Board of Directors


Penelope DiGennaro – President
penelope digennaroPenelope DiGennaro was in the education field for 35 years as teacher and principal. She recently retired and has now focused her attention on art, specifically pen and ink drawings. Penelope draws every day and her work can be found in Gallery One. She also enjoys playing the piano, gardening, walking, traveling, viewing art, and spending time with friends and family.

Nancy Sterling - Vice President
nancy yonallyNancy grew up in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington with a BFA. Entering the world of advertising in the late 60's she became one of the first women in the country to be promoted to Art Director in an ad agency, and shortly thereafter to Creative Director. She worked at agencies in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and Georgetown, staying in this career for about 20 years until she left advertising to open her own graphic design agency. Today she is excited to be able to devote almost full time to pursuing a new direction - dimensional mixed media wall hangings and sculptures using clay, wood, and findings. She also enjoys engaging with her community.

Kate Bortells - Secretary
kate bortellisKate works for the City of Grants Pass at the Welcome Center on the corner of 6th & G Street. Her enthusiasm to make the City of Grants Pass a destination for tourist and future residents is a true passion.
Her family history in Oregon started in 1841 when her ancestors arrived in the Applegate Valley. Kate’s love for gardening has made her the perfect chairperson for Art on the Garden.

Ann Rusk - Treasurer
nancy yonallyAnn
has been in Grants Pass for over 33 years. She is a retired banker. In addition, she is a past President and has been the Treasurer of the Grants Pass Rotary Club for over 20 years. Ann loves to travel and loves animals having 3 cats, a dog and 11 horses.

Marla Coughran
kristen oneillMarla has been a resident of Grants Pass for 19 years. She and her husband of 43 years have 20  acres and a home they have lovingly renovated. Joining the Master Gardeners was her first effort to learn about the area and meet people. Having grown up in the Southern San Joaquin Valley of California, she found that the climate, seasons, and soil were very different here! Marla spent 33 years as an elementary teacher, with a passion not only for the students, but for mentoring beginning teachers, and staff development. “My only exposure to art was DBAE training (Discipline Based Art Education) through the Getty Museum in the late 90’s. This opportunity to learn art history and then share it on the 5th grade Field Trips has been a perfect fit for me, both challenging and fun. Serving on the GPMA Board is a privilege.

Cal Kenney
cal kenneyCal has been a board member for a very long time. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Chico State College and was in the Peace Corps in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from 1981-1983. He was employed by Greenleaf Industries for 25 years in Grants Pass. He has participated in Frog-O-Faire and is on the Committee on Public Art (CoPA) for the city. He originated and has facilitated the museum’s Second Friday Poetry Sharing which is in its 11th successful year. He enjoys woodworking, crafts, travel, gardening (including flowers), reading, politics and more. He sells some of his art in Gallery One as well as the Arts and Crafters Market on Saturdays.

Porter Palomino
kristen oneillAfter 32 years in San Diego, it was time for a change of scenery. I have family in Grants Pass and had been coming up here over the last 20 years loving the greenery and seasons (something we don’t have in So. California). Spending 21+ years in the foodservice industry has made me something of a foodie so I fell in love with all the wineries here in Oregon, and the new and interesting restaurants opening in Grants Pass. The change in scenery also prompted me to get back into real estate another love of mine.

I thoroughly enjoy anything having to do with the arts so joining the Board was a wonderful opportunity for me to give back to this great community. Our museum is a small gem, so I will spread the word for all to come in and see what the museum has to offer.


Hyla Lipson – Executive Director
hyla lipsonThirty five years ago, Hyla took a class at the University of Oregon on how to run a museum. Thirty five years later, she is the executive director of the Grants Pass Museum of Art.
In between she owned a property management company, a retail nursery, and for 35 years was the co-owner of Fiberoptic Lighting, a manufacturing firm in Grants Pass.
Hyla has been involved in nonprofit organizations for years. She was a trustee for the Carpenter Foundation, a trainer for the Ford Family Foundation, a board member of the Women’s Crisis Support Team, Barnstormers, the Asante Foundation, and is a field representative of the Oregon Community Foundation.
She is happy to be working at the museum. She has many goals and hopes to see them completed before she retires (which she has no current plans to do).

Stephanie Girdlestone - Administrative Specialist
kristen oneillStephanie is originally from California and she’s lived in Grants Pass for 21 years, vacationing here often as a child. She loves the hometown feel of Grants Pass. The downtown area especially. When not working she can be found shopping, hanging out with friends and enjoying the variety of restaurants we have here. Having always worked in customer service she’s excited to share her skills with us and meet new and interesting people.

Summer Sheets – Person of many talents
kristen oneillSummer has worked in many fields from Animal Trainer for movies to Therapeutic Riding Instructor to Manager of herb and natural product companies. She enjoys animals, spending time with her family and her energetic, creative, fun-loving son, coaching soccer, and traveling. She also enjoys making spreadsheets just as much as taking creative photos. Working with and for people to help create a more comfortable life physically as well as personally, has fulfilled her as much as she hopes it does the people she helps.