Who We Are / Board

Artist Trust Board of Trustees

We are grateful to the many dedicated artists, arts professionals and community members who volunteer to serve on the board for a three-year term, renewable for a second three-year term. The current roster of board members is included below.

Sarah Traver / Seattle

President

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As President of the Traver Gallery in Seattle, Sarah’s work spans all facets of the gallery from strategy to sales to design and installation. She is beloved by artists, clients, and community for her sincere interest and generous spirit. She serves on the Artist Trust Board as President and as a Board Member of the Pratt Fine Arts Center.

With degrees in art and education from both coasts of the United States, Sarah focuses on facilitating space for learning, the sharing of ideas, and insight. When she is not working, she can most likely be found playing in the wilds of Washington or trying out a new restaurant in Seattle or abroad.

Chris Abrass / Port Angeles

Vice President

A retired physician and professor of medicine, Chris has a life-long passion for artmaking. She is known for her brooches and steel wire and paper necklaces that are found in numerous private collections throughout the US. In 2015, Chris was commissioned by the Bellevue Arts Museum to make a brooch. This replica of the museum façade was presented as a gift to former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright during the exhibition of Dr. Albright’s collection of brooches, Read My Pin.

Chris has served 13 years on the Board of Pratt Fine Arts Center, holding leadership positions as Treasurer and President. She also served as President of the Women in Nephrology, President of the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, and Board Member of the American Society of Nephrology.

Katie Creyts / Spokane

Secretary

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Katie is an artist and Associate Professor of Art at Whitworth University. Her work is strangely resonant idiosyncratic objects and installations that reframe “reality” and “fantasy” by entangling these themes in found and created objects. She utilizes glassmaking along with a variety of sculpting processes to create her work.

Katie has an MFA from Illinois State University, and a BFA from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. In the past, she has received scholarships to study at The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Pilchuck Glass School, and The Studio at the Corning Museum.

Will Chapman / Seattle

Board member

Originally from Hampton Roads, Virginia, Will is the son of an architect and artist, both of whom are patrons of the arts. He was raised to appreciate the role of the arts as part of vibrant community life.

Over the course of his career, Will has applied his skills in program management in the fields of international logistics, nonproliferation, and information technology, most recently at Amazon as a Senior Program Manager. He has experience as an entrepreneur and applies his knowledge and skills as a consultant with companies working in the global health and nonproliferation space. He graduated from Florida State University and John Hopkins University where he focused on business and finance.

As a recent transplant to Seattle, Will quickly became enamored with Washington’s diverse and vibrant arts community. As a board member he is excited to find ways to help the Washington arts community continue to thrive and evolve.

Nancy Chang / Seattle

Board member

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Nancy is a Seattle-based culture shifter and the executive director of Reel Grrls. She is experienced in strategic planning for authentic community development.

Unable to find a supportive space for girls in the skater community until she moved to Seattle in her early 20s, Nancy established the nonprofit Skate Like a Girl. She is passionate about creating strong, authentic, and inclusive communities through her work and currently serves on the Boards of Skate Like a Girl, and Water1st, and Artist Trust.

During her free time, Nancy enjoys the company of her dog Lady, traveling, and learning about new things. She has declared her life’s mantra as being feral and free.

Allison Eltrich / Seattle

Board member

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Allison Eltrich is a singer/songwriter, arts community activist, and small business owner in the Puget Sound area.

Co-founder of Practice Space Seattle, Allison has spent ten years working for philanthropic organizations including Philanthropy Northwest and the Seattle Foundation. She strongly believes that the people that make up Seattle’s unique, celebrated, and diverse music community can thrive with the right tools, opportunities, and ability to share resources broadly. Her largest driving goal is to introduce Seattle arts supporters to the needs of the musicians that will continue this city’s legacy of incredible music.

Heather Joy Helbach-Olds / Tacoma

Board member

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Heather Joy Helbach-Olds is a former programs director at Artist Trust and currently serves as the manager of Spaceworks Tacoma.

Heather has a wide array of skills and knowledge thanks to over 15 years of experience as an artist, small arts business owner, and arts administrator in the Puget Sound region. As a small business owner, Heather understands what it takes to keep a business running, and as an artist, she finds inspiration from working with other artists. She hopes to help Tacoma artists share their talents with the community and continues to support them in reaching their goals.

Cezanne Garcia / Seattle

Board member

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A design thinking and strategy consultant, Cezanne Garcia works on health systems redesign and provides training and technical assistance to diverse health systems around the world.  Her focus is on building the capacity of staff, clinicians, and administrative leaders in partnership with patients and families, to innovate and integrate best practices that are solution focused and action oriented to improve care financial, experience of care, equity, quality, and safety performance outcomes.

Cezanne is a founding member of the Jewish Women’s Funding Network and Harborview’s Community Service League.  Prior to Artist Trust, she served on the Board of the Society of Public Health Education, Washington Health Education Resources Exchange, Alternative and Non-Traditional Employment for Women, and Navajo Nation Family Planning. 

She is the founder of C Salts and Threads, a business development partner that supports women’s textile collectives in Myanmar, and a fused glass artist that plays with color to transform our experience of light.

Zabrina Jenkins / Seattle

Board member

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Zabrina Jenkins is a Seattle-based expert of business and law working as an attorney for Starbucks Coffee Company.

A strong voice for empowerment, Zabrina’s work in diversity is apparent in her wide array of active volunteer work, currently serving on the advisory boards of Washington Leadership institute, Girls Can Do, and Central Washington University College of Law. Prior to Artist Trust, Zabrina served on the Diversity Committee for the Starbucks Law & Corporate Affairs department and was a board member of Washington Women Lawyers.

Zabrina has lived on both coasts, receiving her Bachelor of Science from Central Washington University before receiving her Master of Science degree from the Syracuse University School of Education, and finally her JD, cum laude, from the Syracuse University College of Law.

Michael Lane / Seattle

Board member

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Michael Lane currently serves on the Artist Trust board and works as the Senior Technical Program Manager at Amazon.

The majority of his professional experience has been in information technology engineering, data center operations, program/project management, and service management. He graduated from the MIT Sloan School of Management and has also served on the advisory board of the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. His focus as a board member with Artist Trust is to establish more opportunities for artists who are leveraging technology.

Gar LaSalle / Seattle

Board member

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A physician, sculptor, award-winning filmmaker and author, Gar LaSalle has been honored widely in both the medical and fine arts communities for his leadership and creativity. He has earned acclaim for his historical fiction, including Widow Walk, which is now in production for a TV series, and its sequel, Isthmus. His first feature-length film, Diary of a Moonlighter, was produced in 1976 and aired on the PBS series P.O.V., and his third book, The Fairness of Beasts, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2017.  LaSalle writes from his home in Seattle and sculpts in his studio on Maury Island.

Mariella Luz / Olympia

Board member

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Mariella Luz is a working artist, studio potter and instructor.  A graduate of The Evergreen State College, Mariella founded the Olympia All Ages Project and worked as general manager at K Records. She serves on the boards of the Washington State Arts Comission & Olympia Artspace Alliance.

James Miles / Seattle

Board member

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James Miles (Seattle) is originally from Chicago and moved to Seattle from Brooklyn, NY where he worked as an artist and educator for the past 20 years. Before joining Arts Corps as Executive Director, he was the Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership, in New York City. James also facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, and others. Previously a professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education.

A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSW EDU, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, New York Creative Tech Week, EdTechXEurope, Google Educator Bootcamp, and provided Professional Development to teachers across the world. His work has been featured by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, National Guild, Seattle Times, KOMO, NPR, CBS, US Department of Education, and ASCD. James is a former accountant, model, and actor. He can be frequently found on social media, as @fresh_professor, writing about the arts, education, and academic inequity.

Byron Olson / Walla Walla

Board member

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Having a demonstrated history of working in government administration, Byron Olson currently serves as the Deputy City Manager in the City of Walla Walla.

Former Chief Financial Officer for the City of Port Angeles Byron has served on many other committees for the Association of Washington Cities and the State of Washington as Governor’s appointee. He has a background in Theatre Design from the University of Utah before obtaining his Master of Business Administration from University of Puget Sound.

Mark Olthoff / Seattle

Board member

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Mark Olthoff is a Principal at Seattle-based design firm Olson Kundig. Since joining the firm in 2003, Mark has worked on a range of project types, from city homes, mountain retreats and island cabins to creative studios and large-scale hospitality projects in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, Chicago, Manhattan, and China.

Mark’s abiding interest in understanding diverse landscapes and cultures has taken him to project locations around the world. In 2014, he was named the Plym Traveling Fellow by the Illinois School of Architecture, which allowed him to study the relationship between architecture, environment and art.

A longtime advocate for the arts, Mark has served on the Board of Directors for Shunpike and on the University of Washington Department of Architecture Professional Advisory Council. He is also a frequent guest critic and lecturer at the UW Department of Architecture, where he earned his Master of Architecture degree.

Nicole Stellner / Seattle

Board member

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Nicole Stellner is originally from the Minneapolis area where her love of the arts was developed through formative experiences at the Walker Art Center, Children’s Theatre Company at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Guthrie Theater.

Nicole is a lifetime arts patron, supporter, volunteer and advocate. Nicole has a BS in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, an MBA from the University of Washington and a certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Washington. She spent over 20 years at Weyerhaeuser in strategic planning and finance roles. She is currently Board President of Shunpike and is on the boards of Annex Theatre and Macha Theatre Works.

Ben Stuckart / Spokane

Board member

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Ben Stuckart works as the City Council President of the City of Spokane.

Ben was born and raised in Spokane, working his way through college at Gonzaga University as a construction worker, dishwasher, and janitor, and in the ticketing industry after graduation. Before going into politics, Ben started the nonprofit Communities in Schools of Spokane County, where he helped provide supplementary programs and resources to school children in need.

Ben has served on many advisory boards, including the board for City Public Works Committee, Spokane Library and Spokane Library Foundation, NW Museum of Arts and Culture, and the founding board for Spokane Arts Fund. Ben is dedicated to being a passionate, energetic, and effective advocate for Eastern Washington.

Tanya Trejo / Seattle

Board member

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Tanya Trejo is a passionate and engaging IT leader with a successful track record building teams, developing leaders, and driving program management all with a focus on delivery and driving process improvement.

Tanya is Senior Director of Tax Technology at Expedia and has served as a board member for Families for Effective Autism Treatment, as well as a volunteer and supporter of Arthritis Foundation and Northwest harvest. Tanya lives with her husband Keane Watterson in Seattle.

Robert Tull / Ferndale

Board member

Robert Tull is a retired attorney with Langabeer and Tull, PS currently serving as a legal consultant to the Lummi Nation.

Robert is a top rated environmental attorney in Bellingham, Washington and has extensive experience working with nonprofit boards in Whatcom County and Bellingham, including serving as former President of Artist Trust. He studied English Literature at the University of Washington before receiving his Juris Doctor from the Gonzaga University School of Law.

Lorraine Vagner / Seattle

Board member

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A jewelry art collector, Lorraine Vagner is an associate at the Facèré Jewelry Art Gallery, a jewelry art exhibition curator, and treasurer of her homeowners association.

Lorraine founded and was the artistic director of Encore Playhouse in Bellevue. She was the coordinator and manager of Coral Gables Concert Series and has taught math and science. Lorraine has served on committees for Washington Women’s Foundation, Port Townsend Film Festival, and Washington C.A.S.H. (now known as Ventures Nonprofit).