ASCA Instructors

MELISSA MASON, Program Director
Melissa is the proprietor of The Studio Art School and Program Director of the new ASCA. Melissa has a Masters in Teaching and brings her own prolific background in painting and drawing to the the Art Studio. She designed and implemented visual arts programs at three other schools including the Slate River School and Crested Butte Academy, and is also a member of the Arts Alliance and the Visual Arts ad hoc committee of the Center's Board of Directors. “I've had adults tell me they walk around the world and look at it differently after taking an art class,” she says, “I want to offer that experience again and again.”

LAURA COOPER ELM, Managing Artist
Laura Elm is the Managing Artist of ASCA and a ceramist and painter. Her clay work encompasses functional vessels and sculptural forms. As an established artist she regularly exhibits work both locally and nationally, and brings over 30 years experience using a wide range of styles, media and techniques. Whether on porcelain or canvas, painting still remains her primary emphasis. Laura enjoys teaching drawing, painting, digital media and clay classes and private lessons in an interactive and complementary manner.

Laura Cooper Elm is a master potter and painter whose personal and expressive work is astonishing in its detail, imagery and creativity. The myriad interconnections found in her work encompass a symbolic language where color, style and balance are combined with precise attention to detail. Her pieces become a conversation between direct observation and historical reference transformed into playful narratives. A graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, Laura‘s formal training in art as well as continuing studies in art history, mythology and ancient cultures provides an underlying foundation for her technical abilities. With over 25 years of artistic and teaching experience, Laura also serves as the Managing Artist of the ASCA.

Master potter and painter Laura Cooper Elm brings her expert artistry into this wonderfully creative hand craft. Learning to knit from her mother-in-law Mutti, Laura brings all the love and warm, fuzzy feelings associated with this nostolgic and generational textile art. Catch Laura's enthusiasm of the color and feel of fiber and its endless possibilities. Laura brings over 25 years of interactive instruction experience, and over 30 years of knitting experience, to help you easily craft your next wearable piece of art.
Gail has been a teacher in the Gunnison Valley since 2005, having taught for both the Crested Butte Academy and the Crested Butte Community School. She has also lead art and creativity workshops for the Center for the Arts and for The Studio. Gail earned a Bachelors of Arts in Fine Art and Spanish from Fort Lewis College and completed a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Alaska. In her academic and personal artistic pursuits, Gail has always had a special interest in watercolor painting, figure drawing and fabric/mixed-media work. A jack of many trades, she loves exploring new techniques, mediums and artistic outlets and especially enjoys sharing her passion for the arts with others.
Emily Gibson graduated from Western State College with a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Art and Design from the University of Northern Colorado. Her program allows her to take art history classes in the winter while being in the mountains of Crested Butte and complete her studio art classes in the summer in Greeley, CO.

Emily is in her 5th year of teaching art. She has taught a variety of ages and students from many diverse backgrounds. Emily is experienced in teaching many different mediums including drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, and photography.

Emily considers herself an artist since childhood. She began her formal training while working on her undergraduate degree. She finds inspiration in the works of many contemporary artists from Matisse to Molly Hatch. Emily makes art because it has always been a way for her to create, experiment, and play while using her hands.