Melanie received her BFA from Edinboro University and her teaching certification in art education from Carlow University. When she'd not subbing in the Penn Hills School District, she's curling up with a good book, crafting, or chasing her cats away from her knitting. Melanie loves learning and uses that passion to encourage students to unlock their own creative potential.
Gretchen Bender received her MA in art history at American University and PhD in art history at Bryn Mawr College, specializing in German art of the Romantic era. She is currently a lecturer in modern art and architecture at the University of Pittsburgh, and assistant chair of their History of Art and Architecture department where she oversees their undergraduate programs.
As a natural inclination, Dubravka has studied and practiced the art of intuitive energy healing and various meditation techniques for the past 16 years. Her unique style has developed as a result of studying different ancient healing methods as well observing the most recent scientific findings. She has received her Reiki Master Healer Level from Reiki Master Parag Pattani of Singapore and completed her Master Teacher Level with Reiki Master Deborah Donoghue of Pittsburgh, PA. Dubravka continues to expand her Reiki practice in individual healing sessions, open Reiki shares and by teaching and attuning students.
Renea is active in the Society for Creative Anachronism, and international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th century. She has studied the myths and history of many styles of belly dance and teaches and performs tribal styles from many different cultures. Renea has taught many styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, modern, and belly dance. Renea is a certified Aerobics Instructor and Personal Trainer. She is also certified in Group Exercise, Step Aerobics, Kickboxing, and Yoga. Renea is the Director of a professional performance dance team, with whom she performs. www.dance4fitness-pa.com
Beverlee Blair published her first poetry while still in high school. She studied English literature and Psychology at Boston University, dance at the Institute for Contemporary Dance and acting with Mark Monroe Productions. Two of her plays have been produced in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has also acted and directed. She has been a teacher of creative writing and dramatic arts and most recently has worked as a researcher for national television news programs as well as a private investigator. Ms. Blair also works as the assistant to the Teen Librarian at the Sewickley Public Library.
A Pittsburgh native, Doug attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Dough recently returned to Pittsburgh after pursuing a career as a package designer and freelance artist for almost forty years in northeastern Pennsylvania. He is a signature member and past president of the Pennsylvania En Plein Air Society. For the past fifteen years, he has taught watercolor classes and shared his love of the beauty of colors with students at several art leagues, both in group and individual formats. He has given both demonstrations and workshops that benefited both beginners as well as more advanced students. Doug has exhibited in many areas of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida and is currently represented by Matthews Gallery in Bellevue and Bottlebrush Gallery in Harmony.
Sarah Carleton is an actress and teacher currently living in Western, PA. She continues to use her degrees, a BA in English Education from Geneva College and an MFA in acting from the University of Louisville, as she shares her love of acting both with her students and with her audiences. Her teaching experiences cover a wide range of settings, including traditional classrooms and one-on-one coaching sessions, with students ranging in age from elementary to adult. Along with her teaching Sarah is actively building her own acting resume and you can view her work and current projects at sarahcarleton.net
David Cooper is a commercial photographer based in Pittsburgh and has been an instructor at Sweetwater for over ten years. David combines his fine art photography background with his commercial experience to bring a balance to the art and craft of photography. His work has been exhibited in numerous local galleries, and is represented by Getty Images.
Crafting since she could hold a pair of scissors, Dani received her BA from Carlow University, her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh, and has worked with children of all ages in a variety of settings, both educational and entertaining. With a strong love for personal expression through arts and crafts, Dani has crafted with kids at the various locations where she's worked including numerous libraries throughout Allegheny County, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, and local preschools. Dani also currently works as a Children's Librarian at Sewickley Public Library.
Adina is a native to Squirrel Hill and a graduate of The University of Pittsburgh. A Silversmith specializing in wire jewelry, she is continuing her family tradition in the jewelry industry, designing selling jewelry for the past ten years. Adina studied jewelry design in Italy as well as locally. She is a member of the Craftsman Guild of Pittsburgh, and is also an avid fiber artist and knitter. She sells her jewelry internationally through the Internet.
Emily has a BA in Art Education from Carlow University. A Pittsburgh native, she has written articles on arts education and has had artwork featured on the cover of the Squirrel Hill Magazine. She has taught many different programs at Sweetwater, Boyd Community Center, and at the Hazelwood branch of the Carnegie Library. Emily is currently the art teacher at Young Scholars of Western Pennsylvania Charter School in Castle Shannon. Acrylic paint being her preferred medium, Emily enjoys painting monsters and scenes inspired by horror movies from the '50s and '60s. Her other interests include knitting, vinyl records, and reading.
Jeff Ellsworth is an accomplished guitarist who has been playing and composing for over twenty years. He's played on numerous recordings for major independent labels and has toured with several bands throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. From a young age, he studied with talented instructors both independently and at Duquesne University. Jeff personalizes lessons accordingly, making his class a favorite of students of various skills levels and ages. His lessons are focused on the genre requested by the student and follow an intuitive pace on the fundamentals of guitar and bass guitar.
A teacher by profession, Pat loves sharing her knowledge of metal and design with interested students. She is a member of the Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh and is a contributing artist member at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Her business, Jewelry Art by Pat Falbo, furnishes unique pieces to boutiques and galleries in Pittsburgh and Charleston, SC.
Stephanie has been cooking, baking and developing recipes since she could see the top of the kitchen counter. After years of corporate event planning in New York City, she trained at the French Culinary Institute and went on to work at the city's top bakeries. Her custom wedding cake designs incorporate her background in fashion and fine arts, as well as a love of travel and handmade crafts. Stephanie holds a bachelor's degree from NYU and studied for a semester in Paris, where she worked for a local designer.
Cali received her Bachelor of Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and her teaching certification in art education from Carlow University. She has been teaching her little sisters how to make art ever since they could hold a crayon, has taught at summer camps and been called a "super-nanny" in her days working with children. Cali has a real passion for art and art history and for inspiring that same passion in her students.
Adrienne M. Grafton is currently living in Harmony, PA and working at her studio, The Studio Situation, on Pittsburgh's North Side. She earned a MFA in Metal Design from East Carolina University in 2005. Her recent work, inspired by emotions and memories is fabricated jewelry made of silver, gold, copper and brass and adorned with gemstones, pearls and enamel. She currently teaches at the Community College of Allegheny County in Pittsburgh and travels on the east coast teaching workshops.
Andria earned her Bachelors degree in photography from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she also student taught as a teacher's assistant. Andria has been a photographer at various portrait studios as well as working as a photographer's assistant for an advertising studio.
She plans on returning to school to receive a Master of Arts degree in Teaching in the near future.
Violinist and teacher, Lisa graduated from California State University Northridge in Los Angeles with her Bachelor's of Music degree in Violin Performance at the age of 19. While at CSUN, Lisa received several awards and graduated summa cum laude. Lisa is pursuing her Master's of Music degree in Violin Performance at Duquesne University. She was awarded a full scholarship as a graduate and teaching assistant where she has completed her first year and eagerly anticipates graduation in May 2008. Currently, Lisa is a member of the Butler County Symphony and has played with Wheeling Symphony and Johnstown Symphony. Lisa has taught violin privately for five years and has taught in two elementary schools for one year. She has been a member of ASTA (American String Teachers Association) for three years.
Lee W. Kikuchi studied music composition and computer science at Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. In addition to the requirements for the majors, his studies included: private piano instruction with Julian Martin & Mary Dannenberg, private voice instruction with Theresa Williams & Richard Miller, conducting with Daniel Moe, and several courses in musicology beyond the minimum for the major. Prior to attending Oberlin: Mr. Kikuchi studied piano with Hannah Li and Mineko Avery; studied cello with Robert Sametini and Allen Sher; studied violin with Frances Ortenberg; and studied voice with Claudia Benack. Mr. Kikuchi has been teaching private piano, voice, violin, viola and cello full-time since 2003, and has had private students off and on since 1985. Mr. Kikuchi has maintained the following professional memberships/appointments: tenor for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (1982, 1991-92, & 1999-2009), private instructor for the Lisa Rae Music Studios (October 2003-present), instructor in strings and composition for the Alle-Kiske Music Day Camp (June 2006-2008), private instructor at The Kiski School-Saltsburg (2007-2010); Member of the Pittsburgh Piano Teachers Association (PPTA) (2004-present); Editor of the PPTA Yearbook (2005-2008); Chairman of the PPTA Student Composition Competition (2004-2009); Member of the Greater Pittsburgh Chapter of the Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association (GPC/PMTA) (2005-present); Judge for the PPTA Junior Solo Piano Competition (2008), PPTA Duet Piano Competition (2006, 2007 & 2008), and PPTA Elementary Solo Piano Competition (2007); Chairman of the PPTA S*T*A*R Evaluations Program (2009-present); Vice-President of the GPC/PMTA (2009-2010); President of the GPC/PMTA (2010-present); and Director and Founder of the Kikuchi Music Institute (2003-present)
Dan Lehner is a 2007 University of Pittsburgh graduate who earned a bachelor of arts degree in music. His primary focus was jazz piano and also enjoys rock and blues. As an instructor he will show the student piano fundamentals and gradually introduce concepts of music theory. This will include the use of chords, scales, and modes as they relate to all areas of musical study. Dan's goal is to help the student develop a strong musical background and enhance creativity through the use of the keyboard.
Sarah Mammay, a Pittsburgh native, received her BA in Art Education at Carlow University. She is currently obtaining a certification in English as a Second Language from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Along with Sweetwater, she has also taught art workshops and classes at The Andy Warhol Museum and Pittsburgh Center for the Arts. Sarah is currently a substitute teacher at the North Allegheny and Pine Richland School Districts. She specializes in drawing and mixed media.
Judy is a professional artist who exhibits locally and nationally and studied for 15 years with Philip Salvato. She is a member of Associated Artists of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Society of Artists and South Hills Art League, is past President of South Hills Art League, and is a Board Member of South Arts and Chartiers Valley Arts Council.
A graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Deborah studied at the Woodstock School of Art in Woodstock, New York, The Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, in Old Lyme, Connnecticut and with James Sulkowski and Ian Roberts. In November 2003 Deborah was awarded an artist-in-residency at The Julia and David White Artists Colony in Ciudad Colon, Costa Rica.
Deborah has been juried into many Connecticut shows, including the 61st Annual Connecticut Artists Exhibition at the Slater Memorial Museum in Norwich, Connecticut while a resident of Mystic, Connecticut. Deborah also has to her credit a book jacket design for the novel released June 2004, The Avatar, by Terry Ray, and ink drawings for a book by Melville O'Donnell entitled Confessions of a Male Stripper, a humorous book on furniture stripping and repair. Deborah was chosen to create ink drawings for the Mystic River Historical Society's House Tour in October, 2004. Seventeen homes and eight historic sites were featured on the tour October 1 & 2.Deborah has illustrated "It's Always a Good Day for Crabbing" by Karin Whiting Burgess. It's a children's book released in July of 2005 by Flat Hammock Press in Mystic, Connecticut and sales have been brisk. A second book is planned for 2006. Deborah has done illustrations for two other books published by Flat Hammock Press.
Deborah loves to paint still life, landscape, antique and classic automobiles, and also drawing in ink. Deborah has traveled extensively and painted in Europe, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica and the United States. Her paintings are in private collections throughout the US.
Bio coming soon.
Sally Oberdick has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and elementary teacher certification from Chatham College. She has taught the pre-kindergarten class at a local pre-school for 11 years and has taught children's classes at Sweetwater for 10 years. She is also a substitute teacher through the Northern Area Teacher Service.
Katy received her Bachelors degree at California University of Pennsylvania in Business Management with a minor in Ceramics. She is currently pursuing her MAT degree in Art Education at California University of Pennsylvania. She is a dedicated ceramic artist who enjoys printmaking and painting. She has a passion for art, and finds joy in teaching and sharing its endless possibilities with others!
Amanda received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Studio Arts from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Secondary Math education at Robert Morris University. Since graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, Amanda has been working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Sharing her love of art with these children has been very rewarding over the past few years. Amanda enjoys working in mixed media, and loves to share this process with the children she works with. Teaching students to see that anything can be art depending on how you look at it or use it is very important to her. Rather than focusing on the products they create, she enjoys teaching her students about the process of art making, and more importantly teaching them to appreciate it.
Donna Penoyer, an internationally recognized jewelry artist, is certified in metal clay by both PMC Connection and Rio Grande and is an award-winning member of the Craftsmen's Guild of Pittsburgh. Her jewelry has been featured in two invitational exhibits at Purdue University, where she won Best of Show in July 2010. A collaboration between Penoyer and glass artist Darlene Durrwachter Rushing was chosen to travel the world for a year in the Convergence II exhibit. Penoyer's whistle amulets and other pieces have appeared in multiple publications, including all four editions of PMC Guild Annual: Exceptional Work in Precious Metal Clay, with her work chosen for the 2009 cover. Penoyer is one of ten artists around the world chosen as a designer for the Master Muses program sponsored by Whole Lotta Whimsy, a leading online art supply company. Donna is an outgoing and enthusiastic instructor who teaches internationally and writes for Art Jewelry and other magazines. She has also been a professional stiltwalker since 1998, performing for corporate events and festivals. Penoyer's websites can be found at www.donnapenoyer.com and www.donnastilts.com.
Juliet Pusateri is an oil and mixed media painter whose works use texture and color to seduce the viewer. She is influenced by folktales, fireworks, synaesthesia, Abstract Expressionism, eclipses, bioluminescence, and the way the sun shines through cranberry juice. Juliet received her bachelor's from Carnegie Mellon University, focusing in painting and creative writing; she also studied in Rome through Temple University. She later moved to Colorado to teach ecology, orienteering, and outdoor living courses in Rocky Mountain National Park. She currently works in the Children's Studio at Carnegie Museum of Art. Juliet's work has been exhibited locally at Construction Junction, the Regina Gouger Miller Gallery, Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, and in collaborative installation in Schenley Park.
JOYCE WERWIE PERRY
Joyce Werwie Perry is the owner of le Poire, a fine art studio and gallery located at 11 E Crafton Avenue in the heart of Crafton near the West End of Pittsburgh. Joyce has won numerous awards in regional and national exhibitions, including juror's awards given by such people as Douglas Fogle, Curator of Contemporary Art at Carnegie Museum of Art, Virginia Mecklenberg, Curator at The Smithsonian,Washington, D.C and Faith Ringgold , renowned international artist and Caldicott Award winner among others. Most recently, Joyce received the prestigious Westmoreland Museum Exhibition Award by Curator Barb Jones for a solo exhibition in 2010.
Her work has been shown at Carnegie Museum of Art, Andy Warhol Museum, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Butler Museum of American Art in Youngstown ,Ohio, Avampato Discovery Museum in Charleston, West Virginia, Duquesne University, Seton Hill University, Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, and many other local galleries. Joyce is a member and former Vice President /Exhibitions Co-Chair of The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and has nationally over 110 works in private and public collections nationally. She also teaches her original knife technique at le Poire as well as Touchstone Center for the Arts near Uniontown, PA.
Philip Real is looking forward to the November opening of the Naked Grape Enoteca, where he will be giving wine flights and other events. He writes the Crush column for Table Magazine. He ran Prelude Wine Bar at the Pittsburgh Renaissance Hotel, taught Wine Studies at the Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, and managed San Francisco wine shops.
Vanessa Latour is a certified art education teacher who possesses a lifelong passion in her field. As a Sweetwater Instructor, she has taught a variety of children at summer camps, After-School programs at St. James and Cornell, and art workshops throughout the year. In addition, Vanessa also collaborated with Summerbridge Pittsburgh to provide arts enrichment to middle school students facing limited opportunities. Vanessa also teaches visual art through Lincoln Park Performing Art Center's ArtReach program, which offers hands-on classes to PA Cyber school students throughout Pennsylvania. As an artist and educator, Vanessa's talents embody various styles and mediums including: painting, sculpture, ceramics, mixed media, jewelry, fibers, assemblage, and photography. Her unique, diverse, and often nature inspire artwork is exhibited regionally in various galleries and festivals.
Cindy is a multi-media artist with experience in many fields throughout her 25 year career. She has been a fine artist, magazine illustrator, greeting card designer, mural painter, henna tattoo artist, teacher, calligrapher, musician and sculptor. Her current medium involves collecting natural elements such as insects, bones, feathers, pods, etc and meticulously arranging them as a Mandela pattern. She has designed interactive murals for schools and directed hundreds of local students in painting them. For the National Baseball League All-Star Game held in Pittsburgh, Cindy created an 8' painted relief sculpture which won first place with both the juror and public votes; it was displayed for 9 months in the city of Pittsburgh and is now permanently installed in the PPG Aquarium at the Pittsburgh Zoo. Cindy also spends much of her time in public service, taking photographs for the Butler County Humane Society, teaching art at Gilda's Club cancer center, and caring for rehabilitating animals at the ARL Wildlife Center. Her experience with animals and nature is evident in her fine art work.
Megan graduated from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Art and Psychology. She went on to get her Master's Degree in Art Therapy from Marywood University. Megan works in the world of child and adolescent mental health treatment using art as a form of positive expression. She focuses in the ceramic arts, however, her creative endeavors are constantly changing and growing.
Colleen earned her B.S. in Art Education from Indiana University of PA. She teaches children's art in a variety of settings such as after school programs, scout workshops, home schooling classes and facilitates birthday parties. She presently substitutes for art K-12 in the public schools. Her art endeavors were in a "holding pattern" for 23 years while she was a flight attendant, but are now "taking off" as she pursues her art interests. Her pastel paintings which she exhibits locally have won several awards. She has written and illustrated several children's books which she hopes to someday publish. She is a member of the North Hills Art Center and the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators.
Kathy has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh and is the author of three popular books on teamwork and empowerment. Anyone can Bead! Easy Techniques for Making Jewelry is her first book on beading. Formerly a publishing director and corporate trainer for Fortune 500 companies, Kathy now designs handcrafted jewelry and conducts creative, fun-filled workshops for women and children. Since 1997, she has instructed students at art centers and other venues in Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan.
Ellen graduated from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with a BFA; she majored in ceramics with a double minor in art history and printmaking. She also works under Terracotta Illustrations as a freelance artist specializing in cartoon and animal illustrations. Ellen has been working with children off and on for the past six years through the Girl Scouts of America. She also enjoys working with pets, and much of her artwork is inspired by her love of animals.
Elizabeth Slovan graduated from The Maryland Institute College of Art with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Illustration and a Master's of Arts in Teaching. She enjoys making her own art as well as teaching students of all ages and is currently the art teacher at the New Castle Christian Academy.
"A surge of visual impact here, a wisp of creative style there, if it looks good, leave it alone." Ron Thurston is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society and a past President of the Pittsburgh Watercolor Society. He is a founding member of Pittsburgh Under Water and a member of the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators. Ron has a long career as a commercial artist, whether from design firms in the advertising market, or in the personal commission field where his reputation as one of the area's premier watercolor painters brings many buyers to his work. Ron's favorite borrowed philosophy comes from the artist Henry Koerner: "If you do something with love, love looks back at you." For ten years Ron was the President of Watercolors, an artist-owned gallery located in the heart of Pittsburgh's downtown cultural district. He currently teaches watercolor workshops at Sweetwater and Touchstone.
Charlotte Tolliver, CDP, is a Sister of Divine Providence. A Potter skilled in wheel thrown and hand built vessels, she holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sociology from LaRoche College and an MA in Ceramics from Edinboro University. She has been commissioned to do liturgical vessels for churches and retreat centers throughout the country. Charlotte teaches ceramics classes at Sweetwater and at Friendship Village of South Hills. Workshops, retreats and demonstrations for art clubs, senior citizens and high schools are also part of her ministry as a member of her religious congregation.
Olga Watkins has worked as a Personal Chef, Caterer, Restaurant Chef and Manager, Restaurant Consultant and Demonstration Chef. She is currently the Head Chef at Hollywood Gardens in Rochester, PA, a contributing food writer for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review and the leader of the Olga Watkins Band.
SARAH BETH WILT
After graduating with a bachelor's degree in art education from Washington and Jefferson College, Sarah begin teaching art at the junior/senior high level at Northgate Junior/Senior High School in the North Hills area. She recently began studying for her MEd in art education at Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Sarah has always had a passion for art, reaching back to her elementary school years. Working as a summer art camp instructor all through college, Sarah developed her skills as an educator by planning lessons that incorporated culture and multiple content areas, working with Theater camp, and integrating music as often as possible. Also coming from a musical background, Sarah feels that music is an integral part of a child's education. During her studies at W&J, Sarah spent five months abroad where she was immersed in the Italian culture in Florence, Italy. The time spent abroad allowed Sarah to fully comprehend how crucial it is for students to be exposed to various cultures and traditions. All of these experiences combined allow Sarah to be an inspiring educator, and she believes that the arts must be at the heart of every child's learning experience if they are to have a chance to dream, to create, and to be true to one's own identity.
Celena graduated with a BA in Art Education from Carlow University. She is a PA certified teacher, with experience instructing grades K-12. She is a dedicated artist, specializing in drawing and painting. For over a decade, she's been avidly following Japanese animation and comics, which has lead to a love of Asian art and culture. She's attended over 30 anime conventions throughout the US and Canada, volunteering at many, including Pittsburgh's local Tekkoshocon, where she runs several workshops and panels.
Tara Zalewsky received her Masters of Fine Art in Painting from the University of New Mexico (2006) and her Bachelors of Fine Art in Graphic Design and Illustration from Kent State University, OH (2003). She recently moved from Albuquerque, New Mexico where she taught Painting, Drawing and Design classes for the Art Center Design College, the University of New Mexico and multiple community education programs. She has had frequent solo exhibitions of her painting and sculpture in Sante Fe, Albuquerque, and Taos, NM. Her work is represented by the Bright Rain Gallery in Old Town, NM and has been exhibited at the Millicent Rodgers Museum in Taos, NM. She was the artist in residence at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos (2006), and her painting and sculpture has won various awards, including The Friends of Art- Best in Show award from The Jonson Gallery in Albuquerque.