The Town of Windsor Public Art Advisory Commission held their first meeting of the year on Monday, February 5. The Commission reorganizes on an annual basis during the first meeting of the year. Rhoann Ponseti dedicated her time and devotedly served as Chair from the Commission’s inception in 2016 and continued as Chair in 2017. Following a unanimous vote, Commissioner Linda Challoner was selected as the Chair for 2018 with Commissioner Gwendolyn Kinney as Vice Chair. Commissioners Julian Cohen, Drew Jackson, Rhoann Ponseti, Town Council Representative Dominic Foppoli, and Parks and Recreation Representative Ben Lehr serve alongside Chair Challoner and Vice Chair Kinney. The Commission holds meetings on the first Monday of the month at 11:00 a.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, located at 9291 Old Redwood Highway, Building 400 in Windsor.
The Public Art Advisory Commission serves in an advisory capacity to the Town Council and Parks and Recreation Director. The Commission’s vision is for Windsor to be an art destination that raises the potential for education, innovation, collaborative community engagement and cultural exploration. In addition, the Commission serves as a public forum for community engagement to develop future arts, cultural amenities and programs that celebrate what is unique to Windsor. The Commission is composed of five Commissioners, one Councilmember, and one Parks and Recreation Commissioner. Commissioners are appointed by Councilmembers for a four-year term coinciding with that of the Councilmember making the appointment. Commissioners shall be residents of Sonoma County, although they are preferred to be residents of the Town of Windsor, and shall demonstrate a commitment to art and culture in Windsor.
Meet the Commission:
Chair Challoner, appointed by Councilmember Debora Fudge, is currently in her third year serving on the Commission with her term expiring in December 2020. Chair Challoner’s vision for art in Windsor is to inspire, provoke thought and conversation, and engage and enhance the community in creative ways. She is a Registered Nurse retired from Kaiser Permanente. In her spare time, she enjoys running, playing golf, cycling, and exploring our beautiful parks. She also enjoys volunteering and spending time with her family, grandchildren, and friends.
Vice Chair Kinney, appointed by Mayor Bruce Okrepkie, is currently in her first year serving on the Commission with her term expiring in December 2020. Her vision for art in Windsor is to bring beauty and interactive engagement to our daily lives. She is retired from full-time employment as a Nurse Program Manager and is enjoying her coaching/teaching roles in nursing leadership as part-time faculty for the Watson Caring Science Institute, Samuel Merritt University, and Equusatori Center (Equine Assisted Educational Learning). In her spare time, she volunteers for the San Francisco Fine Art Museums, takes painting classes, and enjoys her family, friends, and outdoor sports.
Commissioner Jackson, appointed by the Town Council, is currently in his third year serving on the Commission with his term expiring in December 2018. He envisions Windsor as a possible destination for world class public art and is committed to working towards that goal. He is a retired elementary school teacher and owner of Photography by Drew Jackson (drewjackson.net). In his spare time, he volunteers at two North Coast food pantries and does historical artifact research at the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino. When not pursuing his passion for photography and research, he likes to travel, make award winning craft beer, and spends time in his small studio where he specializes in abstract encaustic painting. Over the years, he has shown and sold his art at a variety of local galleries.
Commissioner Cohen, appointed by Town Council, is currently in his third year serving on the Commission with his term expiring in December 2018. His vision for art in Windsor is art that creates conversations, builds community, and brings vitality and renewal. Julian graduated from St. Martin’s School of Art in London and currently has two business: ARC Design and Living Guild. He is also active in community development and the Russian River Confluence (http://russianriverconfluence.org/).
Commissioner Ponseti, appointed by Town Council, is currently in her third year serving on the Commission with her term expiring in December 2018. Her vision for art in Windsor is to stimulate conversation, learning, and fun for residents and visitors. She is retired from a long career in marketing, advertising, and public relations. In her spare time, she travels with her husband, and enjoys collecting art and working as a docent at Oliver Ranch sculpture park in Geyserville.
Commissioner Foppoli, Town Council Representative and current Vice Mayor, is in his first year serving on the Commission with his term expiring December 2018. He hopes to help bring art to Windsor which represents the strong community and the greater region. Dominic is co-founder and owner of Foppoli Wines, Benevolo Wines, Old Redwood Brewing Company and co-owner of Christopher Creek Winery.
Commissioner Lehr, Parks and Recreation Commission Representative, is currently in his first year serving on the Commission with his term expiring December 2018. His vision for art in Windsor is to bring even more beauty to the greatest town on Earth. He is President of Lehr Insurance Agency, Inc., in Windsor. In his spare time, he and his two sons enjoy camping, hiking, skiing and just about any other activity that will get them outdoors.
Three (3) terms are set to expire in December of this year. If you are interested in applying, please visit the Committees and Commissions webpage on the Town of Windsor website for more information (townofwindsor.com) or contact the Town Clerk’s office at (707) 838-5315.