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Our instructors

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Daria White Paik

Daria White Paik

Daria began working as a Studio Assistant at the Ann Arbor Art Center in 1999, and in 2006 began teaching. She grew up in Seoul, Korea where she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1983. In 1988 she moved to the US where she gained her foundation in ceramics at the University of Alabama in the late 1990's. After completing a two-year internship Daria was elected to full membership at the Ann Arbor Potter's Guild. As an instructor of the Art Center, you will find Daria instructing wheel throwing, hand building, surface decoration, brush making and drum making for both adults and children.

Paloma Nuñez-Regueiro

Paloma Nuñez-Regueiro

I'm a Latin American painter and printmaker based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I have lived in different cities and countries: Peru, Argentina, Mexico, Boston, MA, and Rochester, NY. I studied fine arts in Veracruz, Mexico at the Facultad of Artes Plasticas, and I also studied in Rochester, NY at the Rochester Institute of Technology where I graduated in 2000 with a double major in painting and printmaking. My work is closely related to my experiences of living abroad, the impermanence, the precarious construction of one's present and even less of the future. Currently I am part of Ypsi Alloy Studios, a place that I love, where I work on new prints and paintings. Learn more about Paloma on her website

Aaron Polk

Aaron Polk

Aaron Polk is an Ann Arbor based comic book artist who has been making comic books professionally for over 6 years. He is a colorist for the internationally best-selling series Dog Man by Dav Pilkey, and has worked as a colorist on other titles such as Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack, Science Comics: Rockets, Science Comics: Polar Bears, and Red’s Planet by Eddie Pittman. Aaron is also the colorist for an up and coming graphic novel by Jim Ottaviani and Leland Myrick entitled Hawking, which is a biography of Stephen Hawking who was one of the most important scientists of our time. He has also done work for Marvel Comics, Image Comics, Hasbro, and others. When he is not teaching comics creation classes or creating comics himself, Aaron likes to spends his time under warm, fuzzy blankets with his cat Higgs.

Jennifer Belair Sakarian

Jennifer Belair Sakarian

Jennifer Belair Sakarian is a visual artist and educator. She was raised and educated in the Midwest with degrees in Fine Arts, specifically Printmaking. She once worked a summer at Yellowstone National Park which permeated her creative practice. She is interested in the relationship between the self and the natural world. You can find her artwork here. She is also the author of a book of poems and monotypes called, I'm okay, okay. At the Ann Arbor Art Center she has taught Beginning Photoshop, Bookbinding and Printmaking classes.

Payton Cook

Payton Cook

Payton Cook has been living in Ann Arbor and teaching art for the past four years. Originally from North Carolina, she received her BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting from The University of North Carolina at Asheville. Payton is passionate about art, whether she’s creating a new painting, reading about art history, teaching art classes, or wandering around an art gallery. In her own art, she examines the concept of liminality, depicting a variety of spaces that represent the in-between. Payton describes herself as a painter, though she often combines it with other media, creating a variety of mixed media artwork.

Lavinia Hanachiuc

Lavinia Hanachiuc

Lavinia Hanachiuc is a Romanian-born ceramic artist and fine art photographer. Her work originates from an organic mélange of eastern European folklore and superstitions, Latin blood and memories from a childhood lived under an oppressive political regime. Her work is always following the materials and it's at times very short lived, designed to interact with the audience at community events. Hanachiuc has resided in the United States since completing her Fine Art University studies in Bucharest, Romania and she has continued to create art and teach the thrill of chasing ideas and making beautiful objects to a wide audience. She is based in Ann Arbor, MI.

Michael Garguilo

Michael Garguilo

Born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Michael Anthony Garguilo is a painter and printmaker who received his MFA from Boston University and his BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He has received honors and awards for his work, and has been included in several juried exhibitions nationally. He is currently teaching at Saginaw Valley State University and Oakland University. Since arriving in Michigan in 2011 he has maintained an active studio practice, most recently exhibiting his work in Boston, Michigan, Louisiana and Texas. visit his website here

Beth Billups

Beth Billups

Born in Detroit, Michigan, Beth Billups is a mixed media artist who has exhibited her work and taught for the past 18 years. Her encaustic work over the past 11 years has been included in numerous publications and has been exhibited across the country. Her work explores home as a personal narrative and examines our connections to the natural world and to each other. She builds layers of meaning by combining ephemera, oil paint and beeswax, rendering modern images in an ancient medium.

Elise Martin

Elise Martin

Elise Martin is a Detroit-based artist and educator who received her BFA from the College for Creative Studies, with a focus on painting and sculpture. She is currently working towards her MFA in fiber arts from Wayne State University. Her studio practice involves working with a variety of materials and processes, often simultaneously. She combines her knowledge of painting, sculpture, printmaking and textiles to create multi-layered works of art.

Rhonda Sherwin

Rhonda Sherwin

Rhonda Sherwin is a popular drawing and painting teacher at Haslett High School where she has been teaching for the last 21 years. Students of all experience levels from beginning to advanced placement have found success in classes that she teaches. She has continued to develop her own artwork, in her home studio, using multiple approaches to include: oil, acrylic, watercolor, and mixed media drawing. She has received honors and awards for her teaching and her artwork has been included in several juried art shows in Michigan. Visit her website at rhondasherwin.com

Jon Van Eck

Jon Van Eck

Jon Van Eck is an Ann Arbor-based artist who began his life-long love affair with ceramics in 1982. He became a member of the Ann Arbor Potters Guild in 1987, but left in 1990 to raise 5 kids, work, and go to school. He received a BFA in Ceramics from Eastern Michigan University, and as a graduate teaching assistant taught the “Ceramics for Non-Majors” course for two semesters. Jon set up a home studio and created Van Eck Pottery & Tile Works in 2005. In 2015 & 2016, he taught workshops at the Ann Arbor Potters Guild on making extruded ceramic dies and combining extrusions with thrown objects. In June 2018, Jon began teaching at the Ann Arbor Art Center where he continues to teach.

Blythe Miles

Blythe Miles

Blythe Miles hails from Texas, and holds a BFA in sculpture from Abilene Christian University. She is an artist and educator with experience in arts administration and a passion for making art accessible to students of any age or ability level. Blythe enjoys exploring the interactive nature of art, and often uses unusual or uncommon materials to create unique work. As a newcomer to Michigan, she loves spending her time exploring the state’s museums, parks, beaches and lakes.

Claudia Selene

Claudia Selene

Claudia Selene studied 19th Century practices of French academic artists at the Ravenswood Atelier in Chicago. Over the past ten years, she exhibited and taught art in Chicago, Michigan and Arizona. Her background in neuroscience helped her develop exercises that make realistic drawing and painting possible not just for the "talented" but for everyone who appreciates the magic enough to put in the effort. She won the Michigan Award at the 2013 All Media Exhibition at the Ann Arbor Art Center. please visit her website

Jonathan Korotko

Jonathan Korotko

Jonathan Korotko (b. 1992) is an artist working with fiber in sculptural form. He received his MFA in Printmedia at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019 and has exhibited across the United States as well as internationally. His work mimics spaces and objects that are traditionally associated with certain gender norms and class, refiguring them to create a new sense of opulence and whimsy. Jonathan has been an artist-in-residence at Ox-Bow School of Art and Franconia Sculpture Park, and will be a resident at PlySpace and The Studios at MASS MoCA in 2020.

Tricia Hampo

Tricia Hampo

Tricia Hampo is a graduate of University of Michigan School of Art and Design and Eastern Michigan University with a teaching certificate in Art Education. Tricia made glass beads and sold them to jewelry designers around the country for 15 years. After moving into a new home with an ideal studio space, she began painting again in acrylics, oils and pastels and creating mixed media art. Thanks to the internet, Tricia has sold over 750 prints of her artwork and completed many commissions from clients around the world. She loves to create, and to explore new ideas, mediums and inspirations. She also loves to share her passion for the arts and her skills and experiences with anyone who desires to experience the endless possibilities and joys of creative expression.