Meet Our Artists
Callyn Ambrose turned double digits this year – 10 – and has been powering through central nervous system vasculitis since she was diagnosed at 5 years old. Cally, as her friends and family affectionately refer to her, goes to school at Sunset Valley in Lee’s Summit and lives for science class! Her favorite memory is participating in her first Art for Arthritis event just last year! Although she has seven different healthcare specialists to keep her healthy, she’s a truly upbeat little girl! She enjoys singing, arts and crafts, and cooking. And to Callyn, nothing beats the smell – and taste – of barbecue, especially if it’s Jack Stack.
Her Favorites: Meatballs, the movie “Pitch Perfect 3”, and her stuffed bear named “Vivi”
Mark Cook grew up between the Rock and Mississippi rivers in Rock Island, Illinois. He thrived in this Quad City that brought together urban and rural, history and mystery. For him, the region held the beauty of the natural world and the possibilities of heavy industry manufacturing a new one. His earliest memories involve time spent in nature and sitting on his grandmother’s kitchen floor drawing and making things. He received a scholarship to study Fine Art at the University of Illinois. Ultimately, he chose to leave the university to train at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. After graduating he began a thirty-year career as an illustrator, designer and fine artist.
Slime, bugs, and mud: these are just a few of 7-year-old Kenna Dalton’s favorite things! At Wolf Springs Elementary, her favorite subjects are math and reading. By far, her favorite memory is when her family went to pick up their new pet, a puppy, named Leo! Kenna has remained strong and resilient despite having been diagnosed at age 5 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and uveitis. She enjoys playing with her friends and sisters, riding her bike and beating all the kids at Air Hockey at Dave and Busters! One day, she hopes to be a dentist, but for now she’s pretty content eating watermelon, chewing gum and blowing bubbles.
Her Favorites: the color purple, steak, and ‘Jerk Shack’ at the Lake of the Ozarks
The seed of Barbara Todd’s painting career was planted in childhood when she discovered illustration through the world of the ‘funnies’ in the Sunday newspaper. It blossomed under the tutelage of Harry Freeman, Bob Byerley, Jan Thompson, Jeff Legg, and more. She enjoyed several years as director of the fine arts distribution center for Bob Byerley and during that time, developed a strong reputation as a portrait artist in her own right. Barbara’s work has been recognized in a number of juried shows, including an award for the “Peggy Karr Glass Co” decorative plate’s collection. She has been commissioned for her remarkable portraitures including Mr. Lewis Cass, which hangs in the Cass County Courthouse in Harrisonville, Missouri, and a painting of country music singer Clay Walker, which fetched a great price at a charity auction for B.A.M. (Band Against Multiple Sclerosis), and others too numerous to mention. Barbara lives in Raymore, Missouri. She enjoys a life of marriage, parenting two sons, two daughters-in-law and two granddaughters.
It’s safe to say that Lena Henke has a knack for creativity. Whether it’s fashion, music, painting or sewing; she can certainly do it all! Right by her side through all the fun are her two miniature poodles, Buster and Rusy. She loves them to pieces! She was 6 years old when she started limping and consequently diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. but nothing stops her from doing what she loves: swimming at the beach or entertaining guests in her home with her singing or other talents!
Her Favorites: the movie “Beauty and the Beast”, Volleyball, and Panda Express
William Rose is a figurative/portrait artist who works primarily in oil. In 2016 William was commissioned by the Kansas City Royals to paint the celebrated mural for the main lobby of Kauffman Stadium - “Forever Royal” commemorating the 2015 World Series Championship. Following a prestigious cover feature in 2009 with American Artist’s Drawing Magazine, William was asked to produce all the figurative/portrait artwork for a film with the Eastwood's, “The Forger” in Carmel CA. William was commissioned a few years ago to do the cover drawing for Strathmore's 400 Series Drawing Pads, the most popular artist drawing pad in the world. In 2014, William had his first solo museum show at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art.
Dylan Kiesling, 7, is in medicated remission with her Polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. However, she’s been on this journey since she turned 1 year old. Dylan’s favorite subject in school is Physical Education. She loves Chinese food, when her mom is acting silly, and when her Uncle Coco plays barbies with her! When she grows up, she wants to be a farmer because she loves animals and she wants to take care of them.
Her Favorites: Harry Potter, turquoise, her American Girl doll, and Bobos Chinese food
Jennifer is an Abstract Expressionist painter known for her vibrant and ethereal work. With the use of bright, bold color, texture and references to nature, she paints pieces that allow her to share stories largely inspired by her surroundings. Happiness is woven through all her work and flows across the canvas just like the brightly colored paint she uses. It is important for Jennifer to pay homage to the simple beauty of everyday life and share her joy for life itself in her work. Her work has been featured in several publications and is in many private and corporate collections both locally and nationally including Bishop-McCann, Waddell & Reed and University of Missouri, Kansas City.
Jack Sides is a 12-year-old who likes spending time with his family and playing basketball with his friends. Jack’s favorite memories include a Disney trip with his family and attending a “Coldplay” concert with his dad in San Diego. He was diagnosed with Systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis in July 2017. Throughout the past year, Jack has masterfully learned to cope with and push through his arthritis pain. Some of his favorite things are playing x-box and, watching movies, and listening to music.
His Favorites: the color blue, Pizza and Halloween—which also happens to be his birthday!
Glenn Lavezzi is from a military family and although he moved many times in his childhood, he spent 16 years in Manhattan, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in History. Glenn is a self-taught artist who has been sculpting for 15 years, the last 5 professionally. He has studied with Philippe Faraut and Vala Ola, both acclaimed figurative sculptors. His creative inspiration comes from children, myth, literature, and the arts. He is a member of the American Portrait Society. His work is on display at InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park, KS.
Piper Spiller 11 years old but Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis and Uveitis have been a part of her story since she was just 18 months old. Pyper is happiest when she is painting, drawing, or spending time with her sister, Londyn. She loves the beach; so, Florida is naturally one of her favorite places! Lavender is her favorite smell.
Her Favorites: Jose Peppers, any Taylor Swift song and her four cats, Sadie, Eddie and Bella, Mr. Pickles
Jerry Moon was born in 1961 in England to an American father and British mother. He spent most of his childhood in England and moved to the United States permanently in 1973. He studied printmaking at the Kansas City Art Institute, graduating in 1986. Jerry has been painting professionally since 1990. He focuses on interpreting the Midwest with a unique rendering of clouds and landscape that is rooted in both the real and the surreal worlds. In the last three years, he has also begun a more thorough exploration of color through his abstract paintings. He combines the paint application techniques learned from his early days with the flowing vibrancy and flexibility of oil, creating compositions of meticulously curated color that elicit an evocative emotional resonance.
Madeleine Talley was almost 3, when she was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Despite the emotional ups and downs of pain, her family friends and team of doctors have helped her to feel better and begin to be active again. For that, she is so grateful! While at school, Madeleine likes to be the teacher’s assistant and playing at recess with her friends. One of her favorite memories is going to on a Disney Cruise with her family to the Bahamas! Why you ask? She could eat all the free ice cream she wanted!
Her Favorites: the movie “The Greatest Showman, Horses, volleyball and Couscous
Tanya Lueck studied at Chapman University in Orange, CA, receiving a BFA in Studio Art. Since then creating art has continued to be her passion. Currently, her main bodies of work include paintings inspired by the cosmos, and those inspired by the rock music she grew up listening to. She has exhibited in many galleries around Kansas City over the last few years, and is currently running Paint Nite Kansas City, a paint-and-sip company that holds events at local bars and restaurants. This has been a rewarding endeavor, as she is able to bring out the inner artist in many people who have never painted before.
Hydie Thomas, 10, loves writing and science at William Yates Elementary school where she is currently in 4th grade. She’s happiest when she is riding her bike, playing with her sister or doing fun things with her family. She was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis when she was 8 years old. She has 3 cats and 1 dog but her favorite is a cat, named, Mr. Gray!
Her Favorites: Ice Cream and Strawberries, Legos and stuffed animals and soccer
Simmons is from Kansas City and has a background in painting and drawing. She graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communications and Illustration. She typically seeks to capture a love for nature and the beauty of the ordinary moment in her paintings. She also enjoys working in many mediums although mixing, digital collage and acrylics are her favorites. She believes these give her the effect of an almost “accidental” blending of colors.
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