Program Director: Karl Abramovic

Karl, originally trained as a fine artist, went on to develop a national reputation as a muralist, scenic artist, and illustrator. Some of his projects and clients include: Warner Brothers, FAO Schwarz, The City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Penguin Group Publishing (New York), Merv Griffin Productions, The City of Indianapolis, The Indiana Pacers, and The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.

In 2011, Karl was commissioned by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde to design and manage Oregon’s first large-scale Native American public art mural project. Within his project’s design he included student mentorship positions for at-risk tribal youth, and created an open studio where all community members were invited to take part in painting workshops hosted by himself and three other professional artists. That project became a working model in developing The Studio Program.

With Lifeworks NW he has facilitated therapeutic mural and other art projects for mentally ill teenage students. Within the Portland Public Schools he developed an art-workshop series that taught elementary and middle school children the fundamentals of color theory, drawing, perspective, and composition, while creating art about themselves and the world around them.

In Los Angeles and with the city of Tigard, Oregon, he has facilitated summer art-camp workshops.

In 2012 Karl received the United States House of Representatives Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his work with the Los Angeles Metro Poster Series Project, and a Recognition Award from the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Oregon. In 2000 he received the City of Los Angeles, Mayor’s Certificate of Commendation for his mural work in that city.

Executive Director: Kathryn Mueller

Kathryn graduated from Western Oregon University in 1989 and started her teaching career as a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, Tanzania, from 1989-1991. She received a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) from Oregon State University in 1991.

Following graduate courses, she studied French and Wolof and worked as a language arts teacher and community center director in West Africa, Senegal.

In 2001 Kathryn returned to the United States to teach middle and high school language arts, social studies, and to mentor senior projects, in Willamina, Oregon. Kathryn had training to teach alternative education classes for at-risk and economically disadvantaged students.

In 2008 she accepted the Executive Director position at the Sheridan Japanese School (SJS), grades 4-12, to promote a learning environment that focuses on student development as an integral part of the education experience. 

Kathryn embraces the idea that students be directed to investigate analyze, compare, and use what they have learned in a global world.

Artist in Residence: Dan Ness

After receiving a BFA from the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Dan Ness went on to become a fine art painter and multimedia artist with an international reputation. His paintings and films have been viewed in galleries, exhibitions, and screenings throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

He held artist in residencies at the Nelimarkka Museum, Alajarvi, Finland (2005); Toyama Prefectural Artistic and Cultural Association, Toyama, Japan, (November, 2012); Ventura Lambrate, Milan, Italy (April, 2015).

He was awarded the MTR Tiara Sculpture Competition, Excellence Prize, Hong Kong Arts Center (December, 2014); Toyama International Art Excellence Award 2012, Toyama, Japan, November, 2012.