Robin Atkins is a nationally known bead artist, instructor and speaker. She is the author of 6 books and a contributor to many books and magazines related to beading, quilting, and embellishment.
A studio artist for 22 years, her beadwork includes framed, sculptural and wearable pieces. Of all the types of beadwork she knows, improvisational bead embroidery is by far her favorite, both to do and to teach. “Working improvisationally, stitching beads on cloth,” she says, “is compelling, inspired, beautiful, fun, meditative and satisfying.”
Using acrylic paints to create layered decorative papers for bookmaking and bead embellished collage is a more recently acquired passion and skill. She began creating hand-crafted books in 1994 and soon developed a unique method for inserting beadwork in to the covers. At the same time, she began studying acrylic painting so that she could make her own decorative papers to use for book covers.
“Painting,” says Robin, “is all about play, messing around, experimenting and having fun.” Robin is the type of teacher who offers attention to detail and quality of craftsmanship, while at the same time giving students a pathway to explore and develop their own creativity.
Regarding longer, seminar-type workshops, Robin says, “There’s something extremely magical and rewarding about diving deep into an art form, working intensely for long hours shoulder-to-shoulder with my students. It’s my idea of heaven.”
Sandra Bacon is a classically trained, versatile artist. She is known both for her paintings, works on paper and for her public artwork. She is versatile, working in a variety of mediums.
Recent gallery affiliations include: ARC, Womanmade, Peter Jones (all in Chicago) and recent public artwork includes: a mural in the Lake Bluff, IL train station, Cool Globes and Crystal Fight (Crystal City, Va.) Her small mini-globes have recently been displayed at: The United Nations, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Clinton Climate Initiative Convention.
She is a working artist for Golden Paints, and has her M.F.A. in painting from Maryland Institute Graduate School of Painting.
Anne Bagby is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society. She is a fine artist who is intrigued by anything involving paper, paint and glue. She began working with rubber stamps years ago, experimenting with watercolor, acrylic and oil, leading her to develop her unique “painting without a brush” technique. She has learned that anything about paint will translate into any form: artist’s books, puppets, Christmas cards, as well as a painting. Anne has developed workshops to introduce stamp artists to paint and taking their art to a new level, while at the same time teaching watercolor artists how to make textures and patterns by introducing them to rubber stamps!
Anne has had numerous articles featured in fine art publications and stamping magazines and was featured in a one-person show in Nashville in April 2004, in addition to her annual Christmas show in Winchester, Tennessee.
Nina has been a professional jewelry designer since 1987, a mixed media artist for as long as she can remember (thinking here of a little clay mushroom “ensemble” that was created in perhaps the third grade, for starters), and has been teaching mixed media/jewelry workshops, both in the United States and worldwide, since 2000. Her artwork is featured in many books and magazines, and has been sold in multiple boutiques and museum shops across the world. Ever changing jewelry designs can be found in her etsy shop. Nina’s blog of six years provides a wonderful outlet for writing and sharing with readers all the intricate beauties of the natural world that surrounds her in the mountains of western north Carolina.
Keely Barham’s wide and rich creative background began as an art director for printers and publishers for 13 years. She is a self-taught mixed media artist. As a stay-at-home mom, she has been a seamstress, sewing wedding dresses, a polymer clay jewelry artist and most recently has been painting faux finishes and trompe l’oeil.
Carol Barton is a book artist, teacher, curator, and arts administrator. She has published several artist’s editions and has taught paper engineering classes to all age levels at art centers and schools across the United States, including Penland School of Crafts, Haystack School of Crafts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Institution. She is on the faculty at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her work is exhibited internationally and is in numerous collections. Her latest book, The Pocket Paper Engineer, is an interactive how-to workbook on the art of constructing pop-ups.
Traci is creative director of treiC Designs, a mixed media artist, designer and author. She creates vibrant handmade journals, REVAMPED vintage wearables, handbags and collage paintings that are layered with rich textures of painted papers, stitched fabric, “girlie glam” ink drawings and free style lettering. She designs [kL LäJ], an eclectic line of paper aRt! kits. Traci travels internationally and across the US to offer workshops on artist’s books and mixed media. Her artwork has been featured in various magazines, books and on HGTV & DIY. Traci is the author of, Collage Unleashed, and writes for various Stampington & Co. publications. In 2008, Traci launched Collage Pauge, a line of collage adhesives and tools in JoAnn’s and Hobby Lobby stores. To learn more about her artwork, events and creative musings visit her web site or her blog [creativityUNLEASHED].
Jill is a mixed-media artist, teacher, and mom in the Rocky Mountains who makes story-telling structures. Her work involves social issues, maps, symbols, houses, housewives, and the mystique of charisma. Her artwork can be seen in Letter Arts Review, Somerset Studio, Cloth, Paper Scissors, numerous books and publications. Her handmade books are in the collections of the Newberry Library in Chicago and the Denver Public Library, and private collections. She has taught at three universities and retreats both nationally and in Italy. She feels that art is essential and accessible to everybody!
Her first book, “Personal Geographies: Explorations in Mixed-Media Map Making” was published in November 2011.
Galen Berry is a nationally-renowned author, instructor and artist. Galen has shared his mastery of the art of marbeling with students at colleges, universities and art schools such as the University Art Studio at the University of California at Berkeley, at the Ft. Mason Center in San Francisco, and at the San Francisco Center or the Book. He has also taught at Northwestern Washington University, University of Central Oklahoma, the Mt. Angel Benedictine Monastery in Oregon, the Newport (OR) Paper Arts Festival, the Coupeville Arts Center on Whidbey Island, WA and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He now teaches marbeling at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Francis Tuttle Vo-Tech in Oklahoma City, and at the Firehouse Art Center in Norman, OK.
His work has been sold to art supply stores nationwide, such as Flax of San Francisco, Rhode Island School of Design, the Minnesota Book Arts Center and bookbinders, gift shops, and picture framers around the country. Galen has done work for the museum shops of both the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The copyrights to dozens of his patterns have been purchased by publishers such as Random House, Ballantine, Penguin Books, Simon & Schuster, Fearon-Janus, and Colorful Images, Inc. to be reprinted as cover art or as stationery. He has also written a 24-page color booklet, The Art of Marbling, which is sold by several art-supply stores across the country.
Galen was raised in Mississippi, lived for 25 years in California, and presently lives in Oklahoma. He attended Mississippi College, the Sorbonne (University of Paris), and graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), majoring in modern languages. His current hobby is backpacking through the canyons and deserts of the Southwestern states looking for natural arches and bridges and is developing a book on the subject.
Visit Galen’s web site
Carol Chase Bjerke has been making books since she was a child. Her handmade books are now in numerous collections including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Kohler Art Library at the Elvehjem Museum of Art, and the Golda Meier Library at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She has taught book arts and photography for many years in a variety of academic and community settings, and in her own studio.
Carol has an MFA from Central Michigan University. In 2002, she presented Photography and Book Arts workshops at Valley Ridge.
Akira Blount has been designing and making dolls and figures since 1969. As a pioneer in the “art doll” movement, she has seen and participated in the elevation of the doll from trivial toy to art object. As an educator, she has promoted and encouraged experimentation and innovation in the field. As president of the National Institute of American Doll Artists, an international organization of doll artists, she has a wide view and knowledge of the international scope of doll making.
Born in 1945, Akira grew up in Madison, WI, attending and graduating from the University Of Wisconsin with a B.S. degree in Art Education. In addition to her dedication to education, she has pursued a career as an artist. Her work is included in many publications and individual and museum collections worldwide, including the Musee des Artes Decoratif in Paris and the White House Collection of American Craft.
Flora Bowley is an internationally celebrated painter, teacher, author, and inspirationalist. Her vibrant paintings can be found in numerous galleries, in public spaces, on album covers, and on a variety of unique products made in collaboration with Papaya Art. Flora combines eighteen years of professional painting experience with her background as a yoga instructor, massage therapist and lifelong joy seeker to infuse her teaching and painting style with a deep connection to body, mind, and spirit. By honoring intuition and celebrating the present moment, Flora encourages her students to overcome fear and welcome joyful spontaneous expression back into the creative process. Her transformational approach to painting (and living) and has inspired thousands of people to “let go, be bold and unfold” as they step fearlessly into the creative process. Flora’s first book, “Brave Intuitive Painting” will be released by Quarry Books in May, 2012. Flora splits her time between painting, teaching, and traveling to colorful locations around the world and living among a community of artists in Portland, OR.
Julie Chen is a nationally known book artist and book arts instructor. She has run Flying Fish Press in Berkeley, CA for the past 16 years designing and publishing limited edition artists’ books and include the use of letterpress printing and innovative 3-dimensional book structures. She teaches book arts at Mills College during the school year, and at various institutions around the country in the summer.
She completed her undergraduate work in art at UC Berkeley, and received her graduate degree in Book Arts from Mills College. her work can be seen in museums and libraries throughout the country.
Juliana Coles, award winning artist, Creative Expression teacher and notable Extreme Journalist, received her BFA from the Academy of Art College, San Francisco with a minor in English and Dance. Coles has studied at SMU in Dallas, Columbia College in Chicago, The American Academy of Art in Chicago, and California’s New College. She has studied with well known Illustrator Barron Storey who encouraged her Mixed Media Journals, and muralist Juana Alicia Montoya whose passion as an artist and activist convinced Coles to define her own style of Contemporary Expressionism.
Coles received the Wildine Fund grant for Artists for her Expressive Visual Journals Workshop at ArtStreet, an Art Center for the homeless, in 2000 and is 2002’s recipient of the Madonna Fund for Artists.
Coles, based on her expression as an artist, developed Extreme Journaling as a workshop in 1992 for the Epilepsy Society of San Francisco, and has taught and refined her unique creative process that combines journal writing assignments with art making explorations in the safe container of a book for twelve years. Her Visual Journals are featured in Making Journals By Hand, by Jason Thompson, and appear in Lynne Perrella’s Artist Sketchbooks and Journals, Somerset Studio’s 2002 Engagement Calendar, and will appear in an upcoming book by Lark Publishing on Altered Art, as well as Jan Smiley’s The Art of Fabric Books. Juliana has been keeping journals since she was eleven and has been creating Visual Journals since she was fourteen.
The creative urge has always been a part of Lisa’s life from making shoebox houses as a child to exploring mixed media as an adult. Her folk art style blends old objects with new materials and techniques. Teaching comes naturally for Lisa, as she has been a high school “Home Arts” teacher since 1976. Her work has been in several Somerset Studio publications, ARTitude Zine and the 2005,2006, and 2008 Art Play calendars. Writing is another keen passion and she has contributed articles on soldering, altered books, and art techniques for Cloth Paper Scissors and magazines. Her art and writing appear in several books including, The Altered Book Scrapbook and The Artful Storybook.
Robert Dancik holds a Masters degree in sculpture and a BA in fine art and has been an artist/teacher for more than 30 years. He has taught people from kindergarten to graduate school while exhibiting his jewelry and sculpture in museums and galleries across the US and in Europe and Japan. He teaches workshops at art centers in the US and abroad including Penland, NC; Arrowmont, TN; Metalwerx, MA; Touchstone Center for Crafts, PA; Silvermine, Brookfield Craft Center, CT; and Mid Cornwall School of Jewelry (UK) to name a few. His work is in numerous collections including the Wustum Museum of Art, Boeringer- Ingleheim International, Schamberger International, Mitsubishi International, Japan, Gallery of Art and Design, North Carolina State University. He has artwork published in many books including “PMC Decade”,“Fine Art of the Tin Can”, “1000 Rings”, “The Art of Resin Jewelry,” and “Creative Metal Clay Jewelry”, and magazines including “Niche”, “Art Jewelry”, “Lapidary Journal” and “Perspectives”. Robert is the originator of Faux Bone™, a new,wonderful material for artists involved in jewelry, artist’s books, sculpture, and many other artistic disciplines. He lives in Oxford CT. where he is an avid cook (he didn’t say good) and collector of toys, maps, and compasses.
Michael deMeng is an assemblage artist from Vancouver, Canada who exhibits throughout the United States. As an educator, he has been actively involved with VSA Montana, providing art education and encouraging participation in the arts to people with disabilities. Through these activities, as well as his artwork, deMeng fosters community awareness, and offers creative methods to explore the human experience.
In his art, he addresses issues of transformation. Discarded materials find new and unexpected uses in his work; they are reassembled and conjoined with unlikely components, a form of rebirth from the ashes into new life and new meaning.
These assemblages are metaphors for the evolutions and revolutions of existence: from life to death to rebirth, from new to old to renewed, from construction to destruction to reconstruction. These forms are examinations of the world in perpetual flux, where meaning and function are ever-changing.
Dayle Doroshow is a polymer clay artist and owner of design studio “Zingaro, stamp of distinction.” She trained in traditional ceramics at the Riverside Bell Tower and Columbia University of New York City. Dayle current lives and works in Mendocino, CA.
In recent years she has emerged as an important innovator in the polymer clay field and has won numerous awards for her work. Barbara McGuire has featured Dayle’s work in both of her books. You can find her jewelry, home décor, ethnic spirit dolls and handcrafted books at many different art exhibitions and galleries on the west coast.
Dayle teaches extensively throughout the United State for local polymer clay groups and at art centers such as the San Francisco Center of the Book and the Mendocino Art Center. She has taught at annual creative festivals such as the Ravensdale Polymer Clay Conference, the 20th and 21st International Lettering Arts Conferences and Art Continuum.
Dean Ebben received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA, where he studied sculpture and papermaking, and received his MFA with distinction from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where he studied video and installation.
Ebben has been working as an artist in New York City for the last 12 years. He has worked with and collaborated with Alison Knowles one of the original founders of Fluxus. His work is in many public and private collections; he has exhibited his work internationally. Ebben has taught at: the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis, MN; Carriage House Paper in Brooklyn, NY; and the Museum of Biblical Art in Manhattan.
Ebben has been making cyanotypes and using alternative photo and printmaking techniques for well over a decade. He uses cyanotype as a way to record the “geist” of an object, and relies on the sun and the rotation of the earth to make his sun drawings. He is currently working on two cyanotype artist books titled Earth Days and Storm. He uses found objects and text to create a resist to light. The text in the book is the accumulation of three years of writing. He will bind this intimate quarto using a modified Japanese four-hole binding.
In 1999, Ebben collaborated with Amanda Degener (founder of Cave Paper) on an alternative photography portfolio for Hand Paper Magazine, Old Ways, New Views: Photographic Processes on Handmade Paper. The portfolio included seventeen juried artworks produced by twenty-five respected papermakers and photographers. In 2002 Ebben completed a public sculpture commission titled Waiting, for the Church of the Holy Family, The United Nations Parish in Manhattan. In 2007 he was awarded a video residence at the Outpost in Brooklyn, NY where he worked with professional editors and sound technicians on his videos.
Most recently Ebben was included in an exhibition, titled Altered Religious Texts at the Museum of Biblical Art, New York City, and is preparing for an exhibition at Susan Hensel Gallery in Minneapolis, MN.
Katherine Engen is the sole proprietor of Valley Ridge Art Studio. Valley Ridge Art Studio provides coursework and resources devoted to bringing the intrinsic life-affirming qualities of physically creating art to a diverse audience, including artists, writers, teachers, librarians and craftspeople.
Katherine is a primarily a book artist who enjoys exploring multiple mediums. She has taught workshops on bookmaking and papermaking, has served as an art juror for the Percent for Art Program for the State of Wisconsin in 2004 and other art venues. She is a consultant to other artists interested in exploring book arts.
Katherine is co-founder of the Bone Folders’ Guild in Madison, Wisconsin. Her books have been on exhibit at Kohler Art Library, Madison, Wisconsin, Golda Meir Library in Milwaukee, the River Arts Gallery in Prairie du Sac, and the Canterbury Inn, Madison, Wisconsin. As the owner of Valley Ridge Art Studio, Katherine has worked with artists and writers to develop a wide variety of creative workshops in Book, Paper, Photography, Mixed Media and Writing Arts since 1999.