Board & Staff

The Shell Lake Arts Center is governed by a 15-member board, selected to serve two, three-year consecutive terms. The board members are selected for their accomplishments in the arts, education, business, and/or public service and represent rural and urban areas from the region. The board and Executive Director work together to create an environment where adult and school age students have meaningful connections, find their voices, create art, make friends, grow and reach their full potential.

executive committee

Jeffrey Southern
Rice Lake, WI

Immediate Past President
William Taubman
Shell Lake, WI

Vice President
Sheila Aderman Squires
Shell Lake, WI

Megan Conners
Shell Lake, WI

Lynnea Lake
Spooner, WI

board members

Julie Krueger
Lino Lakes, MN

Laurie Bakkum
Shell Lake, WI

Katie Guyer
Minneapolis, MN

Pete Hopke
Shell Lake, WI

Steve Zenz
Milwaukee, WI

Greg Keel
Woodbury, MN

Harvey Halpaus
Ellsworth, WI

a message from the executive director

Master teachers ... Magic setting

This could not be more true of the Shell Lake Arts Center.  The rich history of musical and artistic excellence began with the creation of the Indianhead Arts Center under the leadership of Darrell Aderman and the University Of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  Their efforts have made this camp a destination for the study of  music and the arts in the Wisconsin Northwoods.

The names of our master teachers of the past and present are emblazoned in the hearts and minds of our campers.  Through their efforts our students become life-long, literate performers and creators of the arts--in all of their varied forms.

Our magic setting is feet from the banks of the beautiful Shell Lake with trees, smells of the outdoors, pinecones, deer, swimming, Northern Lights, and even Northwoods critters that wander through during the daily life of our community.  Our artists come ready to learn and in this environment which may be different than that of their own personal artistic experiences and homes, they create, perform, respond and integrate their past practices into new paradigms of learning and growth.

It is here that we do our best work.  Every student that enters through our doors matters and we strive for them to recognize and attain maximum growth, potential, and passion, as artists, students and citizens of the global community.

Give our master teachers a try--in this magic setting-- and we promise you one of the best experiences of your life.  At the Shell Lake Arts Center we don’t study the Arts, we do the Arts.  Are you ready to join us?


Patrick S Barnett
Executive Director

executive director


Patrick Barnett

Patrick S. Barnett is Executive Director at the Shell Lake Arts Center in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. He is the Former Fine Arts Department Chair at Maine Township High School West in Des Plaines. He completed his undergraduate degree in Music Education at Northern Illinois University and the Masters Of Music Education degree from DePaul University. In 2007, he completed a Masters in Educational Administration from Northern Illinois University. Prior to his appointment at Maine West, he was the choir director at Maine East High School for 19 years where he also directed the Variety Show. Prior to Maine, he taught junior high general music in Round Lake and Villa Park. An active participant, he has worked and performed in a variety of situations including a rock and roll band, community bands, and various churches and community organizations and local Veterans Day tributes. He is the past director of the Park Ridge Chorale and the 1998 and 2000 Illinois Ambassadors of Music Choir which toured across Europe. He has served on the board of the Illinois Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association as Director of Youth and Student activities and as Chair for the Chicagoland region. He has also served as Co-Chair of the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) District 7 Chorus, the National and Illinois State Chair for the TRI-M Music Honor Society, and District 7 President of the ILMEA.  An active clinician and adjudicator, Mr. Barnett is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the American Choral Directors Association, and the American Guild of Organists. Pat, his wife Lisa, and their daughter Sophia have been enjoying their family cabin on the beautiful shores of Big McKenzie Lake in Spooner for many years, which is where they are currently building their new home.

administrative staff


Keegan West
Program Director

Your stereotypical longhaired Chaco-wearing camp bro. Keegan is a recent graduate from UW-Stevens Point where he majored in Media Studies and Public Relations. He currently lives in Minneapolis MN where he works for Tinderbox Music Promotion. Born and raised in the hills of the Driftless region, Keegan grew a love for the arts through the Shell Lake Arts Center. He is a proud Rock Band Camp alumni with rockstar enthusiasm for camp. In his free time, he loves mountain biking, cross country skiing, and attending concerts.

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Olivia Marron
Camp Coordinator

Olivia motivates our counseling team to be the best they can be! Also born and raised in the Driftless region, Olivia studied fitness and recreation management at Madison College. Olivia leads camp event planning, event coordination, and registration. Olivia loves horseback riding, sports, travel, and camping.

Contact Olivia for any day to day camp questions.

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Karen Nelson
Office Assistant

As you come into the Arts Center office, you’ll see our front of house. Karen answer all sorts of questions about camp. Karen grew up in Rochester MN, and moved to Trego in 2016. Karen has worked numerous office jobs throughout her life, but she has a special love for the Arts Center. In her free time, you’ll find Karen fishing the beautiful Lake Namak, and watching crime shows.

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Jeff Mortensen
Facility Manager

A historic arts center like ours needs the best support. Our facilities manager Jeff works year round doing maintenance work on our campus. Jeff recently retired from the Twin Cities and relocated to the beautiful Wisconsin Northwoods. Jeff loves making the Center a great destination for campers and visitors. You can find Jeff fishing, hunting, and making maple syrup!


Terri Johnson


Terri has lived in Washburn County WI her whole life. She have been a bookkeeper/accounting/bank teller in her working life. She is married to Kevin Johnson for 45 years and they have 2 grown children and 4 wonderful grandchildren. She is active in Washburn County 4-H and manages the 4-H food stand at the county fair. She and her husband have a small beef cattle farm and we enjoy going camping.  She likes sewing and crafts. Terri looks forward to helping the Art Center get the notice that it needs to prosper.

Tamara Smith
Collaborative Pianist

Tamara Smith attended UW-Eau Claire and received her Bachelor's of Music Education degree. After teaching in northwestern Wisconsin, she moved to Denver, Colorado and served as Minister of Music, taught private lessons, and enjoyed administrative work. In 2004, she moved back to her native Shell Lake with her husband and two daughters and has been very active as a free-lance musician. Tamara has worked as an accompanist for the Shell Lake Arts Center's Show Choir Camps since 1978.

give your support

The Shell Lake Arts Center appreciates your support. Whether a monetary donation or an investment of your time, we’re made better because of the support of our community.