Meet the Praxis Staff and Instructors!
Jessica Pinsky, Executive Director
Jessica grew up in Akron, Ohio and moved to Cleveland in 2011 after receiving a BFA in Studio Art from New York University in 2006 and an MFA in painting from Boston University in 2009. In graduate school she began cutting her paintings into strips and using the stretchers as a tapestry frame and weaving the paintings back together. As a lifetime sewer and knitter the jump to weaving seemed obvious and after the acquisition of her first loom in Boston she was hooked. As technical Specialist and Adjunct Faculty in CIA’s Fiber department her love of all things fiber grew and evolved daily. She is thrilled to be setting roots in Cleveland and as resident and business owner in the Waterloo Arts District.
“It has been a great priviledge and honor to bring a new life to the fiber department at CIA and to open Praxis in a city with such welcoming community, kindness, talent and creativity. Thank you to every single person I have met along this journey and to every person who has created art using this precious equipment over the years and so are woven into the rich history of textiles in our region.” www.jessicapinsky.com
Anna Routson, Studio Manager
Anna Routson was born and raised in central Pennsylvania. She originally came to Ohio to pursue a fashion degree at Kent State University. While at Kent State, she discovered weaving and fell in with creating cloth. She received a BA in Textile Arts. Though her work is mostly woven, she enjoys helping people pursue all aspects of fiber work.
Connie Fu, Gallery Director
Connie Fu was raised in metro Detroit and moved to Cleveland after finishing her MFA at Pratt Institute in 2019. She is an organizer, exhibiting artist, event coordinator, and curator whose creative interests span weaving, spinning, puppetry, writing, and sound composition. Recent exhibitions of work include the Activate Window Storefront Residency at Maelstrom Collaborative Arts (Cleveland, OH, 2020), Lover/no reason at FiveMyles (Brooklyn, NY, 2020), and NAUTILUS FREE LOSSY at La MaMa Puppet Slam (New York, NYC, 2018). She has attended residencies and workshops at Penland School of Craft, Burren College of Art, and the School for Poetic Computation.
Amaris Cox, Senior Intern
Amaris is originally from Akron. She graduated from Kent State University in 2016 with a BA in Crafts. Her work focuses on weaving, dyeing and felting. She has a passion for everything to do with Fiber Arts and loves sharing this with other people.
Katie Mongoven, Intern
Katie Mongoven (Chinese-American, b. 1995) is a fiber artist based in Cleveland, OH. Born in Shanggao, China during the One Child Policy, Mongoven grew up in Washington, DC and received her BFA from the University of Michigan’s Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design.
Lu Little and David Wells, Garden Managers
Dave and Lu have been in the nursery/landscape industry for decades. Currently owners of Little & Wells, inc. they are proud gardeners for the Praxis Fiber Workshops natural dye gardens, Hospice of the Western Reserve and a small group of private clients.
Eleanor Anderson, Instructor
Eleanor Anderson is a Cleveland based artist who works across a broad range of media including ceramics, textiles, prints and collage. She has been an artist-in-residence at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY, The Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY, Studio Kura, Japan, and Praxis Fiber Studio. She was the 9th Semester Fellow in Design at Colorado College in 2014. In 2018, she finished a two year Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina. She Has taught at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Penland School of Craft and Pocosin School of Craft.
Jasmine Kornel, Instructor
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Jasmine is a visual artist, designer and educator currently residing in Northeast Ohio. She received her MFA in Textiles from Kent State University School of Art in 2018. Her work generally employs the textiles medium in a sculptural capacity. The relationship between cloth, the body and the mind is a continual conversation. Exploration and process are important elements in her work as well as incorporating sustainable techniques into her making practice such as low impact dyeing, material choice, recycling and craft practices. She works as a part-time instructor at Kent’s Fashion School and as an assistant designer for uni-sex clothing company GODDESS. Her work has been accepted into both local and national exhibitions and she is always working on a production line of wearable textiles that are shown locally. www.jasminekornel.com
Greg Hatch, Instructor
With background in art history and a passion for personal narrative ritual, Gregory Hatch is a fiber and performance artist who explores how pattern, texture, and material sit within our memory (individual and collective). Born and raised in Akron, Ohio and currently living in Cleveland, his work currently work explores the nature of desire, obsession, voyeurism, and longing. Recently his practiced returned to using narrative and storytelling as a way of sharing a personal history.
“I draw on past experiences and use the lens of my own fantasy world to present these constructed narratives. The compositions and costumes from my performances are created from handmade felt, a material that exist in-between processed textiles and their animal source.”
Kat Simmons, Instructor
Kat Simmons is the Associate Director of the TechStyle LAB and Instructor at Kent State University. Her personal work focuses on gender identity using hand spun yarn, the floor loom, and a double bed knitting machine. The pieces she creates can be worn by anyone in a format that is desirable to the wearer. She has her MA in Clothing, Textiles, and Interiors, and is finishing her MFA in Textiles. Her interest in spinning stemmed from graduate school where she taught textiles students about yarn structure and subsequently interned at an alpaca yarn company in Peru. For the past 6 years she has travelled to Haliburton, Canada to take a Master Spinner Certification that commences in April.
Sandy Shelenberger, Instructor
Sandy Shelenberger is an artist from Conneaut, OH whose textile art has been widely exhibited. She hand-dyes much of her fabric and uses surface design techniques such as batik or experimental screenprinting to create her own marks and patterns. In addition to quilting, Sandy has become enamored with working in encaustic and cold wax.
Her work has been in several publications and juried art exhibits. Sandy has had work juried into Quilts=Art=Quilts in Auburn, NY in 2019. Sandy’s quilt A Touch of Envy was juried into Visions 2018: Connections and was on exhibit at Visions Art Museum in San Diego, CA. Sandy had work on display in Quilts + Resist: Art, Politic, Storytelling at Woman Made Gallery in Chicago, IL. Sandy has been in several “Best of Ohio” exhibitions at Ohio Craft Museum in Columbus, OH. She received the Award for Excellence at the “Best of Ohio” in 2014. She has participated in the Invitational Exhibition “from Woman” yearly at Lakeland Community College. Sandy has had two recent solo exhibitions: Solon Center for the Arts in 2018, and Ashtabula Arts Center in 2017. Sandy’s artwork was juried in to Focus: Fiber 2016 at Kent State University Museum, Kent, OH; and Transgressing Traditions: International Juried Exhibit by Surface Design Association at Schweinfurth Arts Center in Auburn, NY. She also had work exhibited in the prestigious Fiberarts International in Pittsburgh, PA in 2013. Sandy’s quilt received a Juror’s Award of Merit in Quilt National 2005 in Athens, OH.
Sandy teaches dyeing, shibori and surface design techniques on fabric. She is a member of Textile Art Alliance, Cleveland Museum of Art, Surface Design Association, Art Quilt Network and the Northeast Pennsylvania Artist Association. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the creative process.