Visual Arts Faculty & Staff
Rosalie Beck has an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has taught art at the college level for many years. Currently she is teaching Drawing and Intro to painting at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Observational Drawing at Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design . She also taught for two years in Bangkok in the MIAD Vajiravudth College Program
She has exhibited her oil paintings, pastels and watercolors in numerous regional and national shows such as the "Les Pastellistes" 18th Annual International Exhibition in Montreal where she was awarded Best Portrait, People and the Land at Laura Nohr Gallery at UW- Platteville and 41st Annual National Drawing and Small Sculpture in Corpus Christi Texas.
She has also had many one-person exhibitions, including the Riverfront Arts Center in Stevens Point Wisconsin ,Lakeshore Gallery in Milwaukee, the Anderson Art Center in Kenosha Wisconsin, SEAMEO-SPAFA in Bangkok, Thailand, Manitowoc Fine Art Gallery at UW-Manitowoc, Edith Barrett Gallery at Utica College of Syracuse University in Utica, New York and Greene County Council on the Arts in Catskill, New York.
Eileen E. Booth
Eileen joined the Alverno faculty in 2016 and loves this unique gem of a college.
She earned her BA from DePauw University in 2001; MA in Art Education from New York
University in 2003; and an MS in Historic Preservation from Ball State University
in 2007. Eileen teaches Art and Art history classes at and creates photographs and
paintings that explore an ethereal response to changing landscapes.
Michele Burnie has lived and worked in the Milwaukee area for over 30 years. She coordinates the Art Therapy Field Placements, serves as the External Assessment Coordinator for the Visual Arts Department, teaches courses in Art Therapy and general art education, and is currently serving as the Chair of the Visual Arts Department.
Michele earned her Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse and applied her learning through portrait work, teaching calligraphy and offering workshops in basic drawing skills. Due to her strong belief in the inherent life enhancing properties of art making, Michele returned to school and earned her Master's in Art Therapy from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee. Since earning her degree, she has had the privilege of practicing art therapy in multiple settings with populations across the life span.
At Alverno College, Michele works toward helping students identify their own beliefs, strengths and stressors as they build their artist/art therapist/art educator identity. She encourages them to use art for expression, communication, nourishment and self-awareness. She requires her students to stay engaged in their own art making, highlighting the need for them to fully understand their own creative process while developing a depth of experience with a variety of materials. With this solid foundation in art making, students have the best possible base of knowledge for succeeding in their area of study.
Valerie J. Christell
Valerie J. Christell maintains a studio in the greater Milwaukee area and continues to exhibit her artwork commenting on existential issues. Through photomontage and mixed media, her work explores the symbiotic relationship between human beings and the natural environment and the process of perception of that world. Christell’s trip to Alverno’s Places of the Holocaust in 2007 and participation in the International Study Academy situated in the Auschwitz Death Camps/Poland in 2015 and 2016 have also informed her social statements.
At Alverno College, Christell currently teaches the hybrid course Art, Culture and Ethics that she originated. Other courses she developed include Global Art and Visual Culture, Art Activism/Global Impact, Public Art/Personal Insight, and Postmodern Feminist Art and the Media. She has taught a range of studio and art history courses and spoken to local arts organizations about the business of art and her own work.
As Alfons Gallery’s Director/Curator, Christell’s curatorial vision directs its mission to explore cultures and advocate for social justice, peace and the environment. This focus aligns with her previous collaborative, social statement Milwaukee gallery, Merge.
As a former Feature Arts Writer for Third Coast Digest, Christell published numerous articles analyzing the art/culture scene primarily in the Milwaukee area. She has also published a book of her photomontages, The Holocaust: A Gentile Journey, as well as several videos about the Holocaust, including Tiny Drawings: The Holocaust through Children’s Eyes and Their Final Journey; received the Philo T. Farnsworth Community Programming Award for video; and was interviewed several times for Where the Waters Meet about her artwork and process.
Christell received her Masters of Fine Arts degree at the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee and her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree at the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champagne.
firstname.lastname@example.org Office: AL137 414 382-6342
Linda received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education/Art Therapy with a minor in Psychology, and Master of Arts in Education degrees from Alverno College. She is an ABD doctoral candidate in Educational Policy and Leadership at Marquette University, with a research focus on assessment.
After teaching art and adaptive art in the preK-12 public school setting for 15 years, Linda is back at Alverno, teaching Art Education and Adaptive Arts Media and Methods field courses for the introductory, elementary, and secondary levels, Student Teaching Seminars for Art Education and Adaptive Education, Art Foundations Studio Art 1 for non-art majors, Liberal Learning for Transfer Students, and additional art courses. She is the Advisor for the A100 Mid Semester Assessment. She is also one of the Program Leaders for the Leaders Advancing Character & Culture in Schools (LACCS) Program.
Dara Larson lives and works in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She teaches courses in Fibers,
Printmaking, Drawing, Papermaking in Global Cultures, Installation Art, Artist's Books,
Contemporary Topics in Art as well as International Studies travel courses to Mexico
Ms. Larson received her Bachelor of Science in Studio Art from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and completed Post Baccalaureate study in Art History at the University of Salamanca-Spain.
She earned her Master of Fine Arts degree in Printmaking and Drawing at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Larson works in a variety of media including printmaking, painting, drawing, papermaking, artist's books and sculpture. Her work has been exhibited and resides in collections in the United States, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Spain, Russia and China.
Professor Larson was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to explore Latin Studies Initiatives for Alverno College. As a component of the grant she completed study in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil and is developing course materials based upon this travel. She has also given presentations on international study at the International Partnerships in Service Learning Conference in Quito, Ecuador, and the Association of Academic Programs in Latin America and the Caribbean Conference in Cuerna Vaca, Mexico.
In addition to her teaching, Larson maintains a studio practice. Many of the subjects in Larson's work focus upon travel, visual icons and cultural patterns that change meaning when combined with icons of other cultures.
She has traveled and studied in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Central America and South America. During her studies, Ms. Larson collects photographs, printed matter and impressions about the cultural specificity of local events and images. She expands this study with her own point of view in a magic realist approach to storytelling.
To view the artwork of Dara Larson, please visit this web site: www.daralarsonfineart.com
Audra R. Magermans
Audra was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. She comes from a culturally diverse background with Belgian, German, Spanish, and Guatemalan roots. Audra has been painting since the age of 8, and has won several painting competitions and participated in several exhibits. Two of her paintings are part of the Guatemalan Museum of Modern Art’s Permanent Collection.
Audra attended Instituto Austriaco Guatemalteco, an Austrian Immersion School for 13 years and upon graduation she attended Francisco Marroquin University, in Guatemala City, earning a Licensed Degree in Architecture. Audra was a practicing Residential Architect for 5 years before relocating to Bowling Green, OH to attend Graduate School at Bowling Green State University.
In 2005, Audra earned an MFA in Digital Arts. As a Digital Artist, Audra’s work embraces a variety of concepts, both virtual and actual. The relationship of spaces, their different levels of realities and connections, actions and reactions of one into the other and vice-versa, brings her to different levels of imagination and creativity. Audra feels the need to create a stronger relationship between the physical and the virtual world, creating a threshold for everyone to cross. Her work explores the different dimensions and their relationship between each other and the space in between. Audra uses art between the Architecture of the Physical and the Architecture of the Virtual.
Audra was an Instructor of Architecture at BGSU from 2005 to 2009 and the Campus Administrator and Digital Architect for the BGSU Island in Second Life. In 2009, Audra relocated to Milwaukee to serve as the Chair of the School of Drafting and Design at ITT Technical Institute where she oversaw the Computer Drafting & Design, Visual Communication & Game Design, and Construction Management Programs. In 2011 she became the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs overseeing Faculty Development.
In 2012 Audra left ITT Tech and became the Academic Program Director of IT & Design at Bryant & Stratton College where she oversaw the Graphic Design, Interactive Media, Information Management, Networking and Security, and Virtual Office Management Programs.
Since 2016, Audra continues to teach as an Adjunct Instructor at Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee and Online and joined Alverno College as an Adjunct Faculty in the Art Department. At Alverno College Audra has taught Advanced Painting, Form and Space / Introduction to Digital Arts, and Gallery Management and is currently teaching Graphic Design, Introduction to Digital Arts, Gallery Management, and a Laser Cutter / 3D Printing workshop.
Lynda Sommers graduated from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee with a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture with an emphasis in Foundry and a Bachelor of Arts in Ceramics. An assistant professor at Alverno, Lynda teaches Sculpture, Metals, Enameling and Glass Forming and Ceramics. She is the director for the Arts and Cultures Gallery which also includes Senior Seminar and Art Gallery Management classes.
Her artwork is usually through commission work, private and public, and she has also exhibited in galleries around Milwaukee. One of Lynda’s larger public wall sculptures utilizing glass fusion, cast aluminum and bronze can be viewed at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in the lobby hallway. Whenever Lynda creates public sculptures, she likes to involve students to gain insight in the professional experience of art making.
“My art suggests layers and barrier symbolism providing a construct for examining how each one perceive and experiences life’s hurdles. My art depicts real and unseen passageways, some resolved, some not. I almost always add an element of precariousness – physical or imagined. For about ten years I’ve been exploring Glass Fusion and combining this with cast and welded pieces. Glass, with transparent and opaque qualities, allows me to explore a different means of layering, a kind of push – pull of visual gradations.”
Kate Weishaar was born in Albemarle County, Virginia and grew up in Ohio, Pennsylvania,
and Iowa before arriving in Wisconsin.
Following completion of her BAE in Oshkosh, Wisconsin she taught grades K-12 art and coached volleyball and track in Washburn County, Wisconsin.
After becoming a tenured faculty in Washburn County her passion for art and rural culture led to Ogemaw County, Michigan, where she taught high school art full time and coached varsity volleyball, as well as teaching in Community Education programs and beginning a therapeutic art program in local long-term care facilities. While in Michigan she earned a Masters Degree in Counseling and her Ph. D. in Counseling Psychology and Aging.
Upon returning to Wisconsin she has gained additional work experience in private practice, inpatient psychiatric, and skilled care facilities. A licensed art therapist and psychotherapist she offers over eighteen years of private practice experience in addition to her many years of program development and teaching.
For a glimpse of her work, see (2002) F.M.Burton and A.M. Stampp (Ed.s), Celebrating Door County’s Wild Places: Paintings of the Peninsula, p. 112, or “The visual life review as a therapeutic art framework with the terminally ill, “The International Journal of the Arts in Psychotherapy, 26(3), 173-184.
Ann Mory Wydeven
Ann Mory Wydeven received a Bachelor's of Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a Masters of Fine art from Rhode Island School of Design. She is a mentoring artist at RedLine Milwaukee, Inc., an urban art residency program and incubator for emerging or mid-career artists. She leads artist residency programs and workshops in city schools and community public art. She is an adjunct faculty member at Alverno College and sole proprietor of AMW Sculpture Studio since 1995.
Wydeven primarily uses clay as her material for storytelling. The narratives suggest legendary or mythic characters embellished with pencil drawings and Byzantine mosaic. Her work embraces folk traditions of the craft object, making large vessels and garden ornamentation. She collects fallen bark, twigs, and moss to examine the structure, color, and texture. The surfaces mimic nature and the give the figures context. They seem to be artifacts that journal the passage of time in its beauty and decay.
Marilyn Zwissler graduated from Alvero College with a Master of Arts Degree in Adult
Education and Organizational Development. She comes to the classroom with corporate
experience and an entrepreneur's focus. For 13 years, she designed and implemented
global learning programs for Rockwell Automation. This work took her around the world,
and she spent more than two years in Europe and the Middle East deploying systems
training. After leaving Rockwell Automation, Marilyn formed a human performance improvement
consultancy. She assists corporations with global learning programs, designs e-learning,
and transfers classroom courses into on-line interventions. She designs curricula
for her clients using various synchronous technologies and the Adobe creative suite.
She is teaching Interactive Media and New Media with a focus on career paths. She
enjoys photography and using Photoshop to tell visual stories. She serves on the Southeast
Wisconsin Association for Talent Development (SEWI-ATD) board of directors as Past-President.
Her credentials include the prestigious Certified Professional of Learning and Development
(CPLP) from ATD.
Visit her website: zwisslerllc.com