Meet Our Teaching Artists

Kindal Blattner started her dance education and career in Phoenix, AZ receiving a B.F.A in Dance Education from Arizona State University in 1996.  After teaching briefly at Southeast Missouri State University, she moved to Greensboro and earned an M.F.A. in Dance at UNCG in 2003.  Kindal spent five years in Winston-Salem teaching dance at West Forsyth High School, before pursuing massage therapy training at GTCC.  After spending 20 years as a dancer, performer and teacher, Kindal is now a self-employed licensed massage therapist, who is also certified in geriatric massage.  Kindal believes that movement and massage are therapeutic to the body, mind and spirit and can be a great way to reduce stress, alleviate pain and stiffness, connect with others and find joy.

 

Molly Freilich graduated with degrees in sculpture, ceramics, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies in 2016.  She has over two and a half years experience as a ceramic teaching assistant and has been studying fine art for 8 years.  She has studied soda, wood and gas firing, throwing on the wheel, hand building, glaze making, sculpture, woodshop, performance art, and painting in addition to interdisciplinary studies in women’s, gender and sexuality subjects.  Molly most enjoys hand-altering wheel thrown ceramics that reflect her research and personal experience.

 

Diana EngelDiana Engel delights in helping others find their inner poets and in bringing writers and artists together to learn from one another. Her desire is to use poetry to grow the inner self, spark synergy within the arts and build the creative community. She has created and led two extensive poetry writing workshops, Verve of Verse and Ice Melting on a Hot Stove as well as several ekphrastic and one session events. Diana received a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Writing and a Masters of Science in Library Science from University of Tennessee Knoxville. Her poetry has appeared in Greensboro’s Visual Poetry Walk, The Gathering, Snapdragon, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Open to Interpre­tation, Wordworks, and fire & chocolate. She has served as editor and head of po­etry anthology projects for Writers’ Group of the Triad and Penn-Griffin Middle School resulting in the anthologies fire & chocolate and Sharing the Light.

 

 Sam Jordan photo2Samantha “Sam” Jordan received her BFA with a concentration in painting from UNC Greensboro. In addition to painting, Sam is skilled in printmaking, ceramic clay,  and sewing. Her diverse sculpture work includes  the use of wax, wood, clay, polymer clay, styrofoam, sand carving, welding, plaster mold and casting, metal casting, rubber molds, and urethane casting. Sam is also skilled in jewelry making including hand-made polymer clay beads and pendants.

 

 

Leslie Martin received her BS degree in Therapeutic Recreation in 1985 from Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont. Leslie began her career with the Older Adult Institue in Bedford, New York and quickly experienced the therapeutic benefits of creating art. With a deep interest in the art and personal and professional study Leslie became passionate about applying her knowledge of rec therapy towards helping others explore their creativity and leisure pursuits. After moving to North Carolina, Leslie received her certification as a counselor and began helping those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues; understanding that healthy leisure pursuits can be a means to psychological and physical health and well- being. After raising her children, Leslie felt a pull to work with the older adult population and has incorporated her love of creativity with helping others enjoy the pleasures of making art.  When pursuing her own creativity, Leslie enjoys sewing, knitting, painting and decoupage.

 

Jennifer Nichols received her BFA with a concentration in Design from UNC Greensboro. While her focus in school was pottery and ceramic sculpture, she works now in mixed media. In addition to clay, Jennifer is skilled in woodcarving, sculpture, jewelry, sewing, and mixed media. Her diverse mixed media wall reliefs include the use of wood, clay, paper, metal, paint, and found objects. Jennifer is also skilled in beaded jewelry making including hand-made earrings, bracelets and pendants.

 

 

Jerry O’Donnell has been a fiber person since the mid 1960’s when he learned the craft of loom weaving in Western New York State during the mid-century Arts and Crafts Revival, under the tutelage of a master weaver. O’Donnell came to Greensboro, NC, in 2000, where he was invited to become a member of the Local Weavers’ Guild. Since then he has retired from employment as a Registered Nurse, and has further explored the use of fiber in artmaking. In 2011, he met local Fabric Felt maker, Victoria Clegg. Under her inspiration, and hands on experience, O’Donnell is now exploring the manipulation of fiber felting materials. Using an admiration for the works of late artist, Mark Rothko, he is now exploring color balance without the constraint of linear construction demanded by loom weaving. His earlier work can be found in private collections in Buffalo, New York City, Hollywood, FL, Niagara Falls, Arlington, TX, Long Island, the Hamptons, Paris, and Manila.

 

 

Gwen Poole3Gwendolyn Poole holds degrees in theatre (GTCC) and sociology (Guilford College) and enjoys engaging in theatre projects that deal with social issues. She was most recently seen as Lena Younger “Mama” in Community Theatre of Greensboro’s production of A Raisin in the Sun. She served on the production team as Costume Designer for GTCC’s production of Greater Tuna and as Artistic Director for the Summer Drama and Step Camp at Saint James Presbyterian Church. As a member of the Greensboro Playwright’s Forum, Gwen has directed for the Evening of Shorts at City Arts Drama Center in Greensboro and has had one of her plays produced there and also by the Plaid Players Company in Burlington, NC. She has also performed with Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre, City Arts Drama Center, We Are One, Montage Showcase Ensemble and Inner Village Arts-South. As founder of the DayStar Liturgical Dance Ministry and the FirstFruits Drama Ministry at Saint Matthews United Methodist Church, Gwen works with participants age four through senior adults. She is currently developing her Drama for Living business which includes one-woman presentations, drama coaching, workshops, directing services, and more.

 

Betsy photoBetsy Renfrew holds a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing from UNCG with additional studies done at Penland School of Crafts and the documentary studies certificate program at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. She has over 15 years teaching experience in various NC community colleges and more recently has been teaching English as a Second or Other Language (ESOL) to refugees and immigrants in the Greensboro area. Betsy enjoys exploring art and cultural diversity by working with/learning from the Montagnard Community. She has brought elder Montagnard artists to arts festivals including the NC Folklife Festival in September, 2013 and other public events to share their weaving and basketry skills. She also participated in the Community Folklife Documentation Institute between 2009-2011, documenting traditional Montagnard weaving and video documentation with the refugee community.  Currently she is creating artists’ books using hand made paper from local fiber sources and traditionally woven Montagnard textiles (as well as recycled and re-purposed materials). She shares a plot at a local community garden with the Women’s Learning Group, a group of Montagnard grandmothers who are learning English and health literacy while raising vegetables to sell at the Farmer’s Market.

 

Nick RichNick Rich is a composer, guitarist, and teacher with a wide range of musical interests and professional activities. His compositions, performed internationally by virtuoso musicians, examine the intersections of music, memory, language, culture, and digital media. He is an active performer in the world of bluegrass, and also co-directs Collapss (the Collective for Happy Sounds), a multimedia music and dance ensemble focusing on improvisation. Nick earned a Master of Music degree at UNCSA and a Bachelor of Music at UNCG. 

 

 

stretzphoto2Sidney Stretz is an artist and educator from Columbia, MO currently residing in Greensboro, NC. She received her MFA from the California College of Arts and her BFA from the University of Missouri. Her work is influenced by everyday struggles and situations, social anxiety, and failed expectations.

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Comments are closed.