Board of Directors
2021 - 2022
Loretta Wallis, MBA
Loretta has served as the President of Arts Rolla since 2006 and has worked to increase the visibility of the organization in the region. She has focused on marketing the organization through the media and website.; She is the Corporate Relations Manager for Brewer Science in Rolla, MO. In addition to her work on the Arts Rolla board of directors, Loretta also is the President of the Greater Ozarks International Trade Association, serves on the advisory board of the Missouri District Export Council and the Missouri Association of Manufacturers. Loretta also has served on the Board of Directors for the Missouri Association of Art Agencies,
Jerry Cohen, Ph.D
Jerry is a professor of Russian and German with a research specialty in etymology, especially of British and American slang at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. His extensive work on word origins includes many terms with at least some connection to the arts (e.g. "jazz"). He writes a brief item weekly for the Missouri S&T student newspaper and shares the results of his research with a broader audience. Jerry continues to be an important part of the leadership for the literary programs offered by Arts Rolla. He serves as the Vice-President of Arts Rolla. He has been integral in fostering a productive relationship between Arts Rolla and the university.
Briana Calkins is a Missouri native that moved to Rolla in 2005 to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology at Missouri S&T. Briana later competed a Master's degree in Forensic Psychology at Argosy University and held various positions in the social services field until she found her true calling in 2014 working as an Employee Owner at Phelps County Bank. She currently serves on the Compliance and Risk Management team at PCB. Her husband is a lifelong Rolla resident and they both enjoy volunteering with Ozark Actors Theatre. In Briana's spare time she enjoys working on a variety of craft and hobbies including crochet, drawing, reading, cooking, canning, beekeeping, hiking, volunteering in the community, and traveling.
Mark Long was born and raised in Rolla, Mo and attended Rolla High School. Mark completed his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at Drury College in Springfield, Mo. in 1987. He worked out of the area for 10 years with LabCorp in sales and management. Mark then moved back to Rolla in 1997 and worked for PCRMC for 10 years in Marketing and Public Relations. In 2007 he left PCRMC to do some medical sales work and also worked for Dr. James Bass in his medical office. In February of 2013, Mark had the opportunity to begin work at The Community Partnership in Rolla, MO, as the Development Director. This community has meant a lot to Mark and he enjoys the outdoors and the great scenery. He has always appreciated art and music and looks forward to working with the Arts Rolla Board.
For many years Sandra painted oils, enjoying such subjects as landscapes, still life, etc. But the past few years she has combined her love of Appalachian and Ozark quilt designs with other interests in Native American, African and primitive art in general. This has evolved into an acrylic art form that she calls "functional art".
Sandra primarily paints on furniture from the 1930's and 1940's because of the quality of the workmanship and the attention to detail. Each piece is unique, and calls for its own design and color approach. She sometimes adds trompe l'oeil effects for awhimsical touch. The 3-dimensional aspects of her pieces are much more fun and challenging to her than the more traditional approaches to art.;
Sandra has always responded to intense color. As the designs and colors emerge on each piece that she paints, they seem to have an identity of their own. It's sort of like seeing your children's personalities develop. it's always a surprise and pleasure when the piece is complete.; She is thankful for being able to express the joy that she feels, and encourages everyone to search out their own creative talents.
Sandra says if she has a philosophy about her work, she states, "It's simply this....painting makes me happy when I'm doing it, when it's finished and when others respond to it". She is always looking forward to the next interesting piece of furniture she finds hiding at the next garage sale or auction. What will it be? What can she do with it? She knows that they are out there waiting for her to come along.
Sandra has her artwork in galleries in four states: Washington, Illinois, Kansas and Missouri. Sandra has also participated in 3 invitation only shows in Washington. She has also participated in many juried events and received numerous awards. Sandra is looking forward to serving on the Arts Rolla board.
Carol Bennett is a retired kindergarten teacher and has lived in Rolla for many years. Carol is a long-time member and supporter of Arts Rolla and is active in many organizations in the region.
Carol is often found volunteering with various groups and is an active ambassador for Arts Rolla. Recently Carol put together a calendar featuring the work of regional artists, which was very popular. For many years she has served as co-chair for our opening receptions. She is very active member of our children’s programs.
Dr. Robert Cesario
Originally from Kenosha, Wisconsin, Dr. Robert Cesario came to Missouri S&T from Bucknell University where he served as Visiting Director of Bands. Previous to Bucknell he was Visiting Director of Bands at Texas Lutheran University following his service as Director of Bands at both Rice University and Huntsville Independent School District. He held the position of Coordinator of Music for the Tulsa Public Schools from 1990 to 1998 where he managed Oklahoma's largest public school music program.
With more than 20 years of college teaching experience and ten years of public school education and administration, his roles have been diverse and demonstrate a variety of talents. He has conducted college and high school wood ensembles, concert bands, jazz ensembles and marching bands, and taught courses such as conducting, wind literature, music education, theory, history, and applied woodwinds. Dr. Cesarion is also an accomplished soloist and performer on clarinet and saxophone in concert, jazz, and commercial venues across the United States, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean.
Recent professional service includes TMEA District XXIII College Chair, Vice President of the WAC Mountain West Conference Band Director's Association, Secretary of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, and he has played an active role in the commissioning of works by several composers. He was inducted into Beta Chapter of Phi Beta Mu, the International Bandmasters Fraternity in 1988.
Brenda Linkeman has a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts, with a concentration in
graphics, and a Master’s Degree in Social Work, both from the University of
Texas in Arlington. Professionally, Brenda has worked with children for over
thirty-five years. As a teenager she had summer jobs in art galleries in the
Washington DC area. While completing her art degree, Brenda worked in the
university photo lab, the art history slide library, in the UTA Art Gallery, as well
as having worked as a commercial artist and business form designer in Grand
Prairie, Texas. She began teaching art in Grand Prairie at the Golden Palette Art
Studio, and continued teaching art, primarily to children, at her Rolla art studio,
“Expressions!”. She has competed in numerous art shows, winning a variety of
awards through the years. Her collection of original bird paintings have been on
exhibit twice at the ”Audubon Center at Riverlands” in West Alton, Missouri.
Brenda has served as secretary of the Canyon County Respite Committee, the
Rolla Kennel Club, the Rolla Volkssport club, the Rolla Public Library board, and,
also as treasurer of the UTA Student Art Association, Vice Chair of the UTA Art
History Club, appointed member to the UTA Liberal Arts Constituency Council,
Vice Chair of the Tarrant County Crime Victim’s Coalition, and Chair of the
Phelps County Health Department Ethics Committee. While serving on the Rolla
Library Board, she was the project design coordinator for the library pocket
Brenda began writing poetry as a sophomore in high school while living in
Virginia. She self-published a book, “Pasque Flowers Along the Ipswich Trail,”
and recently had three poems published in the Gasconades Review. Her current
artistic focus is on writing, and creating collages. She is a strong supporter of
the arts, and looks forward to serving on the Arts Rolla Board.
Georgia "Lynn" Slawson, CRAADC, CGDC, CCJP
Georgia “Lynn” Slawson was born in and is a life-long resident of Rolla, living here with her husband, Larry, and their pets; she has one adult son. She graduated from Rolla High School, received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology through Columbia College in 1989, and graduated with a Master’s degree in Guidance & Counseling through Missouri State University (formerly Southwest Missouri State University) in 1993. Lynn has maintained a certification as a National Certified Counselor (NCC) since 1993, and Missouri state certifications as an alcohol/drug, criminal justice, and gambling addictions counselor since 2005.
Lynn retired in 2013 after a career of 34 years working for the State of Missouri, which included vocational rehabilitation, social work, mental health, adolescent services, alcohol/drug treatment, and developmental disabilities. After her retirement, she was certified as both a Mental Health Professional and an Equine Specialist in EAGALA model Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning (EAP/EAL). Lynn then started working at Horses Healing Hearts, as a co-therapist doing EAP/EAL. This combined her love of horses with her desire to help people.
Lynn has always had an interest in learning about new languages, cultures, and the arts. For over 25 years she has been involved in dance, which included teaching line dance and performing with two different dance teams. In addition, Lynn has become a self-taught artist and photogra-pher, showing her art work and photography in various public exhibitions, and receiving several Honorable Mentions for both art work and photography in Juried shows. In 2015, she spent 10 weeks traveling around The Netherlands and Germany, doing photography and learning art techniques. All of these activities also inspired her to start writing.
Lynn is very active in the Rolla community and spends much of her time doing photography, painting, writing, and clogging. She is currently a member of Arts Rolla; co-administrator of the Ozarks Shutter Junkies photography group and Facebook page; coordinator for the monthly meetings of Local Color artists’ group; and a member of Ozark Spirit Cloggers, performing at numerous venues including the Missouri State Fair. She is also a member of and Historian/photographer for Missouri Author’s Circle (MAC), working with the group on editing and publishing projects. In addition, Lynn is working on a book about her travels through the Netherlands.
Lynn’s panoramic photo, “The Gates of Heaven”, was awarded the first Fran Chastain Memorial, People’s Choice Award, at the 2018 Ozarks Shutter Junkies Annual Photography Show, an exhibition coordinated through Arts Rolla. Also in 2018, Lynn had two short stories and photos published in an anthology through Missouri Author’s Circle (MAC), “Yarns From Ozark Storytellers”.
In 2016, Lynn had a short story, “Through His Eyes”, published in the Missouri Writer’s Ink anthology, “Paws, Claws & Hooves: Footprints on Our Lives”. Her photograph, also titled “Through His Eyes”, was the illustration for the story. She served two years (2016/2017) as president of Missouri Writer’s Ink.
Reba Fryer - Administrative Assistant
Reba Fryer joined Arts Rolla in December 2005 and serves as the organization's Administrative Assistant. Reba has worked for and has been involved with not-for-profit organizations for more than 23 years and brings a vast amount of expertise to Arts Rolla.
Prior to working for Arts Rolla, she was the Office Manager for the American Red Cross Phelps-Pulaski Chapter for over 5 years. During this period Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and her role expanded to include setting up and running a shelter for displaced hurricane Katrina families
She has been a member of the Phelps County Genealogical Society since 1992 and has served on their board in a number of offices since 1994. She is currently recording Secretary and the past Treasure, for the organization.
Reba was a 4-H Leader and active council member for the Phelps County 4-H group for over 10 years.
She is involved in the Rolla Coachlite Lanes Youth bowling league where she holds the office of Secretary/Treasurer she returned to this volunteer position after several years. of being just a youth bowler parent with the league. In addition to these activities, Reba currently serves as her daughter's Girl Scout leader and is an active participant in county wide Girl Scout events.
Arts Rolla continues to grow as a result of her expertise and enthusiasm.