Sue Downes Allen

sue-allenWater is the foundation of every stroke. Images so natural they look like they were poured on the paper.

Works of art that provide a gateway for your eye and imagination to find a new direction and conclusion.

“The work that I do is founded in traditional watercolor, but in recent years I have explored the boundaries of all water media.  I am trying to strike a balance between my control and the alluring spontaneity of water media.  The final image is the result of my intent or message and this spontaneous approach.

I use watercolors, acrylics, inks, gouache and sometimes collage to create my paintings.” (From

Classes with Sue Allen

Ted Camp

I have been a professor of Ceramics for the last 35 years at the State College of Florida. During that time, I have given numerous workshops within the state and at schools in the north. My work spans many categories including wheel and large scale hand built forms that focus on utility and/or sculpture. My work is in numerous private collections throughout the country. I consider myself student-centered and teach through demonstrations and hands on involvement with the student.

Donna Carrion


CarrionDonna-4smEven at a very young age Donna knew that she was an artist, but it was difficult for her to decide what medium would provide her with the satisfaction she desired. After enrolling in a jewelry-making class at the University of the Arts, Donna realized that her calling was a career as a Metalsmith.

Originally from New York, Donna currently resides in sunny Southwest Florida. She has a B.F.A in metals from the University of The Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her work has been exhibited in New York at the Rack and Hamper Gallery, at the New York Public Library in Manhattan, the Délann Gallery in Princeton, NJ, Philadelphia at Dizyners Gallery and in Portugal, Spain at the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Univasidade de Lisboa.

Classes with Donna Carrion

Joanna Coke


Joanna received degrees in Art History from Harvard, Education and Fine Arts from the University of South Florida and her Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Louisiana State University. Her approach to art combines the abilities of the applied and fine arts.

Classes with Joanna Coke

Kerry Didday

Kerry Didday is an award-winning Florida-based artist. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art and Architecture. He has been active in the arts for many years, both corporate and fine art and teaches in St. Petersburg, Fl. Kerry is a founding member of the International Society of Acrylic Painters  (ISAP) and the International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA).

Classes with Kerry Didday

Libit Jones

libitLibit Jones is a Texas native who has called St Petersburg home since1995. She is a well known artist in the Tampa Bay area and a popular instructor.Although she works in various media, her passion is watercolor. She is a Signature member of the Florida Watercolor Society and a member of the International Society of Experimental Artists (ISEA). She has been accepted into many prestigious shows and won numerous awards. Her paintings are owned by private collectors across the United States, Canada and England.


Deb Gallery

Debra Gallery graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa with an Art Education degree K – 12. She has taught art in public and private school systems, as well as private lessons for 22 years. She is known for her versatility of skills and media. Debra is presently an art instructor at Stewart Elementary School in Bradenton.

Classes with Deb Gallery

Graciela Giles

Graciela Giles Watercolor lasses at ArtCenter ManateeGraciela’s love of art, as well as music, blossomed early and the two have always formed a creative duet in her life. Her love of the natural world is readily apparent in her watercolors and musical expressions of paintings, places and people. Originally from Argentina, she has been an active watercolorist and teacher for two decades, earning awards from art societies for her sensitive portrayals of landscapes and people. Her artwork has been selected for numerous juried and invitational exhibitions and can be found in private collections internationally. Her affinities for art and music came together when she and artist/musician Rena Tatem created Painting Music/Playing Art workshops designed to facilitate connecting with our inner creativity. Graciela leads workshops and teaches watercolors at the Ringling College of Art + Design, Continuing Education, and various locations including The Rose/Giles Studio in the Village of the Arts, Bradenton, Florida. In addition to painting and teaching she gives piano, flute and vocal performances during which she captures the essence of visual art through music.

Classes with Graciela Giles

Julie Hanson

Julie received her B.F.A. from the Ringling School of Art and Design. Julie’s strong interest in color led her to the Cape Cod School of Art. Her artistic expression has been influenced by the plein air painters’ magnificent use of color.

Classes with Julie Hanson

John Hynal

John Hynal Photography at ArtCenter ManateeJohn’s introduction to photography began 40 + years ago when he received a 35mm birthday gift from his wife Peg. His enthusiasm increased with every shot he captured and before long he was winning awards in imaging and printing techniques. He entered the industry professionally as a photography instructor at Manatee Community College (now State College,) Manatee Technical Institute and also worked as an associate and management with local outlets (Norton Camera & Johnson PhotoImaging.) Along the way he owned & operated a Wedding & Portrait Studio (Affairs of the Heart) and a Photography School (Exposures Photo Workshops,) both based in Sarasota. Over the years he published in several magazines including the Oracle, Farm & Ranch (Readers Digest pub.) His passion has never wained and today he enjoys sharing his knowledge in his self designed workshop series titled “Creative Photography, Pure & Simple.”

Classes with John Hynal

Cecilia Jonsson-Bisset

Bisset_poseCecilia was born and grew up in Stockholm, Sweden. Her father was artistic, and helped Cecilia with drawing when she was a child. Cecilia and her family spent many vacation times outdoors, which instilled in her a love of nature and natural things.

After graduating from high school she planned a nursing career, but decided to give herself a travel break, and visited many European countries.

Cecilia spent a year in Greece. All the rich history and ancient art rekindled an interest in drawing, so she began to sketch on her travels. American friends that she met in Greece, persuaded her to visit the states.

At the age of 22, she traveled to New York, then visited Key West. For the four years she lived in Key West, Cecilia worked as an assistant to a set designer at the Tennessee Williams Performing Arts Center.

Still adventurous, she then bought a sail boat and cruised the west coast of Florida. At one stop, St. Petersburg, she made friends with another creative artist, Mariana Alzamora, who told her about the wonderful island of Boca Grande.

Her work is now very popular with her patrons on Boca Grande and at most exhibits her work sells out in a few hours. (From

Classes with Cecilia Jonsson-Bisset

Darwin Leon

Darwin has a BFA from Miami International University of Art and Design. He was an art instructor at ArtCenter South Florida, Miami, FL and has had numerous solo exhibitions in South Florida

Classes with Darwin Leon

Lisa Wojciechowski

Lisa Wojciechowski earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a Ceramics Concentration from East Carolina University in
Greenville, North Carolina. In 2012 she started a shop on with pieces for sale including pet drinking fountains, pet urns, and birdfeeders. Lisa has been a professional artist for over fifteen years specializing in 2D Illustration, Henna Design, Body Art, Painting, and Ceramics.

In 2001, Lisa opened a studio where she taught the art of Tattooing. Lisa now focuses on teaching Adult Art Classes featuring Ceramics and Pottery, Polymer Tiles and Sculpture, and Wine Glass Painting in Bradenton, Florida. In addition to being an art instructor, Lisa has participated in over 130 art and craft fairs and is currently in the process of building an online store for her ceramic art.

Classes with Lisa Wojciechowski

Joseph Melancon

Joseph Melancon Painting Classes at ArtCenter ManateeJoseph’s paintings have won many National awards such as the CFS Medal in the American Watercolor Society and the Georgia Award and Purchase Prize in the National Watercolor Society. Several books and magazines have featured his paintings and he is included in private collections across the US.

He has a B.A. in Fine Arts from Louisiana State University and an MFA in painting and drawing from Texas Woman’s University where he was awarded membership in the National Honor society of Phi Kappa Phi for academic excellence. He has taught painting, drawing and design at Texas Woman’s University in Denton, TX, Eastfield College in Dallas, TX and Manatee Community College. Currently he is represented by State of the Arts Gallery in Sarasota, FL, Nuance Galleries in Tampa and St. Pete as well as Rue Cou Cou Gallery in Baton Rouge, LA.

Classes with Joseph Melancon

Mariarosa Rockefeller

Mariarosa Rockefeller Photo Classes at ArtCenter Manatee

Mariarosa Rockefeller loved to draw and paint as a child, but until her retirement from teaching mathematics at Utica College of Syracuse University, she had not been able to devote the time she wanted to art. Since moving to Florida with her husband and fellow artist, Roger (who also taught at UCSU), she has been “like a kid in a candy shop,” working with a variety of media including watercolor, pastels, pen & ink, and colored pencils. She has also been able to indulge her love of photography.
Her work has been accepted in numerous shows, in New York and locally, winning prizes in both painting and photography. She is a member of the Florida Watercolor Society and a Signature Member of the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society. (From

Classes with Mariarosa Rockefeller

Roger Rockefeller

Roger Rockefeller Watercolor Classes at ArtCenter Manatee

I was given my first oil painting set at the age of 12, and my first 35mm camera a year later. I was hooked. I have worked in many types of media over the years, but watercolor, colored pencil, pen & ink, and, photography are my current choices. Whether it be landscapes, seascapes, nature, or, still life, the subtlety and interplay of light and color are the ingredients that intrigue me.
In my professional life, I taught, but I always found time for the occasional art show or commission. Now I am able to devote full time to art, taking workshops, giving workshops, teaching art classes, doing art demonstrations, entering juried shows, doing one and two-person shows, and being actively involved with various art organizations.
I have participated in many juried shows in New York and Florida, and have won some awards along the way. I am a former member of the Central New York Watercolor Society, a participating member of the Florida Watercolor Society, and, a signature member of the Florida Suncoast Watercolor Society. (From

Classes with Roger Rockefeller

Barbara Simmons

A certified teacher who received her training at Ohio University and Western Carolina University, Barbara taught with outstanding success at Southeast High School. She has long been a favorite with watercolor students for her well thought out and easy to understand teaching techniques.

Classes with Barbara Simmons

Sandra Symens

I’m Sandra Symens and I’m pleased to be teaching ceramics at ArtCenter Manatee. I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts and secondary teaching credentials from the California College of Arts. My Master of Arts degree is from California State University, Sacramento. In California I studied with Viola Frey, Art Nelson and Vernon Coykendall. Since moving to Florida many years ago I have studied with Ted Camp, Annette Sidner and Ed Ross. Among the influential ceramic artists I’ve taken workshops with are Don Reitz, Malcolm Davies, Tom Coleman, Ron Meyers, Gay Smith, Suze Lindsay, McKenzie Smith, Matt Lang, Nan Smith, Kent McLaughlin and Regis Brody. My work can be seen here in the Artists’ Market and in Sarasota at The Museum of Art and Whimsey. Animal imagery is typical of my work with a fondness for frogs, rabbits and birds and a mad love for dogs.

Classes with Sandra Symens 

Wendy Thurlow

Wendy is an award winning jeweler/metalsmith. She has her BFA in Metals from the University of Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She was recently chosen as first place winner for publication in the book, Best of Artists and Artisans Books Series. She produces her own, one of a kind and limited edition jewelry.

Classes with Wendy Thurlow

Silvie Waals

Sylvie-waalsI’m a self taught adventurous instructor with many hours of teaching lapidary and metal clay jewelry. Because of my love for stones, and especially Ethiopian Opals, I started teaching lapidary in 2007. I received my teaching certification with Art Clay World in 2008. That was the perfect way to make jewelry, set stones, and teach others how to do the same. I am now enjoying a career of teaching and designing original, one-of-a-kind jewelry.
Classes with Silvie Waals