Director of Education
Heather Kipper graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education with an emphasis in drawing and painting and holds an IL State teaching license for K-12th grade visual art. She started her career teaching throughout IL public schools and for the past several years has worked as a higher education administrator aligning students' creative goals with their education. Heather is also a practicing professional photographer specializing in commercial and lifestyle family photography. She has a serious love for animals and volunteers her spare time taking photos for local animal shelters.
Assistant Director, Digital Education & Marketing
Danielle “deo” Owensby is a photographic artist, a social activist, a writer, an educator, and a globe-trotter. Danielle holds a BA in English and a BFA in Studio Arts, awarded by Michigan State University, and a MFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago. Her work is about using photography to dissect complicated emotions ranging from nostalgia and longing to trauma and death. She has won numerous awards for her photography, has given artist talks around the country about her practice, and has been in publications and exhibitions around the globe. Danielle is a co-owner & member of Agitator Cooperative Gallery, where she curates and helps plan exhibitions centered around relevant social issues. She is also the founder and editor of The Jade Plant Project, a publication dedicated to giving sexual assault survivors a space to express themselves. She loves to travel the world and has a passion for learning languages.
Assistant Director of Education
Ellie Hazlett is a multimedia artist based in Chicago. She experiments with textures and materials to transform environments and perspectives. Most of her fine art examines and reflects sociopolitical issues regarding gender, privilege, and positionality. Ellie’s work has been shown in galleries and shows throughout the United States. In 2018, she branched out and started her own wallpaper and textile design company. Ellie received her MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2017 and her BA in Visual Art and Art History from Union College in 2009.
Amanda graduated from SUNY Purchase in 2011 with a BFA in painting and drawing and a minor in art history. While at Purchase College she studied on the New York art scene, and also studied abroad in Dingle, Ireland. She paints mostly landscapes and flowers but has significant experience working with different types of media, using different styles and techniques. She has exhibited work and curated shows in both New York and Chicago. Amanda is passionate about sharing the arts with her community. She especially loves working with youth and promoting positive change through artistic practices. At One River, she hopes that she can help each person find the artist within. She currently lives in Evanston with her family.
Since as long as she can remember, Patti has liked getting her hands dirty and making things. She has worked as an illustrator and graphic designer and runs a small letterpress company, Five Finger Press, out of her garage. As an illustrator, she specialized in linoleum block prints, but watercolor, sculpture, sewing and fixing things keep her busy when she isn't working with young people to make art. Patti has a BFA from Washington University in St. Louis.
Mia began at One River as an intern and was so wonderful that she was hired on as an instructor. She is an exceptionally talented artist and specializes in making whimsical pieces intended to make people laugh and not take life too seriously. Such pieces include embroidered animal portraits on pillows, regal renditions of her dog Pippy as a renaissance queen, and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg dancing the disco, titled "RBeeGee." Every time Mia teaches, the students can be heard laughing and they always produce work that is impressive and usually funny in some way.
Christina Rycz is an illustrator from Brooklyn, NY and enthusiastic Chicago transplant. Christina studied Communications Design, Illustration (BFA) at Pratt Institute and is a graduate of the MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program at the School of Visual Arts. After a childhood spent chasing frogs and hoarding picture books her work reflects a love of scientific illustration and the fantasy of traditional story-telling. Whenever possible Christina incorporates sculpting and mask-making into her projects to support her illustrations. Christina has worked professionally as an illustrator, visual development artist and fabricator, and graphic designer. She has earned multiple awards and participated in numerous group exhibitions. When she is not drawing her other occupations include: botany enthusiast, tea connoisseur, and petter-of-cats.