Andrew Long is a ceramic artist focusing on high fired functional ceramics. He received his BA in Visual Arts from Eckerd College concentrating in ceramics and social practice art. Currently he resides in Sarasota, Florida. Andrew teaches wheeling throwing, handbuilding, and raku.
Melissa Miller Nece, CPSA, CPX, MAA is regarded as one of the foremost colored pencil artists in the country. Her enthusiasm and humor have made her a favorite speaker for arts groups, and she has inspired many others to try colored pencils through her classes and workshops. She has taught colored pencil, drawing, and oil and acrylic painting at the Dunedin Fine Art Center since 1990, and many workshops in Florida and as far away as South Carolina, New Mexico, Oregon, and Wisconsin.
Melissa is president, a ten year merit signature member and a CPX signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America. Prior to that, Melissa was CPSA’s ways and means director for eight years and she served two terms as president of CPSA District Chapter 113. She is also a signature member and board member of the Miniature Artists of America, a member of the Florida Artist Group, board member of the Professional Association of Visual Artist and a member and past board member of the Miniature Art Society of Florida.
Melissa developed a mixed media technique featured in a step-by-step article she wrote for the October 2012 issue of The Artist’s Magazine. Other publications featuring her artwork include CPSA Signature Showcase, Modern Masters of Miniature Art in America, Creative Colored Pencil Portraits, American Artist and Drawing Highlights magazines, The Best of Colored Pencil, volumes 2, 3, and 5, and other books. She has worked with several manufacturers of art products who have used her work in advertising, packaging and promotional materials. Her drawings and paintings are in many private and corporate collections, including the St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport, the city of Clearwater, and the Pencil Museum in Keswick, England.
My life careers were in teaching and industrial management. In 1996, wanting to satisfy my creative juices, I decided to try my hand working as a full-time artist. Art & art-related projects have always been a big part of my everyday existence for as long as I can remember. Encouraged by a mentor and friend, I have never looked back.
I love those happy accidents that I see every day in pursuing my passion. I look to the whimsical, contemporary & abstract for inspiration and then just let my thoughts guide my hands. God has truly blessed me.
I have taught art in public schools and art centers. I enjoy sharing my knowledge and enthusiasm with young artists. I currently work as an art instructor at ArtCenter Manatee in Bradenton, Florida as well a private tutor.
In addition to teaching, Robert has 30+ years experience in media communications as a designer and illustrator creating product illustrations, technical illustrations and manuals. 25+ experience using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Accomplished artist in a variety of media. Innovative approaches to illustrate and communicate ideas and information for client presentations. Good organizational skills and project/task management abilities to carry a project from concept to final production.
Diane Garrett-Smith has been teaching at ArtCenter Manatee for several years. She is an accomplished oil painter. Diane has taught Drawing, Watercolors, Gouache, Acrylic and/or Oils during various semesters, to beginners through advanced levels. Implemented sound practices of composition, depth, and color using the color wheel, etc.; focused on students discovering more about what motives or moves them to choose to paint or draw what they do… thus working to enhancing those aspects.
Prior to teaching, Diane was a Commercial and Residential New and Renovation Design and Construction Contractor in Arizona.
Jan received her Masters Degree in Art Education from Boston University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Visual Arts from Bemidji State University. She was a high school Art Teacher for 14 years teaching students in grades 9-12. Jan has taught classes at ArtCenter Manatee in Mixed Media and Drawing. She really likes to teach beginning students in Studio Arts, adding a dash of Art History and Art Critique. “Welcome to the Wonderful World of Art!”
Sawyer Ramsey has been working with the KidsArt program at the Center for many years. For Sawyer, her job has never been about creating little artists. It has been about teaching her young students to think, problem solve, and develop a passion for creating and learning. Sawyer recently retired from her full time position as an art instructor in the Manatee County Schools and now works with them as a substitute teacher in the arts.
I am originally from Massachusetts and grew up in a beautiful town 30 miles north of Boston, now living in North Port, Florida. My interest in the arts started at a very young age, and by the time I was 13 and a freshman at Billerica Memorial High School I decided that being an artist was going to be my career of choice. I have been Illustrating portraits of various subjects for well over 20 years.
I attended the Art Institute of Boston in 1984 and studied Illustration with a minor in Graphic Design, hoping to become a successful Magazine Illustrator. Back then, my artistic path took me down the road of printing and mechanical drawing. I worked at various printing companies from 1984 to 1997. Even though my path as an artist seemed to change to graphic design it has never stopped my passion to draw and illustrate the subjects that I love which are people, wildlife and pets.
I lived in Great Britain for eight fantastic years and loved the vast amount of culture, arts, nature, and the fabulous countryside. Then in 2005 we moved to the US and have been enjoying the beauty of Florida living, culture, wildlife and fabulous scenery that only the Gulf Coast of Florida can give to you each and every day.
Today my passion for animals and nature has taken me to create color and graphite pencil drawings of some of my most favorite subjects. I will draw from the largest of wildlife creatures to the smallest of domestic pets. This has become my passion and interest of choice but I still love to do Portraits of people as well.