At the Photo Center
to serve our community. Our staff and board work hard to find new ways of making art, seeing the world, and connecting our communities.
Michelle Dunn Marsh
|Over the last two decades, Michelle served in executive and creative roles in the fields of art photography and publishing. Her commitment to education, collaboration, and achievement of excellence have defined her career and gained her national recognition. Michelle’s professional experience includes fifteen years with Aperture Foundation in New York City, first as a designer and later as deputy director for the organization, and as Co-Publisher of Aperture magazine. She was senior editor of art and design at Chronicle Books, San Francisco, and was a tenured professor in graphic design at Seattle Central Community College. She has recently launched Minor Matters Books, a community publishing platform for contemporary art.Image credit: Sylvia Plachy|
|Ann has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in recognizing emerging talent, and has brought exceptional exhibitions and public programs to Seattle since 1996, when she became Gallery Director. She received her BFA from Colorado State University, Ft. Collins in 1993. Pallesen has curated and installed over 150 exhibitions including the work of Julie Blackmon, Camille Seaman, Elliott Erwitt, Graciela Iturbide, Chris Jordan, Mary Ellen Mark, Ken Rosenthal & Hiroshi Watanabe. She has coordinated dozens of lectures with artists and curators, and regularly appears at portfolio review events, on panel discussions and has served as a juror for several non-Photo Center NW exhibitions. She is an active photographer herself and has exhibited her work around the Pacific Northwest.|
|Ashley Siple manages the development of our curriculum, oversees faculty, and mentors Certificate students during their graduating thesis year. She has an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and a BA from the University of Chicago. Among other places, she has worked for the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College, Chicago and has contributed to projects in the Architecture Department at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Art Department of the Imperial War Museum and the Photographs section at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Her background in photography encompasses the theory and history of the medium, as well as its dissemination and display in museums, publications, and now, the web.|
|Rafael oversees the development of marketing materials, communications and public relations. He helps us bring our brand to a national audience through events, publications and social media. Rafael is originally from Lima, Peru. He received a BFA in Photography & Curatorial Studies from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009. After working at Clampart and Bonni Benrubi Gallery in New York, he moved to Seattle to join the Photo Center NW staff. In addition to his curatorial projects, Rafael is a working photographer and has been published and exhibited nationally and internationally.|
|As an experienced arts administrator in both non-profit and corporate arenas, Patricia has contributed to national and international photography exhibitions and related successful fundraising efforts for the Southeast Museum of Photography (Daytona Beach), VIART Corporation, and Winston Wächter Fine Art (New York). In her most recent positions as Administrative Director and Adjunct Professor at the Department of Photography & Imaging, NYU / Tisch School of the Arts, Patricia presented exhibitions and public programs, produced catalog publications, and worked on grant writing, development, and alumni relations. Patricia holds a BA in Art History and Museum Studies from Long Island University and has received advanced training and coursework from Rollins College and New York University.|
|Jennifer Brendicke is that helpful voice on the line, counseling students and connecting with members and donors at the Photo Center. She has been a part of our community since 2006, and received her Certificate in Fine Art Photography in 2009. She continues to explore her interest in combining digital and analog media, working with alternative processes, and creating images that push photography beyond traditional modes of representation.|
|Terry helps our members and volunteers stay connected to the Center through programs and events. She also helps us keep exciting partnerships and community outreach programs alive. Deeply connected to the photography sector in Chicago, Terry has translated her passion for photography and leadership in her studies and work in Seattle. She has worked in marketing at Seattle Opera and education outreach at Seattle University. As an intern since 2010 Terry assisted in transforming the membership program and special events at the Photo Center, joining our staff in 2012. Terry received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Photography at Columbia College in Chicago, IL in 2005 and her MFA at Seattle University in 2012. Terry has a passion for film photography and is an expert in alternative and historic photographic processes .|
Gallery and Program Coordinator
|Erin will greet you as you enter our front doors and is here to guide you through the current exhibition, assist you with a print procurement, or help you navigate registering for a class or facilities rentals. Originally from San Diego, California, Erin moved to Seattle in 1994. She has been taking pictures for over 20 years and her fine art photographs have been exhibited in solo and group shows in the Pacific Northwest, Los Angeles, and Prague, Czech Republic. She was Director at Benham Gallery, a fine art photography gallery in Seattle, for 7 years. Erin joined the staff at Photo Center NW in 2008.|
Julia makes sure that our facilities are in top shape for our students and members. You will also see her giving orientations to our new members and helping volunteers run our labs. She came to us from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California, where she earned her BFA in Professional Photography. Julia does freelance portraiture, photo retouching, and acts as a content editor/contributor for a web magazine start-up. She lives for looking at, and experiencing photographs, and chances are, if you’re a regular at Photo Center, she’ll ask to see what you’re working on.
Printing Production & IT Specialist
|Juan G. Aguilera has a reputation for excellence: as one of the region’s experts in digital imaging, Juan keeps our media lab and printing facilities running smoothly. Students and professionals come from near and far to learn imaging and editing software from Juan, whose background is in industrial design, and pre-press engineering. A self proclaimed color nut, he believes color is an independent language, with a specific grammar, spelling and intonation. Juan is a teacher at heart, having taught geometry and design with students ranging from middle school to adults, he currently teaches Photoshop, color correction, camera raw and digital photography workflow in the Northwest. He is a member of NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professionals) and has attended several Photoshop World events. Juan received his degree in Industrial Design from the University Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City.|
Digital Lab Lead Monitor
Michael monitors our digital labs on the weekends and is always there to make sure your prints look perfect! Michael was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a Seattle resident since 1996. Michael has worked in the software industry and corporate IT, he has also held positions in human resources and project management. Michael has been taking pictures since he was 10 years old and began exploring the medium more seriously when he became a “student of the photographic arts” at the Photo Center. He has filled multiple roles over the last few years as a darkroom and digital lab volunteer, teacher’s assistant, student, and staff member.
We are grateful to the dozens of volunteers and interns that support our programs throughout the year. Interested in becoming a volunteer? Check our volunteer roles and opportunities.
Honorary Board Members
Alin Shethar, Founder
Board of Trustees
Lisa Ahlberg, President
Joined February 2009
Lisa Ahlberg is an alumna of Photo Center NW graduating from the Certificate Program in 2005. She continues to be active at Photo Center NW as a portrait photographer and has also helped to lead the Photo Center’s fund raising efforts over the past few years. Her photography is informed by her experiences outside photography, having spent most of her working life in factories across the U.S. with people from all over the world, in garment and textile shops and truck and aircraft assembly plants. She currently works for the Boeing Company as a quality inspector and instructor on the 737 and is a member of the International Association of Machinists.
Samantha Bailey, Board Member
Joined April 2013
Samantha has been making and taking photos since her father introduced her to a camera as a child. The prospect of capturing and curating images, still and moving, has been a passion both personally and professionally in roles at image processing service providers and printing companies in the Tampa area, at the St. Petersburg Times and now Adobe Systems, Inc. She studies photography at the Photo Center shooting film and digital, still and moving, with a goal of combining the camera, lens and the subject to, hopefully, capture the details we forget we see. Samantha lives in Seattle and Chicago.
Anna Mia Davidson, Board Member
Joined September 2011
Anna Mia Davidson is a freelance photographer based in Seattle, Washington. She believes strongly in the power of images to influence, inspire, and impact the way we see the world around us. Anna Mia Davidson has photographed and exhibited her work worldwide. She has been documenting the positive aspects of Cuban society since 1999 and was awarded sponsorship by the Blue Earth Alliance. Her photographic work has been awarded several honors from juried exhibitions and publication competitions including the Talent and Creativity Award for Photojournalism, the Cesar Chavez Certificate for Commitment to Justice, Diversity, and Nonviolence from the University of Colorado, and the Golden Light Top Photographers Award for Documentary photography. When she is not working on her own photographic projects, Anna Mia Davidson works for many different international news and magazine publications such as Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, Associated Press, Reader’s Digest, AARP and The International Herald Tribune as well as various commercial clients.
Steve Hoedemaker, Secretary
Joined May 2010
Steve Hoedemaker is a third-generation Northwest native from a family with a deep tradition in building, art and architecture. After working in the construction and environmental consulting industries, he went on to receive his Master of Architecture from the University of Washington. Steve is the owner of Bosworth Hoedemaker, an internationally-recognized architecture firm that specializes in residential and small commercial projects. In his professional career, he focuses on enduring contemporary architecture and sustainable design. His work has won prestigious awards from the American Institute of Architects, has been featured in numerous local and national publications, and has achieved LEED certification for environmental sustainability in design and construction.
Jim Jernigan, Board Member
Joined May 2012
Jim’s passion for photography started in the 5th grade, when his mom trusted him to take her Minolta SLR to school for a photo project. Now, 30 years later, he’s still hooked. He loves taking images from his travels around the world and turning them into works of art, if only for his own walls at home and work. Jim has taken several analog and digital classes at the Photo Center and has blended those skills into his own techniques of shooting with film and printing digitally. At his day job, he runs the High-Performance computing lab for Microsoft Research, allowing researchers from all over the globe to tackle very difficult problems such as curing AIDS, developing the next best encryption algorithms or taking science to the next level using ‘Big Data’. Jim has been actively involved at the center since 2005, providing occasional IT and networking support.
Marilynn Kreft, Treasurer
Joined November 2008
Marilynn Kreft is currently the Accounting Manager for the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda), the major property development and community development organization in the Chinatown International District. She has over 25 years of experience in non-profit, corporate, academic and public accounting. In addition to a BA in Accounting from Griffin Business College, she has a BFA (Printmaking concentration) from the University of Denver.
Martin Morfeld, Board Member
Joined August 2011
Martin Morfeld is a partner with the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where he practices in taxation, including working extensively with tax-exempt organizations. He received his B.S. from the University of Southern California, his J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, and a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. He is also a CPA, having spent several years with Price Waterhouse Coopers. His interest in photography goes back many years to his backpacking days doing landscape photography in the Sierra Nevada (initially with his trusty Kodak Instamatic), and he has taken photography workshops with a variety of organizations in the western U.S. In more recent years his photography has gravitated to more human-oriented subject matter, and has been working his way through the Photo Center’s black and white, traditional darkroom program.
Brian Park, Board Member
Joined August 2011
Brian is a partner at the law firm Stoel Rives LLP, where his practice focuses on protecting clients’ most important assets, including their technologies, secrets, brands, creative work product, and business deals. A registered patent attorney, Brian handles contentious litigation to safeguard a wide range of intellectual property rights, business interests, and commercial agreements. Brian has helped artists, inventors, and innovators identify and preserve their rights in a wide variety of media through comprehensive patent, copyright, trademark, and contract strategies. An aspiring photographer, he has a distinct vision (if not yet the depth of technique).
Sally Poliak, Board Member
Joined April 2010
Sally Poliak is Founder and Mobilizer at Crowdverb, a digital mobilization company. Prior to Crowdverb Sally served as chief operating officer at Nyhus Communications and spent 10 years at Microsoft running public affairs and marketing programs including the global Government Leaders Forum program, a series of policy events for heads of state and ministers from around the world. Sally began her career spending 14 years in public affairs, including operating her own consulting firm and was named Best Executive in the 2010 Stevie Award for Women in Business. In addition PCNW, she currently serves on the boards of the the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and Seafair. Sally is a Washington native and received a bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark College. She is an avid photographer who spent all of her savings in 8th grade to buy her first Nikkormat FT camera.
Erica Schisler, Board Member
Joined April 2013
Erica is a producer, filmmaker and co-owner of Carnage & Rouge, a Seattle based film production company. Prior to starting her own company she was the Director of Advance Product Development in Digital Video at Adobe Systems. She has 20 years experience as accomplished software technologist and entrepreneur. She developed many new products, including Adobe Story and Adobe Collage. She received her BA in filmmaking from The Evergreen State College and an MA of Communications in Digital Media from the University of Washington. Erica has a passion for storytelling through all media and is particularly interested in the experimental animation. In her spare time she is learning printmaking.
Kevin Schroer, Board Member
Joined May 2011
Kevin is currently the Creative Director at the Seattle Art Museum. Prior to SAM, he was the Creative Director for REI, where he lead the development of all customer-facing content across all mediums, supporting REI in it’s growth to become a two billion dollar retailer. His earlier career was spent working at agencies on both coasts and in between, with the full range of projects for both business and consumer audiences. He grew up in the mid-west, has lived on both coasts, and is happy to call Seattle home. In addition to his appreciation of photography, he spends hours at the piano and enjoys a variety of muscle-powered activities.