Anne Blackburn ~ Handbuilt Pottery Class

My greatest inspiration comes from nature. The shapes, forms and colors touch my soul. I especially enjoy the clash between organic and geometric. The hand-built pottery process enables me to incorporate a vast variety of textures and shapes into my work. The pieces I create embody what I have experienced observing nature and explore the visual conflict between man and nature.

My introduction to clay was at an intense two-week art program where we worked in a wooded setting and lived in cabins. I was hooked! After graduating from St. Mary’s College with a BA in Fine Art, I took a few classes here and there. Over the years I have dabbled in many different mediums- stone carving, stained glass, jewelry making and photography. About ten years ago, I rekindled my interest in pottery on a regular basis. I have created a body of work in pottery that I exhibit and sell at area art shows. Along the way I have built a loyal following of collectors. My pottery has been included in the MAAC show in St. Joseph, Michigan several times, including a Purchase award and a Merit award in 2013.

 Patty Leyden – Wheel Thrown Pottery

Patty Leyden has been creating functional, wheel-thrown pottery for over 30 years.  Prior to moving to Elkhart 4 years ago, Patty was active in the art community in Lafayette, IN where she spearheaded Artists Own art co-op and taught pottery classes at the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art.  Recently retired from her position as a Social Worker, she has resumed her passion of working with clay, and sharing her skills with future potters.

Julie Manfredi ~ Acrylic/Multi-Media

Julie is a native of Elkhart and has been recognized for her talent in Watercolor, Acrylic and Mixed Media. Initially taking lessons from several Art Instructors including Steve Johnson with the Elkhart Art League and Jim Borden with the South Bend Art League. Basically self taught, she has been recognized with awards from Juried Art Shows in Elkhart, Plymouth, and Ft Wayne. For many years, she has also been involved in Art Festivals in Indiana and Illinois. She is a Past President of the Elkhart Art League and has been teaching art for over 20 years.

Carl Rust ~ Music, Art, & Singing Kids Workshop

Carl Rust is a retired educator who spent 30 years in public education as a teacher, assistant principal and Director of Elkhart Elementary Academy, a self-directed learning program for public school elementary students. He has studied revolutionary schools and programs around the world and is the author of Get Out of the Way and Let Kids Learn, How We Can Transform Schools and Reintroduce Natural Learning.

He is currently Educational Facilitator at Woodlawn Nature Center in Elkhart Indiana and a member of Woodlawn Learning Community, a group of learners of all ages that work and play together naturally in nature.

He is also an advisor and consultant with the Unschooling School group that advises families, younger learners, teachers, administrators, and schools on how to better meet the needs of all learners in the 21st Century.

He has loved Art since high school and has experimented with drawing, painting, photography, videography, filmmaking, collage and sculpture. He is also a singer, songwriter and amateur musician.

Ellen Ridenour ~ Easy Batik Workshop ~ Experimenting with Colors Kids Workshop

Ellen is a native of Bogota, New Jersey, and she moved to Indiana as a child. Ellen has a BFA degree from The Raclin School of the Arts from Indiana University in South Bend, Indiana. Ridenour has shown her work in numerous exhibitions and has won many awards in her photography, printmaking, fiber and encaustic works. She is a forever student in the arts and has taken workshops from Columbia (Pam Smith marbleizing,) Elena De Ville (teaches encaustic at Ringling school of Arts and Design,) and Gregory Wright (encaustic; Truro, Cape Cod.) Fiber art and letter press from Kathee Kiesselbach.

 Phil Monteith ~ Pastel Workshop

Phil has taught pastels and printmaking for many years in regular classes as well as in workshops and lecture-demonstrations to all age levels. His teaching environments have been both in school classrooms as well as in studio classes. His work has been in private and public collections in twelve States as well as the corporate collection of the Bayer Corp. and the Midwest Museum of American Art.

 He has been a juried-in artist member of the Society of American Graphic Artists, New York, NY, a juried-in signature member of the Chicago Pastel Painters, Chicago, IL., and a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society, Grand Rapids, MI. He is also a juried-in signature member of the Pastel Society of America, New York, NY. Additionally he has been a member of the Northern Indiana Pastel Society, South Bend, IN., and is a Life Member of the Northern Indiana Artists, South Bend. 

 The Elkhart Art League is thrilled that Phil continues to hold some workshops at EAL and contributes his valuable support of our mission.

Nancy Woltman ~ Kid’s Fun Art Workshop

I am excited to be back teaching at the Elkhart Art League after a year off from Covid. I have taught Art in the elementary classroom and also at The Elkhart art league. Nancy graduated from Notre Dame with an accounting degree and IUSB with an Elementary Education degree.

This year I have great plans to be teaching some new types of art along with the basics.

 Steve Blackburn ~ Pour It On Watercolor Workshop

Steve Blackburn is a watercolor artist from Mishawaka, Indiana. His work has been exhibited in many national and regional exhibitions, such as the Kentucky Watercolor Society and the Louisiana Watercolor Society.

 For many years Mr. Blackburn has taught his unique style of watercolor in classes and workshops all over the U.S. He was featured in the American Artist publication “Watercolor – Summer 1997”. His image “Forgotten Treasure” was included in the book “Best of Watercolor – Painting Composition” by Rockport Publishers, and one of his paintings is featured in the book “Best of Watercolor 3”.  Mr. Blackburn won the grand prize for his piece “Sunbathe” during the international floral competition sponsored by International Artist magazine in 2001, and his work was featured in the 2002 October/November issue of their magazine. His work is displayed at

 Dwight Fish ~ Abstract Fun Workshop

The love of mixed media has given me the opportunity to use wood (primarily) and integrate painting and carving techniques to enhance my projects.  I’ve been a woodworker most of my adult life.  The painting I do is very personal and mostly self-taught.  Art classes during college in Fort Wayne and at the Elkhart Art League round out my training.

I am not scared to try new media and have made plenty of “happy accidents”.  I don’t get bored, or discouraged with the creative process.

I have lived in Elkhart 30 years and currently am retired.  There are plenty of yard and pond projects in the works.  My city council position and being on the Board of the EAL (about 4 years) and the Friends of the NYCRRM (Elkhart Railroad Museum) keep my schedule full.