INSTRUCTOR BIOS


Erin Barnard: Photography and Portraiture  

Erin instructs photography and portraiture workshops at MCAC. Her photography experience began eleven years ago doing portrait work for a Central Illinois studio where she built her career for five years.

Following her studio experience, she elevated her skills doing natural light journalistic portraiture of newborns and eventually starting her female-centric portrait company, The Sesh Portraiture.  Her portfolio has spanned over a decade, featuring a large variety of subjects and styles making her a wealth of information to amateur photographers and professionals alike. She began instructing and public speaking to encourage other creatives and to share her knowledge.

Before her career as a professional photographer, she studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and pursued a career as a Broadway performer. She worked for Broadway in Chicago, auditioned for Broadway productions and even appeared in a feature film as an extra. Her skills behind the camera combined with her comfort on stage create a perfect marriage of skills for instructing. Working with women and giving them a platform to share their story has been one of Erin's greatest accomplishments as a photographer. Her work with women has been featured on CBS, WMBD, WYZZ and WGLT. She also has work featured in art galleries as well as being a main featured gallery artist in 2017. Erin is influencing by the life stories and experiences of her subjects. She enjoys creating striking fine art images that connect subjects to their audience and themselves. 

 

Karen Brinker: Youth Drawing/Painting and Youth Ceramics


Karen Brinker teaches youth art classes at MCAC. She's taught elementary art for ten years, including three years at Unit 5 Schools and the prior years in and around Chicago. This is her first year teaching at MCAC, and she is thrilled to be a part of such a unique creative community! She currently also teaches art at Mulberry School and Bloomington Parks and Recreation. Her passion lies in seeing students ignite their artistic brains by working through creative problems. She loves working with fibers, clay, paint, colored pencils, and found objects!

Karen received her Bachelors in Art Education from Illinois State University, and Masters from University of Florida. She regularly attends and presents at the Illinois Art Education Convention. Karen spends many afternoons exploring her backyard with her two sons and making art inspired by the beauty they find. 

  Dale C. Evans:  Watercolor Painting and Drawing

Dale teaches beginning to intermediate watercolor and drawing. Although he taught a general painting class in the late 1980’s, his watercolor and drawing instruction at MCAC began in 2012.

Dale received a BFA in painting from Herron School of Art of Indiana University in 1970. The need to create is very central to Dale’s being. He states, “I must be working on, or at least planning a project to feel fully alive. To live is to create.” Dale’s goal is to celebrate our beautiful Illinois landscape in all its seasons and to help others find the joy of creation.

In addition to painting, he is a luthier who builds folk instruments. His instruments can be found all over the country and even overseas. He most enjoys challenging students to try new ideas and techniques. While he believes nature to be the greatest teacher, he also enjoys introducing them to the past masters of the mediums. Defining a goal and finding creative ways to meet it is the theme of all his classes.


 

Heather Evert:  Fiber Arts 

Heather Evert has been teaching workshops in Japanese temari embroidery and other embroidery styles with MCAC since 2015. She is mostly self-taught, but is also a student of temari author Barbara Suess and is certified with the Japan Temari Association. She has been stitching in various forms (knitting, sewing, embroidery) since childhood, but with a focus on temari the past seven years. She was an Artisan Resident at MCAC in November 2018.

Heather enjoys the challenge of "drawing with threads" to make stylized representations of items from nature.  She finds creating images one small stitch at a time to be a roller-coaster of moods: restful while stitching the pattern, thrilling while designing a pattern and finishing a piece, and gratifying when finding the right stitch or thread texture for the job. Her favorite part of teaching embroidery is watching students transition from struggling with the techniques to the point of understanding how to use the stitching to create the images they want.

 

Erin Furimsky:  Ceramics

Erin Furimsky is a studio artist and educator in Normal, Illinois. She received a BFA from the Pennsylvania State University and an MFA from the Ohio State University. Furimsky has exhibited her work nationally and internationally; reproductions of her ceramic work have been featured in numerous books and catalogs. As an educator, Furimsky has been a featured presenter at national workshops, as well as serving as a visiting professor at ISU and HCC.

 
Amber Gravett: Ceramics Studio Assistant

Amber was born in Bloomington and graduated from Normal Community High School. She earned an Associates of Art at Heartland Community College and was the first ever recipient of the Joseph E. McCauley scholarship. At Illinois State University she earned a Bachelor of Science in Fine Arts with a concentration in drawing. Amber uses drawing as a foundation for all of her artwork, which ranges from animation and illustration to ceramics and printmaking.



Claire Hedden: Ceramics

Claire teaches ceramics at MCAC. She's taught ceramics intermittently for fifteen years, including the last two at MCAC.

After first working in clay during high school, Claire went on to studying ceramics earning her BFA and MFA at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and a Post Baccalaureate degree from University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth. Since then her artistic career has included furniture making, teaching youth, college students, and adults ceramics, curating, and developing her own ceramic studio practice.

Claire enjoys the communal aspect of ceramics most- the sharing of ideas and techniques as much as the friendships that develop. She revels in the mystery and science of ceramics learning from her failures and successes. 


 

Kirsten Heteji: Ceramics

Kirsten recently received her MFA from Illinois State University and her BFA at Alfred University in 2013 where she began her investigation in ceramics. She has received awards for her work shown at University Galleries and Mclean County Arts Center.

Kirsten has been awarded several scholarships to continue her education by taking workshops at art centers such as Anderson Ranch, Arrowmont, Peter’s Valley, Watershed and Oxbow. She was a resident artist at Natchez Clay in historic Natchez, Mississippi in 2014 and Watershed in Maine in 2016. Over the years, she has assisted artists Amy Santoferraro, Mindy Lighthipe and Jan Brandt in their studios. She has taught several hand building, surface design and general art classes to various age groups throughout her career as an artist. Kirsten has shown in various art fairs, juried shows and exhibitions across the US. Currently, she resides in Bloomington, IL with her loving partner.



Doug Johnson: Acrylic Painting

Doug Johnson graduated from Normal Community High School and Illinois State University. He holds a masters degree in Studio Art from ISU. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Northern Illinois University.

He serves on the executive board of Arts Alliance Illinois, and is the past president of the Bloomington Rotary Club. Additionally, he founded and serves as president of the Area Arts Round Table (a consortium of McLean County Arts programmers) and is past co-chair of the Local Arts Network (a statewide group of executive directors at cultural institutions).


 

Jeremy Langston: Acrylic Painting 

Jeremy teaches acrylic painting at MCAC. He earned a Masters in Fine Arts from ISU and has taught all ages of artists from summer camps to the university level.  

Jeremy owned and was the sole painter for a mural and decorative painting company in Denver from 2000-2015 over which time he painted hundreds of murals of varied subject matter such as landscapes, portraits, animals, textures and trompe l'oeil surfaces.  Jeremy recently led a group of youth painters in a public mural project at the Washington Street tunnel in Bloomington this past summer.  He loves helping artists gain the skills they need to see their visions come to fruition, whether through abstract art or representational.  

“All modes of painting interest me,” he says when asked which type he prefers. “I just love the feeling of taking a vision and making it a reality and all of the challenges that come with that. It never gets boring yet always seems to be a meditative and fulfilling process.”  Jeremy works with oils, acrylics, inks, and resins primarily.

 

Mandy Roeing: Pastel

Artist Mandy Roeing joined MCAC in 2017 as the pastel painting instructor. She is passionate about her medium and loves sharing it’s amazing qualities with others! Teaching has been very rewarding for her, and she is continually inspired by the growth it provides both to her and students.

Mandy began her art career in 2001, when her love of animals and passion for painting merged through commissioned pet portraits. She enjoys capturing the individual personality and spirit of animals in a piece that connects a person to the bond they share with their pet every time they see it. The beauty and tranquility of nature are the fuel for Mandy’s creative practice, and she loves translating the emotional effect the land and sea have on her into a permanent work to share with others.

Mandy earned her BFA in Studio Art from the University of North Carolina in 2004. She is an active member of the Illinois Prairie Pastel Society and Illinois Art League as well as a past president of the Pastel Society of NC. Her work is frequently on exhibit in IL and NC and is in numerous private collections throughout the country and abroad.


 

 Dave Templeton: Drawing

Dave received his degree in Art Education at Illinois State, but after serving in the military, having several other jobs (including substitute art teaching), then retiring from State Farm, he thought his chances to teach art had long passed. Then, along came MCAC and a chance to teach adult daytime drawing. He’s only taught for a few sessions, but has enjoyed it very much. One of his favorite parts of the job is “watching the light come on” when someone realizes that, yes, they can draw with only a few lessons and they get better and better. On his own, Dave enjoys drawing and working in pastel and oil paints.




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