ACA LEADERSHIP & HISTORY
History & Future
The Adrian Center for the Arts grew out of the Lenawee Council for the Visual Arts (LCVA), a non-profit organization founded by local artists in 1998 and dedicated to promoting and supporting the visual arts in Lenawee County. Founded in 2015, the ACA has as its vision to Inspire, Create and Grow. It’s mission: “Through the ACA, the visual arts flourish and are celebrated regionally. We accomplish this through passionate artists, arts education, and creative enrichment for people of all ages and abilities.”
The Adrian Center for the Arts was established on an abandoned 55-acre former state property (the Adrian Girls Training School) north of Adrian. The property was purchased by PlaneWave Instruments in 2018 who embraced the ACA and offered a long-term lease. The Art Center uses six buildings and provides opportunities for established artists by making studio space available; for students of all ages wishing to learn about ceramics, warm and kiln glass, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, or photography; for the public to be revitalized and empowered by the arts through ACA Gallery exhibits and Professional Artist Series.
The ACA is governed by a volunteer board of trustees: Kenneth Thompson, President; Kris Schmidt, Vice President; Paula Trentman, Secretary; Michael Jacobitz, Treasurer; Erik Gable, Paula Holtz, Jim Philp, Theresa Rupley, Trustees.
ACA Studio/Program Chairs: Pi Benio, Programming; Kris Cravens, Clay; Taina Mantey, Special Programming; Sue Matych-Hager, Glass; Jill Shaffer, 2-D; Juila Tomaro, Youth Programming.
Lisa Neuman, Executive Director; Maria Kolin, Registrar; Catrina Ossmann, Clever Ideas Marketing, Social Media; Amy Philp, Director of Volunteers; Ryan Schoonover, Photographer and Webmaster.
The Adrian Center for the Arts is happy to share information with our visitors and partners.
Link to Guidestar: https://www.guidestar.org/profile/38-3442761
Covid 19 Statement: The Adrian Center for the Arts is prepared to "Stay Safe, Stay Creative." Classes are limited to 6 students and all attending must be prepared to wear a facecovering unless an existing health risk prohibits. All class spaces and shared tools are cleaned and disinfected, and hand sanitizer is available in each teaching area. If you have signed up for a class and become ill, and cannot attend the class, a credit for a future class or a refund will be issued.
Memberships and Residencies
Membership Benefits include: complimentary admission to Professional Artist Series; Access to creative space in the gallery common space (during gallery hours); Email communications from the Adrian Center for the Arts regarding exhibitions and events; Socials which include ACA artists; 10% reduction for any class offered by the ACA. Discounted space at Art-A-Licious; Ability to show in up to seven ACA sponsored shows at a low commission rate of 20%.
Resident Artist Benefits
All the benefits of a member plus: Dedicated personal studio space with 24/7 access; Working in a community of dedicated artists; Social occasions within the studio community and the greater ACA community; Access to guest artist workshops; Opportunity for marketing idea exchange; Opportunity to sell art in the retail space of the ACA Gallery and during campus-wide community visit days in May and December at a low commission rate of 20%.
Clay and 2D Residencies
Residencies are cooperatives. 24/7 access is allowed in clay and 2D studios. Candidates for residency must submit an application and portfolio. Because the ACA is a cooperative, all residents are counted on to help with studio open hours, ACA activities, and studio maintenance.
Resident fees in the Clay Studio begin at $110 per month, dependent on the size of the work space. Glazes and firing are provided in the studio cost, with each resident purchasing their own clay. Utilities are included in the rental fee. Contact Kris Cravens for more information, 313 207-7682.
Resident fees in 2D (space in the Acorn Studio and Gallery Studio) begin at $100 and increase in price as space is larger. Utilities and wifi are included in the rental fee. Contact Jill Shaffer for more information, 517-270-2465.
OUR RESIDENT ARTISTS
Amy Garno Anderson received her BA and BFA in art from Siena Heights University in 2012 and 2013. She is a mixed media artist, and she and her husband, Jim, also a ceramicist, teach ceramics to young students in the ACA Youth Program. She is a resident in Community Clay at the ACA.The Andersons live in Tecumseh.
Jim Anderson is a practicing psychologist at Chelsea Hospital in Chelsea, MI. He also has a private practice, Perspectives, in Tecumseh. He has taken Community Clay classes at Adrian College (where he met Amy) for several years prior to becoming a resident artist at the Adrian Center for the Arts. Jim and Amy team teach at the ACA, helping young people develop their skills in clay.
Rainey Bassemier has been an avid ceramicist for many years. Nature photography and watercolors were his primary medium before he discovered ceramics. He has had a one-man show at the Black Door Gallery in Tecumseh and has also been seen in various venues including Kingman Museum, Kellogg Community College, Tampp Library, Battle Creek Federal Building and Hidden Lake Gardens. Rainey has been a dedicated volunteer at Adrian’s Artalicious Throwing Tent for many years. Rainey is the ACA Clay Studio Technician. He lives in Tecumseh.
Crystal Bickford has always enjoyed writing, painting and creating. She is a published author of two books, one published in 2009, the other this year. Her career path has taken her from offices to airplanes to even running her own restaurant. Her art interest was sparked when she stumbled upon a mother-son painting date-night and she has enjoyed exploring with paints on canvas ever since. She is eager to learn more and further develop her skills as a resident of the ACA. Her work can be viewed at:
Metal Sculptor Jim Bundshuh studied sculpture at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, earning his BFA in 1991. He works in steel, wood, concrete, ceramics and found materials. Jim's work has been exhibited at Detroit area galleries and at Adrian’s Artalicious. Jim’s workspace allows him to offer classes to aspiring sculptors.
Steve Chesher holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University where he majored in art. His concentration at ISU was in printmaking. He began working in ceramics in 2009 and became a charter member and resident of the ceramics studio at the Adrian Center for the Arts in 2015. Steve is part of the kiln team at the Center. Steve primarily creates pottery and is especially interested in Raku, enjoying the firing process and the challenges it presents. Steve also enjoys creating clay sculptures influenced by gargoyles and grotesques. Steve has exhibited his pottery and sculptures locally.
Michael Collins is a resident artist at Adrian Center for the Arts. He has honed his skills through classes at Adrian College, world travels, and dedicated effort. He is a prolific artist in many different genre. His studio features large pieces, his main media is working in oils. He has participated as a mentor in the “Side by Side” program and was selected for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Mi. He resides in Adrian.
Rita Coudron is an avid ceramicist and a valued member of the ACA Clay Studio. Rita is a nature artist sculpting log forms into gorgeous tree lamps and vases. She is a perfectionist when it comes to detailing bark, and she participates in many shows and fairs during the year.
Justin Robert Cox is a visual artist whose main focus is ceramic sculpture as well as installations composed of driftwood, string, and ceramic elements. Most of his work is centered around social, political, and environmental injustices. Besides being a resident at the ACA, Justin is also a studio artist at The Collingwood Art Center.
ACA Clay Studio Director Kris Cravens began her career in fashion merchandising and fabric design. Her transition to clay from fabric came easy. She employs patterns and layers of color on her clay work much like working with fabric. Her focus is functional dinnerware to honor the family meal. Currently represented by three Detroit galleries and a successful Etsy store, she has also participated in a number of art fairs including the Ann Arbor Art Fair and Art-A-Licious.
Mary Gautz has all her life been interested in photography. Her work tends to focus on nature photography, many of which from the nature that surrounds us in Lenawee County. Her love of God’s beautiful world shows in her photography. Mary attended SHU graduating in May 2015 with a BA concentration in photography. She has had a photo published in the Jackson 24 book, and has had several photos selected to be in catalogs. Mary is also a paper artist constructing small hinged boxes of all colors and sizes. Mary teaches at the ACA and is a resident at the Acorn 2-D Studio.
ACA Class Registrar Maria Kolin says discovering Adrian Center for the Arts opened up a rich, new chapter in her life. After retiring from thirty-two years in the education profession, she began to explore the options for a new hobby. Beginner clay classes were available at the ACA, she signed up and was hooked. Her passion has evolved into sculpture art. She enjoys having a studio in the ACA clay community and the resources, friendships and support the ACA provides.
ACA Special Programs Director Taina Mantey started painting at age 14 and continues to work in all painting media. She majored in Fine Art at CCS in Detroit until she enrolled in a class called ‘Psychology of Creativity’ that inspired her to pursue art education. While teaching K-12 art for 25 years she continued to study and produce art. Taina’s art is rooted in story-telling and expressing emotional experiences. Her portraits combine symbolic content to create highly personal glimpses into the subject’s lives. She especially likes to explore the simultaneous experiences of life through layering and transparency. Taina has a studio in the 2-D Gallery studios.
Amy Philp began learning clay upon her retirement, gravitating to figurative sculpture and portraiture. Having taught English in a former life, Amy's love of literature and its themes inspires her work. She continues to expand her skills as an ACA Resident Artist and is also the ACA Volunteer Coordinator. Amy has earned honors and awards at Adrian College, the Michigan Small Colleges Exhibition, and the Michigan Education Association Art Acquisitions Purchase Exhibition in Lansing.
Catherine Royer works in a variety of 2-D media, including oil, acrylic, and encaustic painting; various methods of printmaking; letterpress; drawing; artist’s books; and mixed media. She has MFA in painting, from Miami University and studied additionally as a graduate student in art and art history at Indiana University. She has exhibited, juried and been awarded in numerous shows throughout the nation. Catherine is a professor of art and design at Adrian College.
2-D Studio Director Jill Shaffer works in pastels and has been a “drawer” all her life. As a very young girl, Jill’s artistic eye was captured by colors and shapes. While raising a family and running a business with her husband for 50 years, she found time to take many workshops in oil, watercolor and pastel from well-known artists, such as Daniel Greene. Jill has had seven solo shows, participated in many juried group shows, and has won many awards. She is a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society. ln 2014 she was accepted into ArtPrize, an international show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can see Jill's work at www.dailypaintworks,com/artist/lantajill-shaffer-11014
Laura VanCamp was born and raised in the rural community of Reading, Michigan and attended Adrian College where she earned a BFA in Studio Art, Ceramics. She went on to earn her MFA in Studio Arts, Ceramics at the University of South Carolina completed in 2012. Upon her return to Michigan she has taught classes at Adrian College, Henry Ford College, and the Village Potter's Guild. Laura is a regular teacher at the ACA. View Laura's work at www.vancampstudio.com
ACA MEMBER / INSTRUCTORS
ACA Founder, Program Director and Ceramicist Pi Benio taught ceramics at Adrian College for 36 years, winning several teaching awards. An active exhibiting artist herself, she maintains a studio in Adrian. Pi has shown her work in NYC, Chicago and Japan, and presented a one-person show at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She is a regular teacher at the ACA and committed to educating the community on the relevancy of art. She teaches ceramics at the ACA and along with a member committee, creates the gallery and programming schedule.
Dianna Callaghan studied art at Eastern Michigan University and IUPUI. She retired from Adrian Public Schools in 2011. While teaching art at APS, many of her students received top state recognition for their thoughtful and creative works of art. Since retiring, Dianna has taught at Community Arts of Tecumseh, and worked with young artists at APS and Adrian Community Preschool. She especially loves sculpture and clay. Inspiring students and seeing the joy it brings them is her favorite part of teaching! She brings her enthusiasm for teaching to the ACA youth program.
Lorenzo Cristaudo is a print and glass artist and teacher at the ACA. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Lorenzo has an eclectic collection of experiences and education. Going into photographic science as a technological career path eventually morphed into a dual career in artistic glassblowing and skilled level baking and food service. Added to this voyage later in life is a BFA in studio arts from Siena Heights University in Adrian with a major in print and book arts. Lorenzo teaches and exhibits in various venues in this region.
Dori Durbin teaches art to youth at the ACA. Dori grew up and currently resides in rural Adrian. She is an acrylics and digital artist and recently released her first children’s picture book, “Little Cat Needs Space.” Dori sees her art as an opportunity to bring joy to others and empower their own creativity. Her book has been placed on Barnes and Noble. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-cat-needs-space-doridurbin/1136816136?ean=9781078790789
Anne Flora attended graduate school in printmaking at the University of Iowa, studying under Mauricio Lasansky. Anne went to NYC where she pursued printmaking career at the Printmaking Workshop, and was selected to participate in several international competitions. After a long hiatus, she became enamored with feltmaking and loved the way color, texture and composition could be incorporated. She teaches and creates work in her Tecumseh studio, occasionally teaching at the ACA as well.
Lindsay Hibbard teaches illustration at the Adrian Center for the Arts. He is an award-winning illustrator and designer. He has many illustration projects to his credit including government illustration projects with the Federal Reserve, and the Pentagon Museum; the Health Care Industry including the Cleveland Clinic, Genesys; and sports related design for NASCAR, the Super Bowl, Adidas, the Bob Hope Classic and the NHL. He has illustrated five published children’s books.
Linda Jacobs teaches mosaic, fused, and copper foil classes at the ACA. She is a graduate of Siena Heights University, where she majored in art and education. Her commission work includes sign and mural painting, drawing, fibers, and glass. Linda’s glass pieces have been featured in area galleries and shows. She has a master’s degree in secondary education plus many additional hours of art studies. Her teaching career includes adult education art classes in local schools and senior centers, and 30 years as an alternative and high school art teacher in Jackson Public Schools. She taught dual enrollment classes through Kendall College of Art and Design.
Mary Kelly is a fibers artist and an instructor at the ACA. Mary specializes in silk dyeing, felted purses & nuno felting and she was a featured Artist at 2019 Artalicious. Her Facebook page is Accessoriesbymak.
Andrea Marsh is a potter and a resident artist at the ACA. She also leads the ACA Teen Club and is a teacher in the youth program. Andrea has a Master’s in Early Childhood Education and a BA of Art and Art History from Michigan State University. Andrea always tries to see things from a different perspective and that is how she makes her art. She also tells a story through her art – especially capturing family experiences. She is a teacher at the Montessori Children’s House of Lenawee County and has worked at Hotplate: Pottery Studio in Marquette. She also directed the Liberty Children Art Project in the upper peninsula of Michigan, bringing art to rural areas in the UP.
Glass Studio Director Susan Matych-Hager is an art glass beadmaker, also known as lampwork or torchwork and teaches beadmaking and other glass techniques at the ACA. Her foray into glass began in 2001 with a class she took at the Toledo Museum of Art. Susan is now an accomplished artist, having been represented in the last seven annual juried exhibits by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers as well as several other shows, and published in Bead & Button, The Flow, Ornament, and Profitable Glass Quarterly magazines.
Jeanne O’Leary has always been fascinated with watercolor and loves to paint realistic portraits with a goal of capturing the unique beauty of people and places around her. Jeanne has been teaching watercolor classes for 20 years and has won several awards for her paintings through the years including from the Michigan Watercolor Society, the Livingston Fine Arts Association and the cover contest for Art Supply Warehouse. She is formally trained at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and has attended several workshops with well-known artists such as Zoltan Szabo, Joseph Fettingis and Mary Whyte. Her work has been on display in the past at the Howell Chamber of Commerce, Starbucks in Adrian, the Stamelos Gallery at University of Michigan, Dearborn, the Flint Council of Arts, and Studio 1219 Port Huron.
ACA Webmaster Ryan Schoonover started the ACA Photography Club and brings students together to learn photography techniques. Growing up in Adrian, Schoonover is a graduate of Adrian High School and the Lenawee Tech Center in graphic design. He attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where he studied graphic design from 1998-2000. He has taught photoshop and graphic design at the Tech Center. He has 24 years of graphic design experience and more than 12 years each as a photographer, web designer and video editor. He currently has his own firm meeting the design and photography needs of his clients.
Thomas Thiery teaches watermedia classes at the ACA. Tom is a long-time artist who grew up in the greater Chicago area and attended the Art Institute of Chicago and has degrees from Western and Eastern Michigan universities. He is a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Watermedia Society, and has been featured in many watermedia publications and has exhibited around the nation. Tom has received many awards and also been commissioned by many businesses and individuals to create art.
Julia Tomaro is the Youth Art Education Director and an instructor at the ACA. She is retired as art curriculum coordinator for the Berkley School District in Oakland County. She held many positions with the Michigan Art Education Association: region liaison, division level chair, conference chair and vendor exhibit chair. Her education includes both a BA and Master of Art Education from the University of Michigan and a Master of Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. She has also attended and presented at summer workshops and conventions for art educators. She works in fabrics and clay.
ACA LEADERSHIP & HISTORY