Arlington Center for the Arts Faculty

Check out ACA's dynamic and creative teaching faculty below!

Jeremy Angier

Jeremy Angier holds a BA in Studio Art from University of California at Berkeley and an MFA in Sculpture from New York Academy of Art.  Jeremy works in animation, and teaches Figure Drawing at ACA.

Cat Beaudoin

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Catherine Beaudoin is a young artist currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts. Beaudoin received her bachelor’s degrees in Studio Art and History from Washington & Jefferson College outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her curiosity led her to experiment with several mediums and visual art mediums including oil, acrylic, pastel, graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, found objects, and natural elements.

While in Arizona, Beaudoin established her roots as an elementary art teacher and grew passionate for arts ability to address community needs. She began to integrate herself into various sectors of the art world: government, schools, non-profits, community happenings, and various cultural events. This experience gave her insight to the interconnectivity of the art world while illuminating the systems supporting select demographics.

Along with their role as the Education and Programs Manager at Arlington Center for the Arts, Beaudoin is a teaching artist, mentor, visual artist, and graduate student. Beaudoin's current research and projects include college access for student-parents and caregivers, equitable access to community arts programming, and ecological art education.

Emily Belz

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Emily Belz is an independent photographer and educator. She holds a BA in photography and art history from Hampshire College; an MA in community art education from RISD; and an MFA from the New Hampshire Institute of Art. Emily is represented by Gallery Kayafas in Boston. She teaches photography classes and workshops at the Griffin Museum of Photography, deCordova Museum, and at Lasell College. Learn more about Emily on her website.

Lauren Blais

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Lauren Blais is a Boston based designer and maker recently named "Best of Boston." Her hand-crafted collections inspired by Victorian Era ornamentation include dark, deft, and delicate constructions of sterling silver etched with antique wallpaper patterns and accented with the highest quality natural gemstones, raw minerals, fur, exotic leathers, and 18kt gold.

Lauren's jewelry is predominately crafted using traditional metalsmithing techniques such as lost wax casting, piercing, forming, fabricating, and enameling. She earned her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a concentration in small metals. Her studio is now located in Somerville, MA.

Victoria Brancazio

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Victoria Brancazio is an actor and writer in the Boston area. A transplant from North Carolina and a graduate of Emerson College, in 2018 they wrote and self-published their zine, "BREAK: Stories About Feeling Too Much." Brancazio's poem "The moon is almost the size of the street lamp" was published in Constellations Vol9: CONFESSION and they have had several other poems featured on Plush, and online creative space for people of marginalized gender identities. In the theatre world, Brancazio was in the original cast of Nosferatu: The Vampyr, performing in one of the first Zoom theatrical events in New England. Brancazio is a member of Stage Source's Gender Explosion, which seeks to create a more gender diverse and inclusive theatre. You can find more about Brancazio on their website: https://www.victoriabrancazio.com/ 

Mary Brooks

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Mary Brooks is an artist, a scientist and an educator.  She received her Bachelor's degree in Biology from Brown University, her masters in textiles from the London College of Furniture (UK) and her masters in Education from Lesley University.  Mary has worked in cancer biology labs throughout her career.  After working at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge MA for many years, she recently decided to dedicate herself fully to STEAM curriculum development.  Most recently, Mary was a Senior Teaching Associate in the Learning Lab at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in Boston MA.  She continues to develop arts integrated lessons for middle and high school students.  These STEAM programs highlight the role that creativity plays in both art and science.  They offer students an opportunity to extend their science learning by creating abstract art that represents various science ideas and processes.

Dotty Burstein

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Dotty Burstein has had a lifelong interest in the intersection of composers' lives and their music.  As such she has developed classes for exploring the music of composers from the Classical and Romantic eras, first at the Tufts Lifelong Learning Institute and most recently at Arlington Center for the Arts.  During her musical training, Dotty was inducted into the honorary music fraternity Sigma Alpha Iota, studied with the composer Edwin Gerschefski and the pianist Edward Kilenyi, and played piano in a trio that included her cellist friend and her violinist sister.  Today, Dotty continues to enjoy attending concerts and recitals and encouraging others to find joy and inspiration in music.

Emily Nicole Cameron

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Emily Nicole Cameron is a director and professor of theatre, based in the Boston area. After receiving her bachelor's degree in English from Boston College, she went on to complete her graduate studies in Theatre Directing from the Guildford School of Acting in Surrey, United Kingdom. She is passionate about her work in higher education and loves being able to work with actors on both stage and screen. 

Gwen Chasan

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Gwen Chasan is an Arlington based artist who creates watercolor, acrylic, and ink paintings inspired by the beauty and mystery of the natural world. Gwen’s work relates to her love of experimentation and her interest in the patterns of nature and their parallels in human thought and expression. Gwen’s work has been included in juried exhibitions locally and regionally. She paints in her Arlington studio and teaches workshops in Massachusetts.

 

Gwen worked in technology for more than 40 years and began her painting career in 2010. She loves to combine the technology skills she gained over her long career with creative and artistic expression to create beautiful websites for artists and others. Visit her website at www.gwenchasan.com.

Nayda Cuevas

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Nayda A. Cuevas passion emerged for unearthing a visual language to better articulate through visual arts her observation and/or interpretation of her Latina American experience. As an artist her interest lies in using history, art history, and current cultural trends to produce images of both her physical and emotional experiences of displacement.

Ms.Cuevas was born in Puerto Rico. Her family migrated in 1990 to Florida. As a means of negotiating alienation and the absence of familiar people and places she turned to the arts to explore her identity.  She obtained a BFA in Fine Art (2002) from Stetson University in DeLand FL and her MFA in Visual Arts (2015) at Lesley College of Art (Former Art Institute of Boston) in Cambridge, MA.
 

Leah Cirker-Stark

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Leah is a Somerville-based freelance photographer and teacher. Leah has a BFA in Photography from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, and has been running Leah C-S Photography for 7 years. They have experience teaching classes and tutoring youth and adults. They teach photography to beginners, amateurs and professionals, and can cover topics such as basics in using a digital camera, photographic aesthetics, editing, and how to market themselves professionally. They meet their students where they are while also challenging them, and help them define their unique creative style. 

Erez Dessel

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Erez Dessel is a pianist, composer, and educator currently based in Boston, MA. Originally from Ann Arbor, MI, Dessel has been playing piano since the age of six, letting his musical passion guide him through life and leading him to explore a multitude of styles, and creative worlds. While he remains grounded by the music of his heroes, people like Thelonious Monk and Duke Ellington, his music has expanded to include the influence of genres ranging from Mandé music of West Africa to 21st century classical music.

After winning two Downbeat student music awards with his high school combo, Dessel went on to study at the New England Conservatory, which he graduated from in 2020 with a degree in jazz performance. In his four years at NEC, Dessel made arts outreach one of his primary goals, which manifested in him leading his quartet, 8 Legs, in over 50 workshops and masterclasses throughout schools, museums, and other Boston community music venues. In 2019 this group was selected to travel to Virginia Beach as parts of the Virginia Arts Festival’s outreach program, where they performed and taught in Virginia Public Schools for a week. Dessel also took study and performance seriously at NEC, where he worked with Ethan Iverson, Ran Blake, Cecil McBee, and Jason Moran. He was chosen to perform in two residencies with Moran and was selected as the pianist in NEC’s 2019-2020 Jazz Honors Ensemble, coached by pianist Frank Carlberg. He was also selected to participate in the 2019 School for Improvised Music workshop in Brooklyn, NY, where he studied with master improvisers such as Tim Berne, Gerald Cleaver, Kris Davis, and Ralph Alessi.

Dessel’s work extends beyond the piano, as the production director for the Nova Fellowship he planned and produced two multidisciplinary events during the 2019-2020 concert season, one of which was held at the Plimpton Shattuck Black Box Theatre and included collaborations with dancers, poets, and visual artists from across Bosto

Kendall Dudley

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Kendall Dudley is a career and life design consultant, presenter, teacher, artist and travel leader.  Among many places, Kendall has taught at Tufts and Lesley Universities, Montserrat College of Art, Star Island and Pendle Hill and was a career consultant to Harvard University for 15 years. Learn more about Kendall on his website.

Linda Branch Dunn

Linda Branch Dunn is a fiber and textile artist who loves to work 'in the border countries between painting and quilting.' Linda's work has been exhibited regionally and nationally, including a recent exhibition at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell. She holds a BFA in Textile Design, Rhode Island School of Design. Learn more about Linda on her website.

 

Brenda Echeverry

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Brenda Echeverry is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who has worked in public schools across NYC facilitating creative arts programming. She is passionate about working with non-profit organizations that provide services to under-resourced communities. In the past, Brenda has tutored and mentored elementary-aged students and advocated for families in the child welfare system as a social worker. Brenda has a background in musical performance, visual art, dance and theater. She enjoys incorporating these art forms into her professional work and uses them to practice a personal form of healing. She will begin her graduate studies in Expressive Arts Therapy at Lesley University in the fall of 2020.

Grace Emmett

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Grace Emmet is a studio designer, freelance illustrator, and a teaching artist. She earned her BFA in Illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and now works designing home decor products at a company in the greater Boston area. She was a teacher for the Art Reach 101 program at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and has also hosted multiple workshops at The Cultural Center of Cape Cod. Grace is well versed in a variety of mediums including acrylic paint, watercolor, graphite, ink, charcoal, and digital art.

Marjorie Glick

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Marjorie Glick is known for her vividly realistic watercolors. She has exhibited at regional museums and galleries including the DeCordova Museum, Berkshire Art Museum, Brockton Art Museum, Beth Urdang Gallery, Boston, and the Forum Gallery in New York. She has served as Adjunct Faculty for The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University and has been a member of the faculty of the DeCordova Museum School. Learn more about Marjorie on her website.

Ariel Grubb

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Ariel Grubb is an animator, visual developer, and interdisciplinary artist whose showcase of work includes in both digital and traditional methods such as stop motion, collage, projection design, zoetropes, and direct on 35mm film animation. Ariel is a graduate of Lesley University and has professional credits that include artistic work for the National Young Arts Foundation, MassOpera, and under public artist and inventor Rufus Butler Seder.

Ariel works in animation production as well as experience as an animation, stop motion, and visual storytelling instructor. Ariel’s work is inspired by animals, nature, and fantasy worlds, and currently lives and works out of Somerville, Massachusetts.

Kaleigh Hansen

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Kaleigh Hansen joins Arlington Center for the Arts with outstanding acclaim from her work in the Boston Public School system, where she worked with students of all abilities. Hansen has an Associate's degree in art as well as a Bachelor's degree in art therapy.

She is passionate about creating abstract paintings in acrylic or oil paints, but also has a depth of experience in all sorts of medias and styles. Her focus is on the process of creating art instead of the end result. Due to this, Hansen's artistic philosophy is that art should invoke emotion and reflect expression.  This informs her teaching philosophy and how she approaches integrating her artistic expertise into her instruction.

Kimberley Harding

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Kimberley Harding experiments with texture and color in three-dimensional weaving to create works inspired by nature and personal experiences. Additionally, she weaves traditional basketry forms using conventional reed and contemporary painted paper techniques. She strives to create objects that induce the urge to touch – something that seems forbidden.

Originally trained as an educator, Harding expressed her creativity within the constraints of teaching, family and volunteer endeavors.  Her work has always involved fiber techniques such as loom weaving, sewing, knitting, crochet, resist dyeing and embroidery. First introduced to basketmaking in 2015, she remarked, “I feel as though I am recalling an alternate life when weaving – I am certain I did this before.” 

Linda Hoetink

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Linda Hoetink is a Dutch-born painter and textile designer. She trained at Bennington College and the Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Her paintings and works on paper have been shown in Amsterdam galleries, including CriCri, Speyer&Vogtschmidt, and the WG Expo Hall. She began designing textiles in the early 1990s. While she lived in London, Lesley Craze Gallery and Walter Castellazzo Design represented her scarves, cushions, hangings and kimonos. Her work can be found in international private collections, Esfera dell'arte in Madrid and the permanent art collection of the Dana Farber Institute in Boston. Linda currently lives, works and teaches in Boston, USA.

Ellie House

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Ellie House is a clay artist and teacher with a BFA in Ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art and design. Her work is mostly functional and focuses largely on color and surface decoration. She is passionate about continuing her practice and sharing her love of ceramics with students and artists of all ages. https://ehouseceramics.wordpress.com/

Angela Kelly

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Angela Kelly is an artist based in Massachusetts. She graduated with her BFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2019. She is primarily a painter, printmaker, and sculptor with a developed interest in an environmentally-conscious and conservative technique. Her work is based off of utopias all connected by a jumbled transit map built off of years of recurring dreams.

Lidia Kenig Scher

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Lidia holds an Masters in Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and a BFA from the School of Fine Arts Prilidano Puerredon in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  She worked as Art Director for the Acton Public Schools and Acton-Boxborough Regional Schools and for the Arts Magnet Schools in Lowell, MA.

Chris LeGare

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Chris holds a BFA from the Mass College of Art. He teaches in the Newton Public schools. At ACA, Chris teaches classes in Animation, Urban Arts & Graffiti and the Friday Night Teen Clubhouse.

Ashley Lessa

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Ashley Lessa is a freelance writer and teaching artist from New Bedford, Massachusetts. She has a BA in Writing, Literature and Publishing from Emerson College. Her work has been featured in many print magazines and newspapers across the South Coast, as well as in national, online publications. Ashley has worked with several local after-school and home school organizations in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as online. Ashley teaches classes based in magazine writing and creation, creative writing, story time, crafting, and more. Ashley believes that the arts can be a tool for both fun self-expression and mental well-being.
 

Karenna Maraj

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Karenna Maraj is a jewelry designer with a degree in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from the Rhode Island School of Design. Karenna runs her own jewelry shop in Belmont and works professionally with retailers and shops to make specialty and custom jewelry. Learn more about Karenna on her website.

Margaret Moody

Margaret Moody studied with the late master puppeteer Lee Tien-lu, who was named a "national living treasure" in Taiwan. She is an active member and past president of The Boston Area Guild of Puppetry. Since 1996, she has been part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council artists roster. Her favorite parts of puppetry are creating character voices and making puppets. Learn more about Margaret on her website.

Cha-Ling O'Connell

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Cha is a Maker of Things. She studied Naval Architecture and Comparative Media Studies with a focus on Photography and Film at M.I.T. for a while, was a sailing educator and program director at Courageous Sailing, and has studied Art Education through MassArt’s Continuing Education department. She teaches a variety of art forms to students of all ages through Arlington Center for the Arts and deCordova Museum, including Modern Calligraphy, Shibori, Digital Photography, and Book Binding. Cha is currently the K-8 Art Teacher at Lesley Ellis School in Arlington. She likes to rock climb and read about trees and has already passed on an affinity for collecting art supplies to her young daughter.

AJ Palacio

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AJ Palacio is an actor, singer, and early childhood educator from Colorado. He received his BA from Oberlin College in 2014, majoring in Theater and Comparative American Studies. Before coming to the Boston, AJ performed and created work in Virginia, living out some of his dream roles, premiering works, singing acapella, and involving himself in research-based, activist production creation. He moved to Boston to teach for the BCT Summer Camps, and worked as the Leadership Coordinator for ACA’s summer camps in 2019. As an educator, AJ strives to create equitable communities that allow for growth, taking risks, and serving the communities around us. His favorite acting credits include Nikos Argitakos/Ensemble in Legally Blonde the Musical (Virginia Musical Theater), HIM in the premiere of Love, Always: A New Musical (Zeider’s American Dream Theater), Angel in Rent (Littler Theater of Virginia Beach), and Multiple Roles in After Orlando: Stories of Los 49 (Orange Ave Project). 

Vicki Paret

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Vicki is a representational painter and a functional potter with a M.A.T. from Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University, and ongoing education at the Harvard Ceramics Studio.  She has been on the faculty at the Museum of Fine Arts, DeCordova Museum, and Cambridge Center for Adult Education, and spent many years teaching young people as Chair of the Art Department and teacher at Waring School in Beverly. Teaching at the ACA has included classes in drawing, ceramics, and painting with gouache. Vicki is represented by Galatea Fine Arts in SoWa.  Learn more about Vicki on her website.

Michael Pisaturo

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Michael Pisaturo is a Boston-based playwright, dramaturg and educator. His plays have been produced at Acadia University, Lafayette College, Theatrikos Theater, Emerging Artists Theatre, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, KNOW Theatre, Towne Street Theatre, the Q Collective, Open Theatre Project and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He has also had work showcased at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education National Conference, 38th Annual William Inge Theater Festival New Play Lab and Samuel French Off Off-Broadway Short Play Festival. His play Paper Planes was selected as a national finalist for the Gary Garrison Ten Minute Play Award at the 2017 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and he has been granted fellowships through the Kennedy Center Playwriting and Dramaturgy Intensives. He is an Associate Member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

Jason Polins

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Jason graduated from Boston University’s Visual Arts Program then attended Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy. After graduating, he returned to Boston area to pursue direct studies with notable painters such as Nelson Shanks, Thomas Dunlay and Gary Hoffmann. All of whom Jason remain closely connected to as mentors and friends.

Moved by the beauty of nature and our modern world. His genre of expertise include portraiture, figure, still life and landscape/cityscape. Jason works in graphite, charcoal and oil paint.

View his personal work at www.jasonpolins.com 

Sue Rice

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Sue holds a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught at public schools in the Boston area. Sue is a freelance illustrator and member of the Blacksmith Printmakers Group at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.

Rach SebellShavit

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My name is Rach SebellShavit, I am a potter living in Arlington, Massachusetts. I make utilitarian pottery using stoneware clay. My love of clay began when I was 7 years old at summer camp. I was so captivated by clay that I used the money from my bat mitzvah and babysitting when I was 13 to buy my first potters wheel. My love of pottery continued through high-school into college and in 2004 I graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Ceramics. It was at RISD where my love of the potter’s wheel transformed beyond the potter’s wheel into a love of many ceramic techniques – slab, slip cast, and potter’s wheel. Today I make work using a variety of techniques to create utilitarian pottery that can be used in modern daily life. All of my pottery is dishwasher and microwave safe, and lead-free.

Explore my ceramics work here: https://sebellshavitstudio.com/

Ethan Selby

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Ethan is a performer and teaching artist originally from Peterborough, NH.  Ethan earned his B.A. in Film & Theatre from Keene State College and has performed professionally in children’s theatre and regional theatre for over ten years. Locally, he has taught theatre and improv in after school and summer programs in Somerville and Cambridge.  Currently, he is on the major league improv team of ComedySportz Boston. He is also a writer/actor for an independent Sketch comedy group called Suzzy and a Drummer for BUMP (Boston's Unscripted Musical Project). He absolutely loves working with children of all ages.

Pam Shanley-Daube

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Pam Shanley-Daube is an artist and teacher with a special gift for engaging children and teens in art-making of all kinds. She has worked on several murals in the greater Boston area including the mural at the Theater entrance at ACA. Pam holds a BFA from Connecticut College, and her artwork has been exhibited and collected in private collections in California, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Pam has worked on the ACA Staff since 1999, as Facilities Manager and Director of Arlington Open Studios. Learn more about Pam on her website.

Lee Su

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Lee Su is a Chinese-American born in Vietnam and educated at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. Through RISD's European Honors Program, he also studied for a year in Rome, Italy. He now lives and creates art full-time near Boston, Massachusetts, where he had worked previously as an architectural designer.

Lee's primary goal in teaching is to instill the "joy of making" because fulfillment gained from creating with one's hands leads to curiosity and the desire to employ one's mind.

Nadege Tessono

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Nadege Tessono is a multidisciplinary visual artist with over 16 years of professional, creative experience. As the founder of She Moves Forward, Nadege Tessono focuses on traditional and non-traditional original work and services such as design, visual art, wearable art, and visual arts education. Her diverse professional background in tandem with her excellence in the visual arts makes her an asset to the ACA community and others. She works with various types of 2-dimensional arts, graphic arts, and design, as well as illustrations, textiles, patterns, and printmaking.

Tessono's work incorporates different elements of traditional art processes merged with modern modes of technologies, integrating context into her identity. Nadege Tessono's techniques and mediums are, but not limited to, oil pastel, acrylic, pen and ink, watercolor, etc. as well as digital applications such as Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Her vivid palette and bold designs make her work unmistakably hers. Her subject matter pertains to textiles and textures, black identity, female-focused, and African diaspora, and cultural influences.

Today, Nadege Tessono continues to explore these concepts as they intersect with community, as she is in the final semesters of her M.Ed. in Art, Community, and Education at Lesley University.

Arevik Tserunyan

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Born in 1987 in Yerevan, Armenia, Arevik received her BA in English, Spanish and Pedagogy from Yerevan State Linguistic University and an MFA from the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts, spending a semester abroad at École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Marseille, France.

In 2013-15, Arevik enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts Program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA) at Tufts University in Boston, MA, during which she began exploring other media with new works in collage, sculpture, and fashion with large-scale installations.

After graduating from SMFA at Tufts, Arevik received a post-graduate fellowship to design and teach an introductory drawing course. In parallel, she worked as Curator’s Assistant at the Armenian Museum of America in Watertown (MA) and had her first solo show The Lost Empire, a sculptural installation with accompanying performance.

In 2017, Arevik received an O-1 visa (defined by the Department of State as “visa for extraordinary abilities”) to work at the Armenian Museum of America as the Artist-in-Residence where she works to this day. During her residency, Arevik completed a number of art projects, among them the solo show Amper (Clouds in Armenian), on view from October 23th, 2018 to April 20th, 2019. Amper is a multimedia installation of collage and video projection on Armenian needle laces. She has also led the Art School at the Museum since July, 2017.

Since September 2019, Arevik teaches visual art (part-time) to all grades at St. Stephens Armenian Elementary school.
 

Romy Wilhelm

As a board certified Music Therapist (MT-BC), Romy focuses on the benefits of music on the brain, and how music can support our holistic health. She lives in Arlington with her husband, and two spunky red heads.

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Arlington Center for the Arts | 20 Academy St | Arlington, MA 02476 | (781) 648-6220 | acarts.org

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