Friends Forum

This series of biographies of members of the Friends of the Snite Museum of Art is presented as an introduction to the Friends. Every few weeks, a different Friend will be featured.

Get acquainted with:

Michael Riemke

Michael Riemke has lived in Indiana his entire life, raised just north of Fort Wayne.  A little more than 30 years ago, after working in computer technology for General Electric’s Aerospace Division, and with degrees in Computer Technology from Purdue University and Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University in hand, the University of Notre Dame offered Michael a position as a Systems Analyst in their Administrative Computing Department.

Over time Michael transitioned from computer technology to management in the Student Accounts and Cashier Offices. Since 2009, he has worked in the role of Associate Director in the Office of Financial Aid.

Read more about Michael

Cheryl Ulrich

Cheryl Ulrich

Cheryl Urlich’s life has taken her around the world.

From Illinois to Austria, Florida to Canada, she has now landed in Indiana. But with all of that transition, there has been one constant for Cheryl - her passion for volunteering for arts organizations.

She shared, “I love the theatre. So, during my family’s six years in Vienna, Austria I wanted to to find an outlet to give back to the community, while still working on something I truly love. Lucky for me, I found the Vienna International School.”

Read more about Cheryl.

Szymanski Mike

Mike Szymanski

Some of Mike Szymanski’s fondest teenage memories are from his visits to the Snite Museum of Art.

As a member of the Lasalle High School Art Club, Mike was able to come and visit the Museum and share some impactful moments with his fellow club members. Mike explained, “I remember seeing an oil painting of French nobility with their children in the Bastille during the French Revolution, where the artist captured the prisoners’ haunting expressions.” He continued, “I could not believe a painter could be so talented. It made you think about what was awaiting the individuals who were captured.”

Read more about Mike

Kari Picture, sized

Kari Black

Kari Black is, first and foremost, an artist.

She said she believes that she has been an artist her whole life. When she describes what she means by this, she explains, “it is really a matter of how you think and see the world.”

It is this type of sensing, this artist’s perception, that has brought her to where she is now - an adjunct member of ceramics in the Art Department at Bethel College, as well as a teacher at the South Bend Museum of Art. 

Teaching, whether art or anything else, is really about helping students learn to recognize the questions to be answered, the challenges to be surmounted, and then developing strategies for doing that. Sometimes that means learning skills and techniques, but always it means developing the capacity for problem-solving,” said Kari when discussing her life as a teacher.

Read more about Kari

  • Check back regularly and get to know some new Friends!