TCC Instructors

Education is at the very heart of TCC's purpose. We love ceramics and want to provide a premier resource and supportive environment for high-quality instruction for all those who desire to learn or further their knowledge of the art. We recognize that the quality and depth of our instructors is essential to the success of our goals. We are quite proud of our team!     

REBECCA

BROWNING-YAGER

Rebecca works in her studio in El Prado, NM. She fires in an anagama  wood kiln as well as Raku. Rebecca states that her goal when  creating ceramic works is to amplify the simplicity and elegance of a form that she visualizes first on paper or in her mind. 

Rebecca holds a BFA in Sculpture from The Cleveland Institute of Art; an

MA in Art Education from Case Western Reserve University; and was awarded a full fellowship to The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture;  and Teaching Assistantship at The Lacoste School of The Arts; Lacoste, France

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LEE AKINS 

 

Lee received a B.F.A. from the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio in 1975 and a M.F.A. in Ceramics in 1986 from Southern Methodist University. He has taught ceramics at the college level for more than 40 years and is currently an instructor at UNM, Taos, and the Taos Ceramics Center. Over the years, Lee has taught hundreds of classes and workshops on all aspects of the ceramic arts. His students and peers consider him to be among the most knowledgeable and accomplished instructors in New Mexico. His work has been featured in ceramic magazines and publications, including Ceramics Monthly. 

SJORAN FITZPATRICK

 

An extraordinary ceramic artist and educator, Sjoran moved to Taos with his wife in 2020. He graduated San Diego State University in 1984 and went on to get his MFA from the Claremont Graduate School. He has owned and operated Ravenwolf Clayworks and Forge (yes, Sjoran's also a metalworker!) since 1978, and has been a professor of art at Pomona College, Biola University, and Mt. SAC Community College. He was also the ceramic program coordinator at the Crooked Tree Art Center in Petosky, MI. We are delighted to have Sjoran as an instructor at the TCC!

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ALMA QUILLIAN 

 

Alma received her BFA at SMU as a sculpture major. She has a Masters in Art Education from Sul Ross State University. After teaching art at the secondary level in Texas for 24 years, she moved to New Mexico where she continued to teach at a clay studio in Sandia Park outside of Albuquerque. After moving to Taos, she taught clay sculpture privately as well as at UNM in their dual credit classes. Throughout her teaching career, Alma has been an active artist with a concentration in clay sculpture. Her love of animals and nature is reflected in her work. She currently shows her work at Wilder Nightingale Fine Arts and at the Taos Ceramics Center both of Taos, NM.

 

LAURA TAYLOR

 

A long-time Taos resident with a rich history, Laura had spent her youth in Fulton, Mississippi. From the age of 14 she’s been painting and working with ceramics. After graduating with a degree in art from Mississippi State University, she apprenticed at Pepper Town Pottery in Fulton, a “folk pottery” studio. She is a self-proclaimed “functional production potter” and says with a smile that she has had studios in schools, garages, porches, kitchens, tents, and storage rooms. She has taught in the public schools and sold work across the country.

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ANNA FORSTER-SMITH 

 

Anna Forster-Smith is an artist, educator, and community arts organizer making pots in Taos, NM since 2022. Trained as a printmaker in her formal education, Anna rediscovered clay while living in Brooklyn, and carried this passion with her to Seattle where she studied with Deb Schwartzkopf at Rat City Studios and to Barryville, NY where she apprenticed with production potter Nonna Hall. Anna finds joy in hand building and wheel throwing alike, and brings her love of color, pattern and illustration into her surface designs as well. A former elementary and middle school art teacher, Anna is eager to share her fascination with the creative process through experimental and thoughtfully planned clay workshops and classes for adults and children.

 

TURIYA GROSS

 

Turiya spent her youth in Mexico and studied music as her parents are both professional musicians. She later attended The New School/Parsons NYC with a focus on fashion design and later as a full time resident potter at the Rochester Folk Art Guild where she taught ceramics for more than five years. She then was a resident artist at Sonoma Community Center followed by a year at the Poco a Poco Artist Residency in Oaxaca, Mexico, followed by a one year apprenticeship with Forrest Lesch-Middleton. Turiya lived in Petaluma, CA where she taught at Petaluma Ceramics until she moved to Taos, NM in 2020.

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ANNA NELSON 

 

Anna received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics at Fort Lewis College in 2008 and received her Masters of Art in Education in 2013 from Colorado College. She went on to teach high school ceramics in Colorado Springs,  and was chair of the art department. In the Bay Area of CA, she continued to create ceramics and was employed by The Berkeley Potters’ Studio as a

kiln technician and instructor. She came to Taos, New Mexico as a long term Resident at the former Taos Clay where she taught classes and ran the eduction program. Anna is currently creating ceramic tableware in her Taos studio. She is a ceramics instructor at Northern New Mexico College and Taos Ceramics Center.

 

ALISSA MITTL 

 

A native of southwest Florida, Alissa received her BA in Studio Art and Art History from Florida State University. She then completed two terms as a Ceramic Artist in Residence at the the Mendocino Art Center (Mendocino, CA) in August 2018. She has received fellowships to attend workshops at both Anderson Ranch Arts Center (Snowmass Village, CO) and Penland School of Crafts (Bakersfield, NC). Alissa spent a year teaching and making art as a long-term Resident Artist at the former Taos Clay and has taught at the Taos Ceramics Center since it opened in mid-2020.

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DIANE COLE

Prior to moving to Taos in 2015, Diane ran the ceramics program at ENMU for 5 years. There, she taught ceramics at all levels and collaborated with her students to load and fire the kilns, make the glazes and manage the studio. She taught college art for 34 years at several schools, including The Chicago Art Institute, Ohio University, Savannah College of Art and Design and Eastern New Mexico University. As a studio artist in Taos, Diane makes ceramic pieces, paintings, drawings and prints. She earned her BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute, and her MFA from Ohio University.