Administrative Staff

Vin Quenneville

Executive Director

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Vin brought his leadership and organizational acumen to the J in 2017. Before the J, he spent 25+ years helping small businesses thrive and is known for his ability to motivate and create strong, productive teams. His enthusiasm is contagious; he aims to inspire and cultivate creativity within the J’s active art community.

Vin and his wife Kristin moved to Whatcom County in 2012, driven by their love of the outdoors and the arts. Vin’s commitment to Lynden extends beyond the J; he also sits on the Downtown Lynden Business Association’s Board of Directors.

Lindsey Gerhard

Arts Director

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With a degree in Design and Art History from the University of Texas Austin, and a background in film, theatre, and media education, Lindsey has spent over 10 years supporting non-profits and arts organizations in Whatcom County through communications, event management, and project development. She is a passionate advocate for equitable access to the arts, an active community organizer, and a perpetual learner.

In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys being around the water and talking to you about pop culture. She believes music makes the world go round and that creating is always better with a great soundtrack.

Cindy Wadkins

Bookkeeper & Registrar

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Cindy graduated with a Masters in International Management from Thunderbird in Glendale, AZ, and is a certified bookkeeper. She joined the J in 2015 and has loved using her left brain strengths through bookkeeping to support right brain activity through the arts. One of Cindy’s proudest accomplishments at the J was streamlining the financial data and reporting to further the J’s growth. 

One of Cindy’s favorite memories from the J was taking an enamel earring class with her sister. Her earliest experience of art was drawing portraits of her pets at age nine. An interesting fact about Cindy is that she grew up in Iran, Australia, and the Philippines and loves learning languages.

Chloe Smith

Administrative Assistant

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Chloe comes to the J with a background in arts accessibility and retail management. After growing up around creatives of all kinds, she has honed her skills as an illustrator and advocate for the arts.

She graduated from WWU’s Fairhaven College in 2018 with a degree titled Accessibility to Arts in Education and Social Justice, and she is excited to bring her passion for making the arts as accessible as possible to our community. Outside of the J, her interests include drawing, cooking, painting, and gardening. She lives in Bellingham with her boyfriend, their cat Bootsie, and dog Ladybug.

Margaret Irvine

Events & Volunteer Coordinator

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Margaret brings an extensive background in customer service and event planning to the Jansen Art Center.  Upon retiring in 2003 after 40 years at Nordstrom’s, Margaret became the Executive Director of the Greater Queen Anne Chamber of Commerce in Seattle.

Five years later, after living in the heart of Seattle for 45 years, Margaret and her husband followed the family to Whatcom County where she joined the staff of the Jansen Art Center in 2012.  Margaret brings life to the J through our volunteers and events. She has seen the Jansen Art Center become one of the most valued arts centers in the Pacific Northwest.

Studio Directors

Jesse Rasmussen

Ceramics Program Director

Jesse has a BFA and an MFA in Ceramics and Sculpture and has 20 years of experience in ceramics. He first started working with clay when he took a sculpture class for preliminary credits for an industrial design program in college. Through that class, Jesse discovered his creative voice and never looked back. His sculpture and functional work explore the intricate details of natural phenomena and how they correspond with the human experience. His work provides visual dialogues derived from personal experiences and observations of the natural world.

He is most proud of helping create a community of artists that have become family. He believes that art is important to a community because it provides a voice for expressing complex ideas, emotions, and statements that helps a community grow and evolve. Jesse is also a pilot, and while he does not fly these days, he was flying by himself at age 16 and didn’t even have a driver’s license at the time.

Karen Visser

Music Studio & Performance Coordinator

Karen has taught the orchestra program at Lynden Christian Schools for 19 years and has taught private violin lessons for over 40 years. She has also played in the Bellingham Symphony Orchestra since it first started in 1976. Her mother was a musician and a teacher so music has always been a part of her life. 

Karen is honored and thrilled to be involved with the planning and facilitating of what happens at the J and strives to bring great programs and classes to the community and beyond. One of her favorite things about the J is the many opportunities it provides for live music and performances and the beautiful chamber hall that brings musicians and audiences together to engage in a personal setting.

Judith Gauthier

Jewelry Studio Manager & Instructor

Judith has been in the metalwork/jewelry-making world for the past 45 years. She studied art education with an emphasis on silversmithing at the University of Montana. Working for several jewelry production companies throughout the years, Judith has learned the ins and outs of metal fabrication. Judith enjoys art because it is essential in feeding the creative soul. 

She prides herself in helping develop the jewelry studio downstairs in the J when it first opened in 2012. One of Judith’s favorite experiences from the J is creating the jewelry challenge called “Falling Out of the Box.” She loves the exciting and amazing entries that are submitted by artists from around the country.

Leah Meleski

Metalsmithing & Jewelry Instructor

Leah was born and raised in Connecticut and moved to Massachusetts in 2004 to pursue her dream of creating jewelry. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education and Fine Arts 3D/Metals from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2008 and has been teaching and creating jewelry ever since. Leah, as a former middle school art teacher, found that she loves teaching but found her true passion for teaching in continuing education classes for adults. She finds joy in seeing the drive of students in continuing education classes because they truly want to be there to learn.

Leah is proud of the partnerships between Whatcom Community College and the J’s jewelry studio and assisting with (and winning!) a grant from the Robert B. McMillen Foundation. She believes that art is something that everyone can do, it is just a matter of thinking outside the box and expressing what is inside. A fun fact about Leah is that she currently has a piece of artwork in the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of teapots.

Sheri Ward

Textiles Studio Committee Member

Sheri has been a weaver for many years. She was first introduced to weaving through a non-academic class during graduate school in which she learned how to weave on a frame loom. Sheri really enjoyed the class and later her husband gave her a small table loom and she has been weaving ever since. She first started teaching at the J to teach new people how to weave after the local Weavers Guild was going through a low point. 

Sheri believes art is important to a community because it builds community. She has witnessed this herself in the textile studio through weaving classes. Because weaving classes are often four weeks long, people at the end of the class become friends and form their own small community. Sheri’s proudest accomplishment involving the J was being a part of the growing Textile studio through support from each other and the J.

Marcia Ford

Textiles Studio Committee Member

Marcia has had a lifelong interest in fabrics and is a long time weaver, spinner, and crafter. Marcia began weaving in college when she minored in Clothing and Textiles and took her first weaving class and was hooked.

One of her favorite memories from the J is seeing yards of fabric unrolled from a loom and realizing that each cross thread was hand positioned. Accomplishments involving the J that she is most proud of are helping with WWGuild sales in the concert hall, sharing weaving experiences with the group of textile studio participants, and exhibiting in various displays. Marcia believes art is important to a community because life can become technical and repetitive and art gives the opportunity to express visual, auditory, and tactile senses directly.

Lisa Christianson

Textiles Studio Committee Member

Lisa’s love of art began early when she learned to draw as a child. She was a beekeeper before joining the textiles studio at the J.

Lisa’s proudest accomplishment involving the J is the textiles group organizing a wool show at a local fair. A favorite experience of hers at the J is taking a weaving class and interacting with fellow community members. She believes art is important to a community because art is an embodiment of the spirit of the community and of the individual.

Patty Dodge

Textiles Studio Committee Member

Bio coming soon.

Joan Cunningham

Textiles Studio Committee Member

Bio coming soon.

Board of Directors

Heidi Doornenbal

Founder & Emeritus Director

Heidi has been an influential Lynden community member. Inspired by her mother Eleanor Jansen, she founded the Jansen Art Center out of a need for a place to showcase creativity and to give opportunities to engage in the arts.

Adrienne Stewart

President

Adrienne has been Board Director for many organizations close to her heart. She believes that art connects people and creates community regardless of ethnicity, economic status, geographic location, gender, or age.

Jenny Weeks

Vice President

Jenny is a certified public accountant and has been a long-time sponsor of the J. She has helped the J with various accounting tasks throughout the years and is also a fourth-generation Lynden-ite! 

Brad Williamson

Secretary & Treasurer

Brad has many years of experience as the president of the transportation company LTI and has served on various nonprofit boards.

Lynn Giuliani

Director

Lynn has over 25 years of consulting, teaching, and marketing experience. Motivating others and being an artist herself made her a great fit for the board at the J.

Sue Sharpe

Director

Bio coming soon.

Jeffery McClure

Director

Jeffery is the founder of RMC Architects. He is proud to be a part of an active and committed Board of Directors who is interested in extending the reach of the J.

Chuck Robinson

Director

Chuck is passionate about building community and has served on more than 15 nonprofit boards. He and his wife Dee owned Village Books with a mission of “Building Community One Book at a Time.”

Terry Redden

Director

Terry learned a long time ago that art decorates our history and believes it is important to every community. He uses his problem-solving skills to help an organization that supports his creative interests.

Susan Laine

Director

Susan is passionate about all things art-related and is an artist herself.  She was a Market Research Analyst at First Federal Savings in New York and now lives in Bellingham with her husband, Erick.  They have three grown children.