Our ARTrageous Staff

"Mighty things from small beginnings grow." -John Dryden

We may be a small staff but with big hearts, dreams, and a passion to teach art we will grow the love for art in all we meet! We have a strong belief that art is unique to its creator and inspiration can come from anywhere. Our favorite program to share with ARTists of all ages is our "reARTcycled" program which takes others trash and turns it into an artists treasure! Because eARTh withouth ART is just eh!

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Amanda Vallone

Founder

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

When I walked into Young At Art Children’s Museum when I was 18 years old. I fell in love with the idea of introducing the elements of art and art history to young children. I learned so much working there and being pART of the exhibit changes and developing programs for their Early Childhood programs. This amazing place went from a small space in a strip mall to one of the largest in South Florida. If you ever are in the area, check them out. www.youngatartmuseum.org

 

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

Franconia Sculpture Park, which is why this year we took our staff on a field trip there during our annual Staff Retreat. This outdoor park is filled with amazing sculptures made from metal, wood, plastic and other materials from artists all over the states. Each time you visit you see something new and is open year round near Taylor Falls. Go on a road trip adventure to see for yourself. www.franconia.org

 

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

I love hosting birthday pARTies at the studio! I love finding out what that child’s interests are and coming up with a custom project to make with their friends. It’s also fun to see what the parents do on their end and how it all comes together for a truly ARTrageous celebration. Plus you sometimes get a piece of cake!

 

What is your all time favorite quote?

Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.

- Pablo Picasso

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Jolene

Curriculum/Web/Marketing

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

My earliest memories and inspiration towards the arts came from my sister Amanda. She was always teaching art or working to create something amazing!

 

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

I love the comic shop by my house! The staff goes above and beyond to make a super creative space that always looks like you are really in these comics. There is also an art gallery in the loft of the shop that has a rotating theme where local artists can submit a piece!

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

Checking out the newest featured ARTists and getting to know them and ther work!

What is your all time favorite quote?

"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."

Dr. Seuss

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Chelsea

Art Instructor/Designer

Minneapolis

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

While I've always loved to draw, I was first really inspired to draw cartoons by my elementary school art teacher, Mrs. Reynolds. Her encouragement and passion for all types of art gave me confidence that would lead me to become a comic artist.

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

I would have to say nature because I feel the most inspired when surrounded by natural beauty. It's a great, quiet place to calm your mind and let your creativity wander. 

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

I absolutely love getting to know the kids I work with. It's so much fun to see how they create art, but also so memorable to introduce them to new ideas and techniques. For instance, showing them something like Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory", and watching their reactions to the melting clocks, is just priceless! 

What is your all time favorite quote?

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Visit Chalsea's Etsy Shop 

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Mel

Virtual ART Instructor

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

I have always loved everything about art. My mom used to say, “Melanie has been making art since the moment she realized that, not only do crayons taste delicious, but they also make beautiful lines!” She was the one who first introduced me to art. When I was young, my mom was an oil painter. She decided to switch to water-based acrylics when, one day, she unfortunately discovered that oil paint is very difficult to wash off of an enthusiastic toddler. I can remember, many pleasant afternoons, sitting on the floor with my snack and watching Bob Ross on channel 2 with her.

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

January 2018, I had the good fortune to be able to travel to Amsterdam. The entire city smelled of rain and coffee and art was everywhere. It was in the architecture of the old buildings and in the museums on every corner. The Van Gogh Museum was my favorite. Van Gogh works on acrylic with color but also texture. The paintings seem to almost “move” with the directional strokes under your eyes.

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

My favorite thing to do at ARTrageous is to watch people come out of their shell when they create and have fun. Adults and children alike. At first, some people are shy or intimidated or just don’t have the confidence to know that whatever is created is only half the fun. It’s the journey and the creative process where the magic happens! People laughing and opening up - stress melts away and whatEVER the creative project is that’s made, the good feeling that was generated during the making of it, is infused in it, so that they remember and feel a little bit of it every time they look at it in the future.

What is your all time favorite quote?

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off of our souls.”

- Pablo Picasso

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Abby

Art Instructor

Minneapolis

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

When I was younger I had always used art as an outlet and really didn't realize it until I was in high school when I had a ceramics teacher who let me work on whatever for my grade instead of the assigned projects. It really gave me an open space to work but also gave me the pressure of making project after project so I was ready to make art into my lifestyle.

 

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

I've been traveling my whole life, but what really inspires me to create is nature in Minnesota. I love to go to abandoned places and seeing how nature grew over us. It's really amazing!

 

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

I love coloring, if I'm at ARTrageous I would be coloring!

What is your all time favorite quote?

“If every pork chop were prefect we wouldn’t have hot dogs

I love Steven Universe. It’s a great show with good humor and a great message. This quote just tops the show for me.

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Stephanie

Special Event Coordinator

Minneapolis

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

My Grandma Hoevet, Aunt Jeanie and my Mom were my first inspirations to the idea of becoming a creator when I was a younger person. My Grandma was a great influence in my creative life; she was a great quilter, knitter and sewer making amazing family heirlooms.  My Aunt Jeanie and her husband Uncle Frank are now retired from their craft making amazing things from wood and old barns scatted throughout the farmlands of Nebraska. My mom ensured to keep in involved in my craft and her along with my husband were my biggest supporters during my jewelry school days and setting up my basement studio.

 

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

The most Artistic place that I’ve been to so far it the Galleria dell’Accademia to view the statue of the David.  Matter of fact, our entire time in Italy seeing all the museums and landmarks in Rome and Florence was one of the most Artistic places I have ever been.  The history and art will astound you.  

 

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

My favorite thing to do at ARTrageous is the community events!  I love meeting fresh new faces to create with and to tell them all about the great studio and all we have to offer.

 

What is your all time favorite quote?

“I’m on the path that leads to awesome!” – Kid President

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Roman

Art Instructor

Minneapolis

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

My mother has encouraged and supported my creativity from a very young age, but it wasn’t until my junior year of high school that my teachers pushed me to think about art more seriously. I am inspired by those teachers and everyone who has supported my passion, and I have become a teaching artist so that I can do the same for others.

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

The most artistic place I have been to by far has to be Italy. I had the privilege of visiting major cities such as Florence and Rome on a 10 day trip in high school and it completely changed the way I view art and it’s role in and influence on history and in culture. I even chose my name, Roman, from my love of Italy and the impact it had on me as a young artist.

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

My all-time favorite thing to do ARTrageous is to work one-on-one with students on canvas paintings that they are able to get really invested in. I love teaching and watching the process of planning, sketching, layering, and problem solving unfold as young artists work to create large and detailed pieces that they’re really proud of.

What is your all time favorite quote?

“It’s dangerous to go alone! Take this”- Old Man, Legend of Zelda

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Athena

Art Instructor

Minneapolis

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART? 

I was first introduced to Art by the world around me. My earliest in Sparta ion definitely came from some of my favorite cartoons like Bratz and Spongebob. After being educated on various ways to create, I found myself drawn to Haitian paintings much like the work I grew up seeing in my home that depict nature and all of Haitian culture. 

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

I think the most artistic place I have been is the Louvre museum in Paris. France. It is not only Huge but it also has some amazing interior design and architecture.

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

So far I would say my favorite thing to do at ARTragous is hosting parties. I enjoy leading friends into exploring and expressing themselves with visual arts.

What is your all time favorite quote?

“ If you’re always trying to be normal, you’ll never knew how amazing you are.”

- Maya Angelo

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Avigail Strege

Retail & Events

Mankato

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

My introduction to art started in the studio in my grandpa's back yard where he would blow glass. I'd go out every day through the week when the studio would be lit up in the fall and spring and visit him at the art shows where he would sell his glass. He showed me drawing and painting techniques before I furthered my painting education in highschool. Learning more techniques has always been so important for me and creating what's in my mind's eye.

 

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

When I visited the Grand Canyon earlier this year I was absolutely mesmerized. The centuries of carvings from the Colorado river displayed such a chaotic intricacy I've never seen before. Hearing the indigenous lore of the shades in the stone visualized as stories spoke to the connection between humanity and nature.

 

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

I just started working at ARTrageous but I am excited to be able to dress up for events!

 

What is your all time favorite quote?

My favorite quote, although it's uncredited is "If you look at how old the universes is, we're not even here for the blink of an eye. It's up to you to develop as much good as you can for your blink."

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Felix

Retail & Events

Mankato

When and who first introduced or inspired you to create ART?

 I have always had an interest in art. Sewing, painting and video games were my first inspiration. I also remember going to The Walker Art Gallery quite often with my grandparents on my dad’s side and it was a special experience.

What is the most ARTistic place you have been to and why?

The most ARTISTIC place that I have been to was in Seattle, WA. It was Chihuly Garden and Glass. I actually was able to see one of his pieces in Omaha, NE first and then when I moved to Washington state I was able to see the rest of his works. I love how he incorporates nature into his pieces; I feel like that makes him more relatable and easier to understand, but then again I am a Taurus. Ha!

What is your favorite thing to do at ARTrageous?

 My favorite thing to do at ARTrageous has been painting, talking with others about their current projects and their inspiration for their work.

What is your all time favorite quote?

I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains, and then find somewhere where I can rest. In peace and quiet, without a lot of relatives prying around, and a string of confounded visitors hanging on the bell. I might find somewhere where I can finish my book. I have thought of a nice ending for it: and he lived happily ever after to the end of his days. -J.R.R. Tolkien