What people are saying about Anne:
I have worked side by side with Anne on dozens of classes and projects and can’t recommend her highly enough.
She is a model of teaching excellence who consistently goes way beyond expectations. She sets up her participants for success every step of the way, personalizing her classes by her attentive honoring of each person’s interests, abilities, and stories. It’s clear she cares deeply for the well-being of each participant. Her high level of enthusiasm and positive outlook are contagious. Laughter and creativity flood the room when she is teaching.
Anne is masterful at drawing out of her participants what is meaningful to them, then helping them express that artistically in a way that builds their skills and brings them joy. Their creative work is celebrated often during the class and in a public showing at the end.
Connection, collaboration, and community building are hallmarks of her classes and projects. People have fun together, support each other, and often create large works of community art that involve everyone’s contribution. What each person cares about becomes incorporated into these community pieces and is valued by all.
Rarely have I seen a person who so electrifies a room and sparks such eager, ongoing participation. She treats each participant as a fellow artist, and it’s clear they feel her respect and grow in their self-confidence and creative risk-taking as artists.
Her participants and the organizers are overjoyed by her style of artistic facilitation, and she is almost always invited back to lead a group project or class again.
Creative Aging Champion and Collaborator
Anne Krocak - Phoenix Designs
For over 40 years, Anne has worked to bring her vision, passion and love for creation to her body of work while sharing this joy with others. Anne was in kindergarten when she realized her excitement for both ceramics and creation process. While digging in a big mound of dirt, she found clay and began forming it into different animals. Thrilled by her revelation, she immediately told her playmates that "I am going to be an artist when I grow up." And she did. Weaving her skills as a visual artist, teacher and public artist together, she works to bring marginalized people into the center while creating a greater sense of community.
Krocak, who has lived with multiple sclerosis for more than 30 years, understands the importance and power of moving beyond any perceived limitations and works to bring this awareness and accessibility to all of her artist participants.
Along with owning her own business, Anne Krocak - Phoenix Designs, she has earned an M.A. in Art Education, has certification in EBD, and has extensive training working with people who have a multitude of physical, emotional and mental special needs.
As an artist and teacher, Anne has won numerous awards and conducted public art residencies through VSA Minnesota, The Kennedy Center in DC, COMPAS, Public Arts St. Paul, and ArtSage, Children's Hospital Minneapolis/St. Paul Campus, Minnesota Creative Artists and Aging Network (MnCAAN). In 2009 she received the Jahney-Arts Access Award from VSA Minnesota, recognizing her as an outstanding artist educator of the Year. In 2011 received a National Fellowship from VSA National and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Anne is a Lifetime Arts teaching artist. She frequently teaches and prepares others to work with people who have special needs and older adults. She has led workshops and designed and taught classes around the U.S. and in over 60 senior living communities, museums, schools, homeless shelters, libraries and hospitals.