Staff

Vanessa Alvarado

Vanessa Alvarado

Outreach Director/ALMA Lead Artist

Vanessa considers herself to be a painter happily trapped in a ceramic world. At the University of New Mexico, She received her BFA in Studio Art: Painting, but has worked in Ceramic Tile Murals since 2006 and takes pride in bringing the painterly aesthetic to tile mosaic. She was born, raised, lives, and still works in the South Valley of Albuquerque. In addition to working for ALMA, she continues to work as a teacher at La Academia de Esperanza and is also the Art Director for the South Valley Dia de Los Muertos Marigold Parade. A driving force in her life has always been a need to give back and improve her community, she believes that art is the perfect vehicle for teaching, uniting, and healing.

 

blubirdtileart.com

Margarita Paz-Pedro

Margarita Paz-Pedro

Operations Director/ALMA Lead Artist

Born in Albuquerque, raised in Las Cruces and with family in Laguna Pueblo, Margarita has ties across NM. Her multi-ethnic background (Mexican-American, Laguna Pueblo & Santa Clara Pueblo) is core to her artmaking. She is a ceramic artist, teacher, organizer and muralist. She received her BFA with an emphasis in Ceramics in 2003 from the University of Colorado-Boulder. Then an MA in Art Education in 2008 at the University of New Mexico. In 2006, while at UNM, she was able to do an apprenticeship abroad in Paris, France with an internationally known ceramicist, Madame Fance Franck for five months.  In 2009, she was able to travel to Japan for a ceramics exploration trip as a part of an Arita Porcelain class at UNM.   In early 2020, she was an Artist in Residence at Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe.  

Since 2009, she’s worked as a lead artist with the ALMA Summer Institute of ALMA, creating large-scale public art mosaic murals across New Mexico. In 2015, she helped start ALMA (Apprenticeships for Leaders in the Mosaic Arts) as a non-profit and is the Operations Director/ALMA Artist.  In 2020, ALMA was awarded the Creative Bravos Legacy award in Albuquerque, NM. She has also been a full time Art teacher at a Charter High School, in Albuquerque, NM since 2009. Both of those bridge her passion for working with community and youth through art.

pazpedro.com

Cassandra Reid

Cassandra Reid

ALMA Lead Artist

Cassandra believes that collaborative mosaic-making offers tremendous possibilities for personal transformation and community-building.  She loves to hear the stories people tell, and she enjoys facilitating ways for people to translate their ideas, histories, hopes, and dreams into works of art. She has worked with people ages 4 – 95 in neighborhoods, community centers, schools, treatment centers,  and shelters. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Wesleyan University and an MFA in Sculpture from the University of New Mexico. In addition to making public art, she has exhibited her work in galleries nationally and internationally.

lotustileworks.com

Maud Beenhouwer

Maud Beenhouwer

Administrative Director

A long-time member of the non-profit community, Maud is delighted to join the ALMA team as Administrative Director. In addition to the skills of grant writing, bookkeeping, program coordination, and event coordination, Maud is also a professional musician. As a member of the New Mexico music scene, Maud loves bringing her administrative and creative skills together to help enhance our local community through the arts. She holds a BA in French and History from UNM and also works as a Program Coordinator at the New Mexico Jazz Workshop.