Sharon Kilfoy, Director of the Williamson Street Art Center, is a local artist whose murals, fabric pieces, collages and assemblages are widely collected. Sharon has extensive experience teaching art to people of all ages and abilities. She has been a guest artist through numerous artist-in-residency programs in schools, neighborhood centers and communities throughout the Midwest and now in Mexico. Her background as a community artist combined with her formal training as a studio artist ensures that students have fun while they learn. Sharon specializes in bringing divergent people together through community art projects which focus on shared aspects of history and culture. In the classroom setting, she utilizes an endless variety of materials in a curriculum she has developed to bring out students’ innate artistic capabilities while they build confidence.
Sharon’s reputation as an art instructor is proven and respected. For more than 20 years she used art to build resiliency in troubled children at the Respite Center, a 24-hour emergency/crisis child care center in Madison Wisconsin. There, she developed a curriculum that uses art to help children recover from trauma. Sharon uses the knowledge she gained using art with troubled children, to ensure that all people who work with her experience art in a positive way.
Mark Fraire has worked as an arts administrator for over 20 years and has been involved in supporting theater arts on every level from producer to writer to actor to comic to playwright to manager to director. He was the Grants and Fund Development Director for the Madison Metropolitan School District and helped raise in 2013-14, over $2 million in funds. Fraire spent 17 years as the state’s Grants Officer for the Wisconsin Arts Board.
Prior to that position, Fraire created the Community Education Department for the Milwaukee Repertory Theater where he was awarded the President’s Coming Up Taller Award for creating TEENworks, an innovative youth and community theater arts training program. Fraire has an MBA in Corporate Finance from the University of Wisconsin- Madison.
Alicia Rheal, a native of New York, has been painting professionally since 1986 when she created her company Rheal Imagination. At the start, the business specialized in painting custom designs on clothing, until 1989, when Alicia started painting backdrops and sets for opera, ballet, television and theater. Since then, Alicia has continued to work as a Scenic Artist for theater, as well as move into the world of Custom Murals and Collaborative Art.
In Wisconsin, she has designed and painted murals for homeowners and businesses, including the Prairie Bookshop in Mt. Horeb, the Iowa County Chamber of Commerce, the Cross Plains Public Library, and EPIC Systems Corporation in Verona. Alicia has also initiated and led many community art projects, including ones for the Walls Of Wittenberg, Grandview and the PEC Foundation, and Folklore Village.
Emida Roller is a Madison-based muralist and arts educator and the founder of Wall Designs by Emida, LLC. She was born in New York City, grew up in Nigeria, and was mentored by her father, renowned artist Solomon Irein Wangboje. Emida studied at the University of Benin before returning to the US to obtain her MFA and MA from the University of Illinois.
Today, Emida runs Wall Designs by Emida, specializing in creating custom mural paintings, faux finishes and decorative painting tailored to clients' style and taste. Emida currently is a lead artist at DAMA
Joined DAMA - 2014
Jenie Gao is an artist, curator, and entrepreneur. Jenie uses her work to tell the stories of challenges and opportunities we face today and to connect the health of the world’s ecosystems with human relationships. She creates fine artwork, murals, and public installations for people who believe in the power of art to transform the spaces we share. Before building her business, Jenie Gao Studio, Jenie worked in both for-profit and nonprofit, in the arts, education, and lean manufacturing. Her background has fueled her belief in different groups working with and learning from one another. She believes in creative people becoming leaders of societal change, and uses her organizational experience to advocate for and advance this vision.
Jenie has been the artist-in-residence at Proyecto ´ace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Museo de Arte Moderno in Castro, Chile, and the Bubbler at Madison Central Library. Her work has been shown and collected in the US, UK, Argentina, Australia, and more. In Wisconsin, she has worked with organizations including Planned Parenthood, Promega, and Dane Arts Mural Arts. She also serves as a curator at Arts + Literature Laboratory and a committee member on the Madison Arts Commission.
Joined DAMA - 2017
Amy Zaremba is lucky to work as an artist in Madison, WI. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new and share a love of art with others. Painting, drawing, collage, even just appreciating the beauty that surrounds us are ways to cope with the stresses and demands of our daily lives. Amy was coping in non-creative career choices before finally picking up a brush for a living. The decision to follow a dream comes with a great awareness of the power art has to enrich our lives. Her work in paint, chalk and murals reflects on the beauty and small joys we can find in the everyday when we take the time to look.
The challenges and joys of collaboration led her to mural work, and with DAMA she found a way to engage others throughout the process of creation. Public art is powerful when created by an individual artist but that power is dramatically enhanced though youth and community involvement.
Amy spent her childhood enjoying the lakes and woods of northern Wisconsin, but Madison has long been home. Amy creates and sells her own artwork and takes commissions as Zaremba Art LLC. She has a bachelors in Art and English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a J.D. from DePaul College of Law.