Laura Loy, Administrative Assistant: Laura is IMG_3089smallan actor-creator, arts educator, and arts administrator.  Since beginning her stage career in the backyard of her parent’s New Hampshire farmhouse she has gone on to perform at venues across North America.  She is a founding member of the physical theatre company Box of Clowns, which performs both locally and internationally.  Laura has been working in arts education since 2007, including work with: NH public schools, Univ. of New Hampshire Youth Drama programs, Camp Galilee (Lake Tahoe), Echo Theatre School, and Northwest Children’s Theatre & School.  She is a graduate of the Univ. of New Hampshire with BA in Theatre: Acting and  Musical Theatre, Dance minor; the Professional Training Program at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre; and the Kennedy Center’s Devos Institute Arts Management Internship program.

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Shasta Nash, Instructor  Working to produce annual new series of artworks faithfully for over 16 years since photo 4graduating from Boise State University in 1999 with a BFA in Photography, I am determined to prove my hard working nature and commitment in the arts.  I gratefully enjoy sharing my experience in painting, drawing and crafts with my students and love continuing to witness the ever expanding way in which the arts help us all to grow or heal thankfully.  As crazy or prolific as it may sound, I have been playing in a long list of arts and crafts that include painting in various mediums, photography, drawing, printmaking, iconography, collage, stop-motion painting animation, beading, plaster casting, sewing, children’s books and various combinations of them all.  To me mixing media is as exciting as learning; and discussing ideas or collaborating can be refreshing, so please bounce ideas off me anytime.  Let’s inspire each other to go for our dreams!  Friend and follow me on Facebook or see my work at

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Wendy Thompson, Instructor is a poet, singNewYearer, performing artist, and all around ARTivist, I believe in the power of all art forms to transform and heal. I trained in Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College and graduated from the University of Utah with an MFA in dance. Three decades as an arts educator included eight years at the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics in Washington State.  With a passion for arts-centered, integrated curriculum design, I served as a facilitator for The Right Brain Initiative and am an adjunct faculty at the University of Portland School of Education.  I perform my poetry in venues around Portland and have been published in a variety of local anthologies. I’ve also edited several anthologies of students’ poetry, most notably From Here, There & Everywhere: Poems of Origin & Hope.  I live by the Rumi quote, “Let the beauty we love be what we do,” as an expression of personal values of beauty, community and mystery. Springwater Studio shares these values and I’m honored to be a part of its creation.

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Brekka Trueman Taft, Instructor  Brekka is a local mother, mural painter, art teacher, and co-owner of Taft Painting. She has lived and studied in Italy, Germany, and for the last 20 years, in the US. Her passion is to build strong, healthy communities that build healthy, strong people.


Elise Astleford, Instructor An Episcopal priest,  a watercolor artist and member of SW Washington Watercolor Society and Society of Washington Artists. She has won ribbons in their shows and at the Clark County fair, exhibited a one woman show at the Second Story Gallery in Camas, WA, taught art at Home Link and conducted small workshops using various art forms.


Judith Bevilacqua, Instructor Judy taught K-5 Art in a Gresham elementary school for 11 years. She studied Art at U of W and OCAC and took master classes with Annie Painter. She works in painting, pottery, ceramics, murals, mosaics, papier mache’ and whatever she can get her hands on.


Jack Bevilacqua, Instructor Jack studied guitar at Marylhurst, Mount Hood Community College and learned at the feet of many great guitarists. He teaches out of his home studio in Gresham.


Meg Stump, Instructor Meg  is the author of Pin Loom Weaving: 40 Projects for Tiny Hand Looms. Her website/blog,, is number one for pin loom information and projects.



Joi Kruger has always been an artist. From creating murals out of dryer lint to winning best of show for one of her quilts, she fully embraces her creativity. Her favorite artistic outlets include: stained glass, fused glass, quilting, painting, wood burning, gardening, and dancing.


Jason Ropp has over 20 years experience in puppetry and performing. He is the director of Dragon Theater Puppets, a local puppet company that has reached audiences all over the United States. His clients have him perform at birthday parties, comic con’s, festivals and company events.


Robin Chilstrom is a multi-arts educator and co-founder of Earth Arts NW, an environmental-arts project for kids.  A professional theater artist, musician, sculptural costumer, exhibit and parade float designer, she’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and loves creating books for kids.



Stephanie Burton  Stephanie Burton has an Associate’s degree in Art and has worked in Ceramics for over 15 years. She has taught ceramics at several schools locally as well as internationally. She helped organize the first Artist Delegation to travel to El Salvador to teach impoverished children ceramics in Tierra Blanca and Ciudad Romero. Currently Stephanie teaches adult community ceramic classes and workshops and sells her work in shows and local shops.



Helen Crandell is an educator, consultant and musician.  She is passionate about integrated arts education.  Over her 33-year career with Portland Public Schools, Helen worked with students in grades 2-7. Committed to educating the “whole” child, she found ways to integrate art with language arts, science and social studies.


Eileen Holzman is a retired art educator and art therapist who has taught art all ages of students for 40 years.  As an art therapist she uses art and origami to help people express ideas and emotions through their art in a non-judgmental way fostering creative resolutions.


Stephanie Payne is the author of The Sandbox Wars: End of Life Decisions.


Connie Shipley is a personal historian and owner of Capturing Your Life Story.


JolieAnnDonahueJolie Ann Donohue, The Gardening Goddess, Wellness Through Nature  Jolie provides organic gardening consultration, garden design, gardening workshops and therapeutic horiculture groups for all ages.  She has joyfully worked in garden for over decade and is committed to helping individuals families and communities lead happier, healthier lives through gardening.  For more information: Email:, Blog- Miss Jolie Ann’s Kitchen Garden, or find her on Facebook.

Pat Gorman Russell,  Instructor has enjoyed needle work for over fifty years passed down by the women in her family and as a member of 4H in rural Washington state. As a life long learner, she continues to learn from other women and workshops. Exploring needlework is a passion and creative outlet. She loves to find beauty and the sacred in the everyday.  Pat Gorman Russell has been attending workshops and creating SoulCollage® cards for over ten years. She has found them to be a useful and creative tool in her spiritual journey. In October 2015 she became a Certified SoulCollage® Facilitator.

Cindy Lenig Cossu, Instructor is a long term Gresham, Oregon resident, Teaching Artist, Curator, Artist Advocate and Community Volunteer. Cindy is an experienced visual arts educator focusing on drawing, mixed media, and painting.  Cindy has been creating, drawing, painting, and exploring art since childhood. She studied art at Lewis and Clark College graduating with a Political Science degree. In addition, she continued her graduate studies in adult education at PSU. She continues to advance her teaching, drawing, painting, and mixed media skills with ongoing education classes including participation in the Young Audiences Teaching Artist Cohort program.  Cindy has served on various art committees and currently serves as a Board Director for Center for the Arts Foundation and is a member of the Gresham Art Committee. She has received various awards from local art shows and has the pleasure of being a commissioned artist.  Cindy is best known in her own art practice for vibrant contemporary acrylic paintings portraying both realism and playful impressionism. Her trademark is the use of abundant textures, layers, and sculpting technique, her style is intuitive, organic, and instinctive.  “Art is my way of tapping into the rich poetry of heart and soul. Creating art is a journey that allows me to slow down, reflect on the world around me and experience life optimistically. ” Cindy Lenig Cossu