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.
Carol Dunn is an award-winning printmaker and photographer, specializing in alternative processes for creating artwork. She exhibits frequently in the New England area and on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Carol has also taught classes at Quinebaug Valley Community College, Manchester Community College, Mystic Museum of Art, Silver Circle Studio, the Guilford Art Center, Meiklem Kiln Works, Thames River Academy, Norwich Free Academy, and the Lyme Art Association. She is an Elected Artist in the Norwich Arts Center, Mystic Museum of Art, Connecticut Women Artists, Essex Art Association, and Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. Carol is an Associate Artist with the Artists Coop Gallery of Westerly and a member of Stonington Printmakers Society. Her work is held in private collections nationally and internationally, including in Ireland, France, and Australia. She keeps a studio, Little River Studio & Gallery, in Baltic, Connecticut.
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.
Shane Gutierrez teaches photography. He is a photographer of landscapes, nudes and creative portraiture with over 30 years experience. His photography has been published in The Photo Review and Yankee Magazine and has been featured in exhibitions at the DeBlois Gallery in Providence, RI and the Warwick Museum in Warwick, RI. Shane holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the University of Rhode Island.
Amanda Haack teaches children’s art courses and is involved in the MMoA’s outreach programs. As an artist and educator, she has assisted with mural painting in downtown Toledo, Ohio, of Mexican culture and folklore. Since moving to Connecticut she has been teaching children grades K-5 in the 2-dimensional realm. With her students, she focuses mostly on painting, drawing, and some mixed media projects that are inspired by famous artists. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a degree in 2-dimensional art and a minor in Spanish, and currently works with children at the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London, CT.
Jamie teaches children’s art classes at the MMoA. She has experience in both art and early childhood education. Jamie received her Associate Degree in Fine Arts from Mitchell College in 2007, and a B.A. in visual arts from Eastern Connecticut State University. She has over a decade’s worth of experience working with children and has been teaching at the Mystic Museum of Art since 2009.
Gretchen has mastered a variety of mediums, techniques, and graphic design, though her mediums of choice are acrylic paint and stained glass. Along with teaching art, Gretchen continues to work as a freelance illustrator and website designer. She earned her BFA in 2004 from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University while majoring in Illustration. Gretchen received her teaching certificate in Art Education in 2007 and has used her abilities as a working artist and teacher at various schools in South Eastern Connecticut.
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.
Sam Morrow teaches painting and 2-D Design. His artwork has been featured in exhibitions in London and New York, most recently at Umbrella Arts in New York City. Sam holds MFA’s from Ohio State University and the Royal College of Art and a Bachelor of Art from St. Martin’s School of Art.
June’s current work in oils focuses on landscape and still-life. For several years, June has taught art in public schools and other educational organizations. She was awarded “Teacher of the Year ’98-‘99” by the Plainfield Public Schools. She earned a B.A. in Art with a teacher certification from Miami University in Oxford, OH and a MAT from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. In addition to sharing her knowledge and love of art with children of all ages, June continues to enjoy classes at the Lyme Art Academy and here at MMoA.
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.
Laura Provo-Parker teaches children and youth classes. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Art History at Mitchell College and previously served as the Gallery Director and the Teaching Artist in Residence at the Pangburn Gallery in Altamont, NY. She is also a practicing visual artist at Remsen Street Studios in New York, painting in oil and acrylics. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Communication and Master of Science in Education, Visual Arts from The College of Saint Rose.
Melissa Skiadas is a multi-media artist focusing in soft sculpture, mold making, oil painting and digitally-fabricated sculpture. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York, NY, in 2012. She has worked as a studio assistant with New York street crochet artist, Olek, and multi-media sculptor Itty Neuhaus. She has exhibited in several group shows at such venues as the National Association of Women Artists and The Visual Arts Gallery and at pop-up shows around New York City. She has spoken about her work using Digital CNC machining as a fine artist as a guest lecturer at Google Inc.’s New York headquarters. In 2014, she moved to Mystic to escape city life and focus on her studio work. She has a studio in downtown Mystic.
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.