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Faculty

In keeping with the mission of the College, the faculty at Oregon College of Art and Craft are practicing artists who maintain strong ties to their professions. In addition, they pride themselves on teaching as a form of creative expression. The College attracts highly qualified artists with strong portfolios and lengthy records of professional practice.

Current OCAC Faculty:

 

Dylan J. Beck
Karl Burkheimer
Christine Clark
Michael DeForest
Ben Ediger
Anna Fidler
Judilee Fitzhugh
Catherine Glass
Phil Harris
Jiseon Lee Isbara
Rebecca Kelley
Matt Kidder
Jim Koudelka
Abby McGehee
Emily Nachison
 

Georgiana Nehl
JP Reuer
Michelle Ross
Mark Rupert
Heidi Schwegler
Brian Shannon
Shelley Socolofsky
Lee Stewart
Deb Stoner
Steve Taylor
Barb Tetenbaum
Bill Will

 

 

Dylan J. Beck
Ceramics Department Head

DYLAN J. BECK is a ceramic artist, sculptor, and educator. He studied sculpture and ceramics at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. Upon receiving his BFA in Ceramics, he was awarded a Post Baccalaureate Fellowship at Illinois State University. In 2006, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to attend Tyler School of Art, Temple University for graduate school where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree. Beck’s research focuses on the built environment, including concepts dealing with urban development, the information infrastructure, and the economic, social, and psychological effects of living in a super-modern world.
Contact: dbeck@ocac.edu

 

Karl Burkheimer
MFA in Craft, Chair

KARL BURKHEIMER earned a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture from North Carolina State University and an MFA in Craft and Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. He leads the newest OCAC graduate program, the MFA in Craft. Formally the head of the College’s Wood Department, Karl has been actively involved in the development of OCAC’s MFA programs, and was the Associate Chair within the Applied Craft + Design program. Prior to joining the faculty at OCAC, Karl was an Assistant Professor of design at Virginia Commonwealth University’s branch campus in Qatar. He has also worked with students and faculty from the University of Manitoba as a guest artesan for service learning studios in Turkey and Africa.
 
Karl’s artistic practice is founded on an interest in labor and skill, reflecting many years of personal experience building objects and environments for both artistic and utilitarian purposes. His work has been exhibited nationally, including recent exhibitions at the Disjecta Interdisciplinary Art Center, the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon, and the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His critical writing has been published in Ceramic Monthly, and has received several awards of recognition as well as institutional funding, including a 2012 individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission, a finalist for the 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards at the Portland Art Museum, and a 2013 U.S.-Japan Creative Artist Fellowship.
Contact: kburkheimer@ocac.edu
makemaking.net

 

Christine Clark
Metals Department Head (Sabbatical | 2014-15 Academic Year)

CHRISTINE CLARK earned an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Along with teaching traditional metalsmithing and jewelry, Clark’s personal work focuses on abstract sculpture in steel, wire, and mixed materials. In the past 5 years, she has been working in the installation format using multiples within a given space to intentionally surround the viewer. Her work examines subjects such as human habit and predisposition. As permanent artworks in OCAC’s Drawing Painting and Photography building, she created two large sculptural light fixtures in 2010. She is a recipient of two Individual Artists Fellowship Grants and a Career Opportunity Development Grant, both from the Oregon Arts Commission. She has taught workshops at Penland School of Craft, Haystack School of Craft, Appalachian Center, Arrowmont, and recently in Mexico City. She has had numerous solo and group exhibitions, locally and nationally, and is a long time member of the Nine Gallery; an alternative installation gallery in Portland, Oregon.
Contact: cclark@ocac.edu
cclarkstudio.com
Follow Christine's Kohler Arts Industry Residency Experience

 

Michael DeForest
Wood Faculty

MICHAEL DEFOREST received his MFA from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Recent exhibitions include "Timere Vacui", a group show he curated for Beppu-Wiarda Gallery, Portland and Function+Art, Chicago. His work is featured in "Scratching the Surface- Art and Content in Contemporary Wood" and "500 Wooden Bowls".
Contact: mdeforest@ocac.edu
michaeldeforeststudio.com

 

Ben Ediger
Interim Wood Department Head

BEN EDIGER received a BFA in Wood from OCAC and an MFA in Visual Studies from the Pacific Northwest College of Art. He is a Portland–based artist, who along with Todd Isaacs is a founding member of SPACECRAFT. Part workshop and part idea factory; they produce everything from hand-tooled furniture, fixtures and interiors, to impromptu installations.
Contact: bediger@ocac.edu

 

 

Anna Fidler
Foundations Faculty

ANNA FIDLER earned her MFA from Portland State University. She works in a variety of media including drawing, painting, film, and music.  She has participated in exhibitions at the Portland Art Museum, the University of Southern California, and has exhibited in galleries worldwide. Her work has been recognized in publications such as Art in America, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post.
Contact: afidler@ocac.edu
annafidler.com
johanssonprojects.net
pulliamgallery.com

 

Judliee Fitzhugh
Fibers Faculty

JUDILEE FITZHUGH holds a Certificate in Crafts from OCAC. She is a textile artist who specializes in natural dye processes. She combines an innovative interpretation of traditional methods, handwoven and surface design techniques, and couture construction details to create a line of wearable garments, accessories, and original art pieces that portray a single moment in history.
Contact: jfitzhugh@ocac.edu

 

Catherine Glass
General Studies Faculty

CATHERINE GLASS spent 15 years as a studio potter before earning her Ph.D. in Plant Biology (Systematics) from the University of Illinois, Urbana. She is also well-versed in Field Ecology and Ethnobotany.
Contact: cglass@ocac.edu

 

Phil Harris
General Studies Faculty

PHIL HARRIS received an MFA in Imaging Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He worked virtually exclusively as a photographer for over thirty years, exhibiting his work in numerous solo exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe. His work is held in many collections, public and private, including the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry A. Ransom Collection of the University of Texas, the Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris), the Museum of the City of Lisbon, Portugal, among others. In recent years, Harris has begun to work with other two- and three-dimensional materials to address perceptual and philosophical concerns, including balance, imbalance, prosthesis, the interconnected nature of human existence, and the limits of individualism.
Contact: pharris@ocac.edu

 

Jiseon Lee Isbara
Dean of Academic Affairs/Fibers Faculty

JISEON LEE ISBARA is an artist, educator, and Dean of Academic Affairs as OCAC. She earned BFA and MFA degrees from Ewha Womans University and a second MFA from Colorado State University. Her current body of her work is the aesthetic interpretation of methods achieving multi-tasking and communication. Planning, categorizing and writing are intense component of life, therefore, compulsive planning to achieve many different responsibilities became a conceptual element of her art. The process she uses is time consuming, repetitive, and therefore meditative; writing with thread and organizing with pieces of fabric. Her recent exhibitions include "Connecting" at Chambers@916 in Portland; "Hands of Korea", travelling invitational exhibition in Korea, France, and the United States; "Wrapping Tradition: Korean Textile Now" at the San Francisco Museum of Craft and Folk Art; and "Identify Yourself" at the Craft Alliance in St. Louis, Missouri. Her work has been featured and reviewed in various publications including “Textile Fibre Forum” Magazine in Australia, the “Fiber Art Now” catalog, and the “Surface Design Journal.”
Contact: jlee@ocac.edu
jiseonleeisbara.com

 

Rebecca Kelley
General Studies Faculty

REBECCA KELLEY earned a BA in English from Southern Oregon University and an Master of Arts in Writing from Portland State University. She is a fiction writer whose work is infused with the sensibilities of the young creative class that uses the Pacific Northwest as its way station for earnest, well-meaning adventuring to the world at large. She is the co-founder of the Green Baby Guide and co-writer of The Eco-nomical Baby Guide (2010). Rebecca’s work has appeared in Scholastic Parent and Child, Metro Parent, Stealing Time magazine, and xoJane.
Contact: rkelley@ocac.edu
Rebecca Kelley Writes

 

Matt Kidder
Photography Faculty

MATT KIDDER holds an MFA from San Francisco State University. He is a photo-based artist who utilizes still imagery, performance, and writing to create text/image works. He was awarded an NEA grant as author and director of the Watershed Project; a multi-disciplinary touring exhibit. His work is exhibited nationally and often employs fabricated histories and sociopolitical observation as content.
contact: mkidder@ocac.edu

 

Jim Koudelka
Ceramics Faculty

JIM KOUDELKA received his BFA from Ohio University and MFA from Indiana University. He has taught at OCAC for the past twenty-five years and his residency history includes The Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT; Bullseye Glass, Portland, OR; and OCAC Senior Resident. He has maintained an involvement throughout his career in both functional and sculptural work. Some of this sculptural work has investigated environmental concerns regarding water issues, fisheries, and land use. He often employes post-firing construction with other medias such as metal, glass, and wood. Recently, he created a body of work titled, "Man Cans and Boy Toys." These sculptural, yet functional, vessels merge his interested in industrial objects with playful inspirations from his sons' toys. Jim's work has been featured in a variety of publications and exhibited in numerous national and regional shows; receiving honors and awards, including  two solo shows at the Waterstone Gallery in Portland and the Mary Lou Zeek gallery in Salem, Oregon.
Contact: jkoudelka@ocac.edu

 

Abby McGehee
General Studies Department Head

ABBY MCGEHEE earned her MA and PhD from University of California at Berkeley. Recent projects include studies of Late Gothic architecture in Paris and Normandy. She also co-edited a volume of essays, New Approaches to Medieval Architecture, published in 2011. Her research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the Fulbright Program, the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, and the Getty.
Contact: amcgehee@ocac.edu

 

Emily Nachison
Interim Fibers Department Head

Emily Nachison is a multi media artist. She received a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2006 and a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2010. Nachison has had numerous solo exhibitions and has been included in multiple group shows across the country. In 2013 she received an Artistic Focus Project Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council in Portland, Oregon.
Contact: enachison@ocac.edu
www.emilynachison.com

 

Georgiana Nehl
Drawing and Foundations Faculty

GEORGIANA NEHL earned a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is a painter who exhibits locally and nationally; working in both two- and three-dimensions and often exploring symbols, systems of thought, and the evocative nature of color. The nature of consciousness is often expored in her work; how we make sense of our world and make connections with each other as sentient beings. For most of her paintings and objects she uses the arcane surface ground of hot-glue gesso, on wood or paper, allowing both additive and subtractive methods as she uses gouache, watercolor, oil paint, cold wax, and a variety of dry media. Her recent collaboration "Lexicon: 100 Mixed Media Paintings" has traveled to Elmhurst Art Museum, El Paso Museum of Art, the Chicago Cultural Center, and several university galleries. Currently she is creating a series of small but complex mixed-media paintings exploring the contemplative mandala as a format and a collection of large charcoal drawings relating to her dance practice.
Contact: gnehl@ocac.edu

 

JP Reuer
MFA Applied Craft and Design Chair

JP REUER is head of the MFA in Applied Craft and Design, a program collaboratively developed and offered jointly by Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art. He received a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture degree from North Carolina State University and a Master of Architecture, Affordable Housing, degree from McGill University. JP is a LEED accredited architect and licensed general contractor, and has lived and worked on projects in New York, Montreal, Halifax, Berlin, Zurich, Vienna, and Doha, and Qatar. Since establishing his own practice in 1999, JP has concentrated primarily on single and multi-family residential dwellings in historic, urban districts. His designs are contextually driven; responsive to vernacular architectural patterns and details, with an emphasis on energy-efficiency and durability.

While teaching in the Interior Design Department at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, JP chaired the 2006 and 2007 Tasmeem International Design Conference; the Middle East's most prominent design conference. Through his work on Tasmeem and his proposal for the Qatar Design Outreach Unit, Reuer was asked to consult on the planning and development of the Qatar Design Zone, the first global creative hub in the Persian Gulf.

JP is an original member of Designbox, a collaborative of diverse creative professionals that is part creative thinktank, and part community incubator. Designbox operates a gallery, and sponsors a variety of events and activities to develop and support local creative community.
Contact: jreuer@ocac.edu

 

Michelle Ross
Drawing and Painting Department Head

MICHELLE ROSS received her MFA in painting and drawing from Washington State University, Pullman, in 1994, and her BFA in painting from the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, in 1987.

Her work is concerned with the placement and effect of fragments. Interested in a physical response to form, color and space she operates with the premise that certain arrangements of these simple elements can evoke clearly felt and understood experiences beyond language. Distance, proximity, isolation and repetitive structures of order are utilized as both comforting and alienating. She is convinced that these experiences can be socially powerful and that painting can be a sign, a reminder of this.

Her work has been exhibited and curated in print around the United States and in Europe, including by Jennifer Blessing at the Guggenheim, New York; Lowery Sims, of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, Jessica Morgan at the Tate, London, the Art Gym, Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon; Nine Gallery, Portland, Oregon; New Mexico State University, Las Cruces; Rome International University, Italy; and Barrett House Galleries, Poughkeepsie, New York. She has been an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, Italy; New Mexico State University, Las Cruces; and Vermont Studio Center, among others. Ross has received numerous grants and honors, including an Oregon Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship; a Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grant; an Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity Grant; and a Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, Juror's Award. Ross is represented by Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, Oregon.
Contact: mross@ocac.edu
michellecarolross.com

 

Mark Rupert
Photography Department Head

MARK RUPERT earned a BFA from Ohio University in 194 and an MFA from the University of Oregon in 1997. He utilizes a wide variety of materials and processes including photography, video, sculpture, and installation to explore historical and contemporary ideologies that govern patterns of human interaction with the land. Mark has participated in numerous exhibitions and residency programs.
Contact: mrupert@ocac.edu

 

Heidi Schwegler
Associate Chair, Joint MFA Applied Craft + Design

HEIDI SCHWEGLER earned her MFA from the University of Oregon and is a Professor at OCAC. She explores a wide range of materials in the service of her subject matter and has participated in numerous shows including exhibitions at Raid Projects, (Los Angeles), Platform China (Beijing), Scope Art 2004 (New York), and the Hallie Ford Museum (Oregon). Heidi is a recent Ford Family Fellow (Oregon), MacDowell Colony Fellow (New Hampshire), and recipient ofseveral RACC Individual Project Grants (Oregon).Her lecture history includes work in contemporary art and design at institutions such as the Burg Giebichenstein, (Germany), Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan), and Kendall College of Art and Design (Michigan). Reviews of her work have been published in Art in America, ArtNews, and the Huffington Post.
Contact: hschwegler@ocac.edu
heidischwegler.com

 

Brian Shannon
Foundations Department Head

BRIAN SHANNON is a Professor and Head of Foundations, teaching and mentoring at OCAC since 1993 in the Drawing/Painting, Book Arts and General Studies Departments. Brian earned an MFA in 1987 from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and his BFA in 1984 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to working full-time at OCAC, Brian was an Assistant Professor for 11 years teaching Printmaking and Visual Elements at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon.

His work combines the printmaking mediums of intaglio, lithography and relief as well as mixed media sculpture. Most recently, Brian was included in Ink This: Contemporary Printmaking in the Northwest at the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington. Brian also curated and was included in the OCAC Printmaking Portfolio: Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition at the Hoffman Gallery, Portland, Oregon. He exhibits his work regionally and nationally and has work in the collection of the New York Public Library, New Orleans Museum of Art, Portland Art Museum, Portland Visual Chronicles and the Jordan D. Schnitzer Print Collection.
Contact: bshannon@ocac.edu

 

Shelley Socolofsky
Fibers and General Studies Faculty

 

SHELLEY SOCOLOFSKY received her MFA from the University of Oregon and has studied Gobelins Tapestry and Medieval Art History in Poitier, Paris, and Uzes, France, Jacquard Hand Weaving at the Fondazione Arte Della Seta Lisio in Florence, Italy, and Digital Jacquard CAD Design at the Jacquard Center in North Carolina.  A recipient of Individual Artist Fellowships from the Chenven Foundation of New York and the Oregon Arts Commission, her work has been commissioned for numerous public art collections around the country. Considering the action of weaving as an interlacement of opposing systems, her work investigates cloth making and production as a platform for social activism. Examining domestic dislocation through performance, installation, built environments and the woven object, her work is collected and exhibited internationally.
Contact: ssocolofsky@ocac.edu
shelleysocolofsky.com

 

Lee Stewart
General Studies Faculty

LEE STEWART earned her MA and PhD in Art History from Columbia University in New York City.  Her specialty is 19th and 20th century art, with recent research focusing on portraiture.
Contact: lstewart@ocac.edu

 

Deb Stoner
Interim Metals Department Head

DEB STONER is a studio artist and designer, received her MFA in Applied Design and Metals from San Diego State University.  For over twenty years Deb has lectured and taught at colleges and craft centers worldwide, including Haystack, Penland, Arrowmont, the Appalachian Center for Craft, the Dowse Art Museum in New Zealand, National College of Art and Design in Dublin, Ireland, University of Georgia’s Studies Abroad program in Cortona, Italy, and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.  She was a speaker at the Society of North American Goldsmiths’ con­fer­ence in 1994, 2004, and 2011, and curated the interna­tional traveling exhibi­tion called "Op Art: Eye­glass­es by Jew­el­ers". Deb worked as an eyewear designer for Anne Klein and Donna Karan, as well as working freelance in the fashion industry on projects including watches and jewelry. Her interest in photography sometimes takes over, with a current body of work involving large scale botanical studies.
debstoner.com
Contact: dstoner@ocac.edu

 

Steve Taylor
General Studies Faculty

STEVE TAYLOR received an MA from American University in Washington. He is an award-winning journalist and writer who has had more than 750 articles, editorials, essays, and other works published by more than 60 organizations and publications, including The Nation, The Washington Post, Public Citizen, The New York Times bestselling history book Chronicle of the 20th Century, and CBS Radio. He’s a recipient of the Washington Press Foundation Award and several journalism grants from various organizations, including The Center for Public Integrity, Voice of the Environment, and The National Forest Accountability Alliance. Currently, he is co-writing a book about ethical leadership and writes monthly articles for a national legal publication called "Of Counsel." Steve is also a performance artist and humorist, exploring socio-political issues in a medium he’s coined “journalistic theater.” In this format, performed as approximately one hour-long monologues, he says he likes to “push his concepts to the outer edge – and sometimes beyond."
Contact: staylor@ocac.edu

 

Barb Tetenbaum
Book Arts Department Head

BARBARA TETENBAUM earned a BS of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in Printmaking from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is an artist working in printed books and installation. In 1979, she founded her impringt, Triangular Press. This work can be found in many private and public collections in the US and abroad. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Lecture awards to teach in Germany and the Czech Republic as well as other honors including a Koopman Distinguished Chair at the Hartford Art School in 2012 and a Sally Bishop Fellowship at the Center for Book Arts in New York City in 2011. She has taught workshops at Haystack School of Crafts, Penland, Wells College, Idyllwild, Pyramid Atlantic, Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Paper and Book Intensive.
Contact: btetenbaum@ocac.edu
www.getty.edu
 

 

Bill Will
General Studies and Foundations Faculty

BILL WILL received a BA from Washington State University. He is a sculptor and installation artist who has also completed numerous public artworks. In 2005 Bill completed a large sculpture for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma, Washington and has worked on commissions in Seattle, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona. The Art Gym at Marylhurst University recently presented a mid-career retrospective of his work- Bill Will: Prototypes, 1980-2005.
Contact: bwill@ocac.edu