Raised with the motto “figure it out”, Sheri Gibb, Executive Director, is best described as an intense dabbler. Her children have said she has a trailer hitch mounted on her backside, always willing and encouraging others to join her in her adventures. She loves teaching about the amazing experiences that you can have getting messy. She is a huge fan of abolishing the phrase “I can’t” and strongly believes that we are all capable of being artists.
Carina Barajas, Social Media Manager, has been interested in drawing, crafts and painting from a young age. While in high school, she decided to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. At first, Barajas’ paintings were strictly inspired by her Basque culture, and the Basque dance group, the Utah ko’ Triskalariak. But during her BFA program, Barajas began to look at herself and her images differently. She used questions about body image as a central trope in one of her self-directed painting classes—and this eventually led to a larger body of work consisting of intaglio prints and various drawings. Barajas has made a study of various digital techniques to help her compose photo images, employ poses, and use color as an effective reference point in her paintings. She has also learned various brush and pallet knife painting techniques that enhance the texture and intensity of her work. Carina Barajas has recently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing, and minor in Arts and Technology, at the University of Utah’s College of Fine Arts.
Lin is the Program Coordinator at Clever Octopus as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. Originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, she received a BFA Art/Design degree with a Mathematics minor at Morehead State University's George M. Luckey Academic Honors Program. She has presented her advocacy research and productions – documentaries and music videos – in over a dozen conferences (e.g. Poster on the Hill, the Appalachian Studies Conference, the Southern Honors Council Regional Conference). She is fond of carefully-designed typographic posters, cozy coffee or boba shops, and art galleries.
Jen Lopez, Program Director, is the daughter of a Texas farm girl and a Cuban engineer, two cultures that appreciate a clever and creative approach to problem solving. Her art is a strange fusion of found objects, midcentury modern aesthetics, and intentionally lumpy ceramics. She enjoys combining natural and industrial materials in unexpected ways. Jen encourages her students to play with materials and enjoy the process of making art.
Sarah Bly has been teaching art to children for years, with only two intentions in mind each day: make kids laugh, and remind them that they are in charge of where their art takes them, with the use of one very important tool - their imagination. Making kids smile is passion number one, and this beautiful planet is number two. Along with teaching children the fundamentals of art, Sarah also like to teach them how important it is to recycle, rethink, recreate and reuse. Sarah is also a kids yoga teacher in Salt Lake. This is a fun trick to have stashed up her sleeve in art class.. Sometimes (so rarely)... kids are a little wound up, seeming impossible to teach. Being able to insert a little music and movement is such a blessing.
Kacy is the Outreach Coordinator at Clever Octopus as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. She grew up in North Western Pennsylvania. In 2016, she received her BFA in Jewelry Design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Her art is influenced by nature and garbage taking shape in 2D and 3D biomorphic forms. She likes spending her time outdoors, reading and creating.
Margo Richards, Shop Manager, has been involved in creating, selling or instructing art for most of her life. She has had many years of experience in managing volunteers, directing the Holladay Arts Council, accounting, fundraising and creating and balancing budgets, but is happiest when her work is helping children or creating her own art with her best friend. Making use of previously discarded items, her love of the arts and working with people in her community make this her perfect job. She lives in Holladay with her husband, she has two incredible grown children and last year became the grandmother of identical twin girls. Life doesn’t get much better than that.
Linda Bergstrom has been teaching art for the past 18 years in schools and privately. She can often be found wrangling her three alpacas, four Icelandic sheep, and various escapee chickens on her small farm in Bluffdale. Shearing her animals, spinning their fiber, dyeing it, weaving with it, crocheting and needle felting it, are all the best part of her Fiber Farm life. She has shown her paintings in various shows and cities, including 300 Plates at Art Access Gallery, the Springville Art Museum, and the Historic Santa Fe Foundation in Santa Fe New Mexico. Teaching children about an art and alpacas at her farm is her ultimate favorite!