History & Future

The Adrian Center for the Arts grew out of the Lenawee Council for the Visual Arts (LCVA), a non-profit organization founded by local artists in 1998 and dedicated to promoting and supporting the visual arts in Lenawee County. Founded in 2015, the ACA has as its vision to Inspire, Create and Grow. It’s mission: “Through the ACA, the visual arts flourish and are celebrated regionally. We accomplish this through passionate artists, arts education, and creative enrichment for people of all ages and abilities.”


The Adrian Center for the Arts was established on an abandoned 55-acre former state property (the Adrian Girls Training School) north of Adrian. The property was purchased by PlaneWave Instruments in 2018 who embraced the ACA and offered a long-term lease. The Art Center uses six buildings and provides opportunities for established artists by making studio space available; for students of all ages wishing to learn about ceramics, warm and kiln glass, painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, or photography; for the public to be revitalized and empowered by the arts through ACA Gallery exhibits and Professional Artist Series.


The ACA is governed by a volunteer board of trustees: Kris Schmidt, President; Paula Trentman, Vice President, Erik Gable, Treasurer; Theresa Rupley, Secretary; Kenneth Thompson, Past President; Ron Frenzen, Ashely LaVoy, Mike Malarney, Jim Philp, Trustees.


ACA Studio/Program Chairs: Pi Benio, Programming; Laura VanCamp, Clay; Taina Mantey, Youth and Special Programming; Sue Matych-Hager, Glass; Jill Shaffer, 2-D


Valerie Herr, Executive Director; Stephanie Cole, Administrative Assistant & Registrar; Julia Tomaro, Director of Volunteers; Ryan Schoonover, Photographer and Webmaster; Jamie Good, Metalsmithing Director.


The Adrian Center for the Arts is happy to share information with our visitors and partners.


Annual Report


Most recent 990


Link to Guidestar:

Memberships and Residencies Membership

Membership Benefits include: complimentary admission to Professional Artist Series; Access to creative space in the gallery common space (during gallery hours); Email communications from the Adrian Center for the Arts regarding exhibitions and events; Socials which include ACA artists; 10% reduction for any class offered by the ACA. Discounted space at Art-A-Licious; Ability to show in up to seven ACA sponsored shows at a low commission rate of 20%.


Click here to become a member.


Resident Artist Benefits

All the benefits of a member plus: Dedicated personal studio space with 24/7 access; Working in a community of dedicated artists; Social occasions within the studio community and the greater ACA community; Access to guest artist workshops; Opportunity for marketing idea exchange; Opportunity to sell art in the retail space of the ACA Gallery and during campus-wide community visit days in May and December at a low commission rate of 20%.


Clay and 2D Residencies

Residencies are cooperatives. 24/7 access is allowed in clay and 2D studios. Candidates for residency must submit an application and portfolio. Because the ACA is a cooperative, all residents are counted on to help with studio open hours, ACA activities, and studio maintenance.

Resident fees in the Clay Studio begin at $110 per month, dependent on the size of the work space. Glazes and firing are provided in the studio cost, with each resident purchasing their own clay. Utilities are included in the rental fee. Contact Laura VanCamp for more information,

Resident fees in 2D (space in the Acorn Studio and Gallery Studio) begin at $100 and increase in price as space is larger. Utilities and wifi are included in the rental fee. Contact Jill Shaffer for more information, 517-270-2465.


Amy Garno Anderson received her BA and BFA in art from Siena Heights University in 2012 and 2013. She is a mixed media artist, and she and her husband, Jim, also a ceramicist, teach ceramics to young students in the ACA Youth Program. She is a resident in Community Clay at the ACA.The Andersons live in Tecumseh.

Jim  Anderson is a practicing psychologist at Chelsea Hospital in Chelsea, MI. He also has a private practice, Perspectives, in Tecumseh. He has taken Community Clay classes at Adrian College (where he met Amy) for several years prior to becoming a resident artist at the Adrian Center for the Arts. Jim and Amy team teach at the ACA, helping young people develop their skills in clay.

CJ Bauschka is a born artist – remembering back to childhood when the passion was instilled. She eventually found herself (not without a lot of trial and error) in her niche: working with tiny glass beads, needle and thread, to create one-of-a-kind wearable art. Her method does not include a pre-sketch, but rather it evolves as she creates. She enjoys sharing her art as a teacher, helping others to create their own unique style and teaching a how-to stitch - the possibilities are endless after learning that basic. She is a long-time exhibitor in various local festivals and has taught at several different venues locally. She has taken many classes in various art forms and has been widely published in bead magazines.  Visit her website and facebook at - @CJBauschka

Crystal Bickford has always enjoyed writing, painting and creating.  She is a published author of two books, one published in 2009, the other this year. Her career path has taken her from offices to airplanes to even running her own restaurant. Her art interest was sparked when she stumbled upon a mother-son painting date-night and she has enjoyed exploring with paints on canvas ever since. She is eager to learn more and further develop her skills as a resident of the ACA. Her work can be viewed at: @crystaldauthorartist

Steve Chesher holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University where he majored in art. His concentration at ISU was in printmaking. He began working in ceramics in 2009 and became a charter member and resident of the ceramics studio at the Adrian Center for the Arts in 2015. Steve is part of the kiln team at the Center. Steve primarily creates pottery and is especially interested in Raku, enjoying the firing process and the challenges it presents. Steve also enjoys creating clay sculptures influenced by gargoyles and grotesques. Steve has exhibited his pottery and sculptures locally.

Mary Gautz has all her life been interested in photography. Her work tends to focus on nature photography, many of which from the nature that surrounds us in Lenawee County. Her love of God’s beautiful world shows in her photography. Mary attended SHU graduating in May 2015 with a BA concentration in photography. She has had a photo published in the Jackson 24 book, and has had several photos selected to be in catalogs. Mary is also a paper artist constructing small hinged boxes of all colors and sizes. Mary teaches at the ACA and is a resident at the Acorn 2-D Studio.

Michael Collins is a resident artist at Adrian Center for the Arts. He has honed his skills through classes at Adrian College, world travels, and dedicated effort. He is a prolific artist in many different genre. His studio features large pieces, his main media is working in oils. He has participated as a mentor in the “Side by Side” program and was selected for ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, Mi.  He resides in Adrian.

Rita Coudron is an avid ceramicist and a valued member of the ACA Clay Studio. Rita is a nature artist sculpting log forms into gorgeous tree lamps and vases. She is a perfectionist when it comes to detailing bark, and she participates in many shows and fairs during the year.

Amy Philp began learning clay upon her retirement, gravitating to figurative sculpture and portraiture. Having taught English in a former life, Amy's love of literature and its themes inspires her work. She continues to expand her skills as an ACA Resident Artist. Amy has earned honors and awards at Adrian College, the Michigan Small Colleges Exhibition, and the Michigan Education Association Art Acquisitions Purchase Exhibition in Lansing.

Maria Kolin says discovering Adrian Center for the Arts opened up a rich, new chapter in her life. After retiring from thirty-two years in the education profession, she began to explore the options for a new hobby. Beginner clay classes were available at the ACA, she signed up and was hooked. Her passion has evolved into sculpture art. She enjoys having a studio in the ACA clay community and the resources, friendships and support the ACA provides.

ACA Youth Programming Director Taina Mantey started painting at age 14 and continues to work in all painting media. She majored in Fine Art at CCS in Detroit until she enrolled in a class called ‘Psychology of Creativity’ that inspired her to pursue art education. While teaching K-12 art for 25 years she continued to study and produce art. Taina’s art is rooted in story-telling and expressing emotional experiences. Her portraits combine symbolic content to create highly personal glimpses into the subject’s lives. She especially likes to explore the simultaneous experiences of life through layering and transparency. Taina has a studio in the 2-D Gallery studios.

Tayleen Theisen is the first ACA Resident Fellow. She describes herself as an abstract fluid artist who loves to explore the balance between too much and just enough. She is drawn to a style that reflects blended, broken, vibrant, smooth and jagged pieces. She creates using the exploration of color theory through acrylic paint and how light bounces and fragments through the broken glass. Tayleen has a bachelor of science in sign language interpretations from Madonna University and Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and graphic design with a minor in art theory from Siena Heights University. She has a studio photography business. The ACA began a Residency Fellowship for two recently fine arts university/college graduates in 2020. The fellowships last two years.

Catherine Royer works in a variety of 2-D media, including oil, acrylic, and encaustic painting; various methods of printmaking; letterpress; drawing; artist’s books; and mixed media. She has MFA in painting, from Miami University and studied additionally as a graduate student in art and art history at Indiana University. She has exhibited, juried and been awarded in numerous shows throughout the nation. Catherine is a professor of art and design at Adrian College.

2-D Studio Director Jill Shaffer works in pastels and has been a “drawer” all her life. As a very young girl, Jill’s artistic eye was captured by colors and shapes. While raising a family and running a business with her husband for 50 years, she found time to take many workshops in oil, watercolor and pastel from well-known artists, such as Daniel Greene. Jill has had seven solo shows, participated in many juried group shows, and has won many awards. She is a member of the Great Lakes Pastel Society. ln 2014 she was accepted into ArtPrize, an international show in Grand Rapids, Michigan. You can see Jill's work at

Director of ACA's Clay Studio Laura VanCamp was born and raised in the rural community of Reading, Michigan and attended Adrian College where she earned a BFA in Studio Art, Ceramics. She went on to earn her MFA in Studio Arts, Ceramics at the University of South Carolina completed in 2012. Upon her return to Michigan she has taught classes at Adrian College, Henry Ford College, and the Village Potter's Guild. Laura is a regular teacher at the ACA..

Clay artist Dorie Zorn graduated in 2004 from Siena Heights University with a BA degree in art with a concentration in ceramics. She enjoys working with many different types of media. Her work is usually uplifting and colorful. No matter the medium -  jewelry, painting, sculpture, or pottery the  goal for her piece is to make people feel good.


ACA Founder, Program Director and Ceramicist Pi Benio taught ceramics at Adrian College for 36 years, winning several teaching awards. An active exhibiting artist herself, she maintains a studio in Adrian. Pi has shown her work in NYC, Chicago and Japan, and presented a one-person show at the Detroit Institute of Arts. She is a regular teacher at the ACA and committed to educating the community on the relevancy of art. She teaches ceramics at the ACA and along with a member committee, creates the gallery and programming schedule.

Anne Flora attended graduate school in printmaking at the University of Iowa, studying under Mauricio Lasansky. Anne went to NYC where she pursued printmaking career at the Printmaking Workshop, and was selected to participate in several international competitions. After a long hiatus, she became enamored with feltmaking and loved the way color, texture and composition could be incorporated. She teaches and creates work in her Tecumseh studio, occasionally teaching at the ACA as well.

Linda Jacobs teaches mosaic, fused, and copper foil classes at the ACA. She is a graduate of Siena Heights University, where she majored in art and education. Her commission work includes sign and mural painting, drawing, fibers, and glass. Linda’s glass pieces have been featured in area galleries and shows. She has a master’s degree in secondary education plus many additional hours of art studies. Her teaching career includes adult education art classes in local schools and senior centers, and 30 years as an alternative and high school art teacher in Jackson Public Schools. She taught dual enrollment classes through Kendall College of Art and Design.

ACA clay associate resident artist Annemarie Kallenbach has spent the majority of her career in her left brain as an Advanced Practice Nurse Specialist and Practitioner. About 10 years ago, she began study at the Siena Heights University Art Dept. She took extensive classes in ceramics under Dennis Swartzlander, paper arts under Mad Mohre and metal smithing/ jewelry making under Jamie Goode. She is a master craftsman in these media as well as in beadwoven jewelry.  As Administrator of a 6.5K worldwide membership FB Beadwork page, she co-mentors with women from around the globe: South America, Africa, Eastern Europe, Europe, the Middle East as well as Indiginious and other Americans. Her family tradition of needlework includes knitting, crocheting, sewing and weaving. Her pop up book style was a part of the Power of Passage. She has partnered with numerous local businesses in Adrian and Tecumseh to show and sell her work.

Mary Kelly is a fibers artist and an instructor at the ACA. Mary specializes in silk dyeing, felted purses & nuno felting and she was a featured Artist at 2019 Artalicious. Her Facebook page is Accessoriesbymak.

Glass Studio Director Susan Matych-Hager is an art glass beadmaker, also known as lampwork or torchwork and teaches beadmaking and other glass techniques at the ACA. Her foray into glass began in 2001 with a class she took at the Toledo Museum of Art. Susan is now an accomplished artist, having been represented in the last seven annual juried exhibits by the International Society of Glass Beadmakers as well as several other shows, and published in Bead & Button, The Flow, Ornament, and Profitable Glass Quarterly magazines.

Jeanne O’Leary has always been fascinated with watercolor and loves to paint realistic portraits with a goal of capturing the unique beauty of people and places around her. Jeanne has been teaching watercolor classes for 20 years and has won several awards for her paintings through the years including from the Michigan Watercolor Society, the Livingston Fine Arts Association and the cover contest for Art Supply Warehouse. She is formally trained at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and has attended several workshops with well-known artists such as Zoltan Szabo, Joseph Fettingis and Mary Whyte. Her work has been on display in the past at the Howell Chamber of Commerce, Starbucks in Adrian, the Stamelos Gallery at University of Michigan, Dearborn, the Flint Council of Arts, and Studio 1219 Port Huron.

ACA Webmaster Ryan Schoonover started the ACA Photography Club and brings students together to learn photography techniques. Growing up in Adrian, Schoonover is a graduate of Adrian High School and the Lenawee Tech Center in graphic design. He attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where he studied graphic design from 1998-2000. He has taught photoshop and graphic design at the Tech Center. He has 24 years of graphic design experience and more than 12 years each as a photographer, web designer and video editor. He currently has his own firm meeting the design and photography needs of his clients.

Thomas Thiery teaches watermedia classes at the ACA. Tom is a long-time artist who grew up in the greater Chicago area and attended the Art Institute of Chicago and has degrees from Western and Eastern Michigan universities. He is a charter member of the Rocky Mountain Watermedia Society, and has been featured in many watermedia publications and has exhibited around the nation. Tom has received many awards and also been commissioned by many businesses and individuals to create art.

Julia Tomaro is the Director of Volunteer Engagement and an instructor at the ACA. She is retired as art curriculum coordinator for the Berkley School District in Oakland County. She held many positions with the Michigan Art Education Association: region liaison, division level chair, conference chair and vendor exhibit chair. Her education includes both a BA and Master of Art Education from the University of Michigan and a Master of Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. She has also attended and presented at summer workshops and conventions for art educators. She works in fabrics and clay.

Adrian Center for the Arts

1375 N Main St

BLDG 46, Adrian, MI 49221

On the Planewave Campus


P.O. Box 951, Adrian MI 49221

(517) 759-3005