art school instructors
calligraphy | book arts | drawing
A graphic designer and teacher by trade, Bill has also worked as an architectural draftsman, technical illustrator and photographer in manufacturing and owned an advertising & design business for 13 years. He has taught graphic design and drawing and at both the high school and college levels and was the Department Coordinator of Graphics at Vincennes University (Indiana). His last position before retiring in 2016 was Print Shop Coordinator / Vocational Instructor at a private school for at-risk youth in Indiana.
Bill has always been infatuated with the book arts of the Renaissance—paper making, calligraphy, letterpress printing and book binding. He does professional book binding and calligraphy and has conducted dozens of workshops and classes in the book arts for the past 25 years. Bill travels to Italy regularly to hone his skills and sketch the sights.
Bill has a Bachelors degree in Graphic Arts Vocational Education and a Masters Degree in Education from Purdue University.
Joann Benzinger uses photography as a means of expression. She began with film and her journey has led her to include digital and alternative methods. Her work has roots in more traditional media but has expanded to include unusual print surfaces such as aluminum cans and image transfers to wood. She participates in group and solo shows and is a founding member of the White Rabbit Gallery in Travelers Rest.
Joann earned her Associate of Arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College and studied Visual Arts with an emphasis in photography at Greenville Technical College.
painting | drawing
Kathleen has over thirty years experience working as a professional artist and possesses a broad range of skills. She earned a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art with a focus in medical illustration and portrait painting. Her experience as a medical illustrator includes working for a large medical center in Cleveland, Ohio and as a freelancer for publishing companies, medical magazines and medical legal firms. Gradually her focus changed to creating commissioned portrait paintings and teaching and it is this work that she continues today.
Kathleen relocated to the Greenville area in 2011 and has been with SAM since 2013. She has taught privately through her own studio, art centers, a community college, as well as gifted high school and museum programs.
youth art instructor
Mary Harris is a Spartanburg native and prolific artist, who has exhibited her artwork since the age of 5. She has created numerous public art and murals throughout town, including the animal mural hanging at the entrance of Spartanburg Science Center.
Mary is beloved by Art School and COLORs Youth Outreach students alike, and continues to share her passion for art with children of all ages with every new class she teaches at SAM.
charlotte "lottie" hutson
painting | drawing | youth art instructor
Charlotte "Lottie" Hutson is a third-generation teacher with education in her blood. She has a passion for teaching adults and children how to create artwork through a diverse understanding of materials, techniques, and processes. She is a native of Spartanburg and seeks to fulfill her purpose by impacting her community through supporting art education.
poetry | performance
mOody bLaCK is a TEDx performer, a National Award-Winning Poet and Host, a Smart Arts Teaching Artist, Motivational Speaker, Spoken-Word and Visual Artist, Actor/Voice Over Artist, Chess Instructor, Story Teller, and Comedian from Spartanburg, S.C.
Now, residing in Greenville, S.C.
mOody bLaCk is passionate about teaching poetry to the youth and adults, and speaking about purpose and challenging depression. Each time mOody is on the stage, he aims to uplift everyone in the audience.
ceramics studio manager | ceramics
Christina was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, where creativity can be found everywhere and anywhere. She caught the art bug early, for which she credits her mother, a former art dealer. She studied art at Furman University, concentrating in graphic design and ceramics, and graduating in 2015. While at school, her professor introduced her to horsehair raku, which is still her favorite firing technique.
Following graduation, Christina joined the West Main Artists Co-op (now the Artists Collective | Spartanburg) in the fall of 2015. Since then, her work has been shown in galleries in South Carolina, Georgia, and at local art fairs. Christina has been the Ceramics Studio Manager here at SAM since the late fall of 2017 and teaching for SAM beginning the summer of 2018.
Cecilia Ho was born into a family of designers in Hong Kong but was first introduced to felting after moving to Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007. It was the local and plentiful sheep farms that influenced her passion and direction into felting and fiber arts. She has held felting demonstrations and workshops at museums, galleries, craft festivals and local businesses across the United States and Canada. Cecilia has taken part in exhibitions, fashion shows and wool campaigns.
FELTasticFashion is the business created by Cecilia in 2011 which provides all-inclusive felting DIY kits for beginners.
Diarmuid Kelly is a photorealistic oil painter who moved with his family from Ireland to the United States in 2008. He is a self-taught artist and has been painting professionally since 1997. Diarmuid has received national and international recognition for his realistic animal paintings. His work can be seen in many prestigious homes of art collectors in Ireland, England, Wales, Australia and the United States. He has had several successful solo and group shows in Greenville, Spartanburg, and Union Counties since moving to the United States. He was included in the publication Artists Among Us - 100 faces of Artists living and working in Spartanburg.
Kara Bender received her BFA in 2008 from the University of North Carolina, Asheville, and her MFA in Visual Arts from Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina. Bender's work has been shown in the United States and has been scheduled to show abroad. Most recently, Bender exhibited her work at the Artist for Artists Project Gallery as a Williams Prize Finalist in Simsbury, Connecticut (2014), was included in the juried exhibition entitled "A Fine Line: Contemporary Drawing Exhibtion" at the Claypool-Young Gallery in Morehead, Kentucky (2013), and was featured in a solo exhibtion in Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Juried Exhibitions Series (2013). Her work focuses on issues concerning ethonography and social justice.
bio coming soon
Elizabeth Goddard earned her MA in Art Education from the University of New Mexico. She has been an instructor for over 20 years teaching the visual arts to everyone from elementary children to USC Upstate students. Before Goddard relocated to Spartanburg she was the Curator and Director of Education at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, MI. In 2015 Goddard was awarded Museum Educator of the Year by the South Carolina Arts Education Association. She maintains a studio practice with a focus on printmaking and collage.
in memoriam: gary huntoon
Gary Huntoon started working with clay in California in 1962 while attending UCLA. Gary worked both in hand-building and wheel thrown techniques, although his preference was hand-building. He taught Ceramics & 3D Art at Parish Episcopal Day School, and was an instructor for High School & Middle School. He also taught Continuing Ed Ceramic classes at Richland Junior College, and workshops throughout the State of Texas, particularly at the Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram. He also taught at the Museum School in Houston and Collin Community College in Plano. Later in life, he relocated to Travelers Rest, SC and taught ceramics at Spartanburg Art Museum from 2014 until his passing in 2022.
Gary was much beloved by his students and SAM staff alike, and his talent, passion, and sense of humor is sorely missed.
youth ceramics instructor
Cathie Layton is a graduate of Pfeifton College in North Carolina, holding BA's in Parks and Recreation, Physical Education and Health, and Art, studying at the graduate level at Savannah College of Art and Design and the University of South Carolina.
Cathie retired from secondary education with over 40 years of teaching experience. She has taught ceramics classes for Spartanburg Art Museum since 2006 in addition to owning her own studios—North Star Studios and Woman Warrior Designs—and enjoys sharing her love of clay and ancient designs with students of all ages.