USAF Academy Airman & Family Readiness Center 719-333-3444 3296 0 Remount Foundation 719-963-5903 3274 0 Military & Veteran Success Center CSU-Pueblo Colorado Springs 719-586-6904 3231 0 Fort Carson Warrior Recovery Center 719-526-4465 3033 0 Wounded Warrior Project (904) 528-6798 2913 0 Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center 719-772-7000 1074 0 Angels of America’s Fallen (719) 377-8264 2687 0 Army Community Service 719-526-1949 2366 0 Institute for Veterans and Military Families: Onward to Opportunity 719-244-6634 2567 0 Operation Homefront 719-368-3898 2555 0 2121 47

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 has been a volunteer firefighter/EMT with the Manitou Springs Fire Department for 9 years, answering calls about 100 times a year, as well as 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


Steffany Suze Boucher

Steffany Suze Boucher is a visual artist and certified sound therapist.  She has shown her work throughout the United States in both solo and group exhibits including Illinois, Colorado, Brooklyn, New York City. She received her MFA in Sculpture from Parsons School of Design in New York City and her BFA from Western Illinois University. Her 20 years of teaching includes Parsons School of Design, NYC, Bemis School of Art and Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado Springs in addition to K-12 schools and educational programs in Art and Design, Sculpture and Drawing, in addition to Art History. Creative writing and research are the foundation of her studio practice.

“I strive to support students in the exploration and incubation of their own interests in connection with a creative process. I want to assist students in the development of their own visual language.”

John Wear

I threw my first pot in 1976. Over the ensuing 43 years, I maintained a pottery hobby while attending classes and workshops in community colleges, community pottery studios and later, in my own home studio. For ten years, I taught multi-level pottery classes at a large community art center in Bucks County, PA. In 2010, after retiring from a successful sales and marketing career, I opened my own home studio and have maintained a flourishing pottery business. Since moving to the Pikes Peak region in 2017, I am teaching classes again at the Bemis School of Art.

As a US Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, I am quite familiar with the customs and practices of the US military and I tend to bring those traits to my teaching.


Garret Oaks

Garret Oaks is a Colorado Springs native who has a lifelong passion for glassblowing. He began working with glass in 2002 and has been working hard ever since to learn as much as possible about the medium. With his broad experience in glass that ranges from soft-glass beads to large quartz work, Garret is now working to grow the availability of glass art education in Colorado Springs. Garret’s primary experience with glass has been on a torch using the technique known as lampworking to create everything from small animal sculptures to elaborate footed goblets. He has also worked in kiln formed fused glass as well as off-hand traditional furnace blown glass to create a wide variety of other glass objects.

Garret served 6 years in the Air Force as an ammo troop stationed at Cannon AFB, NM supporting the AC-130 Gunships. He separated in Oct. 2014 to pursue his dream of being a glassblower by opening Oaks Glass Gallery in Old Colorado City with the help of his wife. Garret holds many roles from being a father and husband to artist, instructor, quartz fabricator and veteran.

As a veteran, Garret has also been working with the Bemis School of Art at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center to provide all veteran glassblowing and pottery classes to the community. His goal with these veteran art classes is to create a special class where everyone is connected through their prior service to help foster a dynamic learning environment.

Deborah King

Expressive Art Experiences. Prior to moving to Colorado Springs, Deborah ran an art business in Arizona for over twenty-five years. As a multi-talented artist, her specialties are Caricatures, Portraits, Acrylic painting, calligraphy, wood painting crafts, and murals. Deborah also taught arts and crafts at schools and non-profit organizations, including developing and leading an arts and crafts programs for the Flagstaff, Arizona Boys and Girls Club after school program. Deborah also designed and led a community mural painting project at the Family Food Center in Flagstaff, Arizona.

As a Caricature artist, Deborah cheerfully provides high quality family entertainment (since 1990) for parties, corporate events, celebrations, festivals, fund raisers, conventions, schools, religious organizations, zoos and sporting events. Deborah also draws pet and people caricatures from photos.

Along with being an artist, Deborah is also a social worker and is completing her MSW this summer, 2019. As a social worker she has had the opportunity to facilitate art groups at a domestic violence shelter where she worked in Arizona as well as for community groups. Deborah enjoys sharing her passion for art with others and is excited to facilitate fun art experiences with the Military Arts Connection.


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!

Kimberlie Griffis

Kimberlie Griffis (Kim) is a native of Colorado Springs and has lived in Colorado most of her life. She attended a private art college in Northern California and has BFAs in both Interior Design and Graphic Design. Most recently, Kim received a Master Degree from Naropa University in Counseling/Art Therapy and is a studio artist at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. She also holds a Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and serves on local nonprofit boards.

Kim enjoys creating art that speaks to her emotions and utilizes a variety of methods and materials to express through her art work. She also volunteers with nonprofits in the area to facilitate art related healing workshops, specializing in trauma recovery through creative art expression.

Gerard Canavan

Gerry Canavan is originally from New York, and graduated from Penn State University with a BS in Architecture. He moved to Colorado Springs in 1986, and has worked as an architectural metal fabricator and welder. He made his first woodcarving at age 15, and enjoys developing his own patterns and carving holiday-themed projects. He has always loved fabricating both sculptural and functional art works, primarily working with wood metal and clay, and he has shown work at numerous local galleries. Gerry has taught woodcarving with the Pikes Peak Whittlers at CACTUS (at the iSpace at the Citadel Mall) for the last 2 years. He enjoys designing projects that offer a good chance of success for the beginning carver.

Ruth Markwardt

Ruth is a community artist and organizer with Concrete Couch, an organization that has been working with military populations since 2004 including an 11 year streak working on­-post at Fort Carson with families at Mountainside Elementary. Ruth offers connective art experiences that bring military populations together with civilians and our local environment. Hosted at Crawford House, Concrete Couch’s office, the Colorado Springs Senior Center, Flying Pig Farm, and elsewhere in the community. Find her at one of our many program locations to learn and share skills in recycled art, construction, mosaic, stained glass, painting, welding, mixed media murals, print­making, agricultural arts and crafts, and more.

Judith Marie

Judith Marie lives in Manitou Springs, Colorado. She received a BFA from the University of Nebraska and taught in rural Nebraska schools for five years. She moved to Colorado in 1976 and changed her career to graphic design when she worked as Creative Services Supervisor at the Colorado Springs Sun newspaper. She continued as a freelance graphic designer until 1992 when she opened and managed her art gallery, MAX ART in downtown Colorado Springs. In 1996 she returned to teaching, spending ten years as an art teacher at Sierra High School in Colorado Springs. She was a member of the launch team for an alternative middle school in 2006 and continued as the art teacher at Aspen Valley Middle School until 2016. She regularly shows her art works in the Pikes Peak region. She has exhibited work in the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Gallery of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the Coburn Gallery at Colorado College, the UMC Gallery at the University of Colorado at Boulder, the Downtown Studio Gallery at Pikes Peak Community College, Canon City’s Fremont Art Center, the Manitou Art Center, and private galleries.

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