Faculty & Adjunct Faculty

Faculty for Fall 2016

JACKIE ABRAMS has been a basketmaker since 1975, when she first apprenticed to an 81-year-old traditional white ash basketmaker. Since 1990, she has been exploring plaiting techniques using heavy cotton paper as her weaving material, as well as the possibilities of contemporary basketry. She exhibits her work at shows, galleries, and museums; has been included in numerous books; and teaches throughout the US, Australia, Canada, and Ghana.

MELINDA ADAMS is an Associate Professor in fashion management at the University of the Incarnate Word, with graduate degrees from the University of Wyoming and an undergraduate degree from the University of Nebraska. Her surface design and textile art pieces have been included at national and international shows such as AQS, ITAA, and Hoffman Challenge.

LORENA ANGULO is a Mexican artist who works in metal, including metal clay and mixed media. Her passion for her culture and its traditions plays a big role in her designs. Her work has been included in Metal Clay Beads, Exceptional Work in Metal Clay 2008 and 2009, Fusion Magazine (Journal of the International PMC Guild), and featured on the Metal Clay Guru site.

KAREN BAKER received an MFA from Southern Methodist University with an emphasis in printmaking, drawing, and painting and a BFA from Wayne State University. She is currently Registrar of Loans and Exhibitions at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

BENNER BARCLAY acquired his first pottery studio in San Antonio in 1985 following a four-year apprenticeship with Dennis Smith. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA in English and History, but was seduced into clay with his first throwing class. He has taught wheel throwing in San Antonio, TX; Rockville, MD; and Mandeville, LA where he also maintained his studios. Now with thirty years of experience as a professional potter, he returns to San Antonio and the Southwest School of Art.

MICHELLE BELTO holds an MA in Fine Arts and Consciousness from John F. Kennedy University and a BA in Education with certifications in Art and Theater. Her work as a performer, educator, and visual artist spans more than thirty years, three continents, and thirteen publications. She divides her time between her two passions—teaching encaustics and studio art, with an emphasis on handmade paper and wax.

SYVLIA BENITEZ is a nationally known installation artist whose work has begun to explore landscape painting within the context of a site-specific agenda. She is the recipient of two Pollock-Krasner awards, an AICA award, and two National Endowment for the Arts Visiting Artist Awards. Benitez has led over 60 community-based mural workshops along the eastern seaboard.

BIRDIE BOONE is a maker of tableware and a researcher of the domestic realm, especially of social tendencies and their effects on personal identity with regard to food and modern lifestyle. Birdie received her MFA in Artisanry/Ceramics from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and a BA in Fine Arts from The College of William and Mary.She was a long-term resident artist at The Archie Bray Foundation for the Ceramic Arts in Helena, Montana, from 2007 to 2009. Birdie currently lives and maintains a full-time studio practice in rural southwestern Virginia.

JUSTIN BOYD SCULPTURE & INTEGRATED MEDIA DEPARTMENT CHAIR finished his MFA in integrated media at The California Institute of the Arts and graduated from the University of Texas in San Antonio with a BFA in ceramics. Boyd has shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, recently including the Visual Art Center, Austin; Art Palace, Houston; UTSA Satellite Space; and Blue Star Contemporary Art Center. In addition, Boyd hosts a radio show each week on KRTU.

SABRA BOOTH holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA from the University of Houston. She is a nationally and internationally exhibiting artist with recent shows in New York and Germany. Booth also was a Fulbright Scholar to Finland and has been awarded grants by Artpace and by the Brooklyn Arts Council.

BRAD BRAUNE received his BA in Architecture from Texas Tech University. He taught watercolor from 1975-77 as part of the original faculty of the Southwest School of Art. He also teaches watercolor at other local arts institutions and shows locally and nationally.

LIZA COLLINS, born in London, trained as a painter at Northeast London Polytechnic, and later in tapestry at the Royal College of Art. Her tapestries are in many public collections, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Contemporary Art Society of London.

MARGARET CRAIG PRINTMAKING DEPARTMENT CHAIR received an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Texas at San Antonio. She also holds a BS in Biology, a BS in Art, and an MA with an emphasis in painting from the University of Wisconsin. A respected leader in less harmful printmaking technology, she has demonstrated at national conferences. Her work is shown nationally and internationally, she is part of numerous collections, and has been part of the Sanbao International Printmaking project.

JIM CROFT has practiced traditional hand technologies, especially those used in working with wood and fiber, since 1970. His efforts to rediscover and sustain the best historic structures and materials, focusing on recycling and using local materials, naturally led to tool making. Croft and his wife have hosted the Technology of the Medieval Book and Oldways seminars where he has also co-taught.

JENNIFER LING DATCHUK CERAMIC FACULTY holds an MFA in Artisanry from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and a BFA in Crafts from Kent State University. Trained traditionally in ceramics, her current multidisciplinary work addresses conflict, as experienced through issues of identity, race, and gender. Datchuk has been awarded grants from the Artist Foundation of San Antonio and Artpace for travel and for research the birthplace of porcelain in Jingdezhen, China. She exhibits work nationally and maintains Dim and Sum, a small design line of functional objects for the home.

JESSICA DECUIR has an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from Webster University, St. Louis. She has taught art courses at San Antonio College since 2000 and at SSA since 1999.  She is a professional artist and musician who has exhibited and performed music nationally and internationally. 

RIC DENTINGER, watercolorist, is a contemporary realist who paints traditional subjects. He learned to draw and paint at an early age and is primarily self-taught. Dentinger’s career began as a professional illustrator and art director. He has exhibited in many states throughout the US. Dentinger has been the recipient of many national awards and featured on the cover of Watercolor Artist Magazine.

TODD FICHTERearned his BFA in photography from Southwest Missouri State University. Fichter is a full-time graphic designer. He and his wife Kellie are the primary creative force behind Fishead Design Studio & Microgallery.

MIKE FISHER received his Master of Communication Arts degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and his BA degree at the University of South Carolina. Goofa Man Productions is Fisher’s one-man cartooning, illustration and animation studio, and he has been a cartoonist for the former Starlog magazine, as well as Animation Magazine, Modeler's Resource, and other publications. His independent animation work on shorts have won several awards at film festivals.

CASEY GALLOWAY FIBERS DEPARTMENT PROGRAM COORDINATOR received a BFA in Fibers from the University of North Texas in Denton. A 2007 Kuhlman Foundation scholarship allowed her to travel and research Scandinavian weaving. She is an installation artist as well as a traditional weaver.

NICOLE GEARY earned an MFA in printmaking from the University of South Dakota and a BFA in printmaking from the University of Florida. She has exhibited in juried shows nationally including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Spudnik Press Cooperative, and Washington Printmaker’s Gallery. Her prints are included in several collections, both national and international.

JOE HARJO FACULTY & PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO MANAGER received his MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA from the University of Central Oklahoma. He exhibits regionally and his work is in many private collections.

NOEL HELLER has a MA and a BA from the University of Iowa in Art Education and Studio Art (Drawing & Ceramics).  She maintains a studio on her ranch outside of San Antonio where she home schools her children. Heller has taught studio art from pre-K through college, and mentored future art educators, from community centers to Universities, for over 20 years.  Her ceramic work has been exhibited nationally in Feats of Clay, NCECA Clay National, and Strictly Functional Pottery National.

NANCY HENEGAN holds a BFA in Fibers from the University of Wisconsin–River Falls. She previously was the Studio Programs Coordinator at the SSA. Nancy has taught art to adults and children in a variety of settings including SSA’s Mobile Art Program.

NINA “SAM” HIBLER holds a BS from Stephen F. Austin State University. She was introduced to flame working when creating glass laboratories tools. Her background in science adds a wealth of knowledge to the nuances of glass art. Hibler is owner of Dream Fire Glass and specializes in the creation of one-of-a kind beads. 

MIRA HNATYSHYN received an MFA at the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BS at the University of Maryland. She has exhibited her work locally and nationally. Hnatyshyn’s work appears in New American Paintings, No. 96 West Issue and her work is included in the Saatchi collection in London and other private collections.

DANIEL JACKSON is an artist and designer originally from San Antonio. He holds an MFA in Video for Performance and Integrated Media from the California Institute of the Arts and a BA from Stanford University. In addition to teaching, he works in a variety of digital media to create interactive installations and projections for performance.

GREGORY ALAN JOHNSON FACULTY & STUDIO MANAGER received his MFA in Printmaking and Drawing at Texas Tech University and his BFA with a concentration in Printmaking at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. He also studied art at San Jacinto Junior College before earning a degree in business at Texas State University.

BLAKE KENNEDY FACULTY & CERAMICS STUDIO TECHNICIAN graduated from Appalachian State University with a BFA in ceramics and sculpture. Prior to moving to San Antonio, he operated his own studio in Boone, NC and was the clay area Studio Manager at Appalachian State University. Regional exhibitions include the Catherine Smith Gallery, Boone, NC; Handmade in America, Asheville, NC; and The Greenhill Center for NC Art, Greensboro, NC.

JULIA BARBOSA LANDOIS earned an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and her BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her interdisciplinary works have been featured in museums, galleries, and festivals throughout the United States and internationally.  Her awards include artist residencies in New Mexico, Norway, and Germany. 

ELÉONORE LEE INTERIM PAPER & BOOK ARTS DEPARTMENT CHAIR holds an MFA in printmaking from the University of Iowa. Starting out as a painter in the UK, she became a printmaker while an exchange student at the Art Institute of Chicago, primarily because she was told not to. Understanding that technical knowledge is an artist's best tool led her to train at the Tamarind Institute in NM and study Book Arts at the UICB. As well as making her own work, her multi-disciplinary practice includes collaborating with authors as well as other visual artists.

JEANNETTE MACDOUGALL is a studio artist and arts consultant. She has worked as an art educator for over 20 years for the San Antonio Art Institute, San Antonio Children’s Museum, and SSA. MacDougall is a former Resident Director at Moulin a Nef, an arts residency program in Auvillar, France.

ANGELA MANN earned her MA from Eastern Illinois University majoring in 3-D Art with a minor in 2-D art, and her BFA from Midwestern State University, where she majored in ceramics and minored in painting. Angela taught for SAISD until retiring in 2015.  She has taught ceramics classes to beginning and intermediate students at Southwest School of Art for close to 10 years.

BENJAMIN MCVEY received his MFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas-San Antonio with a focus on painting, 3-D, and text-based work and his BFA in Communication Design from Texas State University. Before attending graduate school, he studied painting and drawing in New York City at the Art Students League and National Academy School. He has exhibited in New York and Texas and has numerous works in private collections.

LACEY MILLS received her MFA in printmaking from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University in Philadelphia and her BFA in painting and drawing from The University of Texas at El Paso. Her work deals with social and gender roles, using printmaking as a basis for her large scale pieces. She has exhibited in Mexico, Italy, and throughout the United States. 

RAY MORALES received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from The University of Texas at Austin and is known for his thrown, manipulated, and intricately decorated porcelain forms that are both sculptural and functional.

MAGGIE MORAWIETZ graduated from the Technische Hochschule, Reutlingen, Germany and the Meisterschule für Mode, Munich with degrees in Textile Design and Fashion Graphics. The multi-disciplinary German has exhibited her award-winning fiber pieces across the US and internationally before expanding her skills in the metals department of the Southwest School of Art seven years ago. Morawietz is a contributor to Lapidary Journal/Jewelry Artist Magazine.

JOHN NELSON received a BS degree in Industrial Arts Education from Brigham Young University and has taught in the Bureau of Indian Affairs education system. He is an active member of the San Antonio Potters Guild, having served several terms on the board of directors. His art, ceramics, and paper casting have been exhibited both nationally and internationally.

TOBIN NIETO has over eight years experience and training in blacksmithing and has been teaching one-on-one bladesmithing privately. Nieto recently competed and won Season 2, Episode 8 of the History Channel’s show Forged in Fire.

LISA NIGRO holds an MFA in sculpture from the University of Texas at Austin and a BFA in painting from University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Nigro is an interdisciplinary, multi-media artist working in painting, sculpture, and interactive installation art. She has produced large scale sculptures and installations for Burning Man and other festivals, including the Houston Art Car Parade.

SARAH PAGONA received her BA from Trinity University with an emphasis in photography. She is currently a working artist and an art teacher at Ronald Reagan High School in San Antonio.

VICTOR PAGONA PHOTOGRAPHY DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned his MFA in photography and sculpture at the University of South Carolina and his MA in art history at the University of Wisconsin. His most recent body of work was created using a combination of digital and silver-based media along with other materials.

JILLIAN PALONE METALS DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned her MFA from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville and received her BFA in jewelry design and metals from Pittsburg State University. She allows a variety of materials such as metal, resin, paper-clay, wood, rubber, and paints to inform her creative process. 

SARAH T. ROBERTS FACULTY & METALS STUDIO MANAGER received her MFA in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing from Texas Tech University with a secondary emphasis in digital photography. Her work explores the relationship between art and the human form through the creation of sculpture, photography, and video, and has been selected for many national exhibitions. She is co-director of Clamp Light Artist Studios and Gallery.

ALEX RUBIO is currently the Mosaic Studio Manager for the Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. As an arts organizer, he instructed in and coordinated community-based art programs including the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and San Anto Cultural Arts. As a studio artist, Rubio continues to illustrate and describe past and present life in San Antonio, documenting both cultural and personal experiences in his drawings and paintings.

DANIEL RIOS RODRIGUEZ was born in Killeen and currently lives and works in San Antonio. He received an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from the Yale School of Art, and a BFA from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Rodriguez has exhibited his work both nationally and internationally including a solo exhibition of paintings in New York City in early 2014.

KIMBERLY RUMFELT received her MFA in Studio Art from East Carolina University where she was an Instructor of Record, Studio Technician, and a Teaching Assistant of Design; she received her BFA from Texas Tech University. She currently teaches art for NEISD at Johnson High School. Her creative process is informed by a multitude of media, objects, and place.

RAMIN SAMANDARI has been a fine art photographer for the past 20 years. He has owned and operated his studio, Magical Realism, since 1998. His work has been in numerous solo and group exhibitions and is in the permanent collection of the San Antonio Museum of Art and University of Texas at San Antonio.

REGINA SANDERS ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMS, holds Associate Degrees in Fine Arts and Illustration/Fashion from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is a former fine arts instructor at a magnet school in Houston and coordinates the SSA SMD program.

CHRIS SAUTER INTERIM DRAWING & PAINTING DEPARTMENT CHAIR earned an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his BA from the University of the Incarnate Word. He was a 1999 Artpace Artist-in-Resident, and has exhibited both nationally and internationally. Sauter received the SSA 2011 Award for Teaching.

SUZANNE SPAHI has been involved with mosaics since 1993 and in 2001 studied at The Mosaic Art School in Ravenna, Italy. From 2001 – 2003 she taught at Mosaika Art & Design before opening her own mosaic school, Mosaikashop in Montreal, Canada. She has also taught mosaics at the Jumeirah International Art Center in Dubai, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and other international workshop venues as well as exhibitions.

RYAN TAKABA CERAMICS DEPARTMENT CHAIR holds an MFA in Ceramics from Kent State University and a BFA from University of Hawaii. Takaba has also taught at Kent State University and University of Massachusetts–Darmouth where he was also an Artist-in-Residence/Studio Manager.

JUSTIN TEJEDA received his BA along with his BFA in metals from Texas State University. He has worked for numerous artists in the Central Texas area as well as a gallery installer at the Texas State University Galleries.

KATE TERRELL received her MFA from University of Texas at San Antonio and her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She teaches a variety of art-related subjects including creative dance and lectures about art for adult education. For Terrell, drawing has been a mainstay while making sculptures and paintings throughout her life as an artist.

JEREMIAH TEUTSCHholds a BFA from Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design. He currently works at the McNay Art Museum and is a political illustrator for the Current and Local Community News. He is a founding member of Agora, a community art space. He is a frequent design collaborator with both Attic Rep and The Aesthetic of Waste. He also works as a visual artist, musician, sketch comedy actor, scientist, and inventor when time permits.

JARED THEIS received an MFA from the University of California, Davis in 2012. While at UC Davis he received a Joan Mitchell MFA grant and the Robert Arneson Award. In 2014 he was awarded a Statens Kunstnerstipend from Kulturradet from the Norway Arts Council in Oslo. His art practice spans ceramics, video, animation, and performance. He currently works in San Antonio, Texas.

KEVIN VAN WINKLE received an MA and MFA in ceramics from the University of Iowa and a BA in Art from the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. He has taught ceramics at Odessa College, Midland College, and the Shreveport Center for Art and Craft. Kevin has exhibited his work in raku and salt firing in numerous national exhibitions.

ABRAHAM VASQUEZ was an early participant in the SSA Teen Intensive Studio (Bee Nation) before earning his Associates Degree in Illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.  He is currently enrolled in the SSA BFA degree program.

SAM VELASQUEZ holds a BFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio; he attended Palo Alto College where he discovered his love for painting before transferring to UTSA. He has also been invited to participate in numerous group exhibitions including at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum and, most recently, at Texas A&M University-San Antonio’s Educational and Cultural Arts Center.

LARRY WEST owns and operates Dragonfire Hot Glass Studio. West has a BA in Art Education from Kent State University and has studied at the Pilchuck Glass School. He is an art teacher for the Northside Independent School District.

BECK WHITEHEAD Faculty Emeritus received an MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BA from Trinity University. Whitehead has taught papermaking workshops at Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, Pyramid Atlantic, Haystack, and at national conferences.

LYN WOODS received a certificate in ceramics from the Southwest School of Art in 2007. She also has studied ceramics at Anderson Ranch. Woods has previously taught ceramic classes for The Firehouse in Del Rio, Texas.