Smart Inc., Board of Directors

Sara Balbin, Dragonfly Studio

See My Art, Inc. President This January, 2020, I was honored by the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters as a Fellow, celebrating their 150th year Anniversary. The Academy was founded in 1870 to gather, share, and act upon knowledge for the betterment of Wisconsin. They recognized my accomplishments as an artist, art therapist, author and community activist. Their guiding values are: Curiosity, Critical thinking, Creativity and Civil discourse, values I also hold closely. To learn why seven of us were nominated for Fellows into the Academy please visit: I was born in Havana, Cuba, and reared in Chicago, Illinois. I earned both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Art Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and am a registered art therapist with the State and National Credential Boards. Since 1987 I have worked from my Dragonfly Studio/Gallery on Blue Moon Road in Drummond, Wisconsin. My commissions have come from museums, colleges, businesses, town governments, tribal entities, nonprofit organizations and private individuals.  My work has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, Wisconsin Arts Board, Wisconsin Humanities Committee, EAA Aviation Museum, Chequamegon Bay Arts Council, as well as foundations, and patrons of the arts. As an artist, it is my long friendship with the Lac Courte Oreilles (LCO) community that inspired what may be my most historical work. They are the local band of the Ojibwe, or Anishinaabe, recognized by the United States Government as the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians. The LCO Tribal Government commissioned thirty-two tribal elder oil portraits. The collection of detailed cultural paintings represents the generational heritage of this unique community. With biographies and illuminating essays which I co-authored, my art was shared in the book Spirit of the Ojibwe; Images of Lac Courte Oreilles Elders, published in 2012. I have served on the Board of Directors to the Cable-Namakagon Historical Museum, and as their Curator since it opened its doors in 2005. I am also active with Cable’s Connect Community organization to revitalize their downtown. My activity as an artist across a large region has opened new opportunities for artists.  As founder and first president of the Cable Hayward Area Regional Arts Council (CHARAC), I brought a focus for community arts activities to Ashland, Bayfield, Sawyer, and Washburn counties.  In another initiative, I encouraged the conversion of Hayward’s closed Park Theatre into the Park Center, a performing arts venue that has hosted weekly events for more than a decade. While working as a certified art therapist, I recognized the need for and benefit of meaningful creative work for individuals with disabilities. Collaborating with existing vocational and social service programs in Ashland and Hayward, I helped develop two nonprofit card businesses that integrated and supported the organization’s clientele. Taking this focus a step further, in 2008 I co-founded See My Art, Inc. (SMART), and acquired a not-for-profit 501c3 corporation status in 2012. SMART’s mission is to “Unlocking Doors and Opening Minds through Art for Individuals with Disabilities”. Designed to integrate the artists and their works, the SMART website , social media, events, and public venues  are all used to market their art and engage the artists with their communities. SMART helps end social isolation, encourages kind communication, integration, empowerment, fosters independence, and healing for the artists, their families, friends, and community. This is where understanding begins. I received a Sara Marshal PEO grant in 2016 to publish “Color with Us” a first of three editions coloring book using original paintings by SMART artists. In 2018, I organized a Wisconsin Public Television documentary with Producer Trevor Keller for “Wisconsin Life”. The documentary features SMART artist Giishik Klawiter and author Shannon Kocka. To view the documentary visit: Since 2018 I’ve authored a column for Forest & Lakes Magazine Monthly entitled “For the Love of Art ©”. The column advocates for artists of all abilities, and includes events, councils, and organizations with a focus on the health benefits of all the arts. Northern Wisconsin is a region of scattered communities, separated by variable weather, long distances, limited resources, and sometimes tenuous connections to the greater world. I’m proud and honored to work with kind, compassionate Board Members, and volunteers that work around these obstacles, and remain dedicated to the mission:

“Unlocking Doors and Opening Minds through Art for Individuals with Disabilities.”

Christie Carlson

See My Art, Inc – Vice President Christie Carlson relocated to the north woods of Wisconsin in 2006 with her husband, Leo, and daughter Emma (14), when Leo took a position with Norvado, then Chequamegon Communications. Since that time, Leo and Christie have added two boys, Isaac (7) and Noah (5), 3 dogs, and 2 cats to the family. Over the past 11 years, Christie and her family have settled in and made the Cable/Drummond area their home, enjoying all of the beauty and tranquility that comes with living in the forest. When she isn’t working alongside Leo to homeschool Emma, Isaac, and Noah, she is publishing the latest edition of Forest & Lakes, Monthly Magazine, Christie enjoys spending time with her family, cooking, quilting, and reading. Christie’s background and education are in web and graphic design, marketing, and brand development.


Lisa Seiffert

See My Art, Inc. Secretary I’m honored and humbled to be the new secretary of the SMART Board of Directors. I welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with the SMART board to continue to empower and inspire people with disabilities through art. I have spent my life working with students with disabilities. I retired four years ago working 36 years as a high school special education teacher and seven years as a Director of Special Education at the Mellen Public Schools. I, then, went back to work part time as Director of Special Education for two more years in the same district. I believe that the main question is “What is in the best interest if the child?” I am pleased to say that after all those years I keep in contact with many of my past students. I live in Drummond, Wisconsin with my husband. We travel quite often with children and grandchildren living in lower Michigan, Washington, and Nevada. If one was to ask me my hobby – travel would be it! We belong to the Cable Lion and participate, regularly, in many local fundraisers for the community and local school district. I serve as a Director for the Cable Lions. As an observer, I believe that See My Art, Inc. has validated the artistic talents of those with disabilities. I’ve purchased cards and looked at items made by the disabled at varies art venues. I’ve seen the pride the artists have in their work. This, indeed, opens doors for the community in so many ways – Keep SMART Strong indeed!

Anita Warren      

I love the north woods, the arts, and have a desire to help enrich the lives of folks with disabilities. My son Alex Mann is in the autism spectrum and works for the Senior Resource Center on a bus in Hayward assisting passengers. Alex also joins Sara Balbin on radio interviews, and has blossomed as a radio personality promoting SMART’s annual events and mission “Unlocking Doors and Opening Minds through Art for individuals with Disabilities”. In particular, for SMART I’m honored to manage the sale and distribution of the artists original greeting cards. I look forward to continuing and developing this role through internet sales as it grows in our beautiful north wood’s communities, and world.



Kristi Dietz

I am pleased and honored to have been recognized as a SMART board member.  My involvement as a volunteer with SMART began in 2015 working to provide support for the 2015 World Paralympic Event, hosted in Cable in Wisconsin.  Additionally, I have provided assistance during the Annual Gala Events recognizing SMART artists over the previous summers. I have been a part-time Cable community member since 1997 and as of May 2020, I am now a full-time resident.  For over 30 years, I worked for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections partnering with local and tribal communities to enhance Reentry efforts and to enhance health and safety standards within the state’s local detention facilities. In an effort to further my desire to give back to my community, I am interested in supporting those talented persons and artists who have the ability to give in gifted ways by creating more awareness throughout our area communities and beyond.  I believe we all have the ability to create and express ourselves in traditional and non-tradition ways that can bring joy and appreciation of art to others.

Nancy Hall board member


Nancy “Nan” Hall

After retiring in 2017, my husband Terry and I moved to Drummond from the Twin Cities. In our time here, we met have made many wonderful new friends. For many years, I have wanted to volunteer contributing to the community in which I lived.. With my administrative skills and compassion for children and those with other abilities, I would be honored to support and serve See My Art, Inc. to make a positive difference.




Elizabeth Schoone-Board of Directors memberElizabeth “Liz” Schoone

I am honored to serve on the SMART Board of Directors as an extension of my commitment to promoting healing-centered arts. I retired from a 31-year teaching/administrative career with Milwaukee Public Schools in 2018 and worked as a Data Coordinator/Artistic Team staff member at Express Yourself Milwaukee (a youth-serving therapeutic arts organization) from August of 2018 through January of 2020, having served as Board Member and Vice President for the organization from 2006 – 2017. I intend to apply my experience and skills to our work on the SMART Board as we “unlock doors and open minds” through the universal language of community art. My husband and I moved to Seeley in December, 2020 and we have fully embraced our new life in the Northwoods and enjoy all that this beautiful area has to offer.  As we say, “We are Up North. For GOOD.”