FCAC Board of Trustees, Staff, and Instructors

Board of Trustees

Jerrilynn Hadley – Board Chair

Scott (Christopher) Satterwhite – Chair Elect

Steve Davidson – Treasurer

Patricia Manhire – Past President





Michael Conrad

Alexis Leader

Maria Goldberg

An Hayward

Tim Nolan

Toni Parks

Michael Sennett

Jane Switzer

Choh Man Teng

Pearl VanHoove

Diane Collins

Priscilla Clark

Steven Sebold


FCAC Staff

Bart Hudson – Executive Director

Lauren Moody – Director of Education and Outreach

Kellie Sylvester – Director of Glass 

Ben Twingley – Director of Ceramics/ Ceramics Supply Manager

ceramics@firstcityart.org –  sales@firstcityart.org

Keith Jones – Glass Technician

Theresa Doidge – Bookkeeper

Molly Harrington – Administrator




Sam Nettles – Sculpture Instructor

Sam Nettles received his B.F.A. from the University of South Alabama and did intensive figurative studies at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Connecticut. His major and private commissions, among many, include the Santa Rosa County Veterans Memorial in Milton, a fiberglass bas-relief celebrating the diversity of life on earth and an attempt to understand it through DNA, located at the University of West Florida and of course, the Hawkshaw Lagoon Missing Children Memorial in Pensacola. His work has also garnered a myriad of awards nationally.

Emalee Hudson – Ceramics Instructor

Emalee is a ceramic artist based in Pensacola, Florida. She has studied at Pensacola State College as well as the University of West Florida and has over 10 years of experience dedicated to clay. Emalee has worked in a variety of areas within the field of ceramics ranging from production pottery, commission-based work, and instructing. Her most recent work is an exploration of the boundaries in ceramic materials and forms, utilizing techniques including wheel throwing, handbuilding, and reductive carving.

Ben Twingley – Staff / Ceramics Instructor

Ben Twingley was introduced to clay at an early age by his father, who was a potter and art teacher for almost 30 years. He spent time on the wheel as a kid and later immersed himself in ceramics early in college. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications, from Minnesota State University Moorhead. He worked as a staff photographer for the Pensacola News Journal for 11 years before dedicating himself to ceramics. Since 2006 he has fired large wood kilns with the Gulf Coast Kiln Walk Society. He received his MFA in Creative Technology and Practice from the University of South Alabama. At First City Art Center he has served as Interim Executive Director and is currently a Director of Ceramics and one of our ceramics instructors. Visit bentwingley.com to see his work.

Pearl VanHoove – Ceramics Instructor

Pearl was born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania. After falling in love with drafting in 7th grade, she continued that path and obtained a B.S. in Technology Education with a minor studio concentration in Sculpture from California University of Pennsylvania. Throughout this time she entered sculptures in many juried art exhibitions throughout the Pittsburgh area, receiving awards of merit. Her sculptures were primarily composed of earthen materials including clay, twine, concrete and metal, often of figures. Pearl began pottery while attending Cal U and continued classes at the Belmont Arts Center after moving to Pensacola in 2006. Pearl enjoys making functional pottery and learning new techniques and forms.

Kara Struck – Ceramics Instructor

Kara Struck is originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana but now chooses to reside in Pensacola with her husband and two daughters. She attended Louisiana State University where she graduated with a BFA concentrating in ceramics. Kara later went on to earn a degree in Nursing and is currently working as an RN here locally in Pensacola. Kara entertains various mediums but works mainly in clay. Some of her current artistic explorations include experimenting with printmaking techniques on clay and conquering larger forms on the potters wheel. Kara is most inspired by the process of working with clay and its unique power to bring people together unlike any other medium.

Lucy Jones – Ceramics Instructor

Lucy Jones was born and raised in Pensacola, FL. She grew up loving the ocean and now loves creating beach themed pottery, too. Lucy teaches hand building pottery classes here at First City Art Center and has been involved with many art shows and local gift shops and craft fairs. Inquire with Lucy for custom pottery orders to be enjoyed for many years. 

Youth Art Program

Nicolette Dugas – Lead Youth Art Educator

Email Nicolette at: YAP@firstcityart.org


Keith Jones – Staff / Hot Glass Instructor

Keith earned his BA in Studio Arts focusing in glass at the University of South Alabama. He teaches our 1 Day Hot Glass Fundamentals and Introduction to Glass Blowing classes.

Kellie Sylvester – Staff / Flameworked Glass Instructor

Kellie started blowing glass at the University of South Alabama, where she was first introduced to the material. She went on to pursue and earn her MFA in glass from Kent State University. There she had the chance to learn various glass processes and explore the sculptural possibilities of flameworked glass. She is currently the Glass Studio and Program Manager at First City Art Center and the instructor for our Introduction to Boro Sculpting class. You can find her work at KellieSylvester.com.



Nester Taylor – Pins & Needles Instructor

Since 2018, Pins and Needles has been providing sewing classes. In the classes,
students learn how a sewing machine functions, basic stitching, how to make a bag, and how to
make a basic piece of clothing. As we have grown, we have added in a Sewing Club for people
to come together and sew with each other while having a sewing expert available should they
need help. Pins and Needles is the creation of Nester Taylor, who has been sewing since he was a
child. Nester creates high-end fashion and his work has been featured in several fashion shows.
He also believes art and fashion go together and is an award-winning fine artist.