Learn more about our art teachers. We have incredibly talented people working as Artist-Instructors.
Julie Allen is a Signature member of the Minnesota Watercolor Society and has over 30 years of experience working in the medium of transparent watercolor. Her juried work and award winning paintings, including First Honors at the Minnesota State Fair, have been exhibited at the American Swedish Institute along with exhibitions both regionally and internationally. Her painting and Giclee prints have been purchased by private, public and corporate collectors.
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 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.
Sarah Bober graduated from St. Olaf College with a major in fine arts. She began making jewelry in 2007 and has been selling her work at art shows and teaching classes ever since. She specializes in Art Clay, a clay form of silver, and resin designs. She incorporates many recycled elements into her pieces including scrabble tiles and dominos. All of her jewelry is personally designed and hand-crafted in her studio in St. Paul.
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.
Jacqueline Byers creates abstract images filled with color and motion using a digital camera. A lifelong photographer, she began focusing on abstract photography in 2013.
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. Her teaching style is marked by a depth of patience and a sense of whimsy and fun!
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.
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.
Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels
Michèle Coppin is a Master Teaching Artist and painter exhibiting in the U.S. and in her native Belgium. With a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design and M.F.A. from Pratt Institute, Michèle has been an instructor for more than a decade, teaching at the college level as well as classes for teens, adults, seniors and underserved populations in a variety of settings.
Samuel Dahl is a practicing artist with nine years of teaching experience. New to Minnesota, he received his M.F.A. in painting and drawing from the University of Texas-Austin and B.A. in studio art and comparative religion from Dartmouth College, where he was the co-winner of the prestigious Perspectives and Design Award in 2002. Experienced and knowledgeable in a variety of printmaking techniques, he is excited to add printmaking to the adult education program.
Fiber Arts: Beading
Nancy Eha has more than 25 years of teaching experience, both in the U.S. and abroad. She is the author of several books and articles and has done television segments about quilting, beading, and embellishments. Her work has been featured in magazines, including on the cover. She prides herself on her teaching skills and is an innovative and passionate artist.
Stephanie Frey is an artist and elementary art teacher. She completed her B.F.A. in Illustration at the College of Visual Arts in St. Paul and earned her teaching license through Augsburg University in Minneapolis. Her paintings and drawings often illustrate the simple moments of daily life. Stephanie has taught and volunteered at the Art Center since 2011.
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.
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.
Catherine Hearding is a self-taught artist with a B.A. in zoology and botany from the University of Montana and more than 40 years of experience in watercolor painting. With a home studio in Lake Elmo, Minnesota, Catherine has been teaching classes and workshops in basic watercolor technique, landscape painting, color theory and composition since 2004. She is a Signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America and past president and a Signature member of the Minnesota Watercolor Society.
Painting: Mixed Media Collage
Bryan Holland has worked professionally as an artist, a graphic artist, and a college professor. He has an MFA from the University of South Dakota in Painting, and his work has been shown in numerous exhibitions, from solo to regional and national juried and invitational exhibitions. He is influenced by graphic design, vintage art, painting, photography, mythology, science and philosophy. Bryan’s work has also been featured on TPT’s MN Original.
Website | Instagram @bryanhollandarts
Sonja Hutchinson is a Signature Member and past 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.
Debbie Johnson is a founding member of the North Shore Basket Guild. She served on the Board for 14 years and began teaching in 2002. After moving to the Twin Cities, she joined the Minnesota Basket Weavers Guild in Minneapolis, now serving as president. In 2017, she co-curated the MBWG 20th Anniversary Exhibit at the Textile Center in Minneapolis, where a number of her pieces were also exhibited. Debbie’s greatest passion is teaching and passing on the tradition of basket weaving.
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.
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.
Abbey Kleinert holds a B.A. in Studio Art and Journalism, and an M.F.A. 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.
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!
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.
Artist Development: Websites & Social Media
Nikki Lindberg works at the MCFTA as their director of communications and marketing. After being approached by several artists at the Art Center about artist websites and social media, she decided there might be enough interest to hold a workshop. She has worked as a freelance graphic designer for more than 20 years, and has helped create and maintain websites and social media accounts for a variety of nonprofit organizations.
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.
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.
April Malphurs received her B.S. in interior architecture and design from Cornell University and her master’s degree in art education from Teachers College Columbia University in NYC. She has over 20 years of experience teaching art in public school, community, museum and camp settings. She especially enjoys working with elementary age students and the energy they bring to their work. April is a practicing artist, as well, creating sculptures using blown and flame-worked glass, as well as some paintings and drawings.
Thomas Maras is a Minnesota native who studied glass and ceramics at Minnesota State University Moorhead and has been a practicing craftsman since 1995. He has exhibited throughout the United States and has work in many private and public collections.
Cheri Meyer has designed and made jewelry for over thirty years using various technique and materials. Twelve years ago, she discovered the art of bead weaving and fell in love with the ancient weaving technique. Once she mastered the fine craft of peyote stitch bead weaving, she started to free-form her own designs and patterns while working with colorful seed beads, meaningful stones, metal, fiber, found and handmade objects.
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. Ernest has been featured on MN Original on TPT.
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.
Mary Anne O'Malley
Mary Anne O’Malley has been a teacher of botanical art for 18 years. After graduating from St. Dominic College with a B.A. in Art, she continued to study for 12 years at Atelier LeSueur in Orono. Her fabrication for museums and visitor centers around the country helped develop her love of the natural world. She is a member of the Hunt Center for Botanical Documentation and has been part of numerous international juried exhibits.
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’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.An experienced teacher, Diane brings a youthful energy to her classes that children recognize and enjoy. Diane has been with the Minnetonka Center for the Arts for more than 20 years, teaching adults and children on-site and through its outreach programs.
Painting: Oils, Acrylics, or Pastels
Dan Petrov is a classically trained artist and instructor with more than 25 years of experience, including studying and exhibiting in Europe, Canada and the U.S. He specializes in Renaissance and Flemish oil painting methods and modern forms of alla prima (wet-on-wet) painting. He believes, “painting reflects the world,” and helps bring new understanding to everyday objects and spaces.
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. Teaching the rare art of stone carving to children is something he looks forward to all year.
Drawing, Painting: Watercolor, Digital Art
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 taught at the Art Institutes International Minnesota for more than 10 years.
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.
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 MN Original 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 Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild.
Drawing & Painting
Kenneth Schweiger (B.1983) grew up in Saint Paul, and graduated from DePaul University. While working in Tokyo, he developed a passion for fine art, and returned to the US to attend the prestigious Atelier Studio Program of Fine Art founded by Richard Lack. After completing the rigorous 5 year program, he spent one further year at the Grand Central Atelier in New York. Kenneth now maintains a professional fine art studio in Northeast Minneapolis. His drawings and paintings are available at www.kennethschweiger.com.
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.
Kathleen Sheridan teaches all types of origami and is constantly learning the latest models by attending national and international origami conventions. Kathleen is the host of Origami Connect, and she serves on the Board of Directors for OrigamiUSA.
Jenny Stice received her B.A. in Sculpture from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She teaches art at Kenwood Elementary, Mia and Roseville Public Schools. With formal training in sewing and felting and a love of crocheting, Jenny teaches many of the fiber arts and fashion classes.
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.
Drawing, 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.
James Turner is an enthusiastic watercolor artist, who paints on paper and Yupo, studio and plein air, representational and abstract. He has won best in show at plein air events and juried shows, most recently at the 2018 spring juried show of the Minnesota Watercolor Society for a Yupo piece. He has also had Yupo paintings in the last three state fair fine arts events.
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.
Marika Wasscher got her B.F.A. from the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design where she studied industrial design and got a minor in sculpture. She finds her zen place whenever she is creating something with her hands. Drawing will always be her first love but she is forever picking up new art media with which to challenge herself. Marika took classes as a child at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and is now ecstatic to be giving back to the community that gave her so much.