MAT Candidates AY 2019-2020

Adrienne Munger

Adrienne Munger holds a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic (Bar Harbor, Maine) and has recently completed MECA’s Master of Arts in Teaching program. Adrienne believes that through art-making we deepen our lives, feel connection to others, and develop our own style and authentic voice. Her art practice includes: painting, printmaking, sewing, weaving, and puppet-making. Adrienne strives to make every art classroom into a collaborative artists’ studio: a place of dynamic learning where creative thinking and self-direction are encouraged, and a community where all members can learn from and be inspired by each other. For more information, visit adriennemunger.com.

View Adrienne’s final project work.

Anne Hayes

Anne’s pursuit of a career in art education stems from her identification as a mixed-media artist, a teacher and a life-long learner. Her years of experience working with children and adolescents, both at home and abroad, in academic, sports-related, and creative hands-on settings has helped solidify her desire to educate the next generation of young creative thinkers and artists. In 2016, Anne received a B.A in Visual Arts and a B.A in French Language and Literature from Fordham University. She has since worked as a High School French Teacher, a K-12 Reading Tutor, a rock climbing instructor, and an English Language Assistant in Nancy, France. Anne’s interdisciplinary background, as well as her passion for the art-making process itself makes her a well-balanced art educator. Anne truly cares about her students, and makes art accessible for all through her open-ended, multi-sensory, and experimental lessons. View Anne’s final project work.

You can learn more about Anne’s teaching philosophy and personal artwork on her professional website, www.annephayes.com .

Arianna Dilios

Arianna Dilios was born and raised in Portland, Maine where she fostered a passion for photography, design, the Atlantic coast, and how they all intersect. After earning her BA in Studio Art from Wheaton College, and a brief stint working as a graphic designer in Brunswick, she pursued her MAT from Maine College of Art in order to channel her passion for the visual world into a career as an art educator. Arianna firmly believes that every student has the ability to hone their own inherent creativity, self-expression, and making process. With the mentorship of an engaged and passionate guide, students can recognize how the appreciation of art and the process of art-making ignites a spark that can last a lifetime. For more information, visit ariannadilios.com.

View Arianna’s final project work.

Dylan Fruh

Dylan Fruh is a multimedia artist educator with experience teaching art to Pre-K through high school students in a variety of learning environments. Before attending MECA Dylan received a BA in Studio Art from Vassar College in 2017. Dylan has designed and facilitated workshops through a number of schools and arts organizations in and around Portland, ME including SPACE Gallery, LearningWorks, and the Portland Museum of Art. In his personal artistic practice Dylan specializes in printmaking and video art, and combines digital and analog processes to create videos and animations using printed materials. When he is not teaching or making art you can find Dylan teaching climbing at Salt Pump Climbing Co. in Scarborough, ME. For more information, visit dylanfruh.com.

View Dylan’s final project work.

Ian Myers

Ian is a painter and teacher living in Brooklyn. He taught high school art at the Churchill School and Center in Manhattan, working with students with learning disabilities. After two years, Ian relocated to North Adams, MA to focus on painting and to work with IS183, developing programming for 1st through 5th graders in underfunded elementary schools throughout Berkshire County.  Ian enrolled in the Master of Arts in Teaching program at the Maine College of Art in order to hone his skills as an educator.  He has been completing his degree remotely while teaching visual art full-time at Albany Academy, teaching preschool through high school art and ceramics. In May, Ian returned to Brooklyn in search of the next opportunity. Ian’s artwork is represented through Gallery Gris in Hudson, NY. For more information, visit ianmyers.cargo.site.

View Ian’s final project work.

Jon Rudnicki

Jon’s exposure to teaching in a variety of styles, places, and languages has inspired his approach to teaching. He has taught in the UK, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, and throughout the United States. He uses this background to bring a diverse assortment of ideas and strategies to his classes and prides himself on being accommodating to different learning styles. He did his undergraduate degree in art history with minors in gender studies and studio art. He maintains a photography as well as a digital art practice and when not designing lesson plans can be found outside climbing on rocks. For more information, visit jonrudnicki.com.

View Jon’s final project work.

Karol Carlsen

Karol Carlsen holds a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Maine College of Art and a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Her own art practice includes painting, drawing, book arts, mixed media, and ceramics. Karol believes that art plays an important role in connecting with others and the surrounding world. In her art room, she focuses on building creative thinking skills and incorporating student choice. For more information, visit karolcarlsen.wixsite.com/mysite.

View Karol’s final project work.

Kristen Kaiser

Since 2002, Kristen has been working as a graphic designer for various weekly newspapers and as a freelance artist in Maine and Idaho. Ad design, page layout, diagrams, and illustrations were her bread and butter. She learned not only about the power of smart design, but the wins in collaborating with a team, departments, and clients. She became dexterous and gained a solid appreciation for how a well-built image can successfully convey ideas. Kristen has also worked in an educational capacity as a Registered Maine Whitewater Guide where she trained and led paddling crews through Class V rapids. When not on the river, she taught horsemanship at Camp Ketch in Scarborough, Maine, instructed rock climbing and coached for the non-profit, after school program, Girls on the Run in Idaho. Kristen loved the connection she made with her students. Seeing them understand for themselves that what they were learning was not only enjoyable but empowering.

While Kristen earning her Masters in Art Teaching from MECA, she was captivated by the teaching framework Studio Thinking and the Eight Habits of Mind. She holds a BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. This framework works perfectly with her understanding of the artistic process and she looks forward to sharing it with students. Besides Studio Thinking, Kristen is intrigued by the theory of Multiple Intelligences. She appreciates how this approach caters to a child’s uniqueness and how it will enable her lessons to be adjusted to play to their strengths, ensuring a better learning experience. She interned with skilled mentors at Poland Community School and Hall-Dale High School, both in Maine. She absorbed the experiences and her mentors’ wisdom of practice.

To Kristen, the art classroom has always been a safe haven for creativity and growth. She aims to continue that atmosphere in her teaching. For more information, visit kaisercreative.us.

View Kristen’s final project work.

Melissa Weglein

Melissa Weglein, is a mixed-media artist and educator living and working in Portland, Maine. Melissa is set to graduate from the Maine College of Art with a Master of Arts in Teaching in May 2020, and graduated from MECA in 2019 with a BFA in Painting, with minors in Art History and Drawing.  Melissa values exploration and experimentation both in her teaching and studio practice, and is amazed and moved every day by the effect art and art education can have on students and communities. For more information, visit mweglein.wixsite.com/website.

View Melissa’s final project work.

Miguel Benitez

Originally from Connecticut, Miguel grew up in and around the New Haven art scene. He earned his Bachelor’s at Southern Connecticut State University in Studio Art with a concentration in ceramics. In his professional life, he has run a small home studio, participated in New Haven’s annual City-Wide Open Studios, was the Upper Art Director at the Audubon Arts Summer Theater Program, taught as a private tutor, and was a middle school art instructor at the Engineering and Science University Magnet School. Miguel’s interests range from dinosaurs to architecture, from martial arts to opera, but above all he enjoys a warm cup of tea and a good story. For more information, visit miguelgbenitez.wixsite.com/website.

View Miguel’s final project work.