Mansfield Art Center

Our Instructors

Ruthie Akuchie

Ruthie Akuchie

Painting & Mixed Media

Ruthie Akuchie is a Nigerian-American freelance artist. She is a native of Mansfield, Ohio, and has been painting and drawing portraits since elementary school at Brinkehoff elementary, now known as the Spanish Immersion School. She is a 2007 graduate of Mansfield Senior High School, where she studied mixed media under Mindy Duncan. She attended North Central State College, and has designed greetings cards and children’s books for previous clients. She draws inspiration from art that tells a story. Her favorite medium to work with is mixed media. Her art shows a message of love and unity through diversity. She enjoys learning about history, other cultures, and specifically Asian cultures.

Claudia Cummins

Claudia Cummins

Yoga & Meditation Instructor

Claudia has been teaching yoga and meditation in the Mansfield area for more than 20 years.

Visit her website www.claudiacummins.com to learn more.

Barbara Damron

Barbara Damron

Puppetry, Sewing, & Home-school Art Instructor

Also known as Mrs. B., Barabara received her B.S. in Environmental Studies and her M. Ed. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She has taught preschool through 5th grade for over 20 years. She grew up outdoors and was inspired by the plant and animal world around her. She learned to draw and work with fiber very well. As a scientist, she made pen and ink biological illustrations for state and federal research reports. She’s taught children to draw realistically at Wol’s Nest and Mohican Outdoor School. In high school, her large hand-spun weaving won 1st place in an Ohio youth art show. Now she felts her own wool. Ninety-nine percent of the puppets Barbara now uses in her performances and workshops are those she has made. She’s taught children to sew and create and enliven their own puppets as well, including home schoolers in New Hampshire, at the John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and at the Phyao Center in Thailand.

Kristin Ellis

Kristin Ellis

Jewelry and Enameling Instructor

Kristin Ellis has been a working artist for more than 20 years, exhibiting her work in galleries and art festivals around the USA. She has studied metalsmithing and sculpture at San Antonio College, The Southwest School of Art, and Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. During Kristin’s jewelry apprenticeship in the mid 1990’s, she met Cecelia Steindfeldt, a curator for the Witte Museum. Cecelia introduced her to the magic of copper enameling and provided her with a complete enameling studio. That studio is still in use today, though it is now nestled amongst the corn fields of Mt Gilead, Ohio. Kristin is currently an independent studio jeweler, creating one-of-a-kind original works with her unique blend of metalsmithing, casting, lapidary, and enameling techniques.

 

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Emily Fitch

Emily Fitch

Drawing, Print Making, & Home-school Instructor

Gaining a strong foundation of techniques and skills from Columbus College of Art & Design Emily started her career as a graphic designer. After working in the graphic design field for 6 years she went back to school at Ashland University for art education. At Ashland she received painting and printmaking awards and a Best of Show Senior Exhibit award. Emily received her Bachelors of Art Education and Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University. She has taught at the high school level for 11 years, entering her students work into juried competitions receiving many “best of show” awards and student work in the Governor’s Youth Art Exhibition in Columbus. During her teaching years she established new curriculums, art clubs and mural projects at both schools that she worked at. She is now the Director of Education at the Mansfield Art Center working with teachers, schools, community outreach programs, curriculum development and grant writing and is a member of the Kennedy Center Partners in Education program. Emily has shown her work in several juried exhibitions throughout the country and has several pieces in private collections. Her work has also been sold in galleries throughout Ohio. She is passionate about passing along her knowledge to others and constantly improving on her own skills. She is a very experimental artist working with a wide range of mediums from painting, printmaking and drawing to polymer clay, sculpture and collage. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband of 16 years and toy fox terrier. She also enjoys cooking, reading, archaeology and crossfit.

 

 

Jerry Francl Sr.

Jerry Francl Sr.

Scratch and Arduino Instructor

Jerry Francl’s received an Electrical Engineering degree from Purdue and worked for 5 years in local industries and 40 years teaching engineering technology, industrial controls and robotics at North Central State College.  He is passionate about teaching young people (and the young-at-heart) about using the computer as a tool to create digital media art (stories, animation, games and simulations) using the Scratch programming language.  He also teaches how to construct 3D, interactive environments using the Arduino board.

He has been a member of the Mansfield Art Center since the early 1970’s. His other interests include photography and collecting antique cameras and photographs.  Jerry also enjoys Roman history, art films, foreign language films, noire films, sci-fi from the 1950’s, Godzilla, and Charlie Chan.  He is also a member of the Planetary Society.

Olivia Glass

Olivia Glass

Ceramics and Youth Instructor

Bio coming soon.

Brittany "Jack" Jackosn

Brittany "Jack" Jackosn

Ceramics Instructor

Before college, Jack was a self-taught potter for a couple years. After a substitute art teacher ran out of basic supplies, she became bored, and then curious about the wheel. This being pre-YouTube, most of the original skill came from basic instincts. “Make a hole, pull a wall, cut off the unevenness at the top, and walla!” It wasn’t until college that she understood what “centering” was.

Jack was mentored under the late Gregg Luginbuhl, who was best known for his Creation Series, clay oil cans, and raku fish. One of their first projects together was the Bluffton University Baseball Memorial, for which they mixed nearly 2 tons of clay in one afternoon and spent several weeks smoothing and sculpting the outside lacing to be cast first in plaster, then bronze. Jack didn’t realize she wanted to teach or could even be “good” at teaching until she spent her summers co-teaching Gregg’s Summer Mudd group.

With the group ranging from kids to retirees, from beginner to advanced, and from 18-36 people, Jack learned clay and troubleshooting fairly quickly. During those three weeks every summer, Jack assisted in helping hand-built fairy houses brick-by-little-clay-brick, made leaf plates, raku fired slab bowls, mixing tons of clay, and nonstop firing the university’s gas kilns.

Jack’s taught several groups of girl and boy scouts and helped them gain their badges as well as given international students demonstrations for the universities department. She has helped or instructed workshops in northern Ohio, worked with potters from the Wauseon, Ohio area, and would regularly donate items or time to several benefits for the MCC.

She adapted some of Gregg’s teaching ethics and has been passing them down through the years. Her fun and positive disposition makes for a laid-back class room, though she will give constructive criticism when invited. She’s a wealth of knowledge, but will admit, “huh, well I have no idea,” though you’d be sure by the next day she would have spent the night researching it.

Her personal style developed from Greek pottery and the desire to “go big.” It wasn’t uncommon for Jack to push the size limits of the kiln in order to fire her large pieces. Her main decorative slip techniques were developed from examining the hand prints of the El Castillo cave and feeling like the humans from 40,000 years ago were touching others through time and space. “If I’m to be a traditional broke potter, at least my pots can travel the world and shake hands with someone else.”

 

Irene Maginniss

Irene Maginniss

Fused Glass Instructor

Irene Maginnis is a graduate of The Ohio State University, and has had additional coursework at Miami & Ashland Universities and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.  She continues to study and expand her knowledge and interest in surface design.  She has exhibited extensively throughout the United States in national and invitational shows, festivals and galleries. Selected exhibitions include Philadelphia Craft Show, Ann Arbor Street Fair, Smithsonian Craft Show, and American Craft Council in Baltimore, MD. Her works are included in many public and private collections, including Hallmark in Kansas City, MO, The Dana Corporation in Toledo, the Ohio Craft Museum and the collection of Olga Hirshhorn of Washington, DC.  Selected awards and recognitions include Mansfield Art Center, Winterfair, the Columbus Arts Festival, Lakefront Festival of Arts in Milwaukee, WI, and Old Orchard Art Fair in Chicago.  Maginniss has taught and lead workshops, has been an Artist in Residence in the schools, and taught art at all levels.  She continues to be an advocate of the arts for people of all ages and cultures.

Bea North

Bea North

Home School K-3 & Beginners/Advanced Fused Glass Insturctor

I grew up in the eastern suburbs of Cleveland and had many encouraging art experiences, enjoying school art and anticipating visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art.  After graduating from Bowling Green State University with a degree in Visual Art Education, I came to Ashland to begin my first teaching assignment.  My move to Ashland became a new home, a marriage and a career.  I was an Art Specialist in the Ashland City Schools for 33 years, teaching art in grades kindergarten through 12.  During that time, I also earned a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Ashland University.  My greatest passion is making visual art a learnable skill and expression for all, so upon retirement, I continued my endeavors at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center in Ashland, serving  there as the Art Coordinator.  I have also worked as Crafts Director at Heart of Ohio District Boy Scout Summer Camp and Y.M.C.A. Camp Storer in Jackson, Michigan.  I am involved in many organizations; P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic educational organization, Ashland County Retired Teachers, Delta Kappa Gamma Teachers Honorary, Ohio Art Education Association, and  Ashland Community Art League. I am a member of Christ United Methodist Church. I enjoy making and looking at a variety of art work.

I am married to Bruce North.  We have two adult children and we are especially proud of our four grandchildren.

Daniel Roemer

Daniel Roemer

Film & Acting Instructor

Daniel Roemer’s unique and powerful style of directing has lead him to receive such attention as USA Film’s Top 10 Emerging Director’s list at the age of 20, two-time Project Greenlight Best Director Finalist (Ben Affleck/Matt Damon), and student Academy Award State finalist by age 22.

He has been characterized as “a filmmaker with his finger on the pulse of the world’s youth,” as his short films have been distributed theatrically in over 75 countries. Partnering with Inspirational Films in Europe, colleges have packed out auditoriums with over three thousand students, as well as standing room only theaters in major European cities. He has a style akin to Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson, and, according to CDfreedom.com, his film, The Select Fit, is “one of the most well- directed and innovative films of the year, writer/director Daniel Roemer is a voice to be reckoned with.”

Hanna Rosin from the Washington Post writes in a recent article that “Roemer is one of the fresh new voices that Act One [screenwriting school] faculty members talk about when Hollywood studio executives call. “Daniel’s Short films stream on Verizon and Sprint cell phones worldwide (12 million subscribers) and play in China on internet, TV, & public transportation.Daniel’s written and co-written six screenplays, two of which were developed at Fox Studios with him attached to direct. He’s screened in festivals including Sundance, AFI Fest, LA Shorts Fest, and a special senator screening in Washington DC (for selected congressmen).

Learn more about Daniel here: Daniel Roember IMDB

Ellen Stiffler

Ellen Stiffler

Beaded Jewelry

Ellen was raised in Mansfield, Ohio. She attended Bowling Green State University and the University of Cincinnati, majoring in Psychology and Elementary Education.  Later, she continued education at UC’S D.A.A.P. (Design, Art and Architectural Planning).

She lived in Cincinnati for 14 years, and worked for Kenner Products in the planning and catalogue layout department.  Also began painting murals in 1976.

In 1981, Ellen was relocated to Mansfield as a sales representative for General Mills Toy Group.  When the company disbanded in 1984, went back to painting murals in homes and offices.

Ellen has been a member of the Mansfield Art Center since attending as a young student.  For four years, she was the buyer for the Mansfield Art Center Gallery Shop.

In the early 2000’s, Ellen began working with beads, primarily making jewelry for friends and relatives.  Since then, she’s had work displayed in over a dozen galleries.  She says, “I feel that I’m on the second ‘phase’ of my creativity, as I especially enjoy weaving and working with fresh water pearls and Swarovski crystal.”

Since 2011, Ellen has been the owner of Artspace Gallery in Downtown Mansfield.

 

 

George Whitten

George Whitten

Ceramics & Painting Instructor

George Whitten is a well-respected artist and teacher in the community. He teaches ceramics and painting classes for both adults and children. His work has been exhibited across the country, and he has been published in magazines such as Ceramics Monthly and Studio Potter.  Some of his magnificent large-scale paintings adorn the walls at Broken Rocks Café and Bakery in Wooster, Ohio. He received his BFA at Florida Atlantic University and earned his MFA at Wichita State University.

Selected Exhibition and Publications:

  • American Museum of Ceramic Art Institute for Contemporary Arts, Columbus, OH.
  • Ohio Designer Craftsman @ Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington, D.C.
  • Ceramics International, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Carsley Gallery Inc., Montreal, Canada
  • Invitational Exhibition-Ran Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
  • Neville Nowell, San Francisco, CA.
  • Canton Art Institute, Canton, OH.
  • Ceramics Monthly, 2000
  • National Broadcasting Corporation, Miami Vice, TV Series 1985, New York, NY Ceramic Art of the World 1973
  • Ceramic Art of the World 1973, Rothman Ltd., Canada
  • Raku Pottery, WKYC TV-3, Cleveland, OH 1982 and 2000
  • Studio Potter, Daniel Clark Foundation, Vol. 10, No .2, 1982, U.S.A.

 

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Emily Volz

Emily Volz

Cork and Easel, Kids and Canvas, Birthday Party, & private event Instructor

Emily Volz is an artist from the Mansfield area and lives in Galion with her husband and four children. She has been an artist for as long as she can remember, and was lucky enough to have her love of art encourage by family and teachers. Emily has been doing custom artwork and murals for clients from the area since she was in high school at Mansfield Senior. She grew up with a love of music and writing. In her free time, she is usually doing yoga, writing, reading, drawing, painting (yes she does art when she’s off work too!), and spending time with her children.

Mansfield Art Center

Mansfield Art Center
700 Marion Avenue
Mansfield, Ohio 44906

Hours:
Tuesday - Sunday 11am - 5pm