The Fairmount Center is proud to present our Faculty. Please see below for all Dance, Music, Theatre, Visual Art, and Fitness Faculty.
Dance & Fitness Faculty
Mason Alexander, Dance Faculty & FDC/FDC Jr. Director
Mason Alexander is from Cleveland, Ohio. He began his dance training at Cleveland City Dance under the direction of Courtney Laves-Mearini and Mark Otloski, joining the studio company during his final two years there. Mason then continued his pre-professional training with Ana Lobe at the Ana Lobe Ballet Academy, performing feature roles in The Nutcracker and in studio repertoire. After graduating from high school, Mason trained with Verb Ballets under Richard Dickinson before shifting his career focus from ballet to modern after being introduced to Inlet Dance Theatre. He joined Inlet in 2018 and has been dancing with them since. Throughout his time with Inlet, Mason has had the opportunity to tour nationally with the company and to collaborate on the creation of several new works. Mason has also held teaching artist positions through Inlet classes for youth and through residencies at several Cleveland City schools, and he has been the company’s social media coordinator since 2022. Mason lives in Cleveland with his two cats, brother and sister- Dipper and Dottie (also known as Dip n’ Dot).
Kate Webb Berk, Dance Faculty
Kate dances professionally with Verb Ballets in Cleveland. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, she danced as a company trainee with Richmond Ballet. She then attended Butler University where she graduated cum laude with a BS in Dance-Arts Administration and high departmental honors. Seeing her students improve is one of her favorite things! She is deeply passionate about helping children experience personal growth by finding their own artistic connections.
Saundra Bohl, Dance Faculty & Spanish Dance Artistic Director
Saundra Bohl studied ballet at the Ballet Arts of Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Company in New York. She has a BA in Math and Music from Oberlin College and a Masters in Education from John Carroll University.
Kia Hileman, Dance Faculty
Kia is from Saskatoon, Canada and fell in love with dancing at her local studio. She began her dance training at the age of seven and has done many summer intensives including Royal Winnipeg Ballet. At age 16 she was accepted to Alberta Ballet School’s Professional Division and continued her training in their Post-Graduate Program. Following graduation in 2019, Kia joined US International Ballet as a trainee for two seasons where she had the opportunity to perform Giselle and Alice in Wonderland. Kia is now an apprentice with Verb Ballets.
Darlene Kelbach (Miss D), Dance & Fitness Faculty
Darlene is a Cleveland native and has been part of the Fairmount Team since June 2018. She is the Outreach Director and teaches a variety of dance and fitness classes.
Darlene started dancing at age 6 and continued studying dance as an elective through college. She has experience in creative movement, tap, ballet, lyrical, jazz, gymnastics, and line dancing. She also cheered from 8th grade through college and has coached middle school cheer. She has been the choreographer for school drama clubs and theatrical performances such as 101 Dalmations, Jr. and Beauty & the Beast, Jr. Additionally, Darlene was drawn to yoga as a form of choreographed dance with the postures as a unique repertoire of movements.
Darlene has over 10 years of experience working as a freelance teaching artist and speaker. She also worked for the National Park Service as a Historical Landscape Architect for 18 years at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Darlene has her 500 hour yoga certification and recorded the album, “Children’s Yoga Songs for the Classroom” in 2018. She has a BA in Political Science from Wittenberg University and a Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the Ohio State University. She has additional certifications with Barre Above, Music Together, LLC, T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in Plant-Based Nutrition as well as Hearts in Hands Reiki II.
Megan Klamert, Dance Faculty
Megan Klamert is an alumna of Nan Klinger’s Excellence in Dance and the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet (dba Ballet Excel Ohio) located in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. She attended summer intensives at Chautauqua Institute, Saratoga Springs, NY, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and Indiana University before continuing her training at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. There, she earned a Bachelor of Science and Outside Field (BSOF) degree in Ballet and Kinesiology and a minor in Psychology. She then moved to Hartford, Connecticut to perform professionally with Ballet Hartford. While living on the east coast, Klamert started training students ages 3-adult at local studios including The Dance Connection and the School of Ballet Theatre Company. She became Ballet Mistress for Ballet Theatre Company in West Hartford, CT and assisted in staging and producing full-length ballets as well as small collaborative community performances for four seasons. She moved back to Ohio in 2020 and began teaching at Hudson Conservatory of Ballet. With an ever-growing interest and curiosity in kinesiology, she became a certified Personal Trainer and currently instructs adult fitness classes at Lifetime Fitness in Beachwood. She also is on faculty at her home studio and is Assistant Director to her childhood director, Mia Klinger. She now lives with her fiance, Rob, and kitty, Baby Squirrel, in Shaker Heights, OH.
Sabrina Lindhout, Dance Faculty
Sabrina began dancing at the age of 4, and was accepted as a member of the pre-professional program, Ashland Regional Ballet, when she was 12. She studied at summer programs with Magnus (Joffrey) Midwest, Orlando Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, and BalletMet in Columbus, OH. She performed as a guest dancer in Ohio Dance Theatre’s and Verb Ballets’ first collaborative production of The Nutcracker and was a guest dancer with Verb for their Heinz Poll repertoire for their 2015-16 season. She then joined Verb Ballets as a trainee for their 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. Sabrina is now a company member with Inlet Dance Theatre- known for their modern dance technique and non-traditional partnering style.
Libby Lubinger, Recreational Dance Director, Spanish Dance Artistic Director Emeritus
Libby has been part of Fairmount Center since its inception in 1971, sharing her passion and vision for the Spanish Dance program. In addition to Spanish Dance, she has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Ethnic dance. She holds a BA in English from Brooklyn College in New York City.
Andrea Belser McCormick, Dance Director
Andrea Belser is a Performing Artist and Instructor from Cleveland, Ohio who has received her Bachelor of Arts from Wright State University in Theatre Studies, with an emphasis in Dance and Vocal Music. Beginning with ballet at 3 years of age, she also continued her studies in various dance forms, including tap, African folk dance, liturgical/spiritual dance, jazz, musical theatre dance, modern/contemporary, hip hop, Bollywood, Latin ballroom, and anything else she can get her hands on. Andrea (or Mrs. A to young students) currently teaches drama/theatre arts, musical theatre and dance in different theaters, outreach programs and venues, both in groups or private lessons. Since 2009, she has taught students ranging from 2 years old to elder, with theaters and companies such as Playhouse Square, Beck Center for the Arts, Dancing Wheels, Cleveland Play House, Kultue Kids, DANCEcleveland, Cleveland School of the Arts, Solon Center for the Arts, and Great Lakes Theatre. She has also recently been added to the Ohio Teaching Artists Roster. You can find a few class performances and choreography by Andrea on her YouTube channel: Thespian Drea.
Fredrick Moodie, Dance Faculty
When you ask about Kinderdance or Tap Dance at Fairmount, you’ll hear one name again and again: Mr. Moodie. Fredrick teaches tap, ballet and jazz. He has choreographed dance works at East Cleveland Theater, Karamu House, Theatre Ensemble, Cuyahoga Community College, Cleveland Coordinated Arts Program, and in numerous schools.
Andrea Trimmer, Dance Faculty
When asked about her bio, Andrea said: “I feel like it should just say ‘Andrea loves tap dance’.” Andrea has the pleasure of teaching our beginning-advanced adult tappers at Fairmount and they love tap dancing right along with her!
Gregory Berlin, Violin & Viola Faculty
Gregory Berlin is a graduate of Indiana University; he earned a BM in violin performance and BSOF in Business. In addition he has a MBA in finance from the Weatherhead School of Business at Case Western Reserve University.
Gregory has performed with many different local orchestras & symphonies. He enjoys performing chamber music as a soloist or with small groups (duo/trio/quartet). Gregory currently serves on the board of the Broadway School of Music & Arts (BSMA) in Slavic Village Cleveland, Ohio.
He teaches violin and viola using Suzuki and Traditional methods. Gregory teaches at the Fairmount Center for the Arts.
SAA Registered Training
Every Child Can!
Violin Unit 1
Violin Unit 2
Violin Unit 3
Bruno Bush, Piano, Voice, & Music Theory Faculty
Bruno Bush is a freelance music director, pianist, vocalist, conductor, and composer who recently stepped away from a career in public school education to devote his time towards musical theatre and piano. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s in Music Education in 2019. He studied voice with Dr. Jim Mismas, piano with Dr. Anthony Fuoco, and conducting with Dr. Dirk Garner. Bruno is the founder of Moondaze, an a cappella group that still exists at BW, and served as President of the BW OCMEA Chapter. He music directed shows with Sandstone Summer Theatre (The Spongebob Musical, Cabaret, The Wizard of Oz), Port Clinton High School (Anastasia, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Theory of Relativity, High School Musical) the Millenial Theatre Project (Legally Blonde) and the Lorain Palace Youth Theatre (School of Rock, Frozen Jr). Bruno is set to direct The Last Five Years (MAD* Factory) and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Midview High School) in the coming months.
Andrew Dyet, Piano, Trumpet, & Music Theory Faculty
Andrew is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer who specializes in piano, trumpet, music theory, and composition. Andrew plays everything from jazz and classical to experimental music. Andrew earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baldwin Wallace University and his Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental Sound from California Institute of the Arts. Andrew has taught band, music theory, trumpet, and piano to young beginners all the way to undergraduates. Andrew often plays keyboard and guitar for local musical theaters including the Porthouse Theater.
Abigail Johnson, Music Director, Violin & Music Theory Faculty
Abigail is a multi-instrumentalist performer and composer who enjoys playing everything from folk to classical to electronic music. Abigail teaches violin, music theory, composition, and electronic music. Abigail was a student of CIM’s preparatory school and suzuki program before earning her Bachelor of Music in Composition from Baldwin Wallace University. She earned her Masters of Fine Arts in Experimental Sound from California Institute of the Arts where she taught music theory and music history courses. Abigail has traveled all over the world for festivals and artist residencies including Alaska, New York City, and France.
Nick Kokensparger, Guitar Faculty
Nick Kokensparger is a professional guitarist that has been playing guitar since the age of 11. Nick is a proud graduate of Kent State University with a bachelors degree in Music Technology. Shortly after graduating in the spring of 2022, Nick would be the main guitarist at the Akron Civic Knight Stage for The Millennial Theater Project. With this vast mixture of experiences, styles and knowledge in not only guitar playing but also in music theory and part writing. He is now eager to be at the Fairmount Center to pass what he has learned off to all his students and hope it brings them as much joy as it’s brought him.
Katalin La Favre, Percussion & Itty Bitty Music Faculty
A classically trained percussionist on a non-traditional path, Katalin La Favre throws her creative energy into developing captivating experiences. Interested in interdisciplinary and experimental work, she was awarded a Fulbright Grant to study with French percussionist Jean Geoffroy. Katalin remained in France for 9 years, collaborating with actors, dancers, and musicians for several programs which have been performed in France, Germany, Scotland and Portugal. These programs were vastly diverse, combining contemporary music, contemporary dance, poetry, narration, humor, and street theatre. Recently relocated to Ohio, she has developed several programs, including BACH’S MUSIC BOX, reimagining Bach’s Goldberg Variations for metallic percussion instruments, as well as promoting wellness through the arts with her sound nap programs. Katalin has a bachelors degree from the Colburn School, a masters degree and artist diploma from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, and a degree in instrumental pedagogy from the CEFEDEM Auvergne Rhone-Alpes.
Allan Licht, Fairmount Children’s Chorus Director & Piano & Voice Faculty
Soon after graduating Cleveland Heights High school, Allan began performing at many of the upscale night clubs in the Cleveland, Ohio area. He moved to California to further pursue a music career on the west coast. While working as Director of Entertainment at Sambi of Tokyo in Los Angeles, he performed there seven nights a week, backed by a three-piece band. Allan also performed in Las Vegas, at venues such as The Aladdin and The Sahara on the strip. Following Vegas, Allan moved back to Orange County, California to play the night club circuit at venues such as The Del Ray, Mama Cozza’s, The Queen Mary in Long Beach, and the LGT Vegas in Los Angeles. Along with performing for the past 40 years, Allan has composed over 250 songs, many of which have been recorded and released nationally and internationally. Allan has also composed numerous songs for non-profit organizations and corporations such as Signet Jewelers, The Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio, The Vanished Children’s Alliance, and the Relay for Life/The American Cancer Society. Allan also has songs licensed through Crucial Music out of Los Angeles, California for movie and T.V. placements.
Most recently, we are proud to announce that as of June 2023, Allan has been accepted as a voting member of the Recording Academy: making him eligible to participate in the 66th Annual Grammy Awards!
Alex McGuire, Flute & Piano Faculty
Alexandra (Alex) McGuire holds a Bachelor of Music degree with a minor in Eurythmics from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Mary Kay Fink, in addition to holding a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Case Western Reserve University. She is continuing her studies with a Master of Music in Flute Performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Additionally, Alex serves as a substitute flutist/piccoloist with the Canton Symphony Orchestra and the Mansfield Symphony. In March of 2022, Alex won the Woodwind Division of the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition. She has also performed as a soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony after winning their Young Artist Competition in 2016 and was featured as a soloist with the First Coast Wind Symphony after winning their Young Artist Competition in 2017.
Joseph Rangel, Piano, Guitar, & Ukulele Faculty
Joseph has been playing guitar and was originally trained by his father, Rey, in classical guitar. He soon began to study pop and rock music, enjoying classic rock as well as other genres like Motown. In 2005, he began studying jazz. This love led him to Tri-C Metro studying jazz performance with a minor in piano. Joseph recently graduated from Cleveland State University and landed at Fairmount sharing his love for music. In addition to guitar, Joseph teaches ukulele and beginner piano students.
Gary Siperko, Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, & Ukulele Faculty
Gary Siperko is a professional touring/recording guitarist and composer most notably associated with The Legendary
Shack Shakers, Pere Ubu, and Rocket From The Tombs. Mr. Siperko has over 30 years of experience teaching and performing. He teaches Contemporary and Classical Guitar as well as Bass, Mandolin and Ukulele. Beginning lessons focus on fundamentals as well as playing basic songs. Intermediate to advanced lessons focus on the application of Music Theory to the instrument to help students acquire strong compositional and songwriting skills,
knowledge of chord construction, the ability to play scales proficiently, and gain necessary skills needed for solo improvisation, as well as sight-reading skills.
Joan Bendix, Music Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty
Joan studied piano and voice at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Joan has served as music director and performed on the keyboard/piano for musical productions in schools and theaters, including the Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theater, Chagrin Valley Little Theater, Mercury Theatre Company, Walsh Jesuit High School, and University School. She is currently Music Director at First United Church of Christ in Eastlake.
Joan loves teaching children and helping them find that spark of passion for music. She believes in guiding students to find their own voice and the confidence to participate in the community of theater and musical production.
Merlynne Hancock, Choreography Director of Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty
Merlynne Hancock joined the Fairmount faculty in 1989 as a choreographer for the Youth Theatre and has taught a variety of children’s classes and camps, including Movin’ Together and Kreative Kids. For 35 years, Merlynne has choreographed productions at area schools, from elementary to college level. She started dancing at age 6, and studied under Bea Fried, Noreen Londregan, and Ernst Hillenbran. She graduated from Heidelberg College with a degree in Communication and Theatre Arts and French, with an acting/directing emphasis.
Jasmine Renee, Homeschool & Theatre Faculty
Jasmine Renee is a multi-disciplinary artist born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She graduated with a BFA in Dramatic Arts from The New School’s School of Drama. When Jasmine was a sophomore, she was first exposed to teaching during her course work at The New School. She taught elementary and middle schoolers in Harlem and was instantly hooked. She is excited to be in the classroom teaching again from what she has learned over the years. Favorite regional acting credits include: Dreamwalkers (Molly Walsh) with Shadow of the Run, Hamlet (Ophelia) with Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, Teddy Bear Mountain (Maya) with Cleveland Play House.
Patti Susman, Director of the Youth Theatre Program & Theatre Faculty
Patti is an honors graduate of Cleveland State University. She has a degree Dramatic Arts. She has been with the Fairmount since 1982, where she has directed over 80 productions. She has also taught dance, art and gymnastics. Patti was the first Youth Theatre Director at the Solon for the Arts and was also an Assistant Director and instructor for the Heights Youth Theatre.
Patti trained as a dancer with Dave and Shirley Morganstern. She was a member of the Morgan Dancers. She and her sisters performed throughout the Cleveland area. She began her acting career at the old Musicarnival Theatre, located in Warrensville Hts. Ohio. At age 13, she was selected as one of the youngest apprentices in the theatre’s history. She spent 3 summers working, in various capacities, on Broadway touring company productions, concerts and children’s theatre performances. It was at Musicarnival that Patti was given the opportunity to teach and direct theatre classes to younger students and that is when she decided that arts education was her passion, and she has pursued that passion ever since.
Cody Swanson, Theatre & Homeschool Faculty
Cody Swanson is a professional actor, teacher, stage manager, and fight choreographer. He has a BFA in acting with a minor in musical theatre from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Also at the university, he studied stage combat. He is an advanced actor combatant with The Society of American Fight Directors, certifying in eight weapon disciplines. At school, some of his favorite roles include “Kiss Me, Kate” (Gangster #1), and “The 39 Steps” (Clown #1). Favorite regional credits include “Young Frankenstein” (Igor) at Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, “Romeo & Juliet” (Mercutio) and “Measure for Measure” (Duke Vicentio) both with The Cleveland Shakespeare Festival, “Assassins” (Sam Byck) at Lakeland Civic Theatre, and “Bus Stop” (Carl) at Big Dog Theatre. Cody also has credits with SmashUp Entertainment, Shadow of the Run, and The Cleveland Play House.
Cody has been teaching theatre in one way or another for over 10 years at various places including Laurel School, Hathaway Brown Theatre Institute, The Academy for the Performing Arts, and Beachwood Theatre Camp. He believes that learning is lifelong, and hopes to learn something new from his students every day. Cody will be teaching theatre and is on the Homeschool teaching team here at Fairmount.
Clay Yoder, Theatre Faculty
Studied theatre and music at the University of Mount Union. Clay began acting at the age of 6 and has been in love with finding truth under imaginary circumstances ever since. Some of his favorite roles include; Shrek (Shrek The Musical), Amos (Chicago), Horatio (Hamlet), and Rosencrantz (R&G are Dead). During his time at the University of Mount Union Clay began to form a deep appreciation for the work of Michael Chekhov and Rudolf von Laban. He soon began developing voice and movement workshops based off of their work, and exploring how these movement techniques can be applied to the world of stage combat. Clay has served as a guest artist at Jackson High School in Jackson Township Ohio, Lakewood High School in Hebron Ohio, as well as serving as the TA for the University of Mount Unions stage combat course.
Clay believes in the process of “finding one’s body” and hopes to help youth and adults alike discover the power their most important instrument holds, so they may tell their stories as beautifully and honestly as possible.
Visual Arts Faculty
Michelle Chiacchiari, Visual Arts Faculty
Michelle has over 10 years of classroom teaching experience and has been a Power of the Pen coach for 5 years. As a parent of two young ladies with husband Mark, Michelle and her family have been Fairmount Center for the Arts patrons for many years. She has a passion for reading, traveling, teaching, swimming and being in nature. When she is not attending to her family or in the garden, she is painting, making jewelry or writing.
Jamie Davis, Visual Arts Faculty
With a love of visual arts, Jamie explored many mediums and then found her true passion playing in mud: Creating her own independent studies in ceramics and Raku in college, she fell in love with clay. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Art Education, Jamie boarded the train called life. She married, had two beautiful energetic girls, and started a new path.
Jamie’s days filled with arts and crafts, flash cards, preschool library times, farm park adventures and even time watching Sesame Street. During this at home-time with her girls, she collected a few little ones along the way as she opened up and shared her home for other kids needing childcare in her community.
Stephen DeSantis, Visual Arts Faculty
Stephen DeSantis is an interdisciplinary artist and educator. He was a commercial photographer in New York for twenty-six years with clients including Estee Lauder, The Wall Street Journal, and PEOPLE Magazine. As an educator, Stephen has taught photography, books arts, letterpress printing, and rocket science in New York, Chicago, Portland, and Pingyao China. He has also curates arts exhibitions including on a moving CTA train in Chicago, ancient brick walls in China, and in elevators and traditional gallery spaces in Chicago.
Stephen earned his BFA in Communication Design at Parsons School of Design, and his MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. His artists’ books have been exhibited internationally and his interdisciplinary work is in collections including the National Gallery of Art, the Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection, and the University of Iowa Library Special Collection.
Brigitte Fiorille, Director of Visual Arts & Visual Arts Faculty
Brigitte loved teaching her four sons (now awesome adults) about her love of the arts. Growing from those arts lessons, Brigitte was inspired to pursue a degree in Art Education (Kent State University). Brigitte has grown with Fairmount, as an instructor and administrator and wears many hats each day to support the mission of Fairmount. When she’s not in the ceramics studio creating awesome art, you’ll find her with the admin team making the arts happen at Fairmount and in the community. When she’s not at Fairmount, you’ll find Brigitte playing with her granddaughter, making the world a more beautiful place with her green thumb, or cooking for her awesome family.
Susan Gray Be, Visual Arts Faculty
“Expressing patterns of light and dark , blending, and contrasting edges in oil paint and various drawing have been an emergent focus as I teach,” Susan says. Her passion lies in teaching adults in the visual arts field. Susan holds a Masters of Art in Oil Painting from SUNY Albany, NY, a Bachelors in Arts from Hamilton College, a Major in Art and a Minor in Psychology Certificates of Completion & Merit, and has studied at the National Academy of Design’s summer courses at RISD and the University of Vermont. Susan is excited to be sharing her knowledge with us at Fairmount!
Kaitlyn McKanna, Visual Arts Faculty
Kaitlyn McKanna is a multimedia artist emphasizing drawing from Painesville, Ohio. Her work embraces the beauty of the grotesque and uses it as a vehicle of exploring what it means to live and be human. She often depicts elements of the body, organs, muscle, tissue, with fruit or nature using a variety of different drawing media. She earned her Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2021. Her work has been exhibited in the Cleveland Institute of Art Alumni Gallery in Cleveland (OH) and Praxis Fiber Workshop in Cleveland (OH).
Alice Mullins, Visual Arts Faculty
Alice is a Geauga County local artist, art instructor & art therapist. She is a member of Geauga Arts Council, and her paintings are in galleries, art shows in our area & homes in many states. Her art work & tie-dyes are at many local festivals, art shows ,markets & on her Face Book under Two Ponys Inc, her home studio. A Cleveland Heights High graduate, she earned her BFA from The University of Cincinnati, & her first MA in Art Education. Alice taught art in the Cincinnati school system. Moving home, she taught at Cleveland State University in the CAEP program. Alice went on to earn her second MA Psychology in Art Therapy from Ursuline College. She worked at many local mental health facilities, helping others with mental health ,addiction,& adoption issues. Taking her horses & dogs to south Florida, she taught painting in the Palm Beach County School systems adult programs, in Royal Palm Beach Programs & continued art therapy in private practice. Back to Geauga County, Alice ran all the children & adult paint classes in Chagrin Falls at Dazzle.
“I am inspired by all animals, nature & Native American Indian stories, wisdom & styles. I love working with color, color theory, & application of acrylics & oils. I love painting & I love teaching others the ‘art of painting’.”
Dale Olson, Visual Arts Faculty
Dale has been involved with art ever since he took painting lessons as a child at the Cleveland Museum of art. He attended Ashland University and received a BFA degree in ceramics and a degree to teach art education K-12. After 4 years of teaching, he switched to computers and eventually continued his family’s business in the construction field. He began concentrating his spare time into watercolors because they were easy to transport, fast to complete and he enjoyed the challenge they presented. Dale has been teaching watercolors for about 10 years at Kenston Community Education and had a very successful following. He is also versatile with many other mediums including oil and acrylic paints, all types of pencils, charcoals and pen and ink. He also enjoys plein air painting and his work has been accepted in many art shows in the surrounding area.
Erin Owen, Visual Arts Faculty
Erin Owen is an ecofeminist sculptor and printmaker who is based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma. In their work, they contemplate the destruction of the natural world and the challenges of living in a late-stage capitalistic society through the lens of play and their inner child. They graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Oklahoma State University and have been recognized consistently for their success within their creative community. They recently finished an internship at Universal Limited Art Editions in New York City, coordinated an annual mural festival in Stillwater, Oklahoma for aspiring artists, and is expected to have a solo exhibition at Positive Space Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma at the beginning of 2024.
Annie Peters, Visual Arts Faculty
Annie Peters was educated in Europe and the United States, culminating with a
Masters of Art in Fine Art at Kent State University and a Bachelor of Art in Art
Education from Akron University. As an art educator for 40 years at Grand Valley High School, Annie was awarded “Teacher of the Year” three times and the Ruritans Outstanding Teacher Award. Annie’s students excelled on the local and national level with many students pursuing careers in visual art. Annie received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Artists Grant in Sculpture (1990), was an invited illustrator in ALLISTER CROMLEY’S FAIRWEATHER BELLE (Bedtime Stories for Grown Ups to Tell) written by Shane Portman. Annie is also published in Glencoe McGraw Hill, “Experiences of a Traveling Art Teacher.” Annie has exhibited her work in museums (including the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Southern Ohio Museum) as well as national and regional shows. She has been and invited junior and lecturer in Ohio and California. Annie has had her art work in the movie “ALL THAT WE DESTROY” on Hulu, and been and executive producer for the short film “WHERE ARE YOU” and the feature film “RITUAL”.
John Plymak, Visual Arts Faculty
John Plymak grew up in Cleveland’s Collinwood neighborhood, and first became interested in art and graphics by collecting comic books and copying superhero characters. John graduated with a BFA in fine art/graphic design from Ohio Northern University, and has spent his professional career in digital package design and printing technology. John enjoys teaching a range of drawing medium, from colored pencils and pen and ink to charcoal and pastels, and his personal work is often architectural details and cityscapes. John has also illustrated 3 children’s books, one of which he wrote and did the design work on.
Susan Porges, Visual Arts Faculty
Born with a love for drawing and painting, Susan has spent her life exploring her gift of artistic ability. With a degree in Printmaking and Illustration from Massachusetts College of Art, Susan has had a long and successful career as an Illustrator and Calligrapher. She longed however, to return to her first love, drawing and painting, so decided to shift gears, and now is a full-time Fine Artist and Instructor. In June, 2012, Susan founded Susan Porges Studio in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to being her personal studio, she teaches a variety of classes and workshops, including overseas plein air painting workshops. Susan’s primary medium is Pastels, and she is a Master Pastelist with the International Assoc. of Pastel Societies (IAPS). She is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America, and the Oil Painters of America, and her work has been published in Strokes of Genius, by Northlight Books, and by The Richeson75, International Art Books. Her focus is mainly the landscapes of N.E. Ohio, but she loves to bring her pastels along when traveling. With her painterly style, Susan explores what the medium can do with mark-making, underpaintings, and experimental techniques. After her years doing very realistic work, Susan transcends conventional realism to be as expressive as she can. In addition to landscape painting, Susan’s other love is that of portrait painting, and she welcomes commissions.
Amy Shea, Visual Arts Faculty
Amy Shea received a B.A. from Cleveland State University in Visual Arts, licensed to teach grades K – 12. She taught in public schools for four years before having children. Amy continued to teach Art part time at Lakeland Community College in the Community Education Department and also Art History at Breckenridge Village. Then, she taught at Grace Christian Academy for ten years as she homeschooled her two children. Currently, Amy teaches private and group lessons and is involved with the homeschool community in Lake and Geauga County. Amy also enjoys teaching arts and crafts at a community horse camp during the summers. She loves to work with children in a creative manner and pursues her own artistic endeavors as well. Amy lives in Painesville with her husband and has two adult children.
Anne Stottler, Visual Arts Faculty
Anne Marsh Stottler graduated from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio with a degree in Art Education. Anne lived in Maine for 20 years where she taught art in grades K-12, adult aer education, was a floral designer, and owned her own business, silk screening quilt patterns on t-shirts and totes. She has been sewing since she was eight years old. Once she started quilting she couldn’t stop and has been incorporating her
love of gardening into her quilts ever since. Just as in nature’s textures and colors, her quilts honor the patterns and textures of the fabric keeping the designs simple to highlight the true beauty of the material. She loves teaching sewing and continuing the time honored traditions of our ancestors. “Wow ! Look what I made!” is music to her ears!
Patty Wills, Visual Arts Faculty
Patty Wills received her B.A of Fine Arts from Cleveland State University. She got her start teaching art to the visually impaired at Highbrook lodge. Then worked at Cleveland Museum of Art as a studio assistant. Patty’s artistic area is painting; primarily acrylic. She has painted murals for homes and businesses. She also loves to spend her free time experimenting in different mediums such as cyanotype, sewing and collage. Patty- a mother of one- loves teaching kids the joy of being creative and experimenting as an artist. Patty is currently working on expanding her online shop and her painting portfolio.
Thank you to the wonderful Fairmount Center Faculty for all that they do. If you would like to read more about our team, please see our administration page.