Rebecca Wilson Allen grew up west of Denver and attended the Kansas City Art Institute, where she received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree. She also attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, where she concentrated her studies in Industrial Design. She worked for many years as a designer and construction detailer for exhibit and interior design firms in Denver and Chicago. For the last 15 years she has been employed doing design, drafting and architectural renderings for her husband’s architectural firm. A life-long artist, Rebecca has continued to draw, paint and do pastel drawings as well as commercial design and renderings. She was on the founding board of Batavia’s Art in Your Eye Art Festival and was very involved in coordinating the festival until 2013. Rebecca has been a resident artist at Water Street Studios for the last 5 years.
Karine Bauch became Director of Education at Water Street Studios in June 2016 and brings 15 years of art education experience with her. She especially enjoys teaching young people to draw and render realistically while still encouraging them to express their own creative style. She earned an AAS in illustration at Fashion Institute of Technology, and has worked as both an illustrator and art teacher. Her award winning art curriculum, The Phonics of Drawing, has been used by art teachers and home educators for the last ten years. Her personal gallery can be seen here.
Victoria Belz is a glass artist, teaching and creating in flameworked and lampworked since 2006. She uses her glass in jewelry and small sculptural work. Victoria has been a resident artist at Water Street for two years and has been teaching at Water Street for three years. for more about Victoria and her work visit www.tinkerbelzart.com, etsy shop and like Tinker Belz Art on Facebook
With a biology degree under her belt, Kelley Cappell is a qualified scientific illustrator situated in Geneva, Illinois. She is the current contract illustrator for Brookfield Zoo. Her passion is for science, nature, drawing, and providing instruction in painting techniques and other mediums. Kelley can compose artwork applying the traditional method of using paint and pencil or by creating digitally mastered work. Kelley takes great care to produce quality images that reflect her love for her subjects and her craft.
Lisa Dienst-Thomas has been designing, handcrafting and selling jewelry at Art Shows and in stores for over 20 years under the business name Lisa’s Pieces. Her current pieces use sterling silver, copper and glass. She loves tools and new techniques for using them especially those involving adding texture and dimension to her work. She have been teaching metalworking classes locally for over 5 years, including one day workshops and ongoing metals classes. Visit Lisa’s Pieces by clicking here
Kim Fredricks loves to get inky! She studied art at Northern Illinois University and stayed an extra year after discovering the wonders of printmaking. Under the direction of professors, Michael Barnes and Ashely Nason, Kim developed a passion for all types of printmaking. Through Water Street Studios, Kim eagerly shares her passion for print with her students. Kim’s story at Water Street Studios began as an internship, grew into teaching printmaking classes and developing Water Street Studios’s PrintLab in St. Charles.
Jesse Howard was born in Chicago, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Science Degree from Ball State University, with a major in Commercial Art and a minor in Business Administration. After briefly working for a topographer and finding the work too mechanical and client base, he took a different career path into business. In the eighties, he rededicated himself to Fine Art and had his first major solo show in 1984 with Zriny Gallery. He also exhibited with the Chicago Cultural Center and 5+5 Perspectives In Black Art. Jesse’s themes often present an image of African American males as he sees them in Chicago urban settings. One of his exhibits, The Diminishing Black Male, brings to light how the plight of African American youth is indicative of a greater social and cultural dilemma.
Kevin Hunter learned to paint at the age of seven when his grandmother taught him to use watercolors and he’s been at it ever since. In high school, he studied drawing with children’s book illustrator Robert Baumgartner. In college, he studied medical illustration and earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in drawing/painting. He also studied portrait and still life painting for two years at Chicago’s historic Palette and Chisel Academy. He has won numerous local and national awards for both drawing and painting. Hunter is an experienced teacher, having taught for fifteen years at Elgin Community College in the Communication Arts program. He has also taught drawing at Northern Illinois University and at the Illinois Institute of Art in Chicago. Hunter maintains a vigorous studio practice in Batavia. His work is divided between his Regionalist Impressionism farm paintings and his PaintMyKNine watercolor dog portraits. His work can be viewed at www.kevinhunterart.com and at www.paintmyknine.com
Kari Kraus Art has been Kari’s passion ever since she won the Art Basket Fun Fair Raffle prize at JB Nelson back in the day full of art books, supplies, and excitement! She went on to major in art at NIU. Months after graduation she went on to co-found Water Street Studios and build the School of Art from the ground up. She specializes in children’s programming and community outreach having worked in a variety of urban and suburban environments.
Chris Pappas has worked as a professional illustrator for 30 years, working for numerous companies across the country. In the past few years, he has returned to his roots in fine art, focusing on drawing and painting. He studied visual communications at Ferris State College in Big rapids, Michigan, and continued his next two years at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois, with an emphasis on illustration.
Steve Sherrell is a painter and digital artist who has exhibited extensively in the Chicago art scene since the 1970’s. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in many collections. He is a Professor of Art and holds both a BFA and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Maureen Stiebris earned a BFA at the University of Illinois and a Master’s Degree in Teaching from National-Louis University. As a certified art instructor, she has taught in both elementary and middle schools and enjoys teaching students of all ages. Her watercolor paintings have been in group exhibits at Mayslake Peabody Mansion, Oak Park Art League, and other art venues. She loves the lively and expressive nature of watercolor painting, and is excited to share this amazing medium with students at Water Street Studios.
Ashley Szeto earned her BFA in Graphic Design from Columbia College Chicago. While in college, she discovered her love of all things paper and started her career as a designer for a stationery studio specializing in custom invitations. After working in the wedding industry for nearly seven years, she decided it was time to pursue a new passion. Her Etsy shop, That’s Just My Type, was the perfect way to share her love of quirky hand-lettered greeting cards and stationery with the world. No stray scrap of paper escapes her doodles and she loves creating beautiful things that help people celebrate all of life’s occasions.
Ellyn Theis has been fiercely passionate about building a strong community that is inclusive for all, expression through art, and quality education since her first year as a School of Art intern at Water Street Studios in 2011. Since then, she has become a School of Art committee member, an Art Flow program instructor, as well as a youth arts education instructor at Water Street. Ellyn is dedicated to providing a quality and personalized art curriculum to each of her classes that she instructs, and she believes that quality art education that is fun, engaging, and made readily available to all children, can help build the foundation for a happy, healthy and successful adolescent and adult. Outside of Water Street Studios, Ellyn loves to parade her dog around the beautiful sights of Batavia, paint with acrylic and oil, and enjoy her role as an ESL private instructor.
Lisa Youngdahl is the principal of Resolution Creative and has been working as a professional designer for over 25 years. She also has taught credit graphic design courses at Waubonsee Community College and College of DuPage since 2002.