The Visual Arts Department encourages creative stimulation and thought while providing an opportunity to experience the joy and satisfaction of creating works of art. A wide variety of visual arts classes and workshops are offered for students of all ages, including pottery, painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, knitting, and more. Individual instruction is available and outreach programming can also be arranged.
Fees and Registration
Payment is expected at the time of registration unless otherwise noted, and can be made by cash, check, or credit card (a $2 service fee will be applied to all payments made by phone). Members receive a discounted rate. Materials fees, model fees, and some other fees are excluded from this discount.
Registration is required. A minimum number of students is needed to hold a class. When necessary, a class start date may be postponed a week or a class may be cancelled 24 hours prior to the starting time. Classes and lessons are open to all, regardless of race, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or national origin.
If a class is cancelled, appropriate refunds will be given. Persons desiring to withdraw from a class, who do so at least 24 hours before the start time of the class, will receive a full refund. If you drop a class after this deadline, but before the second meeting of the class, you will receive a refund for 75% of your tuition. There will be no refunds after the second class meeting
Financial aid is available for eligible students. FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION Rev. 1115 may be downloaded or obtained at the front desk and must be filled out and returned no later than one week prior to the start date of the class.
By registering yourself or your child for a class/workshop/music lesson/or other activity at the arts center, you hereby waive and release all rights and claims for damages you or your child may have against the arts center and its employees. The arts center will not be responsible for injuries suffered by you or your child during classes, workshops, or activities sponsored by the arts center. In addition, you also give the arts center and its employees the right to use your or your child’s image with or without you or your child’s name, for purposes such as advertising, publicity, and public presentations.
Ralph Bacon is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and began work in the ad department of Carlisle’s department stores, which is what brought him to Ashtabula. Over the past four decades he has worked at studios, ad agencies and sign companies creating graphics, logos and illustrations. He now teaches art to middle and high school students at St. John School. Lately he has been doing more sketches, murals, plein air, blacksmithing and wood carving. He volunteers a lot.
(MA, ATR-BC, ATCS, LSW) Heather Denning is the Undergraduate Art Therapy Program instructor at Mercyhurst University as well as an adjunct faculty member at Ursuline College’s Graduate Counseling and Art Therapy Program. She is a board certified and registered art therapist, an art therapy certified supervisor, and a licensed social worker. Heather has presented at statewide, national, and international professional art therapy conferences and has over 25 years of clinical experience working in mental health and addiction treatment of adults, primarily in group settings.
Anzietta DiPierro is currently enjoying studio-time working in assemblage art, metals, glass, clay, and a variety of painting mediums when time allows. She teaches visual arts at Lakeside High School and has taken the slogan, “once a dragon always a dragon” as her high school mascot comes back into play. She is one of the ceramics instructors at the Ashtabula arts center and is developing a ceramics program at LHS. Anzietta utilizes her Masters degree (Walden University,MD) in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment in everyday cross curricular instruction as well as continuing education credits (Dominican University of California) to organize and keep current with a battery of requirements for local/state/federal educational protocols. Her current work is a reflection of a lifetime of learning. She found a love for clay while working toward a BFA (Edinboro University of PA) and earned a BS in education that would be utilized after many years of travel and apprenticing with artisans across the u.s. in many mediums. As an advocate of the arts, she incorporates her daily living, reflective notions, sacred spaces, emotional bonds, and a love of theology and of the earth to project her “self” in a series of “protective Ravens” that show her studies of saints and currently, Hindu goddesses. As a teacher first, it is her belief that a well-rounded student who can create questions, not just answers, will be successful in finding a fulfilling career and be a catalyst for improvements within themselves an ultimately the communities in which they live. Anzietta and business partner, Judy Campbell offer emerging artists an internship at their retail co-op gallery (Bridge Street art works) each year as part of their business plan and real-world development for young artists.
Gillian DiPofi earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts from Lake Erie College in the spring of 2019. She has been involved in the arts throughout her whole life, both in Lake and Ashtabula County. She currently works in the circulation department at the Ashtabula County District Library. While she is a fan of watercolor and photography, her medium of choice is ceramics.
Jim Loomis received a BS in Education and Masters in Education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. He holds PhDs from the Ohio State University and Shelbourne University. Jim has taught for Buckeye Local Schools, the Ohio State University, Kent State University, and the Ohio Department of Education.
Don Miskowich has worked in film, television and computer technology for 30 years. A Clio winner, he has worked on numerous film and TV projects, including such things as national spots for Ford, 7-Up and Zenith, logos for ABC, CBN and Columbia Pictures, and the feature film Star Trek.
Nancy Nelson-Brotz has a BA from California University of Pennsylvania. She has taught at Rabbit Run Community Arts Association as well as art outreach with other local organizations; Madison Public Library, Perry Public Library, Fairport Harbor Public Library and Madison Local Schools. Currently she is the Visual Arts Coordinator for the Ashtabula Arts Center as well as a contributing artist at Stella’s Art Gallery in Mentor. She works in mosaic arts, oil pastels, and needle felting.
Sandy Rill has been an instructor at the Ashtabula Arts Center for more than 40 years. She is currently teaching the Claytivity classes for children and hand-built sculpture or the pit-fire technique for teens and adults. Throughout the years she has offered and taught classes in batik, macrame’, quilting and many mixed media classes for kids, but her passion remains in the ceramics room with her students interested in working with clay.
Mary Robbins Underwood
Mary Robbins was born and raised in Alabama. Mary relocated to Ohio after her marriage in 1986. Her artistic talents were honed in Alabama and encouraged by her aunt and family. After moving to Ohio, she began teaching oil art classes at the former Aruta’s Drugarama in Madison around 1990. After Aruta’s closed in 1997, Mary opened her Liberty Belle Frame Shop. She continued utilizing her skills, branching out to watercolor, acrylics and subsequently pastels while she continued working as a framer. She sold many of her paintings through art shows, art galleries in Chagrin Falls and Sugar Creek, as well as other venues. Mary closed her frame shop in 2018 but continues her art work, creating fashion accessory items, etc. She also teaches art classes privately and at the Ashtabula Arts Center.