After classes ended and summer began, the 6th Annual Chapman Staff Art Exhibition was installed. The collection of artwork is located on the first floor of the Leatherby Libraries in the Leatherby Libraries Hall of Art. The exhibition showcases artwork from fifteen different staff members from eleven different departments in the Chapman community. Paintings, photographs, sculptures, tiled pieces, crocheted flowers, and films all come together to form an exhibition that highlights the diverse creative gifts of the Chapman staff. At Chapman, it is a great source of pride that not just the students are able to express themselves creatively, but the faculty and staff are allowed – and even encouraged – to as well.

The fifteen artists represented in the exhibition show the wide variety of talent at our university. Much of the artwork on display is from artists whose work is being displayed in public for the first time. The Leatherby Libraries is honored to be able to display the talents of Chapman’s community. On campus, we have an array of staff members who excel in a spectrum of talents. The Leatherby Libraries wants to highlight their artistic abilities and display them for the entire community to see. Here are the fifteen individuals who helped bring the 6th Annual Chapman Staff Art Exhibition to life!

Charlene Baldwin




Dean, Leatherby Libraries

Charlene Baldwin is Dean of the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University. She received her MA from the Graduate Library School of University of Chicago and her BA with honors from California State University, Sacramento. Ms. Baldwin has been a librarian for more than 45 years, and has served at Chapman University since February 2000. Her professional interests include the future of libraries in the information age, funding and planning library buildings, information technology, computers and automation in libraries, facilitation and team building, and international librarianship. Ms. Baldwin was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nigeria from 1966-1968, where she turned a village jail into the town reading room. Ms. Baldwin is a Fellow of the Special Libraries Association, and a member of several library associations. She is a founding member of the Trans-border Library Forum, the Friends of the CalTech Libraries, and the International Librarianship Round Table of the Arizona Library Association.

She has authored more than 100 publications and presentations, including monographs, peer-reviewed journal articles, research reports, newsletter articles, book reviews, instructional manuals, and in-house bibliographies. Presentations to chapter, regional, national, and international organizations have been published in print and digital formats. Her artwork in the exhibit is a series of 12″x12″ landscape photography prints.

Ashley Bloomfield


Senior Program Assistant, Rodgers Center for Holocaust Education

Ashley’s happy place is creating, whether it’s telling stories through dance and movement, pouring paint on canvases, making altars out of natural objects, daydreaming or folding origami cranes. Ashley is interested in how art and creative expression can help us connect more deeply to ourselves, one another and the beauty of the present moment.

Looking through a kaleidoscope reveals a world of bright, shifting colors. It offers a change in perspective and a portal to the magical in the mundane. With each turn, a whole new world is destroyed and created — a reshuffling of what is seen and perceived. This installation invites us to pause and connect with the beauty of the moment and the magic all around waiting to be noticed and discovered.


Laurie Gates Cussalli

Administrative Coordinator, Leatherby LIbraries

Laurie began working at Chapman University in 2005. She received a BA in Art History from UC Santa Barbara and an MS in Environmental Studies from CSU Fullerton. She manages the library’s operations budgets and supports the deans, librarians, and library staff in various ways. Her other lifetime calling has been the creation of art in many forms with drawing and painting, and other crafts like sewing, papermaking and jewelry. As an environmentalist her painting and photographic work often focuses on the natural world and ecological themes. She also tries to make the artwork itself reflect this concern.

In the works here, almost all of the materials, frames and media were already in her possession or were found objects. To emphasize the contrast of reuse vs. waste the paintings are inspired by images of the “leftovers” of industrialization, such as piles of construction material, and physical remains from past transportation and mechanized production. In her leisure time, Laurie and her husband Charles enjoy walking their dog Sunshine, camping, traveling, and attending historical society events.

Hunter Delaney


Production Equipment Coordinator, Film and Television

For as long as Hunter Delaney can remember, he’s been surrounded by people making art. It was only natural that he would eventually emulate these people and try creating for himself. Encouraged by his parents, he pursued art all the way through high school. However, as time went by he began to discover different avenues of creativity, specifically filmmaking. In order to progress further in that field, he decided to put illustration on the back burner when he went to college. Towards the end of his senior year of undergraduate studies, thanks to a class he had taken, he re-discovered his love for illustration and comic books. Since then, he has regularly worked on comic books and comic based artwork with the hope of one day working for one of the large comic book publishers.

Most of his work focuses on characters that he enjoys or paying homage to the creators behind those characters. Because of this, his biggest influences come from the comic book world, specifically Mike Mignola and Andrew Maclean. However, he does study the work of artists like Drew Struzon and Alphonse Mucha. For the most part, he refrains from working digitally as it doesn’t seem to allow for the same creative freedom that working on paper does. However, he does color his work digitally on occasion.

Rita Desjardins, right


Executive Assistant, Argyros School of Business

Rita would not consider herself a “photographer in any sense of the word” but she is excited to share these images with everyone. The photography she has on display captures what it is like to be human in a world surrounded by beauty. When all you want to do is capture the moment forever, you take a picture and that is exactly what Rita has done. All of her photos were taken with her cell phone and edited through Instagram. “Nothing fancy, but that’s just me.”

Priscilla Gonzalez beside her documentary that screened at the reception


Assistant Production Manager, Media Arts, Dodge College – Media Arts Division

Assistant Production Manager for Media Arts at Dodge College, and an independent filmmaker, Priscilla Gonzalez’ work focuses on first generation and women’s stories. Priscilla worked in Education and the film industry before going back to school to earn her MFA in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford. She graduated in 2017 with four short films that garnered recognition and screened at various film festivals. Priscilla is currently in production on a Tribeca Institute-supported short documentary “Untitled Immigration Lawyer Documentary.”

In God’s Possession was Priscilla’s first film at grad school and was shot on a Bolex film camera. The film depicts a Catholic church community in San Francisco that comes together after the theft of their holy relic. Room 140, Priscilla’s thesis film, depicts asylum-seeking, Guatemalan immigrants who were just released from detention and stay at a motel for one night thanks to the charity of a local pastor. Room 140 was a Student Academy Award Semi-finalist, nominated for an IDA Award in Student Documentary Achievement, and has had over 20 screenings domestically and internationally. (Note: these films were screened at the opening reception of the exhibit, and are no longer on display.)


Handmade costume designed by Kristin Laughtin-Dunker


Coordinator of Scholarly Communication & Electronic Resources, Leatherby Libraries

Kristin has been the Coordinator of Scholarly Communications & Electronic Resources in the Leatherby Libraries since April 2013. Prior to that, she earned her Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose State University and her Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies and Linguistics from University of California, Santa Barbara. It was at UCSB that her best friend got her interested in costuming and she taught herself to sew. Nowadays, she mainly creates and wears costumes at events for the Rebel Legion, an international Star Wars group focused on costuming, community, and charity. Her latest creation is a Jedi Librarian costume that consists of a dark blue cotton under tunic, a white linen-blend dress, and gray linen tabards and obis that are embroidered in the Ansatan designs that are typical of Jedi librarians, historians, and archivists. (Note: this costume was on display only during the exhibit opening reception.)


Catalina Lopez with one of her two installations


Reference Librarian, Leatherby Libraries

Drawing was a natural talent of Catalina’s as she was growing up in Los Angeles. She attended University of La Verne in 2011 for a BA in English, but she took so many art history and studio courses that she later discovered she was short merely one class to receive an art minor. So she decided to create a body of art that she could exhibit in the future. Afterward, she graduated from San Jose State University with a Master of Library and Information Science in 2017. She is currently experimenting on painting with acrylic on glass.

He abstract series, “Into the Twilight,” refers to the time of day between light and darkness seen on earth or outer space, and it could also mean dim or obscure – both meanings are expressed in the series. These paintings are either a soft or rough gradient of a specific color leading from light to dark, with the dark areas of the painting overpowering the light. Her “Purple Flowers” painting is an experiment with using glass as the canvas. she has only a few seconds to lay down the paint on the glass before it dries, so she has to work quickly to finish the intended brushstrokes.


Gift Recorder, Advancement Operations

A woman wearing a purple tank top stands smiling against a wall next to several framed pictures.

Jami McCoy

Jami is a creative person who needs to have some sort of art in her life. She’s a blogger and an actor, and also likes to dabble in photography. She runs a Photo Group that shoots to have “Photo Play Dates” every couple of months. She’s been working at Chapman for almost nine years and decided she took a pretty cool picture that would be fun to submit! You can check out her blog at and her Photo Blog at

First night of vacation in the Beautiful Sedona — she wanted to “Instagram” it and caught the perfect shot to sum up the night. She then made a small canvas to capture the memory. She usually shoots with her Fuji FinePix but this shot was actually from her cellphone.

Essraa Nawar


Development Librarian, Leatherby Libraries

Essraa joined the Leatherby Libraries in June 2011. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce with an emphasis in Accounting from Alexandria University, Egypt. She also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the American Management and Business Administration institute, Cambridge, MA (2005), a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) from Brandman University (2012) and a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from San Jose State University (2017). Essraa is also the Chair of the Art, Exhibits and Events Committee at the Library.

Teenage years can be tough let alone being the middle child. You are not only learning about yourself, your own identity, and the world, but also navigating through life, sports, academics and getting ready for college. Her middle son Seif, freshman in high school, has been a breed of his own since he was a little kid. He has had his own sense of style and color coordination since he was two. Over the past few years, he also turned his attention to his hair. You may see him one day with a man bun, the next with a head band or maybe with a faded or slick back hair look. Seif is 14. He is a junior Olympic diver, an artist, photographer, drummer and a member of the Water Polo team at Trabuco Hills High School. He is looking forward to college and to attending both an architecture engineering school and then getting his Law degree. A friend of Essraa’s once told her, “It is just hair, it will always grow back!” Since then, she has been at peace with his teenage shenanigans.

Laura Neis


Research Assistant, Anderson Center for Economic Research

Laura Neis was born and raised in Orange County. Her yarn working experience began when her grandfather taught her to weave. She learned to crochet eight years ago, and has since made fifteen blankets, four sweaters, and innumerable hats and scarves. Upon the realization that people who live in Southern California rarely need crocheted pieces to keep them warm, she began crocheting stuffed animals and other 3-D art pieces. She attended the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, and graduated with a degree in History. Her concentration was in Elizabethan History. Since moving back to California, she has been enjoying the sunshine and beaches. She started working at Chapman in August of 2018 and works in the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research.

The works on display are inspired by her joy of returning home to California. The long snowy winters in Indiana were very difficult for her. Her return home for the summer was always at about the same time as the Jacaranda Trees began to to bloom, and crocheting this tree was a celebration of her graduation. The cactus is likewise a celebration of California. The final piece, the poppies, was inspired by the recent super bloom. She loves traveling into nature and looking at the beauty there, and the recent super bloom brought much of California together.

Samuel Nordrum


Operations Administrator, Institute for Interdisciplinary Brain and Behavioral Sciences

A proud Chapman University alumnus, Sam joined the Brain Institute in August 2018 after supporting the launch and establishing operations of Chapman University’s Smith institute for Political Economy and Philosophy. While his career path depicts an operations manager specializing in arts education, event production, and non-profit start-ups, Sam remains connected to the arts community with endeavors as a freelance violinist, orchestral conductor, and music industry consultant. Along with his wife (also a Chapman University alumna and current Chapman staff member) Sam enthusiastically wears many hats as an advocate for the arts, pediatric cancer, and vision impaired, and an enthusiast of many avocations including ice hockey, baseball, golf, sailing, and, most passionately, as a husband and a father of two beautiful children.

His primary medium of choice is graphite pencil or black artist pens. He typically hinds himself sketching vignettes of the reality he lives or wishes he could see. Styles range from realism to abstract to Japanese animation and political cartooning. He finds inspiration from every artists — his strongest influences include Kelly Freas, Mark J. Ferrari, the many staff artists of “Dragon” magazine (from the ’80’s), Jules Feiffer, Walt Disney, Ollie Johnston, Frank Thomas, Eyvind Earle, David Hockney, Jean Toulouse-Lautrec, and most of all, his dear friend, David A. Fletcher. (Note: Sam has since left Chapman University to return to his artistic roots with the Pacific Symphony.)

Meagan O’Shea


Communications and External Relations Manager, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

A viator from the Pacific Northwest, Meagan O’Shea leads the charge for Dodge College of Film and Media Arts’ communication and external relations. When not managing marketing materials she can be found pulling weeds from the yard, scrubbing ink stains from her fingers, or capturing the juxtaposition of urban sprawl and wild abandon. A storyteller with hints of oak and notes of blackberry and chocolate, she pairs best with music, Sunday papers, and writing instruments.

Her medium is iPhoneography; each photo was shot on an iPhone. Each one is enclosed in a black frame with a white matte. The dimensions of each piece vary from 5″x 5″ to 11″x 14″. Her subjects are inspired by her travels – whether in her own backyard or the world’s. These images aim to inspire the viator within us all to get out more, explore often, and wonder, always. Creative influences include the great outdoors, Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, and her desire to always be someplace else. All pieces are available for purchase.

Alex Quintanilla


Junior Designer, Strategic Marketing and Communications

Alex Quintanilla is a Junior Designer working in the strategic Marketing and Communications Department at Chapman University. He is primarily trained in graphic design, but his background in art ranges from fine art, film, photography, art history, and everything in between. Taking up photography as a hobby, he uses the camera as a tool to document his travels across the country.

A camera is a powerful tool for documenting time and place and can offer a glimpse into the day-to-day sights of the photographer. He had the opportunity to visit Southwestern Utah over Memorial Day weekend and Central Arizona over Christmas break last year. The two states and two seasons presented different experiences of the American Southwest, but were linked together by the vibrant colors and the vastness of the landscapes.

Jennifer Ruby, left


Manager, Wallace All Faiths Chapel, Fish Interfaith Center

Jennifer Ruby is a current Chapman University staff member and alumna, graduating 2007 with a BA in Psychology. Jennifer is currently pursuing her MBA at Brandman University, and she is a proud dog mom to a four-year-old Chiweenie named Arrietty.

The photo, “Sun Pup,” was taken with Jennifer’s iPhone. She was inspired to take the photo because Arrietty inspires her every day to live life in the moment, never hold grudges, and appreciate good food and pets! She had jumped up on the chair on Jennifer’s porch and looked so wise and it reminded her of all that she teaches Jennifer everyday and she wanted to capture that moment. The photo was taken on December 21, 2018 in Orange, CA.

Gregory Walswick


Mail Clerk, University Services

At home, Gregory Walswick has been working with his hands making art for thirteen years. He started out refurbishing wood furniture that he found on his grandfather’s farm. Doing those projects instilled a love of creating in Gregory that he works on improving as much as possible.

Clay found him while he was taking classes at Fullerton College. He was instantly hooked. The ability to create forms from nothing, was amazing. He started taking tile classes after he got his basic clay skills down and Gregory fell in love. He wanted to know all about making tiles and then setting them to a form, to a table, or just making coasters. Gregory wanted to get all the techniques down. So, he kept creating; it started with a coffee table, then a mosaiced Manikin, and now a Lazy Susan and a Cocktail table set.

Gregory calls the Cocktail Table set “Midnight Dancer,” because the whimsical figure in the center reminds him of a dancer leaping into the air. At his feet are four round, brown tiles symbolizing the earth, and the seven purple, round tiles above his head symbolizing a dark sky. The chairs reflect the same color scheme and texture, by utilizing some of the same style of tiles and colors.

The Lazy Susan was a gift for his boyfriend. The shards of china in the center are pieces from his grandmother’s china set that his grandfather purchased for her many years ago. The surrounding tiles are hand made and create movement reflecting the movement of the turn table itself. Gregory then coated the piece in epoxy to give it some dimension while at the same time creating a level surface.

The 6th Annual Staff Art Exhibition will be on display through August 31st, 2019. If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to stop by and admire all of the excellent creative work Chapman staff makes!