ArtReach St. Croix names four new board members

ArtReach St. Croix is pleased to welcome Guillermo Cuellar of Shafer, Minn.; Karen Johnston of Lake Elmo; Gary Kelsey of Woodbury and Greg Seitz of Maplewood as the four new ArtReach board members.

These new board members join ArtReach at an exciting time. In the last year, the organization launched a new valley-wide online cultural events calendar, a successful continuation of Take Me to the River — a celebration of arts festivals in the St. Croix Valley, and long-overdue improvement to its Stillwater building.

Cuellar was born in Venezuela and studied ceramics at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa where he received a B.A. in Art in 1976. After working as an environmentalist for several years, he returned to pottery.

In 1986, he set up a studio in the village of Turgua, an hour outside the capital city

of Caracas, where he made pots for 18 years. In 1992, Guillermo helped found Grupo Turgua, a non-profit group of artisans dedicated to the support of good craft in Venezuela.

Cuellar, who now lives and works in Shafer, has displayed is work in the Venezuelan National Art Gallery, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Puerto Rico, The Smithsonian Institution, The Northern Clay Center, Mashiko Municipal Pottery Art Museum and private galleries in the United States, England, Venezuela and Chili.

Cuellar is a member of the Minnesota Potters of the Upper St. Croix Valley Annual Pottery Tour.

Johnston worked as an attorney with Henson & Efron, P.A., for more than 20 years. She currently is president of the Lake Elmo Regional Art Center board of directors and the president of the Friends of the Lake Elmo Library. She has also served on the Lake Elmo City Council and planning commission.

Johnson holds a J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law, an M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas, and a B.S. in Spanish from Iowa State University in Ames.

Kelsey has 35 years of experience within the non-profit, government and education sectors. As an organizational development consultant, Gary has provided non-profit board development, program development, strategic planning, fundraising, collaboration, team-building, qualitative research, leadership coaching and other organizational development assistance and training to more than 200 non-profit, philanthropic, education and government organizations.

Kelsey is a professor and program director of the M.A. in Philanthropy and Development Program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. He is also faculty member at Walden University and the University of St. Thomas.He holds a B.A. in Social Work from St. Cloud State University and an M.A. in Human and Health Service

Administration and a Doctorate of Education in Leadership from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Seitz grew up in Stillwater and received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota. He is a writer and communications consultant, including serving as Communications Director at the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. He created and maintains the St. Croix River Facebook page, which currently has more than 20,000 fans, and its companion website St. Croix 360 (www.stcroix360.com). He also works as the social media consultant for the Heritage Initiative, facilitated by the St. Croix Valley Foundation.

Previously, Kelsey worked in corporate communications at The Thomson Corp. He and wife, Katie, are the parents of one baby and roommates to one dog. They can often be found exploring the St. Croix River by canoe.

ArtReach St. Croix’s mission of connecting communities to the arts serves the St. Croix Valley from St. Croix Falls to Prescott in Wisconsin and from Hastings to Taylor’s Falls in Minnesota. ArtReach St. Croix supports, fosters and celebrates visual, literary and performing arts in the St. Croix Valley. By coordinating events, marketing initiatives and education opportunities, ArtReach supports the work of artists and arts organizations, and provides arts leadership across the St. Croix Valley.

Find out about St. Croix Valley events at StCroixSplash.org.

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