About the Studio School

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The Glassell School of Art Studio School offers courses in art history and studio arts for adults, ages 18 and older. Studio courses and workshops are available in a variety of media, including painting, watercolor, printmaking, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and jewelry. Students at the Glassell School of Art are diverse in background and skill levels. Classes may be taken at the student’s leisure or as part of a more in-depth study through the Certificate of Achievement program. Additionally, many courses may be taken for undergraduate credit as part of the University of St. Thomas’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program. For more details on the Certificate of Achievement program and the University of St. Thomas BFA program, contact the Studio School Registrar.

In addition to a rigorous curriculum, the Studio School offers a variety of student programming, including a rotating schedule of exhibitions featuring current student and alumni works, as well as changing exhibitions of contemporary works by professional artists; lectures; and a variety of events offered through the Student/Alumni Organization.


The Glassell Studio School is housed in a 41,669-square-foot, glass-block building through summer 2015. Read about construction of the school's new state-of-the-art-facility.

Current facilites include:

A two-story sculpture studio with adjacent large exterior court contains approximately 4,500 square feet of total work area. It features two giant automatic doors, a three-ton ceiling hoist for moving large-scale works, a sandblasting area, a wood shop with Delta 10-inch table saw, radial arm saw, chop saw, 150-inch vertical band saw and two drill presses, TIG/ Heli-arc welding, Plasma cutter, bench grinder and polisher, two stationary combination disk belt sanders, and a foundry with a separate wax and investment area, a 90-pound crucible furnace, a burnout kiln and a forge, and pneumatic tools.

A 4,400-square-foot indoor/outdoor ceramics studio has a large automatic door, 14 electric wheels, a 40-cubic-foot downdraft gas kiln, a 12-cubic-foot updraft gas kiln, a 105-cubic-foot downdraft cart kiln, raku kilns, clay mixers, spray booths, pug mill, extruders, slab rollers, ware trucks, and a hydraulic-lift truck.

Digital Imaging Lab
The lab is equipped with networked Windows-based PC workstations running Adobe Photoshop imaging software. File input is through media card readers and two dedicated scanners that can digitize 2-D flat media and most transparency and film formats. Output options include a full color laser printer for proofing and a 13-inch-wide inkjet printer for high quality prints.

Jewelry and Enamel
A 900-square-foot jewelry and enamel studio is equipped with an excellent selection of specialty hand tools, flex shafts at each individual student workbench, three types of torches, and a broad range of hammering and forming tools. There is a complete enamel facility, casting, hydraulic press and etching facilities, bench lathe, rolling mills, buffing machine, and shears. An additional small room houses mold-making equipment, a sandblaster, and expanded hammering area.

The 1,700-square-foot printmaking studio has two American French tool presses for intaglio, a Thomas Hall and Takach–Garfield press for lithography. It features a Tennsmith foot-operated shear, 20 litho stones, a Crown hydraulic-lift truck, and blackout facilities for photo-sensitive processes, a professional rosin aquatint box with a capacity to accommodate a 30- x 40-inch plate, as well as a polylight vacuum table plate exposer.

The photo facility consists of a 12-station gang-style print room equipped with Omega D5 XL enlargers with aristo cold light heads. Additionally, there is a film developing area, print finishing area with dry mount presses and screens, and a dedicated toning sink.

Painting, Drawing, Design
More than 3,700 square feet are devoted to four painting, drawing, and design classrooms.

Art History
Art history courses are typically held in the Freed Auditorium, which has theater seating for 100, along with a full projection booth and sound system.

Free MFAH Admission and Use of the Hirsch Library
The MFAH is the largest art museum in the Southwest, and its encyclopedic collections are an exceptional resource for learning about the visual arts from a worldwide perspective. Glassell students receive free general admission to the Museum, not including ticketed exhibitions and event).

Glassell students are encouraged to use the Hirsch Library, the art-research center of the MFAH, for academic research as well as for exploring creative possibilities in the studio. Reference staff are available to help during normal business hours, as well as on Mondays by phone. Contact the Hirsch Library at 713.639.7325 or hirsch@mfah.org. The library facility is accessible to students Tuesday–Friday, 10:00 a.m.–4:45 p.m.; Thursday until 8:45 p.m.; and Saturday, 12:00 noon–4:45 p.m. The collection of more than 105,000 volumes is devoted to the visual arts, including fine and applied arts.

*School facilities are for use only by registered students. Outside visitors, including former students, are not permitted to use any of the facilities or equipment under any circumstances. Children and visitors are not permitted in classrooms and studios.

The Glassell School of Art receives generous funding from The Glassell Family; Leslie and Brad Bucher; Mr. William J. Hill; Rania and Jamal Daniel; Texas Commission on the Arts; Kathrine G. McGovern; Mr. and Mrs. John S. Orton; Barbara and Michael Gamson; Mrs. Jereann H. Chaney; Mr. and Mrs. B. Walter Crain III; Ms. Sara Paschall Dodd; The Meyer Levy Charitable Foundation / Jean L. Karotkin; Ms. Beth Madison; Mr. and Mrs. Jacque H. Passino; Mr. and Mrs. Shannon B. Sasser; Paul A. Van Hook; Adrienne and Tim Unger; Samuel F. Gorman; Diana and Steve Brown; Sue and Rusty Burnett; Clare Casademont and Michael Metz; Mirtha T. Casimir; Susan and David Fine; Demetre P. Grivas; Mr. and Mrs. George A. Hawkins; Kerry F. Inman and Denby Auble; Mr. and Mrs. Meredith J. Long; Mr. and Mrs. William K. Matthews III; Elisabeth and Brian McCabe; Gwen and John McCauley; Mr. and Mrs. Scott McCool; Mrs. Henry K. Roos; Pauline and Stephen Smith; Virginia and Daniel Steppe; Mrs. Dorothy C. Sumner; Vallette and Russell Windham; and Michele and Robert Yekovich.


Amy Blakemore

Department Head, Photography
MFA, University of Texas; BS, BA, Drury College

Charlotte Cosgrove

MFA, University of Pennsylvania; BA, Pennsylvania State University

Sharon Dennard

BA, University of Houston

Jeff Forster

Department Head, Ceramics
MFA, Southern Illinois University; BA, St. John’s University

J. Hill

Department Head, Sculpture/Foundry
MFA, BA, Stephen F. Austin State University

Stephanie Martz

MFA, California Institute of the Arts; BFA, Art Center College of Design

David Medina

MFA, University of Houston; BFA, Fort Lewis College

Brian Portman

BFA, Rhode Island School of Design

Arthur Turner

MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art; BA, North Texas

Ken Mazzu

MFA, University of Houston; BFA, Lamar University

Janet Hassinger

MFA, Stephen F. Austin State University; MA, New York University; BFA, Boston University

Sandra Zilker

Studio School Exhibitions Coordinator & Department Head, Jewelry and Enameling
MFA, Cranbrook Academy of Art; BFA, University of Houston

Robert Ruello

MFA, Columbia University; BFA, The Art Institute of Chicago; Loyola University

Kia Niell

MFA, University of California; BFA, Columbus College of Art and Design

Suzanne Manns

Department Head, Works on Paper
BFA, Carnegie-Mellon University; Rhode Island School of Design; Atelier Garrigues, France

Arielle Masson

MFA, University of Houston; MA,BA  La Sorbonne, France; École des Arts d'Uccle, Brussels, Belgium.

Francesca Fuchs

Department Head, Painting
MA, Kunst Academie, Germany; BA, Wimbledon School of Art, Great Britain; BA, Bristol University, Great Britain

Lydia Bodnar-Balahutrak

MFA, George Washington University; BS, Kent State University; the Corcoran School of Art

Will Michels

BArch, Pratt Institute

Patrick Palmer

Studio School Faculty Chair/Dean
MFA, Arizona State University; BA, University of California

Jan Harrell

MFA, University of Houston; BFA, Texas Tech University

Nathan Dube

MFA, Kent State; BFA, University of Texas

Mark Ponder

MFA, Southern Illinois University; BFA, Lamar University

Anna Tahinci

Department Head, Art History

PhD, MA, University of Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne; Special Degree in Museum Studies, Ecole du Louvre; BA, MA, University of Paris X, Nanterre; BA, MA, University of Paris IV, Sorbonne; MA, University of Athens