Our Instructors

Instructors are certainly some of the most important people at The Macoupin Art Collective. These folks are the backbone of the MAC – the people who can help you become a better artist – and we appreciate everything they do for us.
Here are just a few of the people at The MAC who can teach you new skills and ways of thinking.


Emily Paul of Blackbird Bakery

Emily Paul is the owner of Blackbird Bakery of Staunton. She got her start as a baker at the Bluebird Diner in Iowa City, Iowa, a job she got to cover expenses while she wrapped up her master’s thesis in rhetoric and composition. She has always loved baking, and working at the Bluebird gave her plenty of opportunities to learn new recipes and techniques. While her career path eventually led her to teaching college writing at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, she continued to bake regularly for friends and colleagues, researching the art of bread and pastry making and exploring the baking traditions of countries around the world.
Upon moving back to the Midwest with her husband and two sons, Emily was given an opportunity that unexpectedly changed the course of her career. A lifelong Beatles fan, Emily was asked by a family friend to bake some cakes and cookies for the When I’m 64 Beatles festival in Prairietown. The event went over so well that she decided to take a small leap and open up a bakery stand at the Staunton Farmers Market, which is still her primary business and is successful enough that she now bakes full-time while taking care of her two small children. Emily hopes that if all goes well, she’ll be opening her own brick and mortar in downtown Staunton within the year.

Find out more about Emily and Blackbird Bakery on Facebook


Rebekah Dawn of Mulberry Mudd

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Rebekah works as a professional ceramic artist under the name Mulberry Mudd, creating drums, birdhouses, mugs, sculptures, and necklaces which celebrate the earth, plants, women, and healing of all kinds.
"I love doing custom work.. making things this way.. with specific people in mind. I find it feeds the creative process, and it gets me moving."

Find out more about Rebekah on her Facebook page:
Mulberry Mudd


Ruthie Jean Kahl

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Ruthie teaches painting classes for us, most often in our Paint & Party events. Ruthie received a BA in Studio Arts from Blackburn College in 2012. She worked at LampLight Studio in Overland, MO as a part-time ceramics studio assistant/resident artist from 2013-2015. She has been instructing private painting parties, and parties for fundraisers, since 2014. In 2016, Ruthie was a chair painting artist for the Shop Local First Carlinville Chairs on Parade event, in which she painted over 50 chairs.

Find out more about Ruthie on her Facebook page:
Ruthie Jean Kahl - artist