This page highlights the day-to-day staff at The Macoupin Art Collective. We could not do what we do without the support of our collective – patrons, donors, volunteers, instructors, and board members – but these are the people that keep The MAC running every day. They are the face of The MAC – the people you'll most likely run into if you stop by to visit us at the shop or a community event.
Brandace Cloud grew up in Staunton, Illinois, and graduated from Staunton High School. She has an Associate of Art degree in Graphic Design from Lewis & Clark Community College, a Bachelor of Art degree from Webster University, and attended post-graduate studies in the ceramics department at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. Brandace has worked as a self-employed ceramic artist, selling her wares at various art fairs and exhibitions, and she has years of experience as an art educator, teaching clay classes and workshops for children, adults, and various community organizations.
Brandace's father always told her to find a career doing something she loved, and she began her professional life trying to make a living as a graphic designer. During her undergraduate studies, though, she discovered that she much preferred the physicality of darkroom photography to working in front of a computer screen, and decided to focus on art as an end unto itself rather than a means of making money. Her last semester at Webster, Brandace fell in love with ceramics, digging up her own clay from the ground and turning it into usable objects through a long and painstaking process. She also grew to love the community aspects of art, how it brings people together in both a physical space and a shared passion.
As Executive Director, Brandace is the key management leader of the MAC. The Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs, and strategic plan of the organization. Other key duties include fundraising, marketing, and community outreach.
Development Coordinator/Community Liaison
Marcella Cloud lives in Sawyerville, Illinois, and has a Bachelor of Science in Nonprofit Management from Blackburn University in Carlinville, Illinois.
As Development Coordinator, Marcella is responsible for daily activities in support of the MAC's programs. The Development Coordinator maintains donor records, solicits donations, and prepares correspondences regarding the MAC and its programs. As community liaison, Marcella is also responsible for soliciting and managing volunteers, reaching out to and interacting with the community, and providing general support to the Executive Director.
Brian Markowitz is a co-founder, avid volunteer, board member, and landlord for The MAC. He is a transplant to the Staunton area, who met Brandace when she was teaching clay classes for the Edwardsville Arts Center. Brian was moved by Brandace’s dream to build a community art studio, and was instrumental in providing support for the formation of The MAC.
As Facilities Manager, Brian is responsible for making sure the building and grounds are maintained, determining and scheduling repairs and renovation projects, as well as other duties related to the physical space.
Volunteer/Social Media Manager
Paul Cloud was raised in Gillespie, Illinois, met Brandace in 1997, and has been supporting her dream of building a community art school ever since.
Paul considers his artistic outlet to be creative writing and storytelling. Rather than working in a physical medium, Paul plays tabletop games, delighted to collaborate with other players, weaving dynamic and interesting tales that live on beyond game night as the stuff of dinner party legend.
As Social Media Manager, Paul is responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for the MAC's social media sites. This includes managing the MAC's website, creating social media profiles, managing regular posts, and responding to followers through social media. As a studio/office volunteer, Paul is also responsible for various duties pertaining to everyday activities in support of the Executive Director.