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 that 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 and continues today: teaching, practicing, and learning. As Pottery Lab Director, Aaron oversees the programs and partnerships of the organization as well as major facilities decisions. He manages the program staff - instructors and teaching assistants - and is responsible for fulfilling the artistic mission of the organization. Aaron reports to the Board of Directors.
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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 transition 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. Kari is primarily responsible for the growth & expansion of the organization, including the capital campaign and construction process. As Executive Director she also manages the nonprofit support functions of the organization - finance, marketing, and fundraising - and reports to the Board of Directors.
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Colleen McCarthy, 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. Colleen taught youth classes for 6- and 7-year-olds as well. She now serves as Operations Manager, overseeing all activities at the Pottery Lab. She also directs the organization's administrative functions, which includes data management, accounting, and scheduling.
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Curtis Rindels, Assistant Operations Manager
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. He aspired to be a teacher and began instructing youth classes at the Lab shortly after becoming a studio assistant. He now has direct responsibility for the day-to-day operations at the Lab and all customer service needs.
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Hannah Hanssens-Reed, Manager of Advancement
Art has been a consistent focus throughout Hannah’s life. After finishing her undergraduate degree, she moved to Spain and taught in elementary and high schools. Her love for travel was fueled and the two years following her time in Spain were spent teaching in Peru and Panamá, traveling through South and Central America, and working in Australia. Hannah completed her Masters of Education in Arts in Education at Harvard University and has worked in public schools and nonprofits that focus on expanding arts and education to low-income students and students with disabilities. She is passionate about arts as a form of social change. Her work at Studio Arts Boulder includes grant writing, marketing, instruction of youth classes, and development of community partnerships within Boulder. She is also taking an active role in program and curriculum development.
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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. As the Advancement & Development Specialist, Zahra leads the organization's fundraising initiatives, drawing on her past experience as a fundraising and development professional. She also assists with administrative and marketing efforts.
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