Listee Features — Art

MARY L. PFEIFFER

An expert in Native American studies, human rights law and religious studies, Mary L. Pfeiffer got involved in her profession because she simply loved to learn, which she believes has kept her alive. She was always interested in the United Nations because her husband was a U.S. Navy pilot and they lived in Europe for three years. Additionally, she was always interested in the presidents of the United States. When she was invited to go to law school, that interest was directed specifically into human rights. Ms. Pfeiffer is fascinated by how people think about the world and the whole idea of not just protecting humans, but the earth as well. Retiring in 2018, Ms. Pfeiffer began her professional career

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Heidi Loewen

HEIDI LOEWEN

Heidi Loewen has found much success as a distinguished curator, gallerist and sculptor with decades of experience in the New York visual arts landscape. She attributes her success to her parents, who encouraged her to approach the world with kindness and to follow a path that made her happy. She initially pursued an education at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York, graduating in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science in fine art, studio art, art history and languages. During her enrollment at Skidmore College, Ms. Loewen studied abroad at Sorbonne University in Paris. From 1979 to 1986, Ms. Loewen worked as the business manager of the prestigious Sotheby’s Art Auction House in New York. She subsequently departed Sotheby to

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Linda Nearon

LINDA NEARON

Linda Nearon painted strictly plein air for many years, before deciding to move her easel indoors. Working in her studio has allowed her the time and freedom to experiment with other techniques. She is a professional artist, having painted florals, landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes and portraits. However, florals are what Ms. Nearon feels she does best. Ms. Nearon is a signature member of the National Oil Acrylic Painters of America and a member of the Oil Painters of America. She has studied art under renowned artists such as James Wu. She has also taken workshops from Ted Gershner, Kathryn Stats and John Hughes. Additionally, Ms. Nearon has won many art awards over the years, most notably the Merit Award in the

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Sara Bertka

SARA BERTKA

Possessing a natural talent for art, Sara Bertka’s high school, Bluffton High School in Ohio, had a well-developed art program that exposed her to many different options, forms and mediums of art. She started off on the path of fine arts, but she began to desire to make art a career after graduating in 2016. That was when Ms. Bertka found a school for graphic and digital design, pursuing a formal education at the School of Advertising Art, now known as the Modern College of Design, in Kettering, Ohio, where she graduated as valedictorian and attained an Associate of Arts in 2018. Prior to earning a degree, Ms. Bertka was a contact graphic designer for BMoore Connected in Bluffton and

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Wendy Weiner

WENDY L. WEINER

Now retired, Wendy L. Weiner excelled as a teacher with Milwaukee Public Schools for 25 years until 2012. Working in a primarily poverty-stricken community, she dedicated her life to the children of the inner city by not only providing them with an effective education, but also with a safe and loving environment. Additionally, Ms. Weiner established her own business in 1990 as the owner of W.L.W. Presentations. Ms. Weiner became involved in her profession because at first, she did not know she would be an educator, but she did know from the experiences she had as a student that she wanted to make a better educational system for children. Although she did not have the best educational experience with the

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Charleen Kavleski

CHARLEEN VERENA KAVLESKI

Charleen Verena Kavleski is a prolific artist in the State of New York, whose expertise stems from her early family mentorship and her extensive New York City gallery and museum exposure, as well as her college education. Serving as an art teacher for the Monticello Central School District for more than 30 years beginning in 1968, she retired from her position in 1999 to commit herself full-time to artistic endeavors. During her educational tenure, she also served Robert J. Kaiser Middle School as an art advisor and editor of the literary and art magazine. From 1983 to 2009, she was an antiques and art dealer at Brockmann’s Antique Center in Milford, New York. Since departing from Brockmann’s, Mrs. Kavleski has

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Donna Bonin

DONNA M. BONIN

Becoming involved in her field by chance, Donna M. Bonin contracted a virus called Guillain–Barré syndrome, of which her legs became paralyzed. Her career as a physical education teacher and professional equestrian was necessarily over, and she needed to find something meaningful to do sitting down. Ms. Bonin had loved to draw in her childhood and teen years, so decided to enroll in a watercolor painting course at her community college. Within a year, she won an award in a juried show and that painting sold. Shortly thereafter, she was asked to teach at Loyalist College in Belleville, ON, Canada, and Michaels Arts and Crafts Store, which she has continued to do since 2000. Today, Ms. Bonin is the owner

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Judi Combs

JUDI COMBS

When Judi Combs’ father passed away, she began spending more time with her mother. Her mother would attend art classes that she would drive her to, and she became very interested and began creating art of her own. A friend of hers encouraged her to begin selling her work. Prior to that, she had not done art to make a living or sold any of her pieces. She was a stay-at-home mother and her husband was “the bread-winner.” Ms. Combs somewhat fell into a business through the encouragement of her friends. Fudgico Marchant was her late friend, who originally encouraged her to begin selling her art and eventually became the spark that caused her to begin her business. She feels

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Patricia Smith

PATRICIA J. SMITH

Growing up in a very small Swiss/German-speaking Mennonite community in Kansas, Patricia J. Smith, PhD, was always interested in things abroad that she did not have access to. She was a debater in high school, and her school had one of the best debate teams in the state. Debate was one of the things that triggered her interest in foreign things. Since 2009, Dr. Smith has been the sole photographer of her own business, Patricia Smith Photography, in Seattle. Many of the photographs in her galleries come from Ocean Shores, Washington, a small beach community with six miles of beach on northwest Washington’s Pacific coast. A passionate traveler and student of cultures and places, she has lived and worked in

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