Meet The Board of THF

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Tile Heritage Foundation Board of Directors . . .

Josh for THF
Josh Blanc
Josh has been a professional artist since 1994. He holds a B.F.A. in Ceramics from Columbus College of Art and Design and has been working in ceramics since 1985. His main focus is on handmade tile; his artwork represents modern tile design, conceptually expressive yet contemplative in nature. Josh is the co-owner of Clay Squared to Infinity, which is his shared studio and showroom with his wife Layl McDill. The space is also a meeting place for artists who come to discuss art and the community. Josh has lived and worked in NE Minneapolis since 1995. He has volunteered with Art-A-Whirl since 1996 and served as board president of the Northeast Minneapolis Art Association, which produces Art-A-Whirl, from 2003 to 2005.
In 1999 he founded the Handmade Tile Association, which brings together tile artists, creating a community of people who learn from each other artistically. The organization assists in developing business skills while promoting handmade tile and mosaics. As president Josh oversees, develops and publishes the annual Handmade Tile Association Directory, which is distributed nationwide. His main goal in working with handmade tiles is to develop concepts that create dynamic possibilities with color, design, form and pattern.
Riley Doty
Riley Doty has been a tile setter since 1977. He’s from Oakland, CA and specializes in the restoration of historic tile installations. Riley serves as Secretary of the board.He is a member of Artistic License, a guild of Bay Area period revival artisans. Riley has done considerable research on the history of tile manufacturing, particularly in Northern California. He serves on the board of directors of Tile Heritage Foundation.
Riley has specialized in setting for public art installations, in working with handmade tiles, in removing antique tile installations for preservation and in restoring tilework in situ. He was a major contributor to California Tile: The Golden Era 1910-1940, published by Schiffer in 2004

Katia McGuirk
In 1981, after studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, Katia began her career as an art tile maker in Newport at her fledgling company, Fountain St. Tileworks. In the late 80s she moved to Doylestown to work as Production Ceramicist and later Production Manager at the Moravian Pottery and Tile Works. In the 90s Katia branched off and began a successful ceramics business of her own that has placed her tiles in high-end showrooms and homes around the country. Today she boasts the creation of over twenty-five public and community-built murals.
Still in Doylestown, Katia now operates out of a mid-century factory as an esteemed educator, talented designer, and respected practitioner and philosopher of the arts. The factory, now distinguished as a Tile Heritage "Hub," houses a functioning manufacturing shop, a lively educational facility, and a quaint gallery showroom of contemporary tile works representing various artists.

Sheila Menzies
Sheila A. Menzies has had an affinity with tiles since childhood. Having grown up in Scotland she entertained herself as a child with the beautiful floral tiles surrounding her grandmother's best room fireplace and later with the "wally closes," the Victorian art-tiled wainscot entryways in Glasgow. In 1987, as a result of her personal affection for tiles and other ceramic surfaces, she was inspired (in union with Joseph Taylor) to create the Tile Heritage Foundation. Currently she the Executive Director as well as Treasurer of the board. Sheila is a craftswoman, a mixed media artist, with a background in stage-set design and theater costuming. She has traveled extensively in the United States, Great Britain, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, France and Mexico documenting historic and contemporary tile installations. Today, she is the primary designer of Tile Heritage publications and the coordinator of educational events including symposiums, regional exhibitions and tile making and mosaic workshops nationwide. In October 2003, the Tile Contractors' Association of America distinguished her with the prestigious Carl V. Cesery Award. In 2007, Tile Council of North America distinguished her, along with Joseph Taylor, with the Tile Persons of the Year Award. These are among the highest honors granted by American trade, industry and professional groups.

Joseph Taylor
Joseph A. Taylor left behind a Tiffany tile fireplace when he moved west from his childhood home in Rochester, New York. He was initiated into the world of tiles when he worked as Director of Sales at McIntyre Tile Company in Healdsburg, California from 1973 to 1985. With Sheila Menzies, he co-founded the Tile Heritage Foundation in 1987 and serves as the Foundation's president. A frequent writer and lecturer on tile history, Joe has focused much of his research on the evolution of tile manufacturing in California. He has been a principal contributor to More About Malibu Potteries 1926-1932, Catalina Tile of the Magic Isle, The Arts and Crafts Movement in California: Living the Good Life, Batchelder Tilemaker and California Tile: The Golden Era 1910-1940, published by Schiffer in 2004. He too was honored by the Tile Contractors' Association of America, receiving the Carl V. Cesery Award in October 2003. In 2007, Tile Council of North America distinguished him, along with Sheila menzies, with the Tile Persons of the Year Award. These are among the highest honors granted by American trade, industry and professional groups.

Irene De Watteville - Tile Heritage Board Member Emeritus 2014
Irene de Watteville was born in the Alsace region of France. Sitting on her grandmother's tiled stove started her love for tiles. In 1963 she moved to Boston where she completed a four-year diploma at the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, majoring in painting and graphic art. In 1983 she became interested in making tiles in the style of European 17th and 18th century majolica. She joined the board of directors of the Tile Heritage Foundation in 1998 and a year later began offering majolica classes at her studio in Solana Beach, California as part of the "Keeping the Craft Alive" program. Recently, Irene became the chairperson of the Public Arts Advisory Committee of Solana Beach where she has been responsible for three tile installations. The city council rightly accuses her of wanting to tile the whole town.