Wild Salamander Creative Arts Center



photo Sarah Barrow

Sarah has a BFA from Alfred University. She’s worked with at risk populations and Hospital arts programs and has experience working with kids of all ages. She has run community arts programs and enjoys seeing the joy people find when making art! She loves learning and listening to people’s stories, meeting them where they’re at and helping to nurture their own creative process. She enjoys using mixed media and transforming  the ordinary into something meaningful and beautiful.

photo Rachel Benson

Rachel Benson is a fiber artist working primarily with needle felting, watercolor and other media to create whimsical images of nature, both realistic and abstract.  Art has always been a dominant focus in Rachel’s life and from an early age it became clear that she would make it her career.  Rachel studied Fine Arts and Technical Theater in college and is currently a freelance artist, art teacher and props master.  She shares her love of art through teaching, freelancing in theaters, commissions, along with selling her work at craft fairs and galleries.  She is currently represented by Fruitlands Museum Store; Handworks Gallery, Artists Corner, and Periwinkle Glassworks.  Rachel is a member of the Princeton Arts Society and participates regularly in open and juried exhibitions in the Boston area.  She has been teaching art for the last 5 years in many venues including, Maker Farm in Westford, Colorfull in Acton, Periwinkle Glassworks in Acton , Camp Med-O-Lark in Maine, along with workshops at the Groton Public Library. She is passionate about creating and encouraging students to experiment, play, invent, and focus on the journey of art making rather than the final outcome.

photo Anna Birch

Anna has been teaching at Wild Salamander since its inception in 2012, working with both youth and adults in classes and workshops. In her own artwork, Anna enjoys working in a variety of mediums, including printing, painting, photography, book arts, mixed media & fiber arts. She has worked with teenagers, children & adults in many settings over the years, from outdoor adventure programs to pre-schools to homeschooling groups, conducting art and creativity workshops incorporating bookbinding, art-journals/creative writing, jewelry-making, printing and collage art. She lives in Hollis with her husband, oil painter Christopher Volpe, and their son Max.

photo Beth Butler

Beth Butler has a passion for learning, creating, and teaching.  Formally trained as a teacher in science and math, Beth has always enjoyed making things in her spare time.  She has taught all ages including a home-school cooperative preschool, high school and college, and currently teaches at NCC as an adjunct faculty in mathematics.  She likes to make clothes, papercraft, needle felt, fused glass and doodles, and is always trying new workshops including blacksmithing and woodworking. She does a lot of face painting and balloon twisting as her alter-ego Jamboree the Clown.  She loves children, being silly, getting messy and creating things.  Beth enjoys challenging younger students to work with materials beyond paper, paint, and crayons, encouraging them to explore new mediums.

photo Cindy Dahlstrom

CiCindy has been sewing since she was 7 and sat by her grandmother and asked to use her sewing machine.  Graduating from U Mass with a BS in Fashion Merchandising she went on to a great career in the fashion industry.  Cindy has been a Technical Designer for apparel for Saucony, Talbots, Reebok, New Balance, Adidas and The Limited.  Recently she was an Adjunct Professor for a Textiles 210 class for Lasell University.  She is eager to share her life long love of sewing and fabrics with her students through some of the many projects she has created over the years.

photo Sharon Spivak

  Sharon's says that her creative passion was born into her soul and "yearned" to manifest itself in her younger years as she worked as Registered Nurse while raising 2 sons with her husband, Jerry.  There was not a lot of “spare art time.”  In 1998, Sharon left nursing to attend Hebrew College where she earned a degree in Jewish Studies and began working as a Jewish Educator for grade 3 through Adults. She studied art informally, taking courses at the Museum of Fine Art, Boston and working with Kaizen-Muze Creativity Coach, Laura Hegfield. Sharon’s creative passion took root and began to grow.
   Currently, Sharon works part-time at Temple Beth Abraham as a Jewish Educator for  grades 2-3 and grades 4-6.  Additionally, Sharon is a Certified Soul Collage Facilitator running workshops for children, teens and adults.  She also taught at the South Nashua Michael's store where she was their Certified Paper Artist through Spotted Canary.  While living in North Carolina, Sharon was invited to be a vender in an indoor Art Marketplace, Sandalwood Shops where she sold her art.  She also formed a “Knitting Circle” that gathered weekly to work mostly on Knitting, Crochet and Needle Work projects enjoying dedicated time to work, gather the wisdom of others and socialize out of the home.  
  Today, Sharon's Creative Soul no longer "tries to squeeze into her schedule" - it takes center stage manifesting itself in her new 300 sq. ft. Art Studio.  She works in a variety of mediums: Fiber art specializing in needle-felting, Paper art including Quilling, Card making, Stamping and Embossing with “State of the Art” equipment including her newest “toy”, the Cricut Joy!  She has been repeatedly commissioned to create custom 3-D hangable art and unique Mixed Media pieces such as Art Boxes - repurposing found items in nature. Sharon is an experienced Zentangle artist, and published writer. She loves working with children because - "...their sense of AWE breathes life into every art project they create!  They teach me everyday to see the simple beauty in this moment ... And to embrace it.  I love working with adults as well, especially during this time because, we NEED to focus our thoughts and energy into something that allows us to feel JOY.  Or at LEAST “Get Away” for an hour or two.”  I look forward to meeting you soon.�� sharon spivak


photo Marta Magnus

Marta studied art at Connecticut College and then earned a Master’s in Education from Lesley University. She has been creating art with young people since college through after-school programs, international teaching, and public school education. She is inspired by nature and enjoys working with many different media from pencil to printmaking ink to watercolor paint. While she enjoys making art on her own, she really prefers to teach and make art with others. She loves the experience of sharing an interesting technique to students and seeing their delight in trying it out, finding it deeply rewarding to help students accomplish more artistically than they think they can

photo Linda Malone

Linda Malone is a lifelong artist and has been a teacher for over 34 years. She received her BA in Art Studio from SUNY Postsdam and received her MEd from Lesley University in Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum. She has recently retired from a gratifying career as an art teacher for the Tewksbury Public Schools. She is passionate about painting and sharing her love of the arts and has a desire to to teach people to paint and experience the joy of painting. She has been painting since a young adult and has continued studying art and taking courses and workshops throughout her life. She has studied and taught color theory extensively. She is a landscape artist who also greatly enjoys painting wildlife and people. She has displayed her paintings in numerous exhibits, including the Fitchburg Art Museum's Regional Art Show, The Worcester Art Museum Student Art Show , and the Concord, Leominster, Newburyport and North Shore Art Associations. "I want to capture moments of happiness and joy in nature and share this creative enthusiasm with others."

photo Renee Moloney

Renee is a certified yoga instructor and seasoned preschool teacher at the Chapel School in Nashua. She is a former public school elementary guidance counselor and has over 30 years of experience working with young children. Renee’s interest in yoga started about 17 years ago after the birth of her first son, and she began taking yoga after reading about its benefits for the body, mind and spirit. After many years of classes and two more children she decided to take a leap and apply for a teacher training program. She received her 200 hour teacher training at Kripalu and went on to teach classes and eventually co-own Hollis Yoga. She decided to integrate yoga with her love of teaching children and developed a curriculum that she has been teaching at Chapel School in Nashua for many years. Here at Wild Salamander she will share with students how to use yoga to relax, energize, and tap into their creativity.

  K.C. Morgan

The road to Wild Salamander has been long and winding.  A BA in theater management led to wonderful years traveling between theaters in Chicago, Cleveland and New England.  Along that road she met Charlie and eventually decided to make Hollis their home.  Completiing an MEd in Creative Arts in Special Education from Lesley University she went on to teach Kindergarten at Sunrise Children's Center in Amherst and Creative Arts in Education courses for Lesley.  Her love for the arts and desire to make it part of everyone's life has led to the creation of Wild Salamander.   Their three children, Nora, Cat and Miles are off and about into the world but, love to stop in and say hello when they are home.

photo Denyse Walker

Denyse has been creating art for as long as she can remember.  She really came into her artist self in high school where she had a very special Art teacher who inspired and supported her.  Denyse discovered a deep healing through art, and found that she wanted to be a person who provided that container for someone else to grow and heal and bring beauty to the world.  She received her BFA in Education from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  Denyse enjoys working with many mediums, her favorite being acrylic paint.  She loves sharing the versatility of this medium with her students including painting, printmaking, and crafts. She greatly enjoys bookmaking as well, designing and crafting books from their paste paper beginnings to their gorgeous hand-stitched endings.  Denyse believes that art is all about the process, not the product.  She loves helping her students play and create with materials, whether its creating a sculpture out of nylon hose or creating a 3-D book out of paper, she always has something fun planned!

  K.C. Morgan and Carol Glenn
  Christie Vailhura
  Marta Magnus & Anna Birch


  Rachel Benson & Beth Butler

See individual artist bios.