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 INSTAGRAM.

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.

NEW! LYNN AMSTERDAM
is a perfect example of “It is never too late to learn to paint”. Prior to a severe car accident in 2009, Ms Amsterdam had a successful career as a Professional Photographer. Her work has been exhibited in
galleries in several states. Twice, Ms. Amsterdam has been tapped to do the back cover portraits for two authors. With a special niche for people, places and moments in time Ms. Amsterdam’s work is in private collections and in restaurants. Certain physical restraints forced Ms. Amsterdam to forego the photography and re-create herself as an abstract painter. Always the student and with a little help from both Old School Square and Boca Art School Ms. Amsterdam found her painterly voice in Abstract Painting. A member of WITVA and Delray Art League Ms. Amsterdam continues to push the envelope of her physical and creative universe. lynnamsterdam.com, @lynnamsterdamart

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, @erinashleyart

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, @sallycooperart

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).

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 lafogg.com, @deblafogg

NEW! JENNIFER FISHER earned a B.F.A in interior design from the University of Massachusetts. During her years as a commercial designer in New York City she worked for prominent architectural firms such as Hardy Holzman Pfeiffer Associates and Environetics. Transitioning to the academic world, she became an Academic and Career Advisor at the New York School of Interior Design teaching and mentoring aspiring designers. Jen’s desire to create small took her artistic career on a new path: jewelry design while teaching art to children and adults. Jen created her own architecturally inspired jewelry line which sold in contemporary museum shops such as the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, MOCA Miami, and the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. A select line of her jewelry is currently available in the gift shops at the Chihuly Collection in St. Petersburg and at Old School Square Cornell Art Museum. Jen began painting while teaching and experimenting with new materials and techniques. Influenced from her interior design background and love of perspective drawing, her paintings allow her to express her creative thoughts using alternate mediums. Jen’s paintings and jewelry have been exhibited in local and national galleries. She participates in various juried art exhibitions in Palm Beach County and her work was featured in the Spotlight Gallery at Old School Square Cornell Art Museum in June of 2018. Her painting, “Pretty in Pink”, won the cover design for the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s 40th Anniversary Winter 2018 issue. @jfishdesign

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.

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, @raymondgehman

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@carlagolembe

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@leegordonphoto

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.

RISHI ERIC INFANTI is a contemporary artist working in oil painting abstract expressionism, photography, and sumi-e. He has studied with India’s foremost scholar from Mysore India, learning both Mysore and Tanjor style painting. Sublimity is an integral characteristic of his work where it allows the viewer to discover their own imaginative spaces. His passion is to create a sense of spacious timelessness, which exudes a pictorial mystery carrying undercurrents of spiritual subject matters. He is the author of “Marine in the Mat” & “Breath Becomes Life”, “Yoga & the Martial Way”, & “Mindfulness & Yin Yoga”; and is a Transformational Mindset & Marketing Coach for Therapists, Alternative Healers & Yoga Teachers. He is also an Ayurvedic Practitioner and a CEU educator and trainer for Massage Therapists & Yoga Teachers, while offering his own eclectic Certification design for Yin Yoga, Thai Massage, Ayurveda, and a 20/50/200/500 hr Ayurveda Yoga Teacher Training. Rishi is a graduate of the New England Institute of Transforming Consciousness with a Masters Degree in Consciousness & Ayurveda, and the Union Institute and University, Vermont College campus with a Masters Degree in Transpersonal and Buddhist Psychology, focusing in spiritually oriented contemplative healing modalities from Hindu and Buddhist philosophies as they intersect with Western psychology, as well as Creativity as a Spiritual Practice. Rishi teaches “painting the Buddhist & Yogic Diaties & Asian Brush Painting, portraying the essence of Zen-like and abstract expressions — the offspring of Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese model of ‘humble imperfection’. A U.S. Marine Corps Veteran & 7-time Author, he is the author of “Marine in the Mat” & “Breath Becomes Life”, “Yoga & the Martial Way”, & “Mindfulness & Yin Yoga”; and is a Transformational Mindset & Marketing Coach for Psychologists, Therapists, Alternative Healers & Yoga Teachers. Rishi is a teacher of Iyengar, Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga. He has studied in Mysore, India with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois’s family at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute and Acharya V. Sheshadri. His background and training includes over 2,000 hours of Yoga Teacher Training, and has been exploring the psychology of the mind-body connection to foster balance and equanimity. It is Rishi’s passion to help people and their canine counterparts to recover their health and live at an optimal state. As a multi-modality therapist & Ayurvedic Practitioner, he has the unique ability to quickly identify and treat issues at a variety of levels of being. He has extensive experience with severe physical injuries and ailments while working with high performance athletes to aging seniors. A therapist of a myriad of over 30 modalities, he is board certified in Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork working primarily in Sport, Neuromuscular and Deep Tissue, is trained in Ayurveda, energy work and Thai Massage. He also helps the overall Veterans’ support community bring much needed, relief and healing to Veterans especially those with PTSD. He does this through a multi-tiered “Mindfulness for Veterans Clinical Blueprint Program”. This is built upon a holistic & integrated approach of Mindfulness mental focusing and Yoga Meditation & Movement, which is proven to bring the human Psycho-Physiology & Psycho-Spiritual back to wholeness & oneness. The programs are delivered both live in-person or virtually where modalities are customized for each segment of health professionals, family caregivers and the Veterans themselves. melaacademy.com

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.

DILIA “DI” LEON is an emerging Venezuelan artist based in Delray Beach, Florida. Dilia’s background is in Early Childhood and Preschool Education, owning and running a Preschool in Caracas, Venezuela since 1987. Throughout her life, Dilia has never steered far from the arts. Beginning as a young student of architecture, Dilia continued her lifelong journey of artistic expression through pottery, illustration and jewelry. With the intent of sharing her passion and knowledge, Dilia has offered workshops on art techniques to groups of children, teachers, and assistants. Since moving to Delray Beach, FL in December 2016, Dilia has found a new way of expressing her creativity through abstract painting. Her love for the tropic, expressive background, and her tumultuous hometown comes across the canvases through bright colors, strong strokes and rich compositions. Dilia enjoys collages, the use of letters and numbers, and various textures and techniques in her paintings. Dilia feels that the canvas always whispers to her where to go with her strokes. After completing four terms at the Creative Arts School of Old School Square, Dilia Leon is now exhibiting her paintings at Style de Vie Gallery, in the Pineapple Grove Arts District in Delray Beach. She also has two paintings in the 12th Annual Juried Art Show, “Summer of Love” at Sugar Sand Park Community Center in Boca Raton, Florida. And won the People’s Choice award with her
painting “Flowers”. @dileonj

NEW! JOHN MCMULLEN holds an MFA Directing from Carnegie Mellon University under two-time Tony winner Mel Shapiro, and an MA in Theatre from San Francisco State University. He studied with Uta Hagen and William Hickey at HB Studio NYC. He taught at Carnegie Mellon, City College of San Francisco, Los Medanos College, and privately in the SF Bay Area coached both Equity and amateurs (amateur, from the Latin “he/she loves (amo, amas, amat), i.e., those who do it for the love of it). He has just moved permanently to Delray Beach after years in the SF Bay Area. McMullen was the General Director of Piedmont Oakland Repertory Theatre, a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (the professional directors’ “union”), He was a theater critic in Berkeley, California, and a member of American Theatre Critics Association and the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle (search “eyefromtheaisle” for his reviews). He has lately written the book, lyrics and music of “Blood Tango the Musical.”
(Read/Listen to it online at http://www.bloodtangothemusical.com. The lead role in the studio recording is sung by a Tony winner, and the score editor and co-orchestrator is the editor for Michael Tilson Thomas.) His aim for this new curriculum is to provide for 1) those who enjoy theater and want to know more about it rather than perform, for 2) those who want to perform–or have been performing–and want to learn techniques to better their performance, and for 3) those who are considering or working at the craft professionally or who are advanced amateurs and want to refine their skills and do advanced work. The long-term objective is to teach a variety of classes each term, repeating some classes, while introducing new ones so actors can build on the lessons mastered in prior classes.

NEW! AMANDA MINTON Delray Beach-er by way of Hurricane Irma refugee status, has been dabbling in the online world since dial-up connection back in ’97. Once upon a time she grew up in a small town called Charleston, SC. Then she went to Southern California for dolphin training school, backpacked around Europe for a while (like millennials do) and opened a yoga studio in the Florida Keys. After a little bad weather, Amanda headed north and created Goddess School. A place creatives and entrepreneurs go to learn all the things nobody taught their sweet, artsy souls about analytics, algorithms, branding, copy writing, and the like. From woodworking, to photography, to yoga Amanda can (and wants to!) teach you to take your creative expression to the world wide web. @hellomermanda

NEW! JANET ONOFREY was born in Pittsburgh, PA and moved to South Florida where the sunlight and mild weather beckoned her to paint, “in the open air,” en plein air. Her Masters Degree in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design lead to a residency in Provence, France with time in Barcelona and Paris. She was awarded the 2015 South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual and Media Artist Fellowship judged for her extensive body of work. Janet was awarded a residency at The Skopelos Foundation of Art on Skopelos Island off the coast of Greece. Her art has been juried into national exhibitions such as the American Impressionist Society, American Women Artists, is a member of the Oil Painters of America and Plein Air Florida. The Baker Museum in Naples, FL, Museum for Women Artists and Andrews Art Museum in North Carolina are just a few of her museum exhibitions. She was featured in “New American Paintings,” and her artworks reside in both public and private collections nationally. She teaches at Fat Village Center for the Arts, Boca Raton Museum School of Art and privately. Follow her on Instagram at @janet_onofrey or janetonofrey.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 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. @petergpereira

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, @dimitrifla

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, @vickisiegelart

BETH SLOAT has a passion for guiding students to develop a strong foundation in their art as they are learning to express themselves. She earned a B.A. from Hofstra University and B.F.A. from Colorado State University. Before studying Fine Art at the Armory Art Center, she was an artist in Biomedical Communications at Southwestern Medical School. Beth has extensive experience in youth instruction and now teaches adults exclusively. Ms. Sloat exhibits her drawings and oil paintings various local venues and has work in private collections. By working from live subjects, she challenges herself and her students to “catch the moment of inspiration and make it live on the canvas.”