About Our Faculty and Staff
Artists & Collaborators: Meet Our Faculty and Staff
The faculty and staff at the ACA are not just educators; they are passionate artists and collaborators who bring a rich history of creative expertise to our vibrant community. Get to know some of the inspiring team of artists and collaborators who are here to guide and mentor you on your creative journey.
Dr. Matt Leder
Dr. Matt Leder is an avid educator and is an in-demand guest artist / clinician who performs throughout the United States. Summer 2017, Dr. Leder was invited to be a National Endowment of Humanities Summer Scholar at Tulane University in New Orleans and summer of 2020 he was named a CMS NextGen Teaching Fellow through NAMM. Dr. Leder was named a GRAMMY Educator of the Year Quarterfinalist for 2021 and 2022.
Leder has a passion for the music of New Orleans. He was a member of the “Louis Armstrong Quintet,” funded through the Armstrong Foundation. Dr. Leder has studied with Ellis Marsalis, Clyde Kerr, Irvin Mayfield, and many others. Leder also served over eight years as a Navy musician and four years as an Air Force musician, where he had the opportunity to perform for five US presidents.
Shea is a freelance Scenic and Lighting Designer based out of Decatur, AL. She holds an MFA in Theatre Design and Technology from The University of Alabama and a BA in Musical Theatre from Birmingham-Southern College. Shea is currently the Technical Theatre Instructor at Calhoun Community College. Some of her favorite credits include Lizzie, Jesus Christ Superstar, Company, The Who’s Tommy, and Tick Tick Boom. Shea has also recently been seen onstage as “Jetsam” in The Little Mermaid and “St. Jimmy” in American Idiot. Here are some examples of her productions:
Kathryn Vaughn has been a graphic designer and illustrator in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Connecticut for 22 years and has 29 years of collegiate-level teaching experience. In addition, she has been a metalsmith and jewelry designer for 41 years and a painter for 55 years. Here are some recent examples of her work…
“High Country Boss” This watercolor was juried into the 82nd Annual National Exhibition held by the Watercolor Society of Alabama and was displayed at the exhibit at Eastern Shore Art Center in Fairhope, AL.
“Knight Before the Crown” This drawing was awarded second place in the Carnegie Center for the Visual Arts well respected and competitive 2023 annual juried exhibition, Embracing Art XXI, in Decatur.
Professor Keller studied as a painter and sculptor. She has worked for the last 30 years creating large bronze sculptures for public settings, as well as in mixed digital process and acrylic painting. Keller has taught at Athens State University since 1981. She has taught every course in the catalog, including the first-ever online course, and created many of those courses, too. Currently, she teaches art history courses, the art capstone Portfolio course and courses in visual culture. Keller designed the BFA and MFA programs for Athens State with the expertise of colleagues in the art department, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, the Provost and President.
Outside of work, Keller’s hobbies include her grandchildren, church, reading, tennis, pickleball, running and weightlifting.