BA, Ohio University Audry Deal-McEver is a Nashville native who works primarily in clay and photography. Audry’s education includes studies at Die Burg Giebichenstein Hochschule für Kunst und Design (School of Art and Design) in Halle, Germany, and residencies at the University of Alaska, Hot Springs National Park, and the Mary Anderson Center. Her work has been included in more than 60 solo and group exhibits across the U.S., including in venues as diverse as the American Museum of Ceramic Art, the Reece Museum of Fine Art, the Disjecta Contemporary Arts Center, the Nashville International Airport, and various nature conservatories.
BFA, Belmont University
A Nashville native and recent studio arts graduate from Belmont University, Davis has worked as a freelance photographer since 2009, creating her own wedding photography business in 2016. Her photography has been published both locally and internationally. She has worked for several businesses and organizations, such as Pro-Care, NashRides, and Glen & Effie, helping each build their social media presence. Driven and dedicated to the arts, Davis lives to help others find their passion for art and equip them with the tools to inspire their community.
Billy Martinez has been working in comics and fine art for more than 21 years. The publisher of Neko Press, his works include Wildflower, Kickass Girl, and The Deepest Dark. His art has been featured in Heavy Metal magazine and The Family Guy and Hellboy for Inkworks trading cards. He has been commissioned by Starbucks Coffee and has designed work for Qualcomm Communications. Martinez teaches more than 17 classes a week at Neko Press Art Studios. He regularly performs live art throughout the United States and is continuing his painting series “1000 Girls.” In 2012, he released In Your Face: A Complete Guide to Drawing Facial Expressions. The sequel Body Movin’ followed in 2013 featuring a solid approach to figure drawing
BA, 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. In the course of her career, she has covered fashion, home design, gardening, travel, and other topics and was travel editor at The Tennessean from 1998 until 2006. Ballard now writes a monthly garden column for The Tennessean as well as garden and travel features, stories, and essays. She maintains two garden blogs.
In addition to teaching creative writing classes for the Watkins Community Education Program, Ballard is a mentor in nonfiction and fiction at MTSU Write, a writing certificate program at Middle Tennessee State University. She also works as a freelance editor and publicist, leads creative writing workshops and gardening presentations, and writes fiction. Her work has been published in the Drafthorse literary journal.
Jake Lee is a graduate of Vanderbilt University; he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Art in May 2016. His work has been shown in group shows in the Nashville area, and most recently in a solo-exhibition at Halcyon Bike Shop. Jake currently lives in Nashville, TN where he works as the Event Coordinator at Walk Bike Nashville. Jake’s recent print work dips a toe into the surreal while cultivating a narrative about the natural and built environment. His sculptural and mixed-media work investigates material cultural and items we deem disposable, and how we interact with those objects in the world.
BFA, 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. Gonzalez 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 with the principles learned while earning her graphic design degree at the University of Georgia.
RN, Excelsior College BFA, Corcoran College of Art and Design MA, University of Florida Mary Gwyn Bowen is an artist, art educator and RN working on blending these three career paths. She has a lifelong love of the beauty and healing power of nature and seeks to recreate that beauty through the centuries old tradition of botanical painting. Mary Gwyn obtained a degree in nursing from Excelsior College, Albany, NY, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C., and a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of Florida. Today, Mary Gwyn paints the beauty of the flowers and the birds at her feeders in her garden. She spends time, too, in wildlife refuges photographing the birds, flowers and other wildlife. After the recent publication of her first research project on the benefits of art in cardiac patient rehabilitation, the Art to Heart Project, Mary Gwyn is at work on a new research project using art in graphic novel/ comic book form as a beneficial healthcare educational tool.
Rebecca Blevins is the ceramic artist behind Blevins Ceramics. Design is forefront in her creations, extending beyond the everyday object into an elevated aesthetic. Rebecca’s work is pleasing, whether arranged and stacked in the studio for a final piece or at home on the kitchen counter. Her studio is currently located in Elephant Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee.
Reinalisa Santoyo is an innovative interior designer focused on service. Her strong ethnic background and holistic approach to functional space planning allows her to think intuitively to create beautiful spaces. Her attention to detail relative to material specifications, furniture, artwork, and interior lighting have honed her skills to achieve projects that capture the client’s vision.
BFA, University of Georgia
Richard Heinsohn has shown repeatedly in group shows at Allan Stone Gallery, most notable of which was the Summer Group Show of 1995 that included 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 TheTennessean, for his solo exhibition 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 was featured in Nashville Arts. Heinsohn also was 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.
BFA, Watkins College of Art Sam Angel earned her bachelor of fine arts in photography at Watkins in 2012 and now works as a freelance photographer in the Nashville area, often collaborating with local photographers such as Mark Tucker and Caroline Allison. While specializing in fine art photography, Angel has a passion for a variety of photographic mediums.
Sara Wilhelm has been teaching art since 1998 at Stratton Elementary and has been teaching for Watkins Youth Program since 2000. Wilhelm also has taught for Cheekwood’s summer programs and for the Art Institute of Tennessee–Nashville. Her goal as a teaching artist is to instill in her students confidence, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.
BFA, Appalachian Center for Craft MFA, East Carolina University Certificate, College of the Redwoods Stephan Micheletto-Blouin is a woodworker and object-maker living in Nashville. 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. Micheletto-Blouin received his MFA from East Carolina University in 2011.
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Important Announcement: Watkins College to Merge with Belmont University in Fall 2020