TEACHING ARTISTS

Coyote’s teaching artists are professional artists, animators, chefs, music producers, welders,  spoken word artists, furniture makers, fashion designers, photographers, glassblowers, and more.

Most of all, they are an ideal corps of experienced teachers who know how to challenge adolescents to think for themselves and discover confidence in their own potential.


TARIK ABDULLAH is a private chef who has been in the industry since 1989, working at the Napa Valley Grill, Luna Park Cafe, Earth and Ocean, Cirque de Soleil, and Serafina/Cicchetti.  He was a star semi-finalist in this season’s The Taste, competing on Anthony Bordain’s team. Tarik has a great following for his pop-up dinners and brunches and does elaborate photo shoots for culinary publications. He regularly carves out time to teach kids at community centers & special programs.

JEMIL AZIZ is from New Orleans and has been THE Cajun chef at Seattle restaurants, including The Taste of New Orleans.  A popular instructor as well, he has been teaching culinary skills at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School since 1997.  Summer 2012 he hits the road – serving his mouthwatering fare out of his award-winning Cajun food truck, Jemil’s Big Easy – joining the Seattle‘s latest cool & hot food scene!

ARIEL BANGS is a chef, writer, food educator, and the owner of Healthy Creations, a private chef company offering innovative meals from the freshest seasonal ingredients. She focuses on inspiring healthy eating that can “make the taste buds dance.”  She graduated from The Art Institute of Seattle in 2007 but began cooking very young and remembers dearly the aromas of her mother’s healthy Italian soul food.

FELISHA BARNES is an actor, singer, and songwriter who earned her B.F.A. degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.  As with her professional training, she incorporates acting, movement, voice, and speech in all of her work as an acting coach.  At Stone Soup Theatre, her students developed and performed original ensemble works that regularly brought down the house.  She began singing in a church choir when she was three years old and grew up to become a natural choir director under the tutelage of local legend Phyllis Byrdwell.  In the past several years she has sung professionally at The Triple Door and the Folklife Festival.

RUBEN BARRON became hooked on magic as a 10-year-old.  A professional magician since 1994, he performs at comedy clubs, trade shows, company or community events, and private affairs, even on the annual holiday train route to Leavenworth.  He is also a popular magician for kids at parties or in schools where he captivates his audiences either performing for them or teaching them how to perform magic. He’s taught Coyote kids since 2009.

JENNIFER BENNETT is a jewelry artist whose production line is exhibited and sold nationally in many galleries and stores, and who shows locally at The Seattle Art Museum’s museum store, Kobo Gallery, and Venue Ballard. In addition to making and teaching jewelry, she creates large-scale, temporary sculpture evocative of her small- scale sensibility.  www.dilucedesign.com

BIKE WORKS, an organization established in Columbia City, has been working for kids, bikes, and community since 1996 and is centered around bicycles in a way that combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable & healthy community.  Coyote and Bike Works first formed a partnership in 2012 to bring Bike Works programming onto Coyote’s campus.

JAMES BRANDALISE, architectural designer and furniture maker, is also proficient in metal arts. He spent fourteen years as a professional restorer of antique furniture, preparing it for market. As a craftsman who has gained extensive knowledge in woods and styles of furniture, including current, vintage, and antique, he brings a wide array of skills and knowledge to his teaching.  He is also a metal fabricator both for his own art and other artists.

CHLOE COLLYER is a freelance photographer and a 5th-generation Seattle-ite with a degree in commercial photography from the Seattle Central Creative Academy. After 10 years of studying photography all around the Puget Sound, Chloe has now dedicated her life to telling the stories of others, by photographing issues of human rights for many local news sources.

AMY CRAWFORD, a glass sculptor, expresses herself in glass by creating fantastical animals and environments. A BFA graduate and a veteran of Pilchuck Glass School, she also teaches Coyote’s summer glassblowing classes at Seattle Glassblowing Studio. She is a production glassworker at Avalon Glass and owner of her own business, Ship of Fools. Ship of Fools is a participant in the Seattle Farmers Market Association where Amy enjoys integrating ART into the local community.

DILLON DE GIVE is an artist and educator who works with performance, film and social engagement. He studied radio, television and film at Northwestern University and worked as a film editor in New York City for 15 years where he got to sit in the same room with people like Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen and Yo Yo Ma. He has also done several projects with the Center for Urban Pedagogy, working together with high schoolers to understand how the city operates. In his artist work, Dillon stages small performances to share and question the experience of art, such as asking two strangers to take a walk on the beach together.

CHERYL DELOSTRINOS has had the privilege of studying ballet, modern, hip hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, and contemporary dance for over 20 years. She has performed works for Au Collective, The Ailey School, Doug Varone and Dancers, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Pat Graney Company, Sonia Dawkins Prism, ABT Detroit, and the Chamber Dance Co. She is the Artistic Director of Au Collective, a Seattle based dance collective that centers POC artists, queer artists, and women artists at the forefront of everything they do.

STEVE DEMAS is a filmmaker who received his M.F.A. in Media Arts Production from the City College of New York. His short films have been screened at the Seattle International Film Festival and the Olympia Film festival, as well as at Northwest Film Forum, where he has also programmed screenings of other artists' works. He has been teaching video production and editing since 2000 to students from middle school thru college age.

JEANNE DODDS, professional illustrator and photographer, earned a BFA with honors in Photography from Boise State University and a Certificate in Scientific Illustration from University of Washington. An educator since 1997, she currently presents classes for SAM, Gage Academy, and Seattle Public Schools. She was selected as a WA State Arts Commission Teaching Artist from 2008-2011. 

BELLEN DRAKE is a graduate of Photographic Center Northwest and has been a professional photographer since 1999. She photographs children and families as well as world champions, events, fashion shows, and forests. She considers photography a never-ending project and takes photographs every day. A gifted teacher, she has taught for Powerful Schools, The Community Learning Center, Seattle Public Schools, and Coyote since 2007.

ANN FASANO has been doing hands-on explorations in art, science and play with young people since 2002. Her professional mediums include drawing, printmaking, sculpture, outsider art. She is now lead after-school enrichment teacher at The Bush School in Seattle.

SARA FERGUSON, an accomplished graffiti artist, has completed murals across the nation, many for corporations and community murals.  Locally she made a prominent one on the Pratt Fine Arts building, where she teamed up with other artists guiding a team of youth.  She has taught intensive workshops in graffiti art, teaching a progression of skills that aim her students toward creating more and more accomplished urban art. www.kserapaints.com

ANGELA FLOWERS earned a degree in Fashion Design from the Art Institute of Seattle. Well-versed in fabrics, weave, form, angle, texture, sculpture, and color composition, she has specialized in costume designing and sewing. She’s worked for community shoots and for regional theaters including Teatro ZinZanni.  Her teaching includes many problem-solving sessions with young people designing challenging fashion.

RANDY FORD grew up dancing in front of his TV, learning choreography from recording artists such as Aaliyah, Usher, Beyonce, and Michael Jackson. At 17 he began his formal training in dance at the UW, studying ballet, modern, jazz, and musical theater. Ford is currently an active choreographer, teacher, and performer in the Seattle area. He is a proud member of Au Collective, a Seattle based dance collective.

HANNAH GORDER holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Three-Dimensional Visual Art from Evergreen State College where she focused on Apparel Design and Construction using re-purposed materials. She is inspired by found fabrics and uses creative design to breathe new life into that which already exists. She has four years of experience teaching design and sewing at the reFabulous Sewing Studio in Olympia and in the Thurston County public schools programs. 

WILLOW HEATH has been exhibiting her paintings in galleries for fifteen years. Her visual art is composed mostly of vivid portraiture pieces, each displaying a keen eye for detail and love of saturated color. She is currently working on illustrating and writing her childhood tales and teaching illustration and painting courses at Gage Academy of Art, Coyote, and many Seattle public schools. She has been teaching for over a decade. www.willowheath.com

GABRIEL HERBERTSON is a multidisciplinary artist and IT professional who teaches Graphic/Web Design, Video Game Development and Animation, and Math.  He is an aspiring photographer and screen-printer and a student of 3D modeling and animation for image and video production, focusing on compositing and computer generated image/object production, with AfterFX and Blender.

DANIEL KOGITA, aka KING KHAZM, has been a formative force in the Seattle hip Hop scene for many years as an artist, emcee, music producer, educator and community leader. He founded MAD Krew in 1995 and is executive director of 206 Universal, Seattle’s premier Hip Hop organization. As an accomplished urban and graffiti artist, his artwork has been exhibited at EMP, Consolidated Art Works, and Pratt Fine Arts Center. He is also dedicated to teaching youth and has developed a powerful program for teaching graffiti arts.

ELENA KORAKIANITOU creates jewelry in her Pariscope Studios for fine stores and museum shops, including SAM and the Bainbridge Island Art Museum. Her paintings and multimedia artworks have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the U.S. and in Europe, and locally at BAM and the former Pacini Lubel Gallery. She has inspired Coyote students to produce impressive paintings, sculptures, jewelry, & objets d’art. www.elenaarts.com and www.pariscopestudios.com

DAWNULA KOUKUL realized her passion for food very young, starting her culinary career at age 12 in a small café in Montana. She has since gained experience in French, Cajun, Italian, Spanish, Pan-Asian and world vegetarian cuisines. Formerly the catering chef at Café Flora in Seattle, she works as a private chef and teaches at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School, Powerful Schools, and Coyote.

JONAH KOZLOWSKI specializes in documentary storytelling and has 6 years experience working with youth in innovative media programs. At Tincan in Spokane his students produced award-winning documentary shorts, news broadcasts, and music videos. He has worked in seven countries and continues to work locally and internationally, most recently helping to build the Seattle-based non-profit, ChangeStream Media.

TAYLOR LARSON is currently a mock trial coach at Seattle Prep Academy and has over a decade of experience as both a competitor and advisor.  An All-American as an undergraduate, Taylor won awards as both a witness and attorney.  As a coach, he has helped teams to numerous tournament victories, including five consecutive Washington State Championships and the 2014 National High School Championship.

DAVID LASKY has been writing and drawing comics for over 20 years.  He co-authored the graphic novel “Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song,” which won comics’ Eisner Award in 2013, and also, the historical graphic novel for middle-grade readers, “Oregon Trail: The Road to Destiny.” He has been teaching the art of cartoon drawing through Arts Corps, Hugo House, Gage Academy, King County libraries, the Kirkland Arts Center, and EMP.

JOHN PHOENIX LEAPAI is a songwriter and music producer who has performed at the Seattle's International Film Festival Gala, toured the West Coast with internationally known Island Reggae artists, Sammy J, Tenelle, and FIJI.  He has written and produced music for the Seattle Soul band, Peacemaker Nation, Average Joe, and hip hop duo, Common Tratez. Co-founder of The Trackademics Project, John has taught music production since 2009 and continues to help young people find their voice through the power of music.     www.thetrackademicsproject.com

LESLIE LIGHTNER is the executive chef and founder of Culinary Events Northwest Cooking School and Invisible Chef catering. Through travel she is dedicated to exploring international and regional flavors and is passionate about teaching how to incorporate them into everyday meals or sophisticated menus. A member of the APPCA, she works alongside the best chefs, restaurateurs & caterers both locally & abroad. www.culinaryeventsnw.com

JULIE LITTLE has been teaching the culinary arts for 15 years. She is a chef/instructor at the Blue Ribbon Culinary Center, and launched a food truck in Seattle, Jemil’s Big Easy, four years ago with fellow chef Jemil Aziz.  She is also a partner in Terra Plata restaurant at Melrose Market in Seattle. Julie studied cooking in Thailand, Malaysia, Italy and France. She has also been on the Board and Advisory Committee with Coyote Central for many years.

LIN LUCAS is a visual and performing artist whose comics and illustrations have appeared in The StrangerTop Shelf ComicsTwo-Fisted Science, The Psychology of Race, and Le Dernier Neurone. He is also the writer-artist of the mini-series, Creepy Joe. A highly regarded teaching artist, he has taught cartooning at the Northwest School, Gage Academy, Powerful Schools, Pacific Arts Center, Path with Art, and Coyote.

BRIAN McDONALD is an award-winning director/writer who has unlocked many underlying truths about good storytelling, no matter in what form or medium. He has taught his story structure seminar at PIXAR, Disney Feature Animation and LucasFilm’s ILM. He has written four books on the subject, including Ink Spots and Invisible Ink- A Practical Guide to Building Stories That Resonate, all required reading for the Pixar story interns. His own writings include comic books and television programs and his film WHITE FACE, which is used in corporations nation-wide as a diversity-training tool, has run on HBO and CINEMAX.

GENE GENTRY McMAHON is a painter, printmaker, multi-media and public artist whose artworks have been exhibited in the Seattle Art Museum, the Bellevue Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, and in other west coast museums and galleries.  She has taught  (U of WA, Cornish, Lakeside School), collaborated on major installations, and once led a team of Coyote artists in creating display windows for the Bon Marche.  Her 10’ X 35’ mural is one of three that are installed on the platform in the Westlake Station Metro Tunnel.

DONNA MOODIE opened her first restaurant, Marco’s Supper Club, in Belltown in 2003 and relocated to Capitol Hill in 2011 where she opened Marjorie’s, named after her mother.  Growing up in Jamaica and cooking with her mother, she quickly gained respect for “scratch” cooking, using ingredients supplied by local farmers and merchants whenever possible.  In 2015 she introduced her mother’s famous plantains to the commercial market.  Called Miss Marjorie’s Steel Drum Plantains, they are sold in select grocery stores and small markets in Seattle and across the US.  

NORTHWEST FILM FORUM is Seattle's premier film arts organization that screens over 200 independently made and classic films annually, offers a year-round schedule of filmmaking classes for all ages, and supports filmmakers at all stages of their careers.

SHAUNYCE OMAR is a freelance teaching artist specializing in theatre and voice.  She has taught student artists as young as 5 yrs old, to veteran performers 60+ years old.  In addition to teaching, with 25+ years of experience in the entertainment industry, Shaunyce is a full time actress and voice-over talent.  Her voice can be heard as the character “Madison Grant” in the STATE OF DECAY: LIFELINE video game and she has performed in 48 states and 4 countries.  She also can be seen on various stages in the greater Seattle area as well as television and film.

TONY ORDUNA is a Dialtone U.S. National Champion and member of the 2012 Massive Monkees world championship crew, who has been a part of hip hop culture since his first class with DVOne at Coyote during his 6th grade.   Embracing the break dancing style, he has traveled around the world for the last 11 years competing internationally, judging, and learning as much as he can about this dance and culture.

ANDREW PETERSON combines his background in engineering, electronics, and art to create multi-disciplinary workshops that rely on creativity and problem solving. He has received generous funding for his projects from the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, 4Culture, and Artist Trust.  He taught arts programs with SEEDArts, Sanctuary Arts Center, Urban Impact, WA State University, and teaches currently at Seattle Pacific University, Northwest School & Coyote.

PHOTOGRAPHIC CENTER NORTHWEST is a regional leader in the education and promotion of art photography in the Northwest and offers courses and workshops to novices as well as professionals.  Its gallery presents works of internationally renowned photographers.

GAVIN REUB is Artistic Director of The Seagull Project where he has directed works at ACT Theatre, the Ilkhom Theatre in Tashkent Uzbekistan, has been awarded the 2015 Gregory Award for Outstanding Production and the Seattle Times Footlight Award for The Three SIsters.  Gavin is the Director of Creative Development for Umbrella Project, which promotes new plays.  He graduated from the Univ. of WA and was a member of the 2014 Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

BRITT RYNEARSON has been teaching art and design for 14 years. She studied painting as undergraduate at Scripps College, Claremont and is now finishing an MFA at Seattle University. She runs her own design company, ARAE (www.araeform.com), producing a line of scarves and clothing sold nationwide.   

TIMOTHY SICILIANO is a painter, installation, artist and stage designer.  He trained in theatre at NYU. As a set designer he as created the sets for four plays at New City Theatre in Seattle, and most recently, for Janice Finley & Pat Graney, the sets for “The Skriker” at the Erickson theatre.  As an artist he has illustrated for the New York Times, designed graphics for big events, including Seattle Center, and has exhibited his paintings, most recently in the Ark Angel Gallery in Palm Springs

JEN SMOOSE earned her MFA in Visual Arts from the University of Chicago. She also holds degrees from American University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has held a variety of media design and content development positions, and is an experienced photographer and photo editor, having worked for the Washingtonian Magazine and Encyclopedia Britannica. She started teaching at Youth in Focus in 2016, and is a member of the 2016-17 TAT Lab cohort. Her artistic mediums include photography, sculpture, and sound installation.

OTIENO STEPHENS-TERRY is a singer, songwriter, producer and teaching artist who has worked with a variety of producers and musicians, including Owuor Arunga, Sol, Gabriel Teodros and Amos Miller. He has also been a mentor and teaching artist for the 4Culture Creative Justice Program and the EMP Hip Hop Artist Residency. 

ANN TEPLICK is a poet, playwright, and prose writer who has an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  For the past 19 years, she has been a teaching artist writing with youth in schools, hospitals, psychiatric units and juvenile detention centers. Her plays have been showcased in Washington, Oregon and Nova Scotia. She is a Jack Straw and Hedgebrook Fellow.

LESLIE THIEL, glass artist for over 15 years, has taught flameworking at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle Glassblowing Studios, the International Society of Glass Bead-makers, and the Clay Art Center in Tacoma. Her work has been included in the Lark Book publication 1001 Beads and in their lapidary journals and bead magazines. Leslie joined Coyote’s flame working team in the summer of 2013.

LESLIE THYAGARAJANI is an artist who has been creating, performing, and teaching special styles of artworks in virtually all mediums. He learned magic from East Indian snake charmers and a British trickster and mixes both east and west in his teaching and performing. His talents include Origami, Puppetry, Cartooning, 3D, plus his original invention of the art of “Filterism”.  His film, Magic Verite, is popular among all ages.

LIZA VONROSENSTIEL is one of Coyote’s first painting instructors and has been the lead artist for many Hit the Streets and CityWorks projects. Her paintings have been shown in major galleries around the country, and she has received painting grants from all of the local arts commissions. Her paintings are in the collections of Microsoft, University Hospital, and Seattle Children’s Theatre.

ELON WAGONER completed his chef's training at the Seattle Culinary Academy before working in fine restaurants and inns in CA, NY, and Alaska. He returned to Seattle to become the banquet chef at the Seattle Culinary Academy.  He has recently been the executive chef at University House in Issaquah. Many years age he taught cooking classes for Coyote when adequate kitchens were hard to come by, and he made it work as a gifted teacher.

ALAIR WELLS, a metal fabricator and blacksmith, has participated in a multitude of iron casting workshops and blacksmithing events nationwide. Her mixed-media installations have been exhibited in Atlanta, New Orleans, Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle. She has taught sculpture, blacksmithing, and iron casting classes at Pratt Fine Arts Center, Tacoma Community College, and in her shop.  Alair owns her own metalworking business, Tinder Heart Metals and Design. www.tinderheartmetals.com. ; www.alairwells.com

CAROL RASHAWNNA WILLIAMS earned a BA degree in Advanced Art Studio from Evergreen State College and an MA in Program and Systems Development from Antioch University.  A talented art instructor for 20 years, she is director of K-Love 4 Art, an apprenticeship program for youth at risk.  Her paintings are in collections that include  the  City of Seattle and  Tacoma Community College. They have been exhibited in galleries, businesses and institutions including UW, US Bank, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Shoreline and Burien Arts Commissions, & the WA State Convention Center.