Redefining the Classroom

Arts Center gallery features work of present, former teachers of art

Posted: November 2nd, 2013

LEARN AND BE LEARNED – Alice Gadzinski shares some of her insight as a working artist with students from Heidi Finley's ARTS109 Design class on Oct 17 in Lake Superior State University's Arts Center. Gadzinski and Finley — both adjunct art instructors at LSSU — have joined seven other teachers and former teachers of art who are exhibiting works in the gallery through Dec. 2. (LSSU/John Shibley)

A print-resolution photo that runs with the caption above can be found by clicking here.

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – Lake Superior State University's Arts Center gallery is showcasing the work of past and current LSSU art professors through Dec. 2. "From Those Who Taught - Past Through Present" is the first guest exhibit to be displayed in the gallery.

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to highlight the amazing works of our art community and of those who have enriched LSSU students' lives with their talent and creativity," says Sharon Dorrity, LSSU Arts Center Gallery manager. The show features artists who have become established names in the Sault-area arts community over the years.

Kyung Hatfield has taught Oriental painting in Marquette and LSSU, and taught art in Michigan, Colorado, South Dakota and Oklahoma public schools. She was adjunct instructor of art at Lake Superior State University 1988-91. She served as the first director of Olive Craig Gallery in the Alberta House Arts Center when it opened in 1986. From 1995 to 1998, she was on the Fine Arts Advisory Board of Sault College, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. She served on the Sault Area Arts Council Board for many years, including terms as chairman and vice chairman. She is currently on the board of the Olive Craig Gallery, and is a member of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Craftmen. Hatfield has been a member of the Lake Superior Art Association and the Le Sault Artists Guild. Her major interests are oil painting, life drawing, weaving, and fiber arts.

Gene Usimaki is a life long resident of Sault Ste. Marie. She taught art and American history in Ishpeming, Mich., and later began the art program at LSSU through the Continuing Education Department, teaching color, design, layout, and figure drawing for six terms ending in March of 1969. She specialized in drawing and watercolor from the early 70's with the Community School program at Sault Area High School. During this time and into the 1980's, Gene took many classes in watercolor from eleven well known watercolor artists, each one with a different approach to painting, thus enabling her to experiment with these techniques and adjusting them to her own style. She has enjoyed experimenting with various media such as gouache, pastels, colored ink, colored pencils and acrylics. To this day watercolor still intrigues her because it can be unpredictable.

Linda Whitetree Warrington's sketches are only a starting point for the compositions she creates; she first captures the essence of a landscape with a gesture drawing in colored marker. Back in the studio, these sketches are recreated in ink on Plexiglas then transferred to damp paper for mono prints using a printing press. Stencils, markers, colored pencils and other tools are then used to deconstruct and embellish the image. Warrington has been involved in arts education and Michigan public schools since 1973, serving as a high school art teacher, district arts coordinator and elementary principal. She is a past president of the Michigan Art Education Association, and served as chairman for the committee to write goals and objectives for Arts Education in Michigan. She has also worked with the Getty Foundation for Education in the Arts in developing and implementing discipline-based arts education. Most recently, Warrington has served as an Adjunct Professor at LSSU, teaching printmaking, art and design, and arts for elementary school teachers.

Alice Gadzinski graduated in 2010 from Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography and a minor in Sculpture, focused in Ceramics. She won a Michigan Competitive Scholarship and a Kendall Merit Scholarship in 2005, and Kendall’s Studio Excellence Award in 2010. Since her graduation from Kendall in 2010, she has continued her photography and other art pursuits and worked as a substitute teacher, a photographer and, this last semester, as a photography teacher at Lake State.

Annie Hubbard is a prolific artist and teacher; she paints in the Native style, works in pen and ink, makes hand pulled prints, and paints sweeping murals to tiny miniatures using water media. For the past six years she has participated in the iconography workshop offered by the Chippewa County Historical Society. Her work is in major museums and institutions, including the Royal Ontario Museum, Michigan State University Museum, Central Michigan University, Lake Superior State University, the Jesse Besser Museum, the Nokomis Center, and the Art Gallery of Algoma. Hubbard has taught at Bay Mills College, Sault College, Algotrad, LSSU, Alberta House, through the Sault Schools and elsewhere.

Bill Morrison is a blacksmith committed to his craft. He gives total attention to his craft — researching it, practicing it and teaching it for more than 36 years. He is member of the Michigan Artists Blacksmith’s Association and the owner and operator of Spruce Forge, producing custom ironwork items. He is the co-author of Hand-Forged Locks: A Manual of Locksmthing (1999). Morrison received his Bachelor of Art Education Degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1970. After two years of army service he came to the Sault as an art teacher in the area schools. He taught in that system until 1999, ending at the high school level, teaching pottery, drawing and metal sculpture/blacksmithing. During his tenure he received the Outstanding Teacher of Native American Students Award.

Maureen Mousley is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara with a B.A. in Fine Arts, Mousley has taught in the Sault Area Schools, at the Brimley School, and is now teaching art at LSSU. Before concentrating almost exclusively on her painting, Maureen was winning awards for her baskets. She is well versed in other media as well. She won the Sault Summer Arts Festival Painting Award in 1992, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006 and the Best of Show in 1994. She took an Honorable Mention in the Crooked Tree Arts Center Fine Arts and Crafts Exhibition and First Place in the “On the Waterfront” Juried Exhibition in Alberta House in 2001, as well as Third Place in the “Off the Deep End” Juried Exhibition 2002 and won the Viewer’s Choice Award in the juried “Bridges” exhibition in 2007. Maureen has been a member of the Sault Area Arts Council Board and a frequent volunteer for many years.

Michelle Ranta is a native of Sault Ste. Marie and began learning to paint like the Group of Seven taking landscape painting classes at Sault College as a teenager. She went on to receive her B.F.A. at the University of Michigan and M.F.A. from the New York Academy of Art in New York City. After a brief stint back in the Sault teaching art she moved on to teach at Iowa State University and now is painting and teaching in Minneapolis. Still painting the occasional landscape, Ranta now paints realistic portraits and large figurative paintings that tell a story. Recently, she has been working on a series of smaller paintings, still lives and portraits, in which she tries to pay attention in the umpteenth degree to every little thing. She is still finding the fascinating, small variations in value and color. By her own admission, she is in the process of exploring and discovering an amazing complexity that is the visual world.

Heidi Finley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1986, and a Master of Arts in Studio Art from the University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Ind., in 2011. She has mastered many media including acrylic, watercolor, and pastel, always returning to the rich, smooth opacity of oil paint. Her dynamic sense of design and use of unexpected color and texture lure the hapless viewer from across the room, rewarding him with up-close detail and painterly realism. In 2000, Finley began teaching classes privately for students of all ages in the Fort Wayne, Ind., area, and particularly enjoys giving private lessons in her studio. In 2004 she became an adjunct professor of art appreciation at Trine University in Indiana and now teaches part time for Lake Superior State University. As a sideline, Finley delights in demonstrating the colorful and traditional craft of Marbling on Paper to many audiences.

Tedi Selke is known throughout the region for her skills in watercolor. She holds a bachelor in fine arts in life drawing and oil painting, and a minor in art history, from Indiana University. Columbia College, Columbia, Mo., where Selke earned an Associate's with honors in art, has one of her works on permanent display. Selke has taught watercolor for 35 year in Nebraska, New Your, and Michigan. She was adjunct instructor of art at LSSU 1994-98 and 2003. George H. W. Bush accepted a painting of Selke's in Rome, N.Y., while he was serving as vice president in 1982.

LSSU Arts Center Gallery hours are 12-4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. The gallery can be reached for more information at 906-635-2067.


CONTACTS: John Shibley, e-mail, 906-635-2314; Tom Pink, e-mail, 635-2315; Sharon Dorrity, LSSU Foundation Office, e-mail, 635-2665.