Resident Artists

Edna DapoEdna Dapo, Painting & Drawing
Department Head

Edna Dapo is an international artist who currently resides in Scottsdale, Arizona. She is the Department Head of Painting & Drawing at the Phoenix Center of the Arts and also teaches Drawing and Life Drawing at Mesa Community College. Dapo has been painting for twenty years and has won numerous awards. Her work has been selected for NEW AMERICAN PAINTINGS (Volume 70) and is on the cover of American Art Collector (CA, V4 B2). Dapo holds an MFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design, BFA in Painting from ASU, and a diploma from Art School Luka Sorkocevic in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Ingrid DonaldsonIngrid Donaldson, Glass
Department Head

Ingrid Donaldson began her artistic career in 1998 when she opened Hot Sand Glassworks; a retail and instruction based glass studio. As she developed her own personal styles and techniques through research and development, she gained national recognition and was invited to study directly with the Bullseye Glass Company and several internationally known Glass Masters. In 2007, she decided to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Metals from Arizona State University while working professionally within the glass field, and opened The Blink Gallery in 2008. With her guidance, gallery representation and promotion, several artists have since received national attention. Returning to school, Ingrid decided to continue her education and was accepted into the Graduate Program at Arizona State University. She has since graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Metalsmithing. Ingrid has gone on to build a reputation for her innovative glass and metal designs and techniques as well as her well-balanced teaching strategies. She is frequently recruited to create and implement program development and class structures. Currently she is the Faculty of Jewelry and Metalsmithing at Scottsdale Community College. Ingrid also reopened the Blink Gallery which is located in Scottsdale Arizona.

Ellie HutchisonEllie Hutchison, Writing
Department Head
& Director of la Phoenikera Writers’ Guild

Ellie is a poet and educator with a B.A. in English and an M.E. in Special Education from Arcadia University. She is currently writing her Masters thesis in Theology and Interfaith Public Leadership degree for the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia. Ellie has 8+ years of experience as a teaching artist in the non-profit sector. She has guest co-presented at N.A.M.E. and NYCore Conferences on creating diversified and multi-cultural education through creative writing, conducted a writing workshop for women veterans in partnership with AZ Humanities, conducted numerous teen writing workshops with Phonetic Spit and Agulia Youth Leadership Institute, and served as a moderator for several Project Humanities programs in the spring of 2014. Ellie particularly enjoys writing collaborative poetry and helping others discover their voices and identity through creative writing. Her works have been published in Apiary Magazine and performed at the Shubin Theatre in Philadelphia. She is currently the first creative writing artist for Monument Valley Resident Artist program. At laPWG, Ellie teaches Teen Writing, Intro to Prose, Phoenix Seminar, Contemporary Literature, and Literacy through Photography courses along with helping to form new and unique communities throughout all of Arizona.

David JarvinenDavid Jarvinen, Mosaics
Department Head

David Jarvinen came to Mosaics through the world of Ceramic Tile & Stone Installation & Design. With over 30 years in the contracting industry he merged his talents with clay artists in the mid-90’s and, through that collaborative process, the interest in mosaics came to be. Understanding the importance of technical knowledge, for the last 12 years or so David has hosted a variety of mosaic workshops utilizing ceramic & porcelain tiles, glass tiles and stained glass to create wonderful art! David’s favorite way to create is mixed media mosaics! This type of mosaiking is exciting for the endless textures, contrasts, interest & color variations that happen when combining mixed media items. Virtually anything is fair game!

Don RidleyDon Ridley, Ceramics
Department Head

Don Ridley was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona. He began his ceramic studies at Marcos de Niza High School and continued his pursuit of clay at Arizona State University. After spending time as a professional musician and a brief stint in corporate management, Don returned to his pottery roots and spent several years teaching and working with Tom and Elaine Coleman at their studio in Henderson Nevada. Don has won numerous awards for his artwork. He continues to sell his pottery at shows and gallery’s throughout the southwest and currently heads up the ceramics program at the Phoenix Center for the Arts. His work in the past 5 years has evolved into a concentrated study of the relationship between the palate of glazes used and the various forms he constructs. This evolution has brought about a more focused interest in the alterations and textures introduced during the early stages of the piece, and their obvious and/or subtle interaction with the multitude of layered glazes applied.

John TzelepisJohn Tzelepis, Metals & Jewelry
Department Head

John Tzelepis has been dedicated to the art of jewelry and metals for more than fifteen years. He received his undergraduate degree in Jewelry and Metals from Skidmore College and his Master of Fine Arts in Metals from Arizona State University. His work has been exhibited in numerous national exhibitions, most recently at Emergency Arts in Chelsea, New York City and the Palm Springs Art Museum, Jorgensen Gallery, California, where he has won several awards. His sculpture and jewelry can be seen in several publications including 500 Necklaces, 500 Metal Vessels, and The Art of Jewelry: Wood. He has also contributed to several project-oriented books including 30-Minute Necklaces, 30-Minute Rings, and 30-Minute Bracelets. Inspired by architecture, while exploring the concept of artist as engineer or constructor, he fabricates his sculptural work with mathematical precision and proportion to investigate line, form, balance, and tension created by the physical effects of gravity and magnetism. Energizing negative space and activating kinetic possibility, the play of gravity and magnetism converge in points of dynamic tension, fusing physics with architecture.

Arne WilliamsArnold Williams, Photography
Department Head

Arnold Williams has explored various aspects of photography for more than 50 years and his work continues to evolve. Besides heading the photography department and teaching photography at the Phoenix Center for the Arts, he also teaches photojournalism, beginning and intermediate digital photography at Phoenix College. He also is a writer, photographer and film critic for local newspapers and a national newspaper association, capturing interesting people, places, and events making them as beautiful as possible. With a simple and straightforward style he has captured images from many countries and throughout the United States. His work is regularly featured in local and national publications, and juried exhibitions. He has two degrees in Journalism – a Master of Science from the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at El Paso.

Wendy WillisWendy Willis, Printmaking
Resident Artist

Phoenix printmaker Wendy Willis moved to the Valley of the Sun in 1978, drawn by the blue skies and wide open spaces. Here she found her printmaking muse. Her technical prowess combined with strong conceptual imagery has made Willis an artistic force in the Arizona printmaking community. While she works across several printmaking media, it is the “no turning back” extreme method of reduction linocut that is her forte. Through her Swimmers series, Willis’s reduction relief prints, monotypes and etchings reflect her meditations on daily events and consideration of what is above the surface. Willis’ work was featured on in an article about the Arizona exhibition “SB1070 – An Artist’s Point of View.” Her complex multi-layered, reduction linocuts, can be found internationally in university and private collections. Willis continues to live, work and be inspired by the life and culture of the southwest.

Sandra Zally, Youth Art & Teen Artist Guild
Department Head

Taking the scenic route, Sandra Zally launched her art education from the coast of Maine. She studied Fine Art at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine. In 1987, Zally rode the rails across the country to Phoenix, Arizona; where she took up studies in Advertising Art. Zally’s artistic interests embrace a wide spectrum of arts. She has painted scenic backdrops for several valley youth theaters; winning an AriZoni Award in Scenic Design for Phoenix Center Youth Theatre in 2006. Zally works as a teaching artist at community centers, senior centers and art schools around the valley. She promotes art within the community by encouraging and teaching young artists…and continues to be inspired by them.