Jeanne Aaron began studying art at The Art Institute of Chicago and received a B.F.A. from the University of Illinois and attended a master’s program in film at UCLA. She has worked as a three-dimensional animator in Los Angeles and her drawings and sculptures have been shown in galleries and museums in Chicago and San Francisco.
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 the past more than 10 years, he has been a full-time 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.
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.
Virginia Buck holds an art history B.A. from Hamline University. Virginia has had several exhibitions of her paintings and drawings, including a drawing that was exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Her classes teach fundamental techniques and genres within a historical context and perspective.
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.
Nancy Carlson is an accomplished children’s book author and illustrator with more than 60 books to her credit. With a degree in printmaking from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, she became fascinated with children’s books while working at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center. Prior to publishing, she had numerous art exhibitions and her artwork is held in many private and public collections. Believing that life should be fun, especially for children, Nancy is a guest at more than 150 school classrooms each year, touching the lives of thousands of children across the country.
Patty Carmody Smith has a degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and has shown her fiber and mixed media sculpture regionally since 1995. Patty loves the creative process and the role it plays in living a creative life. She has developed a unique sculptural technique that utilizes lightweight air-drying materials.
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.
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 throughout the U.S. A full-time visual artist, Michele has been painting since 1995 and teaching since 2005.
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 small children to seniors.
John Currie is a graphic and concept designer with clients in the U.S. and Europe. He has studied fine art at the University of Minnesota, the Minnetonka Center for the Arts and privately with notable instructors. Students enjoy his knowledge, humor and passion for his art. His work is shown widely across the United States and in private collections here and abroad.
Melanie Ebertz has been working in Peru since the mid-1980s where she managed two non-profit resource centers. With an interest in indigenous culture and great appreciation for their functional weaving, she founded Art Andes, a Minneapolis-based shop and gallery of handcrafted Peruvian textiles. It began by designing weavings based on Pre-Columbian patterns seen in the many museums of Lima and now supports the continuation of this ancient art form. Melanie also leads in-depth art, history and culture trips to Peru.
Suzanne 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 Barbara Nechis, John Salminen, Cheng Khee Chee and Stephen Quiller. 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.
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.
Andy Juelich received his B.A. in studio arts from St. John’s University and continued his learning through apprenticeships, studying ceramics and wood firing under Richard Bresnahan and the use of rattan and leather under Paul Kreuger. Andy’s large vases are coiled and thrown over several days, allowing for carving and atmospheric effects from soda-firing. He has taught clay, sculpture and book arts for adults and children at the Art Center.
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 The New School for Design in Paris, as well as privately with renowned oil and pastel artists. Cynthia has taught at numerous venues and exhibits her work locally and internationally and is very involved with The Village Gallery in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Gail Katz-James holds an M.F.A. in textile arts from the University of California-Davis. Gail works primarily with found objects and hardware to construct wall sculptures. She has experience as an art juror and is a representative to the Minnesota Surface Design Association. Her quilt-inspired wall piece is on permanent display at the Minneapolis Children’s Hospital.
Keren Kroul creates intricate and multilayered large-scale watercolor paintings on paper, inspired by memory, identity, and nature. With an M.F.A. in painting from the Parsons School of Design in New York and a B.A. in visual arts from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, Keren has exhibited in solo and group shows, including the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Art Museum of the University of Memphis, The Revolving Museum in Massachusetts and at the TEOR/eTica in Costa Rica.
Steve 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.
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.
Kris 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 demonstrated and taught calligraphy at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival for 22 years, and now teaches at Hopkins Community Education since 2011 and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts since 2014.
Paul Meisel is a woodworking and metal sculptor specializing in metals, mold-making, welding and metallurgy. With a master’s degree and experience in industrial education, he owns a wood-hobby and specialty hardware company and has authored six books and more than 30 articles on woodworking.
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.
Sandra Muzzy learned to paint as a child as her mother attempted to keep her occupied while recovering from two bouts of rheumatic fever. As a full-time artist and watercolor instructor, Sandra is active in the Minneapolis art community, serving on the Northstar Watercolor Society, Minnesota Watercolor Society and Minnesota Watercolor Society. She has studied horticulture and landscape to hone her skills capturing the natural world.
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.
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.
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, show 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.
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 a love for earthenware began. Kristin has significant teaching experience including five years at Hamline University as an adjunct instructor.
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 began her love of all things creative 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 art much more than teaching music.
Frank Picos is a Sculpture Studio Assistant, Art-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 has an Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in construction technology from New York City Community College.
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.
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 Minnesota 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 newly-formed Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild.
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.
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.
Holly Stone 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.
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 and is currently on leave from 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.
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.
Ryan Varley has a B.S. degree in art from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, an M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.A. in education from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. A special education and art teacher for the A.C.H.I.E.V.E. program in Osseo, Minnesota, Ryan also works
as the Art Center’s Sculpture Studio Manager.
Foster Willey, Jr. received his B.F.A. from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and has studied at the Naguib School of Sculpture in Chicago. With a studio in northeast Minneapolis, he works in stone, bronze, concrete, wood and steel, exhibiting extensively and earning several commissions and public art installations. He has been a sculpture Artist-Instructor with the Minnetonka Center for the Arts for more than 10 years.
studied at the Minnetonka Center for the Arts from 1993 to 2002 and worked as a teaching assistant from 1995 to 2002. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and at the Museum of American Art. Her sculptural figures celebrate ethnicity, and the uniqueness of being a woman permeates her work.