Instructor’s Bios 2018-08-08T17:29:51+00:00

Instructors:

Robert Bean: B.F.A. from Mississippi State University and M.F.A. from Louisiana State University. Taught classes in figure painting and drawing at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL. Currently teaching classes at UAHuntsville in the Department of Art and Art History. His works have been in group and solo exhibitions. Artist Website: robertbeanart.com

Sheila Cape: B.S. in Art Education from Auburn University and work in Special Education from University of Alabama. Attended graduate studies in art at Troy State University. Elementary and secondary art instructor at the Huntsville Museum of Art’s Museum Academy and Museum docent.

Anna Sue Courtney: Attended East Stroudsburg State College in Pennsylvania majoring in visual and performing arts. She is an arts instigator, coordinating interdisciplinary collaborations at her studio as well as for museums, community centers, schools, universities and festivals. She is a member of Puppeteers of America, UNIMA and The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta. Her puppet company, Squeaking Tribe has been in Huntsville since the 1990’s and she is a founding member of Flying Monkey Arts, the seed community that grew at historic Lowe Mill. She has taught the HMA Museum Academy’s Art for Homeschooled Students Program as well as other classes from preschool to secondary levels. Artist Website: lowemill.net/portfolio-item/squeaking-tribe-studios-puppetry-studio-269/.

Greg Datcher: Artist and instructor in ceramics. Taught at The Studio in Huntsville. Attended Alabama A&M University, majoring in fine arts. Works in all clay forms from handbuilding to wheel throwing techniques with sculptural qualities.

Sara Beth Fair: Artist and educator painting for 17 years. In addition, she has a Ph.D. in optics and hence a technical as well as artistic understanding of light and color. She has taught multiple classes around the country and exhibited in galleries throughout the southeast. Her artistic training has come from independent studies of the masters, plein air painting of nature, along with tutelage from contemporary masters. She spent three years studying with Murat Kaboulov, a Russian Impressionist, along with several students of the great Russian artist Serge Bongart. Her style reflects her love for the Russian Impressionists use of color and large brushwork. Artist Website: sarabethfair.com.

Susie Garrett: B.A. in Communication Graphics from UAHuntsville and M.S. In Art Education from Al A&M University. Taught drawing classes at Calhoun Community College, Huntsville City Schools, and private lessons. Her work has been in group and solo exhibitions throughout the southeast. Currently has a studio at Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment. Artist Website: lowemill.net/portfolio-item/susie-garrett-mixed-media-studio-126/

Shanna Graves: M.A. in Art Education from Alabama A&M University. Mrs. Graves is a secondary art teacher for Huntsville City schools. Mrs. Graves has also taught art in Grades K-8 at the Huntsville Museum of Art. She has taught all grade levels in various art media and art history. Her main focus is mainly on sculpture and drawing.

Carolyn Dodson-Grimm: B.S. in Anthropology and minor in Art and Spanish from Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, TN. Carolyn studied traditional art and portraiture. She enjoys the freedom of abstraction. She is inspired by what she sees in the real world, but infuses her work with a creativity and energy that give the image new life. Some of her paintings look like landscapes- sandy deserts and rusty mesas interrupted with bursts of vibrant color. Other paintings resemble wild bouquets, full of energetic brushstrokes. By mixing the outer world of experience with the inner world of the artist, she creates paintings that feel like half-remembered dreams, at once familiar and exotic. Her work impels an emotional response that urges us to look more closely, and decipher the mystery in the heart of her work. “Paint is the vehicle I use to get my emotions out. I use it to express how I feel about everything from a beautiful landscape, to the love I feel for my husband and children.” Currently has a studio at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Center.

Kimberly Hart: B.A. in Studio Arts and Art History from University of Alabama in Huntsville. Painter who works in oil and encaustic. Her interest in encaustic, a wax medium, stems from her time as a beekeeper. This experience also influences her imagery, which feature black-striped bees and honeycomb formations. Kimberly is also interested in the texture encaustic creates, as texture and pattern are at the heart of her work. Her paintings balance rough, decaying textures and images with a cheerful attitude and a delicate sense of color. Taught at Greengate School for 13 years. Currently has a studio at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Center. Artist Website: http://www.lowemill.net/portfolio-item/kimberly-hart-painting-studio-313/

Maggie Madrie: Master’s degree in Elementary Education from University of Alabama and B.S. in Art Education from University of Wisconsin. Taught art for 26 years in the Gadsden City School System. A Huntsville Museum of Art Museum Docent.

Melinda Ortner: Over 15 years experience in stained glass. Ortner specializes in lamps, windows, mosaic garden stones, repairs and a variety of unique home décor. She has spent the past five years as an Instructor for Daimler-Chrysler Training Center, Kids Camp, The Studio and Hobby Lobby. Her instruction reflects her great passion for glass.

Renee Prasil: Instructor at Huntsville Museum of Art. A champion for local arts, she created the after school art program at the Hampton Cove Elementary School (Huntsville City Schools) and began the Visual Arts Ministry at Whitesburg Baptist Center with Debbie Milner. Her expression in art includes murals, portraits, clay vessels, handmade tiles, jewelry, and sculptures. Selected as the 2005 Panoply Arts Festival Poster Artist, Prasil was also awarded the commission for the Port of Huntsville 45th Anniversary Mural located at Huntsville Airport. She ‘feels’ in color, finding the joyous in everyday items and activities. She chooses art to share these feelings. Guiding people of all ages and abilities to find their own means of expression through art is her passion. Prasil – “I find learning/experiencing/engaging to be immensely exciting and hope I continue developing my skill level and interests until I simply am no more. At that time, I hope others continue to be inspired through my experiences on canvas.”

Linda Ruhl: B.S. in Fine Art and Design from Arkansas Tech University. Her commissioned portraits are in private collections throughout the country. She is a member of the Portrait Society of America and the American Watercolor Society. In September 2005 and October 2006, she conducted a weeklong Master Class-Portraits in watercolor, pastels, and charcoal with the Grafton Artfest in Grafton City, Australia. Artist Website: https://www.portraitsbylindaruhl.com/

Elizabeth Seifried: Masters in Art Education from University of Alabama in Birmingham and B.A. in English and Liberal Arts from Auburn University. Mrs. Seifried is currently an art teacher with the Huntsville City Schools for over 11 years. She has taught elementary, middle and high school art classes. Seifried works in all media from oil painting, illustration and photography. Awarded the University of Alabama in Huntsville STAR Educational Travel Grant to incorporate art lessons while teaching at Academy for Science and Foreign Language. Her work has been displayed in area galleries and universities – Alabama Center for the Arts in Decatur, Hartselle Fine Arts Center and Huntsville Museum of Art.

Tracy Thompson: B.A. in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design and attended Moore College of Art and Design working on a degree in Illustration. Taught art at Grace Lutheran School in Grades P-12. Working in photography, framing, graphic design and mural painting. Currently working with mono printing. Artist Instagram: candidart27.

Kami Watson: As a second generation fiber artist, she freely explores the traditional art of wet felting, the fusing of raw fibers into a textile form with soap, water, and agitation, as well as the contemporary techniques of nuno (fabric) and laminate (multi-fabric layer) felting. Watson combines renewable natural fiber resources, reclaimed silk sari and clothing fabrics, and her own hand dyed silk fabrics and fibers to organically create each of her works of art. She allows the materials she uses, and influences and experiences in her life, past and present, to guide her instinctively in color and design. Currently has a studio at Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment Center. Her work is available at juried fine art shows, and in galleries around the United States. Artist Website: kamiwatsonstudio.com