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We offer non-credit classes, workshops and camps in art, design and film for people of all ages, skill-levels, and backgrounds.  The mission of the community education program is to provide a distinctive education that will empower youth, teens and adults to embrace their artistic abilities and give them the tools to pursue a life of creativity. Whether you’re a “first-time artist” interested in trying something new or a professional looking to go deeper in your medium, we look forward to making art with you at Watkins — your place to create!

Classes are taught by talented practicing artists who help students gain an understanding of their chosen medium. Emphasis is placed on both the finished product and the process of thinking, designing, communicating and creating. Young Artists are introduced to art fundamentals through drawing, painting, working with clay and other techniques. Teens learn about past and present artists while expanding upon their artistic skills. Adults have the opportunity to explore areas of specific interest, allowing their creative voice to finally be heard.

Download our 2015 Summer Catalog.



Watkins Community Education is led by Director Mary Beth Harding and Coordinator Anna McKeown and employs student assistants and many professional teaching artists.

Mary Beth & Anna

A Vanderbilt University graduate, Mary Beth has worked with Watkins Community Education for two years. Prior to her work at Watkins, Mary Beth was employed at Sarratt Art Studios and the American Artisan Festival. Anna is a recent graduate of Belmont University where she majored in Studio Arts and worked as an office assistant in the Department of Art. Anna is originally from a small town in southern Illinois where she helped develop a visual arts component to the town’s non-profit children’s arts organization, Artstarts. Both women have a passion for providing creative educational opportunities to all members of Nashville’s diverse and growing population.

Mary Beth Harding, Director 615.277.7456
Anna McKeown, Coordinator 615.277.7455

More information on our teaching artists can be found here.

Watkins History

In 1885, the State of Tennessee received a special gift that would forever change education and the arts in Nashville: $100,000 and a parcel of land at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Church Street, Samuel Watkins, an orphan who later built a fortune in the masonry business, designated this gift in his will to build a school that would strengthen the city. The resulting school, Watkins Institute, evolved into one of the finest community-oriented education facilities in the region. For 120 years, Watkins’ role has been flexible, addressing the unmet educational needs of Nashville.

Watkins in 1920sToday, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is an independent institution dedicated to providing education in the visual arts. It is held in trust by the state of Tennessee and is privately supported. In keeping with the vision of its founder, Samuel Watkins, the College believes in providing its students with a solid, practical education that prepares them for careers in the arts. It is an institution that values service to the community and seeks to be a resource for the community. In this role, Watkins offers non-degree arts education in addition to the college curriculum.


General FAQ

Where are you located?
Watkins is located at 2298 Rosa L. Parks Blvd (formerly metrocenter) just minutes from downtown Nashville.

Where do I park? Is there a cost?
There is a free parking lot in the front of our building.

What is appropriate attire?
Students should wear comfortable clothing for working in. Some materials used in class may stain clothing. With this in mind, a smock or apron may be necessary. For safety reasons no roller skates or shoes with wheels embedded into the soles are allowed.

What if I have to miss a class? Can the tuition be pro-rated?
We understand that absences do happen. Because these are non-credit classes, students do not receive a grade nor are they penalized for absences. However, instructors are not obligated to provide make-up time. We do not pro-rate tuition for missed classes.

Can I purchase gift certificates for community education classes?
Yes! Gift certificates can be purchased by contacting the Community Education office at (615) 383-4848

How can I get in touch with my instructor?
It is our policy not to give out contact information for our instructors. However, you may email or call our office and we will gladly relay a message to your instructor and have him/her get in contact with you.

What is your attendance policy in the event of a flu outbreak or other pandemic:
Youth who attend a school that has been closed due to illness/outbreaks will not be allowed in Watkins young artists program classes. If a large number of students or teachers in the young artists program are out due to illness the director may elect to cancel class(es). Teachers who teach at a school that has been closed due to illness/outbreaks will not be allowed to teach classes. Youth and adult students will be encouraged to use sound judgment and not attend class if they feel ill. Please contact our offices at (615) 383-4848 for more details on our illness policies.

Registration and Refunds

How do I register?
It’s easy! Register online here or we accept registrations by mail, fax or phone.

Is your online registration secure?
Yes! Our site uses SSL technology to ensure that your credit card and personal are transmitted safely. While on the registration page, you should notice a locked padlock icon displayed on the bottom right corner.

Is there a registration deadline? How late can I register?
The registration deadline is typically two weeks prior to the first day of class. If there is availability registrations may still be accepted as late as the first day of class, but by waiting you run the risk of the class either being full or being cancelled due to lack of enrollment.

Is there a waiting list for classes that are full?
Yes! In the event that a class is full we will put your name on a waiting list. If a space opens up in the class, the persons on the waiting list will be contacted in the order they are received.

What forms of payment do you accept?
Mastercard, Visa, checks, money orders and cash are accepted.

Can I make a deposit and pay the rest later?
Full payment for tuition and fees is due at the time of registration.

What happens if my class doesn’t make?
Classes may be cancelled or combined if a minimum enrollment of 5 students is not met at least one week before the class begins. Students will be informed of cancellations prior to the first day of class so that alternative plans may be made and full refunds will be issued.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?
Refunds requested one week or more prior to the first day of class will be refunded 100% of tuition and fees, less a $25 processing charge. Classes dropped seven days or less prior to the beginning of class will be refunded at a 60% tuition rate, less a $25 processing charge. No tuition or fees will be refunded beginning the first day of class.

Adult Community Education (ACE) FAQ

What do I need to bring the first day?
Unless otherwise indicated, orientations are offered the first night of class to discuss course syllabi and supply lists. We recommend that you bring paper and a pen or pencil for taking notes.

Are supplies included?
Unless otherwise noted, students are responsible for acquiring their own supplies. A supply list and syllabus will be provided the first night of class. Some classes may require an additional material or lab fee.

Where do I find my classroom?
All of our studios, labs and classrooms are conveniently located in one main building. There is a receptionist at the main entrance and on the first night of class signs will be posted to direct you to your classroom.

How many students will be in the class?
The typical class size is 5 -15 students.

Do you offer scholarships or financial assistance?
At this time we do not provide scholarships or financial assistance for ACE classes.

Do I have access to labs or studios outside of class time?
Community Education students are limited to working in studios or labs only when the instructor is present.

Can I check out books from the Watkins Library?
Community Education students are welcome to browse our wonderful Library, but circulation privileges are for degree -seeking students only. If you find you have some time before class and would like to read in the library you are welcome to use their comfortable lounge areas.

Young Artists Program (YAP) FAQ

How many students will be in the class?
The typical class size is 5 -15 students.

How many teachers will be in class?
One teacher is assigned to each class. Other staff personnel are available to assist classes as needed.

Are materials provided?
Yes! All the materials for your child’s/teen’s class will be provided. Some classes may have an extra materials or lab fee.

Do you have a before/after care program?
Due to space and staff limitations, at this time we do not provide before or after care. Promptness in dropping off and picking up your child/teen is necessary and appreciated. A 15-minute grace time may be granted with permission from the Director. Any time beyond the 15 minutes grace time accrues a charge of $1 per minute.

How early can I drop off my child/teen for class?
Due to space and staff limitations we start accepting students no earlier than 15 minutes prior to class time.

Is lunch care provided?
Lunch care is provided for students, but students must bring their own lunches.

Do you provide a snack or lunch?
Students are responsible for bringing their own healthy snacks and lunches. A vending machine is also available.

Where do I take my child/teen when I first arrive?
Students assemble in Watkins’ theatre, Room 500, immediately prior to and following class. Parents should sign their child/teen in and out on the dismissal roster before and after class each day. Students being picked up by an adult other than a parent should bring a signed and dated note indicating so. If a student utilizes public transportation or drives themselves a signed and dated note must be provided giving permission for Watkins to release the student from our care.

Can I stay in the classroom with my child/teen?
To ensure a safe environment that is conducive to learning we do not allow anyone in the classroom other than registered students, teachers and community education staff.

Do you offer scholarships or financial assistance?
We do offer a limited number of scholarships each semester for young artists ages 5-18. Click here for more information.

Do you offer any discounts?
Yes! We offer sibling discounts. Simply type “Sibling” into the discount code box at checkout.

Can I register my child in a class for older students?
We design our curriculum so that learning objectives and class projects are targeted for specific age levels. To register for a class, the child needs to have reached the minimum age prior to the first day of class.

Michael Allison
Penland School of Crafts
Pilchuck Glass School
Originally from Arizona, Michael is a life-long lover of the arts and enjoys sharing his love and talent for sculpture with others. In his work he uses glass to explore the human relationship with nature and how humans use natural materials to create industrial tools.  By juxtaposing the raw beauty of the natural world with the rigidity of utilitarian objects, Michael creates gorgeous, mixed-media sculptures.

Sam Angel
B.F.A., Watkins College of Art, Design, & Film
Sam earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in 2012. She currently works as a freelance photographer in the Nashville area. Sam works with local photographers such as Mark Tucker and Caroline Allison. While specializing in Fine Art photography, she has a passion for a variety of photographic mediums.

Gloria Ballard
B.A., The University of Tennessee
Gloria Ballard is a native of Nashville, where she enjoyed a long career in journalism as a feature writer and editor at The Tennessean before leaving the newspaper business to become a freelance writer. During her career, she covered fashion, home design, gardening, travel and other features, and was travel editor at The Tennessean from 1998 until 2006. Currently, Gloria writes a monthly garden column for The Tennessean, garden and travel features, stories and essays, maintains two garden blogs, and leads creative writing workshops and gardening presentations. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. Gloria also writes fiction, and was a 2004 participant at Sewanee Writers Conference. Her fiction has been published in Drafthorse literary journal.

Logan Barnum-Rogers
B.F.A., Florida Southern College
Logan Barnum-Rogers is a graduate of Florida Southern College where she earned a B.F.A. in Studio Art. There she focused on rendering realistic images using oil paint and since then she has used her love of realism as inspiration for more expressive work with vibrant color usage. She was a Teacher’s Assistant to the painting professor at Florida Southern College for one year and also taught Drawing Fundamentals in Guatemala at Tijax Jungle Lodge and Marina. Logan’s current work represents the social and emotional pressures of women and her pieces are her interpretation of situations and experiences she has witnessed or have had first hand.

Beth Boquel
M.F.A., Johnson State College
B.A., Johnson State College
B.F.A., Mason Gross School of Art
Using a method of call and response with the medium, my most recent body of work documents visual conversations, based on the idea of separation and suspension. I work primarily in water based and mixed media materials in a two dimensional format. Before relocating to Nashville, the majority of a concentrated studio practice was developed in Northern Vermont. Art studies began at the School of Visual Arts NYC, Rutgers Mason Gross School of Art, leading to the completion a MFA through Johnson State College and the Vermont Studio Center. Professional fine art skills were acquired while working as a staff artist member at VSC from 2011-2013 and teaching at Johnson State College in the Visual Art Center. Past exhibits include VSC Red Mill Gallery, Boston’s Young Contemporaries 2010/Boston University, University of Vermont, Rutgers Mason Gross, School of Visual Arts, and other music/art venues. I currently teach at Nashville State Community College, as a part time adjunct professor of art history.

Mary Gwyn Bowen
R.N., Excelsior College
B.F.A., Corcoran College of Art and Design
M.A. University of Florida
Mary Gwyn is an artist, art educator and RN working on how those three work together. She believes the arts can share hope and peace within the healthcare environment and is committed to helping artists share their talents in the world of medicine. Mary Gwyn obtained a degree in nursing from Excelsior College, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of Florida. Today, Mary Gwyn paints, works as a day surgery nurse, and is focused on launching Healthcare Artists Together to see more artists make a difference to the lives of others through their art.

Elizabeth Braswell
B.A., University of Tennessee- Knoxville
Elizabeth Worrell Braswell is a professional artist who has been creating since childhood. Her favorite mediums are watercolor and oil. After graduating from college, she worked as a visual artist’s agent responsible for marketing and publicity. Later, she had a career as a senior project manager and vice president of a prestigious art consulting company founded by the first Executive Director of the Tennessee Arts Commission. During this period of her career, she had the opportunity to see the works of hundreds of working artists and this was when she discovered her passion for color. Worrell Braswell also works as a writer and publicist. Before deciding to focus exclusively on her painting career, she taught Spanish and Latin American Culture at the university level for twelve years.

Zie Campbell
B.F.A., Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
Zie Campbell is a designer, blogger, and entrepreneur living in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a recent graduate of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film where she studied Graphic Design with an emphasis in Illustration and received two prestigious Addy Awards. While at Watkins, she focused on freelance design and illustration while also managing her blog, Zie Darling. She recently launched her online magazine Clever Darling that you can view on her blog. In her work Zie aims to motivate and empower women with her designs, magazine, and her journey as an entrepreneur.

Chris Cheney
B.A., Tennessee State University
Christopher Cheney is a working artist  who exhibits regularly in Nashville at well regarded art spaces such as Art & Invention Gallery, Janet Levine March Gallery, Belcourt Theatre Gallery,  and Lequire Gallery Annex. Cheney apprenticed at Hatch Show Print , a letterpress print shop, designing and reproducing letterpress posters and wood/linoleum carving. Cheney began his career as an art educator with the City Museum in St. Louis, MO.  Chris and business partner Nieves Uhl own and run Sawtooth Print Shop, a letterpress/silk screen/design studio located in East Nashville, Tennessee.

Michael Cribbs
B.F.A, Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
Michael is an illustrator with a focus on digital art and media. His primary applications include Photoshop CS6, Corel Painter and Google Sketchup. His work is applied to book illustrations, visual development for movies and games, storyboarding, plein air, landscape, and portrait paintings. He is excited to teach his first class with Watkins Community Education.

Lisa Deal
B.F.A., Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
Lisa Deal earned her B.F.A. in Photography at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. She is a fine art photographer and mixed media artist and is also a co-founder of Platetone Printmaking press in Nashville. Lisa is now in her sixth year of teaching art at Pope John Paul II High School. Her investigation in the design of engaging arts classes has included participation in the Harvard Graduate School of Educations’ program The Arts & Passion-Driven Learning.

Audry Deal-McEver
B.F.A., Ohio University
Audry Deal-McEver is a Nashville, TN native who works primarily in clay and photography.  Earning a degree in Ceramic Studio Arts from Ohio University, Audry’s education also includes studies at Die Burg Giebichenstein Hochschule für Kunst und Design (School of Art and Design) in Halle, Germany, and residencies at the Mary Anderson Center, Hot Springs National Park, and the University of Alaska.  Over the past 5 years she has had work in over 25 solo and group exhibits across the US including venues as diverse as the Nashville International Airport, the Reece Museum of Fine Art, the Fordyce Museum, and various nature centers/botanical conservatories.  Audry currently teaches at Vanderbilt University’s Sarratt Art Studios and is an arts faculty member at Ensworth High School.  She also teaches workshops, and privately out of her home studio. When she’s not teaching or making, Audry enjoys working with her husband on their 1920s home, gardening, and relaxing with her three cats.

Dallas Dedmon
M.F.A. Candidate, Savannah College of Art and Design
B.S., Lambuth University
B.S., Union University
Dallas’ career has involved interior design and project management, as well as undergraduate interior design instruction. With a special passion for items related to architectural history, her background has included work as a furniture and decorative arts preservationist.

Anna DeWitt
B.F.A., Belmont University
Originally from Memphis, Anna came to Nashville to Belmont University where she received her BFA in Painting. A majority of her work is centered on the human form. Teaching begins with learning your self and as a figure model for many years, she learned her subject from the inside out. This can be applied to all of her disciplines and she thinks it is an honor to pass this knowledge on to you.

Susannah Felts

M.F.A., The School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Susannah Felts is the cofounder of The Porch, Nashville’s nonprofit center for writing. She earned her MFA in Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), and is the author of a novel, This Will Go Down on Your Permanent Record (Featherproof Books). Her book reviews and interviews with authors appear regularly in Humanities Tennessee’s Chapter 16, and she freelances for a number of national and local media outlets. Her fiction and essays have appeared in publications such as the Oxford American, The Sun, Wigleaf, Quick Fiction, Quarterly West, Hobart (web), and others. She has received residencies at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, and the Ragdale Foundation. Susannah received the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Fiction for FY2013.

Galen Fott
B.F.A., The University of Memphis
Galen is the owner of Bigfott Studios, a Nashville-based animation studio specializing in children’s media. He has adapted, directed, and animated 14 children’s storybooks into award-winning films for Weston Woods Studios, a division of Scholastic. For video training company Total Training, Galen has helped create courses for many Adobe applications, and presented courses on Mac OS X, Photoshop, and Premiere. With Deke McClelland, Galen has co-authored eight books on digital imaging, and is also a former Contributing Editor to PC Magazine.

Bob Giordano
Bob Giordano has had an active role in the Tennessee Screenwriters Association (TSA), serving as the President in 1998 and co-creating the Script Development Program which assists writers in developing their screenplays from concept to completion.  In 1997 Mr. Giordano received an honorable mention at the Nashville Independent Film Festival for writing, directing and producing his short film Blind Spot.  In 2002, he won the Hollywood Symposium Contest for his feature-length script Grendel and in 2001 was the winner of the Writer’s Network Screenplay competition for the feature-length script Resistance.

Katie Gonzalez
B.F.A., University of Georgia
Katie Gonzalez first studied the art of bookmaking in Cortona, Italy, during the summer of 2006. Since founding linenlaid&felt handmade books in 2010, she has turned her passion for books into a full-time profession. Katie designs and binds meaningful books every day in her studio in East Nashville, including one-of-a-kind journals, photo albums, guest books, baby books, and artist’s books. She teaches bookbinding and graphic design classes, sells her work in local shops and galleries, and frequently exhibits at regional art shows. Her work combines traditional bookbinding techniques and the principles learned while earning her graphic design degree at the University of Georgia.

Richard Heinsohn
B.F.A., University of Georgia
Heinsohn has shown repeatedly in group shows at Allan Stone Gallery, most notable of which was the Summer Group Show of 1995 where he was included along with Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and other historically important painters. Recently he received the ” Critic’s Pick ” From The Nashville Scene, as well as a feature in the Tennessean, for his solo exhibit at Estel Gallery in Nashville. In 2010 his work was shown at Preston Contemporary Art Center in New Mexico and at The Lowe Gallery in Atlanta and featured in Nashville Arts Magazine. Heinsohn was also selected to teach a workshop in conjunction with the ” Modern Masters ” abstract painting exhibition from the Smithsonian American Art Museum at Cheekwood Art and Gardens in Nashville.

Sarazen Haile Kokodynsky
B.A., Emory & Henry College
M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Sarazen is a printmaker, sculptor and bookbinder from Athens, TN. The work she makes attempts to better understand the communities, actions, objects, stories, and memories that maintain and create a sense of place. In 2011, she graduate with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she enjoyed teaching printmaking and bookbinding courses while developing as an artist.

Renée Hearn
Ma, Trevecca Nazarene University
B.A., O’More College of Design
Renee Hearn has been teaching interior design for 15 years in adult education programs and in interior design schools here in Nashville. As a professional interior designer, Renee helps clients visualize how their home can look.

Courtney Adair Johnson
Appalacian Center for Craft
Fine Arts Center, Greenville, North Carolina
Courtney Adair Johnson is a reuse artist living in Nashville, Tennessee. Her dedication to the environment is evident in her work where she exposes our culture’s consumption habits and works completely in reuse which challenges her to adapt to the available materials that she sources.

Meghan Kraft
B.A., The Master’s College
Meghan Kraft is a California native with a passion for the written word. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a creative writing emphasis from The Master’s College in Los Angeles, and has since managed to fill her home with books to the ceiling. She has worked extensively writing Internet content for a California based marketing firm and serves as a freelance contributor for multiple websites. A strong proponent for the oxford comma, twentieth century poetry and the great American novel, she gets up much too early in the morning to write short fiction and read books with compelling characters.

Shawn Krise
Shawn Krise has been a working, selling and teaching artist for over 30 years in and around Nashville. She teaches most any media but specializes in drawing and painting methods and concepts that extend beyond the particular medium. Shawn holds a BS in Art Education and has written and facilitated art programs for such organizations as Girl Scout Council of Middle Tennessee, Senior Citizens, Inc., and Metro Parks and Recreation. She has also had an extensive career as a commercial illustrator/graphic artist as well as her ongoing work as a commissioned portrait painter.

Claudia Lee
Claudia Lee is a full time studio artist and instructor who has been teaching for over 30 years. She is the author of Hand Papermaking from Lark Books and was a designer for many of their other publications. She is a former president of Tennessee Craft. She was one of the first recipients of a Master’s grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission and, in 2011, she was chosen to create the awards for the Governor’s Arts Awards. She owns and runs Liberty Paper, a working and teaching facility in Liberty, Tennessee.

Cassie Lopez
M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy
Cassie Lopez earned an M.F.A. in Photography from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2013. Her art practice includes commercial and personal photography, drawing, painting, music and website design. She moved to Nashville from Lexington, Kentucky where she taught for the University of Kentucky and the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning.

Lauren Lowen
B.F.A., The Rhode Island School of Design
After graduating from the Illustration Department of The Rhode Island School of Design, Lauren’s artwork has charmed audiences of all ages in editorial, products, and publishing. When not doing freelance work, she is actively showing her work in galleries across the country. Lauren taught Illustration at Montserrat College of Art and The Rhode Island School of Design before starting a new chapter at C.R. Gibson in Nashville, TN. As part of their creative team, she uses her love of pattern, color, and whimsical illustration to bring an array of fun products to the public

Mike Meredith 
M.A., Savannah College of Art & Design
B.F.A, Middle Tennessee State University
Mike Meredith is a digital illustrator specializing in children’s markets. Mike has been working in the Nashville area for the past 25 years starting as a caricature artist at Opryland Theme Park. Mike has worked in Web and Graphic Design, Illustration and Education.

Stephan Micheletto-Blouin
B.F.A., Appalachian Center for Craft
Certificate, College of the Redwoods
Stephan is a woodworker and object-maker living in Nashville, Tennessee. He began his training at the Appalachian Center for Craft where he received a BFA in furniture design. He continued his training at the College of the Redwoods, where he earned a certificate under the direction of Michael Burns, Greg Smith, Jim Budlong and Eijler Hjorst-Westh—who were themselves graduates of the same program under direction of founder James Krenov. He received his MFA from East Carolina University in 2011.

Lesley Patterson-Marx
M.F.A., University of North Carolina
B.F.A., Murray State University
Nashville, Tenn.-based artist Lesley Patterson-Marx was born in 1975 in Louisville, Ky. She received her BA in Fine Art from Murray State University in 1997 and her MFA from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 2001. She has exhibited her artist’s books, prints and mixed-media works in galleries, art centers, colleges and universities across the U.S., including Cynthia Broan Gallery in New York City; Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis.; Berkeley Art Center in Berkeley, Calif.; and Frist Center for Visual Arts, TAG Art Gallery and Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville. Her work has been featured in national publications, including Craft and ReadyMade, and 500 Handmade Books, Volume 2 . She is a founding member of Platetone: Printmaking, Paper, and Book Arts in Nashville, TN. Lesley works as a teaching artist and illustrator, having taught at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film, Vanderbilt University’s Sarratt Art Studios, Art & Soul, and University School of Nashville.

Keith Potempa
M.F.A., University of Southern Maine
B.A., Columbia College Chicago
Keith R. Potempa holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine, where he studied under Hugo and Bram Stoker award winning authors. He has completed three novels to date in the genres of literary, young adult, and high fantasy. He is currently seeking representation. His short fiction has appeared in several small press publications including Hair Trigger and Storyteller. While he currently writes in popular fiction genres, he wrote and studied literary fiction at his alma mater, Columbia College Chicago.

Renée Ramsey
Renee Ramsey has written fiction for five years or so, and she has been teaching composition for two years at Austin Peay State University. Renee’s fiction is simple narratives—realism and some magic as well—and she humbles herself daily with reading the writings of authors like Andre Dubus, Lionel Shriver, and Flannery O’Connor. Then, she writes what she observes, and hopefully, the narrative is enjoyable to others. Renee holds a Master of Arts in English, and she has a few publications, including a play performed at the Roxy Regional Theatre in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Elizabeth Sanford
B.A., University of Virginia
M.F.A., East Carolina University
Sanford is a watercolor painter who was seduced by the book arts and now creates watercolor sculptures. She has been teaching art for more than twenty years and is currently an instructor at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film in Nashville. Her many awards include First Place in both the Tennessee and Kentucky Watercolor Society Exhibitions. Museum collections containing her paintings include the Evansville Museum of Arts and Science, the Tennessee State Museum and the Parthenon. Publications include Maxine Masterfield’s Painting the Spirit of Nature and the exhibition catalog for Pop-up Now.

Noah Saterstrom
M.F.A., Glasgow School of Art
Noah Saterstrom is a visual artist working in painting, drawing, video, animation, essay, and text/image collaborations. Selected recent exhibitions include Babboo’s Moving Pictures (Exploded LA), Soldiering (UA Poetry Center, Blaze Vox Books), Collaborations (Warren Wilson College), Bunny Magic: 100 Works on Paper (Yardmeter Editions, Brooklyn, NY), and Memory (Memory) for Periodic Companions (drawings/ novel) with Laynie Browne, Soldiering (painting/ poems) with Anne Waldman, and Wastrels Find a Home (animation) with Kate Bernheimer. Saterstrom posts a new painting or drawing every day or so on Noah’s Work-a-Day Page. He is founder of the online arts journal He has taught at Warren Wilson College, Western Carolina University, University of Arizona Poetry Center, The Drawing Studio, and given lectures and taught workshops widely, in and out of academic institutions. He has taught Text/Image, WordPress, Web-Design, Flash, Painting, Drawing, and Non-Darkroom Photography Classes. Saterstrom grew up in Mississippi and holds an M.F.A. from the Glasgow School of Art.

Edwina Shannon
B.A., Emmanuel College, Boston
A professional lettering artist, Edwina Shannon has designed alphabets for personal and business use, conveying “the message” through the feeling created by the letters as well as actual words. She has taught calligraphy and design to adults and children through community classes both in Tennessee and the Boston area. Using the principles that define classical lettering, her artwork highlights the letterform. She designs logos, messages and citations. Her work has been included in calligraphy artists shows in both Nashville and Boston.

Joseph Schmickrath
B.S., Middle Tennessee State University
M.A., Chapman University
Joseph started out as a film critic for various local papers in the Middle Tennessee area. Then, moved to Hollywood and became a tour guide for Warner Bros. Studios. He has dabbled in various productions, serving predominately as a boom operator and second assistant camera. Additionally, he produced, directed, wrote, shot and edited a short film. While completing his Master of Arts in Film Studies at Chapman University, he guest lectured on 1950s American Cinema and the end of the studio system and interned as a Video Archivist at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Nieves Uhl
Nieves Uhl is a printmaker and designer living in Nashville, Tennessee. She worked at Hatch Show Print , a letterpress print shop, designing and reproducing letterpress posters and wood/linoleum carving. Nieves and business partner Chris Cheney own and run Sawtooth Print Shop, a letterpress/silk screen/design studio located in East Nashville, Tennessee.

Abby Whisenant
B.F.A., Watkins College of Art, Design & Film
Abby is an artist, storyteller and community-builder living in Nashville, TN. She graduated from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film with a B.F.A. in Photography and she has taught photography workshops to youth, teens, and adults. She is currently the Special Programs Coordinator for Arts and Transit at the Oasis Center in Nashville. As a nonprofit professional, Abby offers youth an opportunity to use creativity as a pathway for self-exploration, healing, community service and transformative justice. Her mission is to cultivate creative leadership within our youth to promote positive change in the Nashville community and beyond.

Watkins CollegeCommunity Education
2298 Rosa Parks Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37228


Mary Beth Harding, Director 615.277.7456
Anna McKeown, Coordinator 615.277.7455


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Interested in teaching with CE?

Approximately three months before the start of a “term” (spring, summer, or fall) we will post a “Call for Course Proposals” and corresponding “Course Proposal Forms” to be filled out by interested instructors. Only those who complete the forms by the marked deadline will be considered to teach our courses. If you have questions about filling out the forms, please contact Mary Beth Harding at

Current Opportunities:

Call for Fall 2015 Proposals:  Important information about teaching with CE.

Fall 2015 Course Proposal Form: For new teachers and teachers proposing new classes.

Fall 2015 Veteran’s Proposal FormFor current teachers wanting to re-teach a current class.



“Watkins is always a good place to learn and grow.”

“I haven’t taken an art class in years and really enjoyed revisiting my creative side with great people!”

“The class was so much fun and the instructor was great!”

“I simply wish I could have taken the class longer! I look forward to taking the next class at Watkins in the next session.”

“The class was challenging, but easy enough to have fun. I think we were all pleased with what we produced.”

“Weekend options are great for those who have a busy weekday schedule or come from out of town.”


Tal's Letter

A recent review from Akiva 1st grader, Tal Ginzburg.

“I loved every part of this camp.”

“Excellent program all around. My son had a fantastic time and learned a lot!”

“My child really liked the stop-motion animation during the spring intersession!”

“The times were convenient. My older child did well with the 7 hour day.”