Instructor Bios

The Creative Arts School instructors are some of the most talented in South Florida!  These professional artists, photographers and writers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their classes.  As a result of expert instruction here, many of our students’ works have been juried into competitions and accepted into local, regional and national exhibitions.  Several of our high school students have been accepted into art programs at some of the best schools in the country. In addition to the individual website links below, you can connect with many of our instructors on FACEBOOK and LINKEDIN.

WINSTON AARONS has a Master of Fine Arts degree in writing from Sarah Lawrence College. He has taught courses in English, Writing and Studies in the Novel, at Lynn University for several years, and was Director of the school’s Honors Program. He also taught Contemporary Literature at Palm Beach State College, where he was active in the school’s fiction and poetry workshops. He has given classes on the short story in Delray Beach’s Public Library Lifelong Learning Institute for the past three years. He has published a novel, Jasmine, which Kirkus Reviews listed as one of the top twenty-five of the top One Hundred Best Indie Books of 2012. Mr. Aarons now writes full time. He has two books, Who Is Sor Avraham, and his memoir, Sweet Like Sugar, for which he seeks publication.

ERIN ASHLEY  is an internationally renowned artist who has lived in NY, Los Angeles and Florida for most of her life. A self-trained artist, her art career started by surprise when she tried painting as a new hobby that quickly grew into a full time art career. Her art has been published worldwide and has appeared on HGTV “Flip Or Flop” show, Bravo TV “Million Dollar Listing” and published in many art and home décor magazines including the cover of Refresh Better Homes and Garden magazine. You can find many prints of her works in home stores and websites such as Wayfair.com and more. Erin Ashley also shows her work locally at the Carre D’ Artist gallery in Boca Raton. View her work at: erinashleyart.com.

ROBERT BARRA was educated at the Rhode Island School of Design and The Art Students League of New York and is listed in “Who’s Who in American Art”. He has exhibited at: The Butler Institute Of American Art, The National Arts Club, The Salamagundi Club, James Beard House, The Newport Museum, The Ridgewood Art Institute, Springfield Art Museum, Museum of Texas Tech University, Huntsville Museum of Art, Bergstrom-Mahler Museum, Danville Museum of Fine Arts & History and the McAllen International Museum. He is an elected member of Allied Artist of America and winner of many awards including The Windsor and Newton Award of Excellence for Oil Painting. His work has appeared in major publications including The New Yorker, Gourmet Magazine, Saturday Review and The New York Times. His work is in private collections in U.S. and Europe. He lives in Florida and teaches figure drawing and painting.

REESE HENDRIK BLANKE is a Florida native, passionate photographer, videographer and professional digital ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ – His portfolio includes published works in both print and digital formats across an array of industries and disciplines. As a lifelong student of multi-media and nature, Reese provides students with deep insights into the many connections between our digital and physical worlds. fireoptic.us

SALLY COOPER has been painting all her life and in the mid-nineties moved from detailed representational work to seeking the abstract.  She is a six-time winner of The Artists Magazine’s national competition and a Signature member of the National Watercolor Society.  Her work has been featured in Acrylic Artist, Professional Artist, and The Artists Magazine where her painting Blue Horizon was featured on the cover of the May, 2015 issue.  Most recently her work was included in the 2017 publication Art Journey Abstract Painting, as well as Eyes on Abstracts and Best of American Acrylics.  Her paintings have been included in numerous regional and national competitive exhibitions receiving awards in most.  Sally’s work is “about a creative process rather than a specific image or place.”  She is represented by Mary Woerner Fine Arts, West Palm Beach.  Visit Sally’s website at:  sally-cooper.com.

BARBARA CRONIE received an M.A. in Writing from New York University. Her diversified background includes teaching, writing, and experience in magazine and book publishing. Starting out in NYC at Random House as a copywriter, she soon moved on to magazines as the editor of Modern Stereo. Two years later she became the managing editor of a publishing house which produced several magazines. Published as a journalist (articles and interviews), she has traveled to Italy twice, promoting food and wine for the Italian Trade Commission, NYC. Among her teaching positions she lists: The Lighthouse International, NYC; Katharine Gibbs School (seminars), NYC; Palm Beach State College; Palm Beach County Continuing Education—before forming the Writers’ Colony. She presently offers an editing service, Editing Par Excellence, for beginning and established writers who are preparing manuscripts for publishing. She is a member of The International Women’s Writing Guild (IWWG).

HANA DAVIS attended Pratt Institute and Fashion Institute of Technology where she studied Fashion Design and illustration.  Hana worked at Breckenridge and Joe Benbassett designing and illustrating Junior Sportswear.  She has taught classes in Figure Drawing and Fashion Illustration to adults and children.  Her work has been exhibited at the Nassau County Museum of Art, the Hecksher Museum, the Art League of Long Island, and the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

DEBORAH LAFOGG DOCHERTY combines two great loves in her work: nature and painting. While working in nature. Deborah strives to give her audience a glimpse of how animals live in the wild. She received the Masters Circle award from the International Association of Pastel Societies.  Her work has been featured in museums, national and international art shows and International magazines as well as in private collections. Ms. Lafogg-Docherty has illustrated a children’s book with part of the proceeds going to save habitat critical habitat in the Florida Keys. Membership affiliations include: associate member of the Society of Animal Artists, signature member of the Pastel Society of America, signature member of the Artists for Conservation, member of excellence with the Southeastern Pastel Society, member of the Oil Painters of America, member of the International Guild of Realism, the Pastel Society of North Florida, Degas Pastel Society and member of the Women Artists of the West and the Audubon Artists.  Visit her web site at www.lafogg.com.

CHRISTINE ELLINGHAUSEN is a professional artist who has studied this system directly with the inventor, Bonny Pierce Lhotka and is a recognized national teacher. Her own artwork uses the DASS™ transfer system in her large mixed media 1/1 image collage work on patina aluminum and is a studio assistant to Bonny at workshops. Visit AlternativePhotoTransfer.com to see examples of this process.

DONNA STEGER FULLER has a BA in Art from University of Florida, an MA in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University. She has done extensive commercial work for Motorola, Office Depot, PBIA and others, as well as limited edition posters for the City of Boca Raton and Hilton Hotels and Holiday Inns. Ms. Fuller has designed Cover Art for the Florida Philharmonic and National League of American Pen Women, as well as private firms. Donna has executed many commissions of classical reproductions of old masters, such as Rubens, Vermeer and Guardi to name a few. Donna is a signature member of the International Acrylic Society, American Women Artists – National, Gualala, California Art Center and Women in the Visual Arts. Ms. Fuller’s paintings are in collections in the UK, Japan, Australia and USA.

NEW! LAURENCE GARTEL Gartel has traveled the world exhibiting and projecting his work in Australia, Spain, Germany, Italy, as well as going to India, creating a Bollywood Music/Video for Universal Entertainment. He has been commissioned to produce artwork on Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as for corporations such as Coca Cola, Philip Morris, Walt Disney, National Basketball Association, Gibson Guitars, Bang & Olufsen, and known to most for his ABSOLUT GARTEL ad for Absolut Vodka.

As a working Artist 2015 could have been its own book. Gartel was the Official Artist of the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, Los Angeles. He “wrapped” the large-scale, one of a kind Grammy Statue with his Digital Art printed to vinyl right here in South Florida. He was the Artist of the NASA MMS Mission, at Kennedy Space Center, as well as being the Artist of the Newport Jazz Festival wrapping a one of a kind Trumpet to honor the career of Miles Davis. Gartel unveiled the First National State Art Car at the Capital building in Concord with Governor Maggie Hassan, reading letters of Accomodation from the House of Representatives, Senate, and Congress. Gartel partipated in the Los Angeles Street Art Fair creating a commissioned Dodge Viper Art Car and was the Visionary of the 3D Print Conference in Santa Clara.
Gartel showcased his 1978 ground breaking “Self Portrait” film at the 7th Annual Cairo International Video Festival. He finished the year creating the Official Artwork for the Monaco International Film Festival.

His concentration the last several years has been focused on Art Cars, the first commission being the TESLA Electric Art Roadster during Art Basel Miami Beach in 2010. He was the “FEATURE” of the 113th New York International Auto Show with his own 30,000 square foot Pavilion in 2013. Mercedes Benz commissioned Gartel to create a very special Art Car to celebrate their “13th Million Friend on Facebook. Gartel unveiled a $250,000 Renntech Mercedes SL65 V-12 Art Car at Fisher Island Club during Art Basel Miami, December 2014, an Award Winner “Best of Class” at Amelia Island 2015. His “Care-Connect” VW Amarok represents the First Solar Satellite Art Truck. Gartel branded the Oslo Motor Show and produced a BMW Mini LIVE for the Norwegian public in October, 2016. Gartel unveiled an Alfa Romeo “Giulia” Art Car to America in March 2017. His current museum show: “WARHOL vs GARTEL HYP POP” was shown at Palazzo Bufalini, Spoleto, Lucca Center of Contemporary Art and Art & Co, Lecce. Gartel presented his new “300-page” book of the same title during Art Basel Switzerland. His Art graced the Front Cover of Boca Magazine, January 2018 issue, and Pompano Magazine February 2018 isse. Website: www.gartelart.com

RAYMOND GEHMAN For 25 years I have worked for the National Geographic Society, traveling and photographing the world. I have been awarded three National Geographic cover photographs, and I have published numerous book covers, books, and magazine articles. I studied fine art photography at Northern Virginia Community College and earned a degree in photojournalism in 1979 from the renowned School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. I worked as a newspaper photojournalist in Montana and at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk before moving to National Geographic. My photographs have been featured in seven National Geographic Magazine articles including two cover portraits on “The Vanishing Prairie Dog” and “Eastern Wildlife: Bittersweet Success.” I have also done over a dozen singlephotographer National Geographic Books, including “Yellowstone to Yukon,” and eight National Geographic Travelers, including “Jasper National Park.” I have had exhibitions around the U.S.: The Native Spirit one-man show at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre, West Palm Beach, FL; Gardens and Flowers at the Centre; Circles of Light at the Jung Center Gallery in Houston, TX, the Dixie Art Loft in West Palm Beach, and Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County, FL; and a four-person show at the Visual Arts Center in Portsmouth, VA, entitled P4|Paintings, Photographs, Pottery and Prints: New Work…Raymond Gehman. Visit Raymond’s website at: raymondgehman.com

CARLA GOLEMBE  is an award winning painter and illustrator. She has received artist residencies from the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, GA; Altos de Chavon in the Dominican Republic and Kalani Honua in Hawaii. Carla’s paintings have been shown widely throughout the United States. Collections include Hyatt, Marriot, Pan Pacific Hotels, Fuller Art Museum, Boston Public Library, Academy Art Museum, University College (University of Maryland, Shepherd Pratt Hospital, Medical College of Virginia, Worcester Art Museum, The JFK Library, Montgomery County (MD) Art in Public Places, Chico’s and other corporate and private collections. An image of her painting “Moonflowers III” was licensed by Icon shoes for their Spring 2012 collection. Dos Puentes Vineyard in Mendoza Argentina commissioned her to create a painting for the labels for three of their wines. She was a chosen artist for “Keys to the Cities” for which she painted a piano that spent 2 weeks in a public place in Palm Beach County and was then donated to a charity venue. Learn more at CarlaGolembe.com.

LEE GORDON has a comprehensive understanding of the art and skills of photography. Since his first cameras – a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye and a Fujica Half Frame – he has owned and operated photographic studios, a fine art photography gallery, and is currently both a commercial and fine art photographer. Lee’s commercial interests are architectural, lifestyle and interior design statements. His creative interests are mastering and teaching photographic digital workflow and producing fine art prints. “My creative intention is to simply capture and share the beauty and wonder of the earth and its magnificent places, faces and spaces.” Learn more at LeeGordonPhotography.com.

IRENE HILL is an award-winning Master Photographer and graduate of Northwestern University with a dual Masters Degree in English and Education.  She has photographed over 200 concerts and events throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, has been a special events consultant to the National Geographic Society, escorted numerous international tours, and created and managed hundreds of lectures, conferences and seminars.  As a lifelong photographer whose goals are now directed to instructing others in the art of fine photography, Irene brings a world of national and international experience along with a love of teaching to her students. Learn more at www.irenehill.smugmug.com.

GENIA HOWARD has a Masters in Art Education from FAU and achieved National Board Certification in art in 2001. Most of her teaching career has been at the high school level, especially with the International Baccalaureate and Advanced Placement programs. Additionally, she has taught kindergarten, middle school, and adult education. Proficient in water media, oil and acrylic, she is equally adept at using traditional drawing media and experimental media.

SHARON KOSKOFF is a professional muralist and designer widely recognized in South Florida for her projects with children and diverse audiences. She is a cum laude graduate in fine arts from Brooklyn College, and holds an additional degree from New York School of Interior Design. She has taught at the Montgomery Armory Art Center, Boca Raton Museum of Art, and the Norton Museum of Art. Learn more at bysharon.com.

SID DELMAR LEACH graduated from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau, France. He has a B.S. in Art from B.Y.U, and is the author of two books on perspective and pencil drawing published by McGraw Hill. He taught drawing for seven years at FIDM San Francisco and has lived, drawn and painted in France and studied with Ted Seth Jacobs. Mr. Leach’s drawings and paintings are held in private international collections.

CHERYL MAEDER is an internationally known, award-winning photographer. Maeder’s work is in the permanent collection of the Frost Museum in Miami, and international exhibitions at the Louvre Museum in Paris. Her work is exhibited in international art fairs such as Art Miami, Art London and Art Shanghai. Her work is currently on solo exhibition at the Miami International Airport and was recently selected by PBS for Project Filmmaker, South Florida, funded by National Endowment for the Arts. View Cheryl’s work at: maederphotography.com

RALPH PAPA was born and raised in Manhattan and studied art and architecture in New York at Queens College and CCNY and at the Art Students League. His paintings range from studio works composed of real and imagined themes to figurative, portraits and plein air paintings. Mr. Papa teaches drawing and painting at his Delray studio and at the Delray Beach Center for the Arts. He is a member of the Garrison Art Center, the Delray Art League, Past President of the Artists’ Guild of the Boca Museum and co-founder of ‘Plein Air Painters of Palm Beach’. His works are in public and private collections in the U.S. and Canada and can be seen in galleries in Boynton and in Delray Beach at his studio, the Artists’ Guild Gallery and on his website at www.papagallery.com.

CHARLES PASSARELLI Charles Passarelli spent his professional career as a successful advertising illustrator. His work was commissioned by many clients in the United States and abroad, such as NASA, I.B.M., Air Canada, Voxal of Germany and all the US automotive companies. He also taught advanced illustration at The Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. When Charles retired he decided to follow his abiding interest in watercolor painting. After moving to Florida, he joined local art groups and participated in indoor and outdoor art shows. His work has been shown in art galleries in Florida and Michigan, and he has won several national show awards, including Best of Show at Pigeon Key as well as first place at Boynton Beach GALA, Delray Affair, and several indoor shows. He is a signature member and award winner of the Florida Watercolor Society. He continues to teach, conducting watercolor workshops and demonstrations in Michigan and Florida each year. Besides watercolor, Charles works in oils, acrylics, and pastels, as he believes artists should never stop expanding their knowledge of their crafts. Learn more at passarelli-art.com.

PETER G. PEREIRA is a versatile artist in Painting, Illustration Performance and Installation Art. Based in New York over the past twenty plus years, is now ready to settle in beautiful Delray Beach. He studied at the University of Omaha and Art Studies in Europe and Africa in the 1980’s and 90’s. On his return he was accepted into several prestigious galleries for painting including Timothy Roberts Gallery and Gallerie D’Art Contemporain (to which his abstract work has returned). He has since continued to create across disciplines and notably evolved the Trees of Life Sculpture Multimedia Installation over the past 10 years in New York and toured Internationally in recent years (with Figment Arts) bringing this unique Installation Series as far Geelong Australia. Based on Painting and Drawing from his time in Africa and later Montreal he also created the Paradox Box Series of Wrap Sculpture and Painting Performance Series and compose an original Album for the show which later became performed off-Broadway. As an Illustrator his Comic Book Narrative work appears in Strauss News. He recently was featured in the Reopening of the Cornell Museum, Delray Beach with his Trees of Life Sculpture and new Augmented Reality Media Outdoor Pieces 2017/2018.

NEW! FERNANDO PORRAS is an award winning painter, illustrator, photographer, and designer. He has an MFA from Radford University and over ten years of experience teaching art and advanced computer graphics at the university level. After years as art director for advertising giants Y&R and Ogilvy & Mather/Corpa, he went solo to design for clients such as American Express, Pepsi, Procter & Gamble, and Seagram, among many others. Early in his painting career he won the international watercolor competition to create the conservation stamp “First of South America”. For the past 24 years he has used his artwork to create awareness about the plight of fast disappearing indigenous groups living in the rainforests of South America. While staying with some of the tribes, he creates sketches that, once in his studio, turn into oil portraits of huge format. His exhibits have taken him to multiple solo shows from Caracas, to New York, to Paris, and his pieces are exhibited around the world by leading galleries in some of the most prestigious art fairs, including local contemporary art venues like Art Miami, Art Wynwood, Art Boca, Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach Modern & Contemporary, and Palm Beach Jewelry, Art, & Antiques. As an illustrator, he travels and uses his photographs and what his sketchbooks collect to create children’s books.

EVAN REINHEIMER is an award winning artist from New York. He is a graduate of the State University of New York with degrees in Photography and Business. Evan developed and specializes in a technique for aerial photography in which he uses a kite to lift his camera into the air, giving him a totally new perspective on his subjects; This technique is referred to as “Kite Aerial Photography.” Evan has traveled across Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, North and South America using this technique to create his artwork. Evan’s photographs are exhibited in galleries and fine art festivals across the country. View Evan Reinheimer’s work at: EvanReinheimer.com

DIMITRI SAGATOV is fine art photographer and designer based in Delray Beach. Primarily self-taught, Dimitri’s photographs are in private collections across the United States and abroad. An active member of the Delray Beach community, he serves on the board of the Delray Art League. His artistic focus is on producing unique fine art prints, and sharing his passion for photography through teaching and exhibiting his work throughout Florida. “My intention is to evoke the memory of a time and place in my photographs. Not just as it was, but as I felt and experienced it.” Visit Dimitri’s website at: dsprints.com.

VICKI SIEGEL earned a B.F.A from the University of Illinois and continued her M.F.A coursework at Tyler School of Art in Rome, Italy.  Ms. Siegel developed a passion for painting while she pursued a career in advertising.  Vicki’s work is influenced by memories, both personal and collective. Colors and light of the tropical landscapes in South Florida are inspiration for her energetic paint stroke of abstract expressionism and the use of multiple images of pop art.  Ms. Siegel frequently exhibits in South Florida and her work is included in numerous private collections.  View her work at vickisiegelart.com.

BETH SLOAT has a B.A. from Hofstra University and B.F.A. from Colorado State University. Beth has extensive experience in youth instruction, pre-school through high school. Ms. Sloat has exhibited her work in various locations locally and has completed workshops with Master Artists. Beth challenges herself and her students to “catch the moment of inspiration and make it live on the canvas.”