Creative Aging Teaching Artist Roster
Creative Aging Teaching Artist Roster header image

The Maine Arts Commission selected the following artists after conducting an application process with careful review of each applicant. The artists on the roster have demonstrated mastery of an artistic discipline, knowledge and expertise in sequential arts instruction, good communications skills, planning and organizational ability, and an understanding of their target learners.


Anne Alexander—Windham
Lydia Badger—Cape Elizabeth
Karen Brooks—Lewiston
Patricia Cannon—Brunswick
Sandi Cirillo—Searsport
Pam Crawford—Presque Isle
Randy Fein—Camden
Jane Frost—Richmond
Nancy 3. Hoffman—Peaks Island
Cynthia Larock—Lewiston
Deborah Lewis—Bethel
Jane Page-Conway—Bowdoinham
Jeri Pitcher—Readfield
Jo Radner—Lovell
Shirleyanne Ratajczak—Waterville
Denise Rohdin—Waterville
Nancy Salmon—South Freeport
Patricia Schuster—Saco
Martin Steingesser—Portland
Arrah Vanier—Bangor


Anne Alexander

Disciplines: Sculpture
Teaching Philosophy: I am an enthusiastic, friendly and warm person with a good sense of humor. I also enjoy both telling and hearing a good story. I have been an art teacher for over twenty years, teaching in both public and independent schools from ages Kindergarten through college to older adults.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: Negotiable
Fee: Negotiable

26 Main Street
Windham, ME  04062




Lydia Badger

Disciplines: Drawing, Mixed Media, Sculpture, Painting
Teaching Philosophy: Older adults intuitively know the value of perseverance and the joy of accomplishing a challenging project. They already know that the journey is more important than the end result, and the finished project is often so much more than they expected. Creativity and openness to new experiences is so healthy and wonderful.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 2
Geographic Availability: All of Southern Maine
Fee: $50 per hour

18 Highview Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME  04107 



Karen Brooks

Disciplines: Visual Art
Teaching Philosophy: In addition to having a lifelong practice as a visual artist, I have also worked for twenty years as a nurse and this has helped me to understand developmental challenges over the life span. As an artist, I know that art making contributes to ensuring optimal physical and mental health, as well as social engagement.  In my interactions with older adults, I have witnessed how art activities in a social setting can contribute to an individuals’ agency and a sense of mastery.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 20
Geographic Availability: Negotiable
Fee: Negotiable

104 Spring Street
Lewiston, ME  04240 



Patricia Cannon

Disciplines: Collaborative Community Music Making
Teaching Philosophy: My objective is to create a supportive, enlivening community of singers. Because I have facilitated singing with different groups, I am confident in the process of bringing people together in a new way through singing and the gifts this experience can offer to us all. I am sensitive to the developmental tasks of the later years—integration of experience, belonging, new growth, socialization, reflection, strengths and weaknesses—the whole person.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: Negotiable
Fee: Negotiable
Links: Teaching Plan

47 Rossmore Road
Brunswick, ME 04011



Sandi Cirillo

Disciplines: Fiber/Mixed Media, Drawing
Teaching Philosophy: I currently work with adults ages 50 and over in the Senior College program in Belfast, teaching beginner, intermediate and advanced drawing classes, as well as fiber workshops. My most rewarding teaching experience comes when I see older adults come out of their “comfort zone” and take risks in creating their artwork. I love when they think “outside of the box” and I encourage them to do this. That’s one of the many reasons, I love teaching. I want students to take chances and focus on gaining the self-confidence needed to take risks.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 26
Geographic Availability: Midcoast
Fee: $50/hr + travel and materials
Links: www.especially-for-ewe.comTeaching Plan

27 Union Street
Searsport, ME 04974 



Pam Crawford, MSHR

Disciplines: Bookmaking, Mixed Media Art, Fabric Artculpture
Teaching Philosophy: Art occurs when the artist listens to her soul and can move from conceptualization to creation, so it is up to the teacher to create the environment and the opportunity for that to happen. I have taught older adults for many years at the college/university level and more recently at UMPI’s Senior Achieving Greater Education (SAGE) and The Gathering Place in Presque Isle. I have a keen interest in reminding others that creativity is not just for the young, but is literally a life-saver for those who may create their first piece of art well beyond the age of 50.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 43
Geographic Availability: Aroostook Cty./Negotiable
Fee: $50/hr
Links: Teaching Plan

Presque Isle


back to top  


Randy Fein

Disciplines: Two- and Three-dimensional Visual Art including interior and exterior murals, clay and mixed media sculpture, pottery, and clay relief tile murals  
Teaching Philosophy: As a teaching artist, I am enthusiastic about inspiring others to discover their passion for creativity. Each workshop I lead is focused on strengthening confidence of each participant’s creative expression with the goal of bringing enhanced joy and self-worth to every student. I believe that everyone has the “skill” to create art. One just requires the interest and the tools to begin. Workshops can be structured to create permanent collaborative artwork for your facility or focused on creating individual works of art. .

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: All of Maine
Fee: $50/hr

P.O. Box 774
Camden, Maine 04843

 207-763 3433   


Jane Frost

Disciplines: Visual Arts
Teaching Philosophy: offer a six-week series of lessons covering basic drawing skills using line, shape and value. I think everyone learns best in an atmosphere of encouragement, where the emphasis is on the positive. One of my favorite teaching experiences was a project in which I invited several older women from our town to help my second grade students sew simple outfits for dolls and stuffed animals. Everyone gained—the women connected to the youngest members of their community and the children learned that older people have valuable skills, a sense of humor and are eager to help them. My previous teaching experience in the Augusta Adult Education program showed me that older adults need the same encouragement that children do. People of all ages experience most of the same fears and obstacles when learning to draw.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: Within 30 miles of Richmond
Fee: $50/hr., negotiable
Links: Teaching Plan

507 Lincoln Street
Richmond, ME 04357


  back to top  


Nancy 3. Hoffman

Disciplines: Music
Teaching Philosophy: 
I have respect for the experience and knowledge of older adults.  I have taught folk songs and folk dancing for 30 years and have recently begun teaching classes in “How Music is Made” for older students.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 20
Geographic Availability: All of Maine
Fee: Negotiable

53 Brackett Avenue
Peaks Island, ME 04108


  back to top  


Cindy Larock

Disciplines: Traditional dance & music, theater/creative dramatics
Teaching Philosophy: I truly enjoy interacting with older adults and learning from them, especially about their particular cultural traditions. I have devoted a good part of my life to bringing traditional music & dance into nursing homes and senior living centers, performed by youth whenever possible, so that these older citizens can revisit the music and dances from their own youth which they thought was gone forever. Workshops introduce participants to the world of folk dance; instill a sense of pride in heritage among participants; educate participants about ethnic cultures within the local community; provide an opportunity for aerobic exercise in a fun, social context; and engage with youth in a meaningful way.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 45
Geographic Availability: Negotiable
Fee: Negotiable





Deborah Gail Lewis

Disciplines: Painting: watercolor, gouache, acrylic; Sculpture: ceramic, wood, paper 
Teaching Philosophy: I enjoy the stories of people’s lives, the diversity of their viewpoints, and the skills they have accumulated throughout their lives. I have an ongoing watercolor painting class for older adults that I have taught for three years, in which participants have fun, express themselves, and experiment with new techniques. Students also learn new ways to reach out to other people, both in class and beyond. Clay is the medium I use when I visit a sculptor who now resides in a nursing home. And while watercolor and clay provide easy clean-up in a facility environment, I also teach acrylic painting.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 29
Geographic Availability: Flexible
Fee: $50/hr

130 Flat Road
Bethel, ME 04217 



Jane Page-Conway

Disciplines: Photography/Encaustic Wax Painting
Teaching Philosophy: I am an older adult and have immersed my life in art. My adult life has been devoted to the production of art and teaching art to people of all age groups. I think that my current involvement in art may serve as an example/model to participants that their age will not diminish their opportunity to make and appreciate art. Workshops will include production of visual art using one or more personal images selected by the student. The composition of these photographs will be considered and then altered by various techniques and processes (copying/collaging; enlarging/shrinking; drawing/painting/printing; using positive/negative space). Participants will be guided in the use of these processes as well as reviewing the elements and principles of design. 

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 26
Geographic Availability: Within 100 miles of Brunswick
Fee: $35/hr, $90/session minimum; plus travel
Links: janepageconway.comTeaching Plan

13 Wildes Road
Bowdoinham, ME 04008 



Jeri Pitcher

Disciplines: Theater
Teaching Philosophy: It’s time to laugh, explore creativity, and give expression to rich life experiences in an eight-week Creating Theater workshop. Meet and connect with other creative, older adults while honing your acting, voice and movement skills. Participants will work to perform written scenes from published plays.  Participants will also create original scenes and monologues through collective brainstorming, journal writing, and improvisation. 

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 25
Geographic Availability: All of Maine
Fee: $50/hr, plus travel
Links: Teaching Plan

P.O. Box 634

Readfield, ME 04355 


Jo Radner

Disciplines: Storytelling, Oral History

Teaching Philosophy: I’ve worked with, and performed for, all kinds of community groups and senior centers. I offer a series of playful, creative workshops that lead participants to find memories and shape them into stories, to experiment with traditional folktales from around the world, and to discover and enjoy their most comfortable and effective styles of storytelling. My workshops are useful for those who wish to tell stories to general audiences, adults, or children, and also for those who wish to collect personal and family stories and write or record memoirs. I always design a program to suit a particular place and group.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 45
Geographic Availability: Within 55 miles of Lovell
Fee: Negotiable
Links: Teaching Plan, Detailed Profile

P.O. Box 145
Lovell, ME 04051


Shirleyanne Ratajczak

Disciplines: Visual Arts

Teaching Philosophy: Older adults are my peers. I spent over 30 years as the caregiver for my mother, experiencing her many life challenges and changes. I have also worked with older adults in adult education classes and as curator of the Carnegie Gallery at the Waterville Public Library. Workshop participants will learn about their town by sharing personal knowledge of events, journaling life experiences, viewing historic photographs, hearing guest speakers, creating work and installing a gallery exhibit.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 45
Geographic Availability:

8 Colonial Street
Waterville, ME 04901


  back to top  


Denise Rohdin

Disciplines: Ceramics/Mixed Media
Teaching Philosophy: As a full time artist I celebrate merging my independent studio work with teaching collaborations. My certifications in Creative Aging and TimeSlips are often interwoven. I am inspired by my work as a teaching artist at Colby College’s Museum of Art and my work in the Strider Theater Costume Shop. I have a variety of scheduling options to work with your facility’s activity calendar. My versatility and sequential instruction intermixed with intuitive problem solving is key to bringing out the artist in everyone. I offer printmaking, ceramics (hand building & sculpture), sketching, mosaics, beading, collage, acrylics & watercolors, fiber art (sewing & knitting), book making, etc. Inspiring and creating functional and sculptural art brings a visual voice to unspoken experiences. Art helps us make sense of our intricate lives at any stage, and I am humbled to be a part of this experience.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 21
Geographic Availability: Greater Waterville Area
Fee: $50/hr plus travel
Links: Teaching Plan, Work Samples, Website

155 Western Ave.
Waterville, ME 04901 



Nancy Salmon

Disciplines: Dance
Teaching Philosophy: Moving to music, we will explore space (personal and shared), learn proper alignment for safety in movement, develop our movement strengths, identify and modulate challenges, develop trust and community, learn some partnering/weight sharing skills, share and dance our stories. We will learn the elements of dance and choreography, move and be moved, laugh and sweat, create together, grow our confidence and skills, and open our hearts to dance.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 40
Geographic Availability: Within 50 miles of Freeport
Fee: $75/hr, negotiable
Links: Teaching Plan

P.O. Box 178
South Freeport, ME 04032 

207-615 -9737


Patricia Schuster

Disciplines: Pastels, Drawing, Multi-Media
Teaching Philosophy: As a trained art educator and art therapist, I have the experience and training to provide meaningful, exciting opportunities designed to enhance participants’ well-being and enliven the community where they live.  I want to share my skills and love of the arts as a way to enrich the lives of the elderly.

Student-level Preference: Aging Adults, Adults with Mild Dementia, Adults with Disabilities
Years Taught: 30
Geographic Availability: Within approximately 50 miles of Saco
Fee: $75.00 hour, materials fee to be determined

5 Landing Road
Saco, ME  04072 



Martin Steingesser

Disciplines: Poetry
Teaching Philosophy: I hope to inspire and provide sufficient opportunity for participants to be more aware, more conscious, while providing new tools, or new ways to use old ones, to serve that consciousness in expressive ways. Beginning with attention to experience and the senses for creating word images, writing strategies introduced include imaging, montage, simile and metaphor, associative thinking, repetition and variation, and simplicity of style. Participants are encouraged to explore voice in their writing and the pleasures of speaking and hearing poems. 

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 
Geographic Availability: 
All of Maine
Teaching Plan/Work Sample

P.O. Box 7575
Portland, ME 04112-7575 



Arrah Vanier

Discipline: Visual Arts
Teaching Philosophy: I have spent most of my professional life opening people up to themselves and guiding their artistic process. The 10 years I worked with Family Arts provided me with adults, including grandparents, who had never picked up a pencil nor had any previous exposure to the arts. There is a door for everyone to enter into art making. Workshops may be tailored to suit. Areas of expertise include, drawing, painting, printmaking, and other art forms. Work will be based around storytelling and life experiences.

Student-level Preference: Older Adults
Years Taught: 35
Geographic Availability: Bangor/Negotiable
Fee: $50/hr
Links: Teaching PlanWork Samples




Wed, Jan 17 - Sat, Mar 3   Hallowell, ME
Winter Members' Showcase View »
Sat, Jan 27 - Sat, May 19   Lewiston, ME
Museum L-A's Kids as Curators Exhibit View »
Tue, Jan 30 - Tue, May 15   Lewiston, ME
Museum L-A's Kids as Curators Hidden Treasures Exhibit View »

Maine Arts Commission News

New Year Brings a Third Annual Statewide Arts Iditarod View »
Maine Arts Commission Grant Cycle Open January 2 View »
Two Maine Artists to Create State Capitol Installations from historic Copper Dome View »

Press Release

Internship Opportunity View »
Open Call to Artists: Creative Portland Art Gallery View »
Percent For Art: University of Farmington-Deadline April 5, 2018 View »