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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

2014: Festival - Entertainment - Top Hat Dinner - Quilt Raffle - Judges - Awards - Sponsors - Map - How to Enter


Art in the Redwoods Festival
Judges (2014)

Art in the Redwoods Festival logo
The judges for this year's Art in the Redwoods Fine Art Exhibit are:
Heather Russell, Stefan Kleinschuster and Katie Nartonis

We are pleased to have three distinguished and capable judges for this year's Art in the Redwoods Festival. Husband and wife artists Stefan Kleinschuster and Heather Russell from Loveland, Colorado will be joined by Studio City, California's Katie Nartonis, Business Development Specialist for the 20th Century Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams Auctioneers & Appraisers.

Heather Russell

Russell graduated from the University of Oregon with a MA degree in Ancient Art History. She taught Modern and Renaissance Art History at Colorado State University before starting her own sustainable clothing business. While she still can't seem to stop making things, she soon found her most persistent passion lies in the weaving written words. Adopting the pen name Esther G. Star, she just published two novels on Amazon's Kindle about her favorite period in time: the Bronze Age Aegean. Captivated by the nature-loving people of the prehistoric Greek islands, she tries to recreate that kind of simple bliss daily. She lives in Loveland, Colorado, with her husband, the painter Stefan Kleinschuster, and their daughter Sophie.

Stefan Kleinschuster and Heather Russell
Stefan Kleinschuster and Heather Russell

Stefan Kleinschuster

After graduating from CSU with his master's degree in printmaking, Kleinschuster went on to be one of the leading voices in figurative painting for the Denver area. Represented by Robischon Gallery, he was voted 'Best Representational artist in Colorado' by the Rocky Mountain News in 2005, and taught at the University of Colorado at Denver for four years. Recently, he has extended his love of all things artistic by writing ten full-length scripts and two novels, which he is self-publishing. He installed 10 of his most mischievous, large-scale canvases from his 'American Beauty Series' in Keanu Reeves' Arch Motorcycle Company in Los Angeles, California in May of 2013. He lives in Loveland, Colorado with his wife Heather Russell (aka Esther G. Star) and their daughter Sophie. He loves the ocean, and is looking to move to Northern California.

Painting by Stefan Kleinschuster
Painting by Stefan Kleinschuster

Katie Nartonis

The Directors of Bonhams recently announced the appointment of Nartonis to Business Development Specialist in 20th Century Decorative Arts. Her new Los Angeles-based peripatetic role will see her sourcing consignments for auction, with a primary focus on 20th Century Decorative Arts.

Katie Nartonis Nartonis joined Bonhams as part of the bi-coastal 20th Century Decorative Arts department in 2002 and during her tenure has developed a passion for the distinctive work of Post-War California artists and craftsmen. In recent years, her exploration of the period has led her to artists' studios and collectors' homes up and down the West coast. These experiences inspired her to share her extensive knowledge of California design, and in 2008 she created the Bonhams Design Lecture Series, of which the inaugural Sam Maloof and Otto Heino event prompted praise from Los Angeles Magazine: "Bonhams & Butterfields brings together two West Coast giants... the design equivalent of a Rolling Stones concert." The lecture series has since featured legendary California craftspeople and artists such as Larry Bell, Garry Knox-Bennett, Arthur Espenet Carpenter III, Michael Cooper, Gere Kavanaugh, Syd Mead and John Nyquist.

Nartonis has also lectured widely on the topic of California craft and design. She was given the honor of delivering the keynote speech for the SF Modernism show "SF20" in 2010, and in 2011 presented a talk on the subject of Northern California makers as part of the "Golden State of Craft Exhibit" at the Craft in America Study Center in Los Angeles. In 2013, Nartonis hosted a lecture for the Furniture Society of America's symposium "FS13" at Dwell on Design entitled "The SFMOMA Soap Box Derby Races of 1975 and 1978," which included veteran Bay Area artists (and racers) Garry Knox Bennett and Michael Jean Cooper as co-panelists. This summer, Nartonis will be presenting a panel lecture entitled "Sea Change: Visionary Coastal Hand-Made Architecture" at the upcoming Furniture Society of America's FS14 Symposium near Seattle, WA. She is currently in the process of curating "Jack Rogers Hopkins: California Maverick" for the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles which is due to open in 2015. If you are interested in reading Katie's recent interview in Handful of Salt magazine, please visit

Nartonis is honored to be one of the Art in the Redwoods judges this year, primarily focusing on the sculpture category but also bringing her experience and passion to assessing the design of the pieces submitted in the other categories as well.

Information on judges in past years:

2013 Judge 
2012 Judge 
2011 Judges
2010 Judges
2009 Judges
2008 Judges
2007 Judges
2006 Judges
2005 Judges

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

Serving the coastal communities of northern Sonoma & southern Mendocino Counties.