Works by art teachers from York County Schools

Image Credit: by Ashley Beard, South Pointe High School

Center for the Arts | Dalton Gallery

121 E. Main St. | Rock Hill, SC



March 23 - April 29, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018
5:30 - 7:30 PM

Sponsored by

Art teachers are the champions of student artwork, often spending their days, and sometimes evenings, nurturing young talent. These talented artists are stepping out of the classroom and into the limelight to showcase their own works in An Educator’s Passion.
This exhibit includes works by 20 teachers from York County, SC schools including:
Jessica Calloway  |  Kelly Lucarelli  |  Brian Schauer

JESSICA CALLOWAY | Fort Mill High School

This is my 13th year in public education.  I graduated from Winthrop in 2005 with BA in Art with K-12 certification in Art.  I taught Art 1, Art 2 and Art 3 – 2D and 3D at Northwestern for 6 years and I teach Drawing 1, Painting 1 and 2, Portfolio Honors and AP Art at Fort Mill High School.  Through art and the creative process, I am able to teach students they have a voice and a choice to be a positive light in the world when words escape them.   Encouraging students to explore their personal artistic voice, I empower students to respond to and interact with the world around them.

Holly Gibbs Bentley  |  Erin Mountain

HOLLY GIBBS BENTLEY  |  Nation Ford High School

Holly Gibbs Bentley is an art teacher at Nation Ford High School. She is a graduate of Winthrop University with a BA in Art Education. Gibbs Bentley also studied at Florence University of the Arts in Florence, Italy.  This is her 10th year teaching, and my 5th at Nation Ford. Her previous teaching years were in Greenville County. Holly currently teaches 3D/Sculpture and Ceramics, medias that she prefers to work in most often, but she is pushing herself to explore more of her abilities in painting and inks.

Shellie Nivens  |  Sandra Queen

SHELLIE NIVENS | Northwestern High School & Rock Hill High School

Shellie Nivens' artwork is inspired from a combination of patterns and structures, using partial designs from two-dimensional surfaces such as carpeting, wallpaper, or fabrics with enlarged cutout photographs of architecture. This painting features patterning from a traditional toile wallpaper and an enlarged projected cutout of an arch from Architectural Digest Magazine, which is symbolic of growth and development to her.  


The painting is titled Finally because it has been in digital format for ten years and it finally became a physical work of art with Nivens' employment as an art teacher in Rock Hill Schools. Shellie couldn’t think of a more fitting artwork to demonstrate her growth as a teacher and never imagined the work would come to life in the circumstances that it did! 

From a young age, people noticed Nivens' joy in making artwork, in all media and types, and that has encouraged her to pursue art making as a career. Teaching art to high school students is even more rewarding than the art making itself and she considers it to be the icing on the cake! Shellie currently teaches Art 1 at both Northwestern and Rock Hill High School. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Texas-Austin. 

Matt Bell  |  Kimberly Cash  |  Shellie Nivens  |  Tinashe Vincent
Ashley Beard

ASHLEY BEARD  |  South Pointe High School

Ashley Beard is a practicing artist and art teacher who works in acrylics, ceramics, jewelry-making, and mixed media.  She loves teaching art to people of all ages--high school students at South Pointe, after-school lessons to elementary children and adult painting classes at her Getty’s Art Studio located downtown Rock Hill. 

After graduating Northwestern, in 1996, she attended Wofford College to study Biology and play for the women’s soccer team.  While she loved the college and playing soccer, she quickly learned that her true passion was art.  The “art in her heart” led to a transfer to Winthrop University where she happily studied and created art, worked part-time at a children’s after-school program and eventually graduated with a degree in Art Education. 

Her career objective is to provide creative studio art lessons in a nurturing environment that will foster a life-long appreciation for art and an understanding of the creative design process.  She enjoys involvement in community art projects and loves to see her students succeed.  When she’s not making or teaching art, she likes to spend time enjoying the outdoors with her husband and dog. 

A.J. Soto  |  Michelle Soto

A. J. SOTO  |  Applied Technology Center

Mr. A.J. Soto is in his fifth year teaching Digital Art and Design at ATC, covering Photography, Design, Motion Graphics and Animation.

Before teaching, he worked in Video Post Production at NASCAR Productions in Charlotte and before moving south worked ten years with his own company producing Commercial/Editorial Photography and Design in New York City for magazines, advertising campaigns and fine art book publishers.

A.J. has shown artwork in galleries in and around New York, and has pieces on permanent display in Los Angeles. While living in and working in NYC A.J. met his wife Michelle and now works alongside her both at ATC, Winthrop University, and their Art and Multimedia Design company Soto Visuals.

MICHELLE SOTO  |  Applied Technology Center

Michelle Soto has been a Digital Art and Design teacher at the Applied Technology Center since 2010. Before teaching, she worked for seven years as a Production Manager in commercial real estate in New York City.   She traveled the globe on a ship with Semester At Sea and later received her Masters degree in Art Education from the School of Visual Arts.  Michelle has the unique experience of working along side her husband both at ATC and as adjunct professors at Winthrop University. 

James Tarlton
Angie Copley  |  John A. Rhodes

ANGIE COPLEY | Saluda Trail Middle School

Angie Copley is an art educator at Saluda Trail Middle School. She is also currently the chair of the Related Arts Department and grant manager for the Arts in Basic Curriculum Grant. Her undergraduate degree is in photography and graphic design from Coker College. Angie worked in the custom picture framing industry for 15 years. During this period she also worked as a freelance artist and wedding photographer. In 2006 she returned to school to work toward a master’s degree in education from Winthrop University. Mrs. Copley is celebrating her ninth year as an art educator. She stated in reference to her career choice, “I chose to teach middle school because this is the age that many people stop creating art. I hope to inspire children to continue to grow through the arts and bridge the sometimes awkward middle school gap toward young adulthood.” 

JOHN A. RHODES | Saluda Trail Middle School

John Rhodes is a photography and digital design teacher at Saluda Trail Middle School. He received both his Bachelor's of Fine Arts and his Master's of Art Education from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC. John describes himself as a mixed media artist, usually combining painting, drawing, photography and textiles to create his pieces. He is also an avid freelance photographer. As a teacher John is involved with two grant writing committees, hosts a photography club, helps with the school musical, photographs the STMS CHAMPS, and co-coaches the Trailblazers Step Team. Mr. Rhodes is an active participant in the new and emerging technology initiatives throughout the district. 

Vivian McMoore
Heather Gregory
Brian "Bojo" Bojanowski

BRIAN "BOJO" BOJANOWSKI  |  Richmond Drive Elementary School

Brian “Bojo” Bojanowski is an artist/teacher whose favorite thing to create is gig posters for bands. Throughout his career, he has created work for many touring bands including Blues Traveler, Helmet, Umphrey’s McGee, Yonder Mountain String Band, The Gorilla Biscuits, Spafford, Melvin Seals and the Jerry Garcia Band, and Breaking Benjamin.


Mr. Bojanowski’s work has been seen in ArtFields 2015, 2016, & 2017, and Carolina’s Got Art. He was awarded with Phan Artist of the Year for his yearlong project PhiftyTwoWeeks. Brian has also screen-printed art prints that were featured at New York City’s Bottleneck Gallery, one of which was designed in collaboration with the children’s music charity, The Mockingbird Foundation.


Bojo is the co-founder of a nationally franchised business, “Noah’s Art” where children 2-10 years of age can take art classes. He currently teaches elementary art at Richmond Drive Elementary in Rock Hill, SC. As an art educator Brian has written and published over 20 curriculum books. In 2013, Brian illustrated three books, one of which The Asperkids’ (Secret) Book of Social Rules was awarded Book of the Year and is an Amazon #1 best seller.

Alex Bresalier  |  Oscar Soto

Leslie Templeton

LESLIE TEMPLETON | York Comprehensive School

Leslie Templeton (b. 1969) is a native of York, South Carolina.  She graduated from Winthrop University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree.  In 2006 she earned her Master of Education degree at Columbia College.  In 2008, she was named York School District Teacher of the Year. She is National Board certified and has taught for 23 years. She is currently teaching Art I, Drawing I, Advanced Drawing and AP Studio Art at York Comprehensive High School.  Her most recent work has been mixed media, colored pencil, watercolor and acrylic.  She enjoys creating art that links people with their past in such a way to illustrate a visual narrative.

Fresh From the Studio | works by studio artists at the Center for the Arts & Gettys Art Center



Rock Hill High School Photography Club

Rock Hill High School students have brought together a collection of photographs that show each students' own interests and perspectives on the world. Students have worked on their photography skills since the beginning of the school year. They have focused on different themes each month: Our School, Portraits, Landscapes, and Close-ups. They will continue their progress this school year to focus on Motion, Architecture, Nature, and Story-telling. Students also practiced their photography skills by capturing portraits at the school's Winter Formal in December. This show is funded by a grant from the Arts Council. This grant allowed the purchase of cameras for club members to use, the printing and displaying of this photo show and a photo printer which the club will use for future club related events and fundraisers. A big thank you goes out to the Arts Council for making all of this possible for RHHS Photo Club!



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By entering Arts Council events, you understand and agree that your photograph or image may be taken in any public place. You further grant permission and consent to the Arts Council of York County to use any such photograph, motion picture, or image for any reasonable purpose.

The Arts Council of York County is headquartered in Old Town Rock Hill. Downtown Rock Hill is a state-recognized Cultural District in South Carolina.


Support for this project is provided by the SC Arts Commission (which receives funding from the NEA), Rock Hill Accommodations Tax Grant Fund, York County Accommodations & Hospitality Tax,  the ACYC Annual Campaign, and Comporium Communications.  For visitors information including lodging, contact the York County Visitors Center at 888-702-1320. 


The Arts Council of York County received a Bridge Grant from South Carolina Humanities, Funding for the Bridge Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and EconomicSecurity (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.

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