Melissa Lackman - PresidentMelissa Morton Lackman grew up surrounded by artists and musicians and has always loved fine art. She took a B.A. in Art fromSeattle Pacific University in 1977, before turning to a career in law. After earning her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley in 1981, she was a full-time litigator for 11 years. She has been directly involved in nonprofit management at the board level since approximately 1995, serving a variety of organizations, both local and national. In addition to her studio practice, she has passion for children’s mental health, children’s arts education, music, language learning, and travel.
Melissa Rubin - Vice President
Melissa Rubin has been serving on the IEA Board of Directors, as Education Director and Grants Administrator, since 2013. In addition, since early 2016 she has taken on the role of Vice President.
During her tenure on the IEA Board, Melissa has developed and administered the Emerging Artist grant, the Artist Project grant, and encaustic retreat scholarships. She created, designed and edits the new IEA digital publication, encaustiZINE©. She is dedicated to creating programming that enhances member benefits and seeks out opportunities for artists at all stages of their careers.
Melissa received a B.F.A. in painting from the School of Visual Arts, and an M.S. Ed. in Arts Leadership from Bank Street College of Education, both in New York City. Her education and art career has spanned over 30 years and she has taught a wide range of students and classes: from pre-school age to high school, and under-graduate and graduate level. Melissa is an exhibiting artist who lives and works in New York City.
You can view her work at: www.melissarubinart.com
Michelle Robinson - Treasurer
Michelle received her Bachelor of Environmental Design in 1991 from Texas A&M University and continued on to study photography, video, and computer animation at Texas A&M's graduate program in Visualization. During that time she produced animated short films that were shown internationally in such venues as the Walker Art Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She has been an artist with Walt Disney Animation Studios for over 20 years.In contrast to her work for Disney, her recent personal artwork is mostly analog, consisting of wet darkroom photography, collage, printmaking and encaustic. Thematically, her art seeks to find a narrative in the tension between the natural and the man-made.
Gail Steinberg - Secretary
I specialize in the impossible. Building zero-budget dreams into thriving non-profits, connecting people who would not have come together any other way, launching an art support organization with members across the globe—all things I have successfully accomplished.
I do not have a Ph.D. in aging. I am not a gerontologist, anthropologist, sociologist, psychologist, or physician specializing in geriatrics. Instead I hold the impossibly privileged position of an ordinary 194-year-old woman with unlimited curiosity and the intent to fill my last years with as much meaning and euphoria as possible.
No matter what I tell you later, I'm 72. My latest book is about things I care about: feeling more alive, seeking joy, loving, belonging, and connecting. Not everyone considers these to be appropriate interests for seniors and some people will think my stories are too personal but I’ve learned some imperative things in the experience of getting older and now I think my job is to pass them on.
Janet C. Hickok - Membership Director
Janet has been working exclusively in encaustic painting for the last seven years. Janet is the President of the Alaska Chapter of International Encaustic Artists and teaches the process of encaustic painting in her west Anchorage Shorecrest Studios. She continues to explore and develop technique with the wax and uses mixed media to highlight and accent her work.
In addition to privately commissioned works and participation in juried art shows, she has had solo and group shows at Doriola's, Virtu Gallery, Ptarmigan Galleryas well as galleries in Oregon and California. Her paintings hang in many private collections, as well as public and corporate collections around the world. She is represented locally at Stephans Fine Art gallery in the Captain Cook Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska. Janet resides in Anchorage, Alaska.
Janet previously served as Chapters Director and will be moving to Membership Director effective February 2015.
Julie Blythe - Education Director and Grants Coordinator
Julie Blythe is an artist living in San Antonio, Texas. She and her husband have a son and daughter both attending college. Julie received her B.A. degree in Fashion Merchandising at Oklahoma State University. She began her art education when she was nine, the youngest student in oil painting class. She attended Silvermine School if Art in Connecticut and San Antonio School of Art, focusing on printmaking, collage, acrylic, mixed media and encaustic. She started exhibiting her work in 2014.
Julie focused her work on encaustic art 6 years ago and has never looked back. She is excited to join the board and become involved in supporting the efforts of IEA.
Millie Ryan - Development Director
Deborah Lambert - Technology Director
Deborah Lambert is a Los Angeles-based artist. She works in a variety of media including painting, encaustic, mixed media and printmaking. She received her BFA from the University of Southern California and MFA from the Academy of Art University San Francisco. Deborah is originally from Sterling, VA and made California her home after completing ten years of military service. She maintains an active studio practice, showing and selling her work to national and international collectors. Deborah teaches workshops for Creative Spark, an Inglewood Cultural Arts mentorship program for youth interested in pursuing a career in the arts. Deborah is the Vice President of the L.A. Chapter of International Encaustic Artists. Deborah is also a resident artist at the Beacon Arts Building in Inglewood, CA. Deborah has been making art with encaustic for over 20 years. She brings with her over 30 years of corporate level project management experience in various industries with a focus on information management and technology and business process management.