Member Profile: JoAnn Almich

Member Profile: JoAnn Almich

"Art has always been my inner desire to express myself and to be creative. As a small child, I always loved to draw, and work with my hands. Growing up, I took up sewing, baking, and decorating cakes, creating works of art with icing, and making all kinds of crafts. I taught craft classes through Community Education and served on committees where creativity and leadership was involved with all sorts of organizations, in church, school, and community.

I have always loved the alphabet, letters, and the love of words to express myself and communicate the beauty of quotes, poems, and sayings. It's been an 'art form of love'. I have been a Calligrapher since the early 1980's, member of the Colleagues of Calligraphy, Minneapolis, and served on our board. This is where I gained a passion and committed to calligraphy, 'the art of beautiful handwriting.'

With all the workshops the Colleagues has offered through the years, I have been so fortunate to be a student in class with great teachers, including our own Diane von Arx and others, like Thomas Ingmire, Jean Formo, Pat Blair, Peter Thornton, Randall Hasson, Martha Erickson, Michael Sull, Michael Clark, Heather Held, Harvest Crittenden, Charles Pearce, Laurie Doctor, Julie Gilbert Pollard, Stan Kurth, and many more. This has given me a wealth of knowledge and respect, in all areas of the calligraphy and art worlds.

My appetite to learn more and add color and dimension to my art has brought me into the artist world of painting. I became a member of the Brush and Palette Club of Alexandria in 2008. In this club, I have become attracted to watercolor, mixed media, pen and ink, pastels, acrylics, book binding, and anything pertaining to these art forms. This club offers many avenues of learning, bringing in artists of great acclaim. I have participated in as many workshops and programs as possible. Meeting weekly has also built friendships and fun with others having similar interests.

Eager to learn more new techniques coming out all the time, I have become a member of many art guilds. During our winter months, I am a member of Arizona Artists Guild, having just received an award in an exhibition called “Body of Work.” I am also a member of the Arizona Watercolor Association. I'm striving to become a juried member. Both of these guilds offer classes from the best of well-known instructors, and have a Call to Artists for artists to compete and exhibit their works. I'm privileged to be able to participate and rub elbows with great artists. Likewise, I have the opportunity to learn from them as a member of the Art in the Square (Glenwood), White Bear Center of the Arts (White Bear Lake), and Artistry (Bloomington, MN). They, too, offer excellent programs, opportunities and technique workshops. I have been blessed.

My formal education was in home economics, followed by the business world, working with computers for Twin City Federal. During the time of raising our family, we moved to Granite Falls, MN, and I was privileged to be able to be a stay-at-home mother. Our family consists of my husband, Jim, and 3 children, Adam, Brandon, and Charlynn. When our children were older, I went to work at our business, Almich's Super Valu, managing the Deli for 15 years. Prior to that, I had a cake decorating business, and was part of a crafts and antiques Cooperative. We are blessed with family, now grandparents to 6 wonderful grandchildren ranging in ages from 22 years to 14 years old. Upon retirement, we moved to Lake Amelia, Villard, MN where we now reside.