Hand Workshop Art Center
1812 West Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220


The Hand Workshop Art Center is proud of its wonderful and talented instructors. Here is a little information about them.

Susan Adams is a jewelry designer and metalsmith who holds an MFA degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She is the Hand Workshop Art Center’s Master Teacher for 2004.

Amanda Anthony received her MFA in photography from VCU. She teaches and exhibits in the Richmond area.

Barbara Atkinson has been a professional stained glass artist and instructor for over 25 years.

John Balasa is a professional faux finisher. He works for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in the Department of Exhibition Production.

Jorge Benitiz is a professional painter and instructor. He received a BFA in painting and printmaking from VCU.

Mo Bennett is a local artist and teaches art at Richmond Montessori.

Ingrid Bernhardt is a graduate of the Pratt Institute. Her beadwork is exhibited nationally and she regularly exhibits at the Craft & Design Show.

Brad Thomas Birchett is a mixed media painter and also works in a variety of three-dimensional mediums and media-arts. Brad studied art both at V.C.U. and Virginia Tech where he received a B.S. degree. He is currently an M.F.A. in Visual Arts candidate at Vermont College in Montpelier, Vermont.

Lee Bloxom is a writer and photographer. She holds a BA from Wellesley College.

Tami Bowman has a BA from the University of Wisconsin and is a certified art teacher.

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Nicole Brinser is an art teacher in the Henrico Public schools and has BA in art education from VCU.

Janet Gilmore Bryan earned her MFA from Columbia University and teaches for the VCU Art Foundation Program.

David Camden is a graduate of Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. He has been teaching at the Hand Workshop Art Center since 1978.

Anne Chamblin graduated from VCU and teaches and exhibits in the region.

Amy Chaplin holds a BS in education and BFA from Guilford College in Greensboro, SC and is a certified art teacher.

Carlie Collier has a BFA and an MFA from VCU. She is a professional artist, photographer, and educator, and exhibits, teaches, and lectures throughout the nation.

Larry Comstock is a writer and Internet content specialist whose work has been published on the web, in print and on radio. He currently manages and creates content for several web sites, writes non-fiction articles, song lyrics and poetry, and does freelance communications work.

Reid Coyner graduated from the NCSU School of Design and has been a professional designer in the US, Canada, and Belgium.

Barbara Dill studied woodturning at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. She is a full-time studio artist and instructor.

Don Dransfield, a designer/goldsmith, has a BFA from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

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Daniel Eaves has an MFA in metalsmithing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. He is a full-time jeweler.

Clydie Einstein-Walsh is a pursuing a degree in visual arts and art education, she is also a set designer and prop builder.

Rose Elliott is a published poet and nonfictions writer who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from VCU.

Paul Fleisher is an author and educator with an M.Ed. from VCU.

Jessica Freeman is a professional stained-glass artist and graphic designer.

Charles Gustina is an MFA candidate in photography at VCU. A graduate of Parson Design School, he worked many years in New York in interior design heading his own firm for 10 years.

Cherri Allen Hankins is the owner of the Maiden’s Hand Weaver and teaches locally.

Mary Henck is a local fiber artist who has been hooking rugs for over 10 years. She teaches traditional rug hooking regionally and has studied with nationally known rug hooking teachers. She is the Director of the Outer Banks Rug Hooking Retreat and owner of Mary’s Wool Garden.

Maripat Hyatt is an art teacher in the Henrico County Public Schools.

Brenda Isenberg is a fulltime professional artist who received her MFA in Painting from the New York Academy of Art.

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Lisa Fisher Johnson holds an MFA in drawing, painting and sculpture from the New York Academy of Art in New York City, NY, the Graduate School of Figurative Art. She has exhibited in New York City, Chicago, Ill. and Columbus, Ohio.

Jennifer Kirby is a local mosaic artist and the owner and operator of the Crossroads Art Center.

Karen Kincaid has an MFA from VCU and is a full-time sculptor.

Amelia Loehe studies glass and textiles at Virginia Commonwealth University and maintains a studio at Art Works, Inc.

Cary Loving holds an MFA in ceramics from California College of Arts & Crafts. She is an active artist and has taught a variety of art and ceramic classes to adults in both community college and university settings.

Deirdra McAfee has an MA in English Literature from Georgetown University and an MFA from the New School. An experienced writer and teacher she won the 1998 Poets and Writer Exchange Competition in fiction, and most recently the STYLE Fiction Contest.

Richard McCord is a professional ceramic sculptor who has been teaching at the Hand Workshop for 20 years. He served as the Hand Workshop’s Master Teacher for 2001.

Stephen Moody

Kirk O’Brien is a professional freelance cartoonist and illustrator. His work can be viewed on his website at He served as the Hand Workshop’s Master Teacher for 2003. Learn a little more about Kirk.

Amie Oliver earned an MFA from Bowling Green (Ohio) State University. She is a professional artist and teacher.

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Mark Pack has an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Brad Pearson is a professional lampwork artist. He holds a BFA from VCU, and has taught and exhibited for a decade.

Louis Poole holds a BFA in painting and printmaking from VCU and is a professional artist working in Richmond.

Susan Quinnild is a studio potter and assists in the operation of the Hand Workshop Art Center Clay Studio.

Pamela Rose Rennolds is a professional ceramist and teacher, has a BA from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.

Fiona Ross is a ceramic artist, teaches sculpture and ceramics classes at University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her MFA in 2001. She has been involved in ceramic arts for 11 years. She has exhibited her sculpture and paintings in New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Kentucky and, most recently, in New Delhi, India.

Diego Sanchez holds an MFA in painting and printmaking from VCU and teaches at St. Catherine’s School.

Jude Schlotzhauer holds an MFA in glass working from VCU and a BFA in painting from American University. She is a full-time studio artist and a part-time faculty member of VCU.

Jay Sharpe is professional metalsmith who holds a BFA from VCU and is the proprietor of Jay Sharpe Studio.

Pam Shelor received her BFA in painting and printmaking from VCU and is a painter, potter and printmaker.

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Shelly Bechtel Shepherd is an artist-member of the Virginia Watercolor Society and frequently exhibits throughout the U.S. She served as the Hand Workshop’s Master Teacher for 2002.

Leslie Shiel holds an MFA from VCU. She has taught a variety of writing courses at VCU, has curated the Eric Schindler Gallery Reading Series, and has taught private poetry and nonfiction courses in the community.

Melanie Bentley Shockley is a local precious metal clay artist who exhibits and sells her work regionally. In 2000, she received first place in the National Program for the Arts “Emerging Talents” in the sculpture category.

Susan Singer holds a Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies in Art from VCU. She has worked extensively with polymer clay and pastels, and shows and sells her work in regional galleries.

Catherine Southall has a BFA in fashion design and twenty years experience in the fashion industry.

David Tanner is a professional portrait painter with a BFA in Painting from VCU. An active member of The Portrait Society of America and The American Society for Classical Realism, Tanner’s training includes studying with modern master Nelson Shanks at the Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. Read an interview with David.

Sarah Thompson is a professional photographer who holds a BA from the University of the South. She holds a professional certificate in fine art photography from the Maine Photographic Workshops.

Jim Valentine has been a potter, sculptor and teacher for thirty years.

Thomas Van Auken is a professional artist whose paintings have been shown locally and nationally. He studied fine art at the Corcoran School of Art.

Brittney Hewitt Van Deusen has a BA in art from the College of William and Mary and a Masters Degree in art education from VCU. She is a professional artist and is an art teacher in the Henrico County Public Schools.

Susann Whittier holds a BFA in sculpture from VCU and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

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