This page is under construction - more bios will be added daily; thank you for your patience!
Luke Adams - His earliest memories are of drawing and sketching the things around him. He remembers the colors vividly from his early childhood. Creative interests and activities have always been such a big part of Luke's life that it wasn't until he was much older that he saw them as part of life and not just everything that he was interested in.
He attended Mass College of Art and Design. Luke started first in the Design department and then later shifted gears and went in the Glass department. He had the opportunity to have some excellent teachers at Mass Art and was fortunate to have apprenticed for some successful artists as well even before he graduated. It made a big difference to see how professional artists worked. Luke began his business in 2001 as soon as he graduated. He felt it was important to get involved in glass right away as a profession and not get sidetracked by pursuing some other career. He started by renting time at other glass studios until he built up a consistent base of stores and galleries that would sell his work. Luke then built his current studio in Norwood, Massachusetts in 2006.
Marilyn Arsenault - In 1985, she started painting on canvas just as something new to try. Marilyn had no formal training and had never taken any art courses. She was actually quite surprised at the response she received. In 1993, her sister suggested she try painting on glass. What started as gifts for family and friends quickly became a business with many pieces in 3 stores in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
As with her previous paintings, Marilyn takes her inspiration from the beauty of nature found all around us and her love of gardening. Depending on the intricacy of the design, it takes anywhere between one to four hours per piece and no two pieces are exactly the same. Each piece is hand-painted, glazed and baked for an hour. Pieces should be gently hand washed and not left to soak.
Art Bodwell - He began to create and build things in childhood. This led to becoming a civil engineer, who spent a working life designing and building mostly institutional buildings. Along the way, Art built furniture for family use. Nearing retirement some thirteen years ago, he started woodturning and immediately focused on the craft of segmented woodturning. The idea of using segmenting and lamination opened an entire new world of creativity in wood. The final product can be anything the artist's imagination can produce and his/her skill can figure out how to build. Segmenting requires extensive design work and precise cutting and assembling or laminating to create a unique piece, which can contain dozens or thousands of individual pieces. His work involves using several types and colors of wood which make up the final product. The raw material is a combination of domestic hardwoods and exotics that lend unique color and generally grown in tropical environments.
Some pieces are functional, to be used and enjoyed, some are sculptural, to be displayed or hung for decorating pleasure. Each piece is different, and all the colors are the natural wood color. Segmenting woodturning is practiced by less than 5% of the worlds' woodturners, though over the last fifteen - twenty years, it is becoming a growing art form. Own a segmented piece will put you in select company.
Hope Croskey - During freshman year of college, Hope walked into the pottery studio and it changer her life forever. She was never the same; she continue to dream about what's next, always investigating, imagining, and formulating new ideas. The pottery wheel is a wonderful place to meditate and create new forms. Once glazed, the artist waits with eager anticipation for unexpected surprises to emerge from the kiln. Teaching pottery motivates her to share her passion and love of clay with others.
Recently accomplished artists in watercolor and alcohol ink techniques have inspired Hope to expand into other mediums. These new friendships and experiences are unforgettable! Her attention during the time of Covid resulted in focusing on alcohol ink paintings at home. These original inks were then reprinted on greeting cards.
The reopening of the community pottery studios has again brought excitement in a decorating technique called Mocha Diffusion where a basic slip is applied to a leather hard pottery piece. A contrasting acidic colorant is then dropped onto a wet slip activating spontaneous and somewhat unpredictable designs.
Linda Donoian - She is not only an artist, but the owner of The Discerning Kaleidoscope. Linda has had a passion for art as young as 8 years old. She went for some informal art lessons with a neighborhood friend on Monday evenings and enjoyed every moment of it. At that time, she created art using pastels with subject matter that was likeable to a young child, such as animals and children. When the instructor advised her to enter the Woodstock Art Fair, she was excited to participate. Linda remembers going with her dad and entered two pastel pieces, one of a baby tiger and the other of a puppy with a rose in its mouth (she still has both of them to this day). She was beyond surprised and thrilled when another father with a young daughter came by and offered to purchase the dog. Linda thought she was just showing her pieces and had no idea that someone might want to actually buy them. She politely declined; she wasn’t ready to part with any of her early masterpieces at that time. Linda did land up winning an honorable mention purple ribbon which she cherished.
While her activity in creating art ebbed and flowed based on other responsibilities such as school, family, and work as an educator, she never lost her excitement for making and admiring art. As she got older and had some more available time, she went for more informal lessons and painted with acrylics and watercolors. Linda even opened a brick and mortar store about 10 years ago very similar to TDK. While it was quite popular and had over 55 local artists represented, the overhead was too expensive and she had to close shop. However, she never lost sight of her vision and dream and launched her online art store, The Discerning Kaleidoscope, in October of 2020. While she is very busy with the business, she is trying to make a concerted effort to carve out some time each week to work on her own art.
Victor Gartner - Almost forty years ago when living in Northern Maine, Victor began exploring art and creativity through watercolor painting and photography. After moving to Massachusetts, watercolor became his primary creative outlet and was an active member of the Greater Gardner League of Artists. Victor did his first scratch board etching seven years ago. From that time, most of Victor’s artwork has been scratch boards of people, buildings and science fiction themes. Although scratch board etchings are very time consuming, often requiring over 100 hours per board, Victor finds this work to be most gratifying. His work has won several awards at local art centers. He is currently a member of the International Society of Scratch Board Artists, The North Port Art Center, and the Visual Art Center of Punta Gorda, Florida.
Leonard A. Haug - From his earliest years growing up in rural Illinois, he has had an interest in art, nature, and history. Leonard earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from North Central College in Naperville, Illinois with a major in fine arts and biology. A post graduate degree in business was subsequently added. His career with United Airlines, the Xerox Corporation, Digital Equipment, and United Technologies have given him and his wife, Carole, an opportunity to travel, live, and work in many parts of the world.
Following Leonard's retirement in 2007, he opened his studio in Princeton, Massachusetts and have focused ever since on his lifelong interests. He is a member of multiple area art associations, including the Princeton Arts Society. He has exhibited widely throughout New England and his work has won numerous awards and recognitions in local, regional, and national exhibits and competitions.
While Leonard works in all media, he particularly enjoys constructing "painting" of cut paper. His creations of paper mosaic and collage combine impressionism and realism. He especially enjoys creating pieces that convey a sense of joy and happiness.
Vanette Johnson - She has been a quilter for about twelve years now. She took one class which taught her some of the basics of quilting. Van also read many reference books which helped her take her quilting to the next level. The colors and patterns are endless, which makes it so exciting for Van. She is constantly learning new techniques. For Van, quilting is a great outlet for creativity, and whether it's a wedding quilt or a baby quilt, she knows that they will be cherished and used for many years to come. Van feels her quilting is a wonderful way to make the world a little more colorful.
Betsy Josephson - Betsy sewed her very first quilt by hand when she was in the 6th grade. She was taught by both her mother and her grandmother. Alongside her four sisters, they listened and followed along intently. It was a Dresden Plate pattern with every color of the rainbow, plus a million more! She was the only one, along with her mother, to finish what she thought was the ugliest quilt in the universe! At the time, while Betsy never wanted to see it again; now it is a very prized possession. Her love of quilting fostered an incredible bond with her mother and grandmother.
Betsy persisted to quilt with both of them even though she ended up picking out more stitches for her grandmother as she sewed her pieces to her housecoat. She continued to share lessons, patterns, books, and inspiration with her mom via telephone calls and mail while they both lived great distances from one another. As years passed, we both returned to share a sewing studio in central Massachusetts where our love for quilting first began with "that quilt" so many years ago.
Heather Krasnov - Heather is a native New Englander and all her life she has had a passion for art. She supposes that has a lot to do with the fact that her mother is an artist and grew up watching the joy she felt while painting in the kitchen (with dinner on the stove).
Heather graduated from West Boylston High School in Massachusetts, then Westfield State University with a BA in Art and Elementary Education. That led to a thirty-five year career as a public school art teacher and a Master's in Art Education from Assumption University.
She has always been interested in recycling materials into art, whether it was for a classroom project with my middle school students or for me personally. She has used agate stones and sea glass from the beach. Heather loves creating something beautiful from "whatever," be it a piece of jewelry, wearable art, or a sculpture for the yard. Her work has been showcased in multiple venues throughout New England and in Florida, where she spends the winter. Various boutiques and independent shops have carried my designs. She has been selected to participate in fashion shows, juried art festivals, and art auctions for museums and local charities.
Sherit Levin - Sherit creates wearable art that expresses a woman's uniqueness with elegance by making luxurious, shimmering, devore (burnout) velvet that is hand dyed. The scarves and wraps can be worn with jeans or with a dress for a special occasion. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. The silk in the velvet fabric brings comfort with its softness. The patterns and motifs are inspired by beauty found in nature. The vibrant colors evoke positive moods and their combinations tell a story.
She loves layering brush strokes of color on to a flat white surface. She focused on painting as a student at Rhode Island School of Design and found her true love.
Her passion for accessories comes from the jewelry and scarves she would find in markets in Israel when visiting extended family, She would bring some back to Boston and choose a piece that matches her T-shirt to proudly wear to school.
As a young artist, she moved to San Francisco and found making and selling crafts at Bay Area street fairs to be a very fun way to earn money to pay rent. With lovingly made, colorful accessories, Sherit can add a small amount of positive energy to the world. And a sense of peace can be felt in patterns found in the untouched natural world.
Diane Lyons - She and educator who is also a textile artist who lives in Holden, Massachusetts. Since Diane was a child, she has enjoyed creating unique embroidered and hand sewn gifts. Inspired by the birth of her children, Finn and Isabella, Diane created her Finbella label, which features classic children's clothing and accessories. Diane is also the technical editor for the Madrid- based clothing designer, Liesl Gibson.
MugBuddyCookies - Märgen Soliman's company is focused on inspiring whimsy and sharing fun with all with all who enjoy one of their cookies. Established in June 2015 in the founder’s hometown of Biddeford, Maine, MugBuddyCookies is a socially responsible company based on a culture of empowerment and creative freedom. It is their mission to brighten the day and bring a smile to all who enjoy beverages in mugs, one handcrafted cookie at a time.
Märgen has always had a passion for creative endeavors, from singing and acting to decorating Ukranian Eggs every spring. During the winter of 2013, Märgen designed some personalized Mug Buddy miniature houses with the hopes of surprising friends and family with such an original, handcrafted gift. The delight these cookies brought to her loved ones inspired Märgen to start MugBuddyCookies, so that she could share Mug Buddys with so many more.
Outside of cookies, Märgen also loves the great outdoors, cycling, and performing on the stage.
Jane and Heather Rodman - These artists are the mother and daughter team behind H & J Creations. They started scrapbooking about 20 years ago and as time went one, they had quite a collection of paper remnants so they started making "scrap" cards. As time passed, they found themselves making more cards and doing less scrapbooking. The cards they make are designed and created in a basement craft room that also houses Jane's sewing machine along with an extensive collection of fabric just waiting to be made into her next quilt. Jane also knits so the craft room includes quite a collection of yarn. Heather brings her eye for color and design to all of their creations. Their work is inspired by the people and things that they love.
Jayne Sarkisian - She has been an art enthusiast her entire life, enjoying painting and drawing landscape, nature, and still life. She pursued her talent by completing two degrees in Fine Arts at Leicester Jr. College and The Worcester Art Museum. Jayne's love of art was put on the back burner to raise her children, to work in the insurance industry, and to obtain a Bachelor's Degree in Education. In 2014, Jayne returned to painting and started a part-time paint and sip business, "Wine Down Paint Up." She teaches acrylic painting and crafts to small private groups and to large groups raising money for charities such as Toys for Tots, PMC, Making Strides, Brady's Mission, Pawfect Life Rescue, North Brookfield Senior Class, and Cystic Fibrosis. With an early retirement in Jayne's near future, she plans to work full time at fine-tuning her painting skills, expanding her paint and sip business, and selling her artwork.
Vanesa Simmarano - Born and raised in Worcester, Massachusetts, Vanesa’s photography can best be described in three words: Simple. Urban. Elegant. Beginning with just a spark of curiosity to capture beautiful places and moments, her journey began on a simple Polaroid camera that grew to become one of her greatest passions. From portraits of nature to servicing local businesses with marketing and product imagery, Vanesa has shot a wide-range of genre. Some of the most common photography requests have been child and family portraiture, model portfolio development, brand maximization, corporate imagery, product photography and wedding/event photography. Vanesa is pleased to join The Discerning Kaleidoscope showcasing prints for the home or office. When not shooting, Vanesa is also a local Special Education Teacher.
Matthew Sivazlian - He is an artist and musician from Worcester, MA. Matt has been an art hobbyist his whole life and has experimented with different mediums. Recently, he has developed a passion for woodworking, with the goal of inevitably creating musical instruments. Woodworking, for him, has become a relaxing (usually) and educational creative outlet. He likes to use a mixture of modern and rustic elements to create unique, functional pieces. Matt has a BA in Film Scoring from Berklee College of Music.
Zeina Skaff Kahhale - She has been a committed artist for over 16 years. Ceramics, painting, encaustic, and stained glass are some of her passions to name a few. With a Bachelor in Arts (a major in Interior Design and minor in Graphic Design), Zeina is interested in the process and the exploration of the medium. "The more I experiment with color, the more I admire its powers..." Zeina's fascination with color and its impact on our psyche, is reflected in her work. She believes that art has a healing power as it taps into our unconscious being.
As a member of the Newton Art Association, Zeina participates in exhibits and private showings in the Greater Boston Area.
Joe K. Smith - Joe is a Massachusetts artist who is best known for his scratchboard works featuring trees and forests. His art connects his lifelong enjoyment of drawing with his career as a forester and conservationist. He began producing scratchboards in 2010, and they immediately earned rave reviews and awards. Joe is a member of the Copley Society of Art, The International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA), the Gardner Area League of Artists, and the Rockport Art Association and Museum. Joe's work is mostly drawn from the varied landscapes of his beloved New England home. His finely detailed work captures the unique character and spirit of the wild places that exist all around us, but just out of sight.
Jeff Valois - Jeff is a photographer, marketing brand strategy manager, dad, husband, and cancer survivor. He lives in West Boylston, MA with his wife and son. Photography has been an important part of his life since college, where he learned his way around a camera the old-fashioned way: developing film in a darkroom.
Since then, he's worked personally and professionally on photography projects ranging from brand and corporate to portraits and weddings and everything in between. His favorite place to shoot is Fenway Park. Its history, charm, and character make for endless opportunities.
Jeff's favorite camera is always the one he has with him, whether it's his iPhone, Nikon, or drone.
Vartus Varadian - Vartus is a graphic designer and art director by education who turned to Chinese Brush Painting as a means of meditation, and inspiration after her sudden diagnosis and subsequent treatments for cancer in 2009. A reoccurrence and lifesaving bone marrow transplant in 2010 has given her a new future and a lesson in the fragilities of life. This year marks 10 years since her transplant.
Vartus has worked for numerous advertising agencies and design studios in the Boston area. Her accomplishments in her field were celebrated with local, regional, and national awards and accolades. Her career offered many challenges, but nothing compared to the battle of fighting cancer.
Mark Waitkus - Mark remembers having a true passion for painting when he was only seven years old. Equally passionate about sports and nostalgia, he gathers inspiration from historic stadiums, legendary teams, and memorable moments in sports.
Mark's expressive brush strokes and use of color bring his watercolors to life, providing a feeling of being a part of the nostalgia he recreates. He skillfully uses each and every stroke to present rich color and detail. His work has earned accolades with numerous clients including Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, LA Dodgers, the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame, the New England Sports Museum, and The Jimmy Fund.