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From basic drawing techniques to the very physiology of perception, all the way through 3D design, ceramics, and oil painting, the Department of Fine Arts gives students a firm theoretical handle on visual principles as well as extensive, firsthand experience in a range of media. Although many courses emphasize professional applications in the animation industry, skills learned here are transferable to artistic disciplines across the board. Students benefit from a faculty steeped in the worlds of illustration, animation, film, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and design.

Faculty Directory

Department Faculty

Rob Kmiec, MA

Department Chair

Rob Kmiec hails from Boston, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in illustration from Massachusetts College of Art in 1995. After graduating, he worked as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer.

He discovered a passion for education after volunteering to teach Adobe Photoshop to middle school students at the Cambridge Community Art Center. From 1997 until 2005, Kmiec taught at Catholic Memorial School in Boston, where he also served as Chair of the Fine Art Department. During this time, he continued to freelance as an illustrator, and in 1999 was a finalist in the Illustrators of the Future competition.

After being presented the Juror’s Choice Award (2000) in an exhibition sponsored by the Falmouth Artist’s Guild, Kmiec turned his attention toward creating a personal body of work, exhibiting and selling pieces regularly at venues across Massachusetts including the Dorchester Historical Society, Cedar Grove Gallery, and Boston City Hall.

Striving to be a lifelong learner, Kmiec furthered his education and earned a Master of Arts in Illustration from Syracuse University in 2003.

In 2005 he joined DigiPen Institute of Technology as an associate professor. Since then, he has instructed students in subjects such as tone, color, and composition; advanced life drawing; sequential art; character design; and two-dimensional raster graphics and animation.

On top of his teaching duties, Kmiec stays active in the art community as a freelance illustrator. He has delivered guest lectures on Adobe Photoshop at the University of Washington and worked as Art Director and Lead Artist on a local, independent film, Render Me Dead, for Frenettik Productions. In his spare time Kmiec also co-curates the Gallery at the OK Hotel in Seattle, where he has a studio and continues to build a personal body of art.

Kmiec enjoys teaching DigiPen students because their work ethic is so intense. “It’s exciting and rewarding to see a student progress so rapidly in this program,” he says.

“Because of my longstanding experience in both art education and illustration, I am able to see multiple sides of the art experience,” Kmiec says. “This allows me to render the best possible solutions in the classroom, solutions that are rooted in both pedagogical and professional grounds. Because of my experience in the traditional and digital realms of art, I can bridge both worlds and help the students to do the same.”

Alecia Rossano, MFA


Professor Alecia Rossano is a classically trained figurative sculptor from Seattle. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Scripps College and her Master of Fine Arts from the graduate school of the New York Academy of Art. She has also studied in Florence, Italy, which inspired her love of Renaissance and baroque art. Her work has been shown in Seattle and New York.

Before teaching at DigiPen, Professor Rossano taught 3D modeling and animation as well as art history and figure drawing at Henry Cogswell College. She was also the producer for student projects at Mesmer Animation Labs in Seattle. In 2006, she was selected to teach a sculpture workshop for teens at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle.

Currently, Professor Rossano teaches art history, figure drawing and figurative sculpture at DigiPen. She believes strongly that art is a teachable skill and enjoys sharing her knowledge with all students with a passion to learn. She is particularly excited to see how the next generation of artists will apply classical techniques and knowledge to work created in new media.

For more information about Professor Rossano, visit

DigiPen Faculty Ryan Finnerty, MFA

Ryan Finnerty, MFA

Assistant Dean of Curriculum
Associate Professor

Ryan Finnerty is a Seattle-based artist and educator. He holds a BFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design and an MFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Washington. Finnerty has exhibited paintings and drawings in several galleries in the Seattle area and throughout the country. He has also served as an artist-in-residence with numerous arts organizations both nationally and locally.

As an educator, Finnerty’s coursework ranges from traditional drawing and painting to integrated art history/design courses. He has been working with DigiPen’s MFA program since 2013 and became a full-time faculty member in 2015.

DigiPen Faculty Bill Hooper

Bill Hooper

Assistant Professor

Bill Hooper is a figurative painter living in Seattle. After graduating with a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, he had the opportunity to study with several different figurative artists, including Dan Thompson, Robert Liberace, Charles Miano, and sculptor Stephen Perkins. In his work, he tries to bridge elements of abstract color with his classical figurative training. He has participated in solo and group exhibitions in Baltimore, Barcelona, New York, Portland, and Seattle. His artwork is shown in both private and public collections in the United States and Europe.

Hooper began teaching anatomy and figure drawing at DigiPen in 2018. He firmly believes that talent is the ability to work hard.

DigiPen Faculty Doug Parry, MFA

Doug Parry, MFA

Associate Professor

Doug Parry received a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Washington in 1988. Between the years of 1988 and 1997, he enjoyed success as a young artist in Seattle, exhibiting at such places as the University of Washington, the Bellevue Art Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the Center of Contemporary Art, the Linda Farris Gallery, and the Linda Cannon Gallery.

In 1997, Parry moved to Brooklyn, NY, and received an MFA in painting from Pratt Institute in 2000. Since then, he has exhibited in Seattle, New York, Chicago, Vancouver, and Miami, and has been awarded grants from Pratt Institute, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, and Artists’ Trust of Seattle. Parry has also served as Resident Curator at the Historic Cedar Tavern Gallery (NY) and Bandoleone Restaurant (Seattle), and is the founder of V.A.G. (Visual Art Gallery) at its first location in Brooklyn, NY. Parry has taught Life Painting at Hofstra University (Hempstead, NY), the College of Saint Elizabeth (Morristown, NJ), and Pratt Institute (Brooklyn, NY). Locally, he has taught painting and drawing at Gage Academy of the Arts (Seattle), at Cornish College of the Arts (Seattle), and at Kirkland Arts Center (Kirkland, WA).

Parry’s private and public collections include placements in homes and businesses in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Chicago, New York, and Rome. Parry is a sought-after portrait artist commissioned by noteworthy businesspersons, doctors, writers, actors, and musicians internationally. His work has been seen on television, in film, on album covers, t-shirts, murals, and posters since 1983. His work is represented by Art 101 in Brooklyn, NY, and by NeoImages Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA.

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DigiPen Faculty Michael Lorefice

Michael Lorefice, MFA

Associate Professor

A native of Syracuse, NY, Michael Lorefice is a Seattle-based artist and educator. He holds a BA from Colgate University and an MFA from the Memphis College of Art.

Lorefice’s training comes out of the liberal arts tradition, where he concentrated on two-dimensional work – painting, drawing, printmaking, and design – combined with art history, literature, and philosophy. In addition to being a featured artist in the esteemed publication New American Paintings, he has exhibited his artwork in solo and group shows in museums and galleries internationally, including the Graphic Arts Institute of Oaxaca, Mexico; Archer Gallery at Clark College, Vancouver, WA; Second Floor Contemporary and the Memphis College of Art in Memphis, TN; John F. Peto Studio Museum in Island Heights, NJ; Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, AR; and Interstitial Theatre, Project Diana, and South Seattle Community College Gallery in Seattle.

Lorefice’s personal work stems from the observation of everyday things. This carries over into his teaching at DigiPen, where he instructs students to train their eyes and translate these acute observations to the page. Lorefice has been on the faculty since 2012, teaching a range of classes related to drawing, painting, color theory, and art history.

DigiPen Faculty Steffon Moody

Steffon Moody

Senior Lecturer

Steffon Moody became a scenic artist for the Muny Opera in St. Louis at the age of 16. He became a Journeyman set painter in Local 350 at the age of 21, and received a BFA in Painting at Washington University in St. Louis at 22. For the next three years he worked at the St. Louis Repertory Theater and SuperScenics in Seattle.

In 1987, Moody co-founded the Seattle-based physical theater company UMO Ensemble and began pursuing a career as a professional performer. He studied European-style clown, mask, mime, buffoon, improvisation, and movement, all based on the pedagogy of L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. While in UMO, he applied his visual art skills to the making of masks, props, costumes, and makeup design, as well as fabricating giant puppets.

After UMO, in 1993, Moody did school residencies throughout the Puget Sound area and created the Movement Towards Performance workshop series. He also created the Tacoma Health Departments Prevention Theater program, performed with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, served as Artistic Director of the Islewilde Performance Festival, and made giant puppets and performed them with Zambini Brothers (managed by adjunct professor Bill Jarcho).

In 2010, Bill Jarcho and Jim Johnson invited Moody to teach at DigiPen Institute of Technology. Since then, he has continued to teach Acting for Animation as well as The Language of Drawing, Fundamentals of Visual Expression, and Principles of Composition & Design.

Currently, besides being a full-time faculty member at DigiPen, Moody is the Managing Director of Chameleon Performance, an entertainment company that specializes in roving characters and transformational performance experiences in corporate, public, and private settings.

Among his notable achievements, Moody has designed a set for a Committee for Children video that received a Golden Eagle Cine Award; written the first children’s show at Teatro Zinzanni, “Zirkus Fantazmo”; written over 30 songs that have been animated by; performed in front of 100,000 people in Chang Kei Chek Square, TaiPei; and created a Kraken puppet for a Car Toys commercial.

DigiPen Faculty David Longo

David Longo

Senior Lecturer

David Longo grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut. At an early age, he had a passion for drawing and painting, coupled with a love of video games. When Donkey Kong hit the arcades in the early 1980s, he became enraptured by 8-bit graphics, leading to many drawings of pixelated characters on graph paper. It would be over a decade before his love of art and games would converge again. He went on to receive a BFA in illustration from Pratt Institute in New York City. Upon graduating, he worked as the studio manager at a graphic design firm in Manhattan while doing freelance illustration on the side.

As a gamer, Longo was acutely aware of the evolution of video games in the 1990s with the ever-increasing visual fidelity and sophistication of gameplay. In 1996, he began his 20-year adventure in game development, creating illustrations and characters for the third installment of Bungie Software’s Marathon series. In 1999, he made the trek out to Seattle to work at Monolith Productions as the lead 3D artist for the critically acclaimed No One Lives Forever. He moved into the art director role for No One Lives Forever 2, F.E.A.R., and Gotham City Impostors. In 2012, he co-founded Blackpowder Games with a small group of ex-Monolith employees, releasing their first game, Betrayer, in 18 months with just six-and-a-half employees. After a short stint at ArenaNet, Longo joined DigiPen full time to help up-and-coming students become tomorrow’s exceptional game artists.

DigiPen Faculty Ken Turner

Ken Turner

Senior Lecturer

Ken Turner discovered the wonders of ceramics early in life. In 1972 he entered Peninsula Community College before graduating from Sammamish High School to pursue his education and career in clay. He apprenticed with a potter/designer/craftsman in Seattle and attended countless workshops by notable ceramic artists prior to attending the Kansas City Art Institute in 1978. In 1983 Turner built his studio and kiln in Seattle where he continues to design and produce finely crafted one-off porcelain and stoneware pottery, sculptures, and decorative ceramic vessels.

Turner has had numerous exhibitions, and his work has appeared in the collection of the Washington Art consortium as well as many permanent collections including the Northwest Museum of Art & Culture, Museum of Northwest Art, and The American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA. Turner’s work has also been shown and collected internationally, including the Concept Exhibition of Post Imperial Porcelain at the Palace Museum in Beijing, China.

Turner has defined his career in all aspects of the clay world, from studio pottery production to refined one-offs of decorative porcelain vessels and clay sculpture to kiln design and fabrication. Considered a master of his craft, Turner has toured and lectured across China including The Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, and The Fine Arts College of Shanghai University. He has been a respected teacher of ceramic techniques at universities, colleges, and art centers since 1994. He is currently a BFA instructor of Ceramics and the Director of the Plastic Arts lab at DigiPen, where he designed and equipped the ceramic facility and the ceramic classes curriculum.

“Introducing DigiPen students to clay and the ceramic arts has been very rewarding to me personally,” Turner says. “Helping students get past their struggles and frustrations and seeing the joy of success and accomplishment on their faces never gets old.”

Visit Turner’s website at

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Peter Moehrle

Senior Lecturer

At the age of 9, Peter Moehrle immigrated with his family from West Germany to Toronto, Canada, in 1966. He showed an interest in drawing and painting from an early age. But it wasn’t until high school that he knew he wanted to be an artist. After high school, Moehrle enrolled at the Ontario College of Art, where he studied fine art and graduated with honors.

While he was working at his first job at a picture framing shop, a customer who worked as a voice actor for animated films suggested he pursue a career in film and referred him to a friend. That friend turned out to be one of the three owners of Nelvana, the largest animation studio in Canada at the time.

Since 1980, Moehrle has made his living as a background painter, becoming supervisor of his department after three years of working in animation. In 1986, he became the supervisor of layouts as well. His job allowed him to work on various animation projects for television and film.

In 1995, Moehrle joined Disney Feature Animation in Florida as a senior background artist and worked on feature films like Mulan, Tarzan, Lilo & Stitch, and others. Since Disney closed their studios in Florida, he has done development work for studios like Sony, Starz, IDT, Core (Canada), Hibbert Ralph (UK), and Miramax (UK).

Today, Moehrle teaches young future animation artists at DigiPen and maintains his skills by doing freelance work for the occasional studio in his spare time.

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DigiPen Faculty Lawrence Ruelos

Lawrence Ruelos


Lawrence Ruelos has been in the video game industry for over 20 years, beginning as a concept artist and animator. Over the years, he has changed directions to become a senior environment artist who occasionally assists with concept art. Before becoming a video game artist, he worked as an animator for laser shows.

Ruelos is addicted to all things that define pop culture: old school arcade video games, comic books, animation, all genres of movies, the urban art movement, vinyl toys, action figures, photography, and music. He has contributed to Seattle’s art scene through exhibitions in local galleries as well as group art shows.

DigiPen Faculty Lisa Meighan

Lisa Meighan

Adjunct Instructor

Lisa Meighan is an award-winning associate architect with over 30 years of experience in design, research, product development, presentations, training, and teaching. She has a five-year degree from Oregon School of Design (with an emphasis on historical architecture) in Portland, Oregon, as well as 2 years of engineering studies from both Portland State and Oregon State Universities.

Meighan has obtained the title of Certified Green Professional by the NAHB and has worked with hundreds of clients in the United States and Canada. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects, and her design of Eagle Point Retreat in Canada won the CHBA National SAM Award for Custom Home of the Year in 2014.

Meighan is currently an architectural contractor for Lindal Cedar Homes (LCH) Dealers, a position which includes all levels of design, continuous research of markets and trends, and the development of new designs for distribution to over 120 LCH dealerships. Prior to this, she was the product development manager for LCH Corporate, which involved designing 60+ new homes for a network of dealerships in four countries, re-designing top selling models, and teaching at architectural workshops.

Meighan enjoys teaching architectural spaces, design, and lighting at DigiPen. She feels an architectural background in construction materials, building technologies, and iconic structures is helpful and important to the career paths of DigiPen students. She also feels that the courses focusing on ancient civilizations are good for both world building and art.

Iole Alessandrini

Assistant Professor

Iole Alessandrini is an architect, artist, and educator. A native of Italy, she holds a Master in Architecture from the University La Sapienza and a Diploma in Fine Arts from the first Liceo Artistico di Ripetta, both located in Rome. She moved to Seattle in 1994 and was admitted to the Furniture Design Studio at the University of Washington’s College of Built Environments. Two years later, she graduated with a Post-Professional Master in Architecture and a Certificate on Lighting. Alessandrini has won numerous awards including the Betty Bowen Award and an award from the Office of Arts and Culture. She received a nomination in 2002 for a Rockefeller Film and Video Fellowship.

Working alongside the board of directors of the Civita Institute, an international foundation supporting the research of artists and architects in Italy, Alessandrini has led award-winning programs, including the successful nomination of Civita di Bagnoregio — an Etruscan town — to the World Monuments Fund’s list of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the World. She served as the Institute’s president from 2016-18 and is now one of its working directors.

Alessandrini’s work moves through the intersection of art and architecture. Her permanent public art projects include installations at Counterbalance Park and Westlake Fountain in Seattle, and Luminous Forest in Edmonds, Washington. Along with optical engineer Ed Mannery, she designed, prototyped, and manufactured original optics that turns laser beams into physical planes of light that people can traverse. This work has appeared in multiple publications, including Architectural Record, L’Arca, Sculpture magazine, and Mediterraneo sacro, and has been exhibited at the Seattle Art Museum, Bellevue Arts Museum, and Palazzo Bellomo (Italy).

Alessandrini has co-directed international programs in Rome and Venice, Italy, for the Comparative History of Ideas program within the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington. She also serves as an advisor and mentor at Transart Institute. In addition to teaching Art History at DigiPen, she also teaches Color Theory at Seattle Central College. She has a passion for learning and finds in teaching the means to fulfill her ardent dedication.

DigiPen Faculty Kristin Frost

Kristin Frost, MFA

Adjunct Instructor

Kristin Frost is a visual artist and adjunct art professor living in Bothell, Washington. A Seattle native, Frost attended the University of Washington from 2003-2007, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. In 2013, she received her MFA in Studio Art from Claremont Graduate University in California. She has been the recipient of the Fernandez Prize, the Albert B. Friedman Grant, the Claremont Graduate University Art Fellowship, numerous travel and materials grants, and first place in Brea Art Gallery’s Made in California exhibition, awarded by juror Rebecca Morse, MOCA. In addition to DigiPen, she has taught at Seattle Central College and Gage Academy, as well as many colleges throughout Southern California.

Frost has exhibited her work widely around the West Coast in both solo and group shows. In 2014, she held two solo shows at Apothecary Gallery in Pomona, California and LGT! Curatorial in Fullerton, California. In 2016, she was in a three-woman show at Norco College Art Gallery in Norco, California. In recent years, she has participated in many group shows around the Los Angeles area and most recently at the DigiPen faculty group show ”Modern Mythology” at the Bellevue Art Museum.

In her work, Frost merges drawing, painting, and collage to make mixed-media pieces that focus on the interaction between realism and abstraction. Pairing traditional media like watercolor, gouache, graphite, and ink, with unconventional materials such as colored tape, found objects, and wax, she creates imagery that is inspired by her surroundings, photographs, and memories.

Currently, Frost teaches drawing, painting, and art history at Gage Academy and beginning art classes at DigiPen. She enjoys working with the talented and inspiring students at DigiPen and the supportive BFA faculty team. She is proud to be a DigiPen Dragon!

Selected Publications:

  • New American Paintings Issue 111, March/April 2014
  • Studio Visit Magazine Issue 20, January 2013

DigiPen Faculty Randi Ganulin, MFA

Randi Ganulin, MFA

Adjunct Instructor

Randi Ganulin studied printmaking and illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design before completing her BFA in communication design at Otis College of Art and Design. She was awarded the Javits Fellowship for her graduate work in photo-based media, earning an MFA from Otis in 1996.

Ganulin has exhibited nationwide and completed public art commissions for the Seattle Center Sculpture Walk, Shunpike Storefronts, and Heaven & Earth X. Her work can be found in public and private collections across the country, including the New Mexico Museum of Art; Griffin Museum of Photography; the Center for Creative Photography; the Center for Fine Art Photography; and the cities of Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.

For more information on Ganulin’s work, visit

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