Old Town Art Center Old Town Art Center

Art Instructors

  • Oil Painting Instructor
    picture of woman painting
    Morgan Lyons
    Morgan Lyons is a realist oil painter from Chicago. She paints primarily from life, and her work consists of portraits, landscapes, and figurative subjects. She is a recent graduate from the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, where she studied in depth the history and the discipline of classical painting and drawing. Her ultimate goal is to capture, through her paintings, the feeling of being present with a person or a place. Having recently returned home, she hopes to spread her interest and knowledge of classical art with people in her city who are interested in advancing their artistic skills.
    Drawing Instructor
    Woman with sunglasses
    Ruth Aizuss Migdal
    Trained as a painter, Ruth became a sculptor exploring the human torso.  She first worked with clay but soon after a workshop in mold making at a conference in Washington, DC, she switched to bronze. Her concentration is exploring the female torso in its many complexities. She continues to use bronze due to its permanence and flexibility. Ruth is the curator of sculpture at the Cliff Dwellers Club and was a founding member of the Chicago Artists Coalition. Ruth lectured and taught art at Chicago Community Colleges for more than 20 years. She holds a B.F.A., an M.F.A. and an honorary doctorate. She is excited to return to the classroom in Old Town.
    Oil Painting Instructor
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    Douglas David
    Douglas David has painted his way across the country, capturing the beauty and spirit of the things he loves - tranquil country landscapes, sunrises and sunsets on his favorite beaches, a simply pitcher of spring lilacs or peonies, a lemon, lime or slice of watermelon on a checked tablecloth. Paintings that reflect comfort, warmth, meaning and simplicity. A graduate of Indiana University Herron School of Art, he also studied the palette of the late Frank Vincent DuMond under Frank Mason of The Art Students League of New York. After nearly 20 years as a graphic designer and art director, David now entrusts all of his time to his own Fine Arts programs, including instruction at classes around the country.
    Acrylic Instructor
    Abstract painting
    Vivian Visser
    Vivian received her BFA from the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. She has focused on natural art for more than 25 years. Vivian has developed and taught classes in acrylic painting, painting on silk, clay, drawing and mosaics to people at every stage of life, from children, to families and adults.
    Watercolor Instructor
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    James Wisnowski
    James Wisnowski studied and graduated from the American Academy of Art. He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society, and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America.  His technique is featured in the book, Art To Go: A Travelers Guide to Painting in Watercolors. For thirty-six years, Wisnowski taught in Chicago, at the Old Town Art Center and many other locations. He now calls California home and teaches classes and workshops around the world.
    Oil Painting Instructor
    Joseph Taylor
    Joe Taylor studied oil painting and printmaking at Indiana University Bloomington and painting at The School of the Art Institute. A freelance illustrator for over 30 years, he is represented by Mendola Artists Ltd. in New York. Joe also teaches Studio Art at Wright College of Chicago. His work can be found in Evanston and in many private collections.
    Watercolor/Pastel Instructor
    Kathleen Newman
    Kathleen Newman studied at Chicago’s American Academy of Art and the School of the Art Institute. She has been awarded the International Association of Pastel Artists Master’s Circle Gold Medal status. She has earned her signature letters in the Pastel Society of America, American Society of Marine Artists and the American Transparent Watercolor Society. Her work can be found in many private and corporate collections.
    Oil Painting Instructor
    Marie Kirk Burke
    Marie Kirk Burke received her BFA from Boston College. She also studied at the Decordova Museum in Lincoln, MA and earned a Certificate in Painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work is exhibited in Chicago and southwest Michigan.
    Oil Painting Instructor
    Roger Bole
    Roger Bole studied art on the G.I. Bill at McComb College in Michigan. He later attended the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Theater School at DePaul for scene painting. Bole's work can be found in many private and corporate collections.
    Watercolor Painting Instructor
    Man with fingers crossed
    Tom Francesconi
    Tom Francesconi studied watercolor with his mentor, Irving Shapiro, at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois. Tom is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and numerous others. His work has been exhibited in over 35 national exhibitions including the American Watercolor Society and has been an award winner in many of these exhibits. His paintings have been featured in 7 books and additionally he has written an article for 2 Watercolor Magic magazines. Tom served as President for the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. He has gained a reputation as an outstanding watercolor workshop instructor and brings his passion for the medium and his teaching enthusiasm to the Old Town School of Art.