The Warehouse Instructors and Volunteers


Johanna Buwalda


Pottery, Youth and Arts & Aging Instructor

Johanna Buwalda was born and raised in the Netherlands. After some roaming around the world and living in various countries, she settled in Chicago in 1994. Johanna has a master’s degree in Education in Early Childhood Development, and a master’s degree in Psychology. She is licensed to practice clinical counseling in both Illinois and Wisconsin.

Johanna has over 30 years of experience as a therapist, administrator, and trainer working with survivors of war including refugees, torture survivors, development workers, and veterans in the Netherlands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the US. She has written and presented extensively about her work.

Johanna is currently self-employed, serving as an independent contractor therapist for Road Home Program for Veterans and their families at Rush University Hospital in Chicago. She also works alongside immigration attorneys to help immigrant families stay together. She is a clinical volunteer for various veteran organizations and The Marjorie Kovler Center for the Treatment of Survivors of Torture.

Since moving to our beautiful Northwoods in 2018, Johanna loves her new life kayaking the Wisconsin River with David and their four dogs, and making pottery in her home studio as well as at the Warehouse. She pioneered our one-day beginning wheel boot camp and teaches multiple level studio pottery classes as well as our popular monthly (weekly during the summer) clay class. She also teaches various classes in our youth program.



Pottery Instructor

John is a teacher who pots and a potter who teaches.
"At one time I was a science teacher.  I was walking past the art room and was drawn in by the activity.  I was treated to a ball of clay being slammed onto the wheel and then watched it become a beautiful form.  Something I had never seen before.  This was pre “Ghost”.  I was hooked.

I took a community night class and eventually purchased a potter’s wheel.  Thus started the long learning curve.  That was 1971.  The path was , at times, frustrating. Yet, that journey was like a siren’s song, luring.  Over the decades I have spent thousands of hours at the the craft and still see no end to the avenues to explore.  It is truly a lifetime hobby.

I found that I enjoyed sharing and teaching pottery as much as I did making it.  Maybe more!  The Warehouse was just the venue I was looking for.  A place to teach.  Certainly a place to volunteer and contribute to the community.  I joined the board and was asked to put together a ceramics studio and program.  We had just secured a building.  The stage was set.  Countless hours of work.  Pulling together equipment.  Accepting gracious donations.  Finally the studio that we have today.  Still a work in progress.  Six wheels, two kilns a slab roller and work surfaces.  This is the center of a vibrant community of potters with a full spectrum of abilities, directions and interests.  Also works in progress.  We offer a program featuring dedicated instructors and offer open studio time.   We feel that we are on a successful path.  We are only looking for you to join us on that path.

My most recent career was that of a P.A. For 35 years at the Marshfield Clinic in Minocqua.   

After retirement my wife, Vicki, and I moved to St. Germain, where I have a studio and gallery,   We enjoy a quiet spot on the backwaters of the Wisconsin River.  We share it with three horses and four dogs."

Kate Remme

kate remme

Yoga Instructor

Kate has been practicing Yoga since 1998 and, in 2004, completed Scott Anderson’s Alignment Yoga 200-hr. Teacher Training program in Madison throughout 15 months. With 400+ hours of instruction in the last decade, she has enjoyed teaching Power Yoga, Vinyasa, Yoga Fusion, Kids’ Yoga, Chair Yoga, meditation, restorative, private lessons, and teen GLOWGA (glow in the dark yoga). In addition to her pursuit of wellness, she has a background in elementary and French education.

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Cindi Schickert

Yoga Instructor

“I came to the practice of yoga for the physical benefits; I stayed for the sense of community and the wisdom it bought to my life.” Cindi’s journey into yoga began in 2003 when she attended her first class hoping for relief of back and neck pain. She had a 15 year background working in the fitness industry teaching aerobics and exercise classes, but yoga added a different aspect; it brought a sense of peace and relaxation that had been missing. In 2010 she opened a 700sf studio, Treetop Yoga, in her home in Sussex. In addition to teaching yoga, she kept busy bookkeeping for a residential home builder, staging homes for a realtor and taking on the occasional decorating job. She loves teaching and beginner classes are her favorite. “I love the huge gains and the ‘Aha’ moments. It’s so much fun to see people build strength and increase flexibility no matter the age or body type”. In 2018, Cindi and her carpenter husband, Jim, moved their four legged family (2 cats and 2 dogs) to Eagle River. They are both Reiki practitioners and enjoy sharing energy work with others. Her happy place is in the woods hiking with the dogs or curled up somewhere with a good book.


Cindy Kelly Conlon, J.D., Ph.D.

Yoga Instructor, Board Member

Cindy is a teacher, yogi, lawyer, parent, spouse, and life-long learner who loves spending time in the forest as well as by the lake. Her diverse interests have led her to found the Chicago Street Law Project, where law students teach about practical law concepts in public high schools, as well as the St. Francis Visual Arts Program, recognized by the Art Institute of Chicago as a best-practice model of how to engage parent volunteers as art educators. Currently she teaches law-related classes for undergraduate students at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, and classes in meditation at the Wellness Center at NU. She also teaches yoga at various studios near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where she resides with her husband and two Labrador retrievers. Her three children and their families visit often, and especially enjoy spending time at her cabin in Eagle River. Her Ph.D. in education is from Northwestern, and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

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Lisa Opfer

Ceramics & Youth Instructor, Board Member

Lisa is orginally from California but has traveled extensively throughout her career, now residing in the Northwoods of Wisconsin since 2018 with her husband Steve. Lisa is a serial entrepreneur with decades of experience in sales, marketing and executive management in the home décor & related industries.

She began her career, credited with the development of the first outdoor roller-skating business in Venice Beach, California creating a successful National franchise chain. This was the segway into sales, product development, and marketing in the home décor and giftware markets, holding VP and COO titles throughout her career.  

Lisa enjoys building relationships, pitching ideas, and rolling up her sleeves to bring new business, ideas and memorable products to life. She strives to become a trusted adviser. While Lisa likes creative thought work, she has a strong tendency towards action and success using a fact based, consultative sales approach. Lisa is a quick study. When she hears clients describe their challenges and opportunities, she can quickly envision the processes and teams needed to deliver solutions for them. And she knows how to convert that thinking into clear project structures and proposals.

Lisa most recently was President and Founder of Destination Dundee Merchants Association in 2016 until 2019. Held Awards in the National Association for Professional Women and World Wide Branding Association since 2013, and was a co-leader at Westridge Community Center of the Arts in the Northwest suburbs of Illinois until 2019.

Lisa has two daughters who have achieved personal success and share Lisa’s drive for excellence, one the Creative Director for a F2000 company in Chicago and the other as New Project Manager for a modular home producer also in the Chicago suburbs.


carol amour

Writing Instructor
Carol Ann Amour has had four books and hundreds of articles published regionally and nationally including DINOSAUR HUNT by Gareth Stevens Publishers in Milwaukee and A MULTI-CULTURAL PORTRAIT OF THE CIVIL WAR by Marshall Cavendish in New York. Her articles and essays have appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the San Francisco Chronicle, Lady’s Circle, Reader’s Digest, the Lac du Flambeau News and many others.

Bonnie Grebner

Ceramics Instructor

Bonnie Grebner was a teacher for six years and an engineering analyst at John Deere for 26 years.  She also studied photography, pottery and fused glass with emphasis on raku pottery.  Her mentors were Nina Ward, Delores Fortuna, Nancy Gardner and Doug Reynolds.  While working at John Deere, she taught adult evening pottery classes at the Waterloo Art Museum for eight years.  Her work has shown in galleries in Iowa, Illinois, Kansas and Wisconsin and currently at The Bereskin Art Gallery, Bettendorf, IA and in Bellevue, IA.  In 1997 her angel sculpture was selected by the Dayton/Marshall Field’s Stores for their one of kind hand-built Christmas item and sold throughout the U.S.

Artist’s Statement

Art has always been a part of my life, but took a back seat to my analytical ‘day job’.  Retirement now provides the opportunity to explore my creative side.  Most of my work is hand built, and raku fired.  I’ve recently started fusing glass and combine pottery and glass in single assemblies.  Much of my work is inspired by nature or my architectural background.

amy higgason

Amy Higgason

Ceramics Instructor

Potter Amy Higgason has spent 25 years exploring surface decoration techniques on clay. Her interest in combining drawn imagery with textures and color has led to a distinctive and recognizable body of work.

"Throwing clay is exhilarating. On the first night I sat at a potter’s wheel, the feeling of wet clay spinning through my fingers drew me in. With my hands I can form a bowl, cup or plate from a lump of clay. Years later, it still amazes me.

I’ve always loved to draw. From early on my favorite subjects were plants and flowers. First with crayon, then with ink and now on clay. I wrap drawings and patterns around three-dimensional forms that I’ve created. The marriage of two disciplines fascinates me. Creating the right balance is my focus. Because carving is labor intensive I spend a long time interacting with each piece. My goal is to make my marks loose and spontaneous... as if they grew from the piece itself. Over time I’ve developed a “catalog” of personal imagery. This allows me to carve with unplanned, impulsive abandon.

I received my BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois in the mid 80s. While working as an Art Director in Chicago I began attending various community center pottery classes as a creative outlet. Eventually I found Lillstreet Art Center where my passion for clay was nurtured. I studied with a variety of instructors for 5 years. Then I became a private studio member and teacher at Lillstreet.

In April of 2003 I  relocated to Wisconsin’s Northwoods to pursue a pottery career at a small local art center. As a resident artist I was able to work daily in the studio, teach classes, and help manage a gallery. By 2005, this former “city girl” made the Northwoods her permanent home. I bought a “little blue house in the woods” in Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin and built my studio (Pigeon Road Pottery). After juggling pottery making and part time jobs for more than 10 years, I made the leap to full-time potter in the fall of 2014. I am a proud member of a vibrant and thriving art community. It’s been the most rewarding struggle of my life.

Moving to the woods was instrumental to my evolution as an art potter. The forest is alive with texture and movement. I draw inspiration from the plants that envelop my surroundings every summer. During the long winters I find them in my imagination. My decorative stoneware dishes are intentional, functional, one-of-a-kind objects. The greatest compliment I receive is hearing that a piece I’ve made has a special spot in someone’s home, but is also used at their table."


Janele Dupuis

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Janele Dupuis has studied the body and its movement for over 20 years.  She believes when we connect our breath with movement, we can tune in and our awareness expands. Janele became a yoga teacher to help herself and others slow down and experience the goodness of the present moment.  She combines many styles in her classes, including kriya, kundalini, vinyasa, and mostly mindful yoga.Her classes are accessible to every body shape, size, and age.  Bring your curiosity and come explore your body, mind, and spirit.


Emma Vickers

2-D Instructor

Emma Vickers is a former graduate from Wayland Academy that will be going to the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) this fall to study Illustration. Emma published her first graphic novel this last spring and has illustrated 3 book covers and other commissions in different media. She looks forward to teaching a variety of media, such as watercolor, ink, acrylic, and digital!


Elliott Aaron From

Corks & Canvas Instructor, Board Member

Elliott Aaron From is an Abstract Expressionist Performance Artist in the medium of painting. His talent and creativity allow him to explore this uncharted hybrid of Artistic Expression and Performance Art. Since embarking on this path in 2007 his unique talents have made him a Chicago-land celebrity. He works closely with local and national professional sports teams. Most well-known is his celebrated connection to the 3-time Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks with whom he has had an ongoing business relationship for the last 9 years. Elliott’s love of painting is only paralleled by his love of helping those less fortunate. He has molded his successful business model around raising money for non-profit organizations. To date Elliott has helped raise over $4 million dollars for over 350+ non-profits nationwide.

T. Ray

T. Ray

Corks & Canvas Instructor

"I'm originally from the Chicago metro area and have been coming to Three Lakes since I was young. My parents were seasonal and then retired here. I spent my summers in Three Lakes through high school and college, working summer jobs." 

T. attended the University of Dayton in Ohio for her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a teaching endorsement for grades kindergarten through 12. It was there that she met her husband, John, who she married at St. Theresa's Church in Three Lakes in 1977. 

After a Master of Fine Arts program with a focus on printmaking at the University of North Dakota, T. had a teaching assistantship and taught freshman drawing. This is where she first became interested in pottery and learned to throw pots on a wheel. After completing two years of the program, she and her husband moved to Denver, Colorado and started a family, which has now expanded to include daughter Emily, son Sean and five grandsons.

"While in Denver, I volunteered for the Colorado Department of Arts and Humanities, worked for an arts newspaper and then worked at a gallery selling fine art. As my children got into elementary school, I returned to teaching third through sixth grade as a regular classroom teacher."

She continued to dabble in art, including pottery and painting while teaching and also received a Masters Degree. She was principal at two elementary schools and the Director of Elementary Curriculum and Instruction, before finally retiring. 

"My husband and I bought a home here seven years ago and I began coming for full summers to help and support my mom as she got into her senior years. Two years ago, fulfilling one of our dreams, my husband and I retired in Three Lakes permanently." 

T. said her recent goals have been to move away from dabbling in art, return to her roots and do art every day.

"I took a handbuilding pottery class at The Warehouse in Eagle River and discovered there was a full pottery studio there. I took advantage of the excellent teaching staff, John Langer (Bear Paw Pottery), Amy Higgason (Pigeon Road Pottery), Linda Woiak and Cheryl Kornely, and began to study pottery techniques on a more serious level. During the course of my studies with these fine artists and potters, I began to make connections to my past studies in printmaking. 

"My work attempts to incorporate printmaking techniques and influences with mostly wheel-thrown pieces. My interest is in creating pattern, texture and nature in mostly functional pottery."


Vicki Morley

Watercolor Instructor

Vicki was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas. She attended Wichita State University one year then transferred to Kansas University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Interior Design. She was an active member of Alpha Gamma Delta women's fraternity. At the University of Kansas she met her husband, James R. Morley. After graduation they married and set up housekeeping in Bogotá, Colombia where they both were Peace Corps volunteers for two years. As a Peace Corps volunteer, Vicki not only developed Spanish language skills but also was able to use her art education in a number of ways. She helped the Colombian Conservation Agency by doing pen and ink illustrations for a book they were publishing on indigenous animal skeletons. She did numerous visual aides for teachers and other volunteers. Her biggest project was designing a store interior, which promoted sales of artesanias made by the campesinos from remote parts of the country. After the Peace Corps, Vicki and Jim remained in Colombia while Jim worked for the Organization of American States.

1978 brought Vicki and Jim back to the United States where they settled in the northwest suburbs of Chicago so Jim could join his father in business. Vicki devoted herself to raising their two daughters, Melissa and Nicole, becoming involved in their schools as a volunteer art teacher, "picture lady" and generally being available whenever an "artsy" was needed.

By 1990 Vicki was ready to continue her art education through classes and workshops in watercolor and oil painting. She has received valuable instruction from Don Andrews, Bridget Austin, Gale Bennett, Gerald Brommer, Ratindra Das, Nita Engle, Nancy Fortunato, Frank Francese, Tom Francesconi, Alain Gavin, Ted Nuttall, Stephen Quiller, Catherine Wilson Smith, Mel Stabin and Tom Trausch.

As a member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America since 1993, Vicki has served as co-chair of the Slide Receiving Committee, has been the Special Promotions Chairman, Second Vice-President, and Vice-President/Exhibit Chair -- and -- President of TWSA from 2003-2005. She is also a member of the American Watercolor Society, Watercolor West, Florida Watercolor Society, a 'signature' member of the Kentucky Watercolor Society, and Three Lakes Center for the Arts in the Northwoods. Her work can be seen at the Three Lakes Center for the Arts in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. Vicki and Jim divide their time between Three Lakes and Winter Park, Florida.

Besides painting, Vicki enjoys traveling and has visited most of Europe and South America as well as Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Belize, and New Zealand. One particular highlight of Vicki's art career was to have the opportunity to spend a week with colleagues painting in Monet's gardens in Giverny, France.


Cheryl Leigh Kornely

Corks & Canvas and Ceramics Instructor, Board Member

Cheryl Leigh Kornely is an artist, interior designer and arts educator living in Bergland Michigan with her husband Dale and their awesome dogs- Dremel and Nelly! She earned her undergraduate degree from UW Whitewater Wisconsin and her Master’s degree from Marian College in Fond du Lac Wisconsin. Her areas of artistic interest are ceramics, painting and photography. She has long admired the work of Joan Miro, Wassily Kandinsky, and Vincent Van Gogh and aspires to contribute to her own body of work with the same emotional response. Cheryl has owned and operated a successful interior design business in Eagle River Wisconsin since 2003. She loves sharing her design experience with many residential and commercial clients. Cheryl is also very passionate about her family, enjoying activities together like; motorcycling, fishing, cooking, camping and traveling.

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Leah Groeling Fann

Youth Instructor
Tricia Schwaba

Tricia Schwaba

Yoga Instructor

Owning her own yoga studio for the last 3 years, Tricia has taught over 1200 hours between group, private & corporate classes. She teaches mostly Basics and Gentle yoga meeting all her students where they are individually, but still manages to throw down a challenge.

robin tardy

Robin Tardy

Yoga Instructor

Robin is an experienced yoga and meditation teacher with over 500 hours of yoga training in the US, Europe, and Asia, and 1,800 hours of integrative holistic coaching. She began teaching in 2012, and has mentored and helped train over 100 new yoga teachers. Robin teaches vinyasa flow, alignment-based hatha, restorative, and yoga nidra. Her classes are intelligently sequenced, with influence from biomechanics, intuitive movement, energetics, and yogic philosophy. Robin's purpose is to guide students to listen to the wisdom of the body, to experience the healing power of rest and the liberating power of movement.

She views the practice of yoga as a metaphor for life: as we overcome obstacles on our mats, we can begin to uncover all of the possibilities in our lives.


Trista Langley-Tyler

Jewelry Instructor, Drink & Draw Volunteer

"About 25 years ago I wrapped a stone in sterling silver for the very first time. Awed by the way that metal moved in my hands, how I could manipulate it with my tools, I had to know MORE. I found my first teacher through sheer fate, (Barbara Jeanne, you'll always be my first!) and she inspired my passion, taught me how to use FIRE and create with my soul.

Then the heavens gave me Bill Howard and The Howard Academy. Bill's an Old-School Master Goldsmith of 40+years, with a huge heart and a gift for teaching. He taught me the value of crafts(wo)manship and the secrets of working with precious metals. He trained my hands and my eyes in perfection and expected nothing less. I'm proud to have been trained by such a Master of the Art and proud of the work I can do now, because of these two wonderful people! Another good friend of mine doing metal art work can be found at Prairie Art Metal.

Metal Urges started officially in Madison, WI in February 1999, in the back bedroom of our apartment. At that time I was still working with Bill some, and also doing repair and custom design work for Burnie's Rock Shop on the Isthmus in Madison. Knowing that we would be leaving the area for the North Woods soon, I wanted to be prepared with the business already established and running. In February of 2000 my husband Tod and I packed up the cats and headed to my old stomping grounds, Eagle River.

I've had the opportunity to do both repair and custom design work for a variety of different people in Stoughton, in Madison, and now in the North Woods. Due to the view out of my studio window, I pick the North Woods as my favorite! I take pride in making old-school, handmade jewelry for real people. I am honored by those who buy my work, and by those who trust me with their treasured heirlooms to restore, fix or change to their liking.

The best part of all of this, I've come to understand, is that no matter how much I know, each time I sit down at my bench I learn a lesson. I look forward to years of lessons to come."


Shannah Bass

Pilates Instructor

Shannah Bass is a wife and mother of two.  She discovered Pilates following the birth of her two children and has loved it ever since.  With a background in dance, Pilates was a perfect fit.  Pilates is a help in many aspects.  Strengthening the “Powerhouse” has helped with many issues for Shannah, which is why she has become so passionate about it.  Shannah has taught Pilates for 6 years and owned her own studio for 2 ½ years.  She is very excited to be teaching at the Warehouse.


Peter Wisla

T'ai Chi Instructor
"Relating T'ai Chi and Qi Gong to the creative arts has been a passion of mine through experiences in pottery, painting, printing, sculpture, weaving, and driftwood design.
My T'ai Chi Gong teaching name is "Sifu Shu" which means "tree" (which I believe I am).
I began studying - practicing Tai - Chi Gong in the late 1970's - early 1980's at UW Madison eventually becoming certified in T'ai Chi Chuang and T'ai Chi for Arthritis.
I have taught T'ai Chi Gong classes in various forms to children, adults, and seniors in Montessori, public and private school settings, Senior and Community Centers, Martial Arts Dojos, Libraries, Wellness Clinics as well as Hospitals where I incorporated adaptive T'ai Chi and Yoga into Community Preventive Health and Falling Prevention programs."

volunteer of the month!




"Art has many forms.  The partnership that one shares with a dressage horse is just that; art.  Growing up in the equestrian world, I had the experience of some great partners.

I grew up on a horse farm.  My family bought and sold over 900 horses.  I competed in different disciplines.  Barrel racing in high school. A period of time showing quarter horses.  I was a national horse show judge for thirty years.  Now I compete with a lovely German Warm Blood in dressage.

The Warehouse is a community platform for the various arts.  I enjoy being a part of the activity there and volunteering is a way be part of supporting something special in the community.

If I didn’t volunteer I would not likely see much of my husband, John, as he seems to be there most of the time!"

Become an Instructor at The Warehouse

The Warehouse is committed to providing students of all ages with high quality, art-centered learning opportunities. The Warehouse is always interested in hearing from prospective arts instructors! Artists from near & far are encouraged to share their talents with us!

One-time classes, multi-week courses and special events make up our broad curriculum of art education opportunities. Be a part of this positive, engaging and community-building experience.

Contact The Warehouse to learn how we can learn from you.