Visual Arts

Faculty and Artists Bios

Justin Bull, Filmmaking

I believe that filmmaking is a personal voyage. My role is to provide the foundation for the craft—to be someone that can introduce theories and tools but never shape the final expression of another’s work.

How I share those ideas in the classroom is an ever-changing approach. Previous classes through the Film Arts Foundation exposed me to a wide spectrum of new filmmakers. Through that experience I discovered that each student has his or her own way of learning. I respect that and try to teach in a fashion that addresses everyone’s individual needs.

My hope is that this combined with my pure enthusiasm for the art form provides a thought provoking and enjoyable experience for my classes.

Cynthia Katz, Photography and Artists Books

I'd always known I was going to be an artist, and when I was in high school, I thought fiber arts would be my medium. But early in college, I took a photography course, and my life was forever changed. I remember the moment, while photographing for my first assignment. I was framing an image in my viewfinder, including a large photograph of a woman with forks in her hair. Just as I was ready to push the button, someone appeared in the bottom edge of my frame, and I caught it. This unexpected visual element "made" the image, and I couldn't wait to get back to school, develop the film, and see if I had what I hoped for. And lucky for me, I did. Since then, I've photographed many different subjects, with many different intentions, but it is still the search and discovery that makes photography such a cool medium. Photographs often bring us back in time, and can help us understand important world events. Just as easily as photography can comment on the world, large and small, around us, it can comment on itself as an artform.

My own teaching stems from that first "yes" moment, and I work hard to help my students understand the importance of their connections with their subjects, and how to use the camera as a tool to explore those subjects and their lives in order to make powerful pictures. Kids in my courses not only learn how to make strong photographs, but they learn how to talk about them, and about photography's role in our culture. In our program, the darkroom becomes a magical place where images can be transformed, and students feel a sense of ownership of their work and of the place they make it in. We also delve into nineteenth-century technologies, using negatives we make digitally, as we bring technology full circle. I started to make handmade books when my son was born. Teaching books stems from the same impulse to tell stories that my photography does. My "pre-photo" days with paper, fibers, and mixed media translate to the tactile medium of books. I remember loving the feel and smells of papers and glue, of measuring and ripping and shifting images to create new meanings when I started making books, and loving it. My books class here at CA allows students great flexibility deciding what media they use, and "what's your story" drives the course. In fact, students in Photo 2 also make a book.

I have a BFA in Photography from the University of New Hampshire with a minor in Women's Studies. My MFA in Photo and Video is from Bennington College in Vermont. I have a studio at Emerson Umbrella for the Arts in Concord, MA, and I do my darkroom work in my home. My work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the Northeast, New York, and the Chicago area. I was familiar with Concord from Contra Dancing at the Concord Scout House. When I started here at CA back in the late 80's, it was a treat to be able to walk back into my dance world, and merge elements in my life. The notion of fusing varied parts seems emblematic of my life, and I love it.

Chris Rowe, Drawing, Architecture, Art History, and Sculpture

I am generally considered CA’s primo multi-tasker, having taught sculpture, drawing, filmmaking, architecture, set design, and art history, as well as a variety of English courses including Screenwriting and Sophomore Drama during twenty years at CA. Two inspiring art teachers in high school pointed me towards a college major in painting at tiny but amazing Marlboro College. This was followed by an art-making stint in a SoHo loft and a job as a bicycle messenger in midtown Manhattan. After several near accidents, I fled north to make sculpture in a freezing Vermont barn.

I was hired as CA’s sculpture teacher, but became motivated by a growing interest in film. I managed to talk my way into a film instructorship after making a 16mm film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic short story The Killers with students and faculty. Numerous attempts at writing feature-length scripts led to part-time work as a story analyst for several movie studios and in 1999 I moved “permanently” to Los Angeles to become the creative executive for Samuel Goldwyn Films. It was a rush to work on such projects as Peter Weir’s critically acclaimed Master and Commander, but an extended vacation back east led to my unexpected reincarnation as an Art History and English teacher at CA in 2003 and I have to say that I have no regrets.

My varied interests are held together by a passion for stories and the different ways they can be told. I’ve made my English students watch six different film adaptations of Macbeth in order to gain a fuller appreciation for Shakespeare’s genius as a writer, while my architecture students read philosophy to understand the requirements for designing a “human shell.” This all makes perfect sense to me as do my current projects, which include adapting a colleague’s first novel to the screen and re-interpreting icons of western art through large-scale photo collages.

Jonathan Smith, Painting, Printmaking, and The Figure

After receiving my BFA in painting from the University of New Hampshire, I worked for three years as a residence hall director on two different college campuses. I then became a part-time silk screener while developing my paintings in my studio in the Button Factory in Portsmouth, NH. After developing a body of work, I applied to graduate school and attended City University of New York at Brooklyn College where I received my MFA in painting and drawing. After a year of working construction and other odd jobs I found my new home—and my calling—at CA in 1989, where I teach painting, printmaking, and figure drawing. I pursue my own artwork in my studio in the Emerson Umbrella for the Arts in Concord and show my work in a variety of local venues.

When working with my students I try to relate to them the experiments, explorations, and discoveries I make while developing my paintings in my studio. In turn, I learn a great deal from my students; many of them work in such a carefree, spontaneous manner—taking risks effortlessly with their work and challenging themselves each day. The two lives of teacher and artist blend together so beautifully for me, enabling me to practice what I preach and learn while I teach.

My work can be seen on my Web site at http://jonathansmithartist.com

Antoinette Winters, Fiber Arts, and Drawing

My initial introduction to fiber arts was a Batik course taught by an eccentric teacher at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles. Under her inspirational tutelage, I discovered the magic of developing pattern on cloth. Following graduation, I returned to the East and continued studying fiber arts at Massachusetts College of Art. Around that same time, Concord Academy hired me as a part time instructor to teach Batik. I’ve been teaching here for twenty-six years!

The classroom was (and continues to be!) a constant source of inspiration for the students and myself. It is the setting for energetic and enthusiastic exploration of traditional and contemporary approaches to fiber arts, including multiple surface design techniques and the design of garments that are both functional and sculptural. It’s no exaggeration that I remain teaching at CA because of the students: smart, creative, and highly motivated, they’re actively engaged in the art-making process. I am a guide throughout this process, sharing knowledge and information, and supporting the remarkable journey that takes place between the conception of their idea and the completion of the project it’s based on.

I teach Pattern and Embellishment, Complex Pattern Through Tie-Dye, The Garment: Form and Function, and Drawing I. I maintain a studio at the Waltham Mills Artist Complex in Waltham, MA where I now work primarily with drawing and mixed media on paper. I exhibit my work regularly in the Boston/New England area.