Full-time Faculty

Katy Betz, B.F.A.,. M.F.A.
Co-Department Head 

Laguna College of Art and Design (Illustration); California State University, Fullerton, CA (Art/Design). Katy Betz is an independent illustrator, muralist, and educator. Since graduating from Laguna College of Art & Design (BFA) and California State University, Fullerton (MFA), she has had the privilege of creating artwork for clients such as Spider Magazine/Carus Publishing, Zittaw Press, Masterpiece Publishing, National Portfolio Day, Svelata Productions, the Showpros Group, and Sarah Bain Gallery. Her work has been influenced by numerous trips abroad, where she has studied art history at over one hundred museums throughout Europe and North Africa. As an educator, Ms. Betz has taught 2-D Design and Beginning Painting at CSUF, Children’s Book Illustration at University of California, Riverside, and currently teaches 2-D Design, Figure Drawing for Computer Animation, Drawing II for Illustration, and Computer Illustration. She also serves as Vice President of Programs for the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles and is a Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society Member. Visit katybetz.com for more information. 

Caleb Prochnow, B.F.A.
Co-Department Head

Ringling College of Art and Design. Caleb is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Best of Ringling Juried Student Show, Society of Illustrators, CMYK, Spectrum, Darkhorse Scholarship, and Massive Black Thunderdome. He specializes in digital illustration, and his work can be seen on book covers, comics, and t-shirts.  Caleb's art has been featured in Spectrum, Society of Illustrator's, and he is a Massive Black Thunderdome Winner. Some of Caleb's clients include: Disney, Universal, Ron Jon, Hard Rock, Ogilvy and Mather, Simon and Schuster and Electronic Arts. He is currently the CEO and creative director of a stock art and custom design company, Vector Genius Inc. www.vectorgenius.com

Aaron Board, B.F.A., M.F.A.

Auburn University (Painting); New York Academy of Art (Painting). Previously taught at Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, NY and has previously been employed at Gallery Factotum at Multiple Impressions Gallery in New York, NY. His work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Ohio and Canada, and is included in various private collections in the United States as well as internationally. www.aaronboard.com 

Don Brandes, B.F.A., M.F.A. 

University of Missouri (Fine Arts; Minor - Graphic Design); Syracuse University (Illustration). Former illustrator for Hallmark Cards. Taught at Kansas City Art Institute. M.F.A. Thesis Adviser for Academy of Art College, San Francisco. Numerous clients including Northwest Airlines. www.donbrandes.com

Peter Brown, B.S., M.F.A. 

University of Massachusetts (Human Development); Indiana University (Painting). Represented by galleries in Florida, Maine and New York City, Peter's works are in numerous regional and national exhibitions and collections. His awards include Florida Visual Artist Fellowship and Della Fricke Grant. 

Thomas Casmer, B.A., B.F.A. 

Hamline University, Saint Paul, MN (Fine Arts; Minor - English & Literature); College of Visual Arts, Saint Paul, MN (Illustration & Graphic Design). Former Chair and Associate Professor of Illustration and Fine Arts at College of Visual Arts. Previously taught illustration, drawing, and communication design courses at Brown College. Professional experience includes more than 25 years as an Illustrator, Designer, Art Director and Fine Artist. 

Robin Cody, B.F.A., M.F.A. 

University of Massachusetts (Painting); Queens College, City University of New York (Painting). Represented in galleries in Florida and Maine, and in numerous regional and national exhibitions, and private collections. www.robincody.com  

Regan Todd Dunnick, B.F.A. 

Ringling College of Art and Design (Fine Arts). Nationally and internationally exhibited illustrator. Graphis, Adweek's All Creative team, American Illustrators traveling exhibitions. A number of his works are in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress. Clients include: Atlantic MonthlyRolling StoneThe New York TimesBusiness WeekNewsweekBetter Homes and GardensSports Illustrated and numerous other publications as well as companies such as General Electric, Dai Nippon-Japan, Pepsi, and Levi-Strauss. regandunnick.com 

Patrick Fiore, B.F.A., M.F.A. 

Syracuse University (Illustration); School of Visual Arts (Illustration). Studied at the University of South Florida. Numerous national clients. Major exhibitions: Visual Arts Museum, Syracuse University, Society of Publication Designers. Published in Communication Arts Illustration AnnualStep-by-Step, and Print Magazine. Member of the Society of Illustrators. 

Mike Hodges, B.F.A., M.F.A.

Auburn University (Visual Design & Fine Arts); Syracuse University (Illustration). Clients: New YorkerChicago TribuneEsquire, Wall Street Journal ReportsSports Illustrated, i, MasterCard, ABC Television, UPS, IBM, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Federal Express, Delta Airlines and Absolut. Numerous national awards and exhibitions. Member: Society of Illustrators; Dallas Society of Illustrators; Illustrators' Club of Washington/ Maryland/Virginia.

Carl E. Johnson, B.F.A., M.F.A.

Colorado State University (Illustration; Minor - Drawing); University of Wisconsin-Madison (Painting; Minor - Drawing). Taught at Ithaca College, Columbus College of Art and Design, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Exhibitions: Butler Institute of Art, "R.S.V.P." at Society of Illustrators. Collections: Bristol-Myers Squibb, Huntington National Bank, Marshall Erdman and Associates. Fellowships: Millay Colony of the Arts, Saltonstall Foundation.

Octavio Perez, B.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Illustration). Worked at Hallmark Cards, Inc. in Kansas City, Missouri for three years as a greeting card designer and illustrator. Currently works on concept design and execution of editorial illustrations and news graphics for the St. Petersburg Times. Numerous national clients including Hallmark Cards Inc., GEAR Inc., Cabela's, and Humanities Magazine

George Pratt, B.F.A. 

Pratt Institute (Drawing & Painting). Mr. Pratt has previously taught at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a full-time instructor with the Illustration Academy’s 8-week summer program here at Ringling College. Mr. Pratt founded Pratt Institute’s Sequential Art Program and taught Methods and Media, as well as Sequential Storytelling, at Pratt for seven years. He also taught at the Joe Kubert School in Dover, New Jersey; did per diem teaching for the Master Illustration program with Marshal Arisman for the School of Visual Arts; and was a Visiting Professor at Savannah College of Art and Design. George is a successful painter; his work is in private collections in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, and Japan, and has been exhibited in the Houston Museum of Fine Art and many galleries throughout the world. George was honored to be included in Walt Reed’s book The Illustrator in America 1860-2000. He was also awarded a Gold Medal in the Spectrum Awards of 2002 and has had his work exhibited many times at the Society of Illustrators in New York. He continues to illustrate and design books and book jackets for various publishers, including: Random House, Henry Holt, Inc., Warner Books, Clarion Books, and Columbia Studios. 

Ken Spirduso, B.F.A.

University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS (Illustration).  Ken Spirduso grew up in LaCrosse, Wisconsin and attended Atelier Lack in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After earning his BFA from the University of Kansas, he received a scholarship to study in Great Britain, where he graduated with Highest Distinction.  

For two years, Ken worked as a layout artist with Sullivan/Bluth Animation in Dublin, Ireland.  He worked for ten years at Walt Disney Feature Animation-Florida as a layout artist, designing environments, camera movement, and lighting, and two years as a background artist, painting backgrounds in acrylic and Photoshop.  His credits include The Lion KingPocahontasMulanTarzanLilo and Stitch and Brother Bear. When the studio closed in 2004, Ken began working as a freelance illustrator and muralist with Walt Disney Imagineering, and as a senior concept artist with the game developer, n-Space. 

Ken has built and taught online courses for the Academy of Art University and Veritas Press Scholars Academy. He has also taught in the classroom with the Orlando Museum of Art, the Lynchburg Academy and the Huntsville Museum of Art.  

Steven Taft, B.F.A., M.F.A.  

University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT (Painting); Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA (Painting). Before moving to Sarasota, Steven served as Professor at several colleges, including the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, and Brown College in Minnesota, where he taught drawing, figure, painting, graphic design, Computer Video, Web Design, Photoshop, Illustrator, and the History of Art and Design. Steven now teaches Intro to Graphic Design for the Illustration Department, and various drawing, design, computer and photography classes for Ringling College’s CORE Studio Program. Steven has maintained an active exhibition schedule with numerous solo exhibitions, including his most recent alternative photography experiments.

Joseph Thiel, B.S., M.F.A.

Buffalo State College (Design); State University of New York at Buffalo (Illustration/Drawing). Work published in PrintNew York Times Book ReviewDetroit NewsWashington PostBaltimore Sun, and Blue Sky. Clients include United Features Syndicate, Johns Hopkins, etc. Educational member of the Society of Illustrators and the College Art Association. Author of Below the Beltway and Dirty Pictures from Longwind Publishing.  www.jrthiel.com

Long-term Part-time Faculty

Gary Allen Barker, B.A. 

University of Indianapolis (Art; Minor - Spanish). Mr. Barker has taught at the University of Indianapolis, and was visiting artist to such universities as California Institute of the Arts, Ithaca College in New York, Indiana State University, and Ball State University.  Since 1983, he has been the Senior Cartoonist for the "Garfield" comic strip.  He has also worked as Creative Director for IE Worldwide and as Designer/Illustrator for RM Enterprises, Hong Kong. He has been a Comic Book Artist for such publishers as Marvel, DC, Image and Dark Horse, and has been a Designer/Layout Artist for Film Roman Studios, Paramount Studios and Warner Brothers International. www.garybarker.com   

Matteo Caloiaro, B.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Illustration). Matteo is a successful painter and illustrator. His work is part of numerous private collections, and he is represented by M Gallery of Fine Arts in Sarasota, FL, and Kiley Court Gallery in Provincetown, MA. www.caloiaro.com  

Katie Dobson Cundiff, B.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Painting). Ms. Cundiff is the owner, illustrator and designer of Katie Dids Originals, Inc., a Sarasota design company producing screen printed and embroidered apparel for over 25 years. Clients include Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, Quail Unlimited, Safari Clubs International, Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Beretta, Sigarms, Randa Corporation, Bealls and Stein Mart Department Stores. In addition to her illustrations of marine and wildlife, Dobson Cundiff is an accomplished plein air oil painter. Her work is in private collections throughout the United States, Spain, France, and Argentina. In 2004, the Museum of Florida Art and Culture displayed her work in a solo exhibition, "Painting Paradise" Florida Landscapes at the Turn of the 21st Century. In 2007 her work was selected for American Artists Magazine's 70th Anniversary Competition. Ms. Cundiff is represented by M Gallery of Fine Art in Sarasota, Corse Gallery and Atelier in Jacksonville, and Coconut Grove Gallery, Coconut Grove, FL, and is an associate member of Oil Painters of America and American Women Artists. www.dobsonart.com  

Richard Johnson, B.F.A., M.F.A.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design (Painting; Minor - Sculpture); Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute of Art (Painting). Exhibitions: Rothschild Art Exhibition, Minneapolis; Maryland Institute, Baltimore; American Perspective Gallery, Philadelphia; Maryland Regional, Baltimore Museum; Rhode Island Arts Festival, Providence; Bellevue Arts Festival, Seattle. Collections: Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Sarasota, Key West, Seattle, Rhode Island, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Alaska, Arizona.

Brooke Olivares, B.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Illustration). Olivares is a gallery painter represented by Kiley Court Gallery, Provincetown, MA, and Ghostprint Gallery, Richmond, VA. Works published and clients include CMYK, FORMAT Magazine, RISEN Magazine, North American Literary Review, Ringling PERSPECTIVE, The San Diego Reader, The Cimarron Review, and Recording Magazine.  www.brookeolivares.com

Patrick Parnell, B.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Illustration). Professional experience: Freelance artist, Wizards of the Coast, IDW Publishing. A graduate of The Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art, Patrick has a client list that also includes Aardwolf Publishing, The New York Times/Sarasota Herald-Tribune, No Clubs Productions, and Rittenhouse Archives. www.patrickthomasparnell.com

Hodges Soileau, B.A.

University of Southwestern Louisiana (Advertising Design; Minor - Social Studies). Mr. Soileau has had a successful illustration career which lasted twenty-five years. He has worked for most of the major publishing houses in New York. Soileau was a 23-year member of the prestigious Society of Illustrators in New York. During this time he received many citations of merit for work exhibited in annual shows. He has several one man shows, and has participated in numerous group shows. His work hangs in private collections as well as the United Stated Air Force and U.S. Coast Guard permanent collections. The permanent collection of Golf Digest Magazine includes several of his paintings. Hodges is presently represented by galleries in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas, North Carolina, and Ohio. www.hodgessoileau.com 

Steven Strenk, B.F.A., M.F.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Fine Arts); University of South Florida (Studio Art). Mr. Strenk is the Head of Foundation Program, Advanced Placement at Booker High School, Visual Performance Arts Magnet Program. He has been an instructor for the Ringling College Teen Studios Summer Program since 2001. He has had both solo and group exhibits throughout Florida and Pennsylvania.

Adjunct Faculty 

Dustin Juengel, B.F.A., M.A.

Ringling College of Art and Design (Illustration); Chelsea College of Art and Design, London (Fine Arts). Juengel was born in Leverkusen, Germany. His work has been exhibited in the U.S., UK, and Germany. He has served as the Exhibition Curator at Art Center Sarasota since spring 2015.