Teaching Artists

Sharing talent, technique, and creativity

Teaching Artists

Karen Arrington

Karen Arrington received a BFA in Illustration from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and has worked as a graphic designer for 25 years in Maryland. She has been teaching wheel and hand building for over 10 years in addition to Raku, Wood Fired and Mud Cloth workshops. As a potter, she is continually excited by the never ending creative process.. Karen enjoys creating functional and decorative pottery that brings beauty and style to people’s homes. She is a Resident Artist at the Greenbelt Community Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Her work can be found in the gift shop at The Brentwood Art Exchange in Brentwood, Maryland.

Kim Bursic

Kimberley, has been a visual artist for over 20 years. She works in printmaking, book arts, collage, and watercolor. She received a BFA in printmaking and book arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia PA and an MFA in printmaking from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. She spent several years as an etching printer for Tyler Graphics in Mt. Kisco, New York,where she worked with internationally known artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, John Walker, and Al Held. She was also an Adjunct Professor of Drawing at Northern Virginia Community College. She now devotes her time to her family, making artwork, and teaching.

Sharon J. Burton

Sharon has been an artist, art curator, poet, art blogger, podcaster, teaching artist, and creativity coach for 20 years in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. Her art work has been exhibited in juried exhibitions locally, regionally, and nationally since 2006 and can be found in private collections across the country. She received her certification in creativity coaching from the Creativity Coaching Association. She recently published in an anthology of poems entitled “Kaleidoscope: Women of Color Reflecting on Life”, published by Esther Productions, Inc. in 2022.

Thais Cassel

Thais is a Brazilian artist with a lifetime passion for visual arts and has taught painting classes for adults and children for two decades. Her artistic imagination has been shaped by an international life story that started in her hometown of Porto Alegre (Brazil). She has lived in Montreal Passo Fundo Brazil, Uppsala Sweden, and has settled happily in the suburbs of Annapolis.. Her lifetime of experiencing changing environments, adapting to different cultures, and fundamentally reinventing life has created a bag of resources that she uses to personalize her artwork and teaching.

Rachel Cross

Rachel Ann Cross is an artist, musician, and educator who has been working in the DC area for over 25 years. Her vibrant artistic vision and sense of social justice are heavily informed by her experiences growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Rachel has had the distinct pleasure of working with people of all ages and abilities including at-risk elementary school students as well as children and adults with cognitive and intellectual differences, and visual artists from all around the world.

Rachel holds a BFA in fine arts from the Corcoran School of Art. She also studied in NY and Paris through Parsons School of Design. Rachel is currently an artist-in-residence for the City of Greenbelt, MD.

Kamryn Dillon

Kamryn is a curator, character designer, and printmaker from the DMV, studying studio art and art history at the University of Maryland, College Park. Their practice studies the poetics influence of various sociopolitical, psychological, and philosophical binaries on the human perception of reality and longing for “free will,” demonstrated in their August 2023 group show at the Adele H. Stamp Gallery, “Love is destructive./I need you.” Their undergraduate thesis proposes a counter-cultural philosophical theory called The Black Absurd, the intersection between European existentialist thought and black body seen in Western art and media.”

Ric Garcia

Ric is a Cuban-American painter and digital printmaker. His art began in 2012 as a sample of visual information from various sources, which were combined into new expressions of Americana. Ric’s art aims to create a space for conversations about diversity and identity. He is a recipient of a 2019 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council.. Ric’s work has been exhibited at American University, Katzen Art Center, and College Park Aviation Museum. He works in a pop art style that allows him to build on a tradition that has a place in art history, and to represent ideas with immediacy, power, and flexibility. He earned a BFA in graphic design and illustration from the University of Miami and is currently on staff with the Smithsonian as a visual designer.

Cynthia Gossage

Cynthia Gossage learned how to thread a needle when she was about 8 years old. Fabric and textile art has been central to her life ever since. She especially loves the flexibility of hand stitching, which is portable, quiet, and requires very few supplies and little space. It is easily adapted to reusing, repurposing, and reclaiming pre-loved materials. It produces pieces of art that can be displayed for their own beauty or finished as practical items that bring beauty into our daily lives. Cynthia teaches embroidery, quilting, applique, patchwork, and fabric collage at Prince George’s and Howard Community Colleges, as well as for various quilt and fabric arts guilds in the DC metropolitan DC area.

Tara Holl

Tara has been a professional and teaching artist for over 25 years. She has a strong background in glasswork and has created glass installations for several public venues. Additionally, she has created public space murals with paint, glass, ceramics, and other mixed media. She has taught workshops, assorted classes, and visual arts-integrated residencies throughout Maryland schools, the National Geographic, Glen Echo, the Greater Washington Jewish Community Center, the University of Maryland, and Montgomery County Parks and Recreation. Many of these workshops have occurred through Maryland State Arts Council where she has been a teaching artist for several years.

Nick Maletta

Nick started his pottery journey in high school, where he learned different hand-building and wheel throwing techniques. Over the years, he has gained and explored various skills from different potters and applied these to his own craft. This past year, Nick has been taking wheel throwing class with Pegah at Art Works Now, and helping to make production pottery at Kuzeh Pottery. Nick earned his undergraduate degree in Biology, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management. He often incorporates his love for the earth and nature into his designs.

Barbara Mandel

Barbara has a BA in Painting/Studio Arts from the University of Rochester and an MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University. As a certified art teacher and a registered art therapist, Barbara has helped children and adolescents express themselves through art in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, community centers, public and private schools, and museums. Barbara was an art teacher at Lowell School in Washington, DC for 14 years, and the Middle School art teacher at The Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland from 2006-2016. Barbara has exhibited locally in juried shows at the Montgomery Art Association, Rockville Art League, Strathmore Hall, the Yellow Barn, Orchard Gallery, Bethesda Library, Gallery B in Bethesda, and Brookside Gardens.

Glennis Muldoon

Glennis recently graduated with a Master’s in Social Work and is a lifelong creative based out of Prince George’s County. Before moving to the east coast, Glennis collaborated with San Diego-based art incubator, A Ship in the Woods, to create interactive, science-informed art exhibitions. This work sparked an interest in community-based art, which deepened during her time in graduate school. Through her clinical training, she incorporates creativity into her work with children, teens, families, and older adults to practice mindfulness and explore emotions, values, interests, identities, and experiences. Glennis has developed therapeutic art activities that often pull from her personal creative interests including paper and digital collage, sculpture, and mindful art such as Japanese paper marbling, Suminagashi, and art with natural materials.

Maddie Olek

Maddie Olek is a mixed-media artist and graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park where she studied Studio Art and Creative Placemaking. Maddie is inspired by collaboration and connection. She has created murals that can be found in the city of College Park, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, DC residential buildings, the University of Maryland (LeFrak Hall), and the Hall CP. Her work is vibrant, energetic, large, chaotic, and rhythmic. Maddie has taught mural workshops and classes and brings material knowledge of airbrushing, painting, spray paint, and fabric, and is always exploring more.

Pegah Shahghasemi

Pegah is an admirable Potter who is co-founder and owner of Kuzeh Pottery along the Arts Walk in Brookland DC, where you’ll find functional ceramics including tableware, and bakeware influenced by Persian culture, Mediterranean patterns, and nature. She learned how to throw at Mugi pottery from Outi Pakman on the upper west side in NYC and brings with her a wealth of expertise in slip casting, surface decoration, mold casting, handbuilding, and more. Her joy for clay started in 2011 and she hasn’t stopped creating since then!

Jennie Sniderman

Jennie has a background in costume design and ESL. Jennie taught her first pottery class the summer after high school graduation. She sells and exhibits her pottery with Montgomery Potters. She spent 5 years in Japan and has lived in Takoma Park for 20 years.

Jenny Wright

Jenny joins us from the land of little learners! She previously taught in a traditional preschool environment working with children ages 2-4. Now “retired” from full-time teaching, she is thrilled to be a part of the Art Works Now teaching team. In her weekly “Preschool ARTventure” program, she is delighted to offer comprehensive, arts-based learning experiences for young children. Jenny uses her teaching skills in conjunction with her interest in art history and fine arts to introduce very young children to the great works of master artists and to expose them to the fundamentals of art and design in an age-appropriate play-based way. She is a Maryland native and resides in Riverdale Park with her family.