Learn more about our art teachers. We have incredibly talented people working as Artist-Instructors.
Clarice Allgood is a functional potter and teaching artist based in Minneapolis, MN. An unconventional ceramic history of workshops, open studios and unofficial residencies led Allgood to Minnesota in 2018. In 2019, she graduated from the advanced certificate program MN NICE and as of 2020 she is a Fogelberg Studio Fellow at Northern Clay Center. She’s particularly fond of making tools. Some are tools of conviviality, some support activities of engaged solitude such as knitting, gardening, reading and cooking.
From Our Students
Traudi is the best!
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.
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!
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.
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.
From Our Students
Anne is a great instructor. Her teaching style works very well for me.
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.
From Our Students
Catherine is a delightful instructor with great insight and excellent demonstrations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Barbara Lidfors is a figurative and landscape painter who grew up in the Twin Cities area. After more than three decades of living, painting, teaching and exhibiting in Germany, she has recently returned to her Minnesota roots. As an artist she collects visual inspiration from the everyday people and places around her. These impressions are condensed in her artwork and translated into visual stories and poems celebrating the significance, meaning and beauty of our many-faceted lives.
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.
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.
Jon Neuse has been teaching for the past 25 years in a variety of media, including abstract landscape, abstract figures, collage and monotype. Jon’s work has been described as playful and childlike with an emphasis on color. His work has evolved over the years, from his early large-scale monotypes, to his current exploration with 3-D accordian books.
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.
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.
Jodi has been a full-time working artist and teacher in Minneapolis for over 25 years. She has taught printmaking, acrylic and encaustic painting as well as book arts classes/workshops at colleges and art centers regionally and nationally including Haystack School of Art. Her artwork has been shown nationally receiving numerous public art awards and is in many private and corporate collections including Mayor Jacob Frey’s collection. She is the recipient of the Minnesota State Arts Board Grant in 2021 and 2018. Jodi received a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (BFA) from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design, MCAD, where she instructed printmaking for over 9 years. She received a Hinge Arts Residency in 2020 through the Springboard for the Arts. She is a CORE teaching Artist for R&F Handmade Encaustic Paints. She teaches acrylic and encaustic painting workshops in her studio at Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art where she has been a co-op member for 16 years in North Loop area of Minneapolis.
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.
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.
Jenny Stice received her B.A. in Sculpture from MCAD and is in the process of gaining her K-12 Visual Arts teaching license and Master’s certification from Augsburg College. Jenny is a fiber artist who recently has been exploring the use of embroidery to translate her drawings into a new medium. As a teaching artist, she has been sharing her enthusiasm for art with students pre-K to adult for the last 10 years.
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.
Bonnie Lauber Westover
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!
Painting & Drawing
Leo Winstead is an artist, illustrator and filmmaker based in the Twin Cities. His published work includes picture books, art for games, medical and editorial illustrations as well as designs for holiday-themed merchandise. Leo has an M.F.A. from MCAD and regularly teaches art classes in the Twin Cities.