Denise Crouse, Program & Communications Director
As program director, Denise Crouse curates and manages two gallery exhibits each year, as well as managing the SECURA Fine Arts Exhibition, Art in the Park, the Appleton Pottery Lovers Event (ApPLE), and other exhibition-related events. In addition to program duties, she is responsible for overseeing and improving the internal and external communications of the Appleton Art Center, including editing the Artisan, Appleton Art Center’s member newsletter.
Denise was hired in November 2004 as a program director, but has been involved with the Appleton Art Center since 1993 in a number of roles. A member of the Board of Directors from 1993-95, she served as secretary and then as 2nd vice president on the board. More recently, Denise has taught adult oil painting, toddler and pre-school classes in the Appleton Art Center’s educational program and leads school tours during cultural exhibitions. Denise is an artist, and has exhibited her drawings, prints and paintings in many Art Center shows.
Denise has a B.A. in Studio Art from Lawrence University, and a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has worked in marketing and communications in the not-for-profit field for over 20 years, first as assistant director of publications for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and more recently as a communications manager for Lutheran Social Services in Appleton, WI.
You might also catch Denise strumming her Guild acoustic guitar, singing with First Nations Singers, or having a latte at the corner coffee shop with her husband Jody and daughter Nora.
Jody (Joe) Vanesky, Education Director
Jody produces most of the cultural exhibits at the art center and has created other memorable exhibits, including the early childhood exhibits (Four Seasons, Art Zoo, Our Green Earth) and Marble Madness. Jody also creates the tour programs, instructs touring visitors, oversees children’s classes and teaches classes at the art center. Jody is an award-winning artist who enjoys drawing and painting. He was a volunteer at the Appleton Art Center before being hired as the education director in 1993.
Jody was born and raised in Menasha, WI, and was an all-conference linebacker on the Menasha High School football team. Jody studied psychology, art and education at Lawrence University and graduated with a bachelor of arts. He also took art classes at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
Known for his harmonica playing, Jody can be heard on the Less Traveled recordings, an instrumental CD featuring himself on harmonica, flute and resonator guitar. Jody is currently fronting the band The Joe Tones.
Jody is a collector of antique marbles and marble games and invites you to contact him if you are interested in joining the Badger Marble Club — Northeast chapter.
Jody and his wife Denise have a young daughter named Nora.
Marilyn Schenian, Special Events Coordinator
As special events coordinator, Marilyn is responsible for planning and organizing a variety of Appleton Art Center events including Festival of Trees, Antiques Showcase & Sale, Artful Empty Bowls, and Deja View.
Marilyn was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin — Madison in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting. From 1981 – 1992, Marilyn worked for Ernst & Young as a Certified Public Accountant in their Milwaukee, Chicago, and Saginaw, MI, offices.
Marilyn moved to Appleton in 1992 and immediately became an active volunteer at the Appleton Art Center. She served on the Board of Directors for eight years — three years as treasurer and five years as chairman of the Special Events Committee. In November 2001, Marilyn became an employee of the Appleton Art Center.
Marilyn is married and has two school-aged children.
Angie McKinley, Adult Program Director
In her role as adult program director for Appleton Art Center, Angie will be curator for two exhibitions per year, in addition to managing adult art education programming. She has been involved with the Art Center as a volunteer since relocating to the Fox Valley from Minneapolis in 2004 and has been a full-time staff member since August 2005.
Angie received a master’s degree in Art History from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in 2003, with a focus on architectural history, and has a B.A. in Music and History. She and her husband Kirk have two energetic Jack Russell Terriers named Sam and Lucy, and a new baby son.