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watercolor and oil brushes online and in person teaching


The Guild Board


The Guild plans and executes Creative Arts Group activities.  These activities include Membership, Garden Tour, Art Festival, Gallery, Outreach Programs, Tours, and Publicity but may change as interest and needs arise.  Guild members support CAG’s mission, goals and activities.



Alliance Board


Creative Arts Group Alliance

The Alliance, formed in 1986 as the first auxiliary group for Creative Arts Group, supports Creative Arts Group endeavors. The Alliance provides a community outreach art project in order to touch the lives of those in our community who are not involved in an art experience. The Alliance members also participate in a continuing art education and awareness program.

Governing Board

The Governing Board, established in 2013, holds the fiscal responsibility of the Corporation, sets corporate policy and supports CAG’s mission, goals and activities.

Colleen McKernan, Chair

Colleen and her family have lived in Sierra Madre for 33 years. She has been active and has served on the Boards of St. Rita School, Sierra Madre Community Foundation, Sierra Madre Little League, Sierra Madre Civic Club, and is one of the founding members and current Treasurer of The Spero Foundation. Colleen is co-owner of Foothill HomeCare Partners, an in-home senior care company in Sierra Madre.

Carolyn Ash, Vice Chair

Carolyn has lived in Altadena for over 40 years. She spent her career as Director of Student-Faculty Programs at the California Institute of Technology, retiring in 2007. She now coordinates the first year of the Art of Spiritual Direction formation program for Stillpoint, the Center for Christian Spirituality. Carolyn holds a BA from Mount St. Mary’s University. Following retirement from Caltech, she began taking ceramics (and other) classes at Creative Arts Group. There she discovered a love of mud, the messiness of the creative process, the challenge of construction, and the mystery of glazes.  “A day of play in clay makes my soul sing!” she says. It wasn’t long before she became an active volunteer. She served on CAG’s Guild Board for two three-year terms, and was Guild Board president for two of those years. Her other interests include gathering with family and friends, being outdoors, traveling, gardening, reading, and volunteering.

Mark Hafeman, Secretary

Mark is a graduate of Georgetown University, has an MBA from University of Redlands and an M.A. from C.S.U.L.A. He spent 30 years as a teacher with LAUSD. Mark’s dad was active in real estate and his mom was a portrait artist. Luckily, he received the genes for real estate, where he has held a license since the age of eighteen, and in art where he has been a lifelong landscape artist and ceramic sculptor. Currently, he runs a real estate office that specializes in multi-family residential properties. He has been on several non-profit and fundraising boards for the past fifteen years including Methodist Hospital’s annual Mardi Gras fundraiser. He is a founder of a plein air painting group called TULARIVA–Tuesday Los Angeles River Art, and has won several local and national awards for his artwork.

Robert Burnett, Treasurer

Bob Burnett is a 49-year resident of Sierra Madre. He is Vice President of Citizens Business Bank. He served 34 years as a volunteer firefighter for the City of Sierra Madre. He retired as Battalion Chief in 2015. He is a member of Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club.

Nancy Dorn

Nancy has recently moved to Sierra Madre after 65 years in Arcadia. Nancy has a BA in English & Art. She taught art classes at CAG in the 1970’s, and also taught art at High Point Academy. She has been active in her community serving on the Arcadia Education Foundation and Pasadena City College Foundation. She has served on and was president of the CAGA alliance. She was a long time member of the Assistance League of Arcadia. She is a past President of the Arcadia Sunrise Rotary Club. She is currently active in the Sierra Madre Civic Club. Nancy had a 30 year career in Real Estate with Dorn Realty in Arcadia. Since retiring from real estate in 2008 she has been part of several painting groups and has won numerous painting awards

Helen Stapenhorst

Helen Bechtolt Stapenhorst was shaken from Sherman Oaks to Sierra Madre in 1994, following time in Nagasaki and New York, where she met husband Steve. Helen has spent her career as a non-profit administrator, consultant and fundraiser, currently working in Principal Gifts at Huntington Hospital.  As a volunteer, Helen helped lead the Sierra Madre School PTA and Neighborhood Church in Pasadena. She just completed a term on the Sierra Madre Civic Club board. It was the third grade witch project, 10 and 12 years ago, that introduced Helen to Creative Arts Group.

Gina Long, Advisor

Gina Long is an active Sierra Madre community member and the production photographer for most of the Sierra Madre Playhouse productions since 2013.  She has served on the board of the Sierra Madre Community Foundation, and Chaired the CAG annual Scarecrow Festival, 2015.  Gina also has a BA in film, television and photography from American University and a JD from Seton Hall School of Law.   Gina has a photography and freelance production business called The Unexpected Portrait, and has recently been honored by having her short documentary film “Rosie Can” chosen to be shown at the United Nations Pasadena International Film Festival, 2015.

Bart Doyle, Advisor

Bart Doyle is an attorney specializing in real estate, land use, and business transactions. A 31-year resident of Sierra Madre, he was elected to the City Council in 1996 and served two terms as Mayor.  He is the immediate past Chair of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership and currently serves as Treasurer of the Pasadena Educational Foundation. He also serves on the boards of three industry related non-profits: the Building Industry Association of Los Angeles County, the Building Industry Legal Defense Foundation, and the Construction Industry Air Quality Coalition.


Gwen Robertson, Executive Director

Gwen Robertson joined the staff of Creative Arts Group in 2019 after teaching at The Colburn School, The Museum of Contemporary Art, and Humboldt State University. Her academic research and teaching interests center on rethinking the role of the arts in contemporary life with special focus on community centered artistic practice. She lives in Sierra Madre and serves on a number of local boards including the Sierra Madre Civic Club and the Sierra Madre Rose Float Association. Creative Arts Group brings her academic interests and community passions full circle. She is co-editor of The Community Performance Reader (Routledge) and received her PhD from the University of Iowa in 20th Century and Contemporary Art.


Kim Totten, Office Manager

Aurelia Brogan, Program Director

Jill Field-Duerr, Bookkeeping/Accountant

Alyson Brandes, Lab Tech and Social Media 

Hannah Blank, Database Administrator


Kim Torres, Lab Tech 

Joanne Thrane, Volunteer 

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