Weavers Guild of Minnesota Staff
Karin Knudsen, Operations Manager and Member Support
WGM Role: Marketing, Development & Fundraising, Daily Operations, Fiber Source Store, In-kind Donations, Guild Membership, Guild Services and Activities
Karin has extensive experience working with stakeholders, managing projects and writing content for non-profits. Her expertise is writing and communication, crafting engaging, clear content with an eye toward making the complicated easily explainable. She has a background in arts administration and has previous retail management experience, making her a great fit to manage WGM’s on-site store, Fiber Source, as well as coordinate WGM’s 600 members. Karin holds a Master’s Degree in Anthropology. A practicing artist and teacher, she specializes in katazome, a Japanese surface design technique using stencils and paste-resist on cloth. She is also a weaver and indigo-dyer.
Betsy Konop, Education Manager
WGM Role: Education program, policy development, strategy and vision, Manages classrooms, equipment, and private lessons, as well as relationships with instructors, visiting artists, and students, Education marketing and existing and new audience engagement
Betsy has over a decade of experience working in the arts and collaborates with colleagues, artists, and community partners on dynamic and creative projects and programs. Her most recent post was with the Portland Art Museum as Education and Public Programs Assistant where she engaged a broad range of visitors on topics that are locally, nationally, and globally relevant. She managed the Museum’s ongoing monthly programs and worked closely with the Associate Director of Education and Public Programs to develop programming and partnerships. Together, they oversaw 120-150 programs serving 18,000 people annually. In her role, she also managed the annual budgeting process and monitor spending for the Education and Public Programs Department.
Board of Directors
WGM is a 501c3 nonprofit member organization and is governed by a member-elected board of directors. Board of directors are responsible for the management of the business and affairs of the organization. Board of directors must supervise and govern the charity’s efforts in carrying out its mission. Directors owe a fiduciary duty to the nonprofit to act in good faith, with care, loyalty, obedience, and honesty in fact, and in the best interests of the organization. At WGM we take this responsibility seriously and are governed by a committed board of directors in compliance with charity guidelines set forth by the State of Minnesota Attorney General’s Office. WGM follows its most recently adopted WGM ByLaws.
WGM Board of Directors, 2018-2019
(September 2018 through August 31, 2019)
Maddy Bartsch, President
Maddy is a fiber artist, educator, and sustainable fiber & fashion systems activist working to bring awareness and action to the true cost and impact of our textile consumption. Maddy has been involved with every step of the fiber process, from the textile analysis of natural fibers, to fiber processing and creating finished works through spinning, weaving, felting, dyeing, embroidery, and apparel design. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a BFA and minor in fashion studies, Maddy focused on local fiber systems and began working her way from sheep to sweater, starting at the farm level where she learned about the agricultural side of owning sheep, to the next step in the process, working at a local fiber mill. Here Maddy learned the process of taking raw fiber from local producers all the way to finished machine-spun skeins of yarn. While Maddy worked at the fiber mill and farm, she co-founded the Three Rivers Fibershed, an affiliate branch of Fibershed which works to create soil-to-soil fiber systems. This work led to being contracted by Fibershed for multiple projects including the coordination of the Minnesota Hemp Yarn Project and the National Mill Inventory Survey, in which Maddy acted as a research assistant, contacting fiber mills across the country to help create an online tool that mapped fiber mills across the United States. Maddy teaches classes around the Twin Cities at the Textile Center and at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota where she is on the board of directors. Maddy’s artist practice is based in fibers and has expanded to include the growing of her own natural dye plants during Minnesota’s sometimes finicky growing season.
vacant, President Elect
Susan Larson-Fleming, Past President
Susan Larson-Fleming is an archivist most recently with the Hennepin History Museum. She has also worked in the Creative Activities Building at the Minnesota State Fair for many years. Susan was on the staff of The Weavers Journal when it was published in Saint Paul by Karen Searle and Suzanne Baizerman. Susan’s MA in Library Science is from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She completed her written exams for a PhD in Design History from the University of Minnesota. She also studied Swedish and Scandinavian literature and art at the University of Minnesota and the University of Wisconsin. She is one of the founders of Svenska Skolan, a Swedish language school for children, still operating at the American Swedish Institute. A long time member of the Guild, Susan weaves and crochets.
Heather MacKenzie, Treasurer
Heather MacKenzie is an artist and educator with a practice founded in hand weaving. She has acted as the Fountainhead Fellow at VCU, Fulbright Scholar in Paris, France, and artist-in-residence at MASS MoCA, Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, Ox-Bow, and ACRE. Her work has been exhibited recently at venues including Sediment Gallery in Richmond, VA, the Mission Gallery and Rhona Hoffman Gallery in Chicago, and PointDom in Toulouse, France. Since 2008, she has worked and volunteered with several arts nonprofits. In Portland, OR, she served on the Development Committee, and as Treasurer on the board of the Creative Music Guild from 2008 to 2012, helping to guide the organization through a complete financial restructuring. Since 2012, she has volunteered with ACRE, in Chicago, IL, and in Steuben, WI, where she has served on the Admissions panel and assisted in developing and staffing the fibers studio at the residency. In early 2017, she moved to Minneapolis and became involved with the Weavers Guild. She received her BA from Brown University and her MFA in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Becka Rahn, Secretary
Becka Rahn is a full-time artist and teacher who works in hand-dyeing and digital surface design. She has received grant awards from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Jerome Foundation for her work and is the author of two art and design books. She serves as the state rep to the Surface Design Association and was a 2016 member of the Etsy Sellers Advisory Board. She worked for 12 years as the director of education at the Textile Center and holds a degree in K-12 education.
Melba Granlund is a Swedish folk artist and educator who enjoys weaving, felting, nålbinding, wire jewelry making, spinning, knitting, sewing, embroidery and natural dyeing. Melba enjoys traveling and studying the historical aspects of Scandinavian textiles and handcrafts. As a life-long learner, she has received instruction from masters of these handcrafts in the U.S. as well as in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Melba strives to keep Scandinavian folk art traditions alive by teaching and sharing what she has learned with both adults and children through various fiber art classes at the Weavers Guild, the Textile Center, and other venues. Melba is a former paralegal, having worked in private practice, the court system, and in public service for over 50 years. She is also a musician and has served as choir director, organist and pianist in churches in rural and urban Minnesota. An avid gardener, she tends gardens at home in Minneapolis and at the family farm in Todd County where she has a vegetable and dye garden. She also enjoys cooking and baking, and during the holiday season makes hundreds of lefse and Scandinavian cookies for family and friends. She also teaches lefse, cracker and flatbread baking classes. Recently retired, Melba now serves on the WGM Board of Directors and is co-chair of the Volunteer and Outreach Committee. She is a member of the Scandinavian weavers study group and a contributor to the Norwegian Textile Letter.
Doreen Hartzell is a Minneapolis based fiber artist and instructor. She graduated from Carleton College with BA in Biology and German Literature. She studied the history and philosophy of science as a Fulbright Scholar in Munich at the Deutsches Museum and LMU. Inspired by her studies, Doreen’s fiber art includes a heavy focus on working with locally raised, heritage breed wools. She also explores combining natural and unnatural elements to explore how we characterize those terms. She originally came into the Weaver’s Guild of MN as a student, drawn by a visiting spinning workshop. She loves sharing the potential of hand-making with her students and donating time to demonstrate hand spinning on behalf of the guild to give others the power to create.
Anna Landes Benz
Anna is your classic serial-crafter, identifying mainly as a quilter. When she’s not crafting, she’s most likely reading, or being out-of-doors with her two dogs. She has a K-12 Special Education Teaching License and MA in Education from Bethel University, and taught in alternative and charter schools around the metro before landing in the world of higher education as a program and faculty developer. Anna is also a field instructor for a non-profit that uses the outdoors as a classroom for developing leadership and communication skills.
Celeste Grant is a recently-retired attorney, now planning to fulfill her dream of days filled with textiles. She is a spinner, dyer, knitter, weaver, sewer, designer and occasional teacher. She worked as a chemical dependency counselor while raising a family and completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Minnesota where she first learned to weave. She studied Art History and Architecture and, after spending a year in the Women’s Art Core program at the College of St. Catherine, received a degree in Studio Arts. She then obtained her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and a post-graduate certificate in International Arbitration from the University of London/Hamline College of Law. She was Editor-in-Chief of the William Mitchell Law Review, clerked at the Minnesota Supreme Court and practiced law at a large Minneapolis law firm and the State of Minnesota for a total of over 20 years. She has significant experience working with non-profits as both a board member and as an attorney. She loves to travel and has visited 5 continents. She is an avid volunteer and participant in programs and classes at the Weavers Guild, the Knitters Guild, and Textile Center. She is a long-time member of the Whorling Spinsters study group. A couple of years ago, she was named the Textile Center’s Volunteer of the Year. She is a collector of textiles, primarily African, but her current passion is Saami textiles and she is looking for them in the Midwest.
Karen Mallin, Psy.D. is a Clinical Psychologist with a specialty in Pediatric Health Psychology and Psychodermatology. She held a dual appointment faculty post at the University of Miami/ Miller School of Medicine in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery. She moved to Minnesota in 2010 to provide elder care for a family member and is presently not practicing, but plans to return to the field in the near future. Karen was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award from Purdue University’s Department of Health and Human Services in 2005 for her pioneering work in Psychodermatology. She is published in peer reviewed medical journals, and continues to volunteer as a faculty speaker at International Skin Disease Foundation conferences. Karen has been a weaver since the mid 1980’s and has been a member of several local, state, and national fiber guilds up to the present. She has been active at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota from 1985 to 1998, and then again from 2010 to the present. She has served for the past two years on the Nominating Committee, she has led the Fine Threads Interest Group for the past three years, and she has stepped in to volunteer and assist on a variety of projects, committees and activities since 2010.
Sarah is a multi-disciplinary public artist with a focus on connecting people, plants and place. Her works take the shape of everyday textiles, booklets and useful objects. She also teaches workshops on screen printing, surface design, and fiber art with Textile Center and other partners. She is currently studying how to include weaving and natural dyeing in her public art practice, and she is mentoring under Chiaki O’Brien to learn how to use her new SAORI loom! Sarah was a 2016 Jerome Emerging Fiber Artist grantee, and is a 2018 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative grant recipient. Learn more about Sarah at sarahnassif.com or on Instagram: @sarahjnassif
Jan Nelson served on the WGM Board of Directors as Volunteer Coordinator in 2010-2011. Additional key WGM leadership responsibilities include serving as Fiber Fair Chair, Silent Auction Co-Chair, and chairperson for the 2015 Midwest Weavers Association regional conference planning committee. Most recently, Jan served as WGM’s Interim Director, July through November, 2016, supporting WGM’s goals during the Executive Director search and staff transition.
Her business experience includes working for Target Corporation in Training and Development followed by a ten-year independent consulting business serving retail and other corporate clients. Her next business endeavor was the opening and subsequent operation of a successful neighborhood coffee shop in St. Paul. After selling her business, she worked for the Minnesota State Arts Board, recruiting grant proposal reviewers. She has worked with SCORE, a volunteer organization that provides business counseling services and has conducted entrepreneurship and customer service training sessions.
Jan graduated from Macalester College with degrees in French and Psychology. Jan considers herself a hobby weaver who enjoys weaving towels, scarves and rugs. She is a member of The Rag Rug Study group and appreciates the combination of camaraderie, inspiration and knowledge the group provides.
Barbara Duguid Ungs
Barb is a weaver working on her mother’s loom which she inherited in 2013. The rhythmic beat of her mother’s weaving inspires Barb’s weaving beat to this day. Barb was trained to weave by Jan Johnson at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota and has been inspired by the workshops, classes, and conferences offered there. Barb earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has been involved in leadership roles in her career as an educator and mentor, in her church, serving on the Financial Committee of the Session of Elders, as President and Treasurer of the women’s philanthropic organization, P.E.O., and as an educator and a Co-Facilitator of a Family Support Group for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Minnesota. Barb has lived across America as both an Air Force child and a corporate wife and has traveled widely. She enjoys contributing her time and skills to the Guild.
Roberta Zeug Shell
Roberta is an enthusiastic student and supporter of the education program at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota. She has taken numerous fiber related classes at WGM, Sievers School of Fiber Arts, national conferences, and participated in the Textile Center Mentor Program in 2003/2004. Before retirement, she worked at the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health for over 22 years. She has been a classroom assistant at WGM for four years and have served on the Education Committee for three years.
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