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Our Team.

Behind the Scenes

Meet the Committee & shots of the Festival


Linda Whynman

Over 30 years as art educator and administrator, Whynman now paints and teaches in San Miguel at Galeria San Francisco, Fabrica La Aurora. The idea of an International  Plein Air Festival for San Miguel germinated during the pandemic. The goal is to unite watercolorists in Mexico with the common focus on this fantastic medium and to promote art studies with young, emerging Mexican artists.  This festival is a super team effort and gracias to IWS International.

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Susan Santiago was an art teacher in the Los Ángeles School system for over 25 years. She always dreamed of opening her own gallery and her dream became a reality a few years after she permanently relocated to San Miguel. She opened Galería San Francisco in 2015, in a 500 year old historic building on San Francisco street and within 4 years permanently relocated to the Fabrica la Aurora. This former textile factory, from the turn of the century, is  one of San Miguel’s most unique art and design destinations. 

Lorie Topinka

For Lorie, her art is a way of documenting and sharing her visual impressions of Mexico.  She currently works in watercolor and pastels. Lorie has been involved in planning and oversite for the entire Festival and is the lead for plein air painting at El Charco del Ingenio.

Sally Nash

Sally is recently retired to Miguel de Allende  to persue her life long desire to paint . She is a member of the IWS  Plein air group. Her service on the committee is budget and donations. .


Kathy West

Although not an artist (plein air or otherwise), Kathy brings financial, organizational and business skills and savvy to the team.

Jane Dill is an abstract and mixed media artist and teacher at the Galeria San Francisco. She bows to anyone who can paint in watercolor! Jane is the Graphic Designer for the Festival, along with troubleshooting, when needed!

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Karen Blackurn

It was in San Miguel that Karen first learned to paint watercolors.  She has gone on to organize weekly drop-in sessions in her home for fellow artists to paint together. Knowing the Festival will be a fabulous addition to San Miguel she is happy to help out where needed. She is preparing all registrant materials.

Beth Rosener

Moved to San Miguel de Allende from Marin County, California 11 years ago after 37 years of selling real estate. She  keeps busy with non -profit volunteer work, taking painting classes, & playing bridge. She is the excel spread sheet queen.


Carol Jackson Native of Atlanta and other parts of the South, 18 years in San Miguel, loves the giving spirit and sassy nature of San Miguel folks and getting in some good trouble with them. She is one of our major fund raisers.

Joyce Whittle is the flip side of the artistic coin.  With a ruler, a sharpened crayon and great concentration she says she can sometimes draw stick figures.  She has absolutely no training, education or background in art but she is passionate about the arts and supports the community by volunteering and buying whenever possible.  Joyce has experience on numerous committees including a major cancer fundraising campaign which raised over a million dollars in her 3 years as chairperson. Joyce is overseeing and coordinating the work of the volunteers.

Ayla Douglas is the web master and graphic designer for the web page. She  moved full time to SMA in 2018 which is her home base while traveling and exploring the North American continent in her Airstrem with husband and chihuahua. 

She is a multi media artist:Printmaker, 

Stained glass,Metal sculpture,Watercolor ,

Pastels.She would like to explore abstract painting and mixed media.


Trish Brock  brings her design experience to the festival and is hosting the first reception for artists in her lovely. home.

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