Abdiel Acosta, Portfolio Development
Abdiel Acosta was raised in Miami, Florida. He received a BFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art. In Maryland, he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship, Maryland Institute Scholarship, National Art Honor Society Scholarship, as well as the Seymour Mandeldaum and William Ferguson Merit Scholarships. His work has been published in the Mystic River Press and the Latin Network for the Visual Arts. He has participated in group exhibitions at ArtCenter/South Florida, Coral Gables Museum, O & Y Gallery, Alexey von Schlippe Gallery of Art at the University of Connecticut, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Miami International University of Art and Design, San Carlos Museum, Maryland Institute College of Art and New World School of the Arts. He has also shown and sold work in the juried Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Mr. Acosta has been a full-time art teacher for Miami-Dade County Public Schools since 2005 and is currently the Art Specialist at Phyillis Miller Elementary School.
The 2014-2015 season is Mr. Acosta’s forth season with the Lewis Arts Studio.
Mr. Acosta began his work at the Lewis Arts Studio in 2009.
Aurora Molina, Fiber Arts
Aurora Molina was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16. Ms. Molina received her Associate of Arts in Visual Arts from Miami-Dade College, Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in Mixed Media from Florida International University, and Master’s in Contemporary Art from the Universidad Europea de Madrid. Ms. Molina has exhibited extensively throughout Miami, as well as in Peru and Mexico. As the daughter of artist German Molina, Ms. Molina has always been surrounded by art. Her own work is inspired by traditional crafts of various cultures and she travels the world to study these distinct art forms. Her use of fabric and embroidery honors the centuries-old legacy of women artisans. As a Teaching Artist, Ms. Molina provides imaginative lessons that are rooted in traditional art skills and concepts; she has an uncanny knack for helping students manifest the images in their imaginations. Ms. Molina has provided impressive Arts for Learning residencies at numerous sites throughout Miami-Dade County and was Artist In Residence at the Deering Estate in 2012-2013.
Ms. Molina began her work at the Lewis Arts Studio in 2009.
Maria Perez, Sculpture
Maria Perez has over 30 years of experience teaching art and museum education at magnet center and schools in Miami-Dade County. She currently serves as the Fine Arts teacher at John. A Ferguson Senior High School. Ms. Perez holds a specialist degree in art education from Florida International University (FIU), and serves as an adjunct professor at the FIU College of Education. In addition to maintaining her practice as a visual artist, Ms. Perez is also a Tango instructor at FIU. Ms. Perez’s extensive experience as an art educator, knowledge of a variety of materials and respect for craft make her a favorite among students.
Ms. Perez began her work at the Lewis Arts Studio in 2009.
Jennifer Puig, Creative Movement
Jennifer Puig is a choreographer and dance teacher, certified in dance movement therapy. She has served as a resident artist for the Florida Literacy Arts Program and many Arts for Learning programs, including the Coconut Cares Barnyard and other programs for at-risk youth. Ms. Puig leads 45-minute Creative Movement sessions twice a week during LAS Summer Sessions, in an effort to enhance students’ understanding of anatomy, and help inspire them to express themselves creatively.
Ms. Puig began her work at the Lewis Arts Studio in 2014.
Karen Schnell-Chisolm, Portfolio Development
With over 30 years of teaching experience, Karen Schnell-Chisolm is one of the most active and accomplished artists working with the Miami-Dade County Public School system today. She has taught art classes at Charles R. Drew, Phyllis R. Miller, Jane S. Roberts, and Dunbar Elementary Schools. Ms. Schnell-Chisolm received a BFA in K-12 Art Education from the University of Dayton and has been a National Board Certified Teacher in Early and Middle Childhood Art since 2003. In 2005, she became the Lead Art Teacher at Southside Elementary Museums Magnet School. With a passion for encouraging students and their parents to talk about art, Ms. Schnell-Chisolm has dedicated years of study to the best practices in object-based learning and visual thinking strategies. As an artist, she has exhibited nationally and internationally. As an educator, she has won Teacher of the Year at her schools four times, and was a finalist for Teacher of the Year in Region Four. Ms. Schnell-Chisolm has worked with Arts for Learning as part of the Building Assets program, and with the families of Liberty City at the African Heritage Cultural Center through Arts for Learning’s program in partnership with the Miami Children’s Initiative.
Ms. Schnell-Chisolm began her work with the Lewis Arts Studio in 2012.
Javier Sasieta, Sculpture
Javier Sasieta is an artist and art educator who was born in the Canary Islands, Spain in 1977. He studied at New World School of the Arts/ University of Florida where he received his BFA (Cum Laude) in Printmaking. Javier began exhibiting at Emerson Dorsch Gallery in Wynwood in early 2000 and later received his first solo show in 2003. He has been teaching art for the past eight years at Hialeah High School Conservatory of the Arts (Magnet Program), and has also been an educator with the Art Center South Florida, Bass Museum of Art, and Arts for Learning. Javier currently lives and works in Miami-Dade County.
Mr. Sasieta will begin his work at the Lewis Arts Studio in 2015.