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Meet our Teaching Artists in Residence


Mindy Barker (she/her)

murals, trompe l’oeil, mixed media

Mindy Barker is a lifelong Washington State resident, born in Tacoma.  After receiving her B.F.A. from Pacific LutheranUniversity, she started Mindy Barker Designs, a one-woman art business specializing in commissioned murals, trompel’oeil, custom paintings and original artwork within homes and businesses. Since 2013, Mindy began designing andpainting commissioned large-scale murals for public spaces.

Along with a big dash of color, Mindy’s designs may consist of fictional, frolicking, made-up creatures, imaginedprotective spirits, oversized animals that look directly at the audience while pleading for its preservation, objects disposedof or demolished, trapped words, fantastical plants, mycelium bacterial colonies, colorful minerals, and perceivedmovement, like those she observes in nature: streaming water, twisting fabric, or swirling smoke. Past art installationsinclude acrylic paint, ink, graphite, paper, canvas, photographs, and glass.


Nathaniel Dybevik (he/him)

piano, technology

Nathaniel is a Piano Accompanist and Technician residing in Tacoma, Washington. He began playing the piano at the age of 7, studying classical and jazz piano with Scott Reed in Issaquah, Washington. Continuing his study of music at Washington State University, he studied classical piano with Margaret Brink, and jazz with Charles Argersinger. 


He began to experiment with different genres of music, playing in various blues and rock and roll groups as a keyboardist. Nathaniel works as a Ballet Accompanist for a number of Ballet Studios in the South Sound Region. When Nathaniel is not accompanying or performing, he works as a piano technician and tuner for the south sound region, and as a music instructor. Nathaniel is an active pupil of Obi Manteufel and has been studying piano performance and piano rebuilding under his instruction for the past 10 years.


Tori Fields (she/her)

sewing, interior design, mixed media

Tori Fields is an assemblage artist whose work centers the cast-offs and ephemera of our lives. She loves most the little items we often overlook and that have already lived a story. Her artwork re-members these objects into new constellations that challenge the notion of 'garbage.'

Tori is also a mother, interior designer, and sewist who is happiest when her mind is solving a creative problem and her hands are wielding the tools of her crafts...that or completely unoccupied in the woods where all the problems solve themselves. 

Her work can be found on Instagram @torifields_artist, or on her interior renovation business website


Janelle G. (she/her)

yoga Instructor, doula, Reiki Master, Master Life Coach, art guide and mixed media

I am a mother of two, Certified Yoga Instructor, Doula, Reiki Master, Master Life Coach, Art Guide and Mixed Media Artist. I guide and educate my clients to flow mindfully and obtain self empowerment with the incorporation of multiple creative modalities including meditation, art, yoga and more. I am here to help!


Adam Martin (he/him)

music performance & founder, Artists 4 Life in the Sound

In 2012 I naively but boldly facilitated a 3-way collaboration with the established South Sound Luminary Masters at Olympia's Procession of the Species, Tacoma’s Broadway Center for the Arts & us, a budding Arts “organization” I ultimately named, Artists 4 Life in the Sound. We crashed Tacoma’s Vicci Martinez’ Birthday Homecoming Show International Day of Peace Weekend and as if by Magic Tacoma’s Stars 4 Peace were born: a New Medium of Light & Sound joining the Force for good. For more information click here.


Walker Sherman (he/him)

performing artist & instrumentalist, producer

Walker Sherman is a third generation performing artist, producer and multi instrumentalist. Born in Portland and raised inAlabama, he has called Tacoma home for the last 11 years. Walker has toured nationally and will be releasing his 10th and11th studio albums this year.

As a community builder in the 253 Walker has produced music festivals such as First Night Tacoma, Ethnic Fest, andReLive NYE, while also serving as a consultant, AV Designer, and Talent Buyer for organizations such as Metro Parks,Tacoma Arts Live, SEG, and Houston Productions. Walker has over 20 years experience in church music and served in Worship Director and Associate Pastor roles duringthat time, building teams, creating sacred art, and improving organizational systems.

As National Director of Sales and Design at Walker provides audio, video, and lighting systems forsome of the area’s most well known venues, festivals, and houses of worship. Foremost, he is father to his two sweet daughters Cosette (8) and Clairity (5).

Serving First Christian Church as artist in residence is a passion project. The space you have provided will give birth tonew recordings and act as a central hub to his creative endeavors for the benefit of the greater Tacoma community and First Christian Church.


Benjamin Smith (he/him)

Minister of Music & director of the Center for Spirituality & the Arts

Ben was born in Seattle and was raised in Bonney Lake. He has spent most of his adult life living/working and playing in Tacoma. He began studies in Classical Piano at the age of 15 at the University of Puget Sound’s Community Music Program. He also began studies with a composer and conductor on Raft Island in his twenties and began to compose, teach, and perform music in Seattle and Tacoma. Ben has worked closely with churches (most recently Grace Seattle Church on Capitol Hill) over the years, composing music for the services, leading worship from the piano, and nurturing artists in congregational music programs. He maintains a classical piano studio of 20 students as well as performs and records original music.  “I am excited and full of gratitude to be involved musically with FCC and the rich musical tradition that is present here!”

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