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Our Artist-Instructors

_er_1_1 Carl Beihl Photography Carl Beihl is a practicing artist and photographer and is truly a product of the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and its culture of artist development. Carl began his artist’s journey in the early 1970s, juggling Art Center classes with a business and consulting career. For more than 10 years, he has been a fulltime visual artist with an emphasis in photography, ceramics and painting.
  Traudi Bestler Fiber Traudi Bestler trained at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, the Weaving School and Sievers School of Fiber Arts. She has been a teacher of weaving, dyeing and fiber arts for more than 20 years. Traudi has also been a workshop presenter at the annual Minnesota Weaving Federation and schools and guilds around the country.
  Robert Bowman Ceramics Robert Bowman is a ceramics artist with a studio art degree from St. Olaf College. In addition to teaching clay classes since 1997, he is the Exhibits Director and Retail Manager for the Minnetonka Center for the Arts.
 _er_1_1 Virginia Buck Children Virginia Buck holds an art history degree from Hamline University. Her paintings and drawings have been in several exhibitions, including a drawing at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Virginia has taught Summer Arts Camp classes and children’s painting and drawing classes at the Art Center for a number of years, providing fundamental techniques and genres within a historical context and perspective
  Jerry Calengor Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Jerry Calengor has worked as a gallery owner and studio painter for more than 40 years. His award-winning work has been exhibited throughout the Midwest, including a solo exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Jerry has also enjoyed a year painting in Barbizon, France, home of the Impressionists.
  Patty Carmody Smith Collage Patty Carmody Smith is a full-time artist and instructor who splits his time between sculptural art and jewelry design, believing that the two art forms directly influence one another. He has been featured on TPT’s MNOriginal and participated in the Walker Art Invitational jewelry artist showcase on multiple occasions. He teaches at Carleton College and is the vice president of the newly-formed Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild.
 _er_1_1 Krissy Catt Ceramics, Children Krissy Catt has been building her career in clay, with a focus on handbuilding, for more than two decades, starting with a B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Beside her business, Catt Ceramics, Krissy works in the Edina Schools and with senior adults. Her whimsical figures (some more than five feet tall) are on display in the Art Resources Galleries in International Market Square and at the Galleria.
 _er_1_1 Genevieve Chamberland Ceramics, Children Genevieve Chamberland, a native of Québec, obtained her B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis in ceramics. Her clay journey was vastly influenced by a research project at the iconic porcelain manufacturer Sèvres-Citée de la Céramique in Paris. Juxtaposition of different mediums is exciting to Geneviève as she amplifies materials’ properties to enhance contrasts and create more complex visual conversations.
 _er_1_1 David Coats Photography David Coats is a retired professional photographer whose 20-plus-year career was mostly spent photographing diverse objects for corporate clients. He began taking photography classes at MCFTA in January 2015 as a way to rediscover the joy of photography and plans to continue his photographer’s journey for as long as he can lift a camera.
  Michele Combs Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Michele Combs is a plein air, impressionistic painter who studied classical realism at the Minnesota River School of Fine Art and with nationally recognized artists from throughout the U.S. Now a full-time visual artist, after a career in occupational therapy, Michele has been painting since 1995 and teaching since 2005.
minnetonka arts center Michèle Coppin Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Michèle Coppin relocated to Minnesota from Belgium where she concentrated on painting and creating videos for the city of Brussels about its artistic heritage. With a B.F.A. from Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A. from the Pratt Institute, Michèle has been an instructor for more than a decade, teaching college courses as well as MCFTA outreach classes for children, teens, and seniors with memory loss.
  Suz Galloway Drawing, Painting: Watercolor Suz Galloway has been a teacher for more than 15 years. With a B.A. in studio art and art history from DePauw University, she has also studied at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and with nationally recognized artists. One of her works, May Apple, is included in the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden Florilegium, a rare and extensive flora documentation that will be preserved for 100 years.
  Doug Garder Drawing, Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Doug Garder has a B.A. in studio art and English from Southern Illinois University and an M.F.A. in painting from West Virginia University. He has taught at the Art Institutes International Minnesota in Minneapolis since 1999 and at many art center venues, including MCFTA, before that. He has participated in more than 75 juried group and solos exhibitions across the United States.
 _er_1_1 Carly Gernbacher Children Carly Gernbacher has a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Carly is an elementary school art teacher who teaches Summer Arts Camp classes and children’s multidisciplinary art classes from drawing to printmaking. As a school teacher, she is an avid supporter of youth arts education and she loves feeding children’s natural curiosity.
 _er_1_1 Karen Graham Glass Karen Graham began blowing glass in 1997. She was later drawn to kiln-formed glass when she discovered Higuchi’s pâte de verre (paste of glass) at the Corning Museum where she attended workshops on fusing and casting glass. Her study of handbuilt pottery in college influences her style, and the appeal of architectural lines is a foundation for her work. Her work has been shown at Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul and in Art-a-Whirl in Minneapolis.
 _er_1_1 Leslie Granbeck Fiber Leslie Granbeck is a felt-maker and instructor living in Minneapolis. Leslie loves sharing her knowledge of fibers and their magical transformation into felt. She teaches traditional wet, nuno, needle and – her favorite – three dimensional seamless felting techniques. Her classes are full of color, creativity and adventure.
 _er_1_1 Kristin Grevich Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Kristen Grevich studied fine art at the University of Minnesota-Mankato before embarking on careers in equestrian disciplines and later real estate. Returning to her love of painting in 2003, she has studied in the U.S., Europe, China and Tibet. She has exhibited widely, received many awards, and was the cover and featured artist in the October 2013 issue of Minnesota Women’s Press. Originally a student (2003 – 2010) of beloved MCFTA instructor Reid Galey, she is excited to return and continue his fun and engaging approach to teaching the impressionist style painting.
 _er_1_1 Anne Groton Photography Anne Groton is a designer, photographer and never without a creative project. With a B.S. degree in interior design from Colorado State University, Anne’s design skills have benefitted retail giants including Sears, Montgomery Ward and Target. Her photography has been exhibited in juried shows and public galleries and licensed to décor manufacturers and stock image libraries.
 _er_1_1 Catherine Hearding Painting: Watercolor Catherine Hearding is a self-taught artist with a B.A. in zoology and botany from the University of Montana and more than 30 years of experience in watercolor painting. With a home studio in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, Catherine teaches classes and workshops in basic watercolor technique, color theory and composition and is a signature member and past president of the Minnesota Watercolor Society.
  Sonja Hutchinson Painting: Watercolor Sonja Hutchinson is a Signature Member and President of the Minnesota Watercolor Society and has been painting in watercolor since 2001. She has studied with many established watercolor artists and has frequently exhibited in juried shows and received honors for her work. Her artwork employs both traditional and non-traditional watercolor techniques. To her, the watercolor medium is simultaneously challenging and enchanting, where spontaneity and intention collide.
  Georgia Kandiko Painting: Watercolor Georgia Kandiko is an award-winning artist and instructor. She has attained Signature Status with the Minnesota Watercolor Society and Red River Watercolor Society, frequently displaying and earning honors in their annual shows. Georgia is also an award-winning member of Artists of Minnesota and participates in several national watercolor societies. Her work is featured in public and private collections.
 _er_1_1 Cynthia Kath Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Cynthia Kath, a pastel artist with a B.A. in fine art, is currently working on her Master of Liberal Studies at the University of Minnesota in fine art, architecture and horticulture. She has also studied at Parsons School of Design in Paris, as well as privately with renowned oil and pastel artists. Cynthia teaches at numerous venues, exhibits her work locally and internationally, and is very involved with The Village Gallery in Lahaina, Hawaii.
 _er_1_1 Abbey Kleinert Printmaking Abbey Kleinert holds a BA in Studio Art and Journalism, and an MFA in Graphic Design from the University of Minnesota. She has received awards for her work, which has been exhibited at a variety of Minnesota Galleries. She is an avid printmaker with an interest and training in botanical art from the Minnesota School of Botanical Art. She is currently the Artist in Residence for Loring Park and an adjunct instructor for Century College.
 _er_1_1 Keren Kroul Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Keren Kroul was born in Haifa, Israel, to an Argentinean father and Israeli mother, and raised in Mexico and Costa Rica. She holds an MFA in Painting from Parsons School of Design and a BA in Fine Arts from Brandeis University. Kroul has exhibited regionally and nationally, and is a 2015 and 2017 recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant. She has been featured in MN Original (Twin Cities PBS), was an ArtPrize Finalist in 2016, and a Jerome Foundation Emerging Artist at the Rochester Art Center in 2017. Kroul is an Adjunct Professor of Painting and Drawing at Augsburg University in Minneapolis.
 _er_1_1 Bonnie Lauber-Westover Drawing Bonnie Lauber-Westover holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art from the University of Iowa and master’s degree in studio art from Illinois State University. She has taught in the Minneapolis area for 25 years at schools, colleges and art centers. She has exhibited widely, juried many art competitions and been a visiting artist at many art centers and schools. Bonnie enjoys seeing former students who now exhibit, maintain studios, and work as artists!
 _er_1_1 Laurie Lausen Fiber Laurie Lausen is an avid rug hooker whose fiber journey has taken many paths. She began designing and hooking rugs in the early 1970s while still in school and in the 1980s founded L.J. Fibers, a Minneapolis-based studio, gallery and retail shop now known as the Wooly Red Rug. Laurie has been listed in the Directory of Traditional American Crafts as one of “America’s Best” since 2009. Many national publications have featured her work and published articles she’s written.
 _er_1_1 Steven Leeman Sculpture Steven Leeman has studied stone carving at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and in Carrara, Italy, with Pazzi DePeuter. He studied bronze sculpture with Heidi Hoy and impressionist painting with Reid Galey. His sculptures have won several awards. He is the owner of Steve Leeman Company, Decorative Arts since 1974.
 _er_1_1 Susan Lyman Sculpture Susan Lyman worked as an art director in major advertising agencies and has been involved in the Minnetonka Center for the Arts for more than 15 years. Her sculpture work is primarily figurative and often life-sized. As a teacher she enjoys nurturing her students to develop their stone sculpting skills. Susan holds a B.A. in studio art, with a minor in anthropology from the University of Minnesota.
 _er_1_1 Kristine MacDonald Calligraphy Kristine MacDonald is a lifelong student of calligraphy, studying with nationally recognized teachers, attending national conferences and as a juried member of the Colleagues of Calligraphy. Kris has demonstrated and taught calligraphy for more than 20 years with the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Hopkins Community Education and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
 _er_1_1 Ernest Miller Ceramics Ernest Miller, Jr. is a ceramicist and sculptor with extensive experience teaching adults and children. With a B.A. in three-dimensional studio art from Eastern Illinois University, Ernest is an exhibitor and award winner in many juried shows nationally and his work is widely collected.
 _er_1_1 Eric Mueller Photography Eric Mueller is an artist and freelance photographer who has also worked as a filmmaker and producer in the Twin Cities for the past 25 years. With a B.A. from Carleton College and M.A. in Film Production Studies from the University of Iowa, Eric teaches iPhone photography online for iPhonePhotographySchool.com and locally for Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota (IFP). His work has been exhibited nationally, and he will be featured in a January episode of TPT’s MNOriginal. He has about 50,000 followers on Instagram.
 _er_1_1 Holly Nelson Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Holly Nelson is an experienced artist and teacher. Her award-winning drawings and paintings have been exhibited in more than 50 solo and group exhibitions throughout the Midwest. With a B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota, she has taught art in many venues including community art centers, public schools, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as well as health care settings such as the Hennepin County Medical Center.
 _er_1_1 Judd Nelson Sculpture Judd Nelson has been creating welded and forged animal sculptures since he was 17 and completed his formal training at the University of Minnesota. He has taught at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts as well as in Native American and public schools around the country. Judd also worked in a number of capacities on Hometime, a National Public Television show.
 _er_1_1 Dorothy Odland Children, Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Dorothy Odland holds both a B.F.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Minnesota. Through her career she has been an exhibitor, award winner, juror and gallery lecturer for 22 years at Walker Art Center. She is also a founding member and mentor with the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (the WARM). Her work is found in many corporate and private collections.
 _er_1_1 Kristin Pavelka Ceramics Kristin Pavelka learned a wide range of ceramics firing techniques working under Dan Anderson at Southern Illinois University. She holds a B.A. in studio arts from Carleton College in Northfield and an M.F.A. from Penn State University where her love for earthenware began. Kristin has significant teaching experience including five years at Hamline University as an adjunct instructor.
 _er_1_1 Lee Persell Ceramics Lee Persell is the Ceramics Studio Manager for the Minnetonka Center for the Arts. She exhibits in shows and galleries throughout the Midwest, and has taught at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts since 1997.
  Diane Petron Children, Glass Diane Petron’s enthusiasm for all things creative began as a youngster. Nearly 20 years ago, she discovered the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and began taking classes in pottery and, later, fused glass. Though her B.A. is in Music Education, Diane has discovered that she enjoys teaching visual art much more than teaching music.
 _er_1_1 Frank Picos Sculpture Frank Picos is a Sculpture Studio Assistant, Artist-Instructor and student at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts with a focus on stone carving and bronze casting. He is a member of the Society of Minnesota Sculptors. As a part-time artist with a career in construction, Frank holds an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in construction technology from New York City Community College.
 _er_1_1 Jodi Reeb Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Jodi Reeb has been creating art for more than 25 years. With a B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she has been the recipient of numerous awards and her mixed media work has been widely exhibited and may be found in private and corporate collections nationally. A talented teacher, Jodi has taught at the college level and at community art centers.
 _er_1_1 William Reynolds Painting: Watercolor William Reynolds has worked as a professional illustrator and designer since 1981 producing work for national and international clients and advertising agencies. With a B.F.A. from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and M.A. in education from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, William has been teaching at the Art Institutes International Minnesota for more than 10 years.
 _er_1_1 Ellen Richman Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Ellen Richman is a well-recognized contemporary abstract painter. With a B.F.A. from the University of Minnesota, Ellen’s award-winning paintings have been widely exhibited. Her work is found in collections throughout the U.S. and Mexico and is currently represented by Circa Gallery in Minneapolis and Thomas Masters Gallery in Chicago.
 _er_1_1 Danny Saathoff Jewelry Danny Saathoff is a full-time artist and instructor who splits his time between sculptural art and jewelry design, believing that the two art forms directly influence one another. He has been featured on TPT’s MNOriginal and participated in the Walker Art Invitational jewelry artist showcase on multiple occasions. He teaches at Carleton College and is the vice president of the newly-formed Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild.
 _er_1_1 Linda Seebauer Hansen Jewelry Linda Seebauer Hansen holds a M.F.A. in metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Professionally, she headed the art metals department at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, where she received the Barrett Morgan Award for exemplary leadership and teaching. Linda came to Minnesota in 2007 to direct an education program for the Weavers Guild of Minnesota. In addition, she has taught at Milwaukee Area Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Madison and -Whitewater, and St. Catherine University. She has a studio and teaches at Quench Jewelry Arts, plus travels to regional art centers and international craft schools to teach workshops.
 _er_1_1 Alan Shefland Photography Alan Shefland began his artist’s journey young, taking photos of his neighborhood and its residents, selling a few to cover costs. He honed his visual skills becoming a Hollywood film editor working on TV commercials, shows and features, including many award-winning shows. After moving to Minnesota, he became a student then Artist-Instructor at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts where he has often exhibited his photography.
 _er_1_1 Jenny Stice Children Jenny Stice graduated from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design with a degree in Sculpture. Due to a split training of Environmental Education and Fiber Arts, Jenny’s artwork often takes shape as her current ecosystem of study. Her main format of creation is crocheting, but she has formal training in sewing and felting. Jenny has taught Summer Arts Camp classes and children’s classes at the Art Center, teaching everything from painting to fiber arts.
 _er_1_1 Audrey Stommes Drawing, Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Audrey Stommes has an M.F.A. in painting and drawing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has taught there and at University of Wisconsin- Stout and the Lux Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was an artist-in-residence at the New York Center for the Arts and Media Studies and the Vermont Studio Center. Her work is exhibited nationally, internationally and in solo exhibitions.
 _er_1_1 Holly Stone Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Holly Stone (on sabbatical in India but I expect her back) enjoys creating many kinds of art – visual arts, music and performing arts. She founded Hopkins-based Art Down Under and her work is part of commercial and private collections. With a B.S. from Wayne State University in Detroit, she has taught painting in oils, acrylics and watercolors since 1998. Her background in occupational therapy provides a sensibility to adapt methods and approaches for students of all abilities.
 _er_1_1 Tara Sweeney Painting: Watercolor Tara Sweeney has worked in the Twin Cities’ visual arts community for more than 30 years. She has 25 years of teaching experience at the undergraduate level serving as an associate professor and art department chair at Augsburg College. Since 1999, she has led international programs sketching in Italy and France and in 2012 created a plein air sketchbook documenting a 150-mile walk of a historic pilgrimage trail from Lucca to Rome. She holds a M.F.A. from Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
 _er_1_1 Tracie Thompson Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels Tracie Thompson specializes in oils, murals, animal portraits and mixed-media work that taps into the life beneath the observable surface. With a B.F.A. from the University of South Florida-College of Fine Arts in Tampa, Tracie has exhibited in solo and multi-artist shows around the Twin Cities and in Florida and has experience teaching at community art centers.
  Julie Vogl Glass Julie Vogl is a mosaic artist who began her work with stained glass in a neighborhood community class and in time made Tiffany-style lamp shades. Her desire for a new art form using glass evolved to mosaics. Working with beautiful colors, texture, beads and shapes, she adds dimensional mementos to create each of her unique designs.