Studio School instructors provide courses in drawing, painting, fiber arts, sculpture and more. Each instructor has a rigorous technical background in their discipline as well as specialized teaching training. Below are the biographies for instructors teaching multi-week classes in the summer 2021 session.
Bryan Boone | Adobe Illustrator Fundamentals
Bryan Boone is a marketing professional and artist. He worked for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce where he designed for print, web and video. He uses Illustrator in his art practice for design and planning as well as marketing. Bryan has been using Adobe products for more than twenty years and has over five years of experience teaching computer software. His teaching philosophy is to focus on a learner’s work — whether that’s in a classroom or helping a friend or colleague learn something new. Good instruction is a collaboration and empowers people to discover applications for themselves.
Chris Brizzard | Beginning Drawing and Figure Drawing
Chris started his formal training in drawing when he moved back to Texas in 2013 and began studying with Michael Mentler at the Society of Figurative Arts in Dallas, Texas. From 2014 to 2017, he studied drawing and painting at Studio Incamminati under instructors trained by Nelson Shanks. He now teaches drawing and painting at The Oklahoma Academy of Classical Art and Oklahoma Contemporary. Influences include Dan Thompson, Darren Kingsley, Alex Kanevsky and Carolyn Anderson, among others.
Marissa Childers | Beginning Ceramics and Intermediate Hand Building
Marissa Childers was born and raised in the small town of Florence, Alabama. She attended the University of North Alabama, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2019. Upon graduating she worked as a ceramic intern at Anderson Ranch Arts Center and is now pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Oklahoma. Her work explores how we share intimate moments with one another through functional handmade objects. Her work is often colorful and covered in a variety of textures. Whether it is influenced by the pattern on her grandparents' curtains or the woven threads of a blanket, each piece is a little reminder of home.
Joe Cox | Beginning Wheel Throwing (Thursday)
Joe Cox received his bachelors degree in art with an emphasis in ceramic from Oklahoma Baptist University. He also holds a Master of Education in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. For the past 20 years, Joe has taught ceramic to his students at Southeast High School in Oklahoma City. Joe has taught adult ceramic with an emphasis in throwing at the Firehouse Art Center in Norman. As a potter and artist, Joe’s emphasis has been throwing functional ware. He says, “I love to create items that can be used every day. The relationship that develops between a person and an object like a favorite mug or bowl has always intrigued me.” Joe’s teaching philosophy is that everyone should know the joy of creating. Working with clay facilitates this, and it is a joy of his to share that with those wishing to learn it.
Rachel Denbow | Natural Fiber Dyeing
Rachel Denbow is a fiber artist and author that has spent the last thirteen years creating content for makers and creatives alike through blogs, magazines, one book, and over 20 eCourses. Originally hailing from California, she now calls the Midwest home. She travels the country teaching fiber arts workshops and has partnered with local craftsmen to offer a wide range of weaving tools and kits through her eCommerce store. As a mom of three, she values making space for the creative process and self-discovery that comes along with learning and practicing a new medium.
Sherri Dudeck | Floor Loom Weaving
Since learning to sew at age eight, Sherri has been unable to keep her hands off fibers. When the opportunity to learn to weave became available 16 years ago, she jumped in with both hands, and both feet. After covering all the basics, she began to acquire her own looms. When those looms threatened to overrun the house, she established her own studio, Golden Elm Fibers, and is currently working on developing her own unique style of fiber arts. Sherri’s work has been exhibited with the Weavers Guild of Oklahoma City, of which she is a member. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University.
Andrea Duran-Cason | Portrait Painting
Andrea is a passionate and motivated working visual artist who has spent most of her educational and professional career in the arts, winning numerous awards and achievements along the way. Currently she is the lead printer at Massive Graphics screenprinting where she handles the hands-on process of making designs come to life through the printmaking. During her undergraduate degree at The University of Oklahoma, she focused on painting and printmaking, with an emphasis on the human form. In 2018, she completed an Masters of Fine Arts at Vermont College of Fine Arts where she explored installation, performance art, and relational aesthetics.
Liv Egan | Intermediate Wheel Throwing
Liv grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelors of Art degree in Art Therapy with an emphasis in ceramics. Liv worked at the University of Oklahoma as the Director of the Student Art Gallery and as the Studio Technician at the John Frank Ceramics Facility. She began teaching at the Firehouse Art Center in Norman three years ago. Liv started working at Oklahoma Contemporary as a summer camp studio assistant and went on to become an instructor. Liv works predominantly on the potters’ wheel creating functional work that evokes our sense of touch.
Jenny Elton | Beginning Watercolor
Jenny is a watercolor and acrylic artist living in Edmond, Oklahoma. She is currently working as a live event painter, and as an instructor at Oklahoma Contemporary’s Camp Contemporary and Studio School. She graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a B.A.Ed. in Art Education in 2016 and formerly taught art at Yukon Middle School and Edmond North High School. She is active in the visual arts community of Oklahoma City through memberships with the Plein Air Painters of Central Oklahoma and the Paseo Art Association.
Gabriel Friedman | Creative Carpentry
Gabriel Friedman is an Oklahoma City based artist and builder. He currently is focused on large scale public type sculptural installations, but was worked in film, photography, carpentry/construction, blacksmithing/ metallurgy, journalism, publication, design, marketing, weaving, primitive and traditional skills, and possibly a few more that he can’t think of at the moment. Gabriel has been teaching different art classes and workshops since 2001.
Jacob Frost | Free Improvisation
Jacob is a musical storyteller who weaves together disparate styles and concepts to build a unique sound-world for every tale he spins. His works have been performed at events such as the International Computer Music Conference and Electronic Music Midwest and have been commissioned by Opera on Tap – Oklahoma City and the University of Oklahoma Helmerich School of Drama. Jacob earned his Bachelor of Arts in Music from Drury University and his Master’s Degree in Music Composition from the University of Oklahoma. He currently lives in Norman, Oklahoma, where he works as a composer, guitarist, and teacher.
Jezy Gray | Crafting the Personal Essay
Jezy J. Gray is a writer and editor living in Oklahoma City. His essays, interviews and reportage appear in PopMatters, This Land, D Magazine, Curbside Chronicle, Oklahoma Today, NonDoc, Territory, Bloom Magazine, The Dallas Observer, The Oklahoma Gazette and The Tulsa Voice, where he was the paper’s final editor in chief. His editing work includes chapters from Sandra C. Mendiola García’s Street Democracy: Vendors, Violence and Public Space in Late Twentieth-Century Mexico (2017), and his essays “Wild Life” and “In My Tribe” are collected in the anthologies A Voice Was Sounding, Vol. 5 (2015) and Race Reader (2017).
Anna Jans | Basics of Dance
Anna Jans of Montevideo, Minnesota began her dance career in 2006. Jans spend two years in her hometown studio, Puttin’ on the Ritz, under the instruction of Bonnie Hein. In 2011 Anna became certified with High Honors in the DVIDA Bronze level as an American-Style Rhythm Ballroom teacher. Currently, Anna is concurrently enrolled in a Master of Business Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts Administration with an emphasis in Dance degree. For the last four years, Jans has spent up to eight hours a day studying the technique, history, philosophy, and choreography of dance.
Vanessa Larwig | I'd Rather be Drawing
Vanessa Larwig has worked for the past 18 years in the field of art education. She taught Visual Art in the public school system for 12 years plus several extracurricular programs, including youth/family classes for Oklahoma Contemporary since 2010. In 2013, she was her school site’s Teacher of the Year and also awarded a fellowship to Europe to study abroad by Fund for Teachers. Vanessa holds a Bachelors of Art Education and Masters of Education from Oklahoma City University while still retaining state board certification. Currently, she teaches art programs as well for the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and Metropolitan Library System.
Amber Layne | Sewing Fundamentals
Sewing from the young age of seven, Amber developed a love for artistry and craftsmanship. She is technically trained in 250+ hours of professional sewing, serging, and embroidery classes. A skilled seamstress for over two decades, Amber is experienced in all areas of sewing, quilting, serging, embroidery, tailoring, alterations, and more. Her mentor has passed years of knowledge on to her from working with almost every sewing machine company.
Thus, Amber has an advantage helping students learn their machines. Amber offers online sewing courses through her website, private lessons, and serves as an instructor at Francis Tuttle Technology Center. Taking knowledge from experience and study, Amber creates courses she wishes would have been available to her. She provides comprehensive, fun learning experiences that instill a love of sewing. Most importantly, Amber encourages the desire to create beauty in the world, make people's lives better, and to love with abandon.
Darci Lenker | Thread Painting
Darci Lenker has long been captivated by textiles. She was attracted to the possibilities of what could be done with a single strand of thread and exploring how detailed the medium could be. Embroidery combines her love for drawing and fiber art. The process of creating art is just as important as the end result, shown by projects that grow little by little over time. Lenker finds inspiration anywhere and everywhere there are interesting colors, textures, and details.
Lenker works out of her home studio in Norman, Oklahoma. Her embroidery artworks have recently been featured at The Vault in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, for Entwined, a small group show of fiber artists. Notably, Lenker’s work was also spotlighted at ArtNow 2019 at Oklahoma Contemporary Art Center where 365 of her small embroideries were installed to represent an entire year of her process. Most recently, she has a collection of space embroideries on display at Science Museum Oklahoma as part of the Cosmic Culture exhibit and work on display in Fiberworks Oklahoma, at Jealous Gallery in London, and Ville de Clermont-Ferrand, France.
Angel Little and Tony Tee (AKA Nymasis) | DJ School
Multidisciplinary artist, full stack programmer, youth pastor and all-around life giver, Angel Little is a man of many disciplines. He started his passion of growing the community at the age of 14 in Lawton, co-facilitating Art in the Park, a yearly outdoor art presentation and interactive learning engagement. Since then, he has created and supported numerous community endeavors. A key program of his is ONESoul, a series of event initiatives to raise awareness of and equal opportunities for the arts among youth. As a teaching artist at Oklahoma Contemporary, he has inspired the next generation for over seven years. He co-curated Oklahoma Contemporary’s genre-breaking exhibition, Not For Sale. Angel plans to continue activating the community through organizations, programs and events all over the world.
Born and raised on the westside of Oklahoma City, Tony has been involved in the Oklahoma music scene for 20 years and watched it slowly develop into its current state. He started his hip hop career as a young b-boy/emcee touring the country through practically every Native reservation in the country, mentoring and performing. Since then he has had the honor of working almost every mainstream artist to come through Oklahoma City. As the current "King Of The City," he still competes from time to time but finds much more joy working with youth of all backgrounds to help influence every artistic aspect of their lives. His goal in teaching is to provide young DJs with a personalized music arsenal to book any gig and the skillset to execute with funky percussion.
Taylor Martin | Intro to Jewelry Making and Metalsmithing
Taylor is an Indigenous artist with a focus on hand forged jewelry pieces incorporating genuine metals and stones. Her knowledge and skill set is founded upon a university course that introduced key techniques that she went on to build upon through self-taught endeavors. For the last five years, Taylor has maintained a business selling limited releases of one-of-a-kind adornments as well as working on custom pieces. She enjoys helping others enhance their creativity through the tactile art of metalsmithing.
Don Narcomey | Discovering Sculpture
Don Narcomey seeks correlations between the inherent qualities of the materials that he transforms and the human experience. He received a BA in Painting in 1983 from the University of Central Oklahoma where he also taught Sculpture, 3-D Design and Furniture Design from 2000 - 2004. Don's art has received numerous awards and he and his work have been featured on HGTV’s nationally televised program Modern Masters in 2001 and on OETA’s Gallery America in 2018. Don is a lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and is a member of the Seminole tribe of Oklahoma.
Liz Parham | Ceramics for Teens
Madeleine Purcell | Exploring Ballet
Madeleine recently retired after a five year international ballet career, where she performed corps to soloist roles. She has been teaching dance for the past five years, and holds her American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum Certification for levels Pre-Primary through Level 5. Currently Madeleine is pursuing a bachelor's degree in psychology through the University of Oklahoma, with the aspiration of continuing into a PhD program with a focus on developmental therapy and psychology. She is currently on staff at Oklahoma City Ballet as a teacher, as well as at Sweet Yield Studio, her artistic teaching home.
Warren Realrider | Fundamentals of Experimental Sound
Warren Realrider is a Pawnee/Crow multidisciplinary sound artist based in Norman, Oklahoma. He studied painting at the University of Oklahoma and during that time began his exploration of sound, materials, and site as elements of his art practice. Warren created the Tick-Suck noise performance project in 2016 and has since presented his solo works and sound performance collaborations in varied Tulsa and Oklahoma City settings. Realrider works within the liminal space between object, function, and ritual action to extract sound sources, which are then processed and deconstructed utilizing contemporary music technology. Elements of harsh noise, sound art and indigenous expression are blended into improvised compositions responding to the location and context of Tick-Suck performances.
Emily Reynolds | Art Collecting for Everyone
Emily Reynolds is the owner and curator behind Anonyma Fine Art. A native of Boston, she married an Okie and moved to Oklahoma City in 2009. Although her educational and professional background is in French and sustainable agriculture, Emily made the shift to art dealer five years ago. After two decades of collecting personally, she realized that 20th century modernist paintings, drawings, and sculpture from other parts of the world were difficult to find in Oklahoma City. Her focus as a dealer is on finding stand-out pieces by lesser known, unidentified, and self-taught artists. Anonyma Fine Art is an antidote to the mass-produced “art” sold by large retailers today and aims to connect people with one-of-a-kind artwork that speaks to them.
Danny Joe Rose | Collage Basics
Danny Joe Rose III holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Dallas. Their work has been included in both national and international group exhibitions. Danny has had solo exhibitions at Jen Mauldin Gallery, Artspace at Untitled, The Charles W. Eisemann Center for Performing Arts, Galleri Urbane, and others. Danny has been an arts educator at Oklahoma City University, Chandra Kumala International School, Art Class Dallas, Artspace at Untitled, and Studio School at Oklahoma Contemporary. Danny has been an Artist-in-Residence at Artspace at Untitled, The Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology, The Moon Mansion Dallas, and Oklahoma City University. Their work explores nature and the human experience, viewed through the lens of abstraction.
David Stevens | Beginning Wheel Throwing (Monday)
David Stevens manages the Ceramics Program and Studio. He provides overall onsite management of the Ceramics Studio and leads the development of class curriculum, visiting artists and the ceramics artist-in-residency program. He was formerly a professor of ceramics and 3-D foundations at the University of Oklahoma, where he worked to revitalize the ceramics program and raise its national visibility.
As an artist, his ceramic work is shown across the country and is represented in both public and private collections internationally. He has taught workshops and led demonstrations through the ArtMoves program, the Oklahoma Arts Council and at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts' annual conference. David earned a Master of Fine Arts with an emphasis in ceramics from the University of Oklahoma and graduated Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University. He is a member of ArtAxis, NCECA and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Dr. Julie Ann Ward | Happy Little Accidents: Language Creations
Julie is a writer, translator, and professor of Latin American literature and culture at the University of Oklahoma. She is the author of A Shared Truth: The Theater of Lagartijas Tiradas al Sol (U of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), a study of a contemporary Mexican theatre collective's innovative use of fiction, autobiography, family stories, and national history in their performances. At OU she regularly teaches courses on Spanish-American drama, Mexican literature and culture, and Hispanic cinema. Her translations have appeared in World Literature Today and Latin American Literature Today. She is a volunteer facilitator with Poetic Justice.
Katrina Ward | Intuitive Quilting
Katrina is an artist, designer, photographer, organizer, potter, and quilter based in Oklahoma City. Her work is mostly about memory and place, exploring agency and power, death, institutional power, identity, collectivism, cultural memory and belonging, and the land. She is currently getting her Masters in Geography and works between fields (because that’s where stuff gets interesting).
Ben Yates | Basics of Home Recording
Ben is an audio engineer by trade. He graduated from ACM@UCO in 2019 with his Bachelor of Applied Technology degree in Audio Engineering and have professional experience in live sound engineering at the Tower Theatre, Ponyboy, McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University and Bethel OKC Church. He writes and performs in the band Pabu and records all tracks for the band from home. Ben also provides freelance producing and recording for songwriters and musicians in Oklahoma City and operates out of a studio he built at home. Writing and recording audio have always been his greatest creative pursuit and he strives to share the knowledge he has gained with aspiring musicians and recording engineers to keep the art alive.