Maralyn Adlin


Education: BFA,Pratt Institute, School of Fine Art, Brooklyn, NY
MS C.W. Post College, Brookville, NY in Art Therapy

Maralyn is a professional painter who loves all mediums, including oil, acrylic and watercolor. She currently teaches a drawing class in pencil and charcoal and is happy to join Arts Escape’s staff teaching a variety of classes in multiple mediums. Painting has been a passion of hers from a young age and she loves to teach people at all levels. She has taught all ages, adults to little children and find both very fulfilling. Maralyn’s goal is to create a stimulating and easy going atmosphere where creativity is open and free to express itself. She feels it’s imperative to enjoy what you are doing!

Her work has been shown  in CT and New York. To view her work go to Maralyn’s  website:

Zufar BikbovHead Shot

Oil Painting/En Plein Air

“Painting en plein air always was very special for Zufar. In every painting he strives to play an ode to the light. Under the moon’s glow or sun’s beam, Zufar finds it an essential tool to express his feelings and thoughts on a blank canvas.

Zufar’s  father was a master of Industrial Landscape. Browsing through albums of his watercolors and from his works, he learned core basics about perspective and air effects. He started to study optics as a science, while geometry was one of his favorite subjects at school. Zufar attended  Art school in Russia during the Second Thaw, when the Cold War was over but traditions of the Soviet Impressionism were still strong. When time came to choose college and a profession, his need to help people led Zufar to a  medical career. After becoming a doctor in Russia, Zufar moved his family to the United States. He was honored to participate in exhibits “Doctors Paint” in State Museum of Fine Arts in Kazan and at Yale Medical School.

In the last 10 years his  En Plein Air painting in United States has brought Zufar to national level competitions, where he has won a number of awards. Among them, Zufar treasures most his Artist Choice awards at Plein Air Easton.  Zufar has number of followers of his art and considers teaching art another significant point of his artistic career.

Zufar’s work is widely present in private collections in United States from New England to California, UK, Spain, and of course in Russia.


Pam Church

Pottery / Ceramics

Pam Church, founder of Clay on Wheels―Creating Joy Through Art, is a ceramic artist and teacher from Watertown, Connecticut. In 2009, Pam was invited to demonstrate making pots on the pottery wheel to a group of seniors in an assisted living setting, and she witnessed the tremendous power of creativity and expression with clay that can bring joy to people of all ages and abilities.

Since that day, Pam has taken her pottery wheel to numerous independent living facilities, assisted living and skilled care facilities across Connecticut. Pam teaches ceramics to people of all ages at the Washington Art Association and leads periodic classes at Heritage Village in Southbury.

Prior to 2009, Pam worked as an electrical engineer for more than 17 years, earned an M.A. in Spiritual Psychology, and supported families as a social worker. She started pursuing her career in art in 2007. Please visit her Web site for more information at



Stephen Collins


Stephen Collins grew up in Cambridge, and received a BA in Literature from UMass Boston. He has been teaching seminars on Whitman, Hardy, Shakespeare, Frost, and Contemporary Poetry at various locations throughout the country. Stephen Collins’ style of teaching has been described as a hybrid between teaching and performance. His current seminars are on Contemporary Poetry, Robert Frost, Thomas Hardy Poetry, Shakespeare, and Walt Whitman. Each course provides an interactive learning experience.

The newest addition to his repertoire is a one man show, Shake-Scene and it has been met with rave reviews. He also works as a professionally licensed tour guide doing narrated historical tours of Boston.

Stephen’s website is


Sal De Fini


Sal De Fini, who has been an avid photographer all his life. He acquired his skill from his father who was (for a time) a wedding photographer in NYC.  Sal has moved from black and white processing in a darkroom to current digital photography.  He is a member of the Oxford Greens Camera Club as well as the Connecticut Association of Photographers (CAP) and the Flanders Nature Center photography club.  He has received numerous awards from both CAP and the New England Camera Club Council.  His work has been seen at local Connecticut fairs and in the pages of Country Life, part of the Republican American.  Sal photographs many different genres, but has an affinity for nature photography.

 Jeffrey Engel
Music Historian

For more than fifteen years, Jeffrey Engel has been giving lectures devoted to music history. His lectures center on a musical personality or theme. The subject is always placed within a cultural and political context to make the audience aware of what was occurring when the composer was at work.

Mr. Engel has an unusual background. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Ithaca College, he moved to Paris where he would reside for fourteen years. There he studied art history at the Sorbonne and earned diplomas in the French language while performing in orchestral and chamber music concerts with his cello. He has played throughout France, playing at the Paris Opera and becoming a member of Concerts Pasdeloup, the second oldest symphony orchestra in the capital city.

Listed are some of Mr. Engel’s courses taught at various colleges and universities in Connecticut and soon at Arts Escape:
The History of Music in Film
Two Hundred Years of American Music: 1800–2000
Music in Victorian London (1837–1901)
Prokofiev and Shostakovich: Titans of 20th Century Russian Music
Copland and Bernstein
Dvorak: The Happy Soul
Music Appreciation
Jeffrey’s website is


Cindy Eastman

Writing Instructor

Cindy Eastman is an award-winning author whose first book, a collection of essays entitled Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts On Aging I Remembered To Write Down was published by She Writes Press in April 2014.  She has taught writing classes to students between the ages of 5 and 85 and is the creator of the “Day of Her Own” women’s writing retreat at Old Platform 6 in Oakville, Conn. She has presented nationally at the Story Circle Network 8thWomen’s Writing Conference in April 2016.

Cindy has a Master’s degree in Education and publishes a parenting blog online from her experience as a family supervisor. Read additional essays at and find her on Facebook at

Kothy Hafersat


Kothy (not Cathy) lives in Oxford, Connecticut. She is a national educator for three sewing machine companies. Singer, Viking and Pfaff. She has a love for Zentangle and has been doing it for a while and decided to become a certified Zentangle instructor.  She has transformed what she knew in Zentangling to free motion quilting. Kothy loves the entire process of how Zentangle works and she loves to teach and has been for over 35 years. This is just a new addition to what she loves to do. Kothy also co-owns and runs a pattern company that produces quilt and sewing patterns and is a professional digitizer for the 6D embroidery software company which is sold to use with today’s embroidery sewing machines. In her company (Simply Everything) they also produce training software for the embroidery company.

Lynne Henriquez

Craft / Cards

Lynne Henriquez is a former middle school English teacher who “loves to make things!” Lynne enjoys crafts of all kinds, but especially those made with paper or fabric. She loves to reuse, recycle, and reinvent materials giving them new life. Her work includes greeting cards, pins, and fabric bags for varied uses. Currently, her work is on view and for sale at the Silo in New Milford, Connecticut.

Lynne’s professional career spanned 25 years of teaching English both in the United States and the Dominican Republic. She is “nearly” fluent in Spanish. Upon retirement, she completed the CT Master & Advanced Master Gardener programs through UCONN. She is an avid gardener and Friend of the Brookfield Garden Club. She is the former Volunteer Coordinator for Ann’s Place―The Home of I CAN in Danbury and a founder, fund-raiser and former secretary of the Latino Scholarship Fund located in Danbury as well. Lynne is also a member of her church choir and Women’s Guild.

Lynne holds a B.A. in English/Education from Merrimack College and an M.S. in Curriculum from WCSU. She hopes to share her love of “making things” with Arts Escape members!

Dr. Alfred Hunt

Historian/Lecturer – History & CultureAlfred Hunt cropped

Alfred Hunt, Professor Emeritus, SUNY, College at Purchase, is the author of Works on Slavery and Southern History.  Twice a Fulbright Scholar, and an on-camera host for an award-winning cable show, he has been giving lectures in New England for over 20 years.



Shawnalee Kwashnak

Graphite, Charcoals, Watercolor, Oils, Pen & Ink

Award winning New England artist, ShawnaLee Kwashnak, loves animals, a warm cup of coffee, and bringing joy to others by creating Portraits of pets and people in Pencils, Charcoals, or Oils.  She strives to capture the essence of her subjects in every work. ShawnaLee has been instructing art for over 26 years and is a current board member of the CT Society of Portrait Artists. She has served as Youth Art Director and program developer for the Ridgefield Guild of Artists, and taught at many venues such as Watermark at East Hill as well as privately. She is a Cum Laude graduate from Western Connecticut State University with a BA in Studio Art and Graphic design/Illustration.

She supports animal welfare and has been featured on Pound Posse Presents and Pet Talk TV programs. ShawnaLee has been invited back to expand the Greeting Room Mural she created in 2011 at the Danbury Animal Welfare Society this summer and samples of her work can be seen at Whiskers Rescue in Southbury.

ShawnaLee is looking forward to demonstrating the art of portraiture at the upcoming Arts in the Garden Gala in August in support of Arts Escape.  The Southbury Portrait Festival to be held in October at AE will also feature her work.

She is a mother of three, leader of two active Girl Scout Troops and shares her studio space with 5 cats, a turtle, and if horses could come inside, the horse too!

Betty Ann MedeirosWatercolor/Oils


Betty Ann Medeiros is a Connecticut artist who has worked as a successful illustrator, fine artist, art teacher, and Apple computer workshop instructor.  Betty Ann specializes in watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting in a colorful realistic and impressionistic style. She graduated with a Bachelors degree in Graphic Design and a Masters of Fine Arts from Western Connecticut State University. She has shown in galleries and shows in Connecticut, sold to private and institutional collectors, and has also been published in books and magazines. Betty Ann has a passion for teaching and loves to see confidence grow in her students. Her work can be seen at

Linda Marino linda-marino

Acrylics/Paint Parties

Linda studied business at Western New England University, and received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. However, Linda continued to pursue her love for creating art by signing up for as many art electives as she could. Enough to create a portfolio by her senior year to study aboard with Syracuse University in Florence, Italy. The year was 1986, a time, a place and an experience that altered the course of her life forever. From that point on creating ART would play a big part of her life.

For the next 10 years Linda continued to weave together both her love for creating art with a business mindset to forge a career in the marketing, advertising and graphic design world. Linda’s business, Image Express worked with both local and nationally known clients such as the Screen Actors Guild of New York, CRN International and  Masonic Charity Foundation.

Currently Linda paints mostly in oil but she likes to explore with pastels, watercolor and charcoal. Her subjects vary from coffee cups to florals, landscapes, seascapes, backyard pools to puppies, chickens and cows. Diversity keeps her perspective fresh and ideas flowing. Linda has taught at the New Britain Museum of American Art, Artsplace in Cheshire and now Arts Escape.

Robin MacCahillRobin McCahill


Robin has been making things ever since she can remember. Her work is available at select shops and art centers or by contacting her directly. She also designs and builds props and puppets for performers as well as performing herself. She creates wearable art and home decor. Robin has been teaching Art Felting for over 15 years at Librarians, Colleges, Churches, Art Centers, Senior Centers and many other places in Connecticut. Most of Robin’s work is sculptural in nature. Her favorite medium is wool. Felting has been an intriguing force that turned to passion and has enabled Robin to explore two and three dimensional aspects of its qualities. Though not solely a fiber artist you will find her work to have textural qualities that often refer to fiber textures or embody them.


Nancy McMillan


Nancy McMillan is the award-winning author of March Farm: Season by Season on a Connecticut Family Farm which chronicles, through essays, photos, and recipes, the life of a working four-generation farm in Bethlehem, Connecticut.
Nancy’s essays celebrating Connecticut farm life have been published in Edible Nutmeg and Litchfield County Times.  Her music and theatre reviews have appeared in the Register Citizen and Republican-American.  She is co-author with Gretchen Trapp of the theatre piece “Clara Schumann – A Passionate Spirit,” in which she performed in 2003.
Nancy holds a Masters Degree in Writing and Oral Tradition from The Graduate Institute and has studied in the MFA program at Manhattanville College. She is currently at work on a novel.  Visit her blog at

Rita ParadisRita

Colored Pencil/Alla Prima

Rita is a versatile artist, working in four mediums: oil, colored pencil, pastel, and acrylic. Her work is joyful, colorful, whimsical and fun. She studied English Literature at Concordia University in Montreal Quebec and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA. Rita then went on to study Printmaking at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and graduated with a BFA. The summer after she graduated she spent an awesome summer in Florence, Italy as a teaching assistant in printmaking at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence. Rita has been creating paintings for several years. She is a signature member of The Colored Pencil Society of America and of the Connecticut Pastel Society. She has won many awards on local and national levels and two awards in CPSA’s International Exhibitions

Jan Peterson

Floral Designjan

Jan is a freelance florist and garden designer, specializing in wedding styling.  For the past 14 years, she owned and operated Stewart Flowers and Gifts in Wilton, CT, a boutique florist and gift shop, geared toward the garden enthusiast.  She taught floral design courses for Wilton Continuing Education as well as seminars to seniors at The Greens, a senior living community, and various women’s and youth groups.  She was an active member of the Wilton Garden Club and the Chamber of Commerce.  Most recently she was the lead designer and wedding stylist for Rodier Flowers, in Ridgefield, CT.  Her work has been featured in Brides Connecticut.

Prior to discovering the floral industry, she had a 20 year corporate career developing products and businesses for various companies, including The Swiss Colony, Highlights for Children, Doubleday and Cendant.  She has a B.A. in Government from Simmons College and a Masters in Direct Marketing from Northwestern University.

You can see her work at and

John TuohyJT


Guitarist John Tuohy has performed with many groups across multiple styles and genres in his 15 years of being a professional musician. He is equally at home writing progressive rock riffs or playing over jazz standards, and is an in-demand sideman in the New Haven area.
John graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Connecticut State University with a degree in Jazz Performance in 2005. His work as a private guitar instructor and business owner for 13 years has given him unique insight into overcoming hurdles and challenges that come into play as a student learning how to play an instrument. John has also done session work for various artists and companies, and has also had musical equipment related feature articles done on him by, as well as judging the “King of the Blues” contest at Guitar Center multiple times.

He currently gives guitar and ukulele lessons at the Southbury Music Studio, as well as privately

 Priscilla Watson                                       priscilla

Drawing & Design/Artist in Residence 

Priscilla Watson received a BFA degree in Painting and Art Education from the Rhode Island School of Design and devoted over thirty years teaching the Fine Arts in Connecticut.

“To appreciate and critique a work of art, it is necessary to be familiar with the Elements and Principles of Design and the Theories of Art.  Design forms a foundation for our personal creativity, opinion and formation of critical analysis of natural and man-made form.  Exceptional examples of design are found in nature.  This design is ordered, unpredictable and invites curiosity and is never disappointing or ordinary.”