2022 Faculty

Designed for Educators

Kelsey Donahue

Kelsey Donahue, Instructor

Seattle, Washington

Kelsey Donahue (she/her) is a visual artist and educator living in Seattle, WA. For 15 years, she's worked in art education as an elementary classroom teacher, after school program director, museum educator and administrator. She's held positions at various institutions across the country, including the Seattle Art Museum, The Andy Warhol Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Boys and Girls Club. She is currently the Manager for School & Family Engagement at the Frye Art Museum and a Trainer Fellow for Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). Kelsey has led workshops in VTS for educators for the past five years, and uses this methodology to support access, engagement, and equity in her work. Kelsey holds an MA in Museum Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a BS in Art Education from Buffalo State College.

WORKSHOP Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)
Celia Hughes

Celia Hughes, Instructor

Austin, Texas

Celia Hughes has been the Executive Artistic Director of Art Spark Texas since 1999, where she has developed diverse programs including artist residencies in special education classrooms; professional development opportunities for emerging artists with disabilities; and original performance and artwork by people of all abilities. In 2010, she launched New Media Arts, a program designed to engage young adults in learning through digital tools and traditional art classes and resources, and, in 2013, Art Spark produced the New Media Arts training curriculum for teaching artists and classroom teachers. Through this program, hundreds of young people have been introduced to music creation and recording, television & radio broadcasting, filmmaking, photography, digital media and video game design. Ms. Hughes holds a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Arts, Speech Pathology from the SUNY College at Plattsburgh.

Website: artsparktx.org

WORKSHOP Fall Flutter Book
Mandy Jiran

Mandy Jiran, Collaborative Pianist

Norman, Oklahoma

Associate Professor of Voice in the Weitzenhoffer School of Musical Theatre at the University of Oklahoma, Mandy Jiran is an active teacher, music director, and performer. Mandy’s professional credits include Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, Casa Mañana, Great Plains Theatre Festival, and the Main St. Theatre. She is a frequent soloist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, most recently co-starring with Tony nominee, Max Von Essen in the Philharmonic’s The Christmas Show. Her music director credits include Legally Blonde and A Christmas Carol at the University of Oklahoma and numerous productions at the Sooner Theatre and Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy. She has presented musical theatre workshops and master classes at the Orange County School of the Arts, Washington Thespians, Moonifieds, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

WORKSHOP Musical Theatre: From Choosing a Production to Curtain Call
Matthew Sipress

Matthew Sipress, Instructor

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Matthew Sipress has a degree in Entertainment Business from OCU and is currently the Production/Company Manager at Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. AT LYRIC: Director/Choreographer of Curious George: The Golden Meatball and The Cat in the Hat, Choreographer of Hello, Dolly!, Fun Home, The Wizard of Oz, and Mary Poppins. NEW YORK: Assistant Choreographer of Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing and Asst. Director/Asst. Choreographer of The Cocoanuts. OK: Dir./Chor. of Cabaret, Sweeney Todd, The Producers, Disaster. EDUCATIONAL: It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Miss Bennet: A Christmas at Pemberly, A Little Night Music, Cosi Fan Tutte, Merrily We Roll Along. As a performer Matthew has toured the country in Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing (also Broadway), Evita (twice) and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes starring Stella Parton. Some of his favorite roles played are George M. Cohan, Diesel, Larry, Big Daddy's Asst., Old Man Strong, Avram (twice, the second time with ASL interpolation), and Mr. Wilkinson.

WORKSHOP Musical Theatre: From Choosing a Production to Curtain Call
Jerry Slayton

Jerry Slayton, Instructor

Austin, Texas

Life for me began in a small coal mining community outside of Birmingham, Alabama. My grandmother introduced me to sewing and artmaking at an early age, and my parents’ refrigerator door was always filled with new drawings. In college I studied Fine Art and Design at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and after school I began teaching at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, then moved to Austin to seek out new endeavors. Inspired in part by my sister, who is living with Cerebral Palsy, I began teaching traditional and digital media arts in special education.

As an artist I want to make work that is a reflection of my thoughts and feelings regarding the natural environment. For me the woods are a place for healing. It's not an ecstatic state but rather a consistent and unfolding wealth that sometimes challenges me and yet allows me to connect with my surroundings and myself.

Website: moviesthatmayneverplay.com
Instagram: @jerry.slayton

WORKSHOP Fall Flutter Book

Fiber Arts

Jo Fitsell, Instructor

Denver, Colorado

Jo Fitsell has taught art and developed integrated art curriculum for all ages. Rewarding collaborations with young people have included installations in schools, offices, theatre performances, and hospitals. She has worked for Think 360, Denver Public Schools, the Art Students League, Art Street, Denver Public Library’s Plaza Program, the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Women’s Correction Facility. Her art has been exhibited nationally and internationally and can be found in medical offices, public buildings and homes in Colorado. She is one of the founders of Front Range Contemporary Quilters. Interweave Press has published her DVD on Surface Design. Jo contributed to The Denver Art Museum’ Thread Studio exhibit. Her art leads her to ask questions of the workings of “Nature” as teacher and is interested in the profoundly beautiful and yet broken relationship humans have with the natural world. She works with fabric, paper and stitch creating art quilts, collage and paintings.

WORKSHOP Paper, Fiber, Stitch and the Mind/Body Connection

Photography

Dennis Darling

Dennis Darling, Instructor

Austin, Texas

Dennis Darling has taught photography and graphic design at the University of Texas since 1981. Darling holds a Master of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a Bachelors of Visual Arts from Georgia State University. During the last 40 years, his work has appeared in numerous publications including: Communication Arts, Fortune, Camera, Texas Monthly, People, The New York Times, American Photographer, Photo Graphics (Swiss), View Camera Magazine, Discovery, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Camera (Swiss), The Washington Post and The Guardian (London). His images have also been widely exhibited here and abroad. Darling has taught dozens of workshops in the U.S. as well as Ireland, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil and Czech Republic. He has published two books: "Desperate Pleasures" and "Chameleon With Camera". Darling’s most recent portrait project: the Holocaust survivor of Nazi Terezín, “Borrow Time”, will be published by UT Press in spring 2023.

WORKSHOP Photographing People
Kari Wehrs

Kari Wehrs, Digital Photography Technician

Tempe, Arizona

Kari Wehrs is a photographer and educator currently living in Tempe, AZ.  She attended Arizona State University for her MFA in photography and graduated in the Spring of 2018.

Originally from Minnesota, Kari attended the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse for her undergraduate education, and soon after attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine, in the fall of 2007.  Kari has been associated with the Maine Media Workshops + College in Rockport, Maine, since 2008, and has been a workshops instructor since 2012.

Kari has a deep interest in the techniques, technology, and history of the photographic medium.  While embracing multiple methods in her own work, her most recent series is portraiture employing the 1850s wet plate collodion process (tintypes). 

Website: kariwehrs.com

WORKSHOP Photography

Printmaking

Heinrich Toh

Heinrich Toh, Instructor

Kansas City, Missouri

Heinrich Toh is a studio artist & educator based in Kansas City. A graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Art and and the La Salle College of the Arts in Singapore where he grew up. His work is featured in public, museum and private collections. He has exhibited extensively for the past 20 years; at the Wing Luke Asian Museum and the Bellevue Art Museum, with a group exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and a solo at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum this fall. He has taught at the Kansas City Art Institute and lead numerous workshops around the country that include the Pratt Fine Arts Center, Penland School of Crafts, and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. When not making art, he loves spending time in the kitchen creating culinary bedlam and cooks a mean dish of noodles.

Website: heinrichtoh.com
Instagram: @heinrichtoh

WORKSHOP High Rolling Monoprints: The Layered Image

Writing

David Biespiel

David Biespiel, Instructor

Portland, Oregon

David Biespiel was born in Oklahoma and grew up in Texas. A contributor to the New Yorker and the New Republic, he is the author of six collections of poetry and four books of nonfiction. His most recent books include the memoirs, A PLACE OF EXODUS: HOME, MEMORY, AND TEXAS and THE EDUCATION OF A YOUNG POET, selected a Best Books for Writers by Poets & Writers. His most recent books of poems are REPUBLIC CAFE and THE BOOK OF MEN AND WOMEN. The tenth anniversary edition of his best-selling book, EVERY WRITER HAS A THOUSAND FACES, with a foreword by Chuck Palahniuk, was published in 2020. Recipient of Lannan and NEA fellowships, he is the Poet in Residence at Oregon State University where he teaches in the graduate Creative Writing Program, and the founder of the Attic Institute of Arts and Letters.

Website: davidbiespiel.wixsite.com/david-biespiel/home

WORKSHOP Poetry: Mastering Composition
Vu Tran

Vu Tran, Instructor

Chicago, Illinois

Vu Tran's first novel, Dragonfish, was a NY Times Notable Book and a SF Chronicle Best Books of the Year. His writing has also appeared in the O. Henry Prize Stories, the Best American Mystery Stories, Ploughshares, and Virginia Quarterly. He is the winner of a Whiting Award and an NEA Fellowship, and has also been a fellow at Bread Loaf, Sewanee, Yaddo, and MacDowell. Born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma, Vu received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute in Las Vegas. He teaches at the University of Chicago, where he is an Associate Professor of Practice in English & Creative Writing, and is currently working on his second novel.

Website: vutranwriter.com
Twitter: @roomwithavu

WORKSHOP The Bones of Being Human and Telling Stories

Bookmaking

Curtis Jones

Curtis Jones, Instructor

Norman, Oklahoma

Curtis Jones is an artist and educator who lives and works in Norman, OK. He received his BFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington in 1994 and his MFA from the California College of the Arts in 2003. Curtis has served on the faculty of the University of Oklahoma School of Visual Arts since 2005. He primarily teaches Printmaking, Drawing, and 2D Foundations. In 2016, he co-founded the non-profit art space "Resonator" with his wife Tammy and a pair of former students, Eric Piper and Jenna Bryan. He currently serves as Resonator's Director and Board Chairman.

Website: resonator.space

WORKSHOP Integrated Cover Book Binding

Audio Storytelling

Suzi Pond

Suzi Pond, Instructor

Freeport, Maine

Suzi Pond is an awarding-winning digital journalist, producer and storyteller and the founder of Redbird Media Group, a Maine-based company dedicated to crafting stories with integrity and purpose to amplify the work of organizations dedicated to the common good and positive social / environmental change. Redbird expects to be a certified B-Corp by Fall 2022. Suzi’s audio work has appeared on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and recently at the Portland Museum of Art in the form of an audio guide for their 2021 Walker Evans exhibit. On occasion, Redbird edits select podcasts. Suzi's past work experiences include time with Boston magazine, Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram and United Way of Greater Portland. She teaches audio storytelling at Maine Media Workshops + College. A Skidmore graduate, Suzi also studied at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. She lives in Freeport, Maine with her family.

Website: redbirdmediagroup.com

WORKSHOP Introduction to Audio Storytelling
Ioannis Andriotis

Ioannis Andriotis, Audio Technician

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Ioannis Andriotis is interested in creating projects that bridge the gap between popular and experimental mediums. As an artist, Andriotis focuses on sociological aspects of music emphasizing elements of human interaction, culture, and social memory — especially on projects that include visuals such as multimedia productions and art installations. Andriotis has composed music for various configurations of small and large acoustic ensembles, as well as music for the theater, live electronics, acousmatic music, film & documentaries, and International biennales. Andriotis has served as a visiting lecturer of music composition & technology at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, and Rose State College. He is the owner and founder of AndriotisMusic & Media, LLC for audio-music-video production. Andriotis is also an audio engineer and member of the steering committee for the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival (NYCEMF) as well as a panelist for the ICMC and SEAMUS.

WORKSHOP Introduction to Audio Storytelling

Music

Rick Layton and Jacque Schrader

Jacque Schrader & Rick Layton, Instructors

Annapolis, Maryland

Jacque Schrader taught in the first school, lower school, and middle school at The Key School in Annapolis, MD for 30 years. Most recently, Ms. Schrader has been appointed as the Director of the Discovery Outreach Program for the Annapolis Symphony Academy.

Dr. Richard Layton’s teaching includes professor of music theory at the University of Maryland, College Park since 1992, and as Upper School Performing Arts department chair at The Key School in Annapolis, MD since 1979.

Jacque Schrader and Rick Layton have been teaching adults in Orff Schulwerk teacher education courses, state conferences, and national conferences in the U.S. for over twenty-five years. Since the late 1980’s they have taught together at University of North Texas, Southern Methodist University, and George Mason University. In addition to their work in the U.S., both have taught internationally, including courses in Taiwan, China, Australia, Poland, Slovakia, Canada, Germany, Dubai, and twice at The Orff Institute in Austria.

WORKSHOP Delight Your Senses: Music, Movement, Language and Art

Visual Arts

Kristy Deetz

Kristy Deetz, Instructor

DePere, Wisconsin

Kristy Deetz is Emerita Professor at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. Her extensive exhibition record includes national and international venues.  With Reni Gower, she co-curated FABRICation that traveled to art museums, university art galleries, and art centers. She frequently serves as a visiting artist and has led numerous painting/drawing workshops at venues including Haystack, Oxbow, Penland, Anderson Ranch, and Arrowmont. UWGB awarded her the 2011 Founders Award for Excellence in Scholarship. She received SECAC’s 2016 Award for Excellence in Teaching and a 2015 Silver Award from Graphis Design Annual, NY.  Her paintings have been featured in Encaustic Art in the Twenty-First Century, Encaustic Art—The Complete Guide to Creating Fine Art with Wax, and Full-Range Color Painting for the Beginner. Recently she served as Erasmus Visiting Lectureship at the University of Kassel, Germany, and Artist-in Residence at The Burren College of Art in Ireland.

Website: kristydeetz.com

WORKSHOP Thirteen Ways of Painting from a Photograph
Misty Gamble

Misty Gamble, Instructor

Canyon, Texas

Misty Gamble’s work is inspired by the human figure and its infinite capacity for communication. Gamble’s current work, life-size ceramic figurative sculptures and installations of multiple figurative fragments, focuses attention on issues surrounding femininity and challenges conventional standards of morality, normalcy and propriety. Misty has been awarded residencies and fellowships at Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, New Harmony Clay Project and the Armory Art Center, Project Art, C.R.E.T.A Rome, SACI Florence, Woodstock Byrdcliffe, Hambidge Center for Arts and Sciences, Buffalo Creek Art Center, Rowan University, Wildacres, and Vermont Studio Center. Gamble is the co-founder of Studio Nong: International Sculpture collective and residency program which travels to China and the US to accomplish residencies that focus on clay figurative sculpture. Misty was a full time Assistant Professor at the Kansas City Art Institute for nearly a decade and has taught throughout Italy. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Art at West Texas A&M University.

Website: mistygamble.com

WORKSHOP Ceramics: Focus on the Face
Mark Kang O'Higgins

Mark Kang-O'Higgins, Instructor

Seattle, Washington

Mark has taught at the Gage Academy of Art for 19 years where he is the Director of the KOH Atelier program where he mentors students from beginners to advanced levels. Mark teaches also at Digipen University. Mark has a BA and MA from National University of Ireland Galway and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. Mark is a working artist whose work features in galleries and museums nationally. As well as art, Mark also teaches the animal Tracking Intensive program at the Wilderness Awareness School in Duvall, WA.

Website: kangohiggins.com
Instagram: @markkangohiggins

WORKSHOP Observational and Expressive Figure & Portrait Drawing
Debby Kaspari

Debby Kaspari, Instructor

Norman, Oklahoma

Oklahoma artist Debby Kaspari has been drawing, painting, and sketching from nature since the early 1980s. She studied illustration and design at California College of the Arts, and teaches drawing techniques in a range of media while working as an illustrator, designer and gallery artist. Kaspari is a contributor to Artists Magazine, illustrator and cover artist for Bird Watchers Digest, and creator of the award-winning “Sketchbook” column for Oklahoma Today Magazine. Her field sketches and field-inspired paintings have been shown in the Museum of American Bird Art and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, as well as the Woodson Museum’s annual Birds in Art exhibition. She is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists. Her blog, Drawing the Motmot, is a portfolio of field sketches, gallery paintings, and thoughts from the rainforest and beyond.

Website: drawingthemotmot.com

WORKSHOP Plein Air Pencil and Pastel Made Simple