Meet our Members

A Crew of Artists + Educators

Rae Ramos

SARTQ Director


Rae Ramos has been involved with SARTQ since 2016 and became Director in 2018. Ramos earned his undergraduate degrees in Art History and Environmental Studies from Washington College in Chestertown, MD. A native of Connecticut, he has a background in both the commercial art and museum world. Ramos is currently the External Relations + Programming Coordinator at the Sarasota Art Museum.


Tim Jaeger

SARTQ Co-Founder


Tim Jaeger moved to Sarasota, FL from Paducah, KY in 1998 to earn his bachelors of arts from the Ringling College of Art + Design. Since graduating in 2002, Jaeger has emerged as a leading artist in South Florida and beyond. Currently, he continues to maintain his Sarasota studio while working towards engaging the community and fostering new artistic partnerships.
Jaeger’s recent works are gestural constructions about observing and understanding a subject/object and giving it a new abstract, material body. The process involves an application consisting of variety of mediums, materials, designs, which create a familiar union through the equality of elements and ornamentation.

Jefferey Cornwell

Jeffery studied fine art at Ringling College of Art + Design. He apprenticed with Toro Yamamoto and honed his skills freelancing. As a Painter, Jeffery draws his inspiration from the natural environment, more specific the relation of sky and land. He is an exhibiting painter with his work shown in solo and group shows in galleries and alternative spaces. His work has been represented by galleries in Florida, Georgia, Texas, and on the west coast of the United States and is in private collections throughout the United States and Europe.

Portrait of Jeff Cornwell at his opening

Zachary Gilliland

I am constantly tinkering in the studio, trying new things, making new forms, honing my skills and dreaming up the impossible. When I have an idea, I try it. Not all approaches work, but I attempt everything and eventually the dots begin to connect. The key, for me, is to simply be working. As Picasso said, “inspiration exists but it has to find you working”. I search for the simple and the organic as a jumping off point. Then I find the subtle complexities that give the piece depth. Once a project begins to take shape I send it to the moon and back, building it up and ripping it back apart. This process is extremely important for me to filter out unnecessary information.

Jennifer Jones


Jennifer Jones is currently a Visiting Full-time Professor in the Illustration Department at Ringling College of Art + Design. Her work explores the relationships between objects and the memories they trigger. She is fascinated by the way the mind processes life events, from extreme traumas that life can sometimes yield to the soft tranquility of the mundane. She employs a range of materials to evoke the distinctions between disparate objects and memories within a frame. The material selection enhances the temporal and commemorative aspects of the objects.


Julie Kanapaux


Julie Kanapaux is a contemporary abstract artist influenced by nature on both micro and macrocosmic scales. Her work is about perception and the universal connection of space. Julie is an Honors graduate of Ringling College of Art and Design, where she earned a Bachelors in Fine Art. She was also a Trustee Scholar and recipient of the school’s Presidential Sculpture Award. Julie is the owner and Chief Creative Officer of Kan Kan Studios, offering custom abstract art for residential, corporate and public spaces. Her monumental three-level mural, Momentum, was unveiled in 2017 at the Alfred R. Goldstein Library at Ringling College of Art + Design

Cassia Kite


Cassia Kite is an interdisciplinary artist who created Soundstitching, a multimedia project that transforms color from a hand-stitched image into a musical composition that can be interpreted by a musician and/or performance artist. Kite has collaboratively produced large-scale work for chamber ensemble and dancers using color-coded graphic scores derived from her hand-stitched tapestries. Kite’s work was premiered at the KANEKO in Omaha, Nebraska in July of 2017. She has been featured as an experimental composer and visual artist in music festivals, museums and universities. Kite has been awarded artist in residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in 2018 and The Hambidge Creative Residency Program in 2019. She is the recipient of the Paul J. Smith Excellence in Fibers Award from the Fiber Art Network 2018.


Kite was born in Auburn, Nebraska. She earned a B.F.A in painting and sculpture, and a B.S. in Art Education from Northwest Missouri State University in 2003. She completed her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Florida in 2010. Currently, Kite is a Visual Art Instructor in the fine arts program at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida and resides in Sarasota, FL.

Kite is represented by Anderson O'Brien Fine Art in Omaha, Nebraska and State of the Arts Gallery in Sarasota, FL.
Cassia Kite in Sarasota FL studio.jpg

Taylor Robenalt


Art has been an obsession of mine since I was a little girl. It represents a part of me that I have a hard time placing into words therefore I create.  It is intuitive and reactionary process. Often I have a loose image of what I want to create, but allow for freedom to respond to materials and form in the production of the work.  I use human beings, flora and fauna because it is a direct way to illustrate emotions. I use clay because it is a direct way to work with form, volume and surface.

Laine Nixon


Growing up in Oklahoma, I found refuge in the magnificent sunsets and storms of the Great Plains. There I discovered my love of the purely aesthetic/abstract/wordless experience that I express through my artwork. I work in various media including acrylic, watercolor, and most recently colored markers. I focus on color, pattern, and strict systems to develop work that is above all abstract, yet still warm and accessible.


Laine holds a BS in math from the University of Tennessee and a BFA in painting from the University of South Florida. Her work is in the collections of RBC Wealth Management and SRQ Media. Development of her work has been supported by the 2016/17 John Ringling Towers Fund award and a residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.


Javier Rodriguez


Originally from Puerto Rico, Javo graduated from Ringling College of Art & Design and began his career as an illustrator for local as well as international clients. Exploring and experimenting with different concepts and media Javo has been through many artistic changes in his expressive and visual forms. Using strong line work, simple and sometimes provocative concepts, and an unstoppable urge for creating, Javo’s work has evolved towards a style that is both bold and unmistakable.
Javo’s new work has been recognized locally through multiple awards received, allowing him to exhibit internationally (China, Dubai, Puerto Rico).

Mike Solomon


My earliest experience in art was learning how to paint with watercolor at the age of five. Though I have worked with many media since then, the quality of watercolor, of color applied in translucent layers, is imbedded in my psyche, in my way of seeing. Many of my interests over the years orient from this quality.  In addition to watercolor on paper, I have infused it with resin. I have worked with acrylics thinned with gels, with colors mixed in roplex or in beeswax- all these
explored transparency.


Tom Stephens


My pieces are all process paintings. I’ll start them with no preconceived notion of the final image. I just dive into the canvas, get to work, and keep working. I’ll go through a developing process of adding different layers of paint, and fine-tuning the color and composition. I’ll respond to what’s happening with the paint, maybe build things up in the foreground and leave the background alone. An implied space emerges, and then I’ll continue to develop it. When the space feels complete, I stop.

Steven Strenk


Steven's finished work is the effect of exploring various creative processes to reach a final arrangement. He relies on our desires for beauty and intrigue, which allows him to delve into the relationship of the real and the abstract, re-enforcing a conversation between color and texture. His relationship with his children has been influential to his love for playful and active involvement in creation. Steven's art has taken on an unrefined quality, stressing the connection between final image and the physical act of formation.


Previous SARTQ Members

Tobey Albright | Joseph Arnegger | Elena De La Ville | Jamie Evans | Larry Forgard

Ariana Franco | Brian Haverlock | Joni Younkins-Herzog | Morgan Janssen | Caui Lofgren

Andrew Long | Brandon Maupin | Noelle McCleaf | Jenny Medved | Amy W Miller | Daniel Miller

Jen Nugent | Ricky Otto | Daniel Perales | David Piurek | Jeff Schwartz | Nathan Skiles  

Sabrina Small | Natalya Swanson | Jill Taffet | Nathan Wilson