Our Artist Educators

The W. Charles Thompson Museum School at the Attleboro Arts Museum employs a range of award-winning artist educators.  Our teachers are all active, practicing artists with educational experience.  They thrive in a studio setting and are pleased to share their talents with students of all ages.

Artist Educator Biographies:

 

  • Clare Asch was born in Hungary and moved to the United States at age eight. She studied art at Cooper Union and the University of MA and has an MFA from the Art Institute of Boston. Her paintings are in the collection of the Boston Public Library, Northeastern University and the Alston Brighton Resource Center among others. Asch has recently shown her paintings at Galatea Fine Art in Boston and the Mill Gallery in RI.
  • Debra Banna holds a BSW degree in social work and a MLS degree.  She has worked as a school librarian at Dayspring Christian Academy, at the circulation desk in the Attleboro Library and as a children’s librarian at the Sharon Public Library.  During her 7 years in Sharon, she painted murals in the children’s room and developed and taught art education programs for the children.  After leaving Sharon, Debra started her own business, DeeAnne ART, and has been offering classes to home school groups, libraries, private students, and adult groups in various locations throughout Massachusetts.
  • Kaly Barrett holds a BFA in Fiber from Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA.  Her work aims to explore the connection between ritual and ordinary objects and her practice is focused mainly on the function and life cycle of ritual cloth.  Kaly has taught children and teen art classes and camps at the Attleboro Arts Museum since the summer of 2012.
  • Sandra Barrett holds an Associates Degree in Social Studies from Berufsbuildungszentrum College in Hochstadt, Germany and her BFA in Sculpture from Bridgewater State University that she received in May of 2007.  Sandra is currently teaching Ceramics for all ages at the Attleboro Arts Museum.
  • Christina Beecher received her BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art.  She participated in the 2007 8 Visions Exhibition at the Attleboro Arts Museum.  She has exhibited in numerous group show throughout Southeastern Massachusetts and has won many awards in these events and exhibitions.
  • Judith Bertozzi holds a BFA from Tufts University/Museum School and a Masters in Art Ed. from Lesley University.  She has been “plein air” painting for over twenty years during which time she has taught at the Worcester Art Museum, Dighton/Rehoboth Reg. High School and Dighton Middle School.   Her work has received numerous area awards and is in both private and corporate collections.
  • Betsy Cameron Fine holds a BFA in Ceramics from Indiana State University.  She exhibits and is in both corporate and private collections throughout the USA.  Betsy is a member of the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts, the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative, the Pottery Council and the Attleboro Arts Museum.  Betsy’s engaging work appeared in the Attleboro Arts Museum’s  2010 “8 Visions” Exhibition.
  • Toni Cardoza is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design’s Culinary School who has evolved into a professional polymer clay artist.  Cardoza has been artist-in-residence for various RI Schools since 1999 and a recent guest artist at the Imago Gallery in Warren, RI.  Her work is sold in area galleries, including the Fuller Craft Museum, Society of Arts & Crafts in Boston and the Attleboro Arts Museum.
  • Sandi Carter Brown is a self-taught artist and has exhibited her work in numerous local, national and international exhibitions.  Her activist art has brought awareness to the atrocities against children.  Her piece “We Are” Children of Darfur is on national tour with Africaaction.org.
  • T. A. Charron has been teaching students for over 30 years. He has won over 100 national awards in painting and drawing. His artwork is in collections worldwide. His drawing and painting experiences have established Charron as one of New England’s most valuable instructors.  T.A. studied at the Art Institute of Boston under Norman Baer (Howard Pyle lineage) receiving top honors in illustration and stone lithography at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Also, he studied with Robert Douglas Hunter (Boston School lineage) receiving classical training. Charron continued his studies with noted artists; wildlife artist and friend Robert Bateman, portrait artist Daniel E. Greene, sculptor Veryl Goodnight, and watercolorists Nita Engle and Murray Wentworth.
  • Adam Cristaldi specializes in illustration and portrait art.  Adam holds a BFA with a concentration in Illustration from Massachusetts Collage of Art and Design and has been published in Say Good Night to Illiteracy: 10th Anniversary Edition. Adam also enjoys creating live caricatures for visitors during Attleboro’s summer Expo for the Senses and Winter Night Festival.
  • Paula DeSimone is an artist, author and educator who specializes in the Art of Suface Design.  A graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Paula is the author of four books on the subject of surface painting and is credited for developing a Certificate Program in Decorative Painting at RISD/Continuing Education.  Paula’s work is featured in international hospital, corporate and private collections.
  • Deborah L. Friedman has a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  She has worked and exhibited in a variety of media including graphite, lithography, colored pencil, pastel and oils.  Her recent work in colored pencil has received recognition and awards both nationally and abroad, and her work has appeared in magazines including American Artist Drawing, The Artists Magazine and the French magazine, Practique des Artes.  She is a signature member of the Colored Pencil Society of America.
  • Cheryl Gilbert is a trained artist who has been painting for over thirteen years.  Cheryl graduated from Rhode Island College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Art Education.  She has been an art instructor in the Attleboro Public Schools, Bay View Academy, worked as a production artist at Tatutina, and currently works as a floral designer at Flowers by the Station, Attleboro, MA.  Cheryl is also a birthday party instructor for the Attleboro Arts Museum.
  • Lisa Granata holds a BFA in General Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art.  She has a MFA in Painting from Cranbrook Academy of Art and a year’s study in Florence Italy at Studio Arts Center International.  Lisa has been teaching a variety of art classes at the Attleboro Arts Museum since 1993 and teaching Introduction to Visual Arts at Dean College since 2002. Her exhibitions include galleries and museums on the east coast, mid west and Italy
  • Cristina Hajosy is the owner of C.E. Hajosy Photography, an atelier specializing in figure study photography as well as Cristina Hajosy Photography, a provider of wedding and portrait photography in New England.  She Holds a BA from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.  She is also a graduate of the professional program at the New England School of Photography and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA.
  • Renee Harding is an Associate Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in the Fashion Design Department. She holds a BFA from RISD and an MFA from the Academy of Art University.  Renee has worked at Roytex, designing private label men’s active wear and sportswear for Pierre Cardin, Bill Blass and various mass merchants. She designed/developed print/knit/woven designs on CAD. She also has enjoyed working with a non-profit Brazilian artisan group and has taken students on a travel program to the modest community in Brazil.
  • Lisa Hirsbrunner is a longtime member and volunteer of the Attleboro Arts Museum. She delights in creating beautiful hand‐knit scarves & hats, as well as custom beaded necklaces, bracelets and earrings for all occasions.
  • Cathren Housley, a native of Buffalo NY, came to Providence in 1979 to attend the Rhode Island School of Design (her 4th college) and never went back. Over the years, her eclectic career has included the roles of illustrator, product designer, sculptor, puppeteer, TV and film actress, rock musician, producer, installation artist, teacher and writer.  Cathren decided to go back to school in 2005. She is a recent graduate of the Children’s Book Illustration certificate program at RISD and is now embarked on a new career in publishing.
  • Billie Klegraefe has always enjoyed being creative and exploring many different mediums.  Once Billie experimented with mosaics for the first time, there was no turning back.  She loves everything about making mosaics from the whisper of an idea to finally wiping away the grout haze to reveal the finished project.  Billie has come to see the world differently after discovering mosaics.  Recycling old items into new works of art is her inspiration.  For example, a discarded table now begs to have bits & pieces attached and a broken dish or car window now represents a new texture.
  • David Laferriere is a graphic designer in the Communications Office at Wheaton College in Norton, MA.  He works in freelance design, illustration and online projects when time permits.  Before working at Wheaton College, he was in newspaper publishing as a designer at The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro, Boston Herald and The Enterprise in Brockton, MA.  He received a BFA in Illustration from RISD in 1980.
  • Ben Macomber holds a BS in Commercial Illustration and Design from UMASS Dartmouth and a Certificate in Art Education from Bridgewater State University. He has taught visual arts for many years in public schools, mostly in the Attleboro School District.  Presently, he is on the faculty of RISD Continuing Education Young Artist Program, the Attleboro Arts Museum, the Rhode Island Watercolor Society and the Handicraft Club of Providence.  He also teaches watercolor painting and basic drawing at several Senior and Adult art centers in the area.
  • Kris Occhino holds a BS in Studio Art from Skidmore College and a Masters in Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design.  Kris has exhibited her work at venues throughout Massachusetts.  She teaches watercolor painting at numerous arts organizations and holds classes in her personal Treetop Studio in Attleboro, MA.
  • Amy Rhilinger is a former Attleboro Arts Museum employee and current Board member and volunteer, with a degree in art history.  Amy enjoys experimenting with fabric and embroidery to keep her creative juices flowing.  Amy is the Coordinator of Young Adult Services at the Attleboro Public Library.
  • Renée Newell Russo holds a BA in Liberal Arts from Sarah Lawrence College with concentrations in Visual Art and Theatre and an MFA in Drawing from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. She studied printmaking at Il Bisonte Studio in Florence, Italy. Renée currently teaches at Bridgewater State University.
  • Lyn Slade is a needle-felting artist from Bolton, MA.  It only took one project working with the colors and textures of wool roving to hook Lyn forever.  Lyn’s style of painting with wool has attracted the attention of All American Crafts Publishing Co. and her book on needle felting art is planning to be released in the spring of 2012.  Her work has been in numerous national periodicals, group and solo exhibits.
  • Mary L. Taylor is a contemporary printmaker working with alternate monoprint processes to create one-of-a-kind prints and artist books.  Her artwork and books are widely exhibited, and several of her works have boon commissioned for corporate collections.  She teaches alternative printmaking processes at the Center for Contemporary Printmaking, Norwalk, CT, at the International Center for Photography, New York, the Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA and in her Marshfield, MA studio.
  • Felicia Touhey is a member of DeBlois Gallery, a co-operative gallery located in Newport, RI. In addition, Felicia is an active member of the Art League of Rhode Island and the Portsmouth Arts Guild.  She is also a member of Beach Studios in Middletown, RI, where she creates and teaches classes.  Felicia’s images are often landscape oriented and reflect her impressions of light, colors, patterns and textures at an observed or recalled moment in time.
  • Debra Wainwright holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and a BFA in Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  Debra has been illustrating professionally for many years with a focus on children’s markets.  Debra has won numerous awards for her Silverpoint Drawings and Illustrations.  Her children’s book That Kind of Dog is a humorous and heartwarming story based on a true-life event.  Debra is currently the Attleboro Arts Museum’s Monitor for Drop-In Life Drawing.
  • Katelyn Wheeler received her BFA in Art Education from Bridgewater State University in 2010.  Katelyn is employed by the Middleboro Public Schools as an Art Teacher for two of the town’s elementary schools.  She is currently working towards her MAT in Art Education from Bridgewater State University.  This will be Katelyn’s third summer has a camp instructor for the Attleboro Arts Museum.  She loves to engage students in an active and expressive arts learning environment.
  • Robin Wiseman is an artist and instructor at the high school, college and adult levels.  Wiseman has his studio in Providence, RI and teaches college prep and foundation art classes at the Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
  • Shirley Wood has been an art teacher for over 10 years.  She graduated with an M.A.T. from Bridgewater State College.  She loves to oil paint and use her creativity in making many different kinds of art – with a distinct focus on color.  Shirley and her business partner Marite Burns met while taking a class together at Bridgewater State College, and have recently founded a company together called A Real Glass Act.  Their focus is on creating custom dichroic glass jewelry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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