Integrative Life & Leadership Coach . Author . Speaker . Facilitator . Author . Artist
Annelies has lived in Raleigh since 1985 when Creedmoor Rd had one stop light. Today she resides in Midtown with her beloved Greg Whitt where she also works as a Life and Leadership Coach helping leaders create calm in chaos. As an artist, Annelies asks us to see life differently. As a coach, she nurtures you to do so. Learn more at www.conduitforchange.com.
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.
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.
Today, her craft is focused on interactive art that is experiential in process and product. Her most recent abstract creations are wildly taboo interactive paintings that pierce the veil and stir the senses. Rightfully called the Fractal Touchable Series, these paintings are sensory experiences that break the rules of "don't look, don't touch”, inviting you to observe messy process and get involved—touch tactile surfaces, tear canvas from frame, scratch and sniff, and take art into the dark to see life illuminated.
Annelies believes creativity changes everything. From leading retreats on creative process to removable paneled paintings with unique beveled edges to highly textured surfaces that wrap around walls, across rooms, hips and even tables-- Annelies' creative zeal and ability to make magic everywhere is contagious joy worth investing!
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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. Everything is connected.
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. Creativity gives us hope and ideas.
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. My entire contribution stems from a place of love, inclusion and integration. I love what I do and it gives me great pleasure to explore humanity's unfolding story with you through creativity.
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. At nearly 80, my mother has recently gone back to school to complete a degree in art. Creativity is our family's lifeline.
In 1992, Annelies began her professional creative career. 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.
At 27, Annelies hit burn-out and quit Broadway to take up blacksmithing in the NC mountains (because that made sense). ;) She returned to the calm(er) life in the land of tall pines and pin oaks of Raleigh, NC for solace and a fresh restart. It was here that she rekindled her creativity with metalsmithing at John C Cambell Folk Art School 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.
Working with metal was a key moment for her, as this is where she learned about resilience. Too little heat/conditions of change and one experiences resistance. Just enough heat/conditions of change and one experiences ease-- they can create a new shape. Too much heat/conditions of change and integrity is lost. It's a powerful metaphor that she much later in life brings back to share in her book, From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change from the Inside Out.
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 (chaos) 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. Because of the relationships she forged then, her photography still hangs in the UAE Embassy in Washington DC.
In 2005 at age 31, she began college for the first time 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 who recently launched and ad that has Annelies featured nationwide including Southern Living Magazine (April 2022) and Our State for her Art Tours with Annelies. Since 2014 she's been teaching Art in the Garden at the WellFed Community Garden in Raleigh, NC.
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, and recently served 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 to each other and the divine world in which we are suspended. It's time to remember who we are.” ~Annelies M Gentile