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Art Instructors


Beth Leahy

Adult Oil, Workshops,
Youth Oil & Drawing

B.A., St. Xavier University with additional classes taken from the Art Institute of Chicago, American Academy of Art, Palette and Chisel, and School of Representational Art. Beth is a member of the Oil Painters of America and has taught oil painting to adults and children since 1997. McCord has been privileged to have her teach since opening in 2004. Beth has exhibited and taken many awards over the years.


John Howard

Multi-Level Watercolor, Oil,

Still & Life Drawing

Mr. Howard received his training from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. As a professional artist and Muralist, he has been awarded the CFS medal from the American Watercolor Society’s 136th Annual International Exhibition in New York. He has been teaching various classes for over 21 years and joined McCord in January 2005. His murals and paintings can be found in the corporate, residential and gallery settings.


Carmelo Schifano

A professional educator, Carmelo has been teaching for 40 years. He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Vocational Education. His teaching career includes Chicago Public and Community Collages of Chicago and he is currently certified with the State of Illinois in several areas of education, including art and design. Since leaving the school system, Carmelo has been putting his teaching skills to good use in conducting professional watercolor classes. His motto is to have fun and lose your fear.

Beginning Watercolor

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Dr. Phyllis Kozlowski

Exploring Watercolor

Dr. Kozlowski is a professional artist and fine arts & humanities professor. She has been inspiring artists in the western suburbs since 1982. She served as Chair of the Fine Arts and Humanities department at Moraine Valley Community College. Her work is in a number of corporate collections. Phyllis encourages students to have a lot of fun in Exploring Watercolor. Everyone gets to try their hand at watercolor techniques and grow their skills. Many students come into the course having never worked in this medium, yet the students will learn that the value of this course will allow them to experience creativity through watercolor in new ways. 


Tony Crnkovich

Portrait Drawing &

Colored Pencils

Mr. Crnkovich is a professional artist/instructor in the Chicagoland area. He is a graduate of The American Academy of Art with an Associate’s Degree in graphic design. Skilled in a variety of subject matter and media, his foremost specialty is portraiture. His work includes published and private commissions, a highlight being “The Sound of Music” collectible plate series for Knowles China.


Mary Ann Nowak

Pastel Painting and Gardening

Ms. Nowak is an artist and instructor based in Tinley Park, IL. She is able to convey the unique life, energy, and personality of her subjects including animals, portraits, and landscapes. Mary Ann prefers to work in pastels for the artistic challenge that they provide as well as the richness of color and depth. As part of her artistic process, she enjoys working from photographs and with each painting tries to convey, "a picture worth a thousand words." Mary Ann has taken classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago School of Art and Design, American Academy of Art, and McCord Gallery and Cultural Center. She has studied under Mary Aslin, Harley Brown, John Howard, Beth Leahy, Liz Wall, Daggi Wallace, and Gary Wick. Mary Ann has been accepted in many juried shows and has CPP status.

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