WILSON CENTER TEACHING ARTISTS
Learn more about your visual art class instructor!
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Irene Angeles loves to teach art! A native of Milwaukee, she has been teaching adults and youth for many years (including five years at Alverno College). Irene received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from UW-Milwaukee. The recipient of the AOP Fellowship as well as multiple other honors, she has completed extensive graduate level work in Adult Education and Art Education. She enjoys a very diverse studio practice, occupied in many different media. She is primarily a portrait and figurative artist, but also is fascinated with jewelry-making. You will find her volunteering her time to help Milwaukee's homeless.
Cecelia Blenker received a BFA in Visual Art from the University of Arizona in Tucson, a Masters of Education from Carrol University, and has over 10 years of elementary art teaching experience. Cecelia is a painter who primarily works with acrylics which allows her to create paintings that contain many layers of vibrant colors and rich textures. Her paintings are inspired by nature, spirituality and an intuitive creative process. Cecelia enjoys sharing her expressive painting process through in person and online workshops. See more at www.ceceliablenkerart.com
Beki Borman lives and works out of her studio in West Allis, Wisconsin. She attended the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design where she received her BFA in Painting in 2004. Since graduating, Beki has exhibited her work both locally and nationally. For Beki's studio work she paints colorful landscapes in oil using a palette knife. Some of her influences include Vincent Van Gogh, Wolf Kahn, and Wayne Thiebaud. Beki's work is represented by the Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor and the Dooryard Gallery in Elm Grove. See more of her work at www.bekiborman.com
Jim Charles is a Pennsylvania born artist currently living and working in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His work encompasses jewelry, metalsmithing, and sculpture. He received his bachelor’s degree in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2002 and his master’s degree in Special Education from Cardinal Stritch University in 2006. His work is represented by the Heidi Lowe Gallery in Rehoboth, Delaware. Locally, Jim’s work is on view at Magpie Jewelry and Metals Studio in Wauwatosa. He is currently the Visual Arts Manager at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts and Associate Lecturer at UW-Milwaukee.
Kasia Drake-Hames has been teaching art classes to adults and youth in a variety of community-based settings for 10 years. Kasia specializes in teaching fiber art techniques and paper crafts, particularly traditional Polish paper crafts, which she learned early in life from her grandmother, folk artist Ryszarda Klim. She holds a BFA degree in Fiber and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from UW-Milwaukee, and is an alumnus of the Public Allies program. Kasia exhibits her work regionally and has created two commissioned temporary public art installations for IN:SITE Milwaukee. See more of her work at www.kdhartstudio.com
Nina Ghanbarzadeh was born and raised in Tehran, Iran. She spent four years in India, where she got her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Pune University in 1988. She immigrated to the United States in 2001 and received her BFA in Fine Arts and Graphic Design from UW-Milwaukee in 2013. She is currently a resident artist at RedLine Milwaukee. Nina’s works depict her culture and background. She not only portrays the unfamiliar subjects from Iran to Western viewers, but keeps her memories alive and fresh at the same time. See more at www.ninaghanbarzadeh.com
Eriks Johnson received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Chicago, and his Masters of Fine Art degree from UW-Milwaukee. As a student he traveled, and exhibited work, in Europe. Upon returning to Milwaukee, he immersed himself in the arts community; reading and writing poetry, forming a collaborative group of artists, managing two galleries, as well as creating and exhibiting his own paintings and drawings. He now teaches in various capacities at MIAD, Milwaukee Art Museum, and Artists Working in Education.
Tiffany Knopow is a Wisconsin native, residing in Burlington, who received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from UW-Madison and her Master of Fine Arts from the UW-Milwaukee. Knopow has actively exhibited in the United States and South America. She was one of UW-Milwaukee's nominees for the 2007 National Dedalus Foundation Master of Fine Arts Fellowship and received a Layton Fellowship from UW-Milwaukee in 2008. Tiffany also teaches for Artists Working with Milwaukee’s Homeless and is the co-founder of ArtMovz. See more at www.tiffanyknopow.com
Jeanne Kollmeyer is an Art Educator specializing in art programming and instruction for children. She has many years of experience working in non-profit organizations in the Milwaukee area. She currently works for Danceworks teaching in their summer camps, School Day off program and intergenerational project. She has an enthusiasm for connecting literacy to art and recently joined the staff of the Wilson Center as a Beyond the Classroom educator.
Milwaukee-based visual artist, independent art instructor, and poet, Thea has held classes, workshops and artist residencies in many academic and community venues including MIAD, UWM, Stritch, Alverno, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Museum Milwaukee, Walkers Point Center for the Arts, Museum of Wisconsin Art (MOWA), Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Woodland Pattern, and Lynden Sculpture Garden as well as private settings. She is on the Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (MARN) Board of Directors. In her workspace in The Toy Factory on the north side of Milwaukee, she creates vivid watercolor and acrylic paintings. See more at www.theakovac.com
Robert Meincke is an artist and arts educator living and working in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has received a number of awards including the Forrest R. Polk Library Purchase award, and the Frederick R. Layton Fellowship in 2009 and 2010. In 2012 he was an Emerging Artist at the Hidden River Art Festival and received the People's Choice Award for Best in Show. Meincke received a Bachelor of Fine Art from UW-Oshkosh, and a Master of Fine Art from UW-Milwaukee. He currently works as an art instructor at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. See more at www.rsmeincke.com
Jennifer Kraynick has been teaching visual art classes in various school districts, community centers, and ceramics studios for over 20 years. She began her teaching career at Lakeside Pottery in Madison, Wisconsin where she specialized in wheel-throwing and hand-built pottery instruction. Jennifer received her bachelor’s degree in Art Education & Art History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her master’s degree in The Creative Arts in Learning from Lesley University. Inspired by her parents’ social work background, she has volunteered in organizing and providing art therapy workshops for domestic abuse victims and their families. Jennifer has also organized and facilitated community mural projects and art therapy programming for at-risk youth.
Barbara Opferman is an active Milwaukee area artist and teacher. With a BA in Art Therapy from Mount Mary and a K-12 Teaching Certification from Wayne State University, she brings over 24 years of teaching experience to her classes. Her most recent residency was with the School of Urban Planning and Architecture in Milwaukee. She has exhibited her personal work in both Wisconsin and the greater Midwest area.
Khushbu Randerwala is a Textile Designer, Artist, and Art Instructor in the Milwaukee area who specializes in folk art (Madhubani, Warli, and Gond), acrylic painting, glass painting, water color painting, and Henna Tattoo Art. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Textile Design and Master's Degree in Design Management. She has worked as Senior Textile Designer for eight years and spent seven years as an Art Instructor in India.
Rachel Sauer graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the UW-Milwaukee Honors College. While there, she studied art education, photography, and English. Since graduating, Rachel has taught students ages two through eighty-six, and believes that any lesson can be adapted for each student’s individual needs. Rachel’s philosophy is that a student cannot be expected to create something original if the lesson itself is not original.
Leah Schreiber Johnson
Leah Schreiber Johnson is an interdisciplinary artist and educator with a diverse studio practice who has exhibited widely nationally and internationally. She has received multiple awards and has participated as Artist-in-Residence at Vermont Studio Center, The Contemporary Artist Center, the American Geographical Society Library at UWM, and with Milwaukee Public Schools. Schreiber received her Bachelor of Fine Art from Illinois State University and her Master of Fine Art from UW-Milwaukee where she currently teaches full-time as Associate Lecturer in the Department of Art and Design at the Peck School of the Arts. See more at www.leahschreiber.com
Cary Suneja is a traditional hand bookbinder, marble artist, and speaker on book history. She specializes in the restoration of leather bindings and the creation of designed bindings with inlays of leather and gold tooling. With more than 20 years of experience in the classroom, and a master degree in literature from Marquette University, she brings her love books and bookbinding into all the classes she teaches. See more at www.teacupbindery.com
Kenneth Vonderberg has been a full time artist since retiring from teaching in 2012 and works out of his own studio, “Studio Blip” in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. He works in various dry media as well as acrylics and fine art woodburning (pyrography). Ken received his BFA from the Layton School of Art and Design (now MIAD) in 1968. He was a commercial interior designer for 25 years in Milwaukee and St. Louis and owed his own design firm. Ken’s teaching experience includes 19 years at MATC where he taught drawing, sketching, design, color theory, and much more. Ken’s work has been exhibited at galleries and exhibitions locally and regionally and he is an active member of WVA (Wisconsin Visual Artists).