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Studio Arts Instructors

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Andargé Asfaw

Andargé Asfaw is an award-winning photographer, educator, and author. His powerful portraits and luminous landscapes have been exhibited in several national and international exhibitions, and are held in private collections worldwide. His book, Ethiopia from the Heart, was released in June 2007.

Cindy Briggs

Recognized as a Master Artist with the National Watercolor Society (NWS), Cindy Briggs joins other leading artists representing the high standards, originality and quality that contributes to elevating watermedia art. For over 25 years, Cindy Briggs has been teaching art Internationally and from coast to coast. She enthusiastically shares the creative journey with her students as she teaches for all levels of experiences.

Michelle René Cobb

Michelle René Cobb is an award-winning artist and art director who began her career as a designer and illustrator for over 35 Time-Life books.

Eliot Cohen

Photography, Digital Methods
Eliot Cohen has been teaching photography since 1975 and digital methods since 1994. He is one of the area’s best known digital educators, renowned for his ability to explain digital procedures in a clear and logical manner.

Nick Cruz Velleman

Painting, Drawing
Nick Cruz Velleman is an American artist of Peruvian/Filipino descent born and raised in Washington, D.C. While living there he taught in the studio art department at Georgetown Day School, worked as a manager and director for the 9:30 Club, and performed locally and regionally as a musician with various groups. He has also spent much of his life in Aix-en-Provence, France, where he studied painting and drawing on-and-off since 2009, and earned his M.F.A. degree from the Marchutz School of Fine Arts in 2020.

David Daniels

Watercolor, Painting
David Daniels earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant in 1970. From a young ago he loved nature, and looked to it for what he still considers an “inexhaustible supply of ideas.”

Delna Dastur

Drawing, Painting
Delna Dastur received a B.A. in English and French from the University of Bombay, India. She was awarded a full student scholarship to Wellesley College, where she studied art history, and went on to receive another scholarship to The American University, where she completed her Masters of Fine Arts in oil painting.

Peggy Feerick

Peggy Feerick has taught photography for over 30 years. She recently retired from George Mason University, where she served as both coordinator and associate professor of photography in their School of Art. She received her MA and MFA in Photography from the University of New Mexico and her BFA in Photography from Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY.

Sue Fierston

Painting, Printmaking
Sue Fierston is a printmaker, painter, and muralist with a studio at Artists and Makers in Rockville, Maryland. In June 2019, she will be teaching for the third time as an artist-in-residence at Yosemite National Park and she teaches regularly at the annual conference of the Nature Printing Society..

Bonnie Fitzgerald

Bonnie Fitzgerald’s passions are to provide unique learning experiences, create beautiful art and nurture and expand creative expression through the art and community of mosaic. She is the author of two best selling books: “Guide to Mosaic Techniques” (2015) and “300+ Mosaic Tips, Techniques, Templates and Trade Secrets” (2012), which has been translated into 5 languages. Fitzgerald has long been instrumental in raising awareness of mosaic as a fine art form. To see her portfolio, which includes numerous large-scale installations visit

Wafa Ghnaim

Palestinian Embroidery
Wafa Ghnaim is an American-born Palestinian businesswoman, writer, and artist. Her father is from Yaffa and her mother from Safad, Palestine. Wafa began learning Palestinian embroidery from her mother when she was only two years old.

Paul Glenshaw

Paul Glenshaw's lifelong passions over several disciplines all fuel the same goal: storytelling. In addition to being an instructor and lecturer for the Smithsonian Associates, he is also a writer and producer for the theater, radio, museum exhibits, interactive media, and STEM education.

Sandra Gobar

Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media
Sandra received her BS from Norfolk State University and completed the Teaching Lifelong Learning Strategies; Executive Function in the Classroom from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard University in 2006.

Lorrie Grainger Abdo

Mixed Media
Lorrie Grainger Abdo, the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center Administrative Director, has taught paper making, printmaking, paste painting, surface design and bookbinding classes for students of all ages in Michigan and beyond.

Josh Highter

Painting, Drawing
Josh is a painter and MFA graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington and is currently living in Washington, DC. He is an artist whose work focuses on the intersection between observation and memory, utilizing the processes of drawing, painting, and printmaking.

Patricia Howard

Patricia Howard has a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Penn State University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in photography from the University of Delaware. She has taught at Penn State University and, prior to her move to the DC area, was Assistant Professor of Art at Juniata College, Huntingdon, Pennsylvania.

Marty Kaplan

Marty Kaplan was teaching music in a small town in upstate New York and became friendly with the school photographer. He knew of Marty’s interest in photography and asked him to photograph a wedding. Marty purchased a Hasselblad Camera and after some training, photographed his first wedding.

Chester Kasnowski

Oil Pastels, Acrylic Painting, Watercolor
Chester Kasnowski earned a combined BFA from Dayton Art Institute and the University of Dayton and MFA from Tulane University. He has taught art for more than 30 years and was a curator of education at the New Orleans Museum of Art and gallery director of the Southern Vermont Arts Center.

Heather Kerley

Fiber Arts
Heather Kerley studied art at the Columbus College of Art and Design before earning degrees in literature and gender studies. She is a painter, printmaker, mixed-media, and textile artist.

Lauren Kingsland

Quilting, Fiber Arts
Lauren Kingsland is celebrated for her colorful quilts filled with richly varied fabrics, symmetrical motifs, and repurposed materials. She says, “Quiltmaking is like a well-lived life. Its beauty comes from the creative use of the materials at hand, and embracing the unexpected result.” She is recognized for her masterful and peaceful kolam quilt series inspired by street drawings of South India. She has created more than 100 commissions for clients from their collections of treasured garments. Her goal is to break the barriers of tradition so that quilts are recognized as an art medium and as a tool for self knowledge and healing. She teaches quiltmaking for the Smithsonian and is actively involved in providing Art in healthcare settings.

Kate Lewis

Since completing her master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in 1999, Kate Lewis has been transforming textiles into textured, multi-dimensional, manipulated fabrics that have been featured in the collections of luxury fashion and interior brands in Paris and New York.

Renate Maile-Moskowitz

Felting, Fiber Arts
Renate Maile-Moskowitz combines her love of fabrics and textiles with her equal passions for folklore, teaching, research, theater, storytelling, and dance. She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and has created costumes for the Washington National Opera.

Sushmita Mazumdar

Sushmita Mazumdar is an Arlington-based artist, writer, and educator, and founder of Studio Pause, her art studio where she invites the community to make time to explore creativity and celebrate the art and stories in the community.

Theresa Otteson

Theresa has exhibited her paintings in galleries around the United States in competitions, group and solo exhibitions and has won various awards for her work including Best of Show for her western work, Award of Excellence at Manhattan Arts International, “Her Story,” and several Purchase Awards.

Katie Platte

Katie Platte is a graduate of the Studio Art program at Grand Valley State University. She completed an internship at the Women’s Studio Workshop, an arts organization specializing in printmaking and book arts in Rosendale, New York.

Ann Richards

Knitting, Fiber Arts
Ann Richards, M.A., is a Certified Knitting Instructor through the Craft Yarn Council of America, and has taught knitting at the Smithsonian Institution since 2001. Her articles have appeared in Knitty magazine, and she was the editor of The Conscientious Knitter newsletter 2005-2009.

Sharon Robinson

Mixed Media, Collage & Assemblage, Painting
Sharon is a mixed-media artist specializing in collage and assemblage. She earned a master’s degree in urban design from MIT, and worked in the urban transit and planning field for over 20 years. Since 1999 she has been a full-time artist, muralist, teacher, and arts program contractor. As an artist she exhibits in various venues in Washington DC, as well as other east and west coast cities.

Renee Sandell

Renee Sandell's expertise is the result of over 45 years of art teaching experience in classrooms and museums, and includes creating art and presenting at Rancho La Puerta in Tecate, Mexico. Most recently, Renee has led online Visual Fitness 4 All workshops that connect art and virtues with the COVID-19 pandemic. She is founding director of the expeditionary museum-based SummerVision DC program, which she designed and has delivered for the National Art Education Association (NAEA) since 2010.

Barbara Schmidt

Barb Schmidt published her first book, Orchid Care: For the Beginner, in 2016 and is currently working on her second book, Orchid Care: For the Experienced Grower. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry and a teaching certificate in secondary science. She's been raising orchids for over 15 years and is a member of the American Orchid Society’s (AOS) Education Committee and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS).

Arrin Sutliff

Floral Design
Based in DC, Arrin Sutliff creates site-specific and time-based work using plants, flowers, and digital media. Her work spans from immersive installs to single stem expressions.

Shahin Talishkhan

Oil Painting, Black & White Drawings, Etching
Shahin Talishkhan works include oil painting, black and white drawings, and etching. His greatest influence was his father, the late artist Talat Shikhaliyev. Shahin has been exhibiting his work since 1989 and participating in numerous group and solo shows throughout Europe, Middle East and United States.

Karen Thompson

Bobbin Lace
Karen Thompson has made, studied, and taught lace since the mid-1970s. From 1998 to present she has been a volunteer curator of the lace collection at the Smithsonian American History Museum.

Lori VanKirk Schue

Painting, Ceramics, Basketry, Printing, Weaving, Glass
Lori VanKirk Schue has spent more than 35 years learning about and creating art using various techniques, styles, and mediums. A professional illustrator and award-winning fine and graphic artist, she is also the author of over twenty books on art education and specialized story-enhanced art lessons published by Evan-Moor and Scholastic.

Mïa Vollkommer

Beading, Jewelry Making
Mïa has taught classes in jewelry and beading techniques for almost 10 years, both in Washington, DC and in her current hometown of Salt Lake City, UT. She never tires of the excitement a student feels when they complete a project and realizes "I did that!"

Eric Westbrook

Painting, Drawing
A painter, illustrator, and art instructor, Eric received a Bachelor's degree in art and design from the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Formal training in figure and portrait painting continued at the Art League School in Alexandria, VA, and the Washington Studio School in Washington, DC.

Natalia Wilkins-Tyler

Natalia is a graduate of the Science Illustration Program (2012) at California State University, Monterey Bay and of the School of Botanical Art & Illustration at Denver Botanic Gardens (2007). Her undergraduate degree is from Lake Forest College with a dual major in Biological Science and Art. She currently is working at ARUP Laboratory’s as a Graphic Designer. She teach Botanical Illustration for Red Butte Gardens (Salt Lake City, UT) and for the University of Utah’s Lifelong Learning program.

Marcie Wolf-Hubbard

Marcie Wolf-Hubbard received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Studio Art and studied Fine Art and Illustration at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited widely on the East Coast. She has illustrated for magazines and books and worked as a courtroom artist.

Adrienne Wyman

Adrienne is an accomplished oil painter, teacher, and exhibiting artist best known for: lifelike portraits, intimate mother and child paintings, and vibrant African market scenes.

Joe Yablonsky

Photography, Film and Digital
Joe Yablonsky specializes in gelatin silver photographs of public sculpture.

Lubna Zahid

Painting, Calligraphy
Lubna Zahid is a classically trained fine artist. She expresses herself in a variety of media including transparent watercolor, gouache, graphite, charcoal, ink, acrylics, and clay.