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Mark Wong

After graduating from Pomona College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1990, Mark Wong returned home to the foot of Pikes Peak where he has been making his one of a kind ceramics ever since. He specializes in all things round as his concentration has been focused on wheel thrown vessels. The decoration of said vessels has led to experimentation with a variety of treatments and temperature ranges.

Wong’s also worked with a wide variety of students – teaching children and adults through “Clayfest” and “Poetry and Pottery in the Park” summer sessions in Manitou Springs as well as pop up sessions with a portable kiln in tow. Through all these his emphasis has always been Socratic. A student on one end of the log and a teacher on the other- the roles often switch.

Wong’s life hasn’t all been clay, He volunteers with the Manitou Springs Fire Department and likes to go skiing or fishing depending on the season. He can often be seen skateboarding up the hills in Manitou Springs towed by a couple of very enthusiastic mutts.

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Photo credit: Adam Williams / Humanitou


Kris Gideon

Kris Gideon is a Monument-based artist who received her BFA in painting and drawing from Metropolitan State University in 2013.  She tailors her watercolor classes to beginners and provides detailed instructions and techniques to help beginners in their watercolor journey, inspiring students in a new pursuit and skill.

Elizabeth Stanbro

I have a passion for helping people develop their creative “voice” through visual art. Working with people to make art that is meaningful, has been my goal throughout my career. My teaching experience includes working in a variety of settings from an art museum and schools to care homes and a hospital healing arts oncology program. I’ve also led Art and Mindfulness workshops for teachers.

Teri Adams-Fjellman

A Colorado Springs native and self taught artist, it is my desire that art is available to everyone. Each and every person has the inherent ability to create art, you just may need a little guidance. 19 years ago, stage 4 cancer took me out of the art classroom. During my healing period I sought refuge in my art. When doing art, I enter that quiet in-between place where time stands still. It is in that place where one finds peace and solace. 3 days after my first cancer surgery, a Destination Company contacted me. They asked if I would sit at a table and demonstrate my art at a reception being held at Southern Colorado’s only 5 star 5 diamond hotel. What I didn’t realize was that this art reception was for 250 meeting planners from across the United States.

2 weeks after the art demonstration, my phone rang and was asked if I could do a jewelry workshop for spouse’s at an upcoming conference. blessings! Jewelry and Art Workshops was born – which has now evolved into Elevated Art Experience. Each experience has been designed to get those creative juices flowing. Perfect for individuals, date night, or family fun time! This is your invitation to come play, explore and discover what the world of artistry can offer.

Sandy Friedman

I started working in ceramics during high school in 1965 and continued over the next several years completing a Master in Fine Art in Ceramics and Sculpture. I taught secondary education in Saint Louis, Missouri and Colorado Springs, Colorado. Later, I taught at Colorado College and the Bemis Fine Art Center.

Over the years, I have received numerous awards, participated in many shows, and have work displayed in collections across the United States, Canada, France and Spain. I was a production potter creating functional ware intended for everyday usage, as well as sculptural work designed to be decorative. I continue today, producing both high fire stoneware and high fire salt work. The majority of this work is more sculptural than functional, and often incorporated into steel & high fire salt sculptures that are between 4’ – 8’ high. Additionally, over the last 6 years, I have become involved with producing larger scale public art steel sculptures that are between 8’ – 16’ high. My work is displayed in southwestern galleries including the Colorado Springs Fine Art Center at Colorado College, as well as larger scale public art seen in communities across Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, California, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico and South Dakota.

Rui Haagen

From discovering adobe clay as a child to receiving a Masters Degree from San Diego State University in 1978, I just wanted to play in the mud! I’ve had the opportunity to study with many of our ceramic icons and traveled internationally for ceramic workshops. I was granted a teaching assistantship at San Diego State University, taught at Pikes Peak Community College, and retired from Cheyenne Mountain High School, District 12. I have owned a gallery/pottery, shown in numerous galleries and shows, been a Business of Arts Center artist and a member the Commonwheel Co-op in Manitou Springs. I am a two time Clayfest champion, was Teacher of the Year in District 12 and High School Art Educator of the Year awarded by Colorado Art Education Association. I teach at Bemis School of Art at the Fine Arts Center, where I continue to share my knowledge and passion for clay with adults and children.

As the step-daughter of a Navy officer, I have an appreciation for the challenges of military family life. It will be an honor to work with military service members, veterans and their families to give a stimulating, expressive and beneficial clay experience. Come play in the mud with me!

Aaron Mayer

Aaron Mayer has been wood carving since 2006. He enjoys learning tips he can use to improve his skills, and taking classes from world class carvers. He has had success in numerous carving competitions, winning a people’s choice, carvers’ choice, and many first place ribbons. He began instructing in 2016, and has taught and conducted seminars along the Front Range. His goal in instructing is to provide a calm, relaxing environment where the students can have fun, while learning a new skill or improving on an existing one.

Aaron has lived in Colorado Springs since 1988. He enjoys hiking, reading, working with his hands. He and his brother have written several articles published by Wood Carving Illustrated.

  Website by Neon Pig Creative

As of 10/5/2023, the grant funding has ended for Military Arts Connection’s free arts experiences for the military community. Please continue to the site if you’d like to explore additional resources for future opportunities for connection, creativity, healing, and more.