Teaching Roster

 

           

 

Sarah Abend

Sarah Abend holds a BFA from Wayne State University with a major in Sculpture and Metals and completed post-baccalaureate studies at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit where she received K-12 art education certification.  Sara's work is concept based and varies in medium from drawing, sculpture and mixed mediums.  Sarah currently resides in Suttons Bay, Michigan.  

Artist Statement

"My work stems from my life long memory of forms, patterns and movements found in nature.  Throught arranging forms inspired by nature I intend to represent the balance I observe in nature; similar to birds clustered in flight with their synchronized motion and sudden turns or from a flower bud to a relaxed bloom. I am also interested in the power that an object has to trigger memory. My work holds memories of countless time spend in the woods and by the water and precious time spent with each of my grandmothers making flowers out of frosting or paper. The creation of these objects helps me connect to memories in a similar way that someone might write in a journal or collect images in a photo album."

 

 

Pamela Ayres

 

Pamela holds a BFA in Sculpture with a minor in mixed media painting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania a MFA from Long Island University - CW Post Campus in New York, where her areas of concentration were sculpture, painting and mixed media.  She has extensive experience teaching both children and adults and was an artist in residence at Interlochen Arts Academy from 2007-2010 and was an instructor at Central Michigan University and Bradley University.

Ayres' lists many exhibitions of her own work at museums, galleriesand outdoor venues including the Carnegie Museum of Art, Adelphi University Sculpture Biennial and more recently in the Guandu International Outdoor Sculpture Festival in Taiwan and work for the Michigan Legacy Art Park here at Crystal Mountain resort and the Blue Sky Project in Dayton, Ohio. Ayres’ maintains fine art affiliations with the American Association of Museums, College Art Association, Americans for the Arts, and the Women’s Caucus for Art as well as Connecticut Commission for the Arts Master Teaching Artist Program and Artists Roster.

 

Sue Bolde

Sue believes that at the core of each person is a creative force that is always present, waiting to be recognized, and she enjoys helping people to witness their imaginative, inner wisdom.  Originally from Chicago, Sue holds an MA in Art Therapy from the University of Illinois.  She worked for several years at a residential school for children and as a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  Sue has served as President of the Illinois Art Therapy Association and on the Editorial Review Board of the American Art Therapy Association.  She lives in Traverse City with her husband, John, and three children, Zak, Zoe and Zeke.

DID YOU KNOW?... If she could meet any artist dead or alive, it would be Georgia O’Keeffe.  If she could have a super power it would be the ability to create miracles.

 

Marcia Borell

Marcia is a dreamer who likes to give the dream tangible form.  She collects all odds and ends and has never met an art form she didn’t like.  She has pursued this journey through printmaking, fibers, painting, ceramics, metalsmithing, the brush and the pen.  She has added a healing component to her art with the use of Tibetan overtoning, Tibetan Singing Bowls, and Reiki.

Marcia has a BA in art, AMS Infant/Toddler certification, and a Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki Master.

 

DID YOU KNOW?...If she could have a super power it would be to suspend time and have the ability to add a few more creative hours to each day.  She would also love to meet Leonardo da Vinci.  She loves mixing science and art together.

 

Kate Buckner

 

 

Kate Buckner is a born and raised local artist from Alden, MI. She graduated from Central Michigan University with degrees in Printmaking, Art History and English Literature. Studies included ceramics, printmaking, painting and 3D design. Kate is a self-taught jewelry designer, working primarily with copper and found objects. She owns a small jewelry business; The Birds & Beads, and greatly appreciates the freedom that comes with self-employment.  Katie is married with an adorable daughter and believes that your next great adventure is tapping you on the shoulder, it's up to you to pay attention.

 
 
Kathy Coffin-Sheard

Kathy recently relocated from Madison, WI where she taught art in schools.  She holds a BFA in painting/drawing and a BLA in Environmental Design and Landscape Architecture.  She creates amazing artwork indoors AND out! Kathy began teaching as a swimming coach and later turned to art.  She loves teaching visual art and explains,

"no answer is the same in terms of how children create art.  There are always many ways to create art to communicate ideas and watching a child approach artmaking with confidence and excitement is always intriguing to me.  Having young children explain how they see art is always fun too...they are so honest in their descriptions."

 

DID YOU KNOW? ...she lets every insect live in her garden. Even earwigs!

 

Gretchen Eichberger-Kudlack

Gretchen is a graduate of the School of Music at Western Michigan University and an alumnus of the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance.  She has taught music and dance for over 12 years in private and public schools. Gretchen has a deep interest in buildings and architecture and completed Eastern Michigan University's graduate program in Historic Preservation.  She is the director of Northwest Michigan Folklife Center and lives in Frankfort with her husband and daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mary Hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary was born and raised in Traverse City, but moved to Grand Rapids to pursue a degree in Art Education, where she graduated with an emphasis in Printmaking.  Mary has worked with a wide age range—from children K-8 in a charter school to teens at Traverse City West Senior High School.  She says,

"I cherish a child's ability to just lead into any art project without reservation or embarrassment.  Too often we are trained to believe that"good" art must be done in a specific way, and as we grow older we become more self-conscious in our art-making.  Children are natural creators.  I am continuously surprised by the unique ways that children create, problem-solve and interpret through the art making process!

Did you know?...if she could meet any artist, dead or alive, she would have dinner with the elusive Bansky!

 

 

Christie Jenuwine

Christie holds a BFA in Dance and Performance from the University of Michigan.  She has danced with FUSION Dance Theater in Los Angeles, NYC Poets Exchange at The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, The Leopold Group Dance Company Chicago, and many more.  Christie has worked with a wide variety of ages and has taught hip-hop, jazz, ballet, tap and modern to children and adults.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the US Yoga Alliance and has a certification from Duke University’s Integrative Medical School in Yoga of Awareness for cancer patients in 2011. She has a deep love for music, dance, yoga and children.  

 

Melissa Johnson

Melissa holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She spent 10 years in archaeology and cross-cultural studies and later became an exhibit developer for The Field Museum. While there, she was introduced to the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) program and decided to pursue an M.Ed in Elementary Education at DePaul University and become a classroom teacher. 

Throughout the last 15 years, Melissa has been involved in education and arts integration for children. She began as a classroom volunteer with the Lakeview Education and Arts Partnership (LEAP) in Chicago and later worked with educators through The Art Institute in Chicago to integrate the arts into school curriculum. She was a middle school teacher in Chicago Public Schools before moving back to Traverse City. Melissa has taught archaeology classes for children and adults, prehistoric art, and developed cross-cultural art and education programs for inside and outside the classroom. She lives in Interlochen with her husband, two curious children, three chickens, an old dog and a cantankerous guinea pig.

 

Julia Kline

 Julia Kline is a multimedia, Yugoslav born American artist. she moved with her family to Frankfort in the summer of 2013, from New Orleans, LA.  where she lived and worked as a professional artist in  since the early nineties. She has her own business, House Of Juju (1996-present) where she produces: sculptures, furniture, light fixtures, paintings, and large scale glass mosaic installations. One of her many interests for close to 30 years is puppetry. She traveled throughout Europe working on Italian television with a company of puppeteers, and performed in venues such as: International Festival in Halifax, Nova Scotia, JVC Jazz Festival in Town Hall- New York City, Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans, and the International Puppet Festival in Medellin, Colombia. In the past few years Julia has applied her skills to puppet workshops and glass making classes. Her multi-faceted approach to art has shaped Julia to be a unique artist and teacher. For more information about Julia Kline visit: www.houseofjuju.com

 

 

Amy Long

 

 

Amy Long is a practicing fiber artist and art instructor who creates soft sculptures, which express ideas regarding systems of interconnectedness while referencing the body.  Her work, full of links and layers of brightly colored hand made felt and fulled crochet, conjure connections, interactions, and dependencies that occur in so many systems.  This self-represented artist exhibits her work nationally.  She has been featured in numerous museum catalogs as well as web publications including The Craft Alliance, The Albuquerque Museum, Craft: Magazine Blog, Craftstylish, and Fiberarts Magazine.  Long earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University and has supplemented her knowledge in fibers by studying with renowned felt makers, Jean Hicks and Lisa Klakulak.  

 

 

Kyle Harter

 

Kyle Harter is a Chicago-based illustrator and artist. He grew up reading the Sunday funnies and running wild in the woods in northwestern Illinois. Kyle graduated with his BFA from Columbia College in Chicago, but has been drawing since he could hold a pencil.

Kyle's art work consists of woodcut sculptures, paintings and illustrations depicting whimsical, erratic, mischievous characters that seem to be discovering themselves and their world as we are simultaneously discovering them. In his comics, Kyle keeps the same quirky illustration style accompanied by themes of political and nonsensical humor that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Kyle's comics have been published in Jettison Quartely, Lumpen and the Linework Anthology.

For three years Kyle worked as an illustrator for a documentary film, Fish Out of Water, where his illustrations were turned into animated sections of the movie. The film went on to win multiple awards at film festivals throughout the country.

 
 

Alison Hoffman (made of LEGOS here→)

 

 

Alison brings 10 years of teaching and working with children.  She took art classes as a child but didn’t seriously consider pursuing art until college when she was looking for something besides her Biology classes.  She holds a BFA from Northern Michigan University and has been teaching art for all ages in schools. Alison is currently the Art Specialist at Traverse Children's House Montessori.  When she’s not creating things, she loves to hike, snowshoe, garden and cook.

DID YOU KNOW?...If she could have any super power, it would be the ability to time travel.

 

Christie Jenuwine

Christie holds a BFA in Dance and Performance from the University of Michigan.  She has danced with FUSION Dance Theater in Los Angeles, NYC Poets Exchange at The Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit, The Leopold Group Dance Company Chicago, and many more.  Christie has worked with a wide variety of ages and has taught hip-hop, jazz, ballet, tap and modern to children and adults.  She is a Registered Yoga Teacher with the US Yoga Alliance and has a certification from Duke University’s Integrative Medical School in Yoga of Awareness for cancer patients in 2011.  She has a deep love for music, dance, yoga and children.  Christie is new to Traverse City, and is very much looking forward to teaching and becoming part of the community here!

 

 

Melissa Johnson

Melissa holds an MA in Anthropology from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She spent 10 years in archaeology and cross-cultural studies and later became an exhibit developer for The Field Museum. While there, she was introduced to the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) program and decided to pursue an M.Ed in Elementary Education at DePaul University and become a classroom teacher. 

Throughout the last 15 years, Melissa has been involved in education and arts integration for children. She began as a classroom volunteer with the Lakeview Education and Arts Partnership (LEAP) in Chicago and later worked with educators through The Art Institute in Chicago to integrate the arts into school curriculum. She was a middle school teacher in Chicago Public Schools before moving back to Traverse City. Melissa has taught archaeology classes for children and adults, prehistoric art, and developed cross-cultural education programs for inside and outside the classroom. She lives in Interlochen with her husband, two curious children, an old dog and a cantankerous guinea pig.

 

Caroline Kovas

                

Caroline began her music journey as a Suzuki viola student when she was only five years old.  Little fingers and a big instrument may well have been a challenge, but learning Twinkle Twinkle and other favorites by ear came easily - as it does for many children.  Choir, a capella groups and songwriting followed with rock & country bands in more recent years.  A multi-instrumentalist (guitar, piano, banjo and voice), she has toured nationally with a number of bands sharing the stage with Heart, KC & The Sunshine Band, Diamond Rio and Foghat.  Caroline has been working with children leading private lessons and coaching in guitar, voice and songwriting since 1997.  From children's theatres to private lessons, Caroline has helped children find the joy in music and theatre.  She now teaches private & group classes in guitar, voice and songwriting as well as classes specializing in music for infants to 5 year olds here in Traverse City.

 

DID YOU KNOW?...if she could meet any musician, dead or alive, it would be Ella Fitzgerald.  Oh, and she wraps her French Bulldog in cozy blankets and lets him sit on her desk while she's working!

 

 

Wendy McWhorter

Wendy taught for 23 years in the Lansing area to K-12 students. She holds a Masters in Art Education and is a certified K-12 art teacher.  She is a watermedia artist and will have her watercolor of the Whaleback published in the Art Of Sleeping Bear publication this September, and in the exhibition of the same name in October at Dennos Art Museum.

Wendy received a Freeman Foundation travel study award to China in the summer of 2009, to visit Chinese schools and learn about their education system and Chinese brush painting, which she loves to teach to children. Her passion is art and traveling and combining the two. Plein-Air is her favorite way to paint.

 

 

Tom Mills

Tom Mills is owner of Mills Animation & Design, a cartoon illustration & animation company providing quality 2D animation as well as cartoon illustration work for children's books and advertising for over 25 years. Tom has taught animation to children for more than 15 years through NMC College for Kids, Leland's Old Art Building, and TBA ISD Cool Tech Camps.

 

 

 

 

 

Johamy Morales

Johamy Morales received an MFA in acting from Ohio State University.  She is an alumni from Arena Stage fellowships program in DC and the British American Drama Academy in Oxford, England.  Johamy worked with children of all ages at the Seattle Children’s Theatre Company and has toured in South Africa, performing in the Grahamstown National Arts Festival. She is a native Spanish speaker, and was invited by San Diego State University to perform in Carnaval de Calaveras, where she toured to Oaxaca, Veracruz, and Mexico D.F.  Johamy is also an avid hiker and loves camping.

She loves teaching creative movement to young children because they are so full of creativity and she loves hearing and seeing their ideas.    

 

 

Stephanie Slawnik    

Stephanie was born and raised in Battle Creek under the sweet aroma of corn flakes.  She ventured up north in her teens where she studied music and French at Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating in 1991.  She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Michigan State University and has her Montessori Centre International primary certificate. Stephanie has been involved extensively with children's theatre and early childhood music education. She has worked as a theatre specialist at the Academy of Communications and Technology in Chicago, locally at The Children's House Montessori, and taught classes and camps at Old Town Playhouse.  She brings 20 years of experience in children's theatre, improv, and music exploration for young children.  

 

Did you know?...If she could have any super power it would be perfect pitch.  She'd also like the kind that associates a mental image of colors with each pitch (synesthesia). Stephanie would love to meet Carol Burnett because she likes the company of jokesters and clowns!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christy Spidell

Christy believes that the creative process thrives on the cultivation of one’s own intuition—that, by allowing oneself to engage in creative activity free of anxiety, one enables themselves to express authentically and in a naturally inspired spirit.

Christy grew up in Royal Oak, Michigan, where she studied art in youth programs at Cranbrook, College for Creative Studies, and the Detroit Institute of Arts.  After moving to Traverse City in high school, she enrolled in the fine arts program at Interlochen Arts Academy, focusing on drawing and painting. She later attended Savannah College of Art and Design, majoring in Fibers with a focus on textile design; and thereafter, Wayne State University, where she returned to her first love of drawing and painting.

While attending Wayne State University in Detroit, Christy worked for the Community Arts Partnership, a non-profit organization conducted by the College for Creative Studies; which is dedicated to the arts- education of children and youth throughout the city of Detroit.  During this time, she taught art in various public schools throughout metro Detroit.

Currently, Christy is focusing on her own small business, Bowwow Burlesque LLC, for which she makes handmade custom dog clothing and hand-dyed, one-of-a-kind human clothing.  This summer she taught art at SEEDS Summer Academy in Kalkaska and hopes to continue to be involved in SEEDS programing.

 

Did you know?... Christy collects vintage sombreros, antique art tiles and rusty found objects.

 

 

 

 

Hughthir White

Hughthir grew up in Detroit and at an early age had the great fortune of taking dance classes from Harriet Berg at the Jewish Community Center. He went on to get a dance degree from the Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Hughthir has founded, directed and danced in several American companies, and has performed in Europe with Playback Theater International. He has studied teaching "children's dance" with Anne Green Gilbert in Seattle. Hughthir has taught Dance at Northwestern Michigan College, Interlochen Arts Academy, and spent eight years as Artist in Residence at the Leelanau Children's Center.  

Did you know?...if he could have any super power it would be to time travel to the past to re-acquaint himself with the experience of those times.  And the artist dead or alive he'd most like to meet?  the late Isadora Duncan. 

 

 

John Storms-Rohm

John has been a dedicated musician since early childhood when he began piano and violin lessons at the age of 7. His musical development continued through high school and college where he received a B.M. in Vocal Performance from DePaul University in Chicago. For 10 years, John was on staff at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago teaching "Wiggleworms," the acclaimed early childhood music and movement program, along with group piano classes for kids. In 2002 he released a children's CD, "Songs My Family Taught Me," with the MiniFresh label in Chicago and subsequently toured across the lower 48 and Hawaii. During the last 7 years, John and his wife have regularly travelled to India, where John has had the opportunity to learn and play with great musicians of Indian classical music as well as Baul, a folk music style from Bengal and Bangladesh. He maintains a musical relationship with the Bauls of Bengal and loves to incorporate elements of their music into his own songwriting. He and his wife are currently renovating a 112 year-old schoolhouse in Bear Lake where he will begin offering vocal, piano, and violin instruction in the future. John has a true passion for sharing music with children and families across the planet and uses music as a way to communicate his highest aspirations of community sharing and well-being for all.

 

Phil Wilson

Phil likes to make stuff.  Pottery mainly, but also pizza, chutney and so forth.  He has a B.A. in Art, pursued graduate studies in drawing and clay, and has an ongoing interest in the history of art and design, "which feeds my head and influences my work."

He taught K-12 Art in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Grand Rapids and has been a studio potter for 25 years, working with porcelain on the wheel and selling at art fairs and galleries around the country.  "When I'm not working with clay myself, I love teaching with it.  The way people are drawn in as they work and the wonderful variety of expressive things made is always delightful."

Phil has just moved to Traverse City from Grand Rapids and is building a new studio here.

 

 

 

 

Kyle Harter

 

 

Kyle Harter is a Chicago-based illustrator and artist. He grew up reading the Sunday funnies and running wild in the woods in northwestern Illinois. Kyle graduated with his BFA from Columbia College in Chicago, but has been drawing since he could hold a pencil.

Kyle's art work consists of woodcut sculptures, paintings and illustrations depicting whimsical, erratic, mischievous characters that seem to be discovering themselves and their world as we are simultaneously discovering them. In his comics, Kyle keeps the same quirky illustration style accompanied by themes of political and nonsensical humor that can be enjoyed by the whole family. Kyle's comics have been published in Jettison Quartely, Lumpen and the Linework Anthology.

For three years Kyle worked as an illustrator for a documentary film, Fish Out of Water, where his illustrations were turned into animated sections of the movie. The film went on to win multiple awards at film festivals throughout the country.

 

 


Margaret Weeks

 

Margaret is a seasoned art teacher, with a Master Degree in Art Education from Winthrop University, and experience teaching art in many venues to learners of all ages.

Her passion for creating meaningful art experiences led to her master thesis research in which she developed a workshop series for elementary classroom teachers.  The past four summers Margaret was a member of the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp faculty, teaching printmaking and drawing/painting to junior campers from around the globe. When Margaret is not teaching art she is most likely working at her family farm, La Casa Verde, in Cedar, Michigan.

 

Lillie Wolff

 

Lillie Wolff, RYT 200, grew up dancing and began studying yoga in 2003. She earned her degree in Human Development and Social Relations from Kalamazoo College in 2004. Lillie began teaching yoga in 2006 after completing the 200-hour level Tantric Hatha Union/Yoga Teacher Training program with Sandra Carden in Lake Leelanau, MI. In 2009 Lillie travelled to Mysore, India where she spent two months practicing daily at the Shri K Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute and two months studying with international yoga teacher and yoga therapist, Noah McKenna. Lillie has attended workshops with many senior American teachers including Sandra Anderson, Rama Jyoti Vernon, and Rod Stryker. She completed the Sangha Yoga Teacher Training in 2010 and continues to study with Sangha Yoga Director, Karina Ayn Mirsky.

Depending on the needs of her students, she draws from her experience with and knowledge of various styles and traditions including Tantric Hatha, Iyengar, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Anusara, Yin Yoga, Vini Yoga, and Para Yoga, making her classes integrative, intuitive, deep, and therapeutic. Lillie's classes incorporate creative imagery, clear verbal and visual instruction, and a sense of humor,and empower students to develop or deepen their own sadhana (self-directed home practice). Lillie feels that her highest purpose as a yoga teacher is to offer a safe and open environment in which her students can not only increase flexibility, strength, and concentration, but also find equanimity, and discover a sense of their own presence and inner-strength on and off themat. Lillie is a registered teacher with the Yoga Alliance.                 

Blackbird Arts   |   1485 Barlow Street Traverse City, MI   |   (231)421-8085    |    Drop us a note at info@blackbirdartstc.com.