meet our instructors

"The Teaching Artist is an educator who integrates the creative process into the classroom and the community." – The Association of Teaching Artists

Lisa Joy Adams   Michigan native, Lisa Joy Adams is an award winning independent film actress and instructor of the Downriver Detroit Student Film Consortium. Lisa's film projects have screened in film festivals throughout the world winning awards in New York, Chicago and Detroit.

Lisa Joy Adams

Michigan native, Lisa Joy Adams is an award winning independent film actress and instructor of the Downriver Detroit Student Film Consortium. Lisa's film projects have screened in film festivals throughout the world winning awards in New York, Chicago and Detroit.

Cheryl Alt   Cheryl Alt received her bachelor’s degree in education from Wayne State University in 1976. She has worked as a teacher, a tour guide and a gallery assistant. She taught several summer camp programs at the DCA and has taught after school art classes through Project Achieve and the College for Creative Studies’ Community Art Program.  Primarily a self-taught artist, Cheryl likes to explore many mediums and techniques – most of them non-traditional. Since she tends to “think outside the box”, she prefers such art forms as mixed media painting, collage and assemblage. She also makes jewelry, journals and mosaics. As an incurable “pack-rat”, she tends to incorporate all types of found objects into her artwork. As a ‘friend of the Earth’, she loves to find ways to reuse items that would ordinarily find their way into the waste stream and transform them into useful and/or beautiful things.  She has exhibited her work at several local galleries and has an Etsy shop “Alternative Art” which can be found at  https://www.etsy.com/shop/calt23

Cheryl Alt

Cheryl Alt received her bachelor’s degree in education from Wayne State University in 1976. She has worked as a teacher, a tour guide and a gallery assistant. She taught several summer camp programs at the DCA and has taught after school art classes through Project Achieve and the College for Creative Studies’ Community Art Program.

Primarily a self-taught artist, Cheryl likes to explore many mediums and techniques – most of them non-traditional. Since she tends to “think outside the box”, she prefers such art forms as mixed media painting, collage and assemblage. She also makes jewelry, journals and mosaics. As an incurable “pack-rat”, she tends to incorporate all types of found objects into her artwork. As a ‘friend of the Earth’, she loves to find ways to reuse items that would ordinarily find their way into the waste stream and transform them into useful and/or beautiful things.

She has exhibited her work at several local galleries and has an Etsy shop “Alternative Art” which can be found at https://www.etsy.com/shop/calt23

Stephany Bembnister   Stephany Bembnister is a University of Michigan graduate who has spent the last 8 years as a snow bird traveling back and forth from Michigan to Arizona. She is now back in Michigan year round and is very excited for the opportunity to return to her love of art.  While in Arizona she was a substitute teacher and also taught an upcycle class in the maker space at the local library. She has a love of creativity and an admiration for anything art. She has tried a little bit of everything at some point, but her main focus, as of late, is upcycling. Upcycling is the process of taking something you would normally throw away and making something useful or decorative out of it.  Upcycling is her personal effort to reduce her carbon footprint and do her share to help the environment along with the hope of inspiring and teaching others to do the same, thereby reducing the amount of trash going to our landfills and saving money on art supplies!

Stephany Bembnister

Stephany Bembnister is a University of Michigan graduate who has spent the last 8 years as a snow bird traveling back and forth from Michigan to Arizona. She is now back in Michigan year round and is very excited for the opportunity to return to her love of art.

While in Arizona she was a substitute teacher and also taught an upcycle class in the maker space at the local library. She has a love of creativity and an admiration for anything art. She has tried a little bit of everything at some point, but her main focus, as of late, is upcycling. Upcycling is the process of taking something you would normally throw away and making something useful or decorative out of it.

Upcycling is her personal effort to reduce her carbon footprint and do her share to help the environment along with the hope of inspiring and teaching others to do the same, thereby reducing the amount of trash going to our landfills and saving money on art supplies!

Betty Borza   Teaching for 12 years, Betty is currently an art teacher at Monart for K-12. She is trained and certified in the Monart method. This uniquely designed methodology teaches visual perception and realistic drawing skills on a level never before seen with young children and adults. Betty is also part owner of Art & About, which holds painting classes for small group get-togethers.

Betty Borza

Teaching for 12 years, Betty is currently an art teacher at Monart for K-12. She is trained and certified in the Monart method. This uniquely designed methodology teaches visual perception and realistic drawing skills on a level never before seen with young children and adults. Betty is also part owner of Art & About, which holds painting classes for small group get-togethers.

Erin Crnkovich   Erin Crnkovich is an undergrad student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in graphic design and currently works as the in-house graphic designer for EMU Theater. In addition to her design work, Erin has also written and illustrated several comics books, including the  Superline  series and  Natural 20 . She grew up attending many camps at the DCA and now spends her summers giving back to a new generation of artists.

Erin Crnkovich

Erin Crnkovich is an undergrad student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in graphic design and currently works as the in-house graphic designer for EMU Theater. In addition to her design work, Erin has also written and illustrated several comics books, including the Superline series and Natural 20. She grew up attending many camps at the DCA and now spends her summers giving back to a new generation of artists.

Darryl Froehlich   Darryl Froehlich is primarily a self-taught artist whose work has been influenced by workshops with such mentors as artist/sculptor Heiner Hertling and the late Harrison Collier. Froehlich has also studied the palette of the late American Impressionist painter Frank Vincent DuMond, under the direction of noted Indianapolis fine artist Douglas David.  Froehlich’s artistic philosophy is to concentrate on overall design, thus leaving something to the imagination and forcing viewers to interpret details, making them participants in the painting and enhancing their enjoyment of the finished work. His primary medium is oil and he enjoys both plein air and studio painting.  Froehlich, a Grosse Ile resident for more than 27 years, is a member of the Downriver Council for the Arts, Art Ambiance, Michigan Plein Air Painters, the Glen Arbor (Michigan) Art Association and the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts in Frankfort, Michigan.

Darryl Froehlich

Darryl Froehlich is primarily a self-taught artist whose work has been influenced by workshops with such mentors as artist/sculptor Heiner Hertling and the late Harrison Collier. Froehlich has also studied the palette of the late American Impressionist painter Frank Vincent DuMond, under the direction of noted Indianapolis fine artist Douglas David.

Froehlich’s artistic philosophy is to concentrate on overall design, thus leaving something to the imagination and forcing viewers to interpret details, making them participants in the painting and enhancing their enjoyment of the finished work. His primary medium is oil and he enjoys both plein air and studio painting.

Froehlich, a Grosse Ile resident for more than 27 years, is a member of the Downriver Council for the Arts, Art Ambiance, Michigan Plein Air Painters, the Glen Arbor (Michigan) Art Association and the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts in Frankfort, Michigan.

Elroy Grandy   Elroy Grandy is a multi media artist whose extreme passion is sculpting in clay. In 1974 he discovered working with clay to be very fulfilling, peaceful, almost a place of rest for him, and enjoys sharing the fun experience with interest students. Children learn to make decorative tiles, trivets, animals, spoon rests, clock faces, and other creations in his class. He and his wife Kathy have raised six children in Wyandotte and now are enjoying retirement and their eight grandchildren.  Born in Dearborn, MI, his education came locally from Dearborn High School art classes and Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. He is the owner of Grandy Graphics and is currently operating his ceramics manufacturing facility in Wyandotte, MI. where he has resided for the past 32 years.

Elroy Grandy

Elroy Grandy is a multi media artist whose extreme passion is sculpting in clay. In 1974 he discovered working with clay to be very fulfilling, peaceful, almost a place of rest for him, and enjoys sharing the fun experience with interest students. Children learn to make decorative tiles, trivets, animals, spoon rests, clock faces, and other creations in his class. He and his wife Kathy have raised six children in Wyandotte and now are enjoying retirement and their eight grandchildren.

Born in Dearborn, MI, his education came locally from Dearborn High School art classes and Detroit’s College for Creative Studies. He is the owner of Grandy Graphics and is currently operating his ceramics manufacturing facility in Wyandotte, MI. where he has resided for the past 32 years.

Donna Boisseau Hinson   Donna teaches classes through the DCA for children and adults, including the DCA’s Youth Art classes and the DCA’s Youth Summer Art Camps. Previously Donna was the owner/operator of a gallery and studio on Grosse Ile, and now focuses her paintings on relationships between people, self and the larger society. She is interested in what makes us who we are and how we interact with one another, how the larger world influences us and how we influence the world. Many of her pieces rely on nuanced balance and simplicity, and can be described best as intimate looks at ideas and feelings. View  her art here .

Donna Boisseau Hinson

Donna teaches classes through the DCA for children and adults, including the DCA’s Youth Art classes and the DCA’s Youth Summer Art Camps. Previously Donna was the owner/operator of a gallery and studio on Grosse Ile, and now focuses her paintings on relationships between people, self and the larger society. She is interested in what makes us who we are and how we interact with one another, how the larger world influences us and how we influence the world. Many of her pieces rely on nuanced balance and simplicity, and can be described best as intimate looks at ideas and feelings. View her art here.

Maureen Cassidy Keast   Maureen started her art career with China Painting and watercolor. She also explored the mediums of fused glass, painted glass, precious metal clay, ceramics and sculpture. with mixed media and collage. Her painting is evolving into stopping a moment in time. To depict what is happening in our fast paced world – to record an event or feeling. Exploring visual effects through acrylics has led to mixed media paintings – using mediums (such as molding paste or gels) with collage to tell a story.  She is a part of numerous groups: Downriver Council for the Arts, Acanthus Art Society, Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors and currently serving as President of Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild, and is Public Relations Chairperson for two major art shows; Art Ambience and Fall Festival of the Arts. She believes in the value of encouraging people to follow their love of art. She enjoys promoting the educational Scholarship Fund that Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild offers to graduating seniors pursuing a degree in visual art. Maureen is a working member of a Ferndale Gallery and each month her work is on display at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale. Her work is on the internet lawrencestreetgallery.com and her facebook page.

Maureen Cassidy Keast

Maureen started her art career with China Painting and watercolor. She also explored the mediums of fused glass, painted glass, precious metal clay, ceramics and sculpture. with mixed media and collage. Her painting is evolving into stopping a moment in time. To depict what is happening in our fast paced world – to record an event or feeling. Exploring visual effects through acrylics has led to mixed media paintings – using mediums (such as molding paste or gels) with collage to tell a story.

She is a part of numerous groups: Downriver Council for the Arts, Acanthus Art Society, Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors and currently serving as President of Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild, and is Public Relations Chairperson for two major art shows; Art Ambience and Fall Festival of the Arts. She believes in the value of encouraging people to follow their love of art. She enjoys promoting the educational Scholarship Fund that Downriver Arts & Crafts Guild offers to graduating seniors pursuing a degree in visual art. Maureen is a working member of a Ferndale Gallery and each month her work is on display at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale. Her work is on the internet lawrencestreetgallery.com and her facebook page.

Nancy Knapp   I love the way pastels can be either a drawing or painting medium, and the colors are addicting. It is easy to correct mistakes in pastel and there is no cleanup of brushes or drying of wet canvases, and no solvents. My goal is to capture the light and shadow of a scene, using vibrant color. I want the viewer to experience a little of the wonder of nature, especially scenes of Northern Michigan, an area that I find very inspiring.  I have taken fine art classes at Henry Ford Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University. I enjoy painting workshops and have studied with the late Jerry Powers, Edee Jopich, Mary Fuscaldo, Jim Markle and Marla Baggetta. I am very involved in the Downriver art community and am honored to be the Vice-President of the Downriver Arts and Crafts Guild. My work is shown at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale and Abundant Living Gallery in Wyandotte. My website is  NancyKnapp.weebly.com .

Nancy Knapp

I love the way pastels can be either a drawing or painting medium, and the colors are addicting. It is easy to correct mistakes in pastel and there is no cleanup of brushes or drying of wet canvases, and no solvents. My goal is to capture the light and shadow of a scene, using vibrant color. I want the viewer to experience a little of the wonder of nature, especially scenes of Northern Michigan, an area that I find very inspiring.

I have taken fine art classes at Henry Ford Community College, Wayne County Community College, Wayne State University and Eastern Michigan University. I enjoy painting workshops and have studied with the late Jerry Powers, Edee Jopich, Mary Fuscaldo, Jim Markle and Marla Baggetta. I am very involved in the Downriver art community and am honored to be the Vice-President of the Downriver Arts and Crafts Guild. My work is shown at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale and Abundant Living Gallery in Wyandotte. My website is NancyKnapp.weebly.com.

Diana Ledesma   Diana Ledesma was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio and has been a Downriver resident since 2005. She is a retired Graphic Designer with a passion to share her love of art and design. Her interests include: Digital Photography, Jewelry Making/Design, Acrylic/Watercolor Painting, Scrapbooking, Card Making, Precious Metal Clay and Polymer Clay and looks forward to seeing you in class soon! Diana is excited to be a member of the DCA.

Diana Ledesma

Diana Ledesma was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio and has been a Downriver resident since 2005. She is a retired Graphic Designer with a passion to share her love of art and design. Her interests include: Digital Photography, Jewelry Making/Design, Acrylic/Watercolor Painting, Scrapbooking, Card Making, Precious Metal Clay and Polymer Clay and looks forward to seeing you in class soon! Diana is excited to be a member of the DCA.

Ashley Meunchen   Ashley Meunchen is a College for Creative Studies Alumni who specializes in fine arts, fibers, and art education. When she is not making art, she is at home, doing puzzles, reading, playing hockey, or spending time with her many reptiles.

Ashley Meunchen

Ashley Meunchen is a College for Creative Studies Alumni who specializes in fine arts, fibers, and art education. When she is not making art, she is at home, doing puzzles, reading, playing hockey, or spending time with her many reptiles.

Emily Nghiem   Emily Nghiem is a second year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Before attending medical school, she attended the University of Michigan where she received a degree in History of Art and studied Russian. Though she studies in a science-dominated field, she has always had a love for art, both attending and later instructing at various art programs. In high school she completed a conservatory program in metals and jewelry making, receiving a Gold Key senior portfolio in 2014. Today, she is the vice president of her school's student-run Art in Medicine organization which aims to show students the connection between art and medicine and its importance. Most recently, they have collaborated with the Detroit Institute of Arts and hope to continue bridging the gap between these two fields.

Emily Nghiem

Emily Nghiem is a second year medical student at Wayne State University School of Medicine. Before attending medical school, she attended the University of Michigan where she received a degree in History of Art and studied Russian. Though she studies in a science-dominated field, she has always had a love for art, both attending and later instructing at various art programs. In high school she completed a conservatory program in metals and jewelry making, receiving a Gold Key senior portfolio in 2014. Today, she is the vice president of her school's student-run Art in Medicine organization which aims to show students the connection between art and medicine and its importance. Most recently, they have collaborated with the Detroit Institute of Arts and hope to continue bridging the gap between these two fields.

Trisha Schultz   Trisha is a Downriver resident, mom, and artist, currently attending Eastern College to obtain her degree in K thru 12 art education. For last two years she's been a fine art instructor at a local craft store chain and she's Grumbacher certified in drawing, watercolor, and acrylic.

Trisha Schultz

Trisha is a Downriver resident, mom, and artist, currently attending Eastern College to obtain her degree in K thru 12 art education. For last two years she's been a fine art instructor at a local craft store chain and she's Grumbacher certified in drawing, watercolor, and acrylic.

Chelsea True   Chelsea True is a primarily self taught artist in her twenties. After living in Manchester, New Hampshire for 3 years and working in a fine arts museum, running an arts and music space with friends, and displaying her own work, she moved back to the downriver area in 2017 and began honing in on her artistic skills.  Although she dabbles in multiple mediums, she currently has a main focus on mixed media arts. She completed a semester of early childhood education classes as well as a semester of student teaching kindergarten head start in NH where her main focus with lesson plans were art based.  Chelsea is an active artist and hopes to grow and evolve with the Detroit art scene and has plans for the near future to work on an art history degree. She loves to create art and teach and talk about different kinds of art with everyone, but especially kids and younger creatives.

Chelsea True

Chelsea True is a primarily self taught artist in her twenties. After living in Manchester, New Hampshire for 3 years and working in a fine arts museum, running an arts and music space with friends, and displaying her own work, she moved back to the downriver area in 2017 and began honing in on her artistic skills.

Although she dabbles in multiple mediums, she currently has a main focus on mixed media arts. She completed a semester of early childhood education classes as well as a semester of student teaching kindergarten head start in NH where her main focus with lesson plans were art based.

Chelsea is an active artist and hopes to grow and evolve with the Detroit art scene and has plans for the near future to work on an art history degree. She loves to create art and teach and talk about different kinds of art with everyone, but especially kids and younger creatives.

Adrienne Trupiano   A Wyandotte native, Adrienne Trupiano, earned her degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. From September to June, you can find Adrienne teaching advertising and animation at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Throughout the summer, or during her free time, Adrienne strives to bring more art to the downriver area by teaching children's art classes at the DCA.

Adrienne Trupiano

A Wyandotte native, Adrienne Trupiano, earned her degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design. From September to June, you can find Adrienne teaching advertising and animation at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. Throughout the summer, or during her free time, Adrienne strives to bring more art to the downriver area by teaching children's art classes at the DCA.

Sara Wilkins   Sara, a born and raised Michigan artist with a colorful imagination and an avid DIYer, works full time for a local nonprofit organization. An environmentally conscious artist, she upcycles, repurposes and finds new ways to reduce, reuse & recycle in her work! She is a self taught artist in many aspects. Her hobbies include: sewing, macrame, tye dye, collage & mixed media, jewelry crafts & craft shows. She teaches workshops at the DCA for all ages and skill levels, and recently organized her first successful Urban Gypsy Funk Fair in April of 2018 at the DCA. She has 2 pet bunnies & loves to dance & sing! See  what she does here .

Sara Wilkins

Sara, a born and raised Michigan artist with a colorful imagination and an avid DIYer, works full time for a local nonprofit organization. An environmentally conscious artist, she upcycles, repurposes and finds new ways to reduce, reuse & recycle in her work! She is a self taught artist in many aspects. Her hobbies include: sewing, macrame, tye dye, collage & mixed media, jewelry crafts & craft shows. She teaches workshops at the DCA for all ages and skill levels, and recently organized her first successful Urban Gypsy Funk Fair in April of 2018 at the DCA. She has 2 pet bunnies & loves to dance & sing! See what she does here.

Brittany Wiltsie   A mother of two, cat lady, and self proclaimed hippy; Brittany Wiltsie is a Michigan based artist. With the help of her partner she has created Ferox Liberum, a business centered around their 3D prints and her paintings.  "Almost all of my art is nature based, on occasion focusing on the human form and raw emotion. There is something so pure in the vulnerability of nature and even at times humans when stripped of anything materialistic. I want to make you feel something with my art".  What does Ferox Liberum even mean? Translated from Latin it means; wild and free or the free spirited. Both of which adequately describe Brittany and her art. See her work here:  www.feroxliberum.com

Brittany Wiltsie

A mother of two, cat lady, and self proclaimed hippy; Brittany Wiltsie is a Michigan based artist. With the help of her partner she has created Ferox Liberum, a business centered around their 3D prints and her paintings.

"Almost all of my art is nature based, on occasion focusing on the human form and raw emotion. There is something so pure in the vulnerability of nature and even at times humans when stripped of anything materialistic. I want to make you feel something with my art".

What does Ferox Liberum even mean? Translated from Latin it means; wild and free or the free spirited. Both of which adequately describe Brittany and her art. See her work here: www.feroxliberum.com

Cheryl Zemke   Cheryl Zemke is the creator and Senior Editor for Dedicated Magazine. Graduated fro LTU B.S.B.A, Valedictorian from I.A.D.T. Tampa, FL. with an Associate in Merchandising, and has had an extensive career in various creative fields. Zemke is a Multi Award winning established fashion designer and owner of C. Creations Custom Sewing & Design since 2002. Her garment label,  C3  by Cheryl Zemke, reflects her unique, one-of-a-kind designs, popular in fashion runway, artesian shows, and select boutiques. Besides hosting her own fashion shows for the past six years, she has been a featured designer at Fashion in Detroit, Walk, Michigan Fashion Week, Michigan International Women’s expo, and many other shows in the surrounding area. Zemke has been a teacher for the DCA for the past three years and enjoys bringing both fashion, sewing and the arts to a new generation of artisans.  www.cherylzemke.com

Cheryl Zemke

Cheryl Zemke is the creator and Senior Editor for Dedicated Magazine. Graduated fro LTU B.S.B.A, Valedictorian from I.A.D.T. Tampa, FL. with an Associate in Merchandising, and has had an extensive career in various creative fields. Zemke is a Multi Award winning established fashion designer and owner of C. Creations Custom Sewing & Design since 2002. Her garment label, C3 by Cheryl Zemke, reflects her unique, one-of-a-kind designs, popular in fashion runway, artesian shows, and select boutiques. Besides hosting her own fashion shows for the past six years, she has been a featured designer at Fashion in Detroit, Walk, Michigan Fashion Week, Michigan International Women’s expo, and many other shows in the surrounding area. Zemke has been a teacher for the DCA for the past three years and enjoys bringing both fashion, sewing and the arts to a new generation of artisans. www.cherylzemke.com