Teaching Artists

Susan Corl – Mixed Media Visual Folk Artist

Susan Corl is a visual folk artist/quilter/poet. Susan’s specialties are textiles, fibers, mixed media and multi-cultural crafts. A versatile artist working with in many forms, her work has a strong emphasis on pattern and color inspired from nature and folk art from around the world.

Corl has been a member of the Arizona Commission on the Arts Roster since 1996 doing residencies in schools and communities throughout Arizona. These have included a focus on two and three dimensional design, quilting, bookmaking and handmade paper, sculpture, mask making and puppetry, highlighting natural and recycled materials. Susan is particularly interested in process and technique, one example: gathering and processing plants into sheets of paper that are bound into a handmade book written in calligraphy. Her workshops emphasize the use of natural materials and recycling and connect to the core curriculum while implementing the Arts Standards.

Kimi Eisele – Writer/Dancer

Kimi Eisele, a multi-disciplinary artist. Kimi facilitates students of all ages to enter the writing, research and documenting process through movement, artifacts, and memories. Her work explores how individual and community geographies intersect and how personal and political landscapes can be communicated with words, images, maps, and the body.

As an artist on Arizona Commission of the Arts Artist Roster, Kimi has taught creative writing and movement in schools and institutions for the past eight years. She served for five years as the Writing Director of VOICES, Inc. mentoring young people in writing, research, and interviewing for the after-school magazine program, 110 Degrees. For that work she was awarded the 2005 Compass Health Care “Dynamic Duo Award: Making a Difference” with photographer Josh Schechter. As a VOICES guest artist, Kimi has taught digital storytelling to youth on the Tohono O’odham Nation, and co-facilitated (with Josh Schechter) the “Living Stories Project,” which invites participants to explore their personal and neighborhood histories through writing, photography, and movement.

Kimi is the Special Projects Director for NEW Articulations Dance Theatre, where she has facilitated community dance projects using modern dance and personal stories to illuminate issues of social, political, or environmental significance.

Paul Fisher – Theatre/Drama

Paul Fisher

Paul Fisher is a private consultant specializing in the use of creativity and theatre as tools of assessment, learning, communication and critical thinking. He has conducted staff development and worked in-classroom with The University of Arizona, Tucson Unified, Marana and Sunnyside School Districts, charter and private schools. Mr. Fisher is also a performer, writer and director.

Paul Fisher has worked in differing venues, in a variety of locations, throughout the US, in Europe, Russia and Africa. He has consulted for INTUIT, Canyon Ranch, and many other organizations. He teaches creative thinking, lectures for The Learning Curve, consults with the National Endowment for the Arts, and UA Presents, at the University of Arizona.

In 2007 Paul Fisher was recognized for his years of distinguished service in Arts and Education, by The Arizona Daily Star and The Tucson/Pima Arts Council with the ―Lumie Award. In 2003, Mr. Fisher was awarded the Buffalo Exchange Arts Award, by the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, for his years of work in Arts and Education. Mr. Fisher was the original Director of the nationally recognized Arts Education Program for the Tucson Pima Arts Council.  Mr. Fisher is a graduate of the University of Birmingham, Great Britain. He has published a variety of books and articles.

Referred to as “the Robin Williams of Education”, he is a veteran teacher. Mr. Fisher always provides a stimulating, hilarious & educational experience.

Alida Wilson-Gunn – Education Outreach, Director for Borderlands Theater

Alida Wilson-Gunn, a native Arizonan, became a staff member of Borderlands Theater at the end of their 2002/2003 Season and now manages their Education Outreach Program. This season she is directing the Coyote y Culebra Youth Projects’ Wind in the Shadows an original an evolving piece of theater inspired and created by students and arranged by Toni Press-Coffman, as part of an ongoing in-school workshop, writing and performance project. Alida previously directed Coyote y Culebra and Javelin Ballerina, an ensemble piece, as part of the Folktales Youth Project, developed by Borderlands Theater and Folklorist Professor Maribel Alvarez, written by Toni Press-Coffman, conceived by Maribel Alvarez, Eva Kessler, Toni Press-Coffman, and myself, with assistance from Jim Griffith and the Southwest Center (Humanities Department) at the University of Arizona.

Alida has been affiliated with Borderlands Theater since 1989, starting as an actress in La Casa de Bernard Alba/The House of Bernard Alba. Since then she has performed in several Borderlands’ productions. She has worked as a professional actress and a theater technician in New York and Los Angeles.

Alex Jones – Visual Artist

Alex Jones worked as an artist and illustrator in Los Angeles, primarily in the record industry (i.e. Warner Bros. Records, the Welk Music Group and Vanguard Records). For over a decade he provided cover and spot illustrations for Warner Bros. Records monthly sales catalog The Guide. His graphic work has been used for posters, album covers, greeting cards, T-shirts, coffee mugs. His clients have included The Los Angeles Southwest Museum, The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and Chaleur ceramics. Alex has marketed and licensed these works under the company name Roadside Distractions.

Alex has recently joined the artists of Southeastern Arizona Arts and Academics bringing his draftsmanship skills to the mix. His classes center around the powers of observation offering students an approach to visualizing a subject through its basic individual elements of shape and proportion by creating very simple step by step progression drawings. He provides his students a template to guide them through their own creative process giving them a starting point from which they can realize their own vision of the world around them.

Josh Schechter – Photography

Josh Schechter is a photographer, visual storyteller, educator, and community activist who has worked for organizations throughout the U.S. to document issues from urban revitalization to food security. His images have been published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, films and web sites, in venues ranging from the New York Times to the Navajo Times. Josh earned a master’s degree in environment management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies, where he explored how urban youth could use photography to share their own lives and perspectives. Over the past decade he has taught documentary photography to youth, teachers, neighborhood groups, and nonprofit organizations in places ranging from New Delhi to Nigeria. Since 2005 he has developed a passion for digital storytelling and has facilitated digital storytelling workshops in the US, India and South Africa. Josh has won many prestigious awards; a few are listed below:

  • Arizona Teaching Artist Award for Innovation  — Arizona Commission on the Arts (2009)
  • Nominated for Patron Saint of Photography Teaching Award, The Center (2007)
  • Compass Healthcare Making a Difference in the Community Dynamic Duo Award (September 2005)
  • Selected as a Top Photographer in the Environment/Nature & Personal Documentary Categories, Golden Light Awards, Maine Photographic Workshops (2004)
  • Second Place, California’s Ocean Realm Category, California Wild Magazine Photo Competition (2003)

SAAA was very fortunate to be able to obtain the following Master Artists who were all very talented, skilled, artistic and motivating with a true desire to work with students and teachers to extend and elevate education and integration art at the various schools.

Lynn Gray – Writer/Journalism

Lynn has done about every kind of writing there is to do, from technical writing to journalism to investigative journalism to editorials to screenwriting to nonfiction, fiction and poetry. She’s able to convey the basics of Strunk & White to students as part of an exciting process of learning to express oneself in the written word. She’s taught writing workshops to students in settings ranging from the inner city to the reservation. She’s also taught art and arts & crafts to students ages 3 through high school. Most recently, she was a teaching assistant at the Alamo Navajo School District Head Start program.

Theresa Levy – Drama and Dance

Theresa Levy, PhD has a lifetime of experience teaching and integrating the arts with academics. During her BA in Math/Psychology/Drama/Dance, she also studied art and ran a 10-month psychology research project in Italy. During her MA in Latin American Studies, she performed her original one-woman show, facilitating dialogue with the audience afterwards. She conducted extensive research in the Caribbean and West Africa, culminating in earning her PhD on an ethnolinguistic minority group in Mauritania. She has spent her career teaching international performing arts (Latin dance, piano and voice), languages and various academic subjects privately and in schools. This spans being a Wolf Trap Artist in Residence for Head Start, to preparing school teachers for various UAPresents performances and Fine Arts Summer Institutes, to 12 years as a college professor. She enjoys training teachers in integrating the arts in the classroom in order to improve academic achievement, working for Arts for Border Children and Arts Integration Solutions. She has received international acclaim singing in Portuguese with Nossa Bossa Nova.