Anna Schoenbach (she/her) was born and bred in the nation’s capital. She studied for her bachelor’s in biological sciences at Mt Holyoke college and got her master’s in Science Writing through Johns Hopkins University.
She has taken Washington DC’s in-between state to heart. Placing herself in between writing, art, and science, Anna incorporates aspects of all three into her work as a freelance writer, editor, and calligraphic letterer.
She is very excited to teach others about a medium that is similarly in between – graphic novels, the blend of writing and sequential art.
Anna Schoenbach likes stories that explore ethereal and complex inner worlds. Her published short stories and poems can be found on Amazon. She is looking forward to exploring graphic novels from an editor’s perspective and working together with Athena Baker to answer the question:
How do I make a graphic novel, anyway?
Her short fiction has been published by Red Cape Publishing, Deadman’s Tome, and Aphotic Realm. In 2021, she published a collection of nature-themed poems under the title of the “Looking Through the Wood Knot Hole.” Her other poems have been published in the “Primal Elements” anthology by OWS Ink, and on the Coffin Bell and Nine Muses website.
“Good Girl” Elements of Horror: Fire, Red Cape Publishing
“Pay the Ferryman” A-Z of Horror: J is for Jack O-Lantern, Red Cape Publishing
“Not With a Whimper, But a Snarl,” Interstellar, an Aphotic Realm Anthology
“The Elephant in the Room,” Justice, an Aphotic Realm Anthology
“The Beast of Krakow,” Monsters versus Nazis, Deadman’s Tome
“Looking Through the Wood Knot Hole” (Amazon, 2021)
“Souvenirs of Ice and Dust” (Amazon, 2022)
“Burning Cold in the Quiet Night” (Amazon, 2022)
“Under a Pulsating Sky” (Amazon, 2022)
“Shattered Stars and Broken Stones” (Amazon, 2022)
Whether it be starting Asian-related organizations from scratch or putting on a green wig and playing Zelda songs on an ocarina out in public, interdisciplinary artist Athena Zhang Baker isn’t shy about showcasing her love for all things related to comics and Asian arts.
Since she and her family moved from Rockville, Maryland to Memphis, Tennessee in 2011, Athena would take every opportunity that she could to introduce others to her world. In addition to starting and leading Asian-related organizations such as the Manga and Manhwa Book Club (2018 -2020), Athena would also take time out of her day to teach others how to make origami, showcase her knowledge of Japanese culture in shows such as NBC’s “Bluff City Law” and SleepyEaters’s “Oakley: The Socially Awkward Club,” cook onigiris (Japanese riceballs) for broke congoers during con season, among other Asian-related activities.
At one point, she was the youngest staff member of Anime Blues Con, a n anime convention that was newly formed in the Memphis area in 2012, and had an article titled “Two Chinese Jokes To Help You Master the Art of Smiling Talk” rank #1 on Google in the United States and Canada for six months. One time, she was featured in an ABC24 newscast playing Teresa Teng’s “Toki no Nagare ni Mi o Makase” (“Give Yourself to the Flow of Time”) on flute during Memphis Japan Fest 2022.
Now back in Maryland, Athena is more than eager to take part as a graphic novel instructor for Visarts and share her talents in writing, acting, modeling, performing, and more.
When she’s not busy preparing lessons and making ocarina TikToks, Athena is either cooking Asian fusion dishes such as Thai Jamaican lentil curry, learning Japanese (among other foreign languages) on Duolingo, or writing up with ideas for anime-inspired text-based adventure games.
If you would like to learn more about her as an artist, here are some links to her work:
Gower received a 2020 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant and in 2017 was awarded SECAC’s Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. In 2014, Gower received the College Art Association’s Distinguished Teacher of Art Award, as well as distinguished teaching awards from Virginia Commonwealth University and VCUarts. Her artwork is represented in many prestigious collections and has been exhibited at international and national venues for over 40 years.
Martha Grover is a functional potter, living in Bethel Maine, creating thrown and altered porcelain pieces. She attended Bennington College in Vermont, where she received her undergraduate degree in Architecture. Martha received her MFA in ceramics from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She has been awarded multiple residencies and fellowships including the Fogelberg Fellowship at the Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis, Sage Scholarship and Taunt Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation, and a yearlong residency at Red Lodge Clay Center. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally and can be found at galleries across the country. Her work has been featured in many publications including Ceramics Monthly, Clay Times, Pottery MakingIllustrated, and the Lark 500 series, and was the cover feature of Ceramic Monthly’s May 2010 issue. For images and more information, visit her website www.MarthaGrover.comArtist StatementI seek to enhance the experience of interacting with functional objects. I work toward creating a sense of elegance for the user while in contact with each porcelain piece. Reminiscent of orchids, flowing dresses, and the body, the work has a sense of familiarity and preciousness. Direct curves are taken from the female figure, as well as the fluidity of a dancer moving weightlessly across the floor. The space between elements is electrified with anticipation and tension. I think of the fluid visual movement around a piece, as a choreographer would move dancers across a stage. Transmitting desire-there is a sense of revealing and concealing, a layering of details that serves to catch our attention immediately, and then the details draw us in, to make a closer inspection. In our lives, we often move past the objects surrounding us at a very quick pace. My work generates a moment to pause. My goal is to create an undeniable presence, one that acts as an invitation to explore the work thoroughly, taking time to know all of its many facets. Only through sustained interaction we can truly know and appreciate someone or something.
Shana Kohnstamm (she/her) is a sculptor and painter, residing in Rockville, MD. She is recognized for her explorations in biomorphic soft sculptures and has recently directed her attention to clay as her primary medium, experimenting with cold finishes. Shana’s artistic background encompasses a range of creative pursuits, from jewelry making to stained glass fabrication and theater set painting. Over the course of 25 years, she has had the opportunity to exhibit her artwork in a variety of settings, including galleries, museums, craft shows, printed publications, and online features.
Shana’s concern for the overall well-being of artists drives her advocacy efforts. Her dedication lies in assisting emerging artists as they navigate their unique paths through personalized professional development. This involves offering support in financial literacy, aiding in goal-setting, and fostering empowered writing skills.
Her work can be found at https://www.shanakohnstamm.com
Armando Lopez-Bircann (Arma Dura) is a Latinx artist that engineers wearable sculptures, digital media and performances. Their Extended Reality (XR) practice is framed by immigrant narratives, genderfluid expression, digital native sensibilities and a Queer Ecofeminist lens. They work as an independent artist and have also designed works in collaboration with dancers, circus performers, photographers, videographers, musicians and other artists. Notable accomplishments include an Artist Talk at the Hirshhorn Museum, being a DC Commission of Arts and Humanities fellow, and a Wherewithal Research Grant recipient. They graduated from Concordia University, the Corcoran College of Art + Design and are based in Washington DC.
Katie Macyshyn (they/she) is a performance artist and experiential art practitioner serving collaborative new media art. Their mixed media practice spans makeup art, wearables, installation, sound, video, and more. They are also an art instructor and songstress who specializes in the therapeutic benefits of creative play in early childhood and queering classrooms. Macyshyn holds a BFA from the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design at George Washington University. She lives in Mount Rainier, MD, and is from Toms River, NJ.
Olivia Rodriguez investigates cycles of decay and birth within territories, both natural and man-made. Nature is violent and so is man, exquisitely beautiful or profoundly grotesque, works that engage the viewer and promote discourse. Continuing projects include a large island “Island of Man”, Birds of North America, and “Burnout” a field of meteorites (lit ceramic lamps). All work is hand fabricated, with no molds or found objects. Rodriguez resides in Baltimore Maryland with her 10-year-old son Griffen Young. As an artist and teacher Rodriguez works to integrate artistic practice with daily life; investigating the world outside, reading books, and creating artwork based on the day’s experience. Exhibited spaces
include Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Goucher College, Addison Ripley Gallery, Curator’s Office, Automat, Heiner Contemporary, and Samson Projects. Recent grants include the Fine Arts Venture Fund and Maryland State Arts Council.
Barbara Rose (she/her) is an artist, teacher, writer, and designer who wants to help everyone learn to enjoy drawing. She grew up in Philadelphia where, from an early age, she took public transportation for an hour every Saturday morning – carrying a portfolio bigger than she was– to study at Philadelphia College of Art, now part of the University of the Arts. There she learned to love drawing from life. Barbara studied fine arts at Yale University, and when she moved to Boston, at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. She relocated to Rockville last year and is thrilled to be able to draw outdoors year-round! In addition to painting and drawing, she has been a graphic designer and writer for 30 years. Barbara has led over 1,000 sessions teaching English to adults using songs.
Michelle is a practicing Fine Artist, Designer, Educator, Author, and Founder of Holistic Creativity: A Transformational Path to Creative Fulfillment. She has over 30 years of professional experience. Her work has been shown in national solo, juried, and group shows. Michelle’s client list includes DuPont, Proctor & Gamble, GlaxoSmith-Kline, Merrill Lynch, SAP, and others.
As an Associate Professor of Art, Media, and Design, she developed college degree programs and dozens of courses, including founding the Game Art, BFA at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In August of 2019, she published a self-guided course book for the Holistic Creativity System. Michelle has been a student of Consciousness Drumming and Mystical Healing practices for nearly 20 years.
Catherine White weaves together throwing and handbuilding techniques. Objects are made with markings and irregularities that intentionally reveal the touch of the hand. White collects and poetically uses diverse raw materials in her anagama and gas-fired kilns. Clay work is intertwined with extensive drawing, painting, and collaging. White has an MFA in ceramics, studied painting in Aix-en-Provence, France and taught ceramics for many years at the Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, DC. She has had commissions for state gifts from President Obama and Michelle Obama. She is represented in both the Renwick and Sackler Galleries of the Smithsonian. She has had yearly commissions from Omen-Azen since 1982, a Japanese restaurant in New York City. She has written for “The Studio Potter” and “The Log Book” examining failure, drawing, materials and choice.