Integrative Life & Leadership Coach . Author . Speaker . Facilitator . Author . Artist
From Broadway to blacksmithing, Annelies has been inspiring people through unconventional acts of creativity since 1992. Her wide breadth of art has been featured in galleries and businesses including Fearrington, VAE, Bickett, Neomonde, Tasca Brava, RTP, UAE Embassy in Washington DC, and in private collections from Abu Dhabi to Phoenix.
As an artist, Annelies asks us to see life differently. Her most recent creations are wildly taboo interactive paintings that pierce the veil and stir the senses. Rightfully called the Fractal Touchable Series, these paintings break the rule of “don’t touch”, inviting you to get involved—tear canvas from frame, touch tactile surfaces, scratch and sniff, and take art into the dark to see life illuminated.
Annelies believes creativity changes everything. From visual fine arts and sculpture to expressive arts and positive psychology; she’s created with metal, photography, plaster, paint, resin, fabric, hair, make-up and people.
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I'm soul-stirrer, an instigator, a provocateur-- helping pierce the veil, so that you see and say what you can't do alone. Albert Einstein once said, "In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity." Let's get messy.
Having traveled 22 countries and 47 US states, I discovered that most people want the same three things: to be heard, to feel safe and to hold a sense of belonging. How we get there is what triggers conflict and separation. Getting comfortable with what’s uncomfortable is important and matters to all of us. Creativity is a great way to process the hard stuff that life, stress, conflict and grief bring.
Everything is connected. We're ONE. My entire contribution stems from a place of inclusion and integration. I love what I do and it gives me great pleasure to explore humanity's unfolding story with you through creativity.
I believe artists have a responsibility. Wherever I can, I make my projects and art-making public as a means to engage, inspire and foster connectivity.
Annelies was born near New York City, of European parents. Her father was born of Italian immigrants, her mother, from The Netherlands. Her family history is rich in creativity, talent and introspection.
Famous artists and visionaries sweeten both sides of the family.
Her great-grand father was a famous chemist named Dr. Paul Oskar Kappelmeier. Another great-grand father, Oskar Freiwirth-Lützow was an established oil painter who painted for the Russian Czar Alexander Michealovitch, in 1890. Today, his famous work still hangs in galleries throughout Europe.
Well-known for their time, opera singers also exist on both sides. In figure, Annelies highly resembles her opera singer great-grandmother Nina Lützow, and has, on some occasions worn the opera boots her great Uncle Emerico wore on stage!
Her parents followed similar leads in their own successes, both being entrepreneur visionaries. Her father was well known for his award winning competitions and styling for the movie stars like ZaZa Gaborand Barbra Streisand. Annelies’ mother is a self-proclaimed social scientist and retired cosmetologist.
In 1992, Annelies began her career with passion and devotion. Knowing that education was the key to her success, she placed herself on the forefront of her craft and took every opportunity to learn.
At 19, she began as an educational consultant for Zotos International,Matrix International and Paul Brown International. She traveled across the US and as far as Barcelona, Spain facilitating educational seminars. Simultaneously, she tapped into the theater world; designing hair, make-up and wigs for theatrical productions.
By 24, she had designed several seasons of shows, joining North Carolina Theater in 1996, as head hair and make-up department designer. While designing and working as a free-lance artist for television, film, print and theater, Annelies continued on her path towards Broadway.
Her first National Broadway Company tour was with the ‘King and I’, which then lead to work with stars like Petula Clark on ‘Sunset Blvd’ and Bernadette Peters with ‘Annie Get Your Gun’. Here she designed several off-Broadway productions including ‘Amhal and the Night Visitors’ at Lincoln Center in NYC and ‘Imperfect Chemistry’ at the Minetta Lane Theater.
In 2001 she worked on the film production, ‘The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood' with Sandra Bullock and Ashley Judd, followed by countless other films such as HBO’s ‘Iron Jawed Angles’ with Hillary Swank.
In 2000, Annelies returned to the calm(er) life in the land of tall pines and pin oaks of Raleigh, NC. It was here that she rekindled her creativity with metalsmithing in the NC mountains and began exploring her ability to sculpt with mediums other than hair, which then resulted in several successful art shows including at the Fearington Village Sculpture Show and the Visual Art Exchange.
In September 2001, 9-11 rocked the reality of the world, and like many others, caused Annelies to re-evaluate her life. This, coupled with other unexpected changes in her life prompted her move to Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. The experience was a journey that transformed her path, direction and passion.
Annelies vowed to make a difference in the world in a meaningful manner. After almost a year in Dubai, she returned to the states and began to educate and inspire through her art. She created a photographic documentary on her experience in Dubai- Another side to the Middle East. Her photography became an inspirational tool to explore cultural tolerance and societal healing. She lectured for local schools, networking groups and businesses throughout the NC Triangle. Today, because of the relationships she forged, her photography still hangs in the UAE Embassy in Washington DC.
In 2005, she returned to school to complete her formal education, focusing on her BA in Creative Process/Social Change, post-graduate study in Expressive Arts (EXA) in Conflict Transformation at EGS in Saas-Fee Switzerland, and finally her MA in Health and Wellness Coaching from the Maryland University of Integrative Health and PCC (Professional Coaching Certification) with ICF.
In 2007 her father died and Annelies took her grief to the woods, literally. Here she placed a bench and a public journal. As a result she was featured on Dick Gordon's The Story twice on NPR and produced an award winning short film documentary called the Journal at Lake Johnson.
During her ten years re-tooling for a new career she respectably took care of high-profile clients as the private hair and makeup artist for three NC governors including Governors Hunt, Easley and Purdue.
In 2018, she authored her first book From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change from the Inside Out, in 2019 she began adjunct teaching at the NC Carteret Community College, began leading thought-provoking Art Tours with People First Tourism, and since 2014 she's been teaching Art in the Garden at the WellFed community garden owned by Irregardless Cafe.
Annelies is also an ordained minister leading weddings and sacred ceremonies, certified in Reiki, Hatha Yoga CYT-200, is an expressive arts Health Rhythms wellness facilitator and has served on the board of the Art Therapy Institute and as a Nature Arts Facilitator and advisor to CHER- the Center for Human Earth Restoration. She currently serves on board for Triangle Art Works.
Learn more about Annelies and her new book From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change from the Inside Out at www.conduitforchange.com She lives in Raleigh, NC with her sweetheart Greg Whitt of www.drumforchange.com.
“Somewhere along the way… we forgot our gifts and our relationships. It's time to remember who we are.” ~Annelies M Gentile
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