Skye Skinner
Executive Director

Skye was born and raised in Alaska. She moved to Aspen in 1978 to live with her mother, longtime Aspen Times columnist Su Lum, and is a graduate of Aspen High School. Skye spent 22 years in leadership at Compass (the non-profit that operates the Aspen and Carbondale Community Schools), the last 12 as Executive Director. During that time she led a successful campaign to raise $11 million to rebuild the Woody Creek campus. In 2017, Skye resigned from Compass and established SBS Consulting. Her work with non-profit clients focuses on fundraising, strategic thinking and executive coaching. Skye has deep roots with the Art Base, having worked with founding Director, Deb Jones, when the organization was formed in 1996. Skye is grateful to be involved in this exciting chapter—realizing a Forever Home for the Art Base.

Skye Headshot

Abby Gierke
Director of Programs

Abby was born and raised in Bettendorf, Iowa.  She grew up spending much of her time outside and when inside often helped in her mother’s pottery studio nestled in a wooded ravine. Abby attended the University of Iowa where she was a proud Hawkeye and a member of the women’s soccer team. Following college, she worked for several years at various wineries and vineyards in New Zealand and California before completing her Master of Arts, Curriculum & Instruction in Aesthetic Education at the University of Denver. She also holds a Professional License from the Teacher Education Program at the University of Denver—for 6 years, Abby was a kindergarten and 1st grade teacher at Aspen Elementary School. During her time in the classroom, she focused on connecting core curriculum with the arts wherever possible.  She has taught summer workshops for organizations such as The Aspen Institute, Aspen Art Museum and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. She believes that the incorporation of art and nature into the daily lives of youth is critically important for overall wellness and awareness. She finds that kids are at their best when they are engaged, enthused, and working from their own ideas. Abby is excited to join the team at the Art Base and its commitment to the cultural health and art opportunities for all community members in this valley.

Katie Grey Walker
Communications Coordinator

Katie Grey Walker is a Colorado native born in Fort Collins, raised on the Western Slope. She spent her youth adventuring in her overgrown backyard, cross country and internationally. After graduating from Colorado Rocky Mountain School she moved to Chicago to attend the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Katie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication and Print Media. In 2017 she relocated back to the Valley. Katie enjoys the possibilities that the Roaring Fork Valley offers, specifically opportunities to both practice art and arts administration. An artist in herself Katie and her partner Mathew Paul Jinks are both integral parts of the artist and arts administration worlds as co-owners of Jinks & Grey, hand thrown ceramics with a modernist Japanese aesthetic. She is excited to be a part of the Art Base Team at this pivotal and formative time starting with the approval—just weeks after she started—of the new Art Base building.

katie HS

Dana Higbie
Studio Manager

Dana Higbie has spent her life surrounded by art, design and beauty. A native of Michigan, and later Aspen, Dana received her design degree from Colorado Institute of Art an her BFA from California College of Art. For many years, Dana was a principal in the Denver-based Partners in Design, an award-winning graphic design studio. For 15 years after that, Dana lived and traveled with her family in Mexico and Central America, sourcing native artwork and artisan wares for her retail business, La Tiende (The Store), with locations in Mexico and Honduras. Dana currently resides in Basalt with her husband and daughter.

Lissa Ballinger

Lissa Ballinger was born in Brooklyn, NY but her family soon moved to Sydney, Australia and then on to Surrey, England. Lissa went to high school in Cambridge, MA and then went on to Georgetown University where she majored in English Literature and Art History. In 1997 after a humbling year traveling around the world with her sister, she landed in Telluride, Colorado and took her first job at an art gallery. From there, after a quick sojourn to Alaska, she settled in San Francisco, and began working with Fraenkel Gallery. She matriculated into Columbia University’s Arts Administration Masters program in 2001 and graduated after writing her thesis on the Visual Arts in Aspen. She moved to Aspen after completing her thesis and has worked for several commercial galleries, and has been the curator of the Aspen Institute’s extensive art collection since 2012. In 2019, Lissa spearheaded the Bauhaus: 100 Aspen, which endeavored to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Bauhaus and to commemorate its influence on the community of artists, designers, architects, landscape architects, and thinkers in the Roaring Fork Valley. Lissa is grateful to be invited into the Art Base family and to work with, and support, Colorado artists.



JD Black, President
Barbara Glass Mullen, Vice President
Gayle Waterman, Treasurer
Amiee White Beazley


David Kelly
Krista Klees
Summers Moore
Molly Peacock
Teena Shaw
Skye Weinglass


Jacqueline Balderson
Sally Cole
Kathy Honea
Dianne Light
Laurie McBride
Erica Murray
Maggie Woods

Interested in Becoming Involved with the Art Base?