Meet the Faculty
Lisa Lyman Adams
Lisa Adams has been making art since she could hold a pencil. A Manhattan-based illustrator for 26 years, Lisa relocated to the Mystic area where she resumed her career as a fine artist. Lisa’s unique style – a mix of super-realism, collage, naive drawing, and artists’ handwriting – has garnered recognition and awards. She is represented by the Diane Birdsall Gallery in Old Lyme, CT. Her illustration work can be consistently spotted in mainstream magazines, The New York Times, and teen book-jackets for global publishing houses. She is the creator of the babyGap Teddy bear store mascot and the author/illustrator of the popular holiday children’s book “The Twelve Days of Christmas in New York City”. Lisa holds a BFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.
Mary Addison began her artistic journey with classes at the Lyme Art Academy. Her passion for art, combined with her love of the outdoors and the Western landscape, brought her to Boulder, CO, where she studied both fine arts and art history. During this time, she also studied abroad in Florence, Italy and New Zealand, where her personal aesthetic took shape. Mary describes her style as “whimsical, playful, inspiring, thought-provoking and fun,” falling somewhere between impressionist and abstract. Her focus is in acrylics but she also enjoys drawing, sculpting and photography. Her preferred subject matter varies from landscape, to spiritual symbolism and the human figure. Mary’s work is in private collections and has been exhibited in art spaces around the Mystic area. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts and Art History from the University of Colorado.
Brenda De Los Santos
Brenda is a New London native, specializing in portrait, wedding, and event photography. She is also owner of BDPhotography. She has won awards from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. For Brenda, capturing a moment or emotion is the driving force behind her work. People are her favorite thing to photograph. Brenda loves being able to share her passion for photography with her students. In the classroom, she takes a step-by-step approach to teaching, so that students build upon their skills and knowledge each week. Brenda graduated from Boston University, with a major in Photojournalism, and has worked with daily newspapers including the Norwich Bulletin, The Day, The New Britain Herald, and The Middletown Press.
Tom’s passions are figurative painting and industrial design. Currently running his own company, TF Design Works, Tom provides both commercial and residential clients with custom design, construction, and decorative finishes with a focus on sustainability. His experience and design expertise got him featured as a guest craftsperson on the “Home Time” TV show for his custom carpentry and decorative finishes, as well as brought him all the way to Costa Rica in 2003 where he volunteered teaching carpentry and art classes. Tom has monitored the MMoA’s open sessions in figure drawing for the past four years, taught drawing courses at La Grua Center in Stonington for seven, and shows his own work in local exhibitions. He holds a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York with a concentration in Fine Arts and Drawing, as well as a study in Industrial Design and Art History.
Liz Lomax is a professional artist who incorporates sculpture, design, painting and photography in her work. Her 3D creations, born from a love of creating shoe box dioramas as a kid, have appeared in advertising campaigns, magazines, newspapers, books, album covers, on TV shows and in window displays for Barneys NY. Her clients include The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, TIME, MasterCard, MTV, and Bubble Tape gum. Liz earned a BFA in Illustration at Parsons School of Design in her hometown of New York City where she later became an Instructor for many years. She has also taught at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and currently teaches at Mystic Museum of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. She has chaired and juried illustration competitions at the Society of Illustrators, has lectured and held workshops worldwide. Liz loves living in Mystic with her greatest masterpiece Olivia, her 5 year old daughter.
Sarah Stifler Lucas
Sarah works in oil, pastel, and pencil. Her style combines the representational with the abstract, giving the viewer an ever-changing focus on the human form. In addition to figure paintings, café scenes, and delicate renditions of children at play, she specializes in commissioned portraits. These include Medal of Honor recipient Captain George Street, whose command was the inspiration for the novel Run Silent, Run Deep and Sidney Frank, founder of Grey Goose Vodka. Sarah’s work is exhibited nationally. Her honors include awards from: Allied Artists of America; National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society; Salmagundi Club, NYC; Mystic Museum of Art; and the New Haven Paint and Clay Club. Sarah is an elected artist member of many organizations, including Salmagundi Club, NYC, Lyme Art Association, and Mystic Museum of Art, where she has been on the faculty since 1988.
Jack enjoys painting portraits, commissions, still-lifes, and landscapes. He gained his inspiration from Childe Hassam’s Old Lyme Impressionist paintings. Jack teaches drawing and painting for MMoA. His work has also received honors in MMoA’s exhibitions. He graduated from Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio, has studied at Lyme Academy College of Fine Art, and received fellowships to study in Paris and Florence. He has won the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant three times and the 2004 Art of New England drawing award juried by Burt Silverman.
Amelia Onorato teaches children and youth classes. She is a cartoonist and an interpreter at the Newport Restoration Foundation in Newport, RI. She trained in cartooning and illustration at The Center for Cartoon Studies, in Vermont, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Museum Studies and History from Regis College.
Howard is an award-winning artist who has spent his life painting. At one point, he sailed around the world on a 1946 Sparkman & Stephens 52’ yawl, capturing his exotic surroundings on film and canvas. Howard has studied art at several universities, including Tufts, the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and L’Ecole d’Art Decoratif de Nice in France. He specializes in oil and watercolor painting. The subjects of these paintings usually surround his love of the sea. Since retiring from his framing business, Howard has been exploring art education, conservation, restoration, and appraisal. Howard teaches adult classes on landscape painting at MMoA.
Nancy M. Potter
Nancy has been involved in the field of Fiber Art for over 30 years. As owner and operator of Knit ‘n Stitch yarn and needlework shop in Waterford, she sold materials for, and taught classes in, knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, macramé and weaving. As basket weaving was among her passions, she added a line of basket weaving materials and supplies to her inventory and offered basket weaving classes at all skill levels. Recently retired from her career as a bank officer, Nancy currently teaches The Art of Basket Making at local Adult Ed classes and, at MMoA, Beginner Basket Weaving. She sells handmade baskets of her own designs at craft shows and conducts seminars and workshops throughout the northeast.
Lavanya is a teacher and administrator of a small Montessori school in Groton, an artist, art instructor and a mother of two daughters. She has been passionately creating art since she was a child. For the past 30 years or more, honing her artistic skills has been a continuous journey for Lavanya. As an artist, her goal is to help the viewer not only visualize the moment, but also feel its emotion. She works with a variety of art media, uses a variety of art techniques, and at times combines media and techniques into her artwork. As a teacher, Lavanya believes that it is important for children to develop a positive attitude and appreciation towards other cultures. Among the varied art techniques that she teaches her students are art-forms related to culture from around the world such as Rangoli, Henna, Madhubhani Art, Kundan art, Meenakari Art, Dot Painting, Mandala Art, Mosaics, and Tinga Tinga Art.
Kristen enjoys working in mixed media and on commission for murals, invitations, and logos. Her studio is based in Essex, CT. She has over 10 years of teaching experience in schools and other educational organizations ranging from Pre-K through 12th grade. Kristen also teaches for the Tracy Art Center and is an art resident for LEARN at several regional schools. She earned her BFA at the University of Connecticut, with a focus on graphic design and illustration.