Master Teacher Award

VisArts has recognized one member of its faculty with the Master Teacher Award since 2001. The award was renamed in 2011 to honor the memory of long-time watercolor instructor Shelly Shepherd. Shepherd was extremely dedicated to her students and was an excellent teacher. She was a fixture at VisArts for many years, always accompanied by her dog Buster and known for her sense of humor. 

The Shelly Shepherd Master Teacher Award goes to an instructor who exemplifies the organization’s mission through their excellence, creativity and dedication to students and meet the following criteria: 

  • A minimum of seven years in the teaching profession, including a minimum of four sessions teaching at VisArts
  • Achievement or recognition in his or her respective art field
  • A teaching style and attitude that reflect the values of VIsArts: Excellence, creativity, exploration, open to new and diverse ideas and an emphasis on community enrichment
  • A willingness and ability to meet students’ individual and varied needs

Recipients of the Shelly Shepherd Master Teacher Award

Tommy Van Auken
Jeff Vick
Leslie Shiel
Tesni Stephen
Lisa Fisher Johnson
Jay Sharpe
Jim Valentine
David Tanner
Susan Quinnild
Kirk O’Brien
Shelly Bechtel Shepherd
Richard McCord
Mary McNeil

Students, staff, faculty, board members and members of the greater Richmond community are invited to nominate an instructor for the award.

Please note that a teacher can only receive this award once. The nomination period for the 2018 Shelly Shepherd Master Teacher Award is now closedThe award will be presented at Collectors’ Night on March 16, 2019.