top of page
Art Gallery Grand Rapids 12.jpg

Arte Preescolar y Familiar 

En este programa, invitamos a niños de 3 a 6 años a hacer arte. En esta clase de arte continua basada en el juego, nos enfocamos en la socialización, la conexión, el aprendizaje sensorial y el fomento de la imaginación. 

See additional people on our Faculty and Leadership

Cultivate Core Team 

Mallory Shotwell.jpg

Mallory Shotwell

Mallory Shotwell (she/her) is the Founder and Director of Cultivate, a role she has passionately embraced to merge the realms of contemporary art and community engagement. Her commitment to this mission is rooted in over 20 years of experience as an educator and a decade each as an interdisciplinary artist and curator. Mallory's journey in the arts and education has been significantly shaped by her time in Madison, WI, where she collaborated with local, county, and state arts councils for 8 years, deepening her commitment to arts and artist advocacy and support.

Before launching Cultivate, Mallory dedicated herself to education as a Montessori teacher, fostering creativity and independence among her students.  Her curatorial practice includes working with organizations like Arts and Literature Laboratory, Lansing Art Gallery, the Bubbler, and most recently the Arts Council of White Lake. As an interdisciplinary artist, her work is rooted in sensorial engagement and storytelling, working with organizations like Pod Save America and the National Breast Cancer Foundation, and has exhibited at the Indiana Green Invitational and the Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art, underscore her influence in contemporary art.

Beyond her professional life, Mallory is a mother to a 15-year-old son, an artist himself, and she enjoys spending her time as an avid reader and dual-state Master Gardener, illustrating her belief in the nurturing power of art, education, and community.

Annmarie Ventura.jpg

Annmarie Ventura

Annmarie Ventura (she/her) comes to Cultivate most recently from the Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University where she was the Assistant Director for Student Engagement and Public Programs. She worked closely with local and international artists to facilitate educational programming for all ages with an emphasis on building bridges; Working with culture bearers, underserved members of the community, and forward-thinking dreamers is her passion. 

She brings with her 15 years of wide-ranging experience within the arts realm. She has worked at the Stark Museum of Art in southeast Texas, Christie’s Art Auction House, NYC, and the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts at St. Bonaventure University. She also teaches Arts Administration and Art Appreciation at the college level. She received her BA in Fine Art and English from Alfred University and her MA in Museum Studies from Seton Hall University. 

Annmarie is also a practicing visual artist living in Grand Rapids with her two loves, her fiancé and her cat.

Corey Bordo.jpg

Corey Bordo

Director of Finance

bio coming soon

Brian Criner.JPG

Brian Criner

Brian Criner (he/him) is a video producer who has worked in the OTT broadcast sector in various large metro markets for over 15 years. He has collaborated with a plethora of organizations, corporations, governments, dignitaries, and celebrities, such as NPR, EPA, Stanford University, and Google.


Brian is also a musician and visual artist, working with video, pencil, and digital manipulation. He has released three singles under his moniker b.Lamrouex and is currently on creative sabbatical, working on new songs and a found footage edit titled “Do You Copy?”.


Ryker Huizinga

Ryker Huizinga (he/him) is a creative marketing professional and art enthusiast based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Professionally, he leads a digital marketing team of multimedia storytellers and brand-builders. Personally, he explores interests in photography, video, music, creative writing, and graphic design.

Ryker studied communication at GVSU — focusing on media literacy — and is fascinated by how the stories we tell inform our understanding of the world around us, each other, and ourselves. 

He also curates the Murals of Grand Rapids Instagram account, spotlighting murals throughout the city and striving to create a space of appreciation, celebration, and support for local artists. 

Ryker is the Volunteer Coordinator at Cultivate and is passionate about creating engaging, meaningful opportunities for volunteers to get involved and connect with the arts community. 

Hailey Ciesluk.JPG

Hailey Ciesluk

Digital Media Coordinator

Hailey Ciesluk (she/they) is an illustrator and painter who creates art for the eclectic, the colorful, and the mildly chaotic. Based out of Grand Rapids, MI, Hailey got her BFA in 2020 (good timing) with an emphasis in Illustration from Grand Valley State University.


Her work explores the vital connection between creativity and self-care, and encourages viewers to see art as a healing medium. Hailey’s art practice is based in pointillism (i.e. an obscene amount of dots), though subject matters include mental health, literature and/or folklore, and her experience as a queer person.


Her work has been shared at events such as ArtPrize and the Festival for the Arts, and she has more recently joined Cultivate as their Digital Media Coordinator. Other passions of Hailey’s include art history, choreography, and exploring+protecting our beautiful planet.

Head shot.jpeg

Veronica Polniak

Collage Club Facilitator

Veronica Polniak (she/her) passionately believes that engaging in hands-on creation is a reliable path to a life brimming with wholehearted joy. As the visionary behind Little Art Park, a community playgroup born during the pandemic, she advocates for local families to embrace creativity, playfulness, and outdoor activities.

Drawing from her background in hospitality and culinary arts, Veronica has mastered the art of hosting, infusing gatherings with her contagious enthusiasm that leaves hearts fulfilled.

Veronica approaches art with a playful spirit, regularly changing materials and encouraging everyone to tap into their inner artist through interactive material play.

Beyond organizing events, Veronica dedicates her time to raising her daughter, supporting her husband in managing his businesses, and indulging in outdoor running and visiting local libraries, parks, and thrift shops.

For a glimpse into her joyful journey, you can follow Veronica on instagram at @littleartparkgr 


Bud Kibby

Photographer for Cultivate

Bio coming soon.

bottom of page