, where she has held multiple jobs, including a several-year stint as Programs Coordinator for the Ah Haa School back in the 1990s. During her years away from Ah Haa, Jess founded Tomboy Soap Company and worked as an editor and writer for The Watch Newspapers. Immersed in cooking since childhood, Jess's culinary inspiration and knowledge came from her mom, Janis. She has two daughters, Fiorella and Cecelia, whom she hopes will learn to love the culinary arts just as much as she does.
Started college in the 80s as an art major but wound up graduating UCLA with a degree in psychology and went on to law school. When she moved to Telluride with her family in 2004, she took her first art class since college at Ah Haa school for the Arts. The class rekindled her inspiration and she’s been a huge fan ever since. After almost 30 years in the legal profession, she followed her heart and joined the team at Ah Haa in the front office full time in January of 2022. She is thrilled to be part of the Ah Haa team helping others find their creative inspiration.
Left-handed, right-brained. Caroline grew up in the city of Chicago, but fell in love with Telluride the first moment she arrived, for a summer visit. Three months later, Caroline was calling Telluride her home. And now, her muse.
Caroline started painting in high school, and her resulting love and passion for self-expression led her to pursue a degree - and now a career in the arts. After graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design, from The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Caroline has navigated through diverse professional practices in Design, Video Production, and Art Education. As Manager of After School Programs & Summer Camps, Caroline is most passionate about designing programs that allow young creatives to explore their innate creativity and artistic spirit.
Maggie comes to Ah Haa with ten years experience in the arts non-profit world, and a lifelong passion for art and design. She views her role as visual arts program director as a facilitator of self-expression, setting up opportunities for students to uncover a wide range of emotions in the creative process.
Her parents fostered her deep appreciation for the arts with a childhood that prioritized creating a warm and art-filled home while visiting the museums and galleries in the multiple cities in which they lived: Cleveland, Dallas, London, Atlanta and finally Chicago.
She received her BA in art history from Johns Hopkins University with a minor in psychology and a focus on studio art. Ah Haa's studio space allowed her to get back into painting in 2022 after a ten-year dormancy; she primarily focuses on abstract expressionism created in acrylics and other mark-making tools.
Maggie moved to Telluride for the summer in 2010 and then made the box canyon her home despite being a truly mediocre skier. Within a week of committing to stay, she had adopted her dog Otis, the scruffy love of her life, and now lives with her other true loves: husband Sam, their darling daughter Juliet, and Dill Pickle the dog.
Tony’s MetalRock Designs studio specializes in handcrafted silver and mixed metal jewelry designed for the free spirited by the free spirited. He is represented at Slate Gray Gallery and Picaya in Telluride, Ortega’s on the Plaza and Karen Melfi Collection in Santa Fe, and Creative Framing Art Gallery in Louisville, CO. Tony began teaching for the Ah Haa School in 2018. That same year he was commissioned by the Telluride Arts District to create a specific piece for a fundraiser for their Transfer Warehouse project.
Kathy Green began silk dyeing in 1990 during one of Ah Haa’s very first classes. That class, taught by Rita Bernstein, left an indelible mark on her. Kathy’s keen interest and talent for silk dyeing led her to become an instructor, and in turn, she has inspired many of the area’s silk-dying obsessed. Scarves and silk prayer flags created by Kathy and her students can be found in local galleries, shops, and bazaars.
Krista Montalvo is a Nutritionist Chef who has been in the culinary world since she was 16 ranging from catering, serving, cooking, events and teaching cooking classes. She graduated from the University of Georgia with a BS in Food Science and during the pandemic, she received her certification in Plant-Based Nutrition and is currently finishing her Graduate Nutrition Certification from Colorado State University. Krista makes a big effort to include something green into her diet daily. Her philosophy is to be plant focused with little bits of meat. Instead of asking, “What will I do with this chicken?” she wants clients to start asking, “What will I do with this butternut squash?” Make the main vegetable the star of the meal.