Instructor Biographies

Carol Aubrey

After graduating from college Carol taught school for many years in Agawam and Holyoke. In the evenings she attended watercolor class at Wistariahurst Museum with Nicholas Phakos; a local watercolor artist. Since then, she has continued to study watercolor with various local artists and others in Martha's Vineyard. Carol has enjoyed teaching at HCAC since 1999.

Sue Bennett

Sue is the owner of Private Label, a local custom clothing design and alterations studio. She was an instructor for ten years at Marist College Fashion Program where she taught Patternmaking and Garment Construction. She has written several "Fitting" columns for THREADS magazine, as well as feature articles. Sue is an active member of The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, and a certified instructor and re-seller of Wild Ginger Patternmaking software. .

Madeline Calabrese

"You are an excellent teacher as well as artist, I have learned more about how to paint watercolor from you, than any other class I have taken.: (Fall '09 student testimony) Madeline successfully teaches beginning watercolor students while bringing progressive knowledge and challenges to her returning students. She is able to help students find their own style while introducing and helping them to experience other artist's styles. She began studying watercolor painting in 1986 under local artists, Nicholas Phakos, Shirley Burke, and Anne Mueller with coastal workshops by Paul George. Madeline's teaching degree helped transition her from student to teacher in the Fall of 2005. The transition was highlighted by winning "Best of Show in 2006" at the Wistariahurst Museum for "Summer Glory" which she completed in Anne Mueller's class. Focusing on watercolors because their liquid, transparent qualities and the surprises they create, Madeline finds her inspiration from nature and is especially drawn to painting water with all of its infinite varieties and complexities. Her paintings draw you into scenes, inviting you to enjoy their many textures and colors. Madeline's work has been in shows throughout Western MA and her commissioned watercolors reside in private collections across the United States.

Gary Clarke

Gary completed his apprenticeship in upholstery over 25 years ago at the Dove & Distaff in Rhode Island. Since 1985 he has served as the Assistant Vocational Manager at Pioneer Upholstery, a non-profit business teaching upholstery to 20 mentally ill adults in Holyoke through the Center for Human Development. Pioneer Upholstery specializes in building institutional furniture for colleges and other large businesses. Gary is also proficient in custom upholstery, window treatments, drapes and specialty sewing and in teaching these skills to students of all ages and ability levels.

Marge Collamore

Marge first took knitting classes from the late Libby Shanahan, then Lynn Goodkowsky and the late Kay Cathro. Marge is always busy making Irish knits for her large Irish family. She made the Celtic sweater that is on display on the teddy bear at the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round. Marge thoroughly enjoys the ladies in her Celtic knitting class.

Jeanette Crumbs

Jeanette is a Certified Wilton Method Instructor who trained at the Wilton School of Cake Decorating in Illinois. She has been decorating cakes for ten years and has taught Cake Decorating and the Sugar Arts for five years. Jeanette has studied under various Sugar Artists and Master Decorators. Her creations are edible works of art!

Ed Cope

Ed Cope has been carving for fun and profit for nearly 25 years (longer if you include childhood whittling and stick carving). Ed started exhibiting his work in the early 1980s at various local craft shows. Concentrating on marine and wildlife art, whales and dolphins, he has since exhibited as far west as Colorado and south to Florida. Along the way he has earned two "best in Show" awards as well as numerous blue ribbons. Starting in 1992, Ed's first stint as a carving instructor was with the Massachusetts State Correctional System. Once a week he would arm the inmates with razor sharp knives and teach them to carve. They were a quick and talented group of individuals. The program lasted three years. Ed has been teaching at HCAC since 1996. His is a fun and informal class, great for beginners, but all levels of experience are welcome. Students are welcome to bring their own projects or carve one of Ed's award winning designs. When not teaching woodcarving, Ed also stays busy as a professional magician and rock-climbing instructor. Ed's work can be viewed at .

Nancy Dorian

Nancy is a fiber artist residing in Northampton, MA with a degree in Interior Design and Fine Arts minor in Ceramics. Her company now & ZEN art to wear emerged from her belief that joy comes from doing what you love. Pottery, stained glass and jewelry are a few of her mediums, but she now works primarily with fiber. Nancy has taught fiber arts in many venues including New England Felting Supply, WEBS, Holyoke Community College, Fletcher Farm School for the arts and crafts, Bead & Fiber and her home studio. She creates one-of-a-kind artwear using techniques such as Nuno Felting, Fiber Etching and Serti silk painting. Her work has been spotlighted in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, The Republican and Preview Massachusetts Magazine and can be found in galleries and boutiques throughout New England and on Nantucket. Find out more about her at .

Debra Barboza Dunphy

Debra is an accomplished artist and art teacher who works in many styles and media - oils, colored pencil, pastel and others. She is known particularly for her work in portraiture and has made hundreds of commissioned works. She has exhibited her work in museums and galleries, including several invitational shows -- winning many blue ribbons. Debra has taught at HCAC since 1997 and also teaches in her own studio. She enjoys teaching both children and adults. She also teaches at the Summer Institute for the Gifted at Amherst College. Debra took part in the restoration project for the Holyoke Merry-Go-Round as the commissioned muralist, painting several panels of Holyoke historical landmarks. She is involved in many groups and organizations, including the Holyoke Cultural Council and the Holyoke League of Arts and Crafts, for which she has served as President. Debra's art can be see at her website,

Kathy MacLean

Kathy is a 35 year educator from the Westfield Public Schools. She has been teaching caning to adults for over 30 years. Her handling of caning and reed has led to her hobby making Nantucket baskets. Teaching adults at the Holyoke Creative Arts Center is a favorite way to keep the craft alive.

Carol Marnelakis

Carol is a licensed Esthetician (2001) and Manicurist (2004) in the state of MA. She is also nationally certified in esthetics through the NCEA. She is a former Esthetics Instructor and Make Up Artistry instructor of New England Center for Esthetic Education (formerly Chameleons School of Esthetics) in Northampton, MA. She currently practices esthetics, make up artistry and nail care in her own studio "Transformations".

Joan Marsh

Joan has been an Interior Designer for over 30 years. She has her own drapery making business and has been featured in Better Homes & Garden Magazine for condominium treatment of room/window design.

Marsha Molloy

Marsha graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in education and a comprehensive major in Home Economics. She taught clothing instruction for adult education after graduation, but discovered quilting in the late 1980s and knew she had found her passion. She has been quilting ever since, showing her quilts whenever possible. She has won numerous awards, exhibited nationally, and has been published internationally. She served as President of the Hands Across the Valley Quilter's Guild. Her quilts have been exhibited at the Memorial Hall Museum in Historic Deerfield. Her award-winning quilt, "Vincent's Rising Stars" was published in "Popular Patchwork" (May, 2002), an English quilting magazine. Marsha has been teaching at the Holyoke Creative Arts Center since 1992. She enjoys teaching basic quilting in an unstructured class situation where each student learns according to her/his needs and experience. She says of teaching, "it's an adventure that continues to challenge and inspire me."

Trudy Monson

Trudy is a Holyoke native who took her first sewing lessons 35 years ago at HCAC, back when it was named the Holyoke Home Information Center. She has enjoyed doing many types of crafts ever since and enjoys working with children, teens and adults. She received her Associates Degree in Business Administration from Holyoke Community College (HCC) in 1997 and has led Sunday School classes, Girl Scout troops, and summer sessions of the HCC Upward Bound program. Trudy retired from Verizon in 2002 after 36 years of service and now operates her own jewelry business, Gem's Creations.

Anne Mueller

Anne Mueller, B.F.A., is a classically trained studio painter. The North Carolina native has resided with her family in Western Massachusetts for over twenty-five years. Equally facile in almost any medium, she prefers to work in oil, watercolors or pen and ink. A realist, Mueller is noted for her landscapes, portraiture and still life paintings. She is best known locally for her documentary series on the vanishing family farms of Hampden and Hampshire counties, a body of work, which combines her love of history on the personal level with fine art. Working from her studio, she also teaches painting and drawing at several area schools and learning centers, from which she derives great satisfaction in educating others in both technique and appreciation of the arts. She is represented by the J.H. Miller Gallery. Locally the Delaney House, Chicopee Parks & Recreation, Chicopee Council on Aging, Firehouse Museum and Library of South Hadley own Anne's paintings. Anne was honored by Channel 40 (1990) as "Spirit of the Baystate" for her paintings of the vanishing family farms of Massachusetts. Her work is also represented nationally as well as internationally.

Judy Novak

Judy Novak grew up in Indiana and attended art school in Chicago. She and her husband have operated Novak Advertising & Design in Holyoke since 1985. Judy's interests include painting in watercolor and pastel, and she markets a variety of items she creates under the name of Judy Kahooti which include tote bags, jewelry, check book covers and unusual one-of-a-kind ornaments and wall decorations. She also creates themed collages and of course altered books.

Karen Novak

Karen has been teaching basket weaving since developing an affinity for their unique style, form and outlet for creative expression. She is self-taught, reading everything she could get her hands on close to ten years ago. She was initially inspired by a woman she saw weaving poolside in Nantucket while she simultaneously watched her children swim. An accountant by profession, weaving allows me to "balance" her dominant left brain. Her work is shown at local art shows and she does take commissions through word of mouth and her website .

Barbara Raschilla

Barbara has over thirty years of jazz dance experience, the last thirteen as the Teacher/Director/Sole Proprietor of Young at Heart Adult Dance Company located in Belchertown. She started the dance company after she retired from Peoples Savings Bank. She credits dance with keeping her young at heart as well as body!

Tony Raschilla

Tony Raschilla is the Supply Manager for Pennock Floral Distributors in West Springfield with over 25 years of floral design experience. He began his career at LeFleurist/The Florist in Chicopee. Starting as a designer, to Assistant Manager before leaving LeFleurist in 1992.

Ellie Sambrook

Ellie learned how to knit from her mother-in-law many years ago and to crochet by taking classes at a local yarn shop. She has taught knitting to friends who would gather for a Friday night of crafts. Being a grandmother, she loves to knit & crochet for her grandchildren. Ellie retired from Mass Mutual and is now working at a local tailor shop. Teaching a craft is always a learning experience for the teacher, too.

Patricia Welch

Pat Welch has more than forty years of experience in various phases of painting. She attended the Rhode Island School of Design with emphasis on early art in this country (1790 - 1840). She has also studied with certified master teachers and enrolled in many painting courses and seminars. She has taught painting for over forty years, 15 of them at the Holyoke Creative Arts Center (formerly the Holyoke Home Information Center) and was the owner and teacher at "Pat Welch's Original Country Arts." She has sold commissioned portraits nation-wide, was a featured story in "Yankee Magazine," has won awards for her classes in oils and acrylics, and has taught, lectured and apprenticed at museums, including Old Sturbridge Village, the Heritage Museum in Lexington, MA and the Historical Society of Early American Decorators in Albany, NY. She is also a member of the National Association of Decorative Painters, the Pioneer Valley Decorative Painters and the Historical Society of Early American Decoration, Inc.

About Center Image

About Us





Join Email List

Contact Us