Meet Our Faculty
If you are interested in teaching art classes for kids, teens, adults and families at the Michener, please call 215.340.9800 ext. 126 or email Ruth Anderson.
Cara Alderfer graduated from Millersville University with a BSE in Art and has her MAEd in Fine Art Metals from Arcadia University. She has worked in the Central Bucks School District since 2003, at Barclay, Gayman, Groveland, Buckingham, Titus, Bridge Valley, Warwick, Jamison, Cold Spring and Kutz Elementary Schools. She has a strong background in musical theater, performing arts, and vocal performance. Mrs. Alderfer began as a Michener adjunct faculty member in 2006.
Ruth Anderson is the Director of Arts Education at the James A. Michener Art Museum. Ruth received her Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from Edinboro University and Master’s Degree in Art Education from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She has completed extensive graduate work beyond the Master’s level in studio art, arts education, and school administration. Ruth taught visual arts at the elementary and middle school levels in the Souderton Area School District in Montgomery County. There, she was District Art Coordinator, helped establish the Indian Valley Arts Foundation, and received Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Art Educator of the Year award in 1983. She has worked as a docent at the Allentown Art Museum, served on the Teacher Advisory Board at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and taught art education and studio art workshops for Westchester University and the University of the Arts. She was a founding member, enrollment director, and Board President of the River Valley School in Upper Black Eddy. She taught creative arts at the United Friends School in Quakertown. Ruth is an active member of the National Art Education Association, the American Alliance of Museums, the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and has served on the Board of the Arts and Cultural Council of Bucks County since 2017. She has over 40 years of experience in the field of arts education.
Rachael Brown is an honors graduate of both the Bachelors of Fine Arts program at Maryland Institute College of Art, and the Masters in Art Education program at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She has been a Teaching Artist with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a Museum Educator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Creative Director at Bella Forte Designs in Philadelphia, and an Instructor at Fairmount & Queen Village Art Centers in Philadelphia. She is a multi-disciplinary artist currently teaching high school fine arts and photography in the Central Bucks School District. Rachael is enthusiastic about her work at the Michener Art Museum, “I am committed to the growth and development of high school students and art education to enrich the community. I love working with high school students. It is such an important time in their lives, and I am honored to be a part of it. I also can’t wait to soak up new inspiration and dive back into museum education; it is where I feel truly at home.”
Erin Casey (formerly Erin McInerney) received a BS in Art Education from Saint Joseph’s University in 2007 and a Masters of Education at Cabrini College in 2013. As an undergraduate student she studied art in Rome, Italy. After graduating she taught with the Big Picture Program for Philadelphia Mural Arts, assisting in creating the largest mural in Philadelphia. She is currently an elementary art teacher at Doyle Elementary and Simon Butler Elementary, in the Central Bucks School District. She runs a Michener Arts Enrichment mosaic class at Butler Elementary, and she began teaching Saturday art classes at the Michener in 2014. In the summer, Erin teaches a variety of classes at the Michener. Erin continues to create art independently in the form of painting, stained glass and jewelry making.
Peter Catalanotto graduated from Pratt Institute of Art to become one of the country’s most beloved children’s author/illustrators. He believes that all forms of art should affect us and in his own work he incorporates this belief. He says, ”in picture books I write and paint: to leave the reader with something to think about. I believe a good book doesn’t need to explain everything. It’s a spring board, an open door. It gives readers some space to make their own choices and connections. To laugh, To cry. To be affected.”
Robert Cullman graduated with a BFA in painting and art education from Tyler School of Art in 1983. He has completed graduate work at the University of the Arts and is currently working on a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration. Bob has also worked as a consultant to the James A. Michener Art Museum’s Art on the Move education outreach project and run a summer art camp program for 10 years. With 20 years of teaching experience in the Bristol Township School District at the elementary, middle and high school levels, he also practices as a professional artist in watercolor and photography.
Autumn Dow attended The Pennsylvania State University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Art Education K-12, Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics, and a Special Education Minor. During her time at Penn State she worked in an early childcare educational center as a studio alterista. She ran workshops and summer camps at a discovery science museum creating lessons focusing on art and science, along with teaching Saturday morning high school art classes. As part of the Penn State program, she taught in Pittsburgh at the elementary and middle school levels, as well with students ages 5-21 with life skills support, autistic support, and multiple disability support needs.
Autumn has been teaching full-time in the Centennial School District as a K-5th grade art educator since 2014. In 2016, she graduated with a Masters in Art Education with an Emphasis in Special Populations from Moore College of Art and Design. Her passion for art making and learning is a quality she passes onto each of her students. Using both traditional and nontraditional materials to create artwork makes the creative process just as important as the final result in a work of art. She is an active member of the State and National Art Education Associations. She joined the adjunct staff at the Michener in 2017.
Melissa Easton Sandquist
Melissa Easton Sandquist first joined the Michener Art Museum community as a docent, leading visitors of all ages through our galleries to explore the collection. She became Education Coordinator in September, 2008, and has since worked with educators, docents and the Curator of Education in designing and implementing curriculum related to museum exhibitions. Her experience as a preschool teacher, K-6 School Librarian, and Special Education teaching assistant provides Melissa with a unique approach to incorporating art with literature, and engaging learners while looking, discussing and creating with a variety of arts media. Melissa has lived in England and Denmark, travelling extensively in Europe and eagerly exploring art museums with her family. She currently coordinates adult and school tours at the Michener, and is instrumental in the Michener docent program.
Arlene Frimark earned a BFA from the Moore College of Art, and has done extensive graduate studies in Special Education at Perdue University. She taught in the Philadelphia public schools for several years, incorporating the visual arts into many curricular areas. She is active in many community arts programs in Lower Bucks County. She has recently completed writing and illustrating a book for older teens and adults. Arlene is a practicing artist specializing in symbolic landscapes. Ms. Frimark has been a member of the Michener teaching staff since 1995.
Ray Gray has been a professional storyteller since 1977. He has been an artist-in-residence with the PA Council on the Arts, is a co-founder of the Mid-Atlantic Storytellers, and the President of Patchwork, the Philadelphia Storytelling Guild. He is the author of The Christmas Snowman, and has produced and directed videos about storytelling and storytellers for PBS and Closely Watched Films. Ray has performed recently at the Annenberg Center, the New York Public Library, the Philadelphia Folk Festival, the National Storytelling Conference and the Franklin Institute. Mr. Gray has been telling stories at the Michener since 2005.
Linsey Griffin is currently the elementary general music and choral director at Butler Elementary in the Central Bucks School District. She previously taught at Tohickon, Linden, Mill Creek, Titus, and Warwick Elementary Schools. Mrs. Griffin graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelors Degree in Music Education with a double major in Voice and Piano. She earned her Masters of Education from Gratz University. When she is not teaching or making music, she can be found rescuing shelter dogs with the PSPCA and enjoying her family.
Storyteller and Poet Luray Gross believes in the power of stories to build community and nurture the heart, mind, and spirit. She has worked with thousands of students and teachers, as well as the general public, during twenty-some years as a Teaching Artist. She brings multi-cultural folktales and poetry to the classroom and facilitates response and elaboration, particularly through writing. Her own love of the spoken and written word, of the outdoors and music, began during her childhood on a busy dairy farm in Bucks County. She was awarded a Fellowship in Poetry by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and named one of their Distinguished Teaching Artists. She is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently The Perfection of Zeros, published by Word Tech.
Danielle Hallman received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the University of Hartford in 2009, and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of the Arts in 2011. While in Hartford, Danielle began her path toward teaching by collaborating as a teaching assistant for two of her professors working with college freshman to build their skills in drawing, painting, and graphic design. Her teaching career began in Chestnut Hill, PA at Norwood-Fontbonne Academy in 2011 and has been working in the Central Bucks School District since 2015. Danielle strives to and believes that it is important to create a comfortable studio environment for her students in which they embrace their individuality, celebrate their peers, develop creative problem-solving skills, explore a variety of media, progress toward mastery, and grow in self-confidence. When not in the classroom, Danielle creates commissioned artwork as a freelance illustrator. Her enthusiasm and innovation have added to the quality of the Michener high school program beginning in 2018.
A top inker in the comic book industry, Scott Hanna has been drawing and inking comics for over 25 years. His work has been published in over 100 graphic novels and he’s inked well over 15,000 pages of comics art. Known for his very adaptable inking work and finishes that enhance the pencil work of a wide variety of artistic styles. At Marvel Comics, Scott has worked on all of the top characters at the company, including Spider-Man, the X-Men, IronMan, the Hulk, Daredevil, Thor and Wolverine. Industry awards include the “Inkwell” Awards: 2012 Most Adaptable Inker, 2012 Props Award, 2011 Favorite Inker, 2011 Most Adaptable Inker, 2010 Most Adaptable Inker. Wizard Magazine’s Wizard Fan award: 2004 Best Inker. The Eisner award: 2002 Best Serialized Story. Scott has been teaching and lecturing on Comics, Graphic Novels, and sequential art since 2002. Scott is currently teaching Sequential art and drawing classes at the Arts and Fashion Institute in Bucks County.PA. The School was started by his wife, Fashion Designer Pamela Ptak. He is also working for both Marvel and DC on numerous titles.
Jody Holbert received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from Penn State University and has extensive graduate level experience at the University of the Arts, Kutztown University, St. Joseph’s University, and Gratz College. She has taught Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Computer Arts, Textile Design, Ceramics, and Glass in the Methacton School District, in the Central Bucks School District, and at the Mud Shack in North Wales. She has been a lead Drawing and Painting instructor at the New Hope/Solebury and Central Bucks Community Schools. Jody has given private lessons to adult students for several years as well. Jody also has experience with mural painting, and set and costume design in her work with the school districts and a variety of local theater organizations. Jody brings her expertise, passion and vision to the Michener Art Museum’s adult art classes.
Rose Hurley earned a B.S. in Elementary Education/Fine Arts from Shippensburg University and a M.ED. from Temple University. She has completed extensive graduate level work at The University of the Arts. She has thirty-three years of teaching experience in Bensalem Township School District in both elementary and gifted programs. She has implemented several programs offered by the Education Department at the Michener in her humanities program connecting visual and language arts. Most recently she has been writing curriculum for museum programs at the Michener.
Danyelle Lala earned her BS in Art Education at Kutztown University in 1998 and her ME in Art from Tyler School of Art in 2005. She studied and taught in Italy and Great Britain. She has taught in the Central Bucks School District at middle school and elementary levels, and currently teaches Ceramics and Art I at the Pennsbury High School. She has coordinated several after school enrichment programs with the Michener Museum at the Walt Disney Elementary School, and has worked with the Museum on an array of summer programs. Her students participated in the Bucks County Mule project in 2003. She is studying East Asian Art with the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia. Her watercolor paintings and photographs have been exhibited throughout Bucks County. Ms. Lala has been involved with the Michener since 2000.
Robin Lane received her undergraduate degree in Art Education at Penn State University and her Master’s Degree in Museum Education at the University of the Arts. She has been teaching art since 1980. She has worked with children of all ages and has been a teacher-trainer for adults as well as an adjunct at Arcadia University. She is interested in art history, reading historical fiction, music, and spending time with her children and grandchild. Robin has painted numerous murals at the Finletter School in Philadelphia as well as portraits for various colleagues. Robin Lane has won the distinguished Lindback Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Ruth Hare Award for Philadelphia’s Central Region, and was honored by Art Reach for work in their Art in Schools program. Ms. Lane’s teaching philosophy is simple – love what you do and share that enthusiasm with your students. She has been working with the Michener Museum since 1999.
Kata Mejía is a performance artist and painter. She graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a Masters degree in Performance in 2004. She received her BFA from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in Medellin. She has been awarded several grants and scholarships, including the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship in 2004, the Trustee Scholarship from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, a Colombian Government Scholarship for Graduate Studies abroad, and a Graduate Studies Scholarship from Universidad Nacional de Colombia in 2002. Kata Mejía received a 2009 Fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She has shown her work in Colombia, USA, Chile and Japan. She currently teaches the Arte Sin Fronteras/Art Has No Borders program at the Michener Art Museum. She has been an adjunct staff member at the Michener since 2017.
Devon Meves has been teaching art in schools and museums since 2009. She received a B.S. in Art Education and a M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State University. She is a curriculum consultant and adjunct faculty member at the Michener Art Museum. Devon is also a museum educator and teacher resource center facilitator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Previously, Devon taught elementary art at Southern York County School District and Jenkintown School District. Devon enjoys photography, spending time with her husband, new baby and their yellow lab, reading, cooking, working on her blog and doing crossword puzzles.
Megan Miller has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in painting and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from Kutztown University, as well as a Masters of Education from Concordia University. She has worked with the Michener since 2006, first as a college intern, then as a teaching assistant, and currently as an adjunct staff member. She teaches a variety of classes during the summer including Fabulous Fives, All About Art, and Drawing and Painting. She is also an art teacher in the Pennsbury School District, teaching at the middle school level. Her large scale paintings are inspired by nature; she works primarily in oils and watercolors.
Adrienne Romano, Director of Interpretation and Innovation, has been associated with the Michener Art Museum since 1995. In her current role, she manages all the K-12 onsite and offsite programs for school and teachers. In addition, Adrienne collaborates with different departments to create, organize and identify the best use of technology and new media in/among exhibitions, collections, and education. She also leads and collaborates with marketing staff to strategize, implement the museum’s social media initiatives. She also works with curatorial staff to identify and implement unique participatory experiences in the museums’ galleries for a variety of audiences, including technology when appropriate.
Adrienne received her undergraduate degree in painting from Loyola College and her arts education certification from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. She received her Masters in Art Education from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. She has served as a grant panel evaluator for the New Jersey State Arts Council and served on the Philadelphia Arts Advisory Board for the Philadelphia School District’s Art Collection in 2004-05. Adrienne is a practicing and exhibiting artist in the medium of Jewelry and Metalsmithing.
Ashley Rutherford received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in coordination with the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art; a program that pairs PAFA’s renowned fine arts studio training with an Ivy League liberal arts education. She earned PAFA’s Violette De Mazia Scholarship in 2016, the 2015 Hal and Linda Robinson Book Award, and the 2015 Charles Toppan Curricular Prize. Her work has been selected for exhibitions in Philadelphia galleries including Seraphin Gallery and Spillway Collective. She maintains a rich historical connection to the Doylestown community through her family’s establishment, Rutherford’s Camera Shop, and provides the third generation in a lineage of contribution to Bucks County’s vibrant culture. Ashley has advanced experience in several art mediums, and is eager to share her knowledge and passion for the arts and the Michener Art Museum with our community of learners.
Susan Sherman graduated from Brandeis University with a dual major in English and Art in 1973. After graduation, she did extensive graduate level work in printmaking at the University of Delaware. Susan currently studies oil painting with Linda Guenste. Ms. Sherman is the Education Gallery Coordinator at the James A. Michener Art Museum. She has been involved with the Michener since 2002.
Stacie Speer Scott
Stephani Thomas received a BS in Art Education from Millersville University in 1992 and an MS in Art Education from Arcadia University in 2001. She is a Nationally Board Certified Art Teacher. She has worked in the Central Bucks School District since 1994. She has been a teacher mentor for both new teachers and for high school students. She has been the Arts Director for an extensive summer camp program at both Cold Spring and Pine Run Elementary Schools. She is a painter, printmaker and mural artist. Ms. Thomas has worked with the Michener Museum since 1995, teaching 2D and 3D after-school classes and directing the Museum’s summer arts program, which focuses on a variety of multicultural themes. Ms. Thomas earned the Bucks County Teacher of the Year award in 2015.
Andrea Thompson graduated from Moore College of Art and Design with honors; at Moore, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. She has since taught at the Haverford School for Boys, Warminster Parks and Recreation, and has been an Artist in Residence at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center. She was President of the BC3D Sculpture Club and was a juror for the Celebrating Creativity Philadelphia Youth in Arts Exhibition. Andrea believes that the art room is a place for students to come together to create a community of artists and lifelong learners, a safe place for students to freely express themselves, explore new ideas, practice creative problem solving and learn from trial and error. She embraces persistence and openness to new ideas, has experience with a variety of art mediums, and encourages young people to explore the world while learning new art skills. She engages learners to look and talk about artworks in meaningful ways, as they create their own works and learn about works in the Michener collection. Her artwork includes inspiring pieces of sculpture, painting, printmaking, mural arts and graphic design. Andrea has worked as the Arts Education Coordinator at the Michener Art Museum since 2015.
Jodi Vench brings 23 years of dance, fitness and movement experience to Breaking Boundaries. She has performed professionally with Chicago Contemporary Dance Theater and Disney Production Studios, Inc. and has been a personal trainer for 12 years. Following a crippling accident in her youth she designed her own fitness and rehabilitation program that enabled her to dance once again. Jodi is fascinated by movement and the amazing way in which the human body works. She says “she will forever be a student of movement and physiology and her passion is to share movement with other people, to help them feel good about whom they are by learning to move everyday.”
Victoria Whiteley graduated with a BFA in drawing and printmaking from the Pennsylvania
Academy of the Fine Arts in 2016. She completed an internship with the Michener Art Museum
in 2016 and is currently working as a teacher assistant in selected Michener art classes. . She is a printmaker and bookbinder. Victoria plans to pursue a certification in art education in the future.
Maria Wible has a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from Penn State University, and is working toward her Master’s Degree in Art Education from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She is currently the elementary art teacher at First Philadelphia Preparatory Charter School. Maria joined the adjunct staff at the Michener in 2015.