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.

GARY ANTONIO was born in Salem, Massachusetts and studied at the University of California at Davis, CA, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art. Antonio was fortunate to study and assist the following world-renowned Artists: Wayne Thiebaud, Roland Peterson, Manuel Neri, Robert Arneson, and Roy DeForest. Gary Antonio spent a year in Paris, France, studying at the Atelier 17 Workshop with Stanley William Hayter, who is considered “the grandfather” of Intaglio Printmaking. Gary was a Professor of Metal Sculpture and Structural Welding at the City College of San Francisco and Artistic Director of the Childrens’ Outreach Program for The Body Shop, San Francisco, CA. Gary is presently teaching art at the Creative Arts School at Old School Square, The Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach and The Lighthouse Art School in Tequesta, Fl. His paintings have been exhibited at Center for Creative Education, West Palm Beach, Art in Public Places, Palm Beach International Airport, Nathan D. Rosen Museum, JF Gallery, West Palm Beach and Seth Jason Beitler Gallery, Miami.

NEW! 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.

SALLY COOPER has been painting all her life and began actively pursuing her creative talents in the late eighties.  In 1990 she was awarded an annual Art Award from Broward Community College.  In the mid 90’s she moved from detailed representational work and began to seek the abstract.  By 2000 image reference was left behind and her style evolved into explosions of color, markings and movement.  Her work has been included in numerous regional and national competitive exhibitions receiving awards in most.  She is a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society.  In 2005 her painting “Life Force II” received Honorable Mention in Watercolor Magic Magazine’s national competition. 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.

NEW! 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.

KAREN ESKESEN received a B.A. from Colby College, Maine, graduating with honors as an art major. She also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the Brooklyn Museum Art School. Karen has taught realist watercolor techniques in South Florida for over 30 years, and now teaches at Old School Square (since 2000) and at Bonnet House Museum and Gardens in Fort Lauderdale. She is a member of Bonnet House Fine Artists, and has participated in their exhibits at Bonnet House, the St. Lawrence Gallery, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, and Old School Square. In 2006 her watercolor was awarded “Best in Show” at the “Impressions of Old South Florida” competition at Bonnet House.

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! 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.

NEW! JOHN GRANDE  was born in 1969 in Huntington Long Island. He attended the School of Visual Arts in 1995 earning his BFA. After graduating, Grande moved to NYC and worked as a professional C Printer at several high-end photo labs in NYC. During this time, John Grande printed for such high-end fashion, music and fine art photographers like Mick Rock – Miles Aldrich – Jack Pearson – Annie Liebovitz – Marc Baptiste – Giles Bensimon – Jerry Schatzberg to name a few. This practice highly influenced his personal work allowing him to assess their work – study their compositions and visual techniques for creating a successful image. Since that time, Grande has exhibited in Solo and Group Shows throughout the world (New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Korea, Italy, India, Canada). Grande is a photo-based artist who works in project form. Using photo reference to produce a ”photo realistic” style with paint into a visual dialogue while constantly searching for different ways of solving contextual problems and ideas. Incorporating pop culture – contemporary or retro – branding symbols – advertising logos – superheroes – phrases and art. Grande Interweaves them together transforming their original meanings continuously adding to the vocabulary of art. His current work is about exploring “the deconstruction of popular culture through advert street posting and the investigation of this thought into material.” “My art comes from the history of art and the culture of our times. I am interested in work that is derived out of today’s overwhelming multimedia world”. View his work at: johngrande.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.

NEW! JESSE KUNERTH has worked as a professional graphic designer for over 15 years. He has worked with a variety of clients from architecture to the music industry. Jesse creates digital art that combines texture and other design elements that results in art with a soul and respect for analog techniques. Jesse sells his pop and travel art across the country at various art festivals. He has won numerous awards and is in galleries across central Florida. Jesse has a passion for design and loves creating art inspired by traveling, music, and pop culture

MANNY JOMOK earned his BA in Art Education from Monmouth College, W. Long Branch, NJ, 1969, and is certified to teach Art (K-12th) by the State of New Jersey. Mr. Jomok studied with renowned artists: Frank Francese, Robert O’Brien, Tim Thies, Pat Dews, and Don Andrews and is influenced by: Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Joseph Zbukvic, and David Curtis. Manny has taught art to disadvantage youths in programs in the states of New Jersey, Maryland and Maine. He teaches watercolors in the Palm Beach County Adult Education Program and also individual lessons on an ongoing basis. Manny is a professional, exhibiting artist since 2006 – exhibiting in Maine, New Jersey and Florida. Mr. Jomok is represented by Frederick Gallery, Spring Lake, NJ and Works of Hand Artist Gallery, Winter Harbor, ME. He has received numerous awards in plein air competitions and exhibitions. His paintings are in private and corporate collections.

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.

RUSSELL LEVINE has the ability to “connect his heart with his vision, thereby creating the eyes of his soul.”  His photographs inspire you to get in touch with your creative side as you have never dreamed possible.  By combining his technical expertise of the digital camera and his expressive compositions, Mr. Levine is able to teach his students how to photograph using their own vision to create visual masterpieces. Russell’s photographs have been shown in museums and galleries across the United States and he is one of the only photographers to win an award in the prestigious All Florida Juried Competition and Exhibition.

NEW! 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. View Evan Cheryl’ss 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 retired from commercial illustration where he had done illustrations for Coke, Air Canada, Bell South, I.B.M., G.E., and many others. Charles has taught watercolor classes at Delray Beach Center for the Arts for over 12 years. His paintings are in private collections from London to Los Altos, California. Charles is a Signature Member of the Florida Watercolor Society. 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.

NEW! 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.

BOB SCHMIDT has been in the art glass industry for 38 years. He is the owner and operator of Schmidt Stained Glass. Originally from Pittsburgh, he started as an apprentice at the age of 16. He opened his first studio 4 years later creating custom art glass for architects and builders in the new home construction field. His work included cabinet glass, windows and custom front entrances. He operated an art glass studio in Pittsburgh for many years and has developed his skills as a master craftsman. In 2004, he moved to Florida to offer his expertise in a high end studio to set up a retail store, teaching facility, cabinet glass shop and repair center. In 2010 he reestablished Schmidt Stained Glass as a classroom and full service studio producing architectural art glass and creating one of a kind unique pieces of art. Robert is a Delray Beach resident and has a studio in Boynton Beach, FL. “Your Ideas Captured In Glass.”  Visit his website at: schmidtstainedglass.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.

LIANNA MICHELLE SLATER has taught expressive arts since 1989 in a multitude of programs, schools and non- profits in her home state of Rhode Island. She attended Rhode Island School of Design, The University of Hartford Art School and traveled abroad in her junior year in Florence, Italy. She studied color, design and composition thru all disciplines to earn her BFA in Fine Art. She worked as an assistant designer for several major costume jewelry manufacturers in RI. She has designed for Wet Seal, Target, Charlotte Russe and many other well-known national retailers. Lianna held a position for 9 years as gallery manager, direct support professional, job coach, and director of jewelry design at a non-profit agency in historic downtown Newport, RI. She guided her students and helped channel their creativity to run a successful jewelry business & art gallery. The gallery has been featured in Yankee magazine, and a number of other RI magazines as well as being recognized as a place of sharing art for the entire Newport community. View her work at: liannamichelledesigns.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.”