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art school instructors

Three handmade books, one small, one medium, and one large, stand with their covers and pages open on a countertop surface. A pencil lays in the lower right corner of the image.

bill barrick

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.

Instructor Moody Black, an African-American man wearing a white shirt, grey cap, and beard, makes a silly face with a group of students.

moody black

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.

Christina Dixon, a white woman with long blonde hair in a braid, wearing glasses and a dark jacket with the Furman University logo, leans over a potter's wheel, carefully shaping a lump of clay into a vessel.

christina dixon

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, a Chinese woman, smiles at her daughter as they set up a felting booth in the Museum. A felted portrait of a tiger sits on a easel next to them, along with other felting supplies and a sign with Cecilia's name on it. An art installation of small black-and-yellow circles can be seen in the background.

cecilia ho

fiber arts

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, a white man with dark hair wearing a grey shirt, smiles as he dusts off his large painting of a man with bright red hair and beard wearing a green hoodie.

diarmuid kelly


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.

A grid of four paintings of the same striped cat. The upper left image is in grey tones, the upper right image is in pink tones, the lower left image is in green tones, and the lower right image is in blue and purple tones.

katherine rausch


Katherine earned her BFA in  Advertising Design at Kendall School in 1982. After working in  advertising for two years in Germany she returned to school to Converse  College where she completed 33 hours of collective studies in Studio  Art, Art Therapy, Art Ed, and Theater. She has experience working in  Theater as a stage manager, prop master and various back stage crew  positions. Currently she teaches painting classes and creates commissioned pet portraits having painted nearly 200 portraits of dogs  and cats.

Katherine says, “I find my  happiness in watching others find theirs. Teaching painting classes has  opened up my heart. The paint your pet nights are the very best. One  student explained it like this “it’s like being able to pet my dog one  last time with each brush stroke”.

A close-up of artist Kara Bender's hands as she draws abstract green shapes on a piece of paper.

kara bender


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.

A copy of Henri Matisse's "La Danse" by Nancy Corbin. Abstract figures dance on a flat green hill against a flat blue background. There is a dark wood frame around the canvas.

nancy corbin

painting | collage

Nancy  Corbin is an American contemporary artist working in watercolor,  collage, ink and acrylic. Born in Ohio, she earned a BFA at the  University of Cincinnati, then moved to Spartanburg in 1976 and started a  family, a teaching career, and a studio practice. After 40 years in  fine arts coordination and visual arts teaching, Nancy now paints  full-time. Using expressive color and figurative abstraction, her  layered compositions connect to her passion for observing and  celebrating the living of life.


In addition to her studio work, Nancy is an active member of Determined to Soar, a non-partisan  group coming together to celebrate milestones in Women’s History. They use the arts to educate, inspire, and unify women through a series of  interactive and engaging events.

Nancy has vast experience in  helping students assemble high scoring portfolios for scholarships,  college admissions, and advanced credit.

A book titled "The Artist's Way" lies on a table surrounded by markers, a pan of watercolors, paper, and pencils.

elizabeth goddard

mixed media

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.

A vivid mixed-media illustration of a woman in a long plaid skirt dancing in a green field. A small red barn sits in the lower right corner. Farm animals such as a chicken and pig can be seen in the background.

stacey hogue

illustration | collage | mixed media

Stacey Hogue holds a BA in Elementary Education from Harding University,  and an MA in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design.  Her work has been included in the Butler Institute of American Art  Annual Exhibition, where it was awarded an Honorable Mention. Her  illustrations are included in The Art of Storytelling and Relax Restore Renew, both published by North Light Books. Her children’s books are Feather: A Story of Hope, and Childhood Rhymes,  which was the recipient of a Silver Moonbeam Award for Illustration.  She resides in Simpsonville, South Carolina with her husband and son.

Cathie Layton, a white woman with short, curly white hair, wears a paint-stained denim apron as she works on a ceramic vessel.

cathie layton

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.

meredith skinner

fiber arts | mixed media

Meredith Skinner is the owner of Woodbine Studio & Gallery in  Greenville, SC. She is a graphic designer by trade but spends a good bit  of her time painting and sewing. In 2017, Meredith co-founded Couture  for a Cause, a benefit for the Greenville Chapter of the American Cancer Society that showcases fashions made of recyclable/repurposed materials  and modeled on the runway by cancer survivors of all ages. In its first  year, the event was an amazing success, raising funds to directly  benefit local cancer patients and support research efforts.

An arrangement of several black-and-white photographs with gold leafing lay on a tabletop. From left to right: daisies, an antique photo of a bride and groom, an abstract image, and another antique photo of two women, one in a white dress and one in a dark dress.

joann benzinger


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.

Kathleen Digney, a white woman with short grey hair, wears a pink shirt and hair scarf as she draws a pencil portrait of Brianna, an African-American woman, in the Museum. There are people milling in the background as she works.

kathleen digney

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.

Mary Harris, an African-American woman wearing a blue patterned shirt and dark apron, assists a young female student with her project in SAM's art studio. The table is covered in bottles of paint, paper, brushes, paintings, and other art supplies for kids.

mary harris

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.

Gary Huntoon, a white man with a white mustache and glasses, wears a blue sweatshirt and denim apron in SAM's ceramic studio. Drying pottery can be seen out-of-focus in the foreground. Shelves of ceramics supplies can be seen in the background, next to the window.

gary huntoon


Gary Huntoon started working with clay in California in 1962 while attending UCLA. Gary works both in hand-building and wheel thrown techniques, although his preference is 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. He recently relocated to Travelers Rest, SC and has been teaching for SAM since the summer of 2014.

A row of three ceramic mugs with dripping blue glaze. The composition is diagonal from upper left to lower right. There is a symbol etched into the outside of the mugs. A message is written on the inner walls of two mugs.

morgan mccarver


Morgan grew up in upstate South Carolina where she learned to sew from  her two grandmothers. She finds inspiration from studying clothing and  sewing techniques from past cultures as well as from researching  cultural aesthetics, especially through literature, architecture, and  women’s dress. Her go-to method of creating is through slip casting,  making the custom plaster molds, producing the ceramic elements, and  designing some of the decals as well.

Morgan's work has been featured in many  exhibitions and publications since 2018. Her most recent solo exhibition, FemininiTEA,  was featured at the Artists’ Guild of Spartanburg Gallery in July 2020.

Robert "ThaiRob" Woods leans against a shelf of pottery in SAM's ceramics studio.

robert "thairob" woods


bio coming soon

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