Our Board

Our Staff

Teaching Artists

Teaching Artists

Mánique Buckmon

Mánique is an artist, an advocate of the arts, and has a passion for building long-lasting relationships with communities in Prince George’s County and surrounding areas. Prior to working at Art Works Now, she served as the Program Manager of the arts education non-profit Artivate in Montgomery County for 3 years, where she facilitated the placement of over 1000 performance and visual art programs with local and international teaching artists for schools and communities throughout the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Her trajectory of work includes Youth Programs Assistant Coordinator of the Youth and Teen Department at the Columbia Art Center in Howard County. She led within the organization at different capacities for over 5 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park and is currently an Emerging Arts Advocate with Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

Kim Bursic

Kimberley has been a visual artist for over 20 years. Currently living in Washington DC, she has lived in and been inspired by the East Coast cities and locations in the Pacific Northwest. Working in printmaking, book arts, collage, and watercolor; her artwork employs a multitude of layers to depict a “landscape” both real and imagined. She has been invited to exhibit in several solo and group shows, received awards in local art shows, and has participated in over 20 group shows locally and nationally.

Kimberley received her BFA in printmaking and book arts from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia PA and her MFA in printmaking from Washington State University in Pullman, WA. She spent several years as an etching printer for Tyler Graphics in Mt. Kisco, NY; where she worked with internationally known artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, John Walker, and Al Held. Relocating to the Washington DC area as an Adjunct Professor of Drawing at Northern Virginia Community College, she now devotes her time to her family, making artwork, teaching with Art Works Now, and working at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center.

Sharon Burton

Sharon has been an artist, art curator, poet, art blogger, podcaster, teaching artist and creativity coach for 20 years in the DC, Maryland and Virginia areas. Her art work has been exhibited in juried exhibitions locally, regionally, and nationally since 2006 and can be found in private collections across the country. She received her certification in creativity coaching from the Creativity Coaching Association.

She recently published in an anthology of poems entitled “Kaleidoscope: Women of Color Reflecting on Life”, published by Esther Productions, Inc. in 2022.

Karen Arrington

Karen Arrington received her BFA in Illustration from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA and has worked as a Graphic Designer for 25 years in Maryland. She has been teaching wheel, hand building and private lessons for over 10 years in addition to Raku, Wood Fired and Mud Cloth workshops. As a potter, she is continually excited by the never ending creative process and the opportunity to learn something new every day. Karen enjoys creating functional and decorative pottery that brings beauty and style to people’s homes. Her designs are inspired by abundant colors found in nature and each piece combines rustic simplicity with a hint of sophistication. She enjoys being a Resident Artist at the Greenbelt Community Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Karen’s work can be found in the gift shop at The Brentwood Art Exchange in Brentwood, Maryland.

Thais Cassel

Thais is a Brazilian artist with a lifetime passion for visual arts and has given painting classes for adults and children for a couple of decades, savoring each opportunity of sharing her love for colors and shapes. 

Her restless spirit makes her art inventive and universal, navigating across a multitude of themes and techniques naturally. No challenges go unanswered, and those willing to experience the magic will get stained in the process.

Her artistic imagination has been shaped by an international life story that started in her hometown of Porto Alegre (Brazil), opened to the world in Montreal (Canada), passed by the little known Passo Fundo (Brazil), matured in the ancient Uppsala (Sweden) and is settling happily in the suburbs of Annapolis (USA). Changing environments, meeting all kinds of people, adapting to different cultures and fundamentally reinventing life so many times created a bag of resources that is used with no restraints to personalize her artwork.

Rachel Cross

Rachel Ann Cross is an artist, musician, and educator who has been working in the DC area for over 25 years. Her vibrant artistic vision and sense of social justice are heavily informed by her experiences growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Rachel has had the distinct pleasure of working with people of all ages and abilities including at-risk elementary school students, children and adults with cognitive and intellectual differences, deaf actors and choreographers, political activists, incarcerated teenagers, teenagers in mental health facilities, college students, musicians, dancers, and visual artists from all around the world, older artists, folk singers, and kindergarteners. Rachel holds a BFA in fine arts from the Corcoran School of Art. She also studied in N.Y. and Paris through Parsons School of Design. Rachel is currently an artist-in-residence for the City of Greenbelt, MD.

Tavish Forsyth

Tavish Forsyth is queer improviser and educator with New England roots. He is the founder of Bird City Improv and an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches applied improvisation through the Center for Leadership Education. Tavish is a trained actor with two degrees in theatre. He has studied at the Baltimore Improv Group, The Powerhouse Theater, and iO Theatre. He is versed in multiple styles of improvisation, acting technique, comedic theory, and dramatic writing. Through creating an atmosphere of play, Tavish empowers individuals to listen, adapt, and respond, to cultivate awareness and connectivity, creating theatre that is silly, patient, and honest.

Ric Garcia

Ric is a Cuban-American painter and digital printmaker, who exhibits art in the DC metro area. His art in 2012 began to sample visual information from various sources and combine them into a new expression of Americana to create a space for conversations about diversity and identity. Ric is a recipient of a 2019 Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. Each year the award recognizes the outstanding artistic achievements of artists from across Maryland. His work has been on exhibit at American University, Katzen Art Center in Washington DC and The Smithsonian affiliate museum College Park Aviation Museum in College Park, MD. 

Ric’s art is part of public and private art collections. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Art Bank collection acquired his painting titled “Pilon Star 30” in 2017. Several digital prints, in 2012, became part of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Division of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County, Maryland collection.

He likes to work in a pop art style because it allows me to build on a tradition that has a place in art history, and to represent ideas with immediacy, power, and flexibility. He creates each, limited edition, print using a Wacom drawing tablet and digital pen. The visual elements – texture, color, and form come from several photo sources. He earned a BFA in graphic design and illustration from the University of Miami and is currently on staff with the Smithsonian as a visual designer. 

Cynthia Gossage

Cynthia Gossage learned how to thread a needle when she was about 8 years old, and fabric

and textile art has been central to her life ever since. She especially loves the flexibility of hand

stitching. It is portable, quiet, and requires very few supplies and little space. It can be a

wonderful invitation to conversations while waiting in lines or traveling. It is satisfying as both a

solitary and a social art form. It is easily adapted to reusing, repurposing, and reclaiming pre-

loved materials. It feels good in our hands. It produces pieces of art that can be displayed for

their own beauty or finished as practical items that bring beauty into our daily lives. What’s not

to love? Cynthia teaches embroidery, quilting, applique, patchwork, and fabric collage at Prince George’s

and Howard Community Colleges, as well as for various quilt and fabric arts guilds in the DC

metropolitan DC area.

Robyn Holl

Robyn Marie Holl is creating art and teaching in a variety of ways. She pursued art from the moment she could become serious about it. With her portfolio, she traveled to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and earned her BFA in 2003. While there she studied academic realism, printmaking, and minored in art history. Afterward, she immediately began on a track of abstraction. She experimented with acrylics on large canvases. She continued on this path while living abroad in Bosnia and Herzegovina. When Robyn returned home, she completed her Master of Fine Arts at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. She has since taught representational acrylic painting to adults and youth. She has also shared her passion for an exploration of Drawing, Collage, and Mixed Media through teaching.

Tara Holl

Tara has been a professional and teaching artist for over 25 years. She founded T.S.H. Studios over twenty years ago. She has a strong background in glasswork creating glass installations; sculptural, led, fused, and cast for several public venues. Additionally, she has created murals with paint, glass, ceramics, and other mixed media in public spaces. Tara received an AIA award for excellence (American Institute for Architects) on two glass projects she created for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Reston, Virginia. She opened a National Geographic exhibition at Explorers Hall in Washington D.C. called “A Touch of Glass” with 8 large sculptures depicting the many uses of glass. She has been the curator for a variety of exhibitions at assorted galleries, the Creative Crafts Council, the National Institutes of Health, Baltimore Space Telescope facility, Olney Theatre Center, the Sandy Spring Museum, and the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland. She has taught workshops, assorted classes, and visual arts-integrated residencies throughout Maryland schools, National Geographic, Glen Echo, the Greater Washington Jewish Community Center, the University of Maryland, Montgomery County Parks and Recreation, and through many other venues that support the arts for teachers, artists, and students of all ages. Many of these residencies and workshops have occurred through Maryland State Arts Council where she has been a teaching artist for several years. She has been the visual art specialist for the Maryland Artists/Teachers Institute where she instructed teachers from around the state in Arts Integration. Her work has given her the opportunity to teach and (learn from!) children K – 12, adults, and a variety of special needs children and adults including but not limited to those with autism, down syndrome, M.S., and the emotionally disturbed. She has exhibited her work throughout the United States and overseas. Tara founded the organization Plein Air Olney several years ago to facilitate painters from the Mid Atlantic region. Since that time, she has enjoyed painting “en plein air” and honing her studio work.

Tara’s education has been varied and colorful. She has studied Fine Arts, Glassworking, Writing, Arts Integration, Business Management, and a variety of other subjects.

Vaughn Holsey

Vaughn received his B.S. Degree from Morgan State University in Fine Arts. After many jobs, 2 marriages, 5 children, and 31 years later he returned back to school and graduated from George Washington University with a Masters’s Degree in Art Education and Studio Art/Painting in 2017.

Over his 28 years career at DeMatha Catholic High School, Vaughn works as an art teacher and was previously a JV football and JV golf coach. The best part of his identity has to be that he is a “Black Artist” who happens to teach art for a living. Society has seen and witnessed so many negative aspects of what hate can create in the wrong way. “I have not lived a perfect life, but I have had a lot of positive life experiences that have made me feel responsible to teach from my life and educational experiences.”

Barbara Johnson

Inspired by finding her love for art at the age of 10 and saved by that connection so many times since that she’s lost count, Barbara Johnson believes deeply in the power of art to transform lives. The founder of Art Works Now, Barbara is thrilled to be teaching again after focusing her creative energies on arts administration for the past decade. While dealing with many kinds of loss – as so many of us are – during this pandemic, Barbara counts the re-connection to her studio practice during this time as a great blessing. She’s passionate about connecting every human to their innate creative spirit. And she can’t wait to work with you wherever you are on your creative journey. For more information on Barbara, you can check out her bio here.

Nick Maletta

Nick started his pottery journey in high school, where he learned different hand-building and wheel throwing techniques. Over the years, he has gained and explored various skills from different potters and applied these to his own craft. This past year, Nick has been taking wheel throwing class with Pegah at Art Works Now, and helping to make production pottery at Kuzeh Pottery. Nick earned his undergraduate degree in Biology, and a Master’s Degree in Environmental Management. He often incorporates his love for the earth and nature into his designs.

Barbara Mandel

Barbara has a BA in Painting/Studio Arts from the University of Rochester and an MA in Art Therapy from George Washington University. As a certified art teacher and a registered art therapist, Barbara has helped children and adolescents express themselves through art in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, day treatment centers, community centers, public and private schools, and museums. Barbara was an art teacher at Lowell School, an independent lower school in Washington, DC for 14 years, and the Middle School art teacher at The Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, Maryland from 2006-2016. She is currently a School Docent at the National Gallery of Art. Barbara has exhibited locally in juried shows at the Montgomery Art Association, Rockville Art League, Strathmore Hall, the Yellow Barn, Orchard Gallery, Bethesda Library, Gallery B in Bethesda, Brookside Gardens, and the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation Fellowship Gallery. Among her favorite subjects are the French countryside and local landscapes, especially Montgomery County farms and the Potomac River.

Glennis Muldoon

Glennis recently graduated with her Master’s in Social Work and is a lifelong creative based out of Prince George’s County. Originally from California, she studied Neuroscience at UC, San Diego where she developed a passion for mental health, and continued to explore her love of art.  Before moving to the east coast, Glennis collaborated with San Diego-based art incubator, A Ship in the Woods, to create interactive, science-informed art exhibitions. This work sparked an interest in community-based art, which deepened during her time in graduate school.  Through her clinical training, she incorporates creativity into her work with children, teens, families, and older adults to practice mindfulness and explore emotions, values, interests, identities, and experiences. Glennis has developed therapeutic art activities for both individuals and groups that often pull from her personal creative interests including paper and digital collage, sculpture, and mindful art such as Japanese paper marbling, Suminagashi, and art with natural materials. 

Pegah Shahghasemi

Pegah is an admirable Potter who is co-founder and owner of Kuzeh Pottery along the Arts Walk in Brookland DC, where you’ll find functional ceramics including tableware, and bakeware influenced by Persian culture, Mediterranean patterns, and nature. She learned how to throw at Mugi pottery from Outi Pakman on the upper west side in NYC and brings with her a wealth of expertise in slip casting, surface decoration, mold casting, handbuilding, and more. Her joy for clay started in 2011 and she hasn’t stopped creating since then!

Jennie Sniderman

Jennie has a background in costume design and ESL. Jennie taught her first pottery class the summer after high school graduation. She sells and exhibits her pottery with Montgomery Potters. She spent 5 years in Japan and has lived in Takoma Park for 20 years.

Jenny Wright

Jenny joins us from the land of little learners! She previously taught in a traditional preschool environment working with children ages 2-4. Now “retired” from full-time teaching, she is thrilled to be a part of the Art Works Now teaching team. In her weekly “Preschool ARTventure” program, she is delighted to offer comprehensive, arts-based learning experiences for young children.

Jenny uses her teaching skills in conjunction with her interest in art history and fine arts to introduce very young children to the great works of master artists and to expose them to the fundamentals of art and design in an age-appropriate play-based way. She is passionate about fostering child-led creativity and individual expression through open-ended art projects. She absolutely loves storytime and is always excited to witness the spark of creativity and imagination that a great read-aloud story can inspire!

She is a Maryland native and resides in Riverdale Park with her family.