Aurora Picture Show Media Arts Instructors

Vanessa Godden
Vanessa is a third generation Canadian and a self-proclaimed cat enthusiast. She relocated to Houston in 1996 with her parents and many years later, was introduced to the cat that would become her muse. Vanessa's muse, Louis William Longbottom III, enjoys eating, sleeping, and bird watching. He prides himself on being well traveled, his fine collection of cat toys, and his ability to manipulate his owner. Together they are a dynamic and charismatic team determined to bring a broader context of art education into public school systems across Houston. They both received their BFA from the University of Houston and their MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. Upon moving back to Houston in the middle of August, they cannot help but miss New England weather, but are so very happy to be back and working with their Aurora family.
Ceci Norman

Before jumping back into filmmaking, Ceci was Administrative Director at OKRA, where she helped charities make the most of their experience. “In any project I take on, I like having a role where I’m facilitating awareness about a community or helping to build one.” Born in Albuquerque and raised in Nebraska, St. Louis and Northern Virginia. Ceci graduated from SUNY Stony Brook with a degree in Cinema and Cultural Studies in 2003 after a year in Mizzou's Photojournalism program in 2000. She spent a year working on her Master’s at the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004, then left to work in production on August Evening. When production completed she began working for the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering Faculty Innovation Center as a Media Technician, focusing on distance learning, video and audio podcasts. She accepted a position as social media producer at Weber Energy Group in 2009, where she worked with the group’s students on developing video podcasts to supplemaent their thesis work. She moved from there to Portland to help Lush Life and the Oregon Bartender Guild launch Portland Cocktail Week in 2010. When not attempting to save the world one drink at a time, Ceci creates documentarties, experimental films, and on rare occasions, sleeps.

Mel House

Ever since he saw A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET in the theatre in 1984, writer and director Mel House knew that he wanted to make movies. Over the years, he has worked in various capacities on several projects, including DP’ing the documentary ELECTRIC PURGATORY – THE FATE OF THE BLACK ROCKER (currently in rotation on OvationTV), and then directing the low-budget Lovecraft-inspired feature CLOSET SPACE (released on DVD nationwide on Sept. 14, 2010, though RSquared Films). Mel and his work have been featured in Fangoria Magazine, on cable television, and at several festivals around the world.  His most recent feature, WALKING DISTANCE was distributed by Lionsgate Films in 2011 (under the title PSYCHIC EXPERIMENT). Most recently, Mel has taken on the role of Producer on films like Christopher Warren’s IMAGO and Michael Steves’ CLINGER – both slated for release in 2014 - and the comedy TV series PLACEHOLDERS, currently airing in syndication.
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Christine Gwosdz

Christine is a freelance sculptor and designer based in Houston, Texas. She currently has residencies with the Aurora Picture Show and the Sculpture Workshop where she helps create short films and innovate sculptures. Her other work as a freelance sculptor involves art direction for music videos, character and set designs for high fashion photography, event curator and experimental collaborative sculptural endeavors. She has been published in catalogues, blogs and magazines and is exhibited in a selective number of shows. Her bachelors in sculpture and amazing friends and family have been an inspiration in her life. Christine's work is driven by the want to enrich her society with creativity and curiosity.
Kelly Quarles

Kelly Quarles is an artist/educator from Houston, TX. She holds a BFA from the University of Houston with an emphasis in photo/digital media. She is currently a teacher at Cy-Ranch High School where she is building an Electronic Media program as well as teaching Photo1 and Art1. She is the sponsor for their GSA and started the Art Appreciation club to bring kids from the suburbs into the heart of Houston to show them all of the various artistic opportunities available to them in their very own city. Kelly enjoys motivating students to become excited about what art can do for them but really enjoys that most of her day is spent making art with kids. Right now, if you asked to see any of her own work, she could curate an interesting array of high school art examples she has created over the past few years.  
Dave Merson Hess

Dave studied film/video production and animation at USC's School of Cinematic Arts, before transitioning into a career as a film & TV composer. His scoring credits include the Drifter Pictures sci-fi thriller, PRESENCE (2008), the groundbreaking Norwegian primetime miniseries, MOKKAKAFFE (2013), and various visual music collaborations with Austin-based experimental animator, Dax Norman. Dave's producing credits include DOWN FOR WHATEVER (2014) -- a serial multimedia project and single-edition book that documented a cross-country train trip using animation set to text messages, voicemails and essays by writer-performer Billy Parker -- and a watercolor and cut-out animated music video for Geronimo Getty's GREYHOUND BLUES (2015). Dave runs Static Attic, a boutique music licensing library, and an all-animation production company out of a tiny yellow bungalow in the Heights. He collects out-of-print books on animation production and pedagogy. 

Tomas Feijo

He spent his first three years of life in Rio de Janeiro before moving to Houston. He attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts then spent 4 frigid years following his nose at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, all of which culminated in a BFA focusing on music, photography, and essay writing. He can think best when things are organized chronologically and collects pieces of handwriting he finds on the ground. He adores being nearby when people make realizations about themselves. He has his very own website: