The two visual art areas of the Tennessee Arts Academy explores art from the perspective of production, history, criticism, and aesthetics. Instructors, whose work has influenced current educational practice and theory, come from around the country to provide stimulating and practical instruction. In addition to the visual art sessions, all participants attend performances, musings, special events and other activities, with plenty of time built in for networking and reflection.
Matthew Derecole is the ceramics technician and instructor at the University of Hartford Art School in West Hartford, Connecticut. He received a degree in ceramics from the University of Iowa and has held positions at the Clay Studio in Philadelphia, and as studio staff at the Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts. Derecole has participated as an artist in residence at the LUX Center for the Arts in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he taught classes for children and adults and also taught a ceramics course for Doane College in Lincoln. He has also served as an artist in residence at the Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, Illinois, and the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Derecole has worked for artist Theaster Gates and has held instructor positions in ceramics at multiple art centers and universities across the United States. His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including museums in Croatia, Slovenia, South Korea, and Spain.
Amanda O'Shaughnessy is an elementary art teacher in Overland Park, Kansas, and has been teaching for thirteen years. She also runs pop-up style creative workshops for adults through partnerships with area businesses using her company Studio Art Club, which she founded in 2021. O'Shaughnessy studied at the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Missouri in Kansas City, where she graduated with a degree in studio art and then earned a master of arts in teaching from the University of Central Missouri. In addition to teaching in schools, she spent several years at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art leading classes for all ages. O'Shaughnessy has presented at multiple conferences, including the National Art Education Association conference in 2023 in San Antonio, Texas. Printmaking, ceramics, and drawing have always been areas of interest as both an artist and an educator. O'Shaughnessy recognizes that everyone can tap into their own unique creativity, and she provides opportunities for this to happen.
Robyn McClendon is a mixed media artist. She studied paper making and bookbinding in the tradition of apprenticing, as these disciplines were dying art forms in the 1980's and were being revived by artists. She subsequently taught in universities and museum systems as an adjunct professor, often setting up the programs in the art departments of these schools nationally, as the discipline of book as art was becoming recognized as a significant art form. She also worked and taught in the book binding department at the Smithsonian Institution. She has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, and has written a best selling book called Gel Plate Printing for Mixed Media Art, published through Schiffer Publishing. As an artaeomythologist, McClendon leads retreats and workshops that combine the visual arts, idea generation and book arts which help participants find a voice for their story, move forward, and recognize a more authentic artistic experience.
David Tamori taught at Oroville High School for more than thirty-seven years, teaching drawing, 2D design, 3D design, and jewelry making. He supervised more than thirty student teachers. Tamori received the National Art Educators Association Award for Outstanding Secondary Art Educator in the pacific region and the California Art Educators Award for Outstanding Secondary School Visual Art Educator. He served on the development committees for the Praxis, and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and as a member of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing Bias Review Committee. Tamori is a consultant for the College Board Advanced Placement Art and Design Program, in the Western states region. While much of Tamori’s career as an artist and educator has focused on visual art, he is also an accomplished drummer and a founding member and president of the Artists of Rivertown, a non-profit group of Oroville artists.