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Next Event

Panorama pk march 2019
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Evoking Spirit

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

TJ Schwartz currently is an artist and stay at home mom. Born in West Michigan, TJ Schwartz attended summers at Interlochen Arts Camp and the prestigious HSPVA school in Houston, Texas. After becoming a winner of YoungArts, she became a student of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore Maryland. There she learned ceramics and majored in fibers, focusing on weaving. After school Schwartz moved back to Houston to become an art teacher for several years. TJ Schwartz was inspired to return to ceramics upon moving to Saint Joseph, MI and joined the Krasl Art Center ceramic guild.

"My talk will tell the story of spirit within my work. Whether it be the spirits that inspire me or the spirit I breathe into my work. As a child I spent large amounts of time with my Grandparents and within their homes I learned of things that still haunt me to this day such as family stories, the spirit of nature, loss, and ghosts. As an artist I have strived to evoke my viewers the essence of those things." -tjs

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Many Artists Creating as One

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

Instead of a camera Sharron Ott carried sketch books with her throughout her life, recording the world around her. In this 'chit-chat' she takes us on tour with theatre groups that she worked with as a backstage artist. She reflects on lessons learned, and how they influenced her personal art.

Sharron Ott is an Expressionist Painter, and Sculptor.
She captures light waves with rhythms and textures of multiple mediums, hoping that her art serves as a guide to places of awareness. She exhibits regularly across the US and Canada, with works placed in many prominent collections. The owner of Papillon Design since 1997, she provides interior design, and fine art services to commercial and residential clients. Her art and design work graces many Midwestern locations. In the theatrical arts she has facilitated scenic, prop, and costumes for Cirque Du Soliel, Steppenwolf Theatre Chicago, and Red Moon Theatre Chicago. Ott received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. As a teacher she focuses on the fundamentals. She believes that it is her job to provide the tools of knowledge for students, enabling them to express their true selves.

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Late to the pARTy

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

Nikki Gauthier is the Events and Programs Coordinator for the Box Factory for the Arts in St. Joseph, Michigan. In her role at the Box Factory, Nikki helps to develop programs which nurture the arts and creativity. She plans special Box Factory events, such as concerts, open mic nights, gallery receptions and tours, films and more. Nikki loves being part of the team at the Box Factory and looks forward to continuing to build an organization which fosters and celebrates artistic expressions.

Nikki’s work at the Box Factory is a natural fit, as she has always had a passion for the arts in its many forms. She developed her own artistic talents as a musician early in life, but only recently discovered an affinity for painting. You can find Nikki’s work on Facebook as She Looks Designs, on Instagram (@shelooksdesigns) and also in person at local artisan markets.

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The Solace in Bonsai

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

Jesse Hibler owns an architecture and design firm in the historic Kephart Farmhouse in Berrien Springs. He serves on the Village Council as a Trustee, has 2 stubborn Basset Hounds named Charlie and Lucy, and is a transplant from Indianapolis 25 years ago. He loves SW Michigan, the Lake, and the people that call this corner of Michigan home.


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The Conservation of Happiness: Life on a Nuclear Submarine

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

Nathan Waters will give a small glimpse into life on a Nuclear powered submarine and the bond between the diverse service members that run these amazing machines.

When Nathan was 19, he married his wonderful wife on New Years Day in 1999. Two months later, he was in boot camp in Great Lakes Illinois. He went on to spend two years training to operate a nuclear power plant, 4 years on a ballistic missile submarine, and 4 years as an instructor training others to do the same. After 10 years of serving active duty in the Navy, Nathan decided to move on to civilian life and settle down with the family. All the while, he has acquired 3 beautiful offspring and somehow managed to make it to a 20 year anniversary.
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Pursuing the Ampersand

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

Michael Hill is an interdisciplinary social scientist with strong interests in the visual arts. After many years of teaching, research and publication, he received the Distinguished Scholarly Career Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on the History of Sociology. He is currently a docent in theKrasl Art Center, a part-time artist, and the Associate Director of the Jane Addams Research Center in St. Joseph, Michigan.

"I was intrigued early on by the squiggly little symbol my father made in his handwritten manuscripts to indicate the English conjunction “and.” And, I learned later, it is called an “ampersand.” Most recently, an online typography course rekindled my interest in the origin, uses, and peculiarities of the ampersand as a visual & linguistic device. Did you know, for example, that it was once called the 27th letter of the alphabet? My pursuit of the ampersand has taken me, serendipitously, to bookstores, libraries, archives, art museums, art classes, billboards, and grocery stores. We live in a universe filled with letters and symbols; this is my attempt to better understand one of them." - michael r hill
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What is "race"...really?

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

What is “race”… really? "I invite the audience to reflect on this question: Are we “ok” with the social meaning attached to the concept “race” and its implications for the health and well-being of our society?" - Lynn Todman

Lynn Todman, Ph.D. is an urban planner by training whose work focuses on health equity, the social factors that impact health, social disadvantage, and community development. Currently, she is the Executive Director for Population Health at SpectrumLakeland Health. In addition, Lynn is the driving force behind Community Grand Rounds: Health the Trauma of Racism – an initiative jointly executed by Spectrum Health Lakeland and the Todman Family Foundation that seeks to highlight the insidious ways that racism harms community health and creates and sustains health inequities. Prior to Lakeland, Lynn was Vice President for Leadership in Social Justice and Executive Director of the Institute on Social Exclusion at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago. Lynn loves her work, cycling and the gym. But, she really enjoys time spent with Michael, Sean, Melanie, Rob, Madeleine and Lilah!
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A Journey to the City of Joy

@ VOL 15 ON DEC 06, 2018

Nicole Pierard-D’Herde's talk will be about her first trip to India and a famous encounter that changed her life.

Nicole is a French Teacher from Europe, an artist with a studio at the Box Factory for the Arts and a volunteer & member at Krasl Art Center.



Ibrahim Parlak's Story with a Twist


“He called the restaurant Gulistan which means ‘the land of roses’. To the restaurant came the people. First one, then two, then a bunch.”

In Ibrahim Parlak's Story with a Twist from PechaKucha Night Saint Joseph’s 4th volume, Presenter Ashley Reichert tells the story of a man from Kurdistan, Ibrahim Paralak, and his journey to a small town in Michigan. He is in search of freedom - a place where people are free to speak their minds, free from oppression, and free persecution. All he wants is to make a peaceful place for his family, his restaurant, and a place to grow his roses.
All is going well, until one day he is just gone. Soon, many people ask where he has gone, and learn he has been jailed with the fear of being deported. Ashley goes on to tell us how he is released from jail and goes back to family, his restaurant, and his roses. All seems well again, but there's a twist.

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About the City's Organizers

  • Christopher Gregory

    The most fascinating part of PechaKucha for me is the chance to hear amazing stories that are otherwise internalized, overlooked, or unheard. If you are reading this I believe you have a story to share.

  • Lana DeFrancesco

    I'm a BIG PechaKucha fan! I don't meet new people, I meet potential PechaKucha presenters. I don't listen to my friend's conversations, I draft their PechaKucha titles in my head. I believe everyone should tell their stories.. over.. and over.. again.

  • Nathan Margoni

    Nathan Margoni is an artist/illustrator/educator living and working in Benton Harbor, MI. He has worked as the Manager of Education and Interpretation at the Krasl Art Center since 2014.

  • Meg Clayton

    At Whirlpool, I create user-centered interface designs by day, and PechaKucha graphics by night. I love all things that bring people together in our community, and I believe that everyone has a story to tell!

  • Mark Strauss

    Mark Strauss is a national Communications Training and Branding professional who has worked with brands like Disney, Motorola, and the NFL. He is also a screenwriter with a passion for storytelling that informs every creative and professional endeavor.

  • Jorden Parker

    Life long SJ/BH Resident, I love this community and continue to find ways to engage my workplace with the activities I enjoy and the places they happen. By day I am architect at Wightman & Associates, by all the time I am a father to three daughters and a husband to someone else's.

  • Jaakko Kasko

    World traveler, athlete, brewer, guitarist, computer geek...yeah, that's pretty descriptive.