Louisa Craft Jornayvaz
Louisa Craft Jornayvaz is a professional portrait artist who recently unveiled a portrait of President Jimmy Carter for President and Mrs. Carter and a large contingent of Georgia residents in Plains, Georgia. She has painted dozens of commissioned portraits that now hang in private homes and education institutions throughout the country.
For four years, Louisa served as the Ambassador from Colorado for The Portrait Society of America, and studied, not only with master artist Emanuel Martinez, but also with the National Association of Portrait Artists at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Colorado Academy of Art in Boulder Colorado, and at The Arts Student’s League in Denver.
Prior to pursuing her passion for art, Louisa was a broadcast journalist for 18 years; covering politics and anchoring the news at the NBC station in Denver, as well as at network affiliate stations in several other cities. She created ‘Louisa Craft’s News for Families, a company that produced nationally syndicated news stories on family and parenting issues, as well as magazine length stories on parenting for CNN. Louisa has hosted and emceed dozens of events, as well as being a keynote speaker on women’s issues and working in the media. During the past 25 years, Louisa has been Vice President of The Denver Children’s Home Board, a residential treatment facility for youth with emotional and behavioral issues and has chaired a myriad of events and served on many boards that serve at-risk children. Louisa received the Graland School President’s Award as the most outstanding parent volunteer for 14 years of service. She has also been honored by the Governor of Colorado for her commitment to family issues.
A native Texan, Louisa graduated with a Masters Degree in Performance and Sport Psychology from University of Denver, a Journalism Degree from The University of Texas in Austin, and has taken graduate courses in Child and Family Studies at The University of Denver. She is a graduate of Leadership Denver.
In addition, Louisa has been a committed athlete her entire life and is married and has three children.
Emanuel began his career as an artist at the age of 13, when he painted his first mural at the Lookout Mountain School for Boys, a facility for juvenile offenders. Two years later, after being incarcerated three times and winning statewide art competitions, Emanuel established a reputation as a exceptionally talented artist.
This notoriety got the attention of Bill Longley, a prominent artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico, who was implementing an arts apprenticeship program for troubled youth. Through Bill’s two year mentorship and commitment to helping Emanuel, he was successful in getting him back in school, graduating and winning two art scholarships.
By the age of 22, Emanuel had worked with the most significant muralist in the world, David A. Siquieros and had done three art works that are now in the permanent collection of the National Museum of American Art Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
As a muralist, painter and sculptor, Emanuel occupies an outstanding status among national and internationally known artists. Since establishing a studio in 1968, Martinez has received national acclaim as a forerunner of the contemporary mural movement in the U.S. He has received prestigious awards for his design capabilities and for engaging young people into art projects requiring high standards of workmanship.
Emanuel is known for personalizing compositions for clients and doing more than 70 public works of art for site-specific environments. He has been featured in over 250 newspaper/magazine articles and 30 published books, including a book written on his art career entitled: “Emanuel Martinez: A Retrospective”.
For a number of years, Emanuel served as a mentor to artist Loisa Jornayvaz, founder of The Art for Kids Emanuel Project and presently works under her sponsorship and leadership. As a professional muralist, Emanuel designs and paints murals with incarcerated young people on walls in facilities throughout the United States. This program provides the youth with creative learning materials and a hands on art experience with a master muralist.
Dr. James R. (Randy) Minnick
Dr. Minnick, president of the Minnick Group, graduated from Capella University with a Doctorate in Education Leadership.
During his previous 14 years as an educator for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, he inspired and implemented many pilot programs including severe and behavioral management units, assessment and orientation, intensive therapeutic programs and distance learning programs, such as foreign language.
Dr. Minnick got his start working with youth through summer camp and youth ranch facilities where he was instrumental in spearheading the development of outdoor education programs. Dr. Minnick’s musical creativity led him to establish Rainbow Alley Music and develop original works, a couple of which ended up on the Malcolm in the Middle television show. He is also affiliated with Broadcast Music Incorporated, Correctional Education Association, American Correctional Association and Phi Alpha Theta. Dr. Minnick is an active board member of the Signature Research Institute. Because of his love of music and the arts as well as a desire to help incarcerated youth succeed and reach their potential, Dr. Minnick has a vested interest in “America’s forgotten youth”.
The Emanuel Project concept was initiated in Dr. Minnick’s Georgia classroom after connecting with project founder Louisa Jornayvaz, who sent art supplies for the incarcerated students there. Using art supplies to help the students grasp concepts, Dr. Minnick began to notice positive changes and trends in test scores and behaviors. Together, he and Mrs. Jornayvaz began discussing the concept for the Emanuel Project.
In 2011, Mrs. Jornayvaz invited Dr. Minnick to come on board and together they officially launched the Emanuel Project with her long time mentor and project’s name sake, Emanuel Martinez.