Art & Dine in Downtown Mesa

Eats + Arts

Target 3 For Free | 1st Sunday

Target 3 For Free
Previous Story
Next Story
Adult Sculpture Classes
Children's Art Classes
Adult Ceramics Classes
Children's Drama Classes
Learn The Art Of Glass
Bring Out Your Crafty Side
Get Sparking With Metals Classes
Enroll Your Child In Art Classes
Learn Printmaking
Solder Your Own Jewelry

Classes Info

Register: 480-644-6520

Enroll Now >

M-F: 8:00a - 7:00p
Sat: 8:00a - 5:00p

One East Main Street
Mesa, Arizona 85201


Instructor Bios

Jesse Armstrong

Born in 1980, Jesse Armstrong grew up in Norman, Oklahoma. Even as a child, Armstrong conveyed interests in art and science and credits his mother, a professional painter, and father a  trained biologist and environmental scientist in inspiring his career choice as a ceramic artist. Armstrong received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Studio Art with emphases in ceramics and sculpture in 2005 from the University of Oklahoma at Norman.  Upon completing his degree, Armstrong spent a year working as an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Art Center in Snowmass Village, Colorado.  He has also worked as the ceramics studio manager and instructor at the Firehouse Art Center in Norman, Oklahoma. Armstrong relocated to Arizona, and in 2010 received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics from Arizona State University.  Jesse currently is a Master Ceramic Instructor, Artist in Residence and  Studio Manager in the Ceramics Department at Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, AZ, and  is an adjunct professor of ceramics at Phoenix College in Phoenix, AZ and Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ. Jesse has also taught courses in Ceramics at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ and Yavapai College in Prescott, AZ.  Starting April 1, 2014 Jesse became the lead instructor of the Ceramics Studio at the Mesa Arts Center.


Candice Bairn

Candice Bairn started coming to the MAC years ago as a teenager.  As an Art Education and Ceramics major at ASU she chose the MAC to do her internship to learn more about teaching kids art.  She has been a children's art instructor here for about 4 years and loves it!  She has 2 children of her own, which she says being a mom, has made her a better teacher.


Sandy Blain

Sandy is Professor Emeritus - Ceramics, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Director Emeritus - Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, TN. Her background includes a B.S. in Art Education from Northern Illinois University, and an M.F.A. in Ceramics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Having worked in teaching and administration since 1964, she has a diverse background related to educational programming – classes/conferences/seminars; gallery programming/installations; fund raising; public relations and personnel development. Her public service work includes involvement with national/regional/state/local craft organizations, often serving as a board member, consultant, conference coordinator, grant reviewer, exhibition juror, or presenter/workshop leader. As a practicing artist, her clay pieces have been seen in juried and invitational exhibitions throughout the country with reviews and photographs in media publications and catalogs. Sandy is an adjunct faculty member at the Mesa Arts Center, Mesa, AZ. She is active with the Arizona State University Ceramic Research Center recently serving as Chairman of the Advisory Board with committee work related to educational outreach, special events, and the annual studio tour weekend. She is also serving as a docent in the ASU Museum store and in the Mesa Art Center store. Sandy continues to serve as a juror for national and regional exhibitions, a workshop leader with emphasis primarily on handbuilding, and a consultant to various arts organizations.


Katie Cathcart

Katie has worked for the Mesa Arts Center since 1985 when she was a graduate student at ASU. After receiving her MA in Child Drama, Katie joined the Arizona Artist’s Roster and become known as the Puppet Lady. Katie was part of the team that opened the first Arts Camp in 1990 and is still teaching Puppetry and greeting campers in her self- titled position of “Boss of the World”. In addition to teaching Puppetry and “Bossing”, Katie has acted in the last 5 productions of Stageworks and the Mesa Outreach Program.

Education- Rollins College, Winter Park, FL BA in Theatre Arts

Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ MA in Child Drama


Jewel Clark

Jewel Clark earned her BFA in Metals and Jewelry from UT Austin in 1990 and her MFA in Metals and Jewelry from UNT Denton in 1995 where she studied enameling with Harlan Butt. Jewel moved to Phoenix in 2002 to pursue a degree in media arts and has added digital art photography and collage to her mediums. From 2006- 2009, she taught art foundation courses and computer graphics at South Mountain Community College. Since 2007, she has been Artist in Residence in Metals at the Mesa Arts Center where she continues to teach metals classes with an emphasis on enameling. Jewel continues to make one-of-a-kind metalwork and has exhibited across the United States and in Japan.


Ingrid Donaldson

Ingrid is a nationally and internationally collected glass artist and metalsmith. She began her artistic career in the glass field in 1995 and incorporated the metals field in 1998. Wanting to share her knowledge and technical expertise, she has her own teaching studio, and is a Master Teacher at the Mesa Arts Center. She was also the Resident Artist of Glass for the Phoenix Center for the Arts from 2003 to 2011. Using both traditional and contemporary techniques, her work focuses on the intricacies of the natural world through a conceptual evaluation of Physics, Chemistry and Biology. She is currently seeking a MFA in Metals from Arizona State University.


Joshua Dopp

The speed at which our lives work is getting faster and less stable everyday. Technology tries too hard to make our lives “better” and frequently just makes it more complicated and less real. Sometimes it is the simple things which are able to speak volumes; or in their quietude transport us to a more ethereal sublime state. Barriers surround us and define us. From our skin to the stone walls around our possessions to lines on a map. The edge or the border is the home of doubt and anxiety. At the threshold there is transformation and change, which our minds either comfortably confront or vigorously repel. I am interested in duality and the tension or blurring of opposites.

MFA in Sculpture/Glass @ University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

BA in Art History @ University of California at Santa Barbara


Mike Healy

Mike has been making photographs since the age of six. He shoots film in all formats, concentrating on landscape, cultural landscape, and still life. In addition, he has more than fifteen years of experience in studio photography, in both film and digital, with an emphasis on artist portfolios. His commercial work has appeared in numerous books and magazines, including Surface Design, Ceramics Monthly, and Clay Times. He teaches film darkroom and Photoshop, and conducts demos and workshops in studio lighting, digital camera use, and Photoshop. He is currently artist-in-residence in photography.


Tammy Johnsen

Tammy is an award winning jewelry artisan, with over twenty five years of experience. From her humble beginnings at a bead store in Ann Arbor, Tammy has been passing her love for this art form on to other artists since the mid 1990's. She started Tamalin Craft jewelry in 2007 and has been merchandizing her works in both boutiques and juried art festivals throughout the greater Phoenix metroplex. Her designs are featured in Bead Trends magazine, and on the Soft Flex Company's website.


Teri Jo Kinnison

Teri Jo is a Metals Instructor at Mesa Arts Center.  By 1990 she wanted to start making things again, so she started her on-going learning to make glass and metal objects; developing the hand skills of how tools are used today; and studying old and unusual tools of previous generations.  Her current favorites being hand drills and rose engines.  Skills and techniques have been learned in formal classes, workshops, and private instruction at locations throughout the country.  Topics have included glass bead making, jewelry scale metalwork, larger scale metal work, enameling and engine turning.  Teri Jo's current focus is on any hammer technique to shape metal and techniques for creating surface textures for use under enamels.  These skills and their creations are what she enjoys sharing with others.


Lauren Lee

Lauren received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Arizona State University. She teaches art at a local fine arts high school and spends her breaks in the school year teaching art at the Mesa Art Center. She also is a fine artist, displaying work at local shops and galleries within the Phoenix community.


Miles Lester

Miles teaches guitar and private piano at Mesa Arts Center and has taught guitar, voice and piano in the valley for 30 years.  During this time he has also been singing and playing electric and acoustic guitar in bands.  He enjoys playing classic rock, blues, jazz, reggae and classic country.  For 10 years, Miles and his wife were a duet that played as the house band at a wine bar in Fountain Hills and currently he performs friday nights at Fort McDowell Adventures.  Miles enjoys teaching and the opportunity Mesa Arts Center provides the public for fun, affordable instruction.


James Lynch

James defines his work as being detailed symmetrical designs and defined colors. "I hope to present work that can attract the eye, even at a distance and bring the mind to focus. These images speak of personal struggles, triumphs and beliefs. My passion for visual art, music, and nature has served to expand and inspire my imagination. Glass blowing has taught me many life lessons, enlightened my views, and has broadened my perspectives. My hope is that my work can have a similar effect on others.” James and his partner placed 1st in the Sonoran Art Foundation Annual Flame Off this year and their piece brought in the largest auction value of the night. James is currently the advanced Flameworking teacher at the Mesa Arts Center.


David Manje

David is an Arizona native who grew up in Bisbee. He currently lives and works in the desert of east Mesa. He has a BFA in Printmaking and an education degree, both from Arizona State University. David has exhibited his artwork professionally for over thirty years. Currently, the Joan Cawley Gallery in Scottsdale represents David.  His work is in numerous private and corporate collections in the U.S. and abroad.  As a dedicated instructor, David created the basis for all of the adult Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking classes at the Mesa Arts Center.  Since 1982 he has devoted much of his life to developing the quantity and quality of all the two-dimensional, studio classes at the Mesa Arts Center.


Bob Michalski

Bob graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Sout, Menomonie, WI. His teaching career spanned 32 years at Marshfield High School and Marshfield Alternative High School, Marshfield, Wisconsin. While at Marshfield he was the Art Department Chair and taught Jewelry and Art Metals. Bob was also involved with New Visions Art Gallery, serving on its Board of Directors. As an Art Teacher Bob always felt the importance of being a producing artist. During his career he exhibited in several galleries and museums. In 2008 he found Mesa Arts Center and has enjoyed taking classes, volunteering and teaching. It's been a pleasure meeting and working with the people at the Arts Center and utilizing their state of the art studio space.


Troy Moody

Over 15 years ago while backpacking through Europe, Troy was introduced to the abstract stained glass of the post World War II Germans. Awestruck by the bold fields of color and the unorthodox and expressive line work, Troy was inspired by the enormous realm of possibilities of art glass. Since then he has been committed to the pursuit of artistic expression in glass. He’s studied with renowned masters in the field and completed numerous art glass installations for religious, commercial and private spaces in Arizona, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and South Dakota. In 2006 he was selected to design 10,000 square feet of Terrazzo for the new Phoenix Convention Center, a project that earned him a 2008 Honor award from the National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association. He creates autonomous works for gallery exhibitions and currently is working on the 75,000 square foot terrazzo project in the 15-story Maricopa County Court Tower to be completed in 2012.


Laurie Nessel

Laurie was mesmerized watching Dan Dailey blow glass at Haystack-Hinckley School of Crafts in 1971. She honed her glassblowing skills at University of Wisconsin-River Falls until 1978 when she started making stained glass. She specialized in residential stained glass for the next 3 decades under her company Gecko Glass. When she finally got behind a torch in 1998, she was hooked and now enjoys the opportunity to share her love of this medium with her students. She recently was featured at the Tempe Center for the Arts Biennial: Glass Exhibition and demonstrated a lidded core vessel at Viva el Vidrio at Philabaum Studios in Tucson in April, 2011. Laurie teaches beginning flameworking as well as intermediate and advanced workshops in the MAC glass studio, at her Tempe studio and other venues.


Farraday Newsome

Farraday is a widely exhibited artist whose work can also be seen in such galleries as Obisidian Gallery (Tucson, Arizona), Plinth Gallery (Denver, Colorado) and Katie Gingrass Gallery (Milwaukee, Wisconsin). Her work is included in many collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Long Beach Museum of Art, the Wustum Museumof Art in Racine, Wisconsin, the Prague Museum of Decorative Arts in the Czech Republic, the Ohio Crafts Museum, and the Arizona State University Art Museum. Her work has been featured in many books and magazines over the years.


Helen Norsigian Rowles

Helen received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Arizona State University graduating in 1983. Through college she painted scenery for The Lyric Opera Theatre and participated in several group showings. Helen was awarded a Board of Regents scholarship based on her portfolio and after graduating, she worked as an interior designer and freelance artist painting and drawing portraits, illustrations, and murals. Helen received her Masters Degree in Education in July of 2008 and currently enjoys teaching studio art classes at the Mesa Arts Center. A new venture has recently emerged with the publication of a children’s book written and illustrated by Helen.


Pamela Parker

Pamela has loved crafting and painting since she was a young girl. She studied art in high school and college before changing her major. In 2007 one of her dance students introduced her to card making and Pamela fell in love with paper crafting. She started teaching card making and paper crafts in 2009 and has recently started to vend her crafts online and craft shows.


Jeff Reich

Jeff is an exhibiting studio artist, has a home pottery studio and began teaching pottery part-time in Tucson. When he learned of a full-time job opening for lead pottery instructor in Mesa at the Mesa Arts Center, he applied. Rudy Turk, former director of the Arizona State University Art Museum, was part of the hiring panel. Jeff was offered the job, and was the director of the Mesa Arts Center Ceramics program until he retired at the end of March 2014.  He is currently teaching one class a semester.

His work is shown by Obsidian Gallery in Tucson and Plinth Gallery in Denver, Colorado. It is included in numerous public art collections, including the Northern Arizona University Art Museum, the Ceramics Research Center of the Arizona State University Art Museum, the City of Phoenix Contemporary Arizona Ceramics Collection, the City of Mesa Contemporary Art Collection, the Kamm Teapot Foundation, and the Northern Clay Center of Minnesota.


Heather Sellers

Heather is a professional artist born in the Midwest.  As a child, Heather was captivated by the art of glass blowing.  The skillful dance of fire and molten glass was something that never left her mind. As a teenager, Heather won awards for her mixed media designs including stained glass, metals and woodworking.  In 2005, Heather was introduced to the art of lampworking.  Heather has spent years designing beads, sharing knowledge and donating much of her work to charity.  In 2011, Heather’s “Rose Tinted” tutorial was published by Beads & Beyond Magazine.  In 2012, Heather’s designs were featured in a limited edition jewelry collection commissioned for Mary Engelbreit Studios.  An e-book for Beads of Courage featuring Heather’s “Rainbow Swirl” design is scheduled to debut in Fall 2013.  She loves the challenge of developing and sharing techniques to simplify the art of lampworking.


Polly Smith

Polly directs the programs for the Metalsmithing and Jewelry, Sculpture and Photography Studios for Mesa Arts Center. Born and raised in Arizona, the artist has lived most of her life in the desert southwest. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, emphasis in metalsmithing from Arizona State University and a Master of Fine Arts, emphasis in metalsmithing and sculpture from New Mexico State University.  Her current body of work is an exploration of the desert landscape and the way humans and animals interact with their habitat.


Agustin Vargas

As an artist and architect, Agustin’s fascination with almost all The art techniques; Watercolor, oil, acrylic, pastel, printmaking and ancient techniques, such as egg tempera, silver point, and gold leaf, are found in all of his work. His artwork is in numerous private and corporate collections in the U.S, Mexico, and Italy.  He has taught at both the University of Mexico and the University of Juarez Chihuahua State, Mexico. Agustin has privately instructed students at his private studio since 1985. As a dedicated instructor, Agustin shares his knowledge of techniques and composition.


David Vogt

Born and educated in the Midwest, David earned a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1979. Moving to Phoenix following graduation, he successfully pursued an engineering and entrepreneurial career. In 1994, David retired from engineering and started to work full-time as a glass artist. David’s engineering background allowed him to design and build his own glass blowing equipment. He has also designed several specialized handtools that are often bought by other hot glass artists. Using these classic techniques and tools David creates paperweights, marbles, bowls, and solid sculptures that are on display in galleries throughout the USA.



Yasmina is a performer, instructor and hosted “The Joy of Belly Dancing” TV show on Public Access TV in Arizona. She has been teaching for the City of Mesa since 1989 and currently teaches classes at the Mesa Art Center. Yasmina performs many styles of Middle Eastern Dance and teaches Cabaret and American Tribal styles. Her teaching style is of the same philosophy as her dance. She does not want her students to be carbon copies of her, but to learn all aspects of the dance. She teaches both the old and new styles of dance and is continually updating her skills to pass along to her students. Yasmina also teaches workshops in and out of state, with her Veil and Fan Veil classes being the most requested.

Built With Vilocity