Instructor’s Bios 2018-11-15T19:44:04+00:00

Instructors:

Anna Sue Courtney: 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: www.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: www.sarabethfair.com.

Shanna Graves: M.A. in Art Education from Alabama A&M University. She is a secondary art teacher for Huntsville City schools, and also taught art in Grades K-8 at the Huntsville Museum of Art. 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. She 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. Artist Website: http://carolyndodsongrimm.wixsite.com/carolyndodsongrimm and lowemill.net/portfolio-item/carolyn-dodson-grimm-painting-studio-326/

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. She 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/

Melanie Laten:  B.F.A. in ceramics and printmaking and M.A. in Art Education from University of Montevallo. Attended Savannah College of Art and Design for additional visual arts continuing education. Taught for over 25 years in art education in Alabama public school system. Works in all media particularly ceramics and painting.

Kate Leonard: Has a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where she was also a tenured professor and taught for over 25 years.  She has coordinated numerous summer programs in STEM areas for middle and high school minority and female students that have been funded by the National science Foundation and Alabama Transportation Research Center.  Since her academic retirement she has been pursuing her lifelong passion of designing and constructing jewelry made from upcycled metals, beads and found objects with her daughter, Ali Sherrod, as “Katali Designs.” She has taught jewelry making classes at the Museum of Art, for the National League of American Pen Women and for local Girl Scout groups.  Currently her work can be found in the Huntsville Museum of Art gift shop and on-line at Etsy www.etsy.com/shop/ShopKatali. She is also a Huntsville Museum of Art Docent.

Carol McCrady: Currently teaches calligraphy and illumination classes at the Huntsville-Madison County Senior Center. Self-taught, Carol is the sole artist in North America who grows, processes, and paints the papyrus with sacred images as they were once produced in medieval Europe. Hailed by curators and fellow artists as a Renaissance painter in the Byzantine and Celtic styles, Carol resurrects the religious works prized by museums. Her original pieces often require several months to complete. Her work was featured in The Decatur Daily (October 6, 2007), Illuminating Art & Life by Melanie B. Smith. See link here http://legacy.decaturdaily.com/decaturdaily/religion/071006/papyrus.shtml. Carol’s credits include: acceptance into the Women’s Museum of Art in Washington, D.C.; personal appearances at Walt Disney World; Best of Show in states from the Atlantic Seacoast to the Gulf Coast; invitations to Renaissance festivals; television appearances; and numerous commissioned pieces for cathedrals. Her work has been exhibited in several museums and galleries throughout the continental United States. Biography taken from https://www.facebook.com/Carol-McCrady-Studios.

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. She 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. 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.”

Donald Richter: Earthquake Photography LLC – Owner February 2014- Present. Provides both in studio and on location portrait services for clients; journalistic photography for local political groups; and Fine Art landscape and Urbex options to art buyers. Richter –“My true passion and calling in life: Photography. I’ve been shooting photos since I was young, but have had my own business for the last three years. My passion is in creating impactful art and imagery and I actively avoid finding a niche as I believe it stifles the creative process. I hope to be able to teach other to appreciate the art as I have come too and aide them in growing as both photographers and artists.” Artist Website: earthquakephotography.wordpress.com

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. She is currently an art teacher with the Huntsville City Schools for over 11 years. Taught elementary, middle and high school art classes. 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.

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. 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 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