Cookie Bell

began her career with The Fred Astaire Dance Studios as a professional instructor and competition dancer across the country. Cookie helped to form the first U.S. Amateur Ballroom Dance Assoc. chapter (now called USA Dance) in Prince William County in the early 90’s. She has continued to teach social dance and special instruction to groups, individuals, children & teens as she develops programs in the area.

Lydia Bratton

has a BA from Marymount University and an Associate Science Degree from Northern Virginia Community College. At both schools she studied Fine Arts, Arts Education, and Graphic Design. She is a mixed media artist and has taught art classes of all student levels at various schools throughout Northern Virginia. In addition to teaching art, Lydia currently teaches GED/HSE classes during the school year for PWC Schools.

She won the 2018 Kathleen Seefeldt Award for Outstanding Art Educator.

Ryan Arias

Ryan Arias is a freelance artist and educator who has received a B.F.A with a minor in Graphic Design. Their interest in art emerged early on through a devoted love for telling stories and drawing. Online, Ryan enjoys sharing their comics and self-written novels. During college, Ryan gained training in K-12 education and interned at their community college’s art museum. Additionally, their experience extends to volunteering in schools as an art teacher’s assistant and freelancing lessons with individuals to provide feedback, critique, and guide them through their own artistic process. Inspired by the act of storytelling, Ryan seeks to create art that tells a story, rather than art that is representative of a story or feeling. Their primary interests are grounded in narrative arts and animation, which offers creative expression through the bonding of language and drawing. While teaching, Ryan hopes to encourage confidence in their students to be inspired by the progress they make when immersing themselves in new experiences and the artistry that already exists within themselves.

Martin Cervantez

enlisted in the Army Signal Corps in July 1986 as an Illustrator. His most prestigious assignment was Artist in Residence at the U.S. Army Center of Military History where he captured the Army’s history through art. He deployed to Afghanistan in support of operation ENDURING FREEDOM 2008 and 2011 where he produced artwork that visually recorded soldiers’ experiences and the Army’s achievements. Two of his oil paintings were featured in the National Constitution Center’s exhibition “Art of the American Soldier” in Philadelphia. Martin also advocates for veterans art programs and has provided instructional support at the USO Ft. Belvoir, Walter Reed Hospital, Warrior Writers from Philadelphia, and Combat Paper New Jersey.

Lee Darter

received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Advertising & Graphic Design from Sam Houston State University and her Masters in Art Education from the University of Houston. Lee holds teaching certificates in Texas and Virginia for all levels of art instruction, and has won numerous honors and grants; most recently Lee received the Northern VA Art Educator of the Year Award in 2014. She currently is Visual Art Teacher in Cedar Point Elementary School instructing K-5th grade students, and is a Certified Zentangle® Instructor.

Deborah Dismuke

graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Illustration and Design. In addition, she has a Multimedia Design Certificate from Northern Virginia Community College. She has worked with the federal government as a longtime CIA officer, and has worked for BAE systems, General Dynamics Information Technology, and Northrop Grumman for 15 years. Deborah is the only CIA employee, the first woman, and the only African American with a painting in the CIA’s Intelligence Art Collection at their headquarters in Langley, VA. She painted pieces depicting images of Cold War and the “Argo” Operation. In addition to her time as a CIA officer, Deborah held positions as a multimedia developer, multimedia and graphic designer, learning technologist, and an instructor.

Shania Duane

has been involved with the ARTfactory for over 15 years performing in numerous Pied Piper Theatre productions while also serving as Director, Choreographer, Stage Manager, Assistant Choreographer, and Assistant Costumer in many others. She has also performed with the Gray Ghost Theatre Company, Riverside Dinner Theatre and the Showcase School of Dance Company.

Kimberly Faulkner

is a board-certified, creative arts therapist, based in Northern Virginia where she currently has a private practice and therapeutic consulting business, BlueMonarch Creative, LLC. She attended both Hampton University, (where she holds a B.A. in Psychology) and Pratt Institute (where she received her Master’s level training in Art Therapy and Creativity Development). She has over 14 years of experience ranging from her work with behavioral health populations, leading therapeutic art groups with all ages to her role as a corporate wellness trainer. Kimberly’s mission is to enhance wellness for individuals and organizations through assessment, consultation, and creative action.

Michele Frantz

has a B.S. in Graphic Design from Appalachian State University, and has taken calligraphy, computer graphics, and watercolor painting courses at Northern Virginia Community College. She was hired to design graphics for the public library system after moving to Virginia. In 1991, Michele formed Arcadia Art Studio, where she divided her time between desktop publishing and painting. Michele has been teaching at the ARTfactory and contributing her work to the walls of Grounds Central Station and Three Monkeys Chophouse in Manassas. Michele is also an active participant in the local arts community, where she served as president of the Prince William Art Society and the Manassas Guild. She is currently the president of p-ART-ners Professional Network, Inc.

Mike Flynn

is a graduate of Loyola College in Montreal, Quebec, and has completed a 28-year career in federal law enforcement. Mike favors Impressionism, but also enjoys the challenge of details and realistic refinement. In recent years, he has explored working in mixed media, combining inks, watercolor, charcoal and gouache. Mike has exhibited his work throughout the area and has been juried into several exhibits in VA and MD. He is a member ArtBeat, Inc., an artists’ cooperative, and p-ART-ners, a local plein air artists group.

Kelly Glyptis

holds an M.M. in Vocal Performance from Indiana University where she performed leading roles. She made her professional debut with the Atlanta Opera and performed with several professional theater companies across the U.S. She trained with the Washington National Opera Institute, Operafestival di Roma, Canadian Operatic Arts Academy, and Charley Creek and IU Opera Workshops. She has won several outstanding actress awards, multiple vocal competitions, and received acclaim in Opera News Magazine. Kelly is a certified Actor/Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors and is an active fight choreographer and consultant.

Alan Golombek

has been dancing socially for over 10 years and competitively for the last 8. He earned his Ballroom Dance Teaching certificate from the National Dance Teachers Association (NDTA) in 2014 and is a member of USA Dance and the National Dance Council of America (NDCA). He currently is Ballroom Dance professor at the Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Alexandria and Annandale campuses, and teaches at the Mount Vernon Country Club. Alan has competed and won at the State and National Level, and is a retired Army officer and senior DoD Civilian.

Carla Jaranson

graduated from JMU with a BS in Art Education. She has taught art to children and adults for over 30 years and retired from teaching elementary art in 2010. In 2000 she earned an MIS Degree in Painting and Computer Art from VCU. She worked as an adjunct professor with GMU in Art Education until 2013. Her study of Chinese brush painting began in 1978 under Pearl Chang and later Roddy McLean, Ming Friedman, Prof I-Hsiung Ju, Betzi Robinson and calligrapher John S. C. Wang. She joined the Sumi-e Society in 1983 and has served as treasurer, exhibition chairman and newsletter editor for the local chapter. Since 1996 she has shared her love of East Asian brush painting by teaching workshops for art teachers in Virginia and web mastering the SSA website. She has served four years as SSA President.

David Johnson

is a recent graduate from George Mason University where he earned his BFA in Theatre. DC area credits include Lettice and Lovage (Quotidian Theatre Company) In Love and Warcraft (No Rules Theatre Company) and Young Playwrights’ Theatre of DC 25th Anniversary Festival. He also appeared on an episode of Evil Kin (Brothers in Hate) on the Investigation Discovery Channel. David is excited to return as a teacher and director with the Center for the Arts where he participated with Pied Piper Theatre for 10 years, performing in several leading roles, including Captain Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

Joe Manning

After spending 40 years as an air traffic controller for the Federal Aviation Administration, Joe Manning knows how to have fun and share his passion for swing dance with newbies and experienced dancers alike. Joe has been Swing Dancing for decades, and teaching professionally for two. Joe has danced, competed and performed as a swing expert in Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC, Virginia, and California, in places like the Kennedy Center, Congressional Country Club, on cruise ships and at Honor Flight events at Dulles and Reagan National Airports. Joe makes swing dance fun and accessible, assuring people that new moves are invented all the time, and the primary point is to enjoy the music, celebrate with dance, and meet new people!

Cheryl Miehl

Cheryl Miehl has received a B.S. Ed. degree in Art Education from Millersville University, an M.I.S. in Art with a concentration in painting and bookmaking, and an M. Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from the University of Virginia. Currently, she operates as the Art Department Chair at Brentsville District High School, as well as the Vice President of the Virginia Art Education Association and is a participant in the School of Art Leaders National Art Education Association. Cheryl is a National Board Certified Teacher who holds 20 years of experience teaching art at the K-12 level. Implementing lessons on the immersion of meditative practices in art serves as a cardinal interest when instructing her young students. Driven by her artistic interests in mixed media painting and bookmaking, she aspires to introduce her students to a variety of creative practices that foster moments of both meditation and rejuvenation in their lives.

Suhail Mir

is an attorney and a professional photographer and videographer. He has been taking photographs for almost 20 years. Suhail was voted the Best Artist of Prince William county 2014-2017, Best Photographer 2017, and Best Events Photographer 2016. He was also nominated for 2017 Kathleen K. Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in the Outstanding Artist category. He has 10 years of experience teaching the art of photography and photo editing software to children and adults. Suhail has won several awards and his work has appeared in full-page ads in the New York Times Magazine, Washingtonian, and other journals.

Natalya Nikitina

has a diverse teaching background in the performing arts, mathematics, physics and language arts. She studied contemporary, modern dance, yoga, meditation and ballet techniques for 10 years in Russia, and has completed two years of performing arts instruction in NYC at the Peridance School and HB Acting Studio. Natalya also has Masters of Education and Bachelors of Education degrees in Mathematics and Physics. Natalya has experience coordinating, developing and teaching performing arts summer camps for children of all ages, with special emphasis on team building and social skill development for economically disadvantaged youth. She has worked as a professional choreographer for musical theatre productions.

Nikki Osborne

is an artist based in the DC metropolitan area but was born and raised in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Nicole received a BFA from East Tennessee State University and an MFA from GW Corcoran School of Arts & Design. She works in multiple traditional and digital media, is a professional graphic designer and commercial artist, and is employed as a full time art instructor with Montgomery County Schools in MD. Nikki has taught art classes, camps and workshops for children in NoVA and DC since 2014. She teaches multimedia classes here at the ARTfactory.

Becca Parsons

is a recent graduate from Columbia College Chicago’s Musical Theatre program. Becca is an actor in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. She has grown up in Pied Piper Theatre, and has directed summer drama camps and taught acting classes for the past 4 years at the ARTfactory. She served as Stage Manager, Lighting Designer, and Assistant Director for Pied Piper Theatre productions since graduating.

Carla Riga

is a meditative artist and the owner of Himapan Gallery Virginia. During her time in Bangkok, Thailand, Carla was introduced to lotus leaf painting through friends and discovered the original Himapan Gallery. She was impressed by the masterpieces created with lotus leaves and the little art experience that was required. Carla brought this unique experience back to Northern Virginia. She views lotus leave painting as a form of meditation through art and continues to import her canvases from the original Himpan Gallery in Thailand for those who are participating in her painting workshops. As an instructor, Carla strives to recreate the harmony and meditative environment of the original Thailand gallery experience for her students.

Jean Seelig

has studied art in many forms since the 1970s. After years of college courses and NOVA classes she decided to concentrate her work on Asian brush painting.  She studied under Ming Friedman and then with Betzi Robinson, Marie Kaneko Shaughnessy, Henry Wu, Liang Wei and others. Jean is a member of the Sumi-e Society of America and has exhibited in several national shows. Her work has been featured annually at the Millwood Show, Bluemont Piedmont Friendship Heights exhibit, and at the V Galleria in Kennett Square, PA. Jean has taught programs in Asian art appreciation and brush drawing for Shenandoah University. As president of the NCAC chapter of the Sumi-e Society, her love of this art form grows and flourishes with others who share the joy of Asian brush painting. Jean is a retired licensed therapist and works to emphasize the meditative and healing potential in the practice of brush painting.

Kristine Shackleford

has been in the dance world for 20 years between dancing and choreographing. She competed with her dance studio and was a member of her high school’s dance team. In 2007, she became a full time choreographer for Blair Dance Studio. Her choreography competed in several states ranging in styles from tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, to hip hop. Kristine has choreographed several PPT shows in the past 5 years.

Amanda Shaw

has worked for Prince William County Schools since 2004. She is originally from Upstate New York. Amanda graduated from Buffalo State College with a bachelor’s degree in Art Education. She also earned a master’s degree from George Mason University in curriculum and instruction. In 2011 Amanda received her National Boards Teacher Certification in elementary art education. In 2018 Amanda was recognized as PWC’s Best Artist. Amanda’s mediums include painting with a focus on both acrylic and watercolors.

Emily Thomson

has a BA in Art from Oneonta State College. She continued her education after graduation at local community college to study figure painting and other painting techniques. She is also certified in Character Animation. Emily has completed commissioned works and showed at various gallery shows in Upstate New York. She is also a published children’s book illustrator and has created all artwork for the final book of the Ragwort Chronicles series The Reunion. Emily’s main medium is oil paint, but she also works with acrylic, ink, watercolor, and gouache. She finds inspiration for her work in animals and nature.

Amy Treat

started out as a dancer with the Arlington Dance Theatre, but has performed with Rooftop Productions, most recently appearing in Murder on the Menu. She has branched out into TV work as well, appearing in many locally produced shows. Amy teaches performing arts classes here at the ARTfactory.

Annaliess Tromatter

is a Manassas based artist. She is fascinated by light, from external sources to bio-luminescence and how it interacts with the world. As a fine artist, she is focused on exploring these relationships between light and dark through charcoal, pastels and colored pencils. Annaliess teaches both art classes and theatre classes here at the ARTfactory. She has been involved with Pied Piper Theatre for several years as Stage and Production manager, costumer and scenic artist. She studied theatre and fine arts at NVCC and graduated spring 2018. 

Josh Vest

teaches several theatre classes at the ARTfactory and has performed in Rooftop Productions’ shows A Christmas Carol and Mafia Murders and their Evening of Comedy showJosh has also appeared in an independent film and web series. 

John Waldron

has been working as an actor, instructor, and director for over 20 years. He received a BFA in Theatre from VCU. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, Classica/Synetic and Murder Upon Request and has directed and taught at numerous theatre camps, workshops and schools. He helped create the Past Time Prime Time Players–sponsored by the ARTfactory–at The Prince William County Senior Center. He can be seen in the movie Talk to Me as well as an episode of Investigative Discovery channel’s Who the Bleep? as a Doo Wop singer.

Dale Walsh

started in tech work many years ago and teaches the “Behind the Scenes” theater technical class plus specialized courses in sound and lights for the ARTfactory. He is the resident sound designer for Pied Piper Theatre and technical lead for Rooftop Productions. He has worked on nearly 50 productions for the ARTfactory. In 2011 he received a Kathleen Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence in recognition of this work. He is also a technical advisor and master carpenter for other local theater groups, and has attended Broadway tech master classes in NYC.