(scroll down to see the full list of Staff and GO! Arts Instructors)
Dr. Kellen Kee McIntyre, Executive Director and co-founder of Bihl Haus Arts, received a PhD in Art History from the University of New Mexico. She is a specialist in Latin American Art with a secondary focus in non-Western traditions and the art of women and minorities. Kellen is the author of articles on Latin American art and architecture, and is a contributing co-editor of Woman and Art in Early Modern Latin America (Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Academic Publishers), which she developed with Richard Phillips . At the founding of Bihl Haus Arts, Dr. McIntyre made the decision to exhibit diverse artworks by artists, especially women and Latin@s, underrepresented in local galleries and museums. Dr. McIntyre was previously on the faculty in the Department of Art and Art History at UTSA where she taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Art History that focused on non-Western artistic traditions, and has organized more than 100 art exhibitions and other arts programs. Dr. McIntyre co-founded and chairs the annual On & Off Fredericksburg Road Studio Tour, which celebrates its 10th anniversary in February 2017, a festive 2-day self-guided tour of art studios, arts organizations, galleries and arts-related businesses in seven historic neighborhoods on and off Fred Road along the historic Old Spanish Trail Auto Highway. She also founded and directs the Bihl Haus GO! Arts Program, which provides free art classes taught by professional practicing artists to seniors across San Antonio.
GO! Arts Instructors
Laurel Gibson, MFA, MIxed Media & Drawing,. Laurel Gibson is a professional artist known for both her embroidered works and ceramics. She has studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, in Avignon and Paris France. She received a BFA with honors from Northern Arizona University and an MFA from The University of Texas –San Antonio, both with an emphasis in ceramics. Laurel’s artwork has been featured in national and international publicans and in many group and solo exhibits in Arizona, Texas, Washington, Mississippi, Vermont and Italy.
“My artwork reflects my minds ambition to find enlightenment in an imperfect world. Intense research of philosophies, religions, cultures and physics combine to create unique works of art. Each artwork has its own story enriched with symbols. The embroidered designs and ceramic figures encourage the viewer to see how world is infinitely connected. I create art because I feel a desire to express myself through a visual language.”
Amanda Flores, BA, Creative Wrtiting. “To put words onto paper is to join a dialogue between all those who have done it before us, are doing it now, and who will do it. Just as contemporary writing has been influenced by literary movements and styles of the past, I believe a thorough acquaintance with said voices and styles creates a necessary conducive environment for literary growth. Furthermore, this exploration allows us to survey a handful of narrative tactics at work, inevitably increasing our awareness of such tactics in our own writing. By visiting an array of traditional literary forms from haiku and the blues to the ode and non-fiction personal essay (like the memoir), we gain a hands-on understanding of how to apply and manipulate convention, form, and poetic devices to distinguish our individual tone, style, and literary voice.
I studied English at Trinity University, focusing on Creative Writing in such genres as poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, and playwriting. Still growing accustomed to the arena of performance poetry, I balanced my literary growth with performance exploration by taking advantage of theatre curriculum aimed at voice, vocal performance, and acting. I became the youngest poet to ever represent San Antonio at the National Poetry Slam competition and earned a spot on the team for seven consecutive years thereafter, allowing me the opportunity to perform all over the nation, including West Palm Beach, FL; St. Paul, MN; Madison, WI; Charlotte, NC; and Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. I hold the titles of the 2011 & 2012 Grand Slam Poetry champion of San Antonio, and have most recently had the honor of being crowned 2013’s “La Voz” of San Antonio in SA’s first city-wide spoken word poetry contest. Published too, my poetry has been featured on the KABB Morning Show and, most recently, on KENS 5 Great Day Sunday show and KSAT 12’s Instant Replay sports segment."
Jane Madrigal, MA, Painting & Printmaking: “I am a wounded healer, Xicana artist and muralist, radical warrior woman, and revolutionary earth mama. My work is a reflection of my values, which embodies a deep reverence for indigenous culture, the power of women, and a vision of a better future for generations to come. I create as a way to affirm my culture, connect with my ancestors, educate my community, and honor our history, which otherwise would be lost. My work is rooted in spirit, channeling ancient indigenous imagery, religious iconography, revolutionary struggles, and a community of cultural consciousness. Blending art as knowledge, knowledge as healing, I draw my inspiration from ancestral stories and the struggles and issues affecting my people, who have been oppressed historically.
As a professional artist and educator, I believe everyone is creative and capable of producing beautiful works of art. It is my responsibility to provide students with the basic tools and safe environment to explore and experiment with art and their creativity, which in inherent in all of us. By creating trust and encouraging risk taking, students develop self confidence and are capable of producing incredible works of art that surpass their wildest expectations.”
Jim LaVilla-Havelin, Creative Writing: "I love words – the play, the sound, the story in them. I love to explore the ways we mean what we say, and all the shadings around that. In poems, short fiction, personal essay, oral history – we’ll explore what language can reveal of what we have to say, what we know, what we remember.
All of the exercises I use – to focus, open up, play with, construct, and hear language – are applicable to all forms of writing. The journey we take together – the writing journey – is a seeing, knowing, trusting, believing journey. And it is filled with the things, people, food, times, colors, tragedies and joys of our lives.
I know that there is nothing too tiny or seemingly insignificant that strikes us, that is not a fit subject for writing, and by the same token, there are things in our lives almost too big to get our arms around – that we need to wrestle with, speak/write through, and see where we come out."
Dr. Sreedhara Akkihebbalu, Yoga. Yoga is taught at Bihl Haus Arts by physician Yoga Master Dr. Sreedhara Akkihebbalu, a Yoga Master and celebrated classical Indian dancer. Dr. Sreedhara teaches Iyengar poses, which emphasize correct body alignment,and tailors the class to the needs of participants. Dr. Sreedhara is also an accomplished dancer in Bharathanatyam. Gifted with a pleasing stage presence and a face that communicates easily, Dr. Sreedhara’s performances display a sensitive feel for traditional Indian poetry, which informs his choreography. He has partnered with some of the leading exponents of traditional Indian dance and has performed throughout India, as well as in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Europe, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Dubai. His performances, some telecast across India, have garnered him the title “top grade” artiste of the Prasar Bharathi, Government of India. An empanelled artist of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, he was the recipient of a Senior Fellowship from the Department of Culture, Government of India. Currently, Dr. Sreedhara resides in San Antonio where he is the Guru and Founder/Director of Kaveri Natya Yoga, which promotes and propagates the traditional culture of India through dance and yoga.
Felicitas F. Luna, Crafts: The crafts class at Bihl Haus is taught by Felicitas Luna, who retired from the Guadalupe Cultural Center after 61 years of teaching folkloric dance. Felicitas is also a professional seamstress, the maker of authentic Mexican folkdance costumes. That background makes her the consummate crafter. She brings years of experience in working with fabric and found and reclaimed materials to this fun and leisurely class designed to keep fingers nimble and minds sharp. Felicitas is also a long-time Bihl Haus Docent and a GO! Arts Golden.
Russell Stephenson, MFA, Painting & Drawng. Native Texan Russell Stephenson earned his Batchelor’s Degree in Sculpture from The Pacific NW College of Art in Portland, OR in 2001. He worked as a Gallery consultant in Austin before he relocated to San Antonio to pursue his Master’s Degree in Printmaking from UTSA in 2006. Since then, Stephenson has taught traditional art courses ranging from painting, drawing, printmaking, and Art History, to conceptual development courses such as Design Process and Color Theory. Stephenson has taught Art and Design courses for Sanford Brown College for the last eight years, and is a well established comercial gallery artist represented in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, Beorne, Amarillo and Santa Fe, NM. His professional career began with his first professional solo exhibition at Bihl Haus Arts in 2006. Since then he has developed his career as a professional artist having shown extensively throughout Texas, been featured in numerous magazine articles and online publication interviews, and shared his talents through teaching and giving back to the local community. As his career has grown, Stephenson still reflects on his journey’s humble beginings, and explores his experiences throughout his work that is both experimental and grounded in the tradition of the Old Masters.
Silvia Sarinana, MFA, Painting, Drawing and Crafts. Silvia Sariñana was born and raised in Mexico City. Her career began as an Interpreter and Translator at Berlitz. In 1976 she taught English as a second language at Colegio Vallarta high school. In 1982 Silvia started taking drawing and painting classes at the studio of Marcela Zorrilla, a well-known artist and painting professor at Universidad Autónoma de México.
Silvia came to San Antonio in 1989 to pursue her dream of studying fine arts. She attended the University of the Incarnate Word and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double major in Art and Education. Furthering her own education, Silvia obtained her master’s degree in Art Education from Texas Tech University in 1998. In 1993 she began teaching art at St. Luke’s Episcopal School where she developed the art curriculum and taught for 17 years.
In 2010 Silvia opened her own business, Art in the Park, where she taught after-school art classes for children and adults. Silvia believes that everybody has the potential to be an artist and loves to help her students reach their artistic potential. During the past few years Silvia decided to retire from teaching and dedicated her time to her career as a full time artist, focusing in fiber arts and mixed media.
Gabbe Grodin, MFA, Painting. Gabbe Grodin is a Texas-based visual artist with a MFA from Rutgers (New Brunswick, NJ) and a BFA from Indiana University (Bloomington, IN). She also studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, printmaking and book-making at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica (Venice, Italy), and has been an artist-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center. Gabbe was the recipient of a rare travel scholarship to Giverny, France where she made oil pastel drawings in and around Monet’s garden. She appreciates that direct observation – looking at the world not through a screen or lens – is a diminishing art, and this idea is paid much attention in her daily studio practice.
Estevan Arredondo, MFA, Painting Instructor and Gallery Assistant. Estevan Arredondo is a Texas-based artist who received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has a Bachelors of Science in Communications Design from East Texas State University. His colorful organic shaped paintings have been exhibited in Dallas, Houston, Connecticut and San Antonio. His work has been published in local and national magazines. He has taught drawing, watercolor, digital art and typography at the following schools: San Antonio College, International Academy of Design and Technology, Southwest School of Art, and Our Lady of the Lake University. He divides his time between teaching and installing art. Installing works of art provides him ith the challenge of organizing compelling presentations for the community. He enjoys teaching by sharing his experiences and knowledge to help encourage people’s creativity and desire to make and view art. His work is influenced by his interest in subconscious thought and cartoon action and imagery.
Jil Ewing, BFA, Painting. "Like life, art, is about the journey. I go out into the world searching for and gathering seeds of inspiration. I carry them home and plant them in the fertile soil of my mind. Many sprout, and some grow into objects, some become classes, some wither and their decomposed bodies nurture new growth. Some seeds remain dormant for a long time before taking root. And like plants, yielding fruit and seed, creating a cycle of life, so too does my art form circles. I can go and dig my medium straight from the earth, form it, and fire it. The glazed vessel is both the death (or completion), of a work and the birth of a cup. When the cup is used to sustain me with needed hydration, it fulfills its purpose. If it breaks I can recycle its body into another or return it to the earth. Teaching is the same for me. At the end of an art experience, the student walks away carrying a physical manifestation of their expression, nurturance for the mind, body, and soul, and their own seeds of inspiration. To our ancestors, art was part of a spiritual practice. It was magic. It brought about the heart’s desires. It healed. It told a story. With thoughts about the future, energy was poured into art, in hopes of a desired result. Today art builds confidence, brings understanding, sends a message, creates community, and heals. Art has always been a tool for me to understand myself, heal, and grow. Art is a multi-dimensional platform for evolving and connecting."Martha K. Grant, MFA, Creative Writing: Memoir. Martha is a San Antonio native with a BA from the University of the Incarnate Word in commercial art and a minor in English. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing/Poetry from Pacific University (Forest Grove , Oregon), with additional studies in Nonfiction. Martha was active in the visual arts for many years, in painting, collage, calligraphy and the fiber arts. Her dedication to writing evolved during her long career as a calligrapher of “word paintings” as she began writing her own texts for the art pieces she exhibited. She now has several memoirs in progress.
Her work has been published in California Quarterly, New Texas, Earth’s Daughters, Borderlands, The Yes! Book, and Voices de la Luna. Her book of poetry is A Curse on the Fairest Joys from Aldrich Press. One of her pieces was selected for the anthology Red Sky, addressing the global epidemic of violence against women.
Martha considers creative nonfiction, personal essay, memoir and narrative writing the “social media of the soul”, intimate conversations where we can befriend—and defend--our many selves against the cacophony of the world’s often overwhelming technology and noise. It is an opportunity to slow down and capture literary snapshots, slices of a life, to record and reclaim something of our momentous and fragmented experiences. She envisions the writing workshop as a safe supportive container for the midwifing of our personal stories.
Tom Keene, Creative Writing: Poetry. Tom Keene has taught creative writing at San Antonio College and Our Lady of the Lake University where he also helped found the Writer’s Institute in the 1990s. His course includes left-brain right-brain techniques that enable beginning writers to jumpstart their developing skills.
Tom Keene is a poet/activist who put roots down in San Antonio in 1964. Soon after he began writing poems. His poems have been published in The Texas Observer, Huehuetitlan Journal, El Placazo, National Catholic Reporter, San Antonio Express-News, Harmony magazine, LatinAmerica Press (Lima, Peru), and The Palo Alto Review. Anthologies include Poets of the Springs and Poets of the River (audiotape). Latitudes Press published his first book of poems, The Waters of Becoming, in 1989. His latest book is Flowers for Love Makers, Peace Builders and God Seekers (2008). In 2008 the Texas Society of Poets awarded him the $400 Therese Lindsey prize in their annual contest. He also won first prize in the internationally judged 4th annual Dancing with Words Poetry Contest.
Keene holds graduate degrees in Religious Studies, psychology and theology.