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Instructors’ Bios

Katya Andrievskaia

Katya has an extensive background in fine arts and design. She has lived in Vermont since 2005 and has a BA in Studio Art from the University of Vermont. Drawing, illustration, watercolor painting, and crafts are her favorite hobbies. Katya grew up in Moscow, Russia, where she studied fine arts, oil painting and environmental design. A graphic designer by trade, she has over 8 years of professional experience. Her work can be seen at https://www.behance.net/_Katya_ .

Laurence Becker

Larry served as the Vermont State Geologist from 1995 to 2014 and as an Advisory Committee member during land acquisition and establishment of the Isle La Motte Preservation Trust. He has given numerous geologic talks before the Vermont legislature and congressional committees and staff in Washington D.C. He holds a Masters of Science from UVM. He is currently an adjunct faculty member at Norwich University.

Samantha Bellinger

Samantha is a local artist. She is the museum educator at SUNY Plattsburgh, where she regularly leads art classes for the community. She has her BA in Art and Art History and a Masters in Arts Administration. She is looking forward to to adding to the arts opportunities in the Islands.

JOYCE BENVENUTO

Joyce is a local poet who has written two books of poetry. She is also a retired high school English teacher who taught literature and creative writing for 18 years. For the last
three years she has given poetry readings at the North Hero library. Joyce received her degree from Michigan State University. She has three children and four grandchildren.

Linda Forrer

Linda is a resident of Grand Isle and has 25 plus years experience presenting Myers Briggs Type Indicator workshops in Vermont and New York to diverse groups including teachers, students, health professionals, the military and also to individuals and couples.

Carol Fournier

Carol enjoys the creative side of life as a writer, painter, harpist. Carol is the founder and director of the Silver Dove Institute(www.silverdoveinstitute.com) providing professional training for spiritual directors, spiritually oriented counselors and seekers since 1996 in Vermont amd internationally. An author and retreat director, she has a private practice in South Burlington, Vt. During her career in education and communication, she served as the producer and creative director for documentaries, national teleconferences and distant learning initiatives.

Tanya Retz

Tanya is the owner of Mama’s Gardens, a garden maintenance, renovation and design company in North Hero. She started her business in 2014 and her company has grown to servicing over 40 clients and employing two people. While her business is fairly new, Tanya has been working in the horticultural industry from a young age. Growing ip she worked in her

fathers nursery busienss in Massachusetts. Tanya was part of the planning team for the very successful 2017 Vermont Flower Show and she is currently studying to tkae the Vermont Certified Hortiiculturist exam.

Stephanie Soules

Stephanie is the Outreach Coordinator for Lake Champlain Access TV, where she teaches camps and workshops including video camera techniques, digital editing and stop motion animation. She has been LCATV since 2010 and has a BA from St. Michael’s College in Colchester, where she majored in Journalism with a minor in Studio Art.

Joe Comeau 

Joe received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Buffalo.  He is Vice President of the Vermont Astronomical Society. Orchard Hill Observatory was built at his home in South Alburgh in 2003 and has been used for astrophotography, imaging classes and public viewing events since that time. As a professional scientist, he works for  several large companies in Northern Vermont .

Kathie Dustria

Kathie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York. She moved to Vermont in 1974 and later earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education from the University of Vermont in 1992. She has taught Art, painted and worked in Special Education for over 24 years, and is currently teaching at Missisquoi Valley Union High School. Kathie is a creative and active member of the North Hero community where she paints landscape pastels, mainly of Lake Champlain and also works in water-based oil paints. She teaches Tai Chi classes in North Hero for Island Arts, and she is the Clerk for the North Hero Select Board, as well as Secretary for the Island Arts Board.

Annesa Hartman

Throughout her life, Annesa has performed as a dancer, singer, and actor in numerous community theater performances but nothing she has done on stage has been more challenging and rewarding than telling stories from her heart and sharing the experience with receptive audiences and other storytellers. Annesa has a BA in Dance, has choreographed and directed musical theater productions and has studied storytelling along the way. She has recently produced a storytelling fundraising event for a southern Vermont arts organization

Kristen Johannsesson 

Kris is an experienced teacher with over 25 years experience teaching students of all ages. Her favorite classes involve literature studies and creative writing. She is currently finishing her MFA in Creative Writing with a focus on Harlem Renaissance Literature, short and long fiction. Several of her works have been published in literary journals in New England, the Carolinas and Florida.

Maeve Kim

Maeve Kim has been a birder for decades, starting out in her backyard and on family camping trips. About twenty years ago, she started going on birding trips and has now visited fourteen states, three Canadian provinces and one Caribbean country. She has spent thousands of hours walking alone in remote areas, soaking in the beauty of nature and ogling birds.

At home in Vermont, Maeve has led over two dozen bird walks through the Green Mountain Club and for local libraries. She has participated in citizen science projects such as the five-year Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas survey, loon counts, whip-poor-will surveys, two Vermont “bioblitzes”, and grassland bird counts for Missisquoi National Wildlife
Refuge. She has also been a featured speaker at events held by Green Mountain Audubon, Rutland Audubon, the Mad Birders Club, and the Jericho-Underhill Garden Society. Maeve has published several articles about birding, including features in the summer 2012 and spring 2015 issues of BirdWatching magazine.

Since fall 2013, Maeve has taught birding classes at local high school community access programs, libraries, people’s homes, and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on the UVM campus.

Lyna Lou Nordstrom

Lyna Lou Nordstrom is a former high school art teacher. She put down her roots in Vermont in 1974. She has taught classes at Church Street Center, Access for CVU, Frog Hollow, River Arts Elder Arts program, and Upward Bound at the University of Vermont. She started her printmaking career in 1994 when she fell in love with monoprinting. Since that time she has taken every printmaking class she can get her hands on! As a member of the Monotype Guild of New England and the Northern Vermont Art Association, her prints have received awards. The beautiful Vermont landscape nourishes her creativity. She conducts residencies in the schools as a juried artist for the Vermont Arts Council. An incorrigible teacher, she loves to get people excited about printmaking. She encourages students to find their own voice and believes everyone who wants to can create art they love. You can see her artwork at www.lynalouline.com.

Tony Pietricola

Tony Pietricola graduated from lthaca College with a Bachelor of Music Degree and a major in Music Education. He received his Masters of Music Degree in musical performance on the clarinet from Northern Illinois University and earned additional credits from Arizona State University, the Eastman School of Music, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Vermont and Southern New Hampshire University.

In October of 2005 Tony received an award from the Flynn Theater for the Performing Arts, read by Wynton Marsalis, recognizing him for his contributions to jazz education.

A regular saxophone and clarinet member of the Vermont Jazz Ensemble, he also has performed with the Vermont Symphony, Lyric Theatre Orchestra, Vermont Winds, Vermont Saxophone Ensemble, Jenni Johnson, St. Michael’s Summer Theater, Bach Winds, Swinging Vermont Big Band, the Cape Cod Symphony and various small ensembles around the State of Vermont.

Sarah Salatino

Sarah is the owner and head grower of Full Circle Gardens in Essex, Vermont. Full Circle Gardens grows hardy perennials on site and sells organic and sustainably grown annuals, veggie starts and herbs. The perennial collection contains over 700 varieties including natives for pollinators, heirloom varieties, rock garden and shade varieties.

Michelle Waters

Michelle received her BA in creative writing from Hampshire College. Her poetry has appeared in numerous publications, including Vending Machine Press, The Lake and The Best Of Burlington Writers Workshop Anthologies. She is the associate editor for Mud Season Review and the poetry editor for The Best Of Burlington Writers Workshop Anthology 2016. She lives in Shelburne with her husband, daughter and 2 dogs.

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