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Venice Art Center Instructors

Agresti, Francesco

Born in Italy. At the age of 7, he moved to the Bronx, NY. He earned his Bachelor’s at Hunter College and Master’s in Fine Arts from Lehman City University of NY. Agresti taught at the University of La Verne in Napoli and has taught at several universities and colleges in North Carolina where he became a professor of fine arts. He has shown his work in the US, Italy, Germany and Russia. Agresti’s pieces can be found in a myriad of private collections and his commissions include major works for Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Alysworth, Lynn Nelson

Lynn has been a member of the Hudson Valley Art Association since 1999 and has shown in many juried shows.  She has won awards at the Salmagundi Club, American Artist's Professional League National Show, Catherine Lorilland Wolf Show for Women Artists sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Kent Art Association, the Ridgewood Art Insitute, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the Newark Museum.  Her work was featuredin the American Artist Magazne twice. Her work is in many private and corporate collections.  

Baxter, Julie

Julie is a lifetime and award winning potter. Her teaching career has been with the Arlington County, Virginia, Department of Parks, Recreation & Community Resourses.  She taught all levels of wheel-throwing classes and workshops on surface decoration. She also taught children's handbuilding classes at Arlington County Elementary School.  Julie was a member of Grey House Potters, Arlington, Virginia and the Kiln Club of Washington.  Julie's undergraduate degree is in ceramics.

Burgan, Beth

Beth Burgan brings experience of teaching art to gifted and talented (K-12) university students, and challenged adult populations.  Her B.S. degree is in art education.  She has an MFA, was a teaching assisstant in sculpture at Kent State University. She worked in Human Resources for 15 years and owed a clinical massage therapy practice in Minneapolis for over 30 years.  All the various career paths had one thing in common, to empower each individual to create and manifest positive self-awareness. 

Cassidy, Marilyn

Marilyn has a B.A. in Sociology and an M.S. in Education. She taught in the Albany City Schools in New York State. She moved to Florida in 1990 and worked in Early Education in Sarasota. She has studied with several local and nationally known artists. Her goal is to share her collected knowledge with others who are honing their artistic skills; who want to have fun and discover a wonderful pastime.

Chencharick, Diane

Diane Chencharick has a long background in the arts as a graphic designer, art director, creative director and watercolor artist for more than 40 years.  She is known for her strong use of color and keen sense of design. Her award-winning abstracts hang in many galleries, and exhibitions. She has mentored numerous artists, honing their skills and teaching effective use of contrast and color. Her specialty is helping artists overcome self-limiting behaviors that keep them stuck in old patterns. 

Espinosa, Josephina

Josephina studied at the Institut de Bellos Arts in Colombia, South America. She went on to teach both children and adults a wide range of media including drawing, painting, glass fusion, and stained glass. Her work is known throughout the world.


By embellishing her clay pieces with a wide array of found objects, Jane Freund elevates the basic pinch pot to a distinctive — and expressive — art form. Originally a wheel thrower, she switched exclusively to handbuilding many years ago and has developed advanced pinching methods that are both organic and elegant. Jane has exhibited widely at galleries and in juried shows. She shares her techniques at workshops and classes in both Pittsburgh and Sarasota. 

Gilmer, Judy

Judy has been making art since she was a child and made critters from clay dirt, drawing on her school papers (which her primary teachers did not appreciate) Music, nature and travel inspire her artwork. She responds to the surface as she creates and through this internal dialogue, she works until she is willing to share her painting with the collective art world.  While this process of paitning can produce a very fresh painterly outcome, it may create a beautiful surface with a long histpry that peeks through the surface and creates; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Golden, Sheila

Sheila Golden has worked in fine art for over 30 years, being included in a women's art calendar and exhibiting in New York City, San Francisco and Santa Fe, NM. Her watercolors are in Sarasota's Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy. She has a BA in Fine Art from Sonoma State University and has studied with noted artists Barbara Nechis, Robert Burridge and Wolf Kahn. With her art in private and corporate collections, she enjoys sharing the magic of watercolors.

Gordon, Beverly

Beverly Gordon is an artist, writer and teacher who has long been passionate about “deep seeing” and helping people appreciate both the material and inner, intuitive worlds. She is Professor Emeritus in the Design Studies department of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she taught textiles, design history and material culture for 30 years. She continues to teach through her own southwest Florida studio, through ACE (Adult Community Enrichment) programs in Sarasota and through further-afield institutions such as Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts in Wisconsin. She is author of numerous books and articles, most of which address meanings in our designed environment (representative titles: Textiles: The Whole Story—Uses, Meanings, Significance;  “Raised Beadwork in the Iroquois Tradition” in Piecework magazine). Gordon’s artwork has blossomed since her retirement from the university. She has developed a unique style and body of work, using fiber and mixed media techniques in assemblage and (usually) dimensional collage. She typically incorporates…

Heart, Nancy

Working in three dimensions has been Nancy’s passion since high school. Her love of creating clay sculptures and teaching combine to make her “one happy camper.” Her student’s success and very busy classes support her enthusiasm and willingness to share her knowledge of sculpture techniques. After a successful 25-year career as a clinical social worker, working with children and adults, Nancy has found her niche continuing her art full time and teaching in Venice. “Life is Good!”

Hopkins, Nanette

Nanette Hopkins graduated from moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She has lived in the Englewood area for 25 years where she creates artand exhibits in Fine Art shows and local galleries.  She has taught children and adults for the past 15 years.  Her teaching experience includes; The Venice Art Center, Sarasota Arts Council, Rongling College of Art and Design, Boca Grande Island School, Out of the Door Academy, Golide Feldman School, Visual Artists Association, Sarasota County Public Schools and the Englewood Art Center.

Keck, Alan

Fifty years experience on potters wheel. Made a living for 10 years as production potter, Masters degree in Art Education. Taught all levels of ceramics and glassblowing at Emporia High School in Emporia, Kansas. Last ten years as Department Chair.

Kelly, Patricia

Pat has worked as a studio potter for over 35 years. She is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology in Graphic Arts with post-graduate study at the School for American Craftsmen, where she studied with potters Franz Wildenhaim and Jim Seacreast. Her work has sold in specialty shops, Dean and Delucca and Tiffany’s of New York City. She has been featured in House and Garden, Home Beautiful and Country Living. Her work is in private collections in the U.S. and Japan.

Larisch, Linda

Linda is the fourth generation of artists from a multcultural background. She has been painting for the past 40 years, had over 30 one-woman shows, and has been represented by various galleries in the US and Mexico.  Her medium is acrylic paint on canvas.  Her style ranges from realistic to abstract. She was an educator for pre-school children with delays and taught middle school her ein Florida as well as art classes at several venues in the area.

Maria, Gary

Gary received his BFA from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania in 1976, then studied at the Art Students League of New York, SVA, and NYU. He first worked as a graphic designer in NYC at several book publishing houses. He then freelanced  illustration for Dell Puzzle Magazines, Silhouette Romance, and Barbour Publishing, and also worked as a fine art print colorist at Mill Pond Press in Venice, Florida. His work aspires to the traditions of nineteenth century academic realism.

McCullough, Heather

Heather is a watercolor, oil and acrylic artist from Venice FL who spends time each summer in the western United States. She is a retired physician who began her study of art at the Venice Art Center in the 1990’s, and then continued for many years with Herbie Rose at his studio in Bradenton, FL, augmented with additional workshops, classes, and self study. She is an enthusiastic plein-air painter of landscapes and figures. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Art Center, Venice Theater, and in Florida Watercolor Society shows, Drigg's Plein Air and in Wyoming, Her work can also be viewed on her website,  She is a member of the Florida Watercolor Society and the Venice Art Center.

McElhinney, Laura

Laura received her Masters degree from california Institute of the Arts in 2002.  She has worked as a Theatrical Lighting Designer, Scenics Designer, and Painter for the past 20 years. Laura has worked many amazing places around the globe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA in New York, and international arts festivals in Singapore, United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, France, Denmark, Belgium, and Korea.  She loves to paint and create new art with her 3 girls.

Meyer, Katrina

Katrina, from Toledo, Ohio, became fascinated with minerals, gemstones and jewelry after a career in Ohio and Maryland as a secondary and adult education teacher and administrator. Beginning in 1996, she studied wire-craft jewelry making at William Holland School of Lapidary Arts in Georgia and in private sessions with internationally known master wire artists. She sells her award-winning designs at area art shows and has taught wire jewelry making since 2001.

Nishihira, Robert

Robert was a full-time commercial photographer for 18 years in California and had clients such as Callaway Golf, IBM, and Qualcomm. He won a number of honors including CA Magazine’s Award of Excellence and ASMP’s Gold Award. Robert's work has been published in magazines such as Vogue and Town & Country. After retiring from commercial photography, Robert taught photography at the City College of San Francisco for 20 years

Palmer, Jeanne

Jeanne has been a fulltime potter for over 25 years; having owned and operated a pottery school and gallery near Buffalo, NY for 12 years. Her education includes: Bachelor of Arts/Ceramics from S.U.N.Y. at Fredonia, Post graduate Glaze Chemistry at S.U.N.Y. Alfred, Art & Education Graduate studies at University of Colorado at Boulder, and Studio Concentration at Penland School of Crafts, NC. Jeanne has shared enthusiasm for her craft having taught classes at many art centers and retreats. Palmer Pottery is well recognized in the area as she exhibits at fine art shows and local galleries.

Platte, Roxcy

Roxcy Platte is an award-winning artist who has been sketching and painting all her life. Especially known for lively portraits and charming street scenes, she captures subjects quickly and brings that spontaneity to her classes. Her students learn how to see the world around them through the magic of light and shadow, color, shape and the use of negative space. Her classes are not to be missed.

Ponder, Haley

Haley Ponder is a 22 year old self taught artist born and raised right here in Venice,FL. Haley specializes in abstract acrylic painting but does not just stop there, she has also done custom paintings for homes nationwide. For reference you can check out her Etsy page. PaintingsbyPonder 

Radomski, Michael

Michael Radomski has had an advertising career as an art director and photographer. He earned a BFA at Kutztown University and is classically trained in “wet” darkroom techniques. He now specializes in digital fine arts photography: Color, B&W and post-processing applications. Photography is an adventure. “Look small, you’ll discover a new way of seeing the subtle details of our natural world.” His work has been shown in galleries, museums and is contained in private collections.

Rosall, Judi

Judi is the founder/creative director at WildCherry Studio in Venice/Port Charlotte, FL. She is also a 20+ years, professional fine-art/mobile photographer and mixed-media artist. Her work ranges from figurative, to conceptual abstract, fine art photography; vintage/botanical composites; and seascape/wildlife photography. Judi has a B.S. degree in Journalism/Photojournalism, including advanced, fine art photography studies with leading CO, CA and NM, photographers.

Rosall, Judith

Judi Rosall is the founder/creative director at WildCherry Studio in Venice, FL, She is also a 20+ years professional Fine Art/Mobile Photographer.  Her works ranges from figurative to conceptual abstract, fine art photography; vintage/botanical composites; and seascapes/wildlife photography.  Jusi has a B.S. degree in Journalism/Photojornalism, including advanced, fine art photography studies with leading CO, CA, and NM photographers.

Rose, Nancy

Art training since age eleven, Nancy is a professional award-winning artist, listed in “Who’s Who for American Art.” Rose has exhibited at New Britain Museum of American Art and is a juried member of Connecticut Watercolor Society and Women Contemporary Artists. As an Individualized learning specialist who taught teens with disabilities, Nancy began taking this approach to the art classroom. A nurturing teacher with enthusiasm and optimism that is contagious, she encourages students to paint as unique individuals.

Salezze, Marla

Marla Salezze is a jewelry designer and teacher of bead weaving. She is the author of the book Learn to Stitch Beaded Jewelry published by Kalmbach Publishing. Her original beadwork designs have been published numerous times in Bead&Button, Beadwork, Beading Daily, Step by Step Wire, and Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazines. She teaches beadweaving classes, workshops, and retreats across the country. Contact her, purchase kits for her projects and follow her beading journey at

Schadler, Peggy

After 15 years as a free lance artist in Washington D.C., P.J. Schadler began 30 years’ teaching fine arts and crafts to adults and children as Arts Director for the Military in MD, PA and in Italy. She expanded her love of fibers, batik, and abstract painting, studying with several renowned artists in Europe and the U.S. She loves combining media and techniques with nature, photographs and found objects. She believes art is a journey.

Smith, Frances

Frances Smith has been a freelance artist in Venice for over 40 years. She attended Boston Museum of Fine Arts School and Ringling College of Art, specializing in acrylic, watercolor and pastel - with extensive work in stained glass, calligraphy, and Public Art and wall murals - both indoors and out. Frances has taught both children and adult art classes and exhibited locally and nationally, winning numerous awards for her work.

Stramara, Joanne

Joanne’s love for art has always been a part of her life while     growing up in Pennsylvania. She studied art at Kutztown University, Wyomissing Institute and with many local and national art teachers.  Art workshops to California, Arizona, France, Delaware,        Pennsylvania and Florida, etc. “fueled the fire”.  Her favorite medium is watercolor and her love of experimentation has been rewarding.

Tilson, Linda

Beginning with a BS in Textiles plus Education from Texas Tech, Linda has been a teacher, a commercial textiles and clothing designer and entrepreneur. For the past 20 years she has been a textile artist, creating one-of-a-kind garments and accessories which she sells at fine craft/ fine art shows, including ACC, Lincoln Center, NYC, and some juried Florida shows. Venice is her home and Linda enjoys sharing her passion for working with colors and designs on fabric.

Trump, Jacobina

Dutch born artist Jacobina Trump studied five years at the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in The Hague, Holland. After getting a Bachelor’s Degree she became a teacher at the same institution. Her professional path after that went from stage set designer through photographer, art director to decorative painter and finally fine art painter. In 2006, Jacobina became a U.S. citizen and lives in Sarasota County since 2010. She has been teaching online drawing classes for absolute beginners and advanced students with much success.

Valladeares, Rosa

Rosa Valladares was born in Lima Peru; where her passion for printmaking started. She studied at Tamarind Institute in New Mexico. And later on, was granted with a full scholarship to earn a Master degree in Fine Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has received others Art grants from various institutions. Rosa also participated in collective exhibitions all over the world. Her experience on teaching, reflects the enthusiasm she has to create and appreciate art.

Wilcox, Susan

Painting is one of the greatest joys of my life. I consistently use the gift that I have been given while striving to improve my technique and bring joy to others with my work. Susan studied in Buffalo, NY and earned a BS and MS in Art Education.

Winter, Norma

Norma is a Professional Artist/Educator, recipient of Woman of the Year 2011–12 plaque from NAPW for demonstrating excellence and dedication in her profession. She is a supporter of the arts in Mentor, Madison, Ohio, Fonda and Adirondack, NY, Wellington, WPB and Venice, Florida. She is a literacy and artist in residence volunteer in Venice Florida and a member and officer for Toastmaster’s         International. Norma taught in Ohio, New York, and Venice, Florida, including at her own Norma Albertha Studio Gallery in Madison   Village, Ohio.

Zahn, Sherie

Sherie used to make her living as a free-lance medical illustrator and currently creates and sells copper and brass jewelry. She has published a book entitled “Tony’s War”, currently being sold in The National WWII Museum Bookstore in New Orleans and at book signings. She has a Ph.D. in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, a degree in Tropical Medicine and a Masters in Public Health. She is currently retired and living in Nokomis.

Zebot, George

George Zebot’s work has taken him to over 80 countries. He served as an artist in Vietnam and a Peace Corps Volunteer. His former faculties list Chapman University, Saddleback College, Laguna College of Art and Design, University of the West Indies, and Pannasastra University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia and California State University, Long Beach. His biography has been listed in The New York Art Review, Who’s Who in American Art and Contemporary Graphic Artists.