Core Staff


Kari Palazzari, Executive Director

Kari brings extensive experience in nonprofit management and leadership consulting to her role as Executive Director. Prior to moving to Colorado in 2006, she earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. She served as Board Treasurer of Studio Arts Boulder for nearly two years, helping with the transition of the Pottery Lab from a city-run program to an independent non-profit organization. Earlier in her career, Kari launched both nonprofit and for-profit start-ups and also worked in marketing communications and project management.

Aaron Winston, Pottery Lab Director

Aaron studied printmaking for seven years, earning a master’s degree from the University of New Mexico. During that time, he began to practice a Japanese tradition of throwing porcelain. After graduating and a short, but life-altering visit to Japan, Aaron worked for two years with an industrial designer creating unique service pieces in porcelain. At this time, he also worked and studied at the San Diego Ceramic Connection. Aaron learned a great deal, not least of which is the many, subtle ways clay shapes those who collaborate with it. Aaron began instructing at the Boulder Pottery Lab in 2006. He works there now: teaching, practicing…learning.

Colleen McCarthy, Pottery Lab Operations Manager

Colleen graduated from Northern Arizona University with a bachelor's degree in recreation and leisure services. She moved to Boulder in 1989, where she and her husband have raised their two sons. Once her sons started high school, she began taking pottery classes at the Lab in January 2008. She became a volunteer assistant for the adult and teen classes and started working part-time at the lab in the summer of 2011; firing kilns, making glazes and general lab duties. She began teaching the 6 and 7-year-old pottery classes and now serves as the Lab's Operations Manager.

Curtis Rindels, Pottery Lab Studio Assistant

Curtis grew up in Scottsbluff, Nebraska and trained as a chef at the Culinary School of the Rockies. He worked as an assistant butcher at Old Major in Denver, known for its carnivorous specialties. He also cooked at The Kitchen and Flagstaff House in Boulder, where he rose to the position of sous chef. After starting classes at the Lab, his passions for creativity shifted from food to clay and he fell in love with ceramics. Since his long-term ambition is to be a teacher, Curtis has begun teaching youth classes at the Lab in addition to working as the studio assistant.

Hannah Hanssens-Reed, Manager of Advancement

Art has been a consistent focus throughout Hannah’s life. She completed her Masters of Education in Arts in Education at Harvard University and has taught around the States, in Spain, Panama, and Peru. Hannah has worked in public schools and nonprofits that focus on expanding arts and education to low-income students and students with disabilities, and she is passionate about arts as a form of social change. Her work at Studio Arts Boulder includes grant writing, instruction of youth classes, and development of community partnerships within Boulder.

Zahra Merali, Advancement & Development Specialist 

Zahra earned her B.A. in Sociology and Anthropology from The College of New Jersey and has gravitated toward the arts her whole life. In 2016, she relocated to Boulder from the east coast, and immediately started taking classes at the Lab, where she became enthralled with Studio Arts Boulder and the art of ceramics. In her role, Zahra assists with administration, marketing, and fundraising initiatives, drawing on her past experience as a fundraising and development professional.