Meet our instructors...

CORE INSTRUCTORS

Kelsey Birsa

Kelsey Birsa

A painter living in Portland, OR, Kelsey Birsa has a BFA in Art Practices from Portland State University. Interested in traditional and contemporary painting techniques, Kelsey’s paintings are united by her use of detailed realistic painting alongside abstract marks, varied surfaces, and graphic highlights. She is the recipient of awards such as Best in Show at the Society of Washington Artists, The Artist Magazine Student Portrait Competition, Best in Show at the Around Oregon Annual, and first place at Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited at the Blackfish Gallery, Art at The CAVE, Gallery 360, North Bank Artist Gallery, and many more. She has been published in the Columbian,  Willamette Weekly, Beacon Magazine, Pathos, and The Artist Magazine.

Find her current work on Facebook and Instagram @kelseybirsa. She also has a traveling sketchbook project viewable on Instagram @roamingsketchbook.

Scott Gellatly

Scott Gellatly

Scott Gellatly is a proud Oregon native and currently lives in Portland with his wife and two sons. Scott has always been driven to make things. No matter the medium, he finds excitement and wonder in creating something that didn’t exist the day before. Whether that creation succeeds or fails, it drives his creative process forward – eager to begin the next piece. Scott has shown in galleries across the country and is a celebrated painter and printmaker.Scott teaches beginning printmaking and landscape classes. 

Anji Grainger

Anji Grainger

Anji Grainger’s work is derived from the magic and wonders of nature. She is drawn to see and focus on what others may not notice. At a closer look, there are many wonders to see inside a raindrop, within the soft folds of a rose petal or in the tiny pieces of pollen clinging to the back of a bumble bee. Anji’s goal is to give the viewer a look into the unique creations that surround us and to portray a feeling of magic and mystery.

Anji Grainger has studied with acclaimed contemporary artists in both Italy and France and has brought her talent and knowledge to the OSA community for over five years.

Jef Gunn

Jef Gunn

Jef Gunn was born in Seattle and grew up along the West Coast from Puget Sound to Southern California to Hawaii. He studied drawing and painting in California through the 1970s, held residencies in Barcelona and Paris in the 1980s, and since the mid-1990s has engaged in a passionate study of Asian art. He holds a BFA in painting from Marylhurst University (2005). For many years, he was a guest lecturer at Oregon College of Art and Craft. He is represented by Traver Gallery in Seattle, i.e. gallery in Edison, WA, Cedar Street Gallery in Honolulu, and by Augen Gallery in Portland.

His work attends to Land, Water and Sky. “In the middle 90s, I turned my attention fully to Wilderness as a subject. Whether the work is simple and abstract, or more naturalistic, the motivations are the same: wonder and affection, sadness and delight.”

Witnessing habitat loss and species extinction I wish to express a deep compassion for nature. Representing small fragments of seemingly unrelated plants I encourage viewers to reflect on our fragility and interconnectedness with nature.

Dorota Haber-Lehigh

Dorota Haber-Lehigh

Dorota Haber-Lehigh is an artist, educator, and a naturalist with a passion for native plants of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Poland, Dorota loves foraging for berries, mushroom hunting, field sketching and collecting specimens. Dorota relies on drawing from observation as much as possible both in the field and in the studio.  Dorota has two degrees in Art and International Studies with a focus on indigenous cultures, a master’s degree in teaching, and a diploma in Botanical Illustration from Society of Botanical Artists in London. She is a member of Oregon Botanical Artists, Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists and American Society of Botanical Artists.

Stacy Kamin

Stacy Kamin

Growing up in Washington, D.C., Stacy Kamin began taking art classes at the National Gallery at a very young age. She studied illustration and traditional animation at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and interned with a small animation company creating a fascination with capturing movement. Moving to Los Angeles, Stacy was mentored by Chinese artist, Shuqiao Zhou.

Drawn to the dramatic effects of Rembrandt, Stacy sought instruction by David A Leffel and Sherrie McGraw. “They introduced me to Abstract Realism, a way of painting so rich that I can’t imagine my education ever ending—I will be a student of this great tradition my entire life.” Stacy has studied art all across the southwest and her works are represented in galleries and she has exhibited all across the country.  Additionally she has won many prestigious awards.

This humility coupled with a selfless generosity led to a desire to teach. She presently teaches workshops for Bright Light Fine Art nationwide. Recently she taught a figure and still life painting workshop with David A Leffel and Sherrie McGraw at Scottsdale Artist School; in 2019 she conducted a portrait painting class in Noyers, France.

Steve Kleier

Steve Kleier

Steve Kleier began his career as a commercial art contractor to photographers and advertising agencies. Clients included Nike, Microsoft, Tektronix, US Bank and many more. Since then he has focused on fine art and teaching. He has a deep understanding of art concepts and a good clear way of explaining them. In Steve’s class you will learn how to think about painting and the skills to turn them into beautiful pieces of art. He encourages creativity and appreciates every student for the journey they are on. Steve is a member of the National Watercolor Society and serves on the board of directors at the Oregon Society of Artists. 

 

Nancy Klos

Nancy Klos

Nancy Klos has made her home in Portland, Oregon since 1985, establishing Klos Studios in 1990. Although she has lived in many parts of the country, she considers the PNW her real home. In her studio “Atelier NAN” she creates drawings, paintings, mixed media, Sumi.e ink paintings & numerous commissions for a national clientele.

Nancy has offered workshops throughout the western states, including the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, CA.  She has been a guest instructor at the Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, Sitka Center of Art and Ecology, Menucha Creative Arts Community, Coupeville Arts Guild on Whidbey Island, and at the University of Idaho Convergence Conference. 

Nancy has been an Artist-In-Residence at The Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland and Hawk Creek Gallery in Neskowin, OR.  Her work has appeared in both Plein Air Magazine & Outdoor Painter and featured on OPB’s Oregon ArtBeat and HGTV’s Modern Masters.  She served on a panel for Oregon Considered-“State of the Arts in Oregon Her oil painting “Peppers” was featured in the special section for Women Artists of the Pacific NW-an annual feature in SW ARTS Magazine!

Joanne Kollman

Joanne Kollman

Joanne Radmilovich Kollman is a native Oregonian. Her abstract representation of the figure, landscape and still life portray a lyrical and energetic style.­­­­­­­ Brushwork and use of broken color elicit movement and spontaneity in her paintings. Her surroundings motivate her interest to use any subject to explore the expressive quality of the oil paint. She strives to capture the spirit of what she sees through brushwork and observation of changing light. Joanne paints or draws daily from the model, still life, or landscape with a belief that working from life is the best way to learn and to understand.

Joanne is a signature member of the American Impressionist Society. Her work is distributed nationally to galleries, and she exhibits locally at Oregon Society of Artists, the Robin Becic Gallery and other venues and competitions where she has won numerous awards. She facilitates life drawing and the single pose figure sessions at OSA and also teaches Expressive Painting and Life Drawing.

Taryn Kuenzi

Taryn Kuenzi

Already an elementary school teacher, Taryn Kuenzi educated herself to paint by breaking down general principles. This, in turn, helped her improve and critique her own work.  She started teaching art, using these skills, to elementary school children as a substitute teacher. Due to her success, she was hired by West Linn School District as an Artist in Residence to teach watercolor, acrylics, drawing and murals. She also taught numerous workshops for teachers on art education/curriculum. She was commissioned to paint a piece with 1st graders that still hangs in a local business. Taryn was responsible for designing, teaching, and overseeing the completion of three murals with each schools’ entire student body (grades k – 5).  These murals are hung in their respective schools.

Taryn’s first juried show was OSA’s 12 x 12 art show in 2021, she won an honorable mention.  She exhibits her work locally throughout Portland on a regular basis.

Susan Kuznitsky

Susan Kuznitsky

From a young age, Susan Kuznitsky was trained in traditional art methods, working in charcoal from plaster casts, then oils, then watercolors. She studied at the American Academy of Art in Chicago after high school. Susan quickly fell in love with the Impressionists and became completely smitten with the pastels of that era. She moved to New York to study with pastel artist Albert Handell and worked for him as a studio assistant where she learned to teach. In the early 1990’s Susan moved out to the Northwest where she continued painting and teaching.

She is currently looking for ways to reach underprivileged youth and share her knowledge of artistic expression. Susan teaches pastel and painting classes at OSA. 

Greg Lewis

Greg Lewis

Greg Lewis is celebrating 45+ years of creating contemporary art and fine art decor for clients in architecture, interior design, publishing, art collections, liturgical and healing environments. In addition to his art and design studio practice, Greg taught drawing, painting, and watercolor studios for over two decades at Concordia University-Portland and was co-founder of its Art & Culture Program. He led tours of London and Paris for art and culture studies in art and architecture.

Greg holds degrees in Commercial Art/Graphic Design and in Visual Communications Education.

Gage Mace

Gage Mace

Gage Mace was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. In the 80's, he studied with Norwegian classical realist painter Jan Saether. Gage later moved to Portland and over the last 30 years here he has taught painting and figure drawing at Hipbone, the Multnomah Arts Center, and his personal studio. He has exhibited his work at various venues in Portland including Froelick and Attic galleries, and at the Portland Art Museum. 

His large triptych of the JFK Assassination is slated for the permanent collection of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, TX, which will be launched in a special exhibition to be held sometime in 2021. 

Chas Martin

Chas Martin

Chas Martin’s lives by three basic questions: What if? What else? Why not? This incessant curiosity is the foundation of his creativity. After studying Visual Communication at Pratt Institute in New York City, Martin worked with Boston and San Francisco ad agencies as an art director and creative director. He turned to fine art full time around 2008 and has focused primarily on sculpture since 2015. His instruction style is a playful mix of technique and insights.

Martin is a former instructor at Boston Art Institute, San Francisco Academy of Art University, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Northwest Academy and Sitka Center for Art and Ecology. Martin exhibits throughout the west coast. His works are in collections on three continents.

Joanne Mehl

Joanne Mehl

Joanne Mehl is an accomplished figurative artist best known for her commissioned portraiture, figure painting, and equestrian subjects. Over thirty years of disciplined oil painting and glazing experience imbue her pieces with a depth of color, and her keen eye for composition brings dynamism to the humblest scene. Joanne graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Illustration from Pasadena's Art Center College of Design in 1983. She has completed more than 120 commissioned portraits, and her work hangs in venues ranging from the Kentucky Governor’s mansion to numerous private collections.

She is currently teaching at Oregon Society of Artists. Joanne’s instructional methods are fresh and accessible and help build a classic foundation of skills while encouraging individual style. 

Richard Moore

Richard Moore

As a native-born Portlander, Richard has long enjoyed the culture and artistic diversity which the Pacific Northwest has always provided. And he takes great pride and joy in being allowed to be a part of that artistic diversity that the area seems to excel in. After focusing primarily on drawing and painting while attending Portland State University, upon graduation, Richard fully embraced the sculpture world, and has been primarily focused on creating 3D imagery for the last 25 years. While he still draws and paints regularly, his true passion is sculpture. 

Please visit his Instagram page @richardamoore3, as well as his regular website to see all of his various creative endeavors.

Michael Orwick

Michael Orwick

As a native Oregonian, Michael Orwick cannot separate his art from his love of the Pacific Northwest.  The coast, mountains, and meadows, each infused with mysterious light and atmosphere, weave narratives into their settings.  He is deeply inspired to tell their stories with paint and brush strokes. Inspiration comes so naturally here.

As a painter, the effects of light and atmosphere are what Michael remembers about a location and what inspires him the most.  Light transforms the ordinary or even beautiful into the exceptional. His quest is to capture these fleeting moments and help people see things again through new eyes.

Elaine Pawski

Elaine Pawski

For as long as Elaine Pawski remembers, she has needed to create. Elaine studied and practiced drawing and painting in many medias. She studied Art at The New Jersey City University in Jersey City, NJ, and taught art in kdg-8 for several years. She studied at the Ridgewood Art Institute in NJ and the Sharon Arts Center in NH and in 1995 attended The Pioneer School of the Visual Arts in NH, where she was introduced to the Macintosh Computer. Her life and art have never been the same. 

Elaine's work is mostly watercolor, colored pencil, digital painting, and photography. She believes the media that was used to create is not as important as the effect it has on the viewer. Her digital art has the look and feel of her traditional media work and is actually rendered in a very similar way. While photography often helps her gather her subjects, she is very much committed to freehand drawing and letting the drips and splatters of color reflect the human touch. 

Currently, Elaine teaches iPad Drawing and Painting at OSA. She is a freelance Graphic Designer and Photographer, specializing in Real Estate and Architectural Photography, doing business as Sunflower Creative Media LLC.

Nicole Poole

Nicole Poole

Nicole Poole is an artist living in the Pacific Northwest who makes her living as an illustrator, calligrapher, and teacher. She was awarded the California Arts Scholarship in1993 and has studied with various artists and schools concentrating on painting, sculpture, glassblowing, children’s book illustration, calligraphy and design. She creates her own ongoing body of work as well as designing illustrative works and calligraphy for clients all over Oregon and California.

She currently teaches art demonstrations, workshops, and classes, at OSA and enjoys sharing her passion for creativity with others.

Rita Sabler

Rita Sabler

Rita Sabler is a visual journalist, artist, and educator based in Portland, Oregon, USA. She has taught Drawing, Urban Sketching and Visual Journalism courses for Parsons School of Design, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Portland State University. She also works on a variety of freelance illustration and visual reportage projects. Rita Sabler serves as the Education Director on the board of the global Urban Sketchers organization.

Rita’s main areas of interest are Reportage Illustration, Travel Sketching, and Visual Storytelling, but she is often seen on street corners capturing busy markets, festivals, protestors, musicians, and regular citizens living their life in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. When not drawing or teaching she is a busy parent and a tango pianist.

Nathan Seay

Nathan Seay

Nathan Seay was born in Englewood, Colorado in 1989. After studying in an atelier setting with Internationally recognized portrait painter Vilas Tonape for 4 years, he then proceeded to the University of South Florida where he graduated in 2014. Following graduation, Nathan continued his training abroad with a stint at the Repin Academy in St. Petersburg and a one year artist residency at Muamsa Temple in South Korea.

Nathan has participated in exhibitions across the United States and in South Korea, and his work has been published in The Artist Magazine. In 2018 Nathan was commissioned to complete the official portrait for the Dean of the University of Portland. Nathan is a recipient of the John F and Anna Lee Stacey Scholarship, and a grant from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation. He currently lives and works in Bend, Oregon.

Allen Schmertzler

Allen Schmertzler

Never one to fit as a cookie-cutter type artist, Allen Schmertzler claims art, luck, and extra-ordinary intervention as responsible for rescuing me as an overly shy kid who yearned to spirit life into drawn images.  I entered professional life at 22 and have engaged audiences as a beloved educator of primary, secondary and adult education, as an award-winning, exhibiting and publishing artist in newspapers, books, magazines and webzines, such as the Huffington Post.

It is so true, first loves never die. Mine was drawing and cartooning, which later incorporated painting, but always focused on a love of story-telling of the human condition-in a sense, the caricaturing our world by interpreting the temper of the times. 

Rather than follow the traditional art school route, I built my own course of continuing art education by finding dynamic professionally working artists to mentor me, with roots in cartooning, layered with years of intensive figure drawing, live caricature entertainment drawing, earning my first solo painting exhibit in 1997, to being rewarded with a contributor platform on the Huffington Post. I have authored, illustrated and published two of my own political caricature collections, “Occupied by Politics 2012,” and “Occupied by Trumpistan.”

Randall Vemer

Randall Vemer

Randall Vemer is a violinist, illustrator, oil painter, mural and web designer, book cover designer, adjudicator, art curator, teacher, film-maker. Vemer was a professional violinist/violist for 20 years playing throughout the US and Europe. He has since transitioned to oil painting for a profession also 20 years. His multimedia project MusArt is an exhibition of 40 oil paintings of musicians around the world combining live music, Haiku poetry, film with original music by Grammy winning composer, a published book, and an orchestra instruments tree. The multimedia exhibit is currently on a national tour; having been in Portland, Aspen, and Napa. MusArt film has won film festival awards in Japan, Europe, Russia, Canada, Malaysia, India, Turkey, and throughout the USA. Randall currently teaches Renaissance and Baroque painting methods at Oregon School of Arts in Portland, Oregon.

OTHER OSA INSTRUCTORS, not teaching at OSA this term:

Jolyn Fry

Jolyn Fry

Jolyn Fry was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She graduated with honors from Pennsylvania School of Art and Design in 1996. Since moving to Portland, Oregon, the following year, she has exhibited her continually evolving body of work in many group and solo shows. She is a trauma survivor and has used the practice of art-making and mindfulness in the process of recovering self. Whether depicting literal, physical landscapes or those of a more personal, emotional nature, Jolyn says, 'Surrendering to my artistic process grants me the kindest perspective of myself and the life that moves around me.’ She currently lives in Portland, OR and works as an art instructor at Radius Community Art Studio, Oregon Society of Artists, and Portland East Collective. 

Wayne Jiang

Wayne Jiang

In his paintings Wayne Jiang enjoys creating an ambience that reflects on stillness, solitude, and mystery. He believes in using simple, quiet scenes and objects to communicate deep emotion and relevance. In his work you might find influences from 17th Century Dutch genre paintings as well as 19th and 20th Century American Realism. When composing a painting and choosing subject matter, Wayne draws inspiration from modern and documentary photographers like Walker Evan and Sally Mann. Born in Guangzhou China, Wayne came to the US at the age of 15. He is currently living in Portland, Oregon.

For three decades he has worked as a fine artist and graphic designer and holds a degree in illustration from San Jose State University. Wayne currently teaches acrylic painting at OSA.

Heather McLaughlin

Heather McLaughlin

Heather McLaughlin was born in 1983 in Baltimore Maryland and moved westward to Portland, Oregon. There she completed her Bachelors of Fine Art with a focus in traditional Printmaking in 2005, at Pacific Northwest College of Art. For over two decades, she has served on the board of Flight 64 Non-profit Printmaking Studio, managed the Printmaking facility at Pacific Northwest College of Art, coordinated programming at True North Studios and assisted with numerous art events. Heather teaches adult copper plate etching classes at PNCA, screen-printing workshops at Rockn’ Roll Camp for Girls, and paper mache after school SUN classes, Heather enjoys teaching a variety of ages and media. In addition to her art and teaching, Heather is also a performer, musician, production assistant, and loves to spend time in her garden accompanied by her chickens when she is not traveling.

Rachel Wolf

Rachel Wolf

Rachel Wolf is a professional photographer who specializes in camera-less photography, alternative/antique processes, and creates immersive environments through light-based installations. Growing up in Alaska, the presence and absence of light has been profound in Rachel’s life and work. The aurora borealis gave her a direct experience of light as both transcendent and embodied. Since then, light has been Rachel’s muse, and her work is devoted to exploring and expressing its multivalent qualities in the field of photography and beyond. Rachel loves to inspire others by sharing her passion for light and photography as a professor and speaker. She also believes in the power of art as a collaborative endeavor and its raising of community. She is a founding member of FO(u)RT Collective, a multi-disciplinary arts collective that creates/curates’ exhibitions and events. Rachel has exhibited across the United States including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Seattle, Portland, and in Europe. Her work is held in both public and private collections. Rachel earned her BA from Hampshire College and her MFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and can be found playing in her darkroom in Portland, OR.

Yong Hong Zhong

Yong Hong Zhong

Yong Hong Zhong was born in Canton, China and immigrated to the United States when he was twelve years old.  Yong developed a keen interest in drawing at an early age.  His determination to pursue his dream of being an artist prompted him to attend La Guardia High School, a prestigious school for music and arts in New York City.  Yong continued his education at Pratt Institute in New York to further develop his artistic skills.  He majored in Illustration and has a minor in Art History. 

Yong started working for Disney Animation Studios upon graduation. During his 14 years at Disney, Yong worked on over a dozen theatrical feature films. After completion of Disney's "Princess and the Frog," Yong was ready to take a different direction and focus on his passion for traditional painting. The knowledge and experiences he acquired from the animation industry continue to be an invaluable influence in his art.


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