(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.
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 with 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.
GO! Arts Instructors
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.”
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.”
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.
Carmen Oliver, Crafts. Maria del Carmen Curiel de Oliver holds a degree in restoration and museography from Manuel del Castillo Negrete National School in Mexico City (1985), and a certificate in painting conservation from the Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City (1990). She credits artist Louise Nishizawa in Toluca Mexico, and Alberto Mijangos from San Antonio as her most influential mentors. Carmen moved San Antonio in 2002 after studying at the Academia San Carols in Mexico. Five years later she established El Estudio in her home where she currently teaches private lessons in art mixed media
Oliver combines abstract and representational elements in her painting. Her recent works are a depiction of “beauty, strength, and sensibility” engendered in the form of faceless women. Solo exhibitions include: Main Line School in Philadelphia (1996); Universidad Anahuac, Mexico City (1999); Palacio municipal in San Miguel Allende (1990); Group exhibits include Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea de Firenze , Italy (1999); Hacienda de los Morales, Mexico City (2000); and the Mexico-Japan Association, Mexico City (2001).
Elizabeth Rodriguez. San Antonio native and full-time artist, Elizabeth began her career as a self-taught artist in oil painting and later apprenticed with other artists from whom she learned to work with mosaics, ceramics, watercolor, murals and much more. Rodriguez received her BFA from Our Lady of the Lake University. Her work is informed by extensive travel to visit museums across Europe. Her paintings have been featured in several group exhibitions, including “Contemporary Latino Art: El Corazon de San Antonio,” at Texas A & M-San Antonio. Her first solo exhibition, “On the Eve of Consciousness,” was hosted by Bihl Haus in March 2015. She has been teaching painting in the GO! Arts Program since October 2015.
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.
Russell Stephenson, MFA, Painting & Drawing. 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.
Victoria Garcia Zapata is a queer, Xicana, feminist poet, mother and activist from San Antonio’s West Side. She is the author of three collections of poetry. The first of which, Peace in the Corazón, won the Premio Poesía Tejana. For the past 20 plus years she has worked with arts and non-profit organizations in San Antonio’s community as an activist, volunteer, supporter, and educator. She has been a part of Centro Cultural Aztlan, The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, Jump-Start Performance Co., Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Bihl Haus Arts and San Anto Cultural Arts, where she served as Board Vice-President in 2002-2003.
Victoria is a founding member of the poetry performance group Women of Ill Repute—Refute! Victoria has been part of the queer-based panza fusion dance troupe Zombie Bazaar for several years. Victoria has been a Macondista since 1995, having been selected to participate the first five years as well as in 2016, in the internationally acclaimed writers’ workshop founded by Presidential Medal of Arts recipient Sandra Cisneros. For over two years now, Victoria has hosted Barrio Barista’s Open Mic every 2nd Wednesday in the neighborhood where she grew up. She lives, writes and raises her two youngest children in San Antonio’s Art Deco District.
Martha K. Grant, MFA, 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.
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. Tom holds graduate degrees in religious studies, psychology and theology.
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.”
Bonnie Lyons retired in May 2014 with emeritus status from the University of Texas in San Antonio. She has published a book about Henry Roth and Call It Sleep as well as a book of literary interviews with fiction writers. She has also published two full-length books of poetry: In Other Words (Pecan Grove, 2004) and Bedrock (Pecan Grove, 2011) and three chapbooks: Hineni, Meanwhile, and So Far (Finishing Line Press, 2003, 2005, 2015). Her most recent book, WOW: Wonderful Old Women, appeared in December, 2016.
Bonnie loves literature, creative writing and teaching.
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.