Faculty Profiles


A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

Beverly Arsem artBeverly Arsem (fiber arts) creates both functional and decorative quilts and textile art. She has taken courses at the DeCordova Museum School, Danforth Museum, Fuller Museum and elsewhere. After more than 30 years working in architectural design and construction management, she now focuses on fiber art work. She has taught coursesfor several years at the Eliot School in Contemporary Art Quilting and Surface Design, and looks forward to being able to share her knowledge and excitement with even more students. A solo exhibition of her work is on view through October 2015 at Boston Public Library Hyde Park Branch. She holds a BS in Architecture from Washington University.

upholstery by teacher Seymour Beckford in BostonSeymour Beckford (upholstery) started his apprenticeship at age 15 in Jamaica, doing both automobile and household upholstery. He continued as a professional upholsterer in a manufacturing plant there before founding his own company, MasterCraft Upholstery. Relocating to Boston, he worked at Majestic Upholstery in Kenmore Square. In 1980, he taught woodworking to children with physical and mental disabilities at Little People’s School (Newton). From 1990 through 2012, he maintained Seymour's Upholstering, a small storefront business in Mattapan. He currently resides in Jamaica, returning to Jamaica Plain in the summers to teach upholstery at the Eliot School.

Dave Bermingham

Dave J Bermingham (fashion) is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and researcher interested in identity formation, expression and history. He is a cofounder of the Boston LGBTQIA Artist Alliance, and the former Industrial Stitchers Guild. He has performed drag and burlesque under the pseudonym Aquanette Prudence Jones for nearly a decade. He holds a BFA from MassArt in Fashion Design and an MDes Fashion; Body & Garment from School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he was awarded the Municipal Art League of Chicago 2016 Fellowship. 

Paula Billups

Paula Billups (drawing/painting) shares her studio time between Boston and Berlin, with recent exhibitions at Hohestrasse 8 (Quedlinburg, Germany), João Cocteau Kunstraum (Berlin, Germany), Florence Griswold Museum (Old Lyme CT) and elsewhere, and residencies at Hohestrasse 8 and Siena Art Institute (Siena, Italy). She has taught painting and drawing at Creative Arts Workshop (New Haven CT), Farmington Valley Arts Center (Avon CT) and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from Transart Institute (Berlin),a BFA from Lyme Academy (Old Lyme CT) and a BA in Literature from University of Texas at Austin, with additional study at Grand Central Academy (New York City)

Terry Boutell painting class BostonTerry Boutelle (painting) has been a painter for over 30 years, working in acrylic, watercolor, printmaking and mixed media. A member of the Jamaica Plain Artists Association, Cambridge Art Association and Fort Point Arts Community, she exhibits her work throughout New England. She has studied art at Boston College, School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Massachusetts College of Art & Design, with an MFA from the MassArt program at Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown).

josh briggs rain barrelJosh Briggs (woodworking, inventing/children) teaches engineering, math and woodworking at Acera School (Winchester). In previous work, his design-engineering business focused on medium scale rainwater harvesting systems, particularly for urban farming and residential landscaping. He holds a BS in Civil Engineering from University of Notre Dame and a Masters in Civil Engineering from University of New Hampshire.

klementina budnikKlementina Budnik (animation) is an artist, animator, educator and entreprenuer. She studied painting and animation at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University. Since 2009, she has taught at various art centers across the country. She was the Head of the Animation Deparment at Charles River Creative Arts Program prior to launching KXB Studio, which provides animation education and services to community art centers, businesses and individuals.

Jessica Burko artistJessica Burko (mixed media) has exhibited her artwork in gallery and museum shows throughout the United States. She also works as an independent curator and arts marketer, and directed the artist collective Boston Handmade from 2007–2014. She believes in fostering and strengthening connections between working artrepreneurs, and regularly lectures and leads arts marketing workshops throughout New England. About teaching, Jessica says, “Being able to share my passion for art making and seeing how students blossom with new creative skills are some of my favorite treasures. I see collage as a way to combine many creative interests including writing, photography, design, drawing and painting. For me, it’s the ideal expressive medium.” She holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Eastman School of Photography at Rochester Institute of Technology.



Crystal Burney art class bostonCrystal Burney (visual arts/children) teaches for our School Partnership Program. Her motivation to teach combines her commitments to environmentally sustainable practices and therapeutic arts. She says, “I want students to realize that art created with recycled materials is no different than work created with expensive art supplies. What you’re working with isn’t as important as how you feel about what you’re creating.” She has been Artist-in-Residence at Bird Street Community Center (Dorchester) and taught art to children at Linden Middle School (Malden) and DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park (Lincoln). She holds a Masters from UMass Boston and a BA from Bridgewater State College, with additional study at Yeats International Summer & Winter Schools (Sligo,Ireland).

Maggie Carberry: teacher of children's art classes in BostonMaggie Carberry (visual arts) is a printmaker, jeweler, painter, photographer and teacher. Currently teaching art in Westwood Public Schools, she has also taught at Holmes and Lee Elementary Schools (Dorchester) through our School Partnership Program, and at Dorchester Collegiate Academy, Winsor School (Boston), American School of Brasilia (Brazil), SouthEast Academy of Scholastic Excellence (Washington DC) and Newport School (Kensington, MD). She is a member of Galatea Fine Arts Gallery (Boston), where she exhibits her work. Her art has also been shown at Boston City Hall, in Brazil, London, and elsewhere. Maggie has served as Program Coordinator for the Eliot School Partnership Program (2012-13) and Summer Program for Children (2011, 2013). She earned her BA in Art Education from Catholic University of America and her MA in Printmaking from University of the Arts (London), where she won a Marlborough Fine Arts Award.

Kate Carito comics class BostonKate Carito (comics) is an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Massachusetts Boston where she works as a Creative Writing instructor. In addition, she teaches children creative writing through the program “Take My Word For It!” as well as comic book writing at the Eliot School. Her short story, Baptized at the Casino, was published in Best New England Crime Stories 2015: Rogue Wave. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from London Metropolitan University. Prior to her studies she worked at O, The Oprah Magazine.

Robert Collins (drawing/painting) received his B.F.A. and M.F.A in Painting from Boston University. He began his career as an industrial and commercial designer and illustrator, and now paints and teaches full time. Bob has taught at Boston University, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the Brookline Art Center. He is an adjunct faculty member at Rhode Island College, Monsterrat College of Art, and is currently the anatomy instructor at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bob has exhibited throughout New England at galleries including the Bernard Toale Gallery and the Bromfield Gallery in Boston, at the DeBloise Gallery in Newport, RI, and as a New England Currents artist at Danforth Art. His work is included in many private and corporate collections including Hallmark Inc., Sears Roebuck & Co., and AMI/Verilyte Corporation. Bob was inductred into Who's Who in America 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008 for contributions in the areas of Painting and Industrial Design. 

BJ Comerford artBJ Comerford (visual arts/fiber arts/woodworking) is a painter, mixed media artist, printer, costume and set designer. She has taught children and adults at Mother Brook Arts & Community Center (Dedham), Danforth Art (Framingham), Sidman Leventhal Community Center (Newton) and Solomon Schechter Day School (Newton), and says, “Involving students in the creative process is exciting. It is thrilling to see someone discovering a new artistic ability. I try inspire students to think of what they can create with inspiration, imagination and confidence.” For a decade, she was Coordinator of the Allston Arts District, including Allston Open Studios. She holds a BFA in Art History from Boston University, with additional course work at Rhode Island School of Design, Pont-Aven School of Art (Brittany, France) and Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

Josh Cornillon (comics) is a comic book artist, illustrator, teacher and storyteller. His work blends fantasy and contemporary culture, exploring modern interpretations on traditional fantasy ideals and tropes. He is a coordinator for the annual Massachusetts Independent Comic Expo, a kid-friendly comic convention in Cambridge. He recieved his BFA in Illustration from Lesley University, where he now teaches Digital Storytelling, and Sci-Fi and Fantasy Art.

Sarah Coyne artSarah Coyne (silkscreen) designs, produces and sells handmade illustrated and screen printed goods through her company, Egg-A-Go-Go. She also works as a freelance illustrator specializing in botanical and nature watercolors. Sarah enjoys connecting with Jamaica Plain’s exciting artist community through the Eliot School and is proud to be a part of one of the city’s historic institutions. In addition to her Eliot School workshops, she has taught silkscreening to friends using her own kitchen sink and broom closet. Sarah has recently shown her work at Aviary Gallery, Mass Audubon’s Nature Center and Glacier National Park.

Alison Croney woodworking art class BostonAlison Croney (woodworking/visual arts) combines coopering and bending techniques to create objects that encourage interaction. She is Program Coordinator for our School Partnership Program and, through it, also teaches woodworking and visual arts at McCormack Middle School as well in our schoolhouse. As the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (Denver CO), she developed, managed and taught art programs for all ages. She has also been Wood Shop Assistant at Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass Village CO), Catalyst Arts Fellow at Rhode Island School of Design, and Fabrication Assistant for Situ Studio (New York City). As Education Director for Red Rabbit (New York City), she developed and led interactive cooking and gardening programs for teachers, parents and children. She holds a Preliminary License to teach Visual Art to Grades 5–12. She earned her MA in Sustainable Business & Communities from Goddard College and BFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design.

Dora Cruz sewing classes BostonDora Cruz (sewing) has been a seamstress since her mother taught her as a child; her mother worked as a seamstress in their home. She says, “My passion for fashion is life-long. If I don’t have a sewing machine at home I am not complete.” She loves to pass along her skills to children, teens and adults and loves to help people save money by altering clothes as they or their children grow or pass clothes to each other. She created custom costumes for Riverside Theatre (Hyde Park) for twelve years; she also teaches private sewing and embroidery lessons in Westwood and Boston.

Heather DawsonHeather Dawson (woodworking) creates handmade furniture and wooden ware from ethically sourced materials. She is currently a journeyman at Fort Point Cabinetmakers, a woodshop monitor at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and a teaching assistant at both MassArt and North Bennet Street School. She has apprenticed for Brian Mulcahy at New England School of Architectural Woodworking (Easthampton MA) and Gary Barcus at GB Woodworking (Norwood MA) and assisted in the studios of master builders Matt Wajda and Mitch Ryerson. She is a graduate of the collaborative Furniture Design program at Massachusetts College of Art & Design and North Bennet Street School.

Marie Delaney (woodworking) is Woodshop Instructor at Willow Hill School (Sudbury) and Crafts & Construction Instructor at Acera School (Winchester), in addition to teaching for our School Partnership Program. She has taught woodworking and innovation to children at Acera School Summer STEAM Camp and Running Brook Day Camp (Waltham). She has produced custom furniture for Erik Rueda Design Lab (Boston) and interned at 22 Clifton Cooperative and Nightwood NY (Brooklyn NY). She holds a Certificate in Cabinet & Furniture Making from North Bennet Street School, with additional course work at Nontraditional Employment for Women (New York NY) and California State University/Montery Bay.

upholstery teacher Paul DeVito, BostonPaul DeVito (upholstery) is the lead upholsterer at Melo & Sons Upholstering. Hhe has been practicing his trade for over twenty years. He previously worked for Borges Upholstery and Possick Upholstery. He graduated from Everett Vocational High School, where he majored in upholstery.


Nancy Dick-AtkinsonNancy Dick-Atkinson (gilding & frame restoration) has specialized in restoration of gold-leafed objects for over three decades. She has taught at the Eliot School for over 20 years, and has also taught in the Continuing Education Dept. at Rhode Island School of Design and at the Art Institute of Boston. She apprenticed with master gilder Nils Johnson. She says, “I love teaching because I am still learning new things myself, and a lot of what I learn is because of my students. They can ask some very penetrating questions that force me to examine my own long held techniques and ways of doing things. I meet people from other disciplines and they have ideas and make suggestions about materials, tools and techniques that I may have never thought of. Teaching can be a very collaborative experience. I value and look forward to it.” She holds a BS in Art Education from the State College of New York at Buffalo and an MFA in Painting from Maryland Institute College of Art.

Teo Drake, woodworking teacher for children, BostonTeo Drake (woodworking) is half of Blue Collar Artisans, a two-person company that creates custom steel and wood pieces including belt buckles, lamps, coffee tables, desks and hand rails. For the Eliot School, he has taught woodworking classes both in our schoolhouse and through our School Partnership Program. He has also taught martial arts and yoga to children for many years.

Sean Dunstan-Halliday, watercolor class teacher, BostonSean Dunstan–Halliday (painting) makes watercolor paintings and illustrations, lately exploring highly detailed animals and composite imaginary creatures. His art has been shown at Perry Rubenstein Gallery and SVA Gallery (New York City). In addition to his work for the Eliot School, he teaches painting to adults at Art Institute of Boston, and art to children at Brookline Arts Center and Arlington Center for the Arts. He earlier taught at Wingspan Arts (New York NY), Mary McDowell Friends School (Brooklyn NY) and elsewhere. He holds a BFA in Painting & Drawing from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Painting from the School of Visual Arts.

Jerel Dye comics class BostonJerel Dye (drawing) makes drawings, illustrations, video and new media performance. His art has appeared in children’s books, comics, animation and exhibitions throughout New England. Jerel is developing his first graphic novel. He works as Media Arts Manager for Grassroots International and as a freelance illustrator. He earned his BFA at UMass Dartmouth and his MFA at Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

kevin frances printKevin Frances (visual arts, printmaking) creates prints, books, ceramic sculpture and installation. His work has been shown at the International Print Center , David Krut Projects (New York City), Kala Gallery in (Berkeley CA) and Highpoint Center for Printmaking (Minneapolis). He received an MFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA from University of California, Davis. In 2012, he was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Kevin was awarded a Mass Cultural Council fellowship in Drawing & Printmaking in 2016.

textiles by Adire dyeing workshop teacher Ife FranklinIfé Franklin (fiber arts, drawing) creates textiles, drawings, photographs, performance and video. In addition to her Eliot School workshops, she has taught Adire dyeing at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, the Revolving Museum (Lowell) and Suffolk House of Corrections. She has taught art to children for two decades, through Kids’ Day/MSPCC and elsewhere. Her art has been shown at Fitchburg Art Museum (Fitchburg), Medicine Wheel Gallery (Boston), Ethos Fashion Show (Wellesley), GASP Gallery (Brookline), Center for Latino Arts (Boston), New Art Center (Newton) and elsewhere. She holds a Diploma from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, with additional studio work at California College of Arts & Crafts and Minneapolis College of Art & Design.

Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer book arts BostonJohanna Finnegan-Topitzer (book arts) was trained in hand bookbinding at North Bennet Street School and has been a visual artist since her early years. As an artist and craftsperson, she creates one-of-a-kind pieces she calls “artistic books.” Johanna has been teaching her craft for many years. She enjoys watching students come up with new ideas for sculptural books. She and her photographer husband, Jeremy Heflin, will be Artists-in Residence at Grand Canyon National Park in August 2013, where Johanna will create sculptural books and boxes based on the Canyon’s landscape and wildlife.

carpentry by woodworking teacher Julio Fuentes, BostonJulio Fuentes (woodworking) has taught woodworking to adults at the Eliot School, and to children through the Eliot School’s School Partnership Program at Philbrick Elementary, UP Academy Charter, Murphy K–8 and other Boston Public Schools, in addition to serving as our Facilities Coordinator. He has been Scoutmaster and Cub Scout Den Leader in West Roxbury since 2004. He also leads home improvement workshops for North Bennet Street School in conjunction with Boston’s Dept. of Neighborhood Development. For 15 years, Julio worked as Construction Supervisor at The Classic Group (Burlington, MA), a design-build firm focusing on high-end construction and remodeling. He now designs and creates laminated jewelry and other fine objects out of wood. He is a graduate of the Preservation Carpentry Program at North Bennet Street School.


Kathleen Gaskin-Holland upholsteryKathleen Gaskin-Holland (upholstery) is proprietor of Decorator’s Workroom (Jamaica Plain), an upholstery shop, which she founded in 1990. She grew up in Trinidad, where her father was a joiner and carpenter, and her mother a seamstress and chair caner. She is proud to follow in their footsteps. Kathleen has received numerous awards for her contributions to Jamaica Plain and the City of Boston, including the 2009 Local Hero Award from Vinfen, 2010 Award for outstanding contributions to Boston’s neighborhooods from Action for Boston Community Development, and 2005 Community Leadership Award from Spontaneous Celebrations. Kathleen first taught at the Eliot School in 1991.

erik gehring meadow in the mistErik Gehring (photography) is president of Boston Camera Club and a freelance photographer who specializes in natural landscapes. He says, “I really enjoy teaching. It is especially gratifying when students’ eyes alight with that aha moment of discovery, when something they've learned clicks in their head and makes complete sense.” His work has appeard in The Boston Globe, Boston Metro, Cape Cod Times, Northern Woodlands, E the Environmental Magazine and AMC’s Outdoors, among other publications, and has been exhibited throughout eastern Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Erik teaches and lectures at the Arnold Arboretum, Griffin Museum of Photography, the Eliot School, Concord Art Association, Hyde Park Art Association and Milton Public Library. His favorite destination is the Arnold Arboretum, and for the last seven years has published a calendar of landscape photos of the Arboretum entitled Trees of Boston.

Steve Gentile (home repair) works at Arborway Window Restoration & Repair. He teaches for the Eliot School through our collaboration with Boston Building Resources.

furniture by woodworking teacher Michael Gleason BostonMichael Gleason (furniture finishing & restoration) made custom cabinetry and furniture at Gleason, Hendrick & Devine from 1981–2014. He made custom furniture and did antique restoration with Nils Johnson at A.G. Johnson & Son from 1972 to 1981. He has taught at the Eliot School for over two decades.

Kristina Goransson felt sculpture BostonKristina Goransson (fiber arts) has been teaching felting and other fibers techniques for over a decade at various art schools such as MassArt, UMass Dartmouth and Rhode Island School of Design. She had the honor of being an Artist-in-Residence at Oregon College of Arts and Craft after finishing her MFA in Fibers at UMass Dartmouth. Kristina has exhibited across the United States, including a solo show at Deedee Shattuck Gallery (Westport MA) and other shows at San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Boston Cyber Arts and Fuller Craft Museum. Kristina has numerous pieces in the MediTech collection along with other private collections. Her work can be found in the book, 500 Felt Objects (Lark Press).

photograph by Cristina Hajosy, photography teacher for children, teeens and adults in Boston
Cristina Hajosy (photography, book & paper arts) has taught at New England School of Photography, Cambridge Center for Adult Education and Fuller Craft Museum. Her work has been shown at Aidekman Arts Center at Tufts University, Cambridge Art Association and elsewhere. Her fine art project, Unfairest of Them All, was shown at Carroll & Sons’ Boston Drawing Project.

Pamela Hart painting art class BostonPamela Hart (painting) uses painting and collage to explore color and figures. Her recent work explores innocence and loss between childhood and adulthood. She has taught drawing and painting at Brookline Community & Adult Education, and has exhibited her work at Bromfield Gallery, Hallway, FPAC Gallery and elsewhere. She holds an MFA and BFA from Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

Callie Hastings artCallie Hastings (visual arts) is Events Coordinator for Paint Nite in addition to teaching for our School Partnership Program. She says, “Art for me is all about getting lost in the exploration and discovery of it. Teaching is amazing because children are  full of surprises and help keep that love of creating vibrant and fresh.” She has worked as a guest teacher at Breakwater School (Portland ME), an art teacher for Brookline Public Schools, and an after-school teacher at Arlington Children’s Center, Lincoln Extended Day and Laugh & Learn After Care (Freeport ME).
She holds a BFA from Alfred University, a Post-Bac from the Teacher Preparation Program at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Preschool Teacher Certification and Massachusetts Visual Art Educator PreK-8 Initial Licensure Certification.

Gretjen Helene (mixed media/photography) is a professional and fine art/sculptural photographer who works with traditional alternative photographic processes as well as in a documentary style. She has exhibited throughout the Boston area, New York city and in Alaska. She studied at Emerson College and the Art Institute of Boston, where she later taught Publication/ Exhibition Photography. Gretjen has an affinity for eggshells and the symbolism they evoke; of autonomy and the cycle of life. She was taught Pysanky at a young age by her mother and has been continuing the tradition since. The layering of wax and the subtractive dyeing process of Pysanky has a likeness to the traditional photographic processes of developing and printing images in the darkroom.

Dey Hernandez-Vazquez, art & woodworking teacher, BostonDeymirie Hernández-Vázquez (visual arts/woodworking) is a teaching artist,  architect and puppeteer. She has taught art and woodworking through our School Partnership Program at Hurley School, Sociedad Latina and Boston Explorers, with additional teaching for AgitArte (Puerto Rico/Boston), where she merged popular theater, visual arts and collective creation to engage people of diverse ages in community issues to further struggles for social justice. She has been an active member of Papel Machete, a workers’ theater collective in Santurce, PR, where she designed and built puppets, masks and objects for street performance. Dey holds a Masters degree in Architecture and a BS in Environmental Design from the School of Architecture, University of Puerto Rico, and a Certificate in Patrimonial Studies/Architecture Heritage from Universitat Pasquale Paoli/Corsica.

kate herron

Kate Herron (embroidery, sewing) is a freelance teacher and textile artisan who specializes in textile arts, education, and care. As a maker, educator, and museum professional, Kate is dedicated to preserving and promoting the value of textiles in museums and in our everyday lives. She holds a B.A. in studio arts and art history from Hope College as well as an MLA in museum studies from the Harvard University Extension School. She has been stitching since a young age and also teaches at J.P. Knit & Stitch. Kate sells her embrodering patterns through her company, KHG Arts.

Amy Hitchcock assemblage classAmy Hitchcock (mixed media) discovered Joseph Cornell’s assemblages in 2001, and since then she can usually be found at second-hand shops, hunting down wooden boxes, discarded toys, parts and assorted paper ephemera for her next assemblage. Along the way, her work has been seen in various open studio events, businesses, museums and galleries in Greater Boston. She finds great joy in showing people the ins and outs of assemblage making. Through her class, she has discovered that there are many others with a penchant for doll legs, sewing notions and old photos of strangers.

Ron Horion, seat weaving, caning class teacher, BostonRon Horion (seat-weaving) owned and operated GHNK Caning Supplies for 17 years in North Quincy. He has taught caning for over 35 years there, at local colleges and at the Eliot School. His fine craftsmanship has been exhibited at historic museums including Monticello, Sturbridge Village, Plimouth Plantation and Eric Sloan Museum. He also lectures at many local historical societies and clubs.

mosaic tiles by workshop class teacher Lisa Houck Lisa Houck (mosaics, tiles) uses color and pattern in ceramics, mosaics, etching and paint to create strong, vibrant images. The Boston Globe called her work “a crowded, cacaphonous landscape inhabited by flowers, fish, trees, numbers, raindrops, symbols and dots like in aboriginal paintings.” Her art has been exhibited widely and is in numerous public and private collections including those of the Boston Athenaeum, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital (Boston), Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, Fidelity Investments and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Houck holds a BFA from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Charlotte Huffman art teacherCharlotte Huffman (Visual Arts) was a Visual Arts Educator for six years at East Somerville Community School and has also taught at Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Youth Build Boston and Museum of Northern Arizona (Flagstaff AZ). She holds a Massachusetts Teaching License for Visual Arts PK–12. She says, “I love connecting young people to the arts.  Learning through art empowers youth to challenge expectations, express themselves, and create their own understandings of who they want to be.” Charlotte completed her BFA at Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts and her Masters of Education at Lesley University, designing her thesis in cooperation with Girls Rock Campaign Boston, where she has been a volunteer since 2011.

Diane Ivey fiber arts knitting class BostonDiane Ivey (fiber arts) has a passion for knitting, spinning and dyeing yarn. She teaches at the Eliot School and at numerous elementary schools and community centers through our School Partnership, as well as at JP Knit & Stitch, Egleston YMCA and elsewher. Diane sells her hand-dyed yarn nationally through her company, Lady Dye Yarn. She likes to adapt the colors and exuberance of graffiti to her yarn dyeing, and is particularly interested in finding alternatives to dye yarn and wool without chemicals. Diane holds a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from Suffolk University.

Mea JohnsonMea Johnson (visual arts) has combined art and community building throughout her career. She has been Program Director of the Transit Riders Union for Alternatives for Community & Environment, Executive Director of KidsArts!, Parent Lead Organizer for ACORN and Teen Leader for the Girls’ Program at Bird Street Community Center. Her Reflection Wall Project is a long-term community arts installation effort that addresses violence, racial injustice and disparity. Other art projects include work with the Arts Action Team of Cowboys & Indians Alliance, and Meraki: Intentional, Simple Living for Everyone. She is a member of the Nubian Writers Collective and Putterham Writers Circle.

Brenda Jones quilt class teacher BostonBrenda Jones (fiber arts) designs unique quilts and wall art using a variety of fabrics, beads and other materials that enhance her themes. She has said, “My quilts usually include organic elements, jewel tone fabrics and a touch of my African American heritage.” She has made crafts most of her life, focusing on fiber art for the past decade. Her work has been shown at the Lowell Quilt Festival, Dei Centre (Accra, Ghana), City Gallery at Waterfront Park (North Charleston SC) and elsewhere. She is retired as a principal in the Boston Public Schools.

Ellen Kaspern (woodworking) is a member of the cooperative Fort Point Cabinetmakers, where she designs and builds custom furniture. She has been teaching in the continuing education program at North Bennet Street School for over a decade, and has given demonstrations at Old Sturbridge Village, Concord Museum, Lake’s Sake (Weston), Hancock Shaker Village, Plimouth Plantation and Boston Society of Architects. She is a graduate of North Bennet Street School’s Cabinet & Furniture Making Program.

soap making teacher Kymberlee Keckler, BostonKymberlee Keckler (soapmaking) is a chemical engineer whose talents include bookbinding, ceramics, chocolate and soapmaking. She has been making soap since 1985 and teaching soapmaking since 1997. Kymberlee enjoys the art and chemistry aspects of making soap and sharing her knowledge of the craft with others. Her soap is sold locally at Fire Opal in Jamaica Plain and on-line at www.soaporama.com.

Jomo King teacher BostonJomo King (woodworking, tinkering) teaches design, engineering and innovation with Legos through DEILab, as well as in the Eliot School Partnership Program. He has experience coordinating youth programs for United South End Settlements and helping with gang prevention through Dorchester Youth Prevention. He has also worked as a pool manager, a driver, and currently as a DJ and MC for Plush/Paradise Entertainment.

furniture by kids' woodworking teacher Nancy KingNancy King (woodworking/children) is an avid woodworker. A long-time student at the Eliot School, she shares her skills here with children. Trained as a laywer, she recently retired from working for the Commonwealth, helping low-income children and families.

kelly knightKelly Knight (fiber arts) Is a mixed media fiber artist whose work explores the themes of connection to place, urban archeology, ancestry and “ownership” of family stories. She incorporates a broad range of processes in her work. Kelly has been a weaver since 1988 and has worked in a number of production studios. Kelly is an Artist Member at the Cambridge Art Association, where was named Artist of the Year in 2015. She studied fibers at UMass Dartmouth and Haystack Mountain School of Craft, holds a BA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, and is an MFA candidate at the Massachusetts College of Art & Design. 

William Krier (basketry) Born and raised amongst the Amish community in Lancaster County, PA, William developed an interest in the art of basket weaving, and has been practicing this art since the 80's. William enjoys all forms of basket weaving, with a focus on wicker basketry. He enjoys the added challenge that wicker basketry brings. Using a variety of agents from commerical dyes, nut hull stain to teas, William dyes and stains all of his own reads. Weaving traditional baskets using bright colors is William's way of contemporizing the art of basket making. William enjoys sharing his knowledge with others and has been teaching for almost three decades. When not teaching basket weaving, William is working with the homeless and underserved popularion as a registered nurse case manager.

Natalie LaChall fashionNatalie LaChall (sewing) is co-founder of Secret Ships, which sells global fashion, accessories and housewares on line and through a traveling caravan. In addition to her classes at the Eliot School, and in Boston Public Schools through our School Partnership Program, Natalie has taught sewing and fashion as Adjunct Professor at Newbury College and led children’s classes in textiles, performance and fine arts at Charles River Creative Arts Program (Dover), Camp Exploration (Southborough) and through the Eliot School Partnership Program. She has worked as Costume Shop stitcher and draper for Boston Conservatory, drapery stitcher and installer for Mary Bright (Brooklyn NY) and Costume Shop stitcher and draper for Opera Boston. Her fashions and performance pieces have been shown at Torrance Art Museum (Los Angeles), GARFO at the Visual Art Institute (Salt Lake City), Artpool Gallery (St. Petersburg FL) and elsewhere. She holds a BFA in Sculpture from Massachusetts College of Art & Design, with a focus in Costume Arts, and a Certificate of Textile Arts from University of Rhode Island.

paula lazarPaula Lazar (painting) has been a painter for over 15 years, working in watercolor and oil and more recently with oil sticks and cold wax.  A member of the Jamaica Plain Arts Association and the Newton Art Association, she has studied at the SMFA, Mass Art and at R & F Handmade Paints with Lisa Pressman.  Her work has been shown in various open studio events, businesses and galleries in Greater Boston.  She is the recipient of a Hans Hoffman Foundation Grant to study at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown MA.

Aron Lee DEILab lego class BostonAron Lee (LEGO) founder of DEILAB™, has amassed thousands of classroom hours teaching about design, engineering and innovation using LEGO as a platform. His workshops help teams and organizations unlock the power of creativity through project-based design challenges. He says, “Play motivates a kind of mental activity that energizes creative thinking.” DEILAB (pronounced day-lab) was founded on the belief that art, design, science and technology can trigger a culture of innovation critical to our ability to compete on a world stage. The programming focuses on idea generation (ideation) and iteration (prototyping) as tools for innovation. Lee has conducted after school programs, corporate workshops, summer camps at museums, community centers, public and private schools around the country, including at Calvert Foundation, Georgetown Day School (Washington DC), YMCA of Greater Washington DC and Christina Seix Academy (New Jersey). His DEILab program collaborates with Josiah Lee Elementary School and other schools in Greater Boston. Lee has a multidisciplinary background in the arts, education, design, engineering, business development and management. He holds a degree in Psychology from Hampton University.

turned wood by woodturning teacher Ken Lindgren in BostonKen Lindgren (wood turning) makes functional and abstract objects from trees that have fallen due to death, disease, storm or construction. He says, “My pieces are all handcrafted to show the beauty that results when people and nature are in harmony.” He adds, “Teaching is a way for me to ‘pay it backwards,’ i.e. to do for students what my teachers did for me when I was a student.” Ken’s professional career was as a chemical engineer. A member of the American Association of Woodturners, he has taught woodturning at Fuller Craft Museum, the New England Woodturning Syumposium and elsewhere. He sells his turned bowls and other works of wood art throughout New England. In 2015, he won sculpture awards at North River Arts Society Festival of the Arts and Bridgton Maine’s Art in the Park.

Annette Lippert woodworkingAnnette Lippert (woodworking) is founder of ANSOLI Design, specializing in modern, custom furniture. She sees teaching as a way to share her passion for the opportunity to directly influence and execute every aspect of a project. She teaches both in our schoolhouse and through the Eliot School Partnership Program. She has been a Furniture Intern at Moebel Werk (Sittensen, Germany), architect at Leers Weinzapfel Associates (Boston) and VMDO Architects (Charlottesville VA) and Project Manager at GPMS GmbH (Dresden & Stuttgart, Germany). She holds a BArch from Cornell University and a Diploma in Cabinet & Furniture Making from North Bennet Street School.

keri lydonKeri Lydon (visual arts) grew up in a family of teachers and artists. She teaches literacy through visual art at the Sumner Elementary School, in a collaborative initiative between the Eliot School and Boston Public Schools (Network E). Keri wants her art room to be a place where kids feel free to express themselves, where making a mess is welcomed, and where there’s no such thing as a mistake (safety aside). She grew up in Southern California, where she earned her degree in Elementary Education. She earned her Masters from Fitchburg State, with a focus on Art Education.

Rachel Maguire comics class BostonRachel Maguire (comics) is an illustrator, designer and animator who lives in a realm south of Boston. She has designed characters, props and backgrounds for Soup2Nuts Animation on Emmy awarded PBS programing WordGirl and SciGirls. She has colored comics for BOOM! Studios, worked as an in-painter for The Oil Painting Conservation Studio and is a long time faculty member at the Eliot School, where she teaches comic classes to kids throughout the Boston area. She is currently the lead artist for Galactic Hot Dogs, an illustrated novel series published by Simon & Schuster. She holds a BFA in Illustration & Animation from Massachusetts College of
Art & Design.

 Leonardo March (photography) is a Boston-based photographer and Jamaica Plain resident. Previously a graphic designer, Leonardo now focusses on community representation and documenting creative groups through photography. During his work with the Boston Creates artists team, Leonardo was in charge of documenting instances of community throughout Boston neighborhoods. He has organized numerous photography events, including the Shut it Down! Community Exhibition and Photography Series, showcasing activism during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2014 and 2015, and the Honk Festival Annual Photography Exhibition. Leonardo is part of the photo collective, Normal Photos, documenting activism in the greater Boston area.

Marilyn Mase art classes BostonMarilyn Mase (design) is a painter, printmaker and mixed media artist. Drawing, with its immediacy and directness, provides a foundation for her work, which blends landscape with movement and multiple vanishing points. Precedents throughout art history are also inspirations. Marilyn is a resident artist at Boston Center for the Arts, a member of EES Arts, a cooperative printmaking studio, and Monotype Guild of New England. Since 1998, she has taught in the Interior and Industrial Design Departments at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Recent group exhibitions include A Street Gallery, Mills Gallery, Hellenic College, May Snow Gallery (all Boston), Duxbury Art Complex Museum (Duxbury MA), Lancaster Museum of Art (Lancaster PA), Wheaton College (Norton MA) and Newbury College (Brookline). Illustration projects include the first Boston Red Sox children’s book, The Legend of Wally the Green Monster. Marilyn is a trustee of the Eliot School. She studied at Newton College/Boston College and School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Joetta Maue artistJoetta Maue (fiber arts) says, “I teach to encourage people to share their voice and to connect via the act of creating. I like to break down expectations and limitations of medium and ideas around art. I most enjoy the diversity and open-ness that comes with my students at the Eliot School.” She also teaches at UMass Boston, Squam Art Workshops and as a visiting artist elsewhere, primarily with photography and drawing practices. Her current work includes embroideries, graphite drawings and photographs exploring intimacy, motherhood and the everyday of domestic space. Her work has been shown at galleries and museums internationally and featured in numerous publications. She authors the textile arts blog Little Yellowbird. She is also an active curator, arts writer and mama. She received a BFA from Ohio State University and an MFA from University of Massachusetts and is a member of Kingston Gallery (Boston).

Taylor McVay sewing class BostonTaylor McVay (sewing/fiber arts) is a lifelong devotee to the craft of sewing, in practical as well as artistic forms. As a sewist and pattern maker, she has worked with both established and up-and-coming fashion designers, collaborated on wearables for internationally exhibiting artists, and created custom clothing for a range of clientele. Her sewing pattern company, Blueprints For Sewing, features designs inspired by architecture and art.
As an artist, Taylor develops interactive projects, lectures, and workshops about the many facets of fashion. She is a member of New Craft Artists in Action, an activist fiber arts collective, and was a co-founder of Howard Art Project (Dorchester), an art studio and gallery. She says, “I view every job as a collaboration and love to work creatively with others. I also feel that educating people on how to make, care for and understand clothing is a valuable contribution to a healthy community.” As a teacher, she has lectured and conducted workshops at universities as well as local businesses; she currently also teaches at JP Knit & Stitch and the Franklin Mill Store. She holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

Annie Meyer wooden spoon carving workshop BostonAnnie Meyer (woodworking) is a woodworker with a focus in kitchen tools and furniture. Annie's formal and conceptual inspiration come primarily from her experiences with food politics, the food industry, farming, cooking and gathering. Her work can be found in use at select Boston-area restaurants, as well as in home kitchens around the world. Her studio practice is currently based out of Humphreys Street Studios (Dorchester). Annie has shown work at the Fuller Craft Museum (Brockton) and has been featured in Design New England magazine. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design from Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

woodworking teacher Michael Molinari, Boston
Michael Molinari (woodworking/children) worked as a carpenter and cabinetmaker for over 25 years at Scott & Duncan, F.B. Curry, Barnett Bros. and elsewhere. He represented the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners throughout the country for ten years. He teaches woodworking through our School Partnership Program for COMPASS School (Dorchester).

Dyllan Nguyen art classes BostonDyllan Nguyen (woodworking, tinkering & inventing) is an artist, maker and teacher. At the Eliot School, Dyllan teaches elementary and middle schoolers through our School Partnership Program as well as in our schoolhouse. Outside of the Eliot School, his recent art addresses distraction, information/communication and relationships between people and objects. He enjoys learning new things, and as a result his work moves between disciplines, including (but not limited to) performance, sculpture, sound, installation, video, flat and virtual media. He also likes to take things apart. He holds a BFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts Collage of Art & Design and an MFA in Creative Practice from Transart Institute/Plymouth University.

Fifile Nguyen fashion design class BostonFifile Nguyen (sewing/fashion) was born and raised in Houston TX. At age sixteen she realized she wanted to devote her life to dressing the world in beautiful clothes, and began studying fashion design at the Glassell Junior School of Art. Never one to say no to adventure, Fifile has lived in Paris, Cannes, Ho Chi Minh City, Austin and Boston, drawing design inspiration from her travels. She speaks three languages and is always eager to learn more. Her latest womenswear collection was a design collaboration called Fimika. She studied art history at the Sorbonne in Paris, and received a BA in international business marketing, a BA in textile and apparel design with a minor in French from University of Texas at Austin.

Amy Novins (fiber arts) has a passion for knitting and crochet. Amy teaches at the Eliot School with patience and a sincere desire to share her passion with all ages and abilities. She also teaches at Iron Horse yarn shop in Natick, and at numerous elder care facilities. Her creative background has included design work in jewelry, exhibit, theatre and graphics. Amy holds a BFA in Industrial Design from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Molly O'Neill artMolly O'Neill (woodworking) is a 3D-Fine Arts Major at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, where she has worked as a Teacher’s Assistant in the wood shop. She says, “I love woodworking because it allows me to make work that is both sculptural and functional. I enjoy sharing my passion with others because I believe it is important for humans to learn to build both creatively and safely.”

Dan ParetDan Paret (woodworking) has been a maker for more than thirty years and a teacher for 15 of those years. He says, “I find satisfaction in making functional objects people will use or encounter daily. I hope that people who own my pieces will connect with me through the objects, and experience with me the intimacy of simple, useful things. In my classes I employ equal measures of seriousness and levity to connect with people who are interested in making objects, manipulating materials and exploring the work. Teaching informs my work, which informs my teaching.” Dan also teaches woodworking at Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

Vicki Kocher Paret (painting) is a functional potter, and a representational painter of still life and landscape, exploring beauty in objects and place. Her work is collected throughout the United States in private, institutional and corporate collections. She began her formal training with a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work in clay began while completing a Master of Arts in Teaching in Art Education from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and has since included classes and workshops at the Harvard Ceramics Studio, Mudflat Studio, and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Vicki has been dividing her studio time over the last fifteen years with teaching - young people at the DeCordova Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, serving as Chair of the Art Department for Waring School in Beverly, and now also teaches various classes for adults and kids at the Arlington Center for the Arts.  

woodworking teacher Frank Pettorossi, BostonFrank Pettorossi (woodworking) started as a cabinetmaking apprentice at age 14 in Baselice, a small town in the Naples region of Italy. After moving to the US, he graduated from Boston Trade and joined Cabinetmakers Local 51. He worked in architectural millwork shops throughout the Boston area, did construction for Bar & Bar Co. and installed displays for Filenes department stores. His experience as a cabinetmaker and carpenter spans five decades. He says, “I have been working at the Eliot School for over 12 years and I find it very  rewarding helping others with my craft.”

barbara pooleBarbara Poole (fiber arts), a contemporary felt artist and figurative painter, creates handmade wearable art from wool, silk and beads. She has held residencies at Virginia Center for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center, Banff Center for the Arts (Canada) and Radgale (Illinois). Her work has been featured in solo shows at Bromfield Art Gallery (Boston) and Hera Gallery (Wakefield, RI), and included in group shows at Copley Society, Mills Gallery, A.I.R Gallery (New York City) and throughout New York and New England. She holds a BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and a Masters in Art Education from Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

Susan Porter book arts teacher BostonSusan Porter (book arts) began to combine book making and journal writing as a staff member of Boston Children’s Museum in the 1970s. Her colorful, multi-dimensional art journals blur boundaries between collage, printmaking and book arts. In recent years, she has taught these hybrid forms to adults, teens and children through Cooperative Artists Institute and The Peace Drum Project. She says, “I love every minute in my studio, but teaching brings a different kind of reward. There is nothing like seeing that look of wonder cover a student’s face when they realize they have created something of beauty.” Her books have been shown widely at libraries, through Beyond the Book exhibitions and at Hamill Gallery. She holds a BS in Education from Boston College, with additional study at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, Montserrat College of Art and Fine Arts Work Center (Provincetown).

sewing teacher Carol Price, Boston
Carol Price (sewing) has been sewing since childhood, following the tradition set by her father, a tailor. She designs and sells her own line of women’s apparel, pillows, drapes, backpacks, handbags and dolls.

photography teacher Robin Radin, BostonRobin Radin (photography) has photographed the cultural and natural landscape of Jamaica Plain for 30 years. Her work draws inspiration from JP’s diverse street life and the beauty of its green spaces. Her photographs have been published and exhibited nationally, including shows at Institute of Contemporary Art, Charles A. Wustum Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Anthropology, Center for Photography, Marcuse Pfeifer Gallery, Nexus Contemporary Art Center, The Dean’s Gallery at MIT, and The Print Club. In 2003, she was awarded the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Grant in Photography. She has served on the board of the Jamaica Plain Arts Council for many years. Her photographs appear in Breaking Bread: Stories and Recipes from Immigrant Kitchens, a collaboration with local writer Lynne Anderson. She earned her BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and her MFA from Massachusetts College of Art & Design.

Veronica Ramirez Martell artVerónica Ramírez Martell (woodworking) has spent the past two years with AmeriCorps at Care Force (Boston) and City Year (Orlando FL). She earlier worked as Art Therapy Coordinator for Taller Social Comunitario (San Juan PR), and as a Workshop Assistant and volunteer with Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico and with Girl Scouts Caríbe (San Juan PR). She says, “I love bringing art to students because it provides a respite from purely academic work. It’s an opportunity for them to create something of their own, on their own terms, and decide for themselves what the outcome will be. Looking at a blank piece of paper or a block of wood and being able to spark a student’s imagination into what it could be and, even better, guiding them to the process of seeing that dream through, is wonderfully inspiring.” Verónica studied Psychology at University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. She is a Community Leaders Fellow with JP New Economy Transition in 2014-15.

Jodi Schmidt children's art classes BostonJodi Schmidt (visual art/children) teaches for our School Partnership Program. She spent eight years as the Executive Director of Extras for Creative Reuse, (formally ExCL, also known as ‘the ‘recycle center’).  Before that, she taught art to children in Worcester and Melrose Public Schools. She says, “As I tried to get more supplies for all art teachers in Boston, I always said that all children should have enough supplies to make mistakes. I know that I learn and remember better when I do something wrong first, and it is silly to expect children to do anything right the first time. We should be giving them an abundance of learning materials and opportunities to make a zillion mistakes.” Jodi was named elementary art educator of the year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association in 2005. She has conducted workshops at the Boston Public Schools New Teacher Institute, the Museum of Fine Arts teachers’ program, Boston College Teachers for a New Era Institute and many out-of-school-time programs. She holds a Masters in Education with a concentration in Art from Framingham State College.

brook scibelli woven paperBrooke Scibelli (visual art/children) is an artist and creative producer. Her artwork begins as a concept or idea, and is explored through various media including fibers, printmaking, sculpture, video and performance. Brooke enjoys making work in her home studio and in public spaces. She has taught visual arts, crafts, digital and analogue photography, gardening, and jewelry making classes to elementary and middle school students in various programs throughout Massachusetts. She holds a BFA from the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Howard Shrobe woodworking class BostonHoward Shrobe (woodworking) is Principal Research Scientist at the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a long-time participant in the Eliot School’s wood shop.

drawing teacher Robert Siegelman, BostonRobert Siegelman (drawing/painting) teaches at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, works with artists privately, and leads workshops and classes throughout New England. His work is in many collections including Boston Public Library, MIT, Harvard University Art Museums, DeCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Leslie + Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (New York City) and Museum of Fine Arts Boston. His work has been exhibited and published internationally. He is included in the books 100 Boston Artists by Chawky Frenn and Self Portraits by Others, organized by Hunter O’Hanian.

Annie Silverman art BostonAnnie Silverman (book arts) makes prints and artists’ books. She is founder and proprietor of Abrazos Press (Somerville), a teaching and professional studio for experimental relief printmaking, and teaches through the Printmaking Department at Massachusetts College of Art & Design. Her books have been exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in Vermont, Holland and Japan. She is a member of the Al-Mutanabbi St. Starts Here international book project, exhibited at the Center for Book Arts (New York City).
Annie has lately been teaching printmaking classes with teens at RAW Artworks (Lynn). She did a woodcut and letterpress book project there with Eli Epstein of Union Press. Annie is also an urban beekeeper. She curated an exhibition, The Birds & the Bees, at NAVE Gallery (Somerville), where she installed her bee wall. Last summer her artist book, Danish Spoons, won first prize in the UNBOUND Exhibition /Competition (Woodstock VT). Images of her collages and rubbings of spoons from Denmark are to be shown in Fall 2015 at the Scandinavian Cultural Center (Newton).

woodworking teacher Joe Stanewick, Boston

Joe Stanewick (woodworking) has been associated with the Eliot School since 1984 as a student and instructor. He learned cabinetmaking at Wentworth Institute and North Bennet Street School, and worked as a furniture restorer at Trefler & Sons.

Rob Stull art class BostonRob Stull (Comics) is an illustrator, curator, designer and creator of comic books. He says, “I have always believed that all art is relative. Sequential Art is a storytelling medium, but most visual art is telling a story of some kind.” In addition to working through his own studio, Ink on Paper, he has worked over two decades for every major publisher in the industry, including Marvel and DC Comics, where his projects include Spider-Man Adventures, Iron Man, X-Force, Wolverine, Nightwing and more. He also creates art for musicians, radio, television and magazines. He is featured in the ground-breaking book, Black Comix: African American Independent Comics, Art and Culture, and in The History of American Graffiti. He created and curated Sequential Art: The Next Step, a traveling exhibition spotlighting the contributions of African Americans to mainstream comic book art and popular culture, featured at the National Center of Afro-American Artists (Boston), Words and Pictures Museum (Northampton MA), Afro-American Cultural Center (Charlotte NC), Tubman Museum (Macon GA) and elsewhere, and his work has also been shown in galleries around the United States. He holds a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

woodworking workshop class in BostonCharlie Tardanico (woodworking) started his cabinetmaking apprenticeship in Italy at age 10. With over 45 years of experience in cabinet and furniture making, he has been employed at Scott & Duncan, F.B. Curry and Laing & Casson.

wood carving teacher Peter Thibeault, BostonPeter Thibeault (wood carving) has operated a studio furniture and sculpture studio in the Boston area for three decades.He teaches at Massachusetts College of Art & Design, where he is helping to develop a furniture design certificate program in collaboration with North Bennet Street School. He has also taught in the past at Rhode Island School Design, Northeastern University, Wentworth Institute, Suffolk University, UMass Dartmouth. He earned his BFA at Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA at Art Institute of Boston.

Jamal Thorne art class BostonJamal Thorne (drawing/visual arts) teaches art at Northeastern University's College of Art, Media & Design, and was previously a Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, introducing contemporary art practices and Critical Theory to first year students. His work has been shown at Essex Art Center, Northeastern University and elsewhere. He He earned his BA in Photographic Media from Morgan State University, honed his skills under the tutelage of Guy Jones, Eric Briscoe, Kenneth Royster and others, and completed his MFA through a cooperative program between Northeastern University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, where he received a Joan Mitchell Foundation MFA Grant award.

Zahirah Nur Truth children's art class BostonZahirah Nur Truth (visual arts/children) paints, draws and teaches art to young children. She has taught at most recently at Dimock Community Health Center's early childhood education program, and previously at Easter Seals Multigenerational Center (Silver Spring MD) and NE Stars Montessori Learning Center (Washington DC). Her art has been shown at Discover Roxbury's Black & White Fundraiser, Artomatic (Washington DC), DEKKA (Washington DC) and elsewhere. She says, “My motivation is my two boys, now ages 3 and 8, leaving them with beauty and a legacy in art. I enjoy most the ah ha teaching moments when a light bulb goes on in a child’s eyes that they really get it. As an artist, I hope to inspire other artists to dig deep and follow their love of art. My personal art is a reflection of the world around me and the beauty I see in others.” She is certified as a Preschool/Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher. She received her AS with an Arts Program focus from Bunker Hill Community College, and is pursuing her BFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

children's comics class bostonJack Turnbull (visual arts/children) teaches Comics for our School Partnership Program at Roxbury Tenants of Harvard (Roxbury) and Sumner Elementary School (Roslindale). He has previously taught at the Art Institute of Boston, Edwards Middle School (Charlestown) and Ipswich Public Schools. Jack has worked as an illustrator, graphic novelist and magazine designer. He self publishes graphic novels, whose titles include The Invasive Exotics and Walking George Potato. He has shown his artwork in Brooklyn, Rome, and locally in the Boston area. He specializes in graphic novels but also loves to paint and draw. He also plays guitar and loves to run. He holds a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.

shaker box by woodworking workshop class teacher in Boston Jac Van LoonJac Van Loon (woodworking) trained as a furniture maker in Holland, where he also attended college for interior design. With over 30 years experience in woodworking, he teaches in Wentworth Institute’s Industrial Design program.

woodworking by children's teacher Susan Vannini in BostonSusan Vannini (woodworking/children) has studied woodworking at the Eliot School and North Bennet Street School for over a decade. She now passes her knowledge on to children.


 Andrea Vilanova woodworking class bostonAndrea Vilanova (woodworking/children) has worked as Educator/Mentor at Artists for Humanity (South Boston) and After-School Educator for Citizen Schools, with additional experience as an architect and construction manager at Wess Co, White Picket Fence (Northborough), Tribeca Builders (Somerville) and Paul Lukez Architecture (Somerville). She says, “By teaching, you are not only empowering an individual but also providing her with tools of knowledge for endless possibilities. Whether it’s an adult, a youth or a child, I am their teacher and I am their student as they will always bring something new to my own pool of knowledge. We should never loose the desire to learn and I hope I can contribute and bring something new to their lives even if they are not aware at that point in time.” Andrea holds both a Masters and a Bachelors Degree in Architecture from Savannah College of Art & Design.

denise wallace-spriggs Denise Wallace-Spriggs (millinery) is resident crafts artisan/dyer for the Huntington Theater Company and proprietor of Winged Heart Millinery, where she makes custom hats. She has done freelance millinery and crafts for Disney Cruise Lines, Big Apple Circus, American Repertory Theatre and Glimmerglass Opera, among others. She also does freelance dyeing and millinery for films in the New England area and teaches workshops in both disciplines.

art teacher Brigid Watson, BostonBrigid Watson (drawing) has taught drawing and painting at Boston Center for Adult Education and Wentworth Institute of Technology. She has exhibited her work on three continents. She earned her BFA from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston and her MFA from New York University.

Deborah West, sewing class teacher, BostonDeborah West (sewing) is a trained Sewing Educator, and has been in the sewing and fashion business for over 30 years. Owner of Dwest Designs, she has taught sewing at Robert Gould Shaw House, YWCA Aswalos House, for Family Services of Greater Boston's Teen Living Program and elsewhere. She has sponsored and produced fashion shows in the corporate and private sectors. In the 1980s, she co-owned Collage Ltd, an image consulting firm whose clients included Dover-Sherborn School, Carver High School and MCI Framingham. She is former Mass. State Director of the “Make it with Wool” contest and participated as a judge in the 4-H Middlesex County Fair sewing competition.

Will Whelan artWill Whelan (visual arts) is founder and Program Manager at Dorchester Art Project, a gallery and studio space featuring emerging artists in Fields Corner. He was a Studio and Media Arts Teacher for six years for BSAFE (South End) and Artist in Residence for the Violence Transformed Initiative at Wheelock College and at Culture for Change (Boston). His art has been shown at Gallery 263, Dorchester Art Project and elsewhere. Will says, “I make art to understand my world, to express and to communicate, and to me teaching forms a natural counterpart to making. I love teaching visual arts because I get to witness my students making new discoveries about looking and creating every day.” He holds a Master of Education from Lesley University, AB’s in Art History and Visual Art from University of Chicago, a Massachusetts Initial Teaching License in Visual Art for Grades 5-12 and a Massachusetts Provisional Teaching License in Math for Grades 7-12.

Cyrus Whittier art class BostonCyrus Whittier (drawing, visual art) has taught art for over 25 years, specializing in portrait and still life drawing with pastel and charcoal. He currently teaches at Brookline Adult & Community Education Program, Newton Community Education and The Jewish Community Center, with past experience at DeCordova Museum School. He exhibits his work at Rockport Art Association, Concord Art Association and Newton Art Association and is represented by Portraits North (Lexington MA). He holds a Diploma in Graphic Design from Art Institute of Boston.

Tam Willey kids woodworking class BostonTam Willey (woodworking/children) teaches Kids’ Beginning Woodworking and Basic Home Repairs at the Eliot School. By day she works locally as a handy person based in Jamaica Plain, as well as custodian for the Eliot School. By night she works as a LGBTQQA Youth Worker, volunteering at BAGLY and working with The Theatre Offensive’s True Colors: Out Youth Theater Troupe, in the spring as Production Manager and in the summer as Assistant Director. She meditates regularly and strives to create safe, compassionate and oppression-free learning environments. She is a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art & Design, where she studied Sculpture and Film.

Richard Yorde (woodworking) began designing and building furniture in his own studio as an undergraduate in the 1960’s.  After receiving an MFA in Design from Ohio University he spent 15 years as a cabinet maker and furniture designer including 7 years as a journeyman cabinet maker with the United Brotherhood of Carpenters in Chicago.  He continued to pursue art furniture as an avocation after a career move to product development in the power tool industry.  Over the ensuing years he has built custom furniture, houses, retail store interiors, and building renovations.  Richard taught a non-academic course in woodworking at Kenyon College in Ohio for 20 years.  After retiring from product development and management he is focusing on a return to woodworking design, building and teaching. 

ginny zangerGinny Zanger (painting) is a watercolorist and printmaking working primarily in Yupo. Her work has been featured in Artscope Magazine, and has been shown throughout the Greater Boston area an on Cape Cod. She is represented by the Copley Society, with a Copley Artist designation, and by the Cove Gallery in Wellfleet. She has been an artist-in-residence at Ten Acre School, and at the Vermont Studio Center.