Meet the Faculty of FAA...

Art | Dance | Music | Theatre

Making the arts available to the community...

The Fine Arts Association's faculty is one of the most highly qualified collection of instructors in northeast Ohio. Nearly all of our instructors are degreed in their particular craft, and have pursued specialized study in related areas. In addition to unquestionable educational background, many continue to perform in their art, thus bringing a new dimension of vitality and professionalism to the classroom.

Students of all ages continue to take classes in our expansive facility. From preschoolers through senior citizens, thousands of students have experienced the satisfaction of learning a new craft, or the excitement of performing Chopin on the piano.


Dance

Fields, Kailei

Kalei has studied Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz and Hip Hop for more than 17 years. She is currently studying dance at Lake Erie College in combination with a major in Psychology.

French, Lisa-Marie

Lisa-Marie French began her professional career as a ballerina with McGill Danse of Montreal, Que. Upon return to the United States, she was Artistic Director of Ballet at a private studio in Detroit, Michigan and enjoyed being a Detroit Express Cheerleader for the 1984 season.

In 1992, Mrs. French relocated to the Cleveland, Ohio area. She decided to focus her energies on her first love: choreography and direction. She has since worked throughout the NE Ohio area from Oberlin to Ashtabula. Some of her credits include: Cats, A Chorus Line, Beauty & The Beast, Jekyll & Hyde and The Miracle Worker.

Mrs. French has been the resident choreographer for Chardon HS since 1999. She has worked as a judge for regional and national dance competitions, as a polish coach for baton twirlers and choreographed a karate dojo demo show. Since 2003, summers are spent as the Coordinating Director of the Rabbit Run Community Arts Association Children's Theatre Summer Camps programs.

As a faculty member at FAA, Mrs. French hopes to share her passion for the arts of dance, choreography & musical theater with the next generation of fine arts performers.

Hammett-Parker, Beatrice

Ms. Parker is a dance instructor at Lakeland Community College as well as Cleveland School of the Arts. Her training includes a multitude of dance forms including: jazz, modern, African and other cultures around the world. She is also involved with The Fine Arts Association’s Sarah Weeden Richardson Minority Scholarship Committee.

Sanders, Rebecca

BFA, Dance Performance, The Ohio State University. Trained in a variety of dance forms including jazz, ballet, tap, modern and character. Six years of performing and teaching experience with Inlet Dance Theatre, a modern dance company. Extensive teaching experience with adolescent through adult students. Has choreographed various musical theatre productions.

Smith, Janice

Imperial Society of Teachers for Dance ( London , England ) Fellowship, Enrico Cecchetti Final Diploma. Certification in Applied Anatomy and Physiology for Dance (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance). Certified Pilates instructor/teacher trainer. Training completion through Yoga Fit. Resist-a-Ball core trainer. Certified personal trainer A.C.E., A.F.A.A.

 

Music

Brass | Guitar | Harp | Music Therapy | Percussion | Piano | Strings | Voice | Woodwinds

Brass

DePoy, Dr. Bryan (trumpet)

Dr. Bryan DePoy, currently the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Chief Academic Officer at Lake Erie College, was previously the dean of the College of Creative Arts and Communication at Youngstown State University. Previously, he held faculty positions in music at Delta State University and Southeastern Louisiana University. DePoy holds a doctor of music degree from Florida State University, a master of music degree from the University of New Mexico, and a bachelor of music degree the famed Indiana University School of Music. As a performing artist, Dr. DePoy has recorded with the vocal group, Five By Design, the New Mexico Brass Quintet, the Calvary Choir (Memphis, TN), and is a featured soloist on a Towson University Symphonic Band CD of a live performance at the Music Educators National Conference. He has performed with several orchestras and ensembles such as the Memphis Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, New Mexico Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and performed in ensembles backing up artists such as Barry Manilow, Mel Torme, Placido Domingo, and Yanni. Dr. DePoy was one of the leading free-lance musicians in New Orleans, and performed at the Saenger Theater, La Petit Theater, and with the Tulane Lyric Summer Opera. As a soloist, he has performed concerti and solo works with several ensembles, including the New Orleans Civic Orchestra, the Mississippi Wind Band, and as a guest soloist with the Towson University. Dr. DePoy’s former students are well represented in various parts of the United States in college and university positions, military ensembles, and in music education.

Hughes, Kenneth (tuba/euphonium)

M.M. Northwestern University; B.M. Ohio State University. Retired from Conn-Selmer, Inc. and is a member of the Suburban Symphony Orchestra, Lakeland Civic Band and Heights Chamber Orchestra Seasonal Brass.

Guitar

Bush, Lee (guitar)

Guitarist, arranger, composer, producer, recording engineer and educator. Education includes degrees from Baldwin-Wallace College, the University of Missouri and private study of music theory and composition with Phil Rizzo. Also studied guitar under Lloyd Casterline, Dick Lurie and George Morel. Co-leads the Nice Jazz Trio. Performed with the Ernie Krivda Fat Tuesday Big Band and Swing City for many years. Member of the Music Department faculty at Cleveland State University.

Carleton, Denny (guitar, bass)

Denny has taught guitar for many years, from beginners to more advanced students, always specializing in the creative aspect of playing, while teaching students the theory behind the instrument. He has written two books on guitar, one titled “Learn Theory on Guitar in Plain English," and a book that includes a DVD called “Learn Guitar Chords Fast.”

Denny has been a long lasting figure in the Cleveland music scene, and has continued writing, performing and recording through all of hi. musical changes, including Gospel, blues, jazz, folk, experimental, Avant Garde, and theatrical pieces. He played with notable '60s bands such as The Choir and the Lost Souls.

As a gifted guitarist, singer and prolific songwriter he creates an eclectic blend of original material utilizing Folk, Rock and Acoustic influences. His original music has been aired on 300 college and public radio stations in the U.S. and Canada. With his love for music and the music community, he organizes concerts with various performers under the title of Denny Carleton and Friends. He currently plays at such places as the Barking Spider and also as a church praise and worship leader. He has recorde. 12 CDS, which are available on Itunes and Spotify.

He has written music for five plays plus many short essays including topics ranging from music therapy to cell phones. Denny has written his memoir which is available on Amazon.

Gecik, George (guitar, electric bass, banjo)

Master of Music coursework, Youngstown State University; BA in Music, Kent State University; Classic Guitar Studies with Aaron Shearer, Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Sophocles Pappas. Narciso Yepes Master Classes in Paris, France 1975. Mr.Gecik has over forty years of experience as a guitar instructor. He serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Lakeland Community College in Music Business and as a guitar Instructor. Adjunct Faculty at Youngstown StateUniversity as a classic guitar instructor for 15 years. He was the Founder/Owner/President/CEO of Special Productions, Inc. in Mentor, OH. for 28 years. Mr. Gecik taught guitar, bass and banjo at the School of Fine Arts from 1973 to 1995.

Student ages and ability levels:
Classic Guitar, Jazz, Folk styles with emphasis on musicianship and solid fundamentals. Beginners thru advanced. Ages 7 and up.
Electric Bass (beginners through intermediate) and 5-String Banjo (beginners).

Teaching Methods:
Combine reading music, theory, ear training etc. with learning the entire fingerboard through unique "Fingberboard Navigation" system developed with Lee Bush over past 30 years.
Teach Aaron Shearer's system of proper hand alignment and movement.

Guerrieri, Alfredo (bass guitar, upright string bass, guitar)

M.M. Cleveland State University, B.M. Berklee College of Music (Boston), Bass Principle, Magna Cum Laude. A.A. Musician's Institute (Los Angeles), Professional Performance. A.A. Lakeland Community College.

Upright and Electric Bassist and Guitarist who has toured all over the United States, and parts of Australia and Hong Kong. Has performed and/or recorded with an array of artists such as the Keith McKelley Project, Audible Distraction, The Goonz, We The People, Joe McBride, Richie Reece, The Speedbumps, Allison Piccioni, Catwalk Blue, Sophie Stern, and Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin). Proud Endorsee of S.I.T. Strings and Campbell American Guitars.

Student ages and ability levels:. Electric Bass: all levels, styles, and ages.. Upright String Bass: Age: preferably Junior High and up. Styles: Jazz, Classical, Bluegrass

Guitar: Preferably age 8 and up. Styles: Rock, Folk, Blues
Piano: Preferably age 10 and up. Styles: Rock, Folk, Blues

Teaching Methods:. All of my lessons are based around using songs as a teaching mechanism, all the while incorporating reading, theory, ear training, scales, technique, and GROOVE!

Wheelock, Joe (electric and acoustic guitar, electric bass guitar)

Joe Wheelock began his journey with music on the piano at the age of 5 with studies in jazz and Afro-Cuban rhythms and the thought that music is a language and performing with others is about listening and having a conversation. Finding inspiration in many styles of music, Joe pursued and learned the drum set and electric bass and guitar, all with the piano at the center of his musical understanding. Inspired by the freedom of jazz and the electricity of rock 'n' roll, Joe pursued guitar and studied with Fine Arts Association teacher Lee Bush at Cuyahoga Community College along with performing with a number of area rock bands. He is actively playing electric bass, guitar, drums, and keyboards in area bands and teaching those instruments and directing shows at the School of Rock. Joe is also the director of the noon mass choir at St. Mary's Church in Chardon, OH.

Music theory and technique are both stressed as part of the curriculum students will learn while learning to use and trust their ear. The acquisition of musical knowledge through theory and technique builds a musician's ability to play what they hear and therefore hold the best musical conversation. Students will be asked to spend time listening to music and finding inspiration in jazz, blues, and rock'n'roll in the hope of hearing new and exciting reasons to continue the pursuit of the joy of music.

Electric and acoustic guitar students - ages 8 and up
Electric bass students - ages 8 and up
Piano / keyboard students - ages 5 and up

Harp

Julia Anderson Kerr (harp)

B.A. in Music with emphasis in harp performance from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.. Julia began her training as a harpist at 13 years old under Anastasia Jellison in Richmond, VA. She continued her studies under Gina Neupert at Rhodes College where she also performed and helped lead the Rhodes Harp Ensemble and the High Strung Harpist Group in Memphis. She also began assisting in student teaching at the Rita Crocker Conservatory while studying at Rhodes College. Julia began learning the piano when she was 7 years old and continued her studies at Rhodes College.  She also participated in the Rhodes College Orchestra, Rhodes Chorus, and Women Singers.

Music Therapy

Bankert, Becca, MT-BC (music therapy)

Post-Baccalaureate Music Therapy Equivalency, Baldwin Wallace University, 2016; B.S., Music Education (vocal concentration), Malone University, 2013.

Becca is a new music therapist, having just passed her board certification exam in April, 2017. She completed her music therapy internship at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, working both at the Rehabilitation Institute of Ohio with traumatic brain injured, stroke, and/or spinal cord injured patients and also at the Main Campus in the Intensive Care Units. She has additional experience teaching in traditional school settings as well as private music instruction. Becca is very excited to begin her music therapy career at The Fine Arts Association.

Musat, Danielle E., MT-BC (music therapy)

B.M in Music Therapy, minor in Psychology, Baldwin-Wallace College in 2000. She spent the first 3 years of her career working as a Music Therapist in a residential treatment facility for children and teens with behavioral health problems. Danielle then became the full-time Music Therapist at Lorain County Board of DD, where she spent 8 years working with children from 18 months old through adults into their 80's. She led a choir for 18 adults with developmental disabilities and a children's bell choir. She has a studio out of Royalton Music Center, where she sees children and adults with developmental/physical disabilities. Danielle also works with the iCan program in Independence, facilitating drum circles, music and movement activities, increasing self-esteem for individuals with all developmental disabilities and is a Musical Kaleidoscope instructor at Baldwin Wallace University where she teaches communication, socialization, direction following to children with developmental disabilities and their caregivers, through musical experiences. Danielle serves varying populations, including: cerebral palsy, quadriplegia, autism, speech delay, fine/gross motor delay, non-verbal individuals, individuals with augmentative communication devices, as well as many more. She is very excited to join the Music Therapy team here at The Fine Arts Association.

Raddell, Ann Marie, MT-BC, NICU MT (music therapy)

B.M., Music Therapy, University of Dayton. Board Certified Music Therapist, since 2006. Specialized certification in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Music Therapy. Ann Marie completed her music therapy internship and first two years as a board-certified music therapist at an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Dayton, Ohio. Ann Marie worked as a music therapist for the Positive Education Program, a school for children and youth experiencing emotional disturbances and demonstrating severe and challenging behaviors, in Cleveland, Ohio before joining The Fine Arts Music Therapy team in 2009.  Ann Marie currently provides music therapy services for children, adolescents and adults with varying needs and early-childhood music classes at The Fine Arts Association in addition to inpatient music therapy services at Lake Health as part of The Fine Arts Off-Site Education Program. 

Percussion

Chastain, Neil (percussion)

Neil completed studies in Percussion Performance and Jazz at Interlochen Arts Academy, The University of Michigan and Cleveland Institute of Music. He is a professional percussionist with Kokolo Afrobeat NYC, Roberto Ocasio’s Latin Jazz Project and former music director/composer and performer of SAFMOD Performance Ensemble. He is a music educator and teaching artist, a five time international touring drummer with Kokolo Afrobeat (US, Europe, Canada) and a recipient of the Creative Workforce Fellowship granted through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Kochan, Greg (percussion)

Masters degree in Education., Cleveland State University; B.M.E., Bowling Green University. Mr. Kochan has thirty-seven years of teaching experience, most recently at Perry High School for twent-eight years. He is also a professional musician who performs with area ensembles. Prefers starting students at 10 years of age and older although he will consider younger students if qualified. Please call FAA's Customer Service staff at (440) 951-7500 to set up an interview with Mr. Kochan.

Piano

Bierbaum-Golias, Sandy (piano)

Bachelor of Science in Piano Performance from Barclay College in Haviland, Kansas. 

Taught Dalcroze method at Brecksville Center for the Arts (ages 3-5), Taught piano lessons for ages 5 - adult for 20 years.  Accompanied and co-taught middle and high school choirs.  Fine Arts Director at Willo-Hill Christian School; K4 - 6th Grades for 4 years.  Fine Arts Director at Cornerstone Christian Academy; K4 - 12th grades for 6 years.  Director for productions such as; Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Alice in Wonderland, Fiddler on the Roof, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Beauty and the Beast and Wizard of Oz. 

Completed coursework for Music Therapy at Baldwin-Wallace University 2014-2016. Practicum internships included the following populations:  Cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, families and children residing at homeless shelters, patients with Dementia/Alzheimers and hospice work.  Internship populations at MetroHealth include rehabilitation with spinal cord, brain injury, stroke and dementia as well as music therapy work on critical care units and pediatric floors. Will complete internship at MetroHealth Hospital Systems June, 2017.

Brandelis, Bella (piano/violin)

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio Music Teachers Association.

Cyvas-Kliorys, Rita (piano)

As a multi-faceted musician - pianist, organist, accompanist, teacher, choir director, composer and conductor, Ms. Cyvas-Kliorys has knowledge of the piano from many different perspectives.  She received her B.A. in Piano Performance and Music Education from the Cleveland State University and studied with Andrius Kuprevicius and Jonas Svedas. She is also the director of the Exultate Adult and Children's Choirs, and has been the Artistic Director of many choral festivals. She has released five sound recordings.

Knowing that the reasons for learning an instrument are as unique as each individual, she likes to meet each student at their current level and create ways to help them achieve their personal goals, whether to become a professional musician, teacher or for their own personal enjoyment.  She believes music is for all people and that through music we recognize beauty, feel more love and compassion.  Besides technique and musicality, which are certainly important, one of her main goals is to inspire each and every student, to keep their love for music alive.  She enjoys working with all ages.

Guerrieri, Alfredo (piano, upright string bass, bass guitar, guitar)

M.M. Cleveland State University, B.M. Berklee College of Music (Boston), Bass Principle, Magna Cum Laude. A.A. Musician's Institute (Los Angeles), Professional Performance. A.A. Lakeland Community College.

Upright and Electric Bassist and Guitarist who has toured all over the United States, and parts of Australia and Hong Kong. Has performed and/or recorded with an array of artists such as the Keith McKelley Project, Audible Distraction, The Goonz, We The People, Joe McBride, Richie Reece, The Speedbumps, Allison Piccioni, Catwalk Blue, Sophie Stern, and Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin). Proud Endorsee of S.I.T. Strings and Campbell American Guitars.

Student ages and ability levels: Piano: Preferably age 10 and up. Styles: Rock, Folk, Blues

Teaching Methods:. All of my lessons are based around using songs as a teaching mechanism, all the while incorporating reading, theory, ear training, scales, technique, and GROOVE!

Habian, Cliff (piano)

The late jazz critic, Leonard Feather of the Los Angeles Times said that,
“Cleveland has an engaging eclectic in Habian, everything switches around from cut to cut: the size of the band, the genre of the music, the source of Habian’s inspiration.. That was twenty years ago, and since then, Cliff has remained true to those words. He began piano lessons at the age of nine and was composing music just a few years later. With both classical and jazz music being strong influences, he decided early on to integrate the two genres into his own unique style. A multifarious pianist, Cliff can play in virtually any style and performs comfortably in group settings as well as solo performances. Eventually, Cliff would become a disciple of the "Third Stream" style.

After attending the Cleveland Institute of Music as a composition major under the late Donald Erb, Cliff accepted a position as Director of American Music and Department Head of Keyboard studies at the Cleveland Music School Settlement, where he taught for 13 years.

He has worked with such greats as Joe Lovano, Freddie Cole, Frank Morgan, Jane Ira Bloom and many others in addition to appearing on “Good Morning America,” and opened for such jazz legends as Mel Lewis and Dave Brubeck.

He has performed for many celebrities ranging from Wilt Chamberlain, Larry King, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward to Dion, Bobby Vinton and Joe Lovano. Cliff was recently honored to play for the great concert pianist Lang Lang receiving wonderful kudos from the international superstar.

His international reputation began with a recording debut for Milestone/Fantasy Records. Two landmark recordings were produced consisting primarily of original compositions, “Tonal Paintings” and “Manhattan Bridge.. His global concert appearances include Russia, Thailand, and Panama. In addition to appearing in jazz festivals and educational clinics throughout the United States Cliff released two albums in the nineties on the Azica Record label (internationally) “Havana Sunset” and “Originals” which garnered critical acclaim. The reviews of Cliff’s recordings have come from Europe, Asia, South America, India and many other parts of the world. His latest recording titled "Nevertheless" is a self-produced tribute to the Great American Songbook.

Cliff's holiday album "First Snowfall" outsold every holiday album in Cleveland stores including Celine Dion's new release. It features Bill Ransom and Glen Holmes in a trio setting commensurate to Vince Guaraldi's style. There is even a tribute to Beethoven as Cliff shares the same birthday....December 16.

Locally, Cliff regularly has or is performing at Nordstrom in Beachwood, Nighttown in Cleveland Heights as well s Johnny’s on Fulton, Johnny’s Downtown, Club Isabella, Blu Jazz and Taza. He also performs for retirement community centers such as Wiggin’s Place, Menorah Park, Stone Gardens and Meyers Place in Beachwood.

Recently Cliff became a “piano coach to the stars” when he was asked to coach child actress/star Yara Shahidi for an upcoming piano playing part in the new “I, Alex Cross” movie ( 2012). This year, Cliff backed up Bobby Vinton to a sell out crowd and was asked to be Bobby Vinton's official "band leader" when they return to Cleveland and Columbus in the spring of 2015.

Kearns, Sanni (piano)

M.A. in Music History and Literature, Kent State University, B.M.E. with emphasis in piano performance, Baldwin-Wallace College; Graduate Studies in Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Carnegie-Mellon and Lowell Universities. Suzuki teacher training, professional organist and accompanist. Member SAA, SANO.

Kerr, Julia Anderson (beginner piano)

B.A. in Music with emphasis in harp performance from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Julia began studying the piano when she was 7 years old and continued her studies at Rhodes College. She began assisting in student teaching at the Rita Crocker Conservatory while studying at Rhodes College.. She also participated in the Rhodes College Orchestra, Rhodes Chorus, and Women Singers.

Her teaching style focuses on technique, musicality, and artistic performance. Overall, her wish is to instill a sense of musicianship and love for music in her students.

Students can begin as young as 7 years old, and under some circumstances, may begin younger.

Klonowski, Barbara (piano)

Graduate Studies, Cleveland Institute of Music; Peabody Conservatory of Music. Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance; four year talent scholarship. Chamber music, Bowdoin College. CIM Preparatory School. Piano studies with David Bean, Elizabeth Pastor, and Vitya Vronsky. Piano pedagogy with Tinka Knopf. National Certification with Music Teachers National Association. Performing member of the Cecilian and Fortnightly Musical Clubs. Professional affiliation with Western Reserve Piano Teachers and the National Guild of Piano Teachers. Delta Omicron national honor society. Frequent adjudicator of piano events. Collaborative performances throughout NE Ohio, the Midwest, and on both coasts of the USA. Recorded a record/CD with mezzo-soprano Aldona Stempuzis-Svedas. Member of the Encore Chamber Trio. Students have garnered honors at the national, regional, state and local levels. Has served in numerous capacities at The Fine Arts Association, including Recital Coordinator, and Piano Department Chair. A second generation artist/teacher.

LaBonne, Feroza (Suzuki & traditional piano)

Piano Teaching Diplomas from both the Royal Schools of Music and the Trinity College of Music, London, UK. Her Masters Degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University-Cleveland Institute of Music Joint Program. She was awarded the Permanent Professional Certificate from the Music Teachers National Association. Forty years of successful teaching have proven that an individualized approach to technique, interpretation and appropriate repertoire, including performance and audition opportunities, ensures the success of every student.

Ms. LaBonne was formerly an adjunct piano faculty member in upstate New York's Union College and concurrently the music critic for the TIMES UNION daily newspaper of Albany, New York. Ms. LaBonne is the National Winner (1992) of a grant given by the Music Teachers National Association to one Nationally Certified Piano Teacher chosen from across the fifty states. She is also the recipient of a fully funded National Fellowship from the Music Critics Association.  

She is a third generation pianist, her mother being India's leading piano teacher. International Welsh composer Hilary Tann dedicated her two-piano work, "Waters Edge" jointly to Feroza Dubash LaBonne and her mother Farida Dubash. It was published by Oxford University Press and premiered by Feroza's students in New York. Feroza's  students have placed at the state, regional and national levels in solo and concerto competitions. They have gone onto professional careers , receiving scholarships to such prestigious schools as the Moscow Conservatory of Music, the Juilliard School, and Eastman School of Music to name a few. Recently former student concert pianist Pervez Mody was named a Steinway Artist, and Wei-jen Yuan was a semi-finalist at the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Feroza has been a performing member of various chamber music groups, including the Trio Appasionata, the Duo Fantastique and a concerto soloist with the Bombay Philharmonic and the Glens falls Symphony of New York."

Lewis, Darryl (piano)

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and educator.  He currently holds a position at Kent State University in the department of Pan African Studies.  He is also the Music Director at Aurora United Methodist Church and Artistic Director of the Aurora Children’s Theater.  He has trod the boards on stage at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Oberlin College, Beck Center for the Arts, Rabbit Run Theater, Dobama Theater, Cassidy Theater, Karamu House, Geauga Lyric Theater and The Fine Arts Association.  He holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting. 

 

Mr. Lewis was the winner of the 2011 Broadwayworld.com Equity Actor of the Year and the 2012 1st Place Winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singers competition at Cleveland State University.  

 

His baritone voice has also been heard at the Chautauqua Opera, Michigan Opera, Rome Opera Festival, in Roma Italy, Bowling Green State University Opera Theater, Youngstown State University, Kent State University and the Solon Center for the Arts.  He has been heard singing the National Anthem for the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians.  He is a proud member of the Equity Actors Union.


Messina, Maryann (piano)

Bachelor of Music Education, Cleveland State University (duel major in performance and education).  Studied piano with Andrius Kuprevicius and James Savage (Fine Arts founder).  Graduate classes in Piano Pedagogy taken for private lessons and group lessons.  Additional professional study with area jazz performers.  Over twenty-five years of experience as a soloist, band musician, vocalist, songwriter, studio musician and collaborator.  Performance experience in nightclubs, churches, private parties, hotels.

Teaching philosophy: Comprehensive study of piano and of complete musicianship with emphasis on the student as a creative individual.

Teaching methods and materials are PERSONALIZED to fit each student’s needs.

For more about Maryann Messina please visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/maryann.messina.106

Minnis, Dr. Timothy (piano)

D.M.A., Ohio State University, M.M., Manhattan School of Music. Has taught at Kenyon College, Ohio State, the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, the Metropolitan Music School of New York City, where he was also director, and at the Beck Center for the Arts. A frequent recitalist and chamber musician in New York and the Midwest, he is the author of a book on the piano music of Albert Roussel.

Syroney, Marge (Suzuki and traditional piano)

B.M. The Cleveland Institute of Music; B.S. in Education, University of Akron ; M.M. in Music Ed., University of Akron. Private study with Arthur Loesser and William Kurzban and Marie Martin. Sanctioned Suzuki instructor. Elementary Music Teacher in area Catholic Schools. Local church musician-organist and pianist. Member of MENC/OMEA

Strings

Brandelis, Bella (piano/violin)

M.A. Cleveland State University , B. A. Moscow Conservatory. Member of Suburban Symphony Orchestra (violin). Suzuki teacher training in violin and piano. Member of National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Ohio Music Teachers Association.

DePoy, Natalia (violin)

Natalia DePoy has performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (New Orleans), Acadiana Symphony, the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, in addition to working as a freelance performer in and around the city of New Orleans. She has also performed with the Academy of the Performing Arts Orchestra in Monterrey Mexico, and was a first place winner in the New Orleans Soloist’s Competition. She has taught college level strings and violin at the Community Music School at Southeastern Louisiana University, and also taught general music at Trafton Academy in Hammond, Louisiana. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish, and Master of Music in Violin Performance degrees from Southeastern Louisiana University, and also studied at the Escuela Superior de Musica y Danza conservatory in Monterrey, Mexico. She speaks fluent Spanish and Russian.

Edwards, Jonathan (Skip) (cello)

Skip also teaches at the Rainey Institute (an arts education organization) and attended CIM and the Berkeley College of Music. In addition to cello, Skip teaches upright bass and electric bass.

Godfrey, Lauren (Suzuki and traditional violin)

B.M.E. Heidelberg College , Suzuki teacher training, Ithaca College. Further studies with Alvaro deGranda. Member of S.S.A. Lakeland Civic Orchestra member.

Guerrieri, Alfredo (upright string bass, bass guitar, guitar, piano)

M.M. Cleveland State University, B.M. Berklee College of Music (Boston), Bass Principle, Magna Cum Laude. A.A. Musician's Institute (Los Angeles), Professional Performance. A.A. Lakeland Community College.

Upright and Electric Bassist and Guitarist who has toured all over the United States, and parts of Australia and Hong Kong. Has performed and/or recorded with an array of artists such as the Keith McKelley Project, Audible Distraction, The Goonz, We The People, Joe McBride, Richie Reece, The Speedbumps, Allison Piccioni, Catwalk Blue, Sophie Stern, and Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin). Proud Endorsee of S.I.T. Strings and Campbell American Guitars.

Student ages and ability levels: Upright String Bass: Age: preferably Junior High and up. Styles: Jazz, Classical, Bluegras. Electric Bass: all levels, styles, and ages.

Guitar: Preferably age 8 and up. Styles: Rock, Folk, Blues

Piano: Preferably age 10 and up. Styles: Rock, Folk, Blues

Teaching Methods:. All of my lessons are based around using songs as a teaching mechanism, all the while incorporating reading, theory, ear training, scales, technique, and GROOVE!

Konow, Rebecca Kuo (Suzuki and traditional cello)

Rebecca Kuo Konow, a native of Taiwan, began her study of cello at age eight and went on to win several prizes from regional and national competitions. From 2011-2013, Rebecca served as section cellist in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was involved in the Civic Engagement Ensemble where she worked intensively with the Chicago Public Schools and youth development. Prior to working at the Rainey Institute, an El Sistema after school program in Cleveland, Rebecca was on the faculty of the People’s Music School, also an El Sistema program in Chicago. Rebecca completed her Master of Music degree in cello performance and Suzuki Pedagogy at the Cleveland Institute of Music with cello studies under Stephen Geber and Suzuki pedagogue Melissa Kraut. Rebecca has been involved with numerous music festivals including: Asian Youth Orchestra (2007), Kirishima Music Festival in Japan (2008), International Orchestra Institute in Maryland (2012), Texas Music Festival (2013) and the National Repertory Orchestra (2014). She works with students of all ages throughout the Cleveland area and is certified for all levels of the Suzuki method. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kitties as well as swimming.

Linsenmeier, Dr. Carol (Suzuki & traditional violin/viola/fiddle, cello)

Ph.D. in Special Education Research, Kent State University; M. Mus. Ed. University of Georgia; B. Mus. Ed., College of Wooster; Suzuki Teacher Training, Ithaca College Suzuki Institute. Over thirty years of teaching and performance experience. Performs locally as a soloist and with ensembles. Listed in Who's Who in America. Teaches ages four through adult.

Voice

 Godfrey, Bob (vocal music)

Bob Godfrey has appeared in operas and musicals in northeastern Ohio, including a number of professional roles in Cleveland Opera productions at the State Theatre in Playhouse Square. Mr. Godfrey has been a featured baritone soloist for productions of Handel's Messiah at Lake Erie College, in Painesville and Ashtabula, and at Kent State University and Heidelberg College, his alma maters. In addition, he has recorded two Gilbert and Sullivan operettas on compact disc. For the past 3 years, Mr. Godfrey has been heard on radio performances of “The Mighty Wurlitzer Radio Hour,” which aired on WCLV (and WCLV.com) in the Cleveland area and now can been seen on youtube. In the summer of 2013, he originated the role of Alan Jablonski in the world premiere musical Tuning In at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron, Ohio. His favorite musical theater roles include the title role in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, Nathan Detroit (Guys and Dolls), Reverend Shaw Moore (Footloose), Harry/Baptista (Kiss Me Kate), Harold Hill (The Music Man), Cervantes/Don Quixote (Man of La Mancha), Singer 1 (Forbidden Broadway), Archibald Craven ( Secret Garden), and his favorite, Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof). He retired 5 years ago from teaching public school vocal music, but now enjoys teaching private voice lessons in Lake County.) , and his absolute favorite, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof ( SHT).

Lewis, Darryl (voice)

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and educator.  He currently holds a position at Kent State University in the department of Pan African Studies.  He is also the Music Director at Aurora United Methodist Church and Artistic Director of the Aurora Children’s Theater.  He has trod the boards on stage at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Oberlin College, Beck Center for the Arts, Rabbit Run Theater, Dobama Theater, Cassidy Theater, Karamu House, Geauga Lyric Theater and The Fine Arts Association. 

 

Mr. Lewis holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and an MFA in Acting.  He was the winner of the 2011 Broadwayworld.com Equity Actor of the Year and the 2012 1st Place Winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singers competition at Cleveland State University.  

 

His baritone voice has also been heard at the Chautauqua Opera, Michigan Opera, Rome Opera Festival, in Roma Italy, Bowling Green State University Opera Theater, Youngstown State University, Kent State University and the Solon Center for the Arts.  He has been heard singing the National Anthem for the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians.  He is a proud member of the Equity Actors Union.


Mattson, Doreen (vocal & general music)

Graduate Study College of Mt. St. Joseph , B.M.E. (Music Education) Wittenberg University, Level I Orff-Schulwerk Certification. Studied at Lakeland Community College and Cleveland Institute of Music with Irving Bushman. Professional soloist. Perfomed with Lakeland Civic Chorus for 17 years. Directs the Chancel Choir at Advent Lutheran Church, in Mentor.

Skok, Heidi (voice)

Heidi Skok, Mezzo-soprano, studied voice at The Fine Arts Association from the time she was twelve years old until she graduated high school. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 1990 with a BFA in Voice followed by one year of tutelage under Tito Capobianco at the Pittsburgh Opera Center. She then was invited to join the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artist Development Program in 1991 by Maestro James Levine. She continued to perform as an artist at the MET until 2003, when she transitioned to a lyric mezzo repertoire.

Heidi uses the Lilli Lehmann technique, which is bel canto based and is best suited for all voice types. She has extensive experience teaching both the singing and speaking voice. She helps doctors, lawyers, techers, presenters, actors, etc with their oration production and presentation. At the college level, she has taught classes for Bachelor of Music degree, Bachelor of Music Education degree, and Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. She also has experience teaching theatre speaking voices and musical theatre singers. She has taught at The New School University (formerly known as The New School for Social Research), Bennington College, the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA, the University of Kentucky, and the College of Saint Rose. She has helped many students and faculty. instructing a MET Finals Grand Winner, solving technical issues of vocal students, producing top-tiered undergraduate and graduate recitals. 

Ms. Skok has moved from NYC to return home to work on voices in the Cleveland area. She has worked with singers who have sung at the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Leipzig Oper, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Steans Institute at the Ravinia Festival, San Diego Opera and the Santa Fe Opera and also had singers on Broadway in Damn Yankees and Hairspray.

She has produced her own album which sells on the Newport Classic label.

Ms. Skok continues to perform throughout the country while teaching Voice here at The Fine Arts Association. Please call (440) 951-7500 for available lesson days and times.

This year Heidi has begun volunteering to offer her skills as a master voice technician to engender encouragement and to bring some hands-on technical instruction to the budding young vocalist. She believes that this might best be accomplished through on-site group sessions delivered directly at the young vocalist’s own high school. Ms. Skok has established the Young Vocalist Symposiums for this purpose. 

For more information on Heidi Skok, please view www.heidiskok.com. or visit Ms. Skok's facebook page.

Speirs, Phyllis (vocal teacher and coach)

Vocal teacher and coach who majored in Vocal Performance at Kent State University with continued studies at Cleveland Institute of Music and Cleveland State University. Phyllis is a soloist of opera, oratorios and recitals of German lieder. Debuted with Blossom Orchestra as "Kate" in Madame Butterfly. Sang with Cleveland Pops Orchestra under Louis Lane, Cleveland Orchestra Chorus, Cleveland Opera, Suburban Symphony and Robert Page Singers among others. Featured soloist in recording "It Must Be Heard." Has extensive experience in church music as soloist and choral director and recorded CD's of contemporary cantatas. Organized and directs The Fine Arts Association Community Choir, which performs classical music annually in the spring. She welcomes high school and adult singers.

Teaching Technique:
Phyllis teaches a technique which, regardless of style (Classical, Music Theater, Jazz, etc.), attributes to great flexibility and expression, tonal freedom, intense and sonorous tone, and good diction skill. It all depends on a steady and firm breath pressure (breath-control) more technically referred to as Diaphramatic-Costal Breathing. She will fully demonstrate this technique so you can utilize it for more satisfying singing regardless of style.

Teaching Philosophy:
Her philosophy is to teach one "how to sing" which requires more than learning notes and words. She recommends students be no younger than age 13 or 14 because of body development and mental discipline required. She will audition a student if younger. For singers who wish to refine and polish their skills, vocal coaching is available to further develop the essential aspects of professional performance Style, Musicality, Phrasing, Color, Diction and Stage Presence.

Ms. Speirs currently teaches at The Fine Arts Association and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Woodwinds

Baker, Charles (clarinet)

M.A. Case Western Reserve University ; B.M. Oberlin College Conservatory. Studied with Robert Marcellus, Alfred Zetzer, George Waln, Alois Heine and Thomas Thompson. Also studied at the Mozarteum Akademie in Salzburg, Austria. Performs in Lakeland Civic Orchestra (first clarinet) and taught in Wickliffe Public Schools. Freelance musician in orchestras and bands. Listed in "Who's Who in America.. He is also a member of The Fine Arts Woodwind Quintet.

Elias, Judith (flute)

B.M.E. Youngstown State University. Graduate study Kent State University. Studied extensively with Maurice Sharp and Raymond DeMattia. Ms. Elias is an adjunct faculty member with Lake Erie College and is principal flutist with Lakeland Civic Orchestra and a member of The Fine Arts Woodwind Quintet, as well as a frequent performer in area chamber music recitals and churches. She is listed in "Who's Who in America 's Teachers and Who's Who in America." Ms. Elias teaches students of ages 7 to adult, beginning to advanced, post graduate levels. Her philosophy is to encourage the student to achieve their optimal potential through correct practice techniques while still enjoying music. Lessons may include preparation for adjudicated events, (contest,) and auditions for placement or college.

Michaels, Ed (saxophone)

As a tenor saxophonist, Ed Michaels regularly performs with the top musicians of Northeast Ohio, among them some of his former students. He has recorded a CD, entitled Going Beyond on the Nice Jazz Label. Ed has performed with Phil Woods; Donald Byrd; Pacquito D’Rivera; Bobby Sanabria; and Clarence Cleamons. His quartet has played extended engagements at the Century Room of Cleveland’s prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Grille Room of downtown Cleveland’s Embassy Suites Hotel, Cleveland’s Fat Fish Blue, Club Isabella, The Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Concert Series, and Cleveland State University Sundown Jazz Concerts.

Currently, Ed is the director of Jazz Impact, an honors jazz ensemble of area high school musicians sponsored by Lakeland Community College. The band has earned recognition through yearly outstanding performances at the Lakeland Jazz Festival, the Tri-C Jazz Fest, and the Essentially Ellington Contest sponsored by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Ed has been the Festival Director and Educational Co-Director of the annual Lakeland Jazz Festival (1999-2008). Building on the past success of the festival, Ed’s innovation was the addition of the Thursday night concert: “Tomorrow’s Stars”, which featured the top area middle school bands.

Mr. Michaels is also on the faculty of the Willoughby-Eastlake School District where he teaches instrumental music. One of his achievements was receiving an honorarium and publication from the Cleveland Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his lesson plan “Timbre: Identifying the Tone Color of the Saxophone Using Pop/Rock Music Examples.” Ed was also instrumental is helping his school district receive a grant from the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation.

Rutherford, Marjorie (bassoon, saxophone)

M.M. and B.M. in Education, Cleveland State University. Currently performs in The Fine Arts Association Woodwind Quintet, w/Lakeland Civic Orchestra, the Village Saxophone Quartet, Corners Clarinet Quartet and Lakeland Civic Band.

Wilson, Lisa (oboe)

B.M. in Music Education, Cleveland State University. Private study with David McGuire and Thomas Moore. Full-time playing member and President of the Board of Directors with the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra. Freelance musician playing with various local ensembles and orchestras. Music director for a local church. Member of The Fine Arts Association Woodwind Quintet.


Theatre

D'Apice, Doriann

M.A. in Humanities, John Carroll University. B.S. in Education, Kent State University. Certified to teach English, Speech, Journalism and Theatre for grades 7-12. Actor in many local productions.

French, Lisa-Marie

Lisa-Marie French began her professional career as a ballerina with McGill Danse of Montreal, Que. Upon return to the United States, she was Artistic Director of Ballet at a private studio in Detroit, Michigan and enjoyed being a Detroit Express Cheerleader for the 1984 season.

In 1992, Mrs. French relocated to the Cleveland, Ohio area. She decided to focus her energies on her first love: choreography and direction. She has since worked throughout the NE Ohio area from Oberlin to Ashtabula. Some of her credits include: Cats, A Chorus Line, Beauty & The Beast, Jekyll & Hyde and The Miracle Worker.

Mrs. French has been the resident choreographer for Chardon HS since 1999. She has worked as a judge for regional and national dance competitions, as a polish coach for baton twirlers and choreographed a karate dojo demo show. Since 2003, summers are spent as the Coordinating Director of the Rabbit Run Community Arts Association Children's Theatre Summer Camps programs.

As a faculty member at FAA, Mrs. French hopes to share her passion for the arts of dance, choreography & musical theater with the next generation of fine arts performers.

Hill, Dawn

B.S. from Miami University in K-Primary/Elementary Education with a concentration in Dramatic Expression. Masters in Elementary Administration, Cleveland State University. Performs locally in theatre productions.

Kosovich Peck, Sandy

Local actress appearing in many area theatre productions. Also directs youth theatre productions as well as instructs youth drama class. FAA Theatre Arts Camp Director, FAA Young Actors Ensemble Director, FAA Chili Con Comedy Improv Troupe Director.

Lewis, Darryl

Darryl Lewis is a singer, composer, playwright, actor and educator.  He currently holds a position at Kent State University in the department of Pan African Studies.  He is also the Music Director at Aurora United Methodist Church and Artistic Director of the Aurora Children’s Theater.  He has trod the boards on stage at Cleveland’s Playhouse Square, Oberlin College, Beck Center for the Arts, Rabbit Run Theater, Dobama Theater, Cassidy Theater, Karamu House, Geauga Lyric Theater and The Fine Arts Association. 

Mr. Lewis holds a Master’s Degree in Music Performance and an MFA in Acting.  He was the winner of the 2011 Broadwayworld.com Equity Actor of the Year and the 2012 1st Place Winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singers competition at Cleveland State University.  

His baritone voice has also been heard at the Chautauqua Opera, Michigan Opera, Rome Opera Festival, in Roma Italy, Bowling Green State University Opera Theater, Youngstown State University, Kent State University and the Solon Center for the Arts.  He has been heard singing the National Anthem for the Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians.  He is a proud member of the Equity Actors Union.

Malinowski, David

B.A. Theatre, with minors in English and Philosophy, Ashland University. Active in Theatre as Actor, Teacher, Director and Stage Manager. Previous experience includes Theatre Teacher and Assistant Director at Stagecrafters Summer Theatre Camp as well as at The Fine Arts Association. Has appeared in numerous community productions as Actor, Director and Stage Manager. Productions include: "Beauty and the Beast" (The Beck Centre for The Arts), "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" (The Fine Arts Association), "A Man of No Importance" (The Beck Centre for The Arts), "Woo and Woe" (Ashland University), and "Shelter" (The Cleveland Playhouse). Additionally skills in dance, juggling, playing the violin, stage combat, and singing (baritone).

Steck, Justin

Justin completed his Dramatic Arts degree from Cleveland State University with concentrations in Acting, Directing and Theatre Education. As well as acting all over Cleveland, Justin has directed and taught for various schools including Garfield Heights High School and Middle School, Cuyahoga Heights High School, Cleveland State University, St. Ignatius High School and Wickliffe Middle School. He is currently the Artistic and Managing Director for the Garfield Heights Youth Theatre.


Visual Art

Art Therapy

Fleisch-Hughes, Diane, MA, A.T., PC (art therapy)

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, Ursuline College, (2014). Diane has been a visual arts instructor at Fine Arts since 2009 and has been receiving Art Therapy clients since June 2014. She is currently a full time Art Therapist at Julie Billart school in Lyndhurst, a school serving special needs students. There she conducts individual and group Art Therapy sessions as well as a support group for parents. She also has experience working with a variety of populations including young children, teens, and adults with mental health needs in addition to medical patients and families. Diane travels with Ursuline Alumnae to provide Art Therapy to under-served populations all over the world. She is a professional artist showing her work locally as well as nationwide. Diane is a member of the American Art Therapy Association, Buckeye Art Therapy Association and the Ohio Counseling Association. 

Grisez, Janeane, M.A., Art Therapist, LPC, LICDC-CS, GAMB, OCPS I (art therapy)

Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, Ursuline College, (2015), Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Lake Erie College, (2010), Diploma in Nursing (1986). Prior to becoming a counselor, Janeane was a Nurse for over two decades and an Activities Director for several years. An avid artist and creator since childhood, Janeane decided to finally pursue her dream and become an Art Therapist. Janeane has worked as an Art Therapist and Counselor in a variety settings since 2011. She is experienced in chemical dependency treatment, dual diagnosis, community mental health, forensic psychology, elderly and dementia care, human sexuality and disability, education, research, consultation and supervision. Janeane has experience treating adolescents and adults with diverse backgrounds and ranges of concerns. She has training in integrative, cognitive-behavioral, and mindfulness therapy as well as art therapy and other multi-sensory therapies. Janeane is a humanistic, person-centered therapist. She is currently the owner and wellness advocate at StellasDream, Art Therapy & Counseling. Janeane began practicing as an Art Therapist at The Fine Arts Association in 2016. She is also working as a Social Worker and Art Therapist at Lake Health Continuing Care Campus, Center for Geriatric Psychiatry in Concord, Ohio.

Janeane’s education and professional background in both the mind and the body provides her unique and effective approach to Art Therapy and Counseling, and she works diligently to provide clients with tailored treatment plans that can be integrated into their daily lives. Janeane holds a number of professional memberships, including the American Psychological Association, National Association of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselors, American Counseling Association, American Art Therapy Association and the Buckeye Art Therapy Association (BATA). She serves as the BATA Clinical Chair (2016-2018). In addition to her licenses, she holds several certifications and is an experienced presenter of motivational lectures and continuing education trainings.

Janeane practices daily art making for positive self-care and continues her education by attending national and local conferences, keeping up with current Art Therapy and clinical research, and seeking supervision.

Visual Arts 

Hoose, Brittany

Brittany Hoose earned her Associate of Arts degree from Lakeland Community College where she learned most of her ceramic craft. Brittany continued her education at Cleveland State University and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Leadership and Communications.

Brittany’s love for the ceramic arts inspired her to follow her passion and launch B. pottery. B. pottery a unique line of original, handmade stoneware that is sold in local shops, fine art festivals and The Ohio Statehouse in Columbus, Ohio. Cleveland Magazine voted B. pottery “Best Of Cleveland” in 2014.

Brittany hopes that her experience and passion for the ceramic arts will inspire and positively influence the people within the community.

www.bpottery.com

Fleisch-Hughes, Diane

B.F.A. in Illustration & Advertising Design, Fashion Institute of Technology (NYC); Teaching Licensure, Notre Dame College; Professional Artist whose works have been featured in more than 25 art shows including: "International Juried Show" Art Center of Northern NJ, New Milford, New Jersey, "6 th Annual Art Inter/National, Here and Abroad" Boxheart Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, "52 Works/52 Weeks" The Pop Shop Lakewood, Cleveland, OH, "The World As I See It" Mosaic the Gallery, Cleveland, OH, "Artist Open Studios" Lake Erie College, Painesville, OH, "The Figure Unveiled" Center for the Creative Arts, Yorklyn, Delaware. Substitutes as an arts educator in area schools. www.dianefleischhughes.com

Ms. Fleisch-Hughes also holds a Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling, Ursuline College, (2014). She has been a visual arts instructor at Fine Arts since 2009 and has been receiving Art Therapy clients since June 2014. She is currently a full time Art Therapist at Julie Billart school in Lyndhurst, a school serving special needs students. There she conducts individual and group Art Therapy sessions as well as a support group for parents. She also has experience working with a variety of populations including young children, teens, and adults with mental health needs in addition to medical patients and families. Diane travels with Ursuline Alumnae to provide Art Therapy to underserved populations all over the world. She is a professional artist showing her work locally as well as nationwide. Diane is a member of the American Art Therapy Association, Buckeye Art Therapy Association and the Ohio Counseling Association.  

Mercer, Kathy

Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education and Associate of Applied Business in Graphic Arts, Lakeland Community College. Former Director and Preschool Teacher at St. Felicitas Preschool. Substitute teacher at Lakeland Community College TLC. Local artist specializing in watercolors.

Merchant, Linda

Ms. Merchant holds a B.A. in Archaeology from Youngstown State University and a M.S. Degree in Special Education from National University, as well as teaching credentials in K-12 and Pre-K special education.  She has been a teacher since 2003.

Linda has been painting for as long as she can remember. As a child, she was inspired by the detailed wildlife artwork of Robert Bateman, Carl Brenders, and others. Primarily self-taught, she pursues a realistic approach to drawing and painting, creating detail in meticulous layers. Each painting can take months to complete, as she must wait for each layer to dry before adding the next.

Linda prefers to work in oils and soft pastel. Oils provide durability and a glow that cannot be achieved with other media, and soft pastels provide a brilliance and immediacy that can also not be equaled. She advocates for the revival of time-honored painting techniques, learning and then teaching painting techniques used by the Old Masters, including grisaille, glazing, and layering.

While these techniques take far longer than some of the more immediate modern art forms, Linda's paintings take on a glow that cannot be achieved with any other technique. This quality has been recognized in the numerous awards that she has received since she first began exhibiting her work - her very first show entry won Best of Show, and she has since many other awards for her work. She has exhibited in national and international juried shows.  Visit Linda's website at http://www.lamgallery.com/.

Patterson, Sandy

M.A. & B.A. University of Louisville. Attended the Art Institute of Chicago on scholarship for 6 years. Taught at St. Xavier College , Chicago; Beverly Hills Fine Arts Association, Chicago; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI; Lakeland Community College, Mentor. Has art work in the permanent exhibits of Louisville , KY Art Museum, The Phillip Morris Collection and The Providence , RI Art Club. Listed in Who's Who in American Art.

Peck, David

A.A., Lakeland Community College, B.A. in English Secondary Education, Art Secondary Education and Lutheran Teaching Diploma, Concordia University, Ann Arbor. Certified K-12 arts instructor currently teaching 7th and 8th grade at St John-Nottingham School. He has extensive experience in developing integrated curriculum and in preparing students for high school and college acceptance. He is also the art instructor for FAA's Summer Theatre Arts Camp.

Sandham, Hannah

Ms. Sandham is a freelance design professional with a background in costuming and social media marketing. She has a B.A. in Spanish and History from Grove City College, and became a Spanish teacher in the Washington, D.C. area immediately after college. Upon moving to Cleveland, her background in education, travel, and languages aided in her new position as a study abroad advisor at Cleveland State University. She is the current Costume Shop Manager at The Fine Arts Association and will design two of this season's shows.

Sexstella, Melissa

Melissa is a licensed teacher for grades K-12. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Kent State University in 2003. Employed as an art teacher for six rewarding years in Painesville City Local Schools, Melissa has had experience with a wide variety of age ranges. She received her Master of Education, with a Focus on Curriculum and Instruction, from Walden University in 2005. She has since continued her own professional development, taking courses in both art and education, while creating a diverse portfolio of her own artwork. Her art has been on display at various public venues, along with a high school mural, designed and painted under her direction in 2014. Her most recent focus is upcycled art, themed with her own experiences being “Mommy” to two small children. Melissa attended classes at The Fine Arts Association as a child and is honored to be teaching there. Art is something she believes should always be very meaningful, and she strives to empower each of her students to develop the confidence to utilize their own originality.

Melissa's website

Stiver-Lang, Dianne

B.F.A. Cleveland Institute of Art, with a major in Ceramics and a minor in Photography. Ms. Stiver has taught Ceramics for twenty-five years and has exhibited and sold her ceramics artwork nationally and locally for nearly thirty years.. Her holiday ornaments hang in the White House. She has been a featured artist in Cleveland Magazine and received her OSTNA (Ohio State Tested Nurse Assistant) in 2001. She is a visiting artist at several local elementary schools and nursing homes.

Wolf, Robert

M.A. Ohio State University , B.F.A. Ohio State University , B.S. (Education) Ohio State University. Certified Art Educator. Has taught at the School of Fine Arts since 1958. Retired Mentor School Art Teacher.

Highlights

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