Our instructors are drawn from a wealth of talented teachers, including nationally known artists from across the country and across the street. They are innovative craftsmen and artists who enjoy trying new techniques and love sharing what they do with their students.
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Aris Georges founded OM Studio Design to further develop the principles of design he learned, practiced, and taught for nearly thirty years at Taliesin, the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.
Aris Georges started studying architecture with an architect tutor during his teen years in Greece, while attending an American secondary preparatory school. At that time he worked in his tutor’s architectural studio practice while preparing for the university. He began his post-secondary studies at the University of Florence, Italy, Faculty of Architecture, and completed his Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture degrees at Taliesin, where he apprenticed under William Wesley Peters, chief architect of Taliesin Architects, and Wright’s first apprentice. Following graduation, Aris worked intermittently in the architectural office of P. Makridis + Associates in Thessaloniki, Greece, and as intern architect in the office of Taliesin Architects, participating in the design and construction administration of numerous residential, commercial, and institutional architectural projects. Concurrently, he taught design studios at Taliesin as member and chair of the core faculty, and served on design juries at architecture schools in the U.S. and Europe.
Aris works from his studio in Spring Green, collaborating with Lindal Cedar Homes to design custom homes utilizing the Lindal building kit. He enjoys making art (drawing and painting), as well as travel.
Geoffrey is a practicing artist, creating his original found material sculptures in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He shows his work around the United States and had also exhibited in China, South Korea, and Canada. Over the years his unique sculptures have been written about in the New York Post, Southwest Art, American Craft, American Style and Cloth, Paper, Scissors.
Gorman’s fondness for animal subjects and use of found materials comes largely from his upbringing. He had a self-described “Huck Finn” experience of youth. He spent his childhood exploring the barns and woods around an old horse farm he lived in outside of Baltimore, Maryland. The menagerie of pets, both domestic and wild, he kept as a child explains his fascination with animals.
Sheree L. Greer
A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native, Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms.…Read More
A Milwaukee, Wisconsin, native, Sheree L. Greer is a text-based artist and educator living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree has received a Union League of Chicago Civic Arts Foundation award, earned her MFA at Columbia College Chicago, and is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, “Bars,” published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019, and her latest essay, “None of This Is Bullshit” was published at The Rumpus and featured in “Memoir Mondays.”
Memoir and Personal Narrative – Writing Retreat
Manuscript Consultations – Writing Retreat
Matthew Guenette grew up in New Hampshire. He earned an MA in English from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University. He is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Vasectomania (2017), American Busboy (2011) and Sudden Anthem (2008). He lives in Madison, WI, with his wife, their two children, and a twenty-pound cat named Butternut.…Read More
Matthew Guenette grew up in New Hampshire. He earned an MA in English from the University of New Hampshire and an MFA in creative writing from Southern Illinois University. He is the author of three previous poetry collections, including Vasectomania (2017), American Busboy (2011) and Sudden Anthem (2008). He lives in Madison, WI, with his wife, their two children, and a twenty-pound cat named Butternut.
Postcard Poetics – Writing Retreat
Ronnie Hess is an award-winning journalist and poet whose food and travel writing has appeared in national and regional publications. She is the author of six poetry books with a seventh forthcoming (Word Press, 2023), as well as two award-winning culinary travel guides, Eat Smart in Portugal and Eat Smart in France, from Ginkgo Press. Ronnie currently serves as co-president of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets.
Beth Hobby earned her undergraduate degree in art from Hood College (Frederick, MD), and an MFA in sculpture and ceramics from George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), and taught studio arts on the college level for many years. Her own work is concentrated in the areas of assemblage/construction, collage, digital art, and encaustic. She has exhibited at Hood College, George Washington University, St. John’s College (Annapolis, MD), Washington Project for the Arts and The Art Barn (Washington, D.C.); Naperville Art League (Naperville, IL); The Exhibit and Lonnie’s Art Gallery (Morris, IL); and Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point, among numerous other venues. Beth also taught and exhibited at Hood College, Howard Community College, Prince George’s Community College, and Valencia Community College. Her work hangs (and sits!) in numerous collections belonging to indescribably unusual people and other quirky artists.
Aside from teaching, Beth was the executive director of a Big Brothers Big Sisters agency and owned a landscaping business in Orlando, where she planted at least 5,500 azalea shrubs, 435 crepe myrtle trees, and and three plastic palm trees. She lives in Morris, IL, with her cat, Fig, but spends lots of R and R time in Mineral Point.
Retired Youth Program director for Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts, Elizabeth did not have art classes at school when she was young. Enthralled by watching Jon Gnagy on television, she enjoyed getting one of his “Learn to Draw” kits from her mom. “Since then I have explored many art materials, but the current material I work with is handmade paper. I got into making paper first as a sculptural medium because the clay pieces I was making became too big to fit into a large kiln. After making large paper structures, I then discovered how much I enjoy making imagery with colored paper pulp.”
Design, fabric, and art have always been a big part of Sally’s life. After getting her BFA and working as a graphic designer for 20 years, Sally started the business of Pine Island Primitives in 2001. Since then she has taught many eager students across the country and at her farm in Pine Island, Minnesota, and now in her new studio in beautiful Lake City, Minnesota. Over 200 rug hooking patterns and thousands of yards of wool are available through Pine Island Primitives.
She has her hands in many aspects of rug hooking – designing, dyeing, color planning, and teaching, but teaching is her favorite. Her classes are full of lots of tips and tricks and also lots of fun! She teaches many genres of primitive rug hooking including florals, geometrics, pictorials, and animals. She has a love for antique-looking rugs. Sally strives to help students create a rug that they love and are eager to finish.
In addition to primitive rug hooking, Sally also teaches a special class where students can learn how to add age to their rugs. This “Fragment” technique was developed and previously taught by Carol Weatherman of Oklahoma City. Sally purchased Carol’s business in 2019. This has added many new patterns to Sally’s offerings.
Sally’s work can be seen in various books and issues of ATHA Magazine and Rug Hooking Magazine and on her website at http://www.pineislandprimitives.com.
I’m Lynn Kaufman, and I am obsessed about food! Being a retired culinary instructor plus dietitian, I have plenty of adventures with cooking to share. Sharing my time between small town USA and Chicago, I’ve been working for years on making cooking fun and easy to learn. Follow my recipes for easy, step-by-step instructions!
For over 20 years, Ali Kauss has been creating pieces of jewelry with precious metals, like sterling silver and gold, that speak to the essence of an individual’s journey. Finding the metalsmithing studio on campus all those years ago felt like coming home because it was a way for Ali to connect with and communicate about her true soul’s purpose, which is to support others on their spiritual path.
Ali’s transformational adornments begin with Ali listening to her client’s intention, whether that client is going through a challenging time and needs a token of her inner strength, celebrating a life event and wants to create a modern heirloom, or simply looking for a one-of-a-kind statement of who she truly is. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted using Ali’s unique creative process, one that involves traditional tools and techniques and her intuition. The result is a beautiful, customized, and powerful symbol of empowerment and encouragement to express individuality and claim self worth.
Todd started his journey as a full time twig builder in 1995. He built massive amounts of twig furniture for many years. However, at this point in his life, his focus is on twig sculpture. He’s been teaching at Shake Rag Alley’s Woodlanders Gathering since the early 2000’s.
My life-changing experience brought me to the art of painting on silk. From 1966 to 1969 I was a United States Peace Corps volunteer in the Luzon Mountains of the Philippines. Here I developed my strong interest in orchids and orchid collecting. Upon finishing my Peace Corps program I went to Java and apprenticed under Indonesia Batik Master Bambang Oetoro. This experience has proven to be the major influence in my life and work.
Jim Kostohrys from rural Mineral Point is an artist of the age-old art of drawing on animal bones. This art form predates Neolithic times.The bones are found and carefully cleaned prior to applying pen.
Christina Kubasta is a poet and fiction writer who also explores collaboration and connection with the visual arts — she also once worked at a small press and book bindery. Her most recent book is the short story collection Abjectification (Apprentice House, 2020), and her next poetry book is forthcoming in 2025. She posts and writes about writerly things on Twitter and Instagram @CKubastathePoet.
Make a Tiny World Inside a Terrarium-Youth Program
Megan Kulick’s artistic credentials revolve around years spent on staff at Shake Rag Alley. She is a stay-at-home mom who loves coming back to teach soaps and scrubs as well as other fun and fanciful Shake Rag Youth Program classes!
Laura Lein-Svencner grew up in Downers Grove, Illinois, close to her grandfather’s farm, which was the last operating farm there, and now resides in Darien, Illinois. She’s married with four grown children and a home full of loving creatures. Although she has studied drawing, printmaking, sculpture, book arts, and the art of hand paper-making, it is the love of paper and design that call her attention. She comes from many generations of “creative makers” working with their hands.
She is a signature member of the National Collage Society and co-founder of the Midwest Collage Society, which exhibits throughout the Chicagoland area. She has won many awards for her work, which are represented at Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, WI. Her works have been published in Incite 1, 2, 3 and 4 of North Light Publishing, Somerset Studio, Cloth Paper Scissors, the Professional Artist magazine, Artists Magazine, and Watercolor Artist magazine through the years. Laura has self-published a collage sketchbook-instructional design book, and she has continued her second love of teaching the fine art of collage in classroom settings, workshops, and online for the past 26 years. Her work has found its way into many homes through the United States and internationally.
From 2015 to present, Laura’s work was selected to be printed on material by clothing design company Dolcezza-Simply Art from Canada (dolcezza.ca).
I am a passionate art instructor, thingmaker, bookmaker, figurative assemblage artist and recovering perfectionist! My background is in fine arts and photography and I’ve been teaching art workshops for the past 20 years at art retreats in the U.S. I develop my classes by playing, making a mess, making “mistakes,” and I can’t think of any better way to live and make a living. I love to create, to hunt for things to create with, and to share my creativity with others. It’s what I live for, it’s my oxygen.
I grew up in a small town in upstate New York and I have spent most of the past 20 years in New Mexico. I am so lucky to live in Taos, the mountains of northern New Mexico, with my best friends Thomas, Peetie, Lily, and Hairy B.