Faculty & Adjuncts 

Our full-time and adjunct faculty are carefully selected based upon their knowledge of media to be taught, their ability as an instructor and their experience as a professional artist.  Most have earned a BFA degree, with the majority also holding an MA or MFA degree. Faculty members are rated by their students each term, relative to their effectiveness as an instructor.

We also routinely bring in a number of visiting national and international artists to teach in our program.

Fall 2017

Rebecca Andresen, a ceramic artist of 14 years, earned an MA in Ceramics from Stephen F. Austin State University and a BFA from Sam Houston State University. A native Texan, she has always been intrigued and influenced by the rich history and culture the world has to offer.

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.

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. With 30 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 30 years, three continents, and 13 publications. She divides her time between her two passions—teaching encaustics and studio art, with an emphasis on handmade paper and wax.

Sylvia 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.

Justin Boyd  Sculpture & Integrated Media Department Chair holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and a BFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout Texas, including Artpace, San Antonio; Art Palace, Houston; and Blue Star Contemporary, San Antonio. Justin also hosts a long-running radio show on a local jazz station (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 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 1975-1977 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.

Jerry Cabrera has an MFA in Painting from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a BFA in Painting from Texas State University. He has received grants from the National Association for Latino Arts and Culture, The Texas Cultural Collaborative, and was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Grant in 2011. Cabrera’s work is included in the Neiman-Marcus Collections in eight cities and seven states and in the San Antonio AT&T Center Collection.

Cecilia Castro-Hancock, a native of Mexico, graduated from t Our Lady of the Lake University with a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology. She earned a certificate in Ceramics at the Southwest School of Art and has been a ceramic artist for over 25 years. Her work has been in multiple collective and individual exhibits in the U.S. and Mexico and has been the recipient of several awards. 

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. 

Charles Cooper was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He has a long tradition of blacksmithing through his mother’s side of the family. Cooper studied blacksmithing at Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park, learning from the resident masterblacksmith, Kelly Kring, as well as attended the School for Visual Arts in Manhattan to further his skills.

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.

Jean Dahlgren creates art by layering dye and paint on fine cloth that allows light and shadow to add the “end” to each story. Her story cloths have been exhibited in galleries throughout Texas. The love of these processes has lead Dahlgren to teach both curious beginners and advanced fiber artists.

Jennifer Ling Datchuk · Ceramics 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 at 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.

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 U.S. Dentinger has been the recipient of many national awards and featured on the cover of Watercolor Artist Magazine.

Todd Fichter earned 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.

Marisa Finos a native of Massachusetts, Finos received her MFA in Craft/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and her BFA from the University of Massachusetts - Dartmouth. She recently participated in residencies at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, The Vermont Studio Center, and Arteles Creative Center in Finland.

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. 

Jay Fox received his MFA at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Print and Narrative Forms and his BFA in printmaking from the Savannah College of Art and Design. His work in handmade paper, prints, and sculpture has been exhibited nationally. Fox is currently working at Penland School of Crafts where he is the Print, Letterpress, Books, and Paper coordinator. This position provides a crossover and conversation between people and the tools and machinery they employ which informs his work and practice.

Sarah Fox earned her MFA from the University of Texas at San Antonio and her BA from Southwestern University in Georgetown; she also studied painting at the Glasgow School in Houston. An artist and educator working, Fox has had solo shows in San Antonio and Houston, and participated in group exhibitions across the US, Austria, and Germany.

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.

Jan Harrell has been involved in the enamel medium for over forty years. She received her BFA in Jewelry and Enamel from Texas Tech University, and an MFA in sculpture from the University of Houston. For the last 25 years, she has been the enameling instructor at the Glassell School of Art. Jan exhibits jewelry scale and small object work nationally and internationally and has been the recipient of numerous awards.

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

Helen Hiebert constructs installations, sculptures, films, artists’ books, and works in paper using handmade paper as her primary medium. She teaches, lectures, and exhibits her work internationally, and she is the author of the books Playing With Pop-Ups, Playing With PaperPapermaking with PlantsThe Papermaker's Companion, and Paper Illuminated. Helen has served on the boards of the International Association of Hand Papermakers and Paper Artists and Hand Papermaking Magazine. She lives and works in Colorado.

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.

Mary Holland is an artist, teacher, and the Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Studio School in Richmond, VA. She holds a BFA in printmaking from Syracuse University and an MFA in painting and printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. Holland works primarily in printmaking, drawing, and collage, and has been awarded five Visual Arts Residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA.

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 & Ceramic Studio Technician graduated from Appalachian State University with a BFA in Ceramics and Sculpture. Prior to moving to San Antonio, he maintained his studio practice in Boone, NC area, was a member at the Collective Studio and Gallery, and was the clay area Studio Manager at Appalachian State University.

David Kraft holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He currently runs the Digital Fabrication lab for UTSA's architecture department, and owns and operates a custom fabrication shop producing wood and metal projects for contractors, architects, and developers in San Antonio. Kraft works with CNC equipment in his own shop and has taught students the basics of digital fabrication using a CNC router for more than five years.

Eleonore Lee · Interim Papermaking & Books Arts Program Coordinator 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.

Jon Lee is a printmaker, papermaker and educator and is currently Associate Professor at Trinity University. A native of South Korea, he worked as a professional printer for eight years, both in Korea and in the United States. Upon completing his Master Printer Training at the Tamarind Institute of Lithography, he moved to Iowa to earn his MFA in printmaking at the University of Iowa. Jon has exhibited widely throughout South Korea and in the United States.

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 the Southwest School of Art for close to 10 years.

Jeannette MacDougall has an art degree from Parson School of Design. She is a studio artist and arts consultant, and has worked as an art educator for over 20 years for the San Antonio Art Institute, San Antonio Children’s Museum, and the Southwest School of Art. MacDougall is a former Resident Director at Moulin a Nef, an arts residency program in Auvillar, France.

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. 

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 competed and won Season Two, Episode Eight of the History Channel’s show Forged in Fire.

Samantha Ostos is a local freelance art educator who works with students of all ages in a wide variety of mediums. Ostos has taught for the Southwest School of Art’s Mobile Arts Program and Summer Art Studios, The McNay, Communities in Schools of San Antonio, and the San Antonio Children’s Shelter, to name a few.

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.

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.

Miki Rodriguez was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. She received her MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Houston. Rodriguez has taught art for over 30 years at all levels including elementary, middle school, high school, and higher education, and is presently a full-time artist working in mixed media with an emphasis on fiber 

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 is currently working with NEISD and teaches both beginning and Advanced Placement sculpture students at Claudia Taylor Johnson High School.

Sandra Salaices, a native of Mexico, received her BFA in Metals and Ceramics from the University of Texas at El Paso. The desert landscape and border-plex region inspires her work; her jewelry often connects the wearer with their own inner spirituality and creative energy through the use of natural elements. Sandra is the 2017-2018 Metals Department Artist-in-Residence at the Southwest School of Art.

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 Southwest School of Art’s Saturday Morning Discovery program.

Jillian Sortore 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 Sauer has a BA from Trinity University. She is a freelance graphic designer and photographer, and operates a multidisciplinary workshop, Guten Co., that offers custom letterpress printing and handmade functional ceramics. She also approaches the industrial equipment she uses daily as an unconventional method of drawing, creating fine art print work using alternative lock ups in traditionally commercial printing presses.

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 Southwest School of Art 2011 Award for Teaching.

John Speck has collected, cut, and polished gemstones all his life. He currently teaches gemstone and lapidary arts courses at the Northside Adult and Community Education department. John has an extensive collection of gemstones, both rough and finished, that he integrates into his classes. He is an active member of The Southwest Gem and Mineral Society, The Geology Society of San Antonio, and the Rollin Rock Club (National Club). 

Ryan Takaba — Ceramics Department Chair holds an MFA in Ceramics from Kent State University and a BFA from University of Hawaii. Takaba has taught at Kent State University and University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth. He exhibits his work throughout the U.S. and has recently participated in residencies at the European Ceramic Work Center in the Netherlands and The Pottery Workshop in Jingdezhen, China—the birthplace of porcelain.

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.

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.

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