Our classes and workshops are taught by an amazing group of volunteers who are passionate about their craft and excited to share their talents with others. These volunteer instructors are working artists and educators with years of experience. Consider working with us.
Current Class Instructors:
Amanda Frayer, Open Studio
artisan // illustrator // designer
Check out her website: http://www.amandafrayer.com/
Khrystyna Khristianova, Darkroom Photography
As a photographer, I belong to art and, as an artist, I find my inspiration in major art movements. My recent work was influenced by abstract expressionism that I find in my everyday life, at home, and on the street. I like revealing something new about my subject every time I photograph it. I always look at things as if I see them for the first time. My attention goes to details, but I don’t try to make them perfect. I enjoy the looseness of compositions.
I’ve been practicing photography since 2005 when I got my first film camera. Times have changed and my cameras have changed too; but photography has always been the way to express myself. I’ve tried almost every possible kind of photography: large and small formats of film, digital, and wet-plate photography. Evolving from hobby, it has become my lifestyle.
Maybelle Taylor Bennett, Fiber Arts
As the Director of Howard University’s Community Association and the former chair of the DC Zoning Commission, Maybelle Taylor Bennett, is always up for a challenge. While the Shaw neighborhood is not her neighborhood of residence she has shown a deep commitment to the community through her work and exemplary service. It was through this commitment that she learned about ArtSpace.
Maybelle got her start with fibers early in her life from her mom, Ruby Mills Bennett. Since then she has developed an incredible set of skills in the fiber arts. She has graced the ArtSpace program with something she loves to do…getting her hands tangled in thread and teaching others what she has learned. She has an incredible sense to detail and a special sensitivity to working with others who are realizing their creative potential. All of her students know her as the “take it out queen”. She can spot the slightest deviation from a pattern a mile away. Her attention to detail also means that she knows what it takes to intricately bring threads together. Therefore she is the first to praise each student for the success in each step of the project. She has not only taught students to do amazing work, but she has produced many masterpieces, as well. The fiber arts class often takes time for “show and tell”.
For 11 years, Maybelle has faithfully taught many, many students at ArtSpace. 11 years!!!! She has a knack for gathering “heavy” equipment and supplies needed to make a successful fiber arts program. She has remained dedicated thru the many changes and challenges of the ArtSpace program. Maybelle kept ArtSpace alive at times when it looked like the program might not survive. Watching her students succeed and grow in their own creative endeavors is what she is most proud of. But what is most impressive about Maybelle is the way she is able to weave and knit a community through her fiber arts classes. This community that she has helped to create becomes more important than completing a project
Meredith Katz, Ceramics
Meredith started taking pottery classes in her freshman year of high school and was involved in the ceramics program at her school through my senior year. As a junior in high school, she was granted a fellowship to do art over a summer and enrolled in an intensive program at the Snowfarm Craft school. At the end of the program, the teacher, Robert (Bob) Burch (Putney, VT) asked her to come work with him. She worked with Bob throughout high school and college. At her college, there were no ceramics or glass programs, so in addition to working with Bob, she took pottery lessons at a studio called “Wesleyan Potters”. After she graduated, she moved to Washington, DC. She felt a burning need to get involved in arts programs in her community, so she began teaching pottery, mainly hand-building, at the Sitar Arts Center. Simultaneously, she has been taking classes for a number of years at Jill Hinkley’s studio in Adams Morgan. Meredith is currently working for the National Democratic Institute on their efforts in Kosovo to connect women leaders at local and national level. We are lucky to have Meredith as our neighbor and ceramics teacher.
Chrystal (Chris) Banks-Cooper, Sewing
It all began when I was eight years old. My oldest sister came home from work with a box of unclothed dolls. The task at hand was to dress the dolls and return them to later be given out to under privileged little girls as Christmas gifts. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, there was only one problem; no one knew how to sew. Somehow clothing the dolls became my responsibility. Not knowing what to do, I started by placing each doll on a piece of fabric and tracing around their bodies and then cutting each one out. It took a few tries to get something that closely resemble an outfit (but I was determined to do it). By the time I reached the third or fourth doll I was pretty confident in my ability to complete task. About three weeks later all the dolls were dressed in my fashions and I was as proud as I could be. It was at that precise moment that I knew I wanted to be a seamstress.
I continued sewing and learning by trial and error. My first formal lesson was in Jr. High School, 6 grade to be exact. I recall knowing more than the teacher (funny-but true). I completed my project, a tangerine cotton rap skirt in two classes! During this class I was introduced to a local designer by the name of Joe Brumskill, “JoeBre” as he was so passionately called who became my mentor. Under his mentorship I learned advanced skills such as, theatrical costuming and couture clothing. In addition to assisting him with fashion shows, I was building up a clientele of my own and soon became very busy in a short amount of time.
In 1982 I returned to Wilmington Delaware after moving away in 1979. Much to my amazement it was as if I’d never left. The word was out, “Chris is back!” sewing became a full time side bar job for me (if there is such a thing). I was busy, busy, busy during this time, involved in fashion shows, but also doing custom clothing and teaching.
Fast forward to 2003, I decided to leave my job as a Decorator and become a independent contractor. I began with a Summer Sewing Camp for kids and soon after that I resumed teaching sewing lessons on the full time bases in addition to launching my Valet Alterations Service.
Fast forward to 2007, soon after my son graduated from college we relocated to the Washington, DC Metropolitan area. I’m currently, working on my first one of a kind Jacket Collection for spring 2013. In addition to that project, I’m still teaching and making custom clothing.
Early on I realized I was blessed with the gift of creativity and I’m forever grateful. And it is for that reason I share my gift with others. Be it making an outfit, curtains, pillow pet, or teaching sewing lessons. I’m passionate about my craft and whenever I’m able to share it. It’s a pretty good feeling.
Thanks to our past instructors:
Melissa Matthews, Mixed Media
Jean Brown, Ceramics - Wheelwork
Hope Hodges, Ceramics - Handbuilding
Eve Hennessaa, Ceramics - Wheelwork
Sarah Murphy, Ceramics - Wheelwork
Mark Stovell, Ceramics - Wheelwork
Paul Ryan, Cooking
Michael Wetterauer, Traditional Photography
Soulaf Abas, Watercolor
Maria Firmino-Castillo, Multi-Media Collage
Morgan “Maggie” Machledt, Bookmaking
Korin Leman, Book Making
Ashley Kesling, Traditional Photography
Terry deBardelaben, Ceramics - Wheelwork
Sarah Levin, Ceramics - Wheelwork
Joanie LaPorte, Multi-Media Collage and Holga Photography
Elise Derstine, Traditional Photography Young Hahn, Drawing
April Chambers, Book Making
Kristian Whipple, Photography