Melissa grew up in northeast Ohio to a family of artists. She had her first set of professional colored pencils at the age of 5 and began sweeping the teddy bear coloring contest circuit at 6 years old. Although art has always been a love and a hobby, Melissa's career passion was in the environmental field. She graduated with a BA in Environmental Studies from Hiram College in Ohio and promptly set off out West post-graduation. She has been an environmental educator in New Mexico and a park ranger in Colorado before making her way to Montana to attend graduate & law school.
Board of Directors
Julie has been with the ZACC since 2011, when she began an AmeriCorps internship as the Volunteer Coordinator. After graduating from UM with a psychology degree, she couldn't stay away from the ZACC and joined the board in fall of 2012. She is originally from Billings and currently works as the executive assistant for Ecogeek LLC. Although not much of an artist herself, Julie is constantly inspired by what comes of human creativity. Its places like the ZACC (and the people involved) that make her so happy to call Missoula home.
Lauren Tyler Norby is an artist based in Missoula. Raised in the woods of Potomac, Montana, he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Montana in 2006, and his Master of Fine Arts from The University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010. Norby previously worked as an art instructor and a gallery director. Currently he works in television production. Norby's art spans from drawings and comics to performances and installations to videos and music. Norby has shown his work regionally and nationally, including a solo exhibit at Missoula's Brink Gallery in 2014.
When asked where he grew up, Charley Carpenter says "around"-- meaning Connecticut, Texas, the San Francisco Bay Area, and western Montana. He has a BS in Economics from Montana State University, and his law degree from the Catholic University of America. Charley was a corporate lawyer in Washington DC from 1991 to 2009, when he moved back to Montana to start his own law practice in Missoula. He and his photographer wife Uschi chose Missoula as their home not only for the outstanding natural beauty, but also for its thriving arts scene.
Amy grew up in a small town near Dayton, OH and studied art at Ohio University. She moved to Missoula in the summer of 2007 and did her student teaching in Corvallis, MT, where her cooperating teacher, a former production potter, taught her to throw . She has not touched a paint brush since, and making pots has become her passion. Clay's responsiveness to touch and its relation to everyday use inspires Amy to create art that is both beautiful and functional.
Matt Gehr was born in Missoula but grew up in Spokane. He loves the artistic community in Missoula and is grateful to be able to do his part to support community arts. He is studying business management and work in banking. Outside of work and the ZACC, Matt enjoys reading and being outdoors.
Steve "Schmidty" Schmidt is a gift to the ZACC. He puts 100% into everything he does, whether it is his day-job of selling cars or being on the ZACC Board. In fact he's putting 100% into writing us a bio for our website that it's taking him a bit longer to get it to us.
Al Pils was born in Madison, Wisconsin where he lived until 1993 until moving to Missoula to pursue good times and the “Wilds of Montana.”
Al is a board member of the ZACC and happens to be the ZACC's neighbor--working next door at the Northside Kettlehouse.