Mikel Wintermantel is a nationally recognized Copley Master artist and unwavering supporter of the regional arts scene. He was also a local businessman in partnership with his brothers at Studio 4 East Screenprinting for over 40 years. He has been an integral part of the Arts Council since its inception. After the Olean Arts Association dissolved in the early 80's, Wintermantel held informal meetings with area artists and musicians in his studio on a monthly basis for years. He is driven to build the Tri-County Arts Council into the thriving, vibrant community of creatives it has all the potential to be. His work and CV can be seen here: www.mikelwintermantel.com
Beth Wiltse grew up in Allegany NY, exploring the fields of her family farm and the woods of the Allegheny foothills. She brings to the Tri-County Arts Council experience in a variety of professional fields including library services, women’s history, women’s political philosophy, and environmental law & policy. Her recent interests have centered on building community through music, fine art and the enjoyment and protection of the natural world. Beth has a Bachelor’s Degree in Historical Studies, a Master’s of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School and was a contributor to a recently published introductory text on women’s studies and feminist activism.
Nemophilist : \Ne*moph"i*list\, n. One who is fond of forest or forest scenery; a haunter of the woods. Sean Huntington grew up in Derrick City Pennsylvania just outside the Allegheny National Forest. Being surrounded by woodlands in an unpopulated area caused an initial lack of social skills but created an intense interest in the natural world. He maintains a studio in Western New York state where he does his best impression of a big and tall version of Bob Ross . Most days Sean can be found there, unless on the road to one of many art festivals around the United States.
Geraldine Nash Smith, Ceramics Studio Director
Geraldine Nash Smith received her BS in Studio Art from Nazareth College of Rochester and her MFA in Ceramics from the School of American Craft at Rochester Institute of Technology. Geraldine has been teaching for over 30 years, ceramics and sculpture have been her main areas of instruction, but she has also taught design, drawing, painting and printmaking. Her students have ranged from kindergarteners to young 78-year olds. Locally, she has taught at Olean JCC, Empire State College, St. Bonaventure University, and Archbishop Walsh/ Southern Tier Schools. She lives in Olean with her husband Michael, they have two adult children, and they have one teenage daughter at home.
Allison Braun, Education Coordinator
Allison Braun is an artist, designer and maker. She has worked closely with many artist estates and has designed props for television, movies and commercials. Her background is in printmaking but she loves to explore different mediums. Community and creativity are very important to her, so she started an organization in 2018 that taught people self-expression through creative thinking. They held many workshops and two festivals. In 2020 she moved to Allegany, NY and is very excited to be working with the Tri-County Arts Council.
Lisa Conklin Conn, Kiln Master
Lisa C Conn is a clay artist and owner of Conklin Studio Pottery which is located in the Allegheny National Forest area of Pennsylvania. She creates sculpted pieces from stoneware and porcelain, suitable for both garden and home. Her creations capture the whimsical side of the flora and fauna found in this region. All pieces are hand built, hand glazed and no molds are used. Lisa is a juried artisan of the Pennsylvania Wilds and also a PA Wilds branded licensee. Her work can be found throughout the region at various galleries, host sites and shops.
Victoria Kearns, Grants Coordinator and Media Consultant
Victoria Kearns has a deep appreciation for fine art, music, and literature. She was named an award-winning journalist by the National Catholic Press Association and has written for several Western New York daily and weekly newspapers. She has a master's degree in pastoral ministry and has worked as a hospital chaplain. Recently she has provided writing and media relation services to non-profits in Western New York and Portland, Oregon. She grew up in Buffalo.