Above: Space 4 Art founders Bob Leathers, Cheryl Nickel, and Chris Warr

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

ROBERT S. LEATHERS, PRESIDENT, CO-FOUNDER

Has completed over 2,000 architectural projects, many of which were volunteer-built projects, in all 50 states and eight foreign countries. These projects include playgrounds, parks, science centers, community centers, theaters, galleries and zoos. His work has been featured in various media, including Time, People, and Smithsonian Magazines; Newspapers include New York Times and The Washington Post. He has been featured on CBS Evening News, PBS, Sesame Street, and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. Six years ago he designed and headed up the construction of the volunteer built Visions Fiber Art Museum in San Diego. For the last four years he has worked as an architect with hundreds of artists and art supporters to develop the design for Space 4 Art’s permanent home. Over the last nine years, he has worked as a studio artist in the medium of fiber art.  His work has been displayed in numerous galleries and museums including Quilt National 2005, 2009, and Visions 2002, 2006, and 2012. Both shows are juried international exhibits. Awards include: AIA design awards; Metropolitan Home Top 100 International Designers; Allegra Best of Show; Visions Cream Award; Visions Collector’s Award, and many local awards.

CHERYL NICKEL, CO-FOUNDER

An artist with a Master’s Degree in landscape architecture from Cornell University.  She has exhibited installation and sculptural work in various media at Cornell University Art Galleries. Johnson Art Museum, Ithaca, New York, Loma Linda University, Riverside, CA. Group shows include: Grove Gallery UCSD, Palomar College, Mira Mesa College, and Escondido Center for the Arts, Sushi Performance and Visual Art Center, La Sierra University Brandstadter Gallery, and “Allied Craftsmen Today” at Mingei Museum. Public projects/ Environmental works include: environmental sculptures for the Ithaca Arts Festival; design/build arts and landscape projects in parks and schools in 5 states, including Hoover High School, San Diego. Grants and awards have included four New York State Council on the Arts Grants for art, design and planning; Cornell University Council for the Creative and Performing Arts; San Diego State Foundation/ Price Charities, and Lowe’s Community Grant. Current work includes a major environmental piece under construction, “Path of the Just” at La Sierra University in Riverside, CA. that honors world leaders including Desmond Tutu and Mother Theresa. She is a member of Allied Craftsmen, and a Board Member of Synergy Arts Foundation. 

DANIEL SICILE-KIRA, ChairMAN

An Environment and Interior Design graduate of the University of California Irvine. He is a proven management expert with over 30 years of global experience in leading integrated teams on vertical projects in scope of up to USD $200 million.  He is a specialist in design, project and construction management strategies and the implementation of cutting edge means and methods for producing world-class results. Daniel is dedicated to utilizing partnering and mediation techniques for encouraging holistic and broad based consensus towards achieving on-time deliverables of the highest quality within established cost parameters safely. He is proficient in MS Suite, MS Project, Expedition, Oracle P6 Professional v.8.3, OSHA 30, Oracle Contract Manager 14, IMPACT, UNIFIER, SharePoint, Maximo, PeopleSoft, Deltek and RSMeans. Daniel has directly participated on designed and constructed project aggregate of >$11 billion in completed military, healthcare, K-14 education, housing, retail, food and entertainment scope. Daniel is a certified construction manager, one of only 2800 in the world with this professional ANSI accreditation. Daniel has been the president of the Carmel Village homeowners association for 14 years. He has sat as a senior project jury member of the Design Institute of San Diego for graduating Interior Design Students. Daniel is a mentor for the Construction Management Association of America construction manager in training program and a mentor for the San Diego High School GeoTech Academy 11th graders, adolescents who need a leg up in encouragement and guidance for their future career paths. Daniel lives with his wife Chantal, a recognized Autism Spectrum Disorders published author, in Carmel Valley. Their son, Jeremy, is an artist currently occupying a studio at Space 4 Art. Their daughter Rebecca, a recent graduate of UC Davis, lives and works in Seattle, WA.

William SCHAIRER, TREASURER

Willam (Bill) Schairer is a semi-retired CPA who has been involved with several non-profits over the years. In addition to serving on the Board of Space 4 Art, he has served on the boards of Gateway Trailnet (now Trailnet), The Japanese American Historical Society of San Diego, and The Furniture Society. He is a former board member of Seacoast Commerce Bank. Bill enjoys spending the retired portion of his time bicycle touring and traveling with his wife, the artist Wendy Maruyama.

Martha Zapata, SECRETARY

Martha Zapata originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico, has been a resident of the community of Logan Heights in the City of San Diego for the last 30 years. Martha was a staff member for David Alvarez, he was the Council Representative for District Eighth for the last eight years. During her tenure, she was the culture and arts liaison between the Council office and the City of San Diego Culture and Art Commission, and the San Diego Opera. She has also volunteered for many years the San Diego Symphony, Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, and San Diego Repertory Company.

Alyce dutile

Alyce Dutile is an artist, author, photographer, and art historian. Currently, Alyce is developing a college level, study abroad program in Venice, Italy, the focus of her recent book, Porte d’Acqua: A Photographic Journey Along the Back Canals of Venice.

Emily Knapp

In over a decade working in advertising and marketing in NYC Emily Knapp helped global brands fight malaria, handcraft small batch whiskey, launch first generation technology products, and bring manufacturing at scale back to America. After spending 2016 traveling the country with her husband, Emily settled in San Diego in 2017 where she works as Director of Strategic Planning at a local advertising agency. Emily also acts as Co-Founder & Creative Director of After 1920, an independent arts residency, where she manages programming in accordance with the project’s mission and objectives. Emily is also an Advisory Board member and Assistant Executive Director of Medium Festival of Photography working in partnership with Founder and Executive Director Scott Davis.

Beth Smith

Beth Smith is the managing editor of Fiber Art Now Magazine and the Founding Executive Director Emerita of Visions Art Museum: Contemporary Quilts + Textiles. She has curated over 20 museum exhibitions both at Visions Art Museum and during her tenure at Oceanside Museum of Art as Director of Development and Curator.

MICHAEL STEPNER

FAIA, FAICP, FIUD, Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and Dean Emeritus at the New School of Architecture and Design, Visiting Professor UCSD, has over 35 years of experience in leading, managing and participating in comprehensive planning program and the development of public policy. During his 27-year tenure with the City of San Diego from 1971-1997, he was responsible for myriad projects and programs, including the City’s general plan and growth management efforts as well as preparation of community plans for both newly developing and older communities. His focus is on Urbanism, Urban Design, and related public policy. 

ariana warren

Ariana Warren began her musical career in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Warren earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Contemporary Music Performance from the University of California, San Diego and Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Peabody Conservatory. Dr. Warren has played around the world, and currently performs in San Diego with Joe Garrison and the Night People, San Diego City Ballet Orchestra, A Hundred Ghosts, Opera Neo, and Sugarbird.

Chris warren

Chris Warren is a sound artist, signal processing researcher, and musical instrument inventor.  He is a resident artist at Space 4 Art in San Diego and performs with the group A Hundred Ghosts.  Dr. Warren teaches music composition at San Diego State University and the University of San Diego.  

LINDA LITTERAL

Linda Litteral is a member of Allied Craftsman of San Diego, and co-director of the Feminist Image Group. She teaches art at Las Colinas Detention Center and Donovan State Prison and has taught at San Diego State University and the San Diego Community College District. Litteral was awarded a residency in 2018 at Centre Pompadour in France for women artists creating social change through their art.