Current Teachers & Counselors


Counselors, Professors, Artists, Musicians and Teachers of all sorts join us each summer for the various programs, arriving from all corners of the earth.  In addition to the Teachers, ArtMill has Counselors (aged 18-22) from the various local art academies and schools. The ratio of teachers to students is approximately 1:2.



Barbara Benish

ArtMill's founding Director, Barbara Benish, is an artist raised in the U.S., who moved to the Czech Republic in 1993, after completing a year as a Fulbright scholar in Prague. Benish’s own work has been shown at P.S.1 Museum in New York, U.N.E.S.C.O. Headquarters in Paris, the Venice Biennalle in Italy and a survey exhibition at Pomona Museum of Art, at the Claremont Graduate University in California, (her alma mater). Her work is represented in public and private collections around the world including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Stadtgeschichtliche Museen in Nürnberg, Germany.  She has had over 40 solo exhibitions internationally, and divides her time between ArtMill's home base in Europe and our new office in California.

Jana Preková

is an award-winning stage and costume designer from Prague.  She has been working professionally since 1983 and is a founding member of the Theater Faculty at JAMU (Janáčkovy akademie múzických umění v Brně, The Janacek Academy of Performing Arts in Brno) where she continues to serve as a vital cog in the teaching process, as well as at VUT (Vysoké učení technickeé v Brně, The Brno University of Technology) in the Body Design Department of the Faculty of Creative Arts where she taught from 1999-2010.  In her ‘free' time, Jana teaches workshops internationally and inspires students from around the world.

Carolanne Patterson

has been teaching in the Art Department at New York University for the past 10 years, as well as Parson's School of Design, in NYC. She holds a Master's of Fine Arts and a Bachelors of Fine Arts, both in the area of metalsmithing. She also has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art History. She has exhibited her work in the US and Europe, and continues to show her sculpture, drawings, and jewelry. She was a Fulbright Fellow to Prague in 1993-4.  Carolanne is the U.S. based Director of Study Abroad Programs at ArtMill, leading the University-level Bohemian Workshops.





Miriam Tobin

holds a Master's degree at New York University and is the founding Director of the NYC theatre group, Modern But Classical Theatre (MBCT).  She is currently collaborating on a children's book about the environment based on folktales from Bohemia, and works out of Denver.

Marianka Dočekalová

holds a degree in Education  from Charles University in Prague, with an emphasis in Arts Education.  She works as a an author and lector at the Department of Educational Programs of Rudolfinum Gallery in Prague and previously taught art at MUM (Mother's Center), before establishing her own preschool program Kružitko. Her graphics and sculptures have been shown locally.






Sunil Garud

is an artist living and working in Mumbai (Bombay), India.  In the past he has worked as an art director in the advertising industry and has always been very curious and passionate about drawing, painting, design and photography.  He is particularly inspired by nature, travel and culture, which is often at the heart of hisself-directed work.

Alex Nichols

is an artist and writer from San Francisco.  Last summer, she was an Artist in Residence at ArtMill where she got everyone hooked on her 'concrete poetry'.  Alex thrives on the challenge of working on-site, creating work from the materiality of her surroundings, learning the history of a place and the goals of the community, land and culture.  Learn about her past exhibitions and current work on her website.


Markéta Mrázová

is ArtMill's Studio Manager and the Assistant Director of Galerie Califia.  She holds a degree in business administration and has been active in youth scouting & recreation for many years.  She is also affiliated with Domě dětí a mládeže (House of Children & Youth).  In her free time she likes to go mountain & rockclimbing.


Šarka Hnátová


teaches horseback riding in Šumava in South Bohemia, that is, when she's not racing her horse, Fran.  She is an accomplished artist and craftsperson and has been sharing these skills at ArtMill for many years.

Russell Decker

is from New Orleans, Louisiana.  He has spent the last 6 months teaching in Santa Cruz de Benzana, Spain and also holds a Spanish Cooking Certificate.  He views art  as an amazing way to express oneself with unlimited boundaries and has been influenced by  his mother and grandmother, both artists.


Mark Cervenka


is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Houston, Texas where he teaches figure drawing, painting and art appreciation and also works as the Director of the O'Kane Gallery.  His own creative work was shown at the 1989 exhibition Dialogue Prague/Los Angeles in Prague, Czechoslovakia, the first American work to be shown in the then Soviet bloc country since the 1960s.

Merritt Fletcher


holds degrees from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and is working on her MFA at the University of Southern Florida.  She creates artworks that examine human and non-human relationships with the natural world.  Her work functions collectively as a garden, grown to speak about the fragility and incredible power of the human psyche.  She is taking part in ArtMill's Work/Study Program this summer.


Jerome Paquet


is a journalist form Lyon, France.  He holds a degree in Youth Empowerment.  His interests include sports, writing and theater improvisation.  



Floyd Newsum


theater improvisation is a Professor of Arts & Humanities at the University of Houston where he teaches drawing, painting and art appreciation.   His paintings and prints are in private collections, public museums, universities, and public institutions.  His  public art projects include two Houston Metro Light Rail Station art designs and seven sculptures for the Main Street Square Station in Houston, Texas.  In 2008, Floyd was one of ten Artists to receive the Artadia Artist Grant from New York.

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