Laurie Shellenberger - Program Planner
I retired from the Fairfax County Park Authority in 2022 and moved to Colorado to begin a new chapter after 30 years in Northern Virginia. Over the past 20 years I have explored different art mediums and took my first mosaic class and fused class in 2010. As my children began leaving home, I jumped back into art during COVID and took several mosaic classes online which I found that I loved! A crazy positive COVID result for me!
Since my current journey involves downsizing, I try and focus on making things that are usable or repurposed. I escape into my small studio space and enjoy that alone, quiet, and creative time.
I live in Arvada Colorado with my husband. We have three adult children (2 in Colorado and 1 in Virginia) and recently our first grandchild!
CMA Board Members
Betsy Hicks - Extraordinary Exhibits
Betsy Hicks' formal training is as a Mechanical Engineer. She worked her entire 35 years at IBM in a variety of roles, including Robotics, their Thermal Laboratory and in System Analysis. In addition, Betsy has always loved art and has a background in pottery. Since retiring in 2018, Betsy has been able to enjoy having the time to devote to developing her mosaic skills.
Betsy loves the myriad of color and whimsy that can be found in nature and uses this as the inspiration for many of her artworks. She and her husband raise chickens. She repurposed an old window from Ecocycle to create a colorful, glass-on-glass mosaic “window” of flowers for the chicken coop. She also has taught children mosaic classes, and is in the process of making a concrete mosaic "chair" for the City of Lafayette's 2022 "Art on the Streets." Many of Betsy's artworks can also be seen at the Walnut Gallery in Longmont, Colorado.
Lauri Muhonen - Co-Secretary
Over 25 years ago I took a stained glass class in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After creating a few pieces, I hung up my scorer to raise a family. Two decades later, with the children grown and leaving the house I dug out the supplies that I’d been toting around for all those years.
The challenge for me today is to wrangle the unbendable tesserae into the image I have in my mind. Whether it is wrapping it around a sculpture or creating a realistic looking Colorado mountain range, I relish the testing of my skills. Finding the perfect piece of glass to fit is always a joy, even if it means cutting, grinding and fitting several times to get it right.
Being a part of Colorado Mosaic Artists has been full of joy and challenges. I have learned so much from so many wonderful people here. Being able to show my work in various venues would not have been possible without CMA.
Kathy Thaden - Co-Secretary
Before the transition to mosaic art, Kathy Thaden was an Emmy Award-winning TV art director and graphic designer. Twenty years ago, she discovered the ancient and tactile medium of mosaics for her contemporary creative expression. Kathy’s award-winning modern mosaics range from abstracts to liturgical and commissioned works. Inspired by Creation, she links her art to her faith, seeking to engage the viewer in the visual narrative. Kathy also teaches mosaic workshops and leads mosaic retreats across Colorado and the Southwest. A full-time studio artist, Kathy is a professional member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, Episcopal Church & Visual Arts, and founding member and Past-President of Colorado Mosaic Artists. Email: email@example.com
Karen Dvorchak - Money Manager
Karen was born in Chicago and has been an artist her entire adult life. She majored in painting at Colorado Women's College and then moved into textiles and finally jewelry design. She created a national jewelry line and sold to stores around the country. She discovered mosaics by accident after viewing a CMA art show, where she realized she had thousands of components from her jewelry line that could be transformed into a fine art piece, rather than just a piece of jewelry. She is a feminist and has a strong passion for women's rights and women's history.
Becki Whittington - President Emeritus
Past President Becki Whittington is a mosaic/mixed media artist with a background in instructional design and school counseling. After being introduced to mosaics as a 7th grader at Long Lots Jr. High School, Westport, CT, she has forayed into the medium with more vigor starting in 2012. She continues her life-long learning by participating in workshops and classes taught by recognized mosaic artists. Her work has been in juried shows in Colorado as well as in Northern and Southern California. She was an Artist-in-Residence at The Maime Dowd Eishenhose Library in 2016.
Bob & Marlea Taylor - PR/Videos/Website
Bob is not a "mosaicist," but more a "facilitator." The mosaic artist and co-Board Member is Marlea, his life-mate for over 50 years. Over a decade ago, she joined CMA and from the start Bob, a "media guy" who'd worked in network radio and television since the 60's, felt compelled to document things with his camera and editing ability. His videos and photo presentations have helped promote the group and the mosaic art form his wife loves.
Now, with all organizations feeling pressure for change or even survival, Bob is trying to help in a more official way as a board member.