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 Lesha Colthart

Lesha learned the art of Pysanky as a child from her Ukrainian parents who emigrated to the U.S. after WWII. Her father made her first kistka (stylus) and her mother made natural dyes from onion skins and beets. She learned how to create more intricate Pysanky using the bolder colors of aniline dyes later on in Ukrainian Youth Groups in CT. Over the years, she has enjoyed sharing the art of Pysanky with teens and adults in various areas of the U.S. and in Germany. She began working with acrylics while learning Tole and Decorative painting in Washington State and in Germany she learned Scherenschnitte (papercutting).  Lesha has many interests in creative arts, such as Woodburning, Copperpunch, Needlework and Sewing. Music, Art and Arts and Crafts have been her passion throughout her childhood, college and beyond. Her music teaching career began in N.H. in 1975 and through the years she has shared her musical and artistic skills with students and adults. In continuing to create in the arts, but this time musically, she began to write original children's musicals at Rumson Country Day school in New Jersey and continued composing children’s musicals and songs during her time as music specialist at the Hollis Upper Elementary School. In her recent retirement as a music educator, she continues to try new creative ideas and techniques in the arts and enjoys sharing and teaching her skills with others.

photo Cindy Dahlstrom

Cindy has been sewing since she she was 7 and sat by her grandmother's side and asked to use her sewing machine. Graduating from U Mass with a degree in Fashion Merchandising she went on to a great career in the fashion industry. Cindy has designed for Talbots, New Balance, Adidas and The Limited. Most of all Cindy loves to sew! She is eager to share her life long love with her students through some of the many projects she has been collecting for years.

  Kate Pritchard

Kate is originally from Buffalo, NY, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education K-12, with a concentration in art history.  She is a professional artist, art teacher and mother.  Working primarily in watercolor, she likes exploring various styles, at times painting traditional landscapes or figure drawings, and other times taking a more illustrative and playful approach.  She especially enjoys creating small, intimate paintings that transport the viewer into a moment, giving them a storybook-like feeling of witness.  She loves working with kids and adults, helping them discover their own artistic confidence, as well as the fun in creativity. Kate has had her work showcased in various regional shows and exhibitions in both NY and MA, and she previously taught and organized numerous art classes for both adults and children of all ages for The Fitchburg Art Museum.  Kate currently lives in Nashua, NH, with her husband, two children and their dog, Darla.

photo Tamara Gonda

I call myself a colorist. Color is the life of my paintings. The work flows between watercolor, encaustic/coldwax and acrylics touching on many temperaments.   The one thing they all have in common is the vitality of color. I use to mainly produce Color Field and Abstract Expressionist works. They changed into what I call my Lyrical-Abstracts.  A series of richly colored paintings with a defined subject matter of landscapes, or dreams of landscapes.   The painting surface embrace rhythmic brush strokes, rich color, that build a contemporary landscape.


photo Carol Glenn

Carol has worked with children in a variety of capacities: as a first grade and preschool teacher, a camp counselor, teaching for an after school program and a Camp Fire-cub scout leader.She graduated from the University of Maine with a BS in Elementary Education.She also took many art history-appreciation classes. She was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel for three months in Europe and meet her Naval Officer husband in many ports. She visited many museums and was able to see and appreciate the many art treasures of Europe.
Carol also took graduate classes at Ohio State University that emphasized the importance of teachers facilitating childrens learning thru hands on activities. She likes to create projects with art, science and cooking with a focus on critical thinking and creativity.

photo Julie LeMire
photo Ellen Kotelly

Ellen holds a Post-Bacc Graduate Teaching Certificate from Mass College of Art. Her teaching experience spans pre-k through adult. She has taught art in various venues including both public and private schools, the Minnesota Museum of Art, summer camps, and more. She currently teaches in the OLSW Homeschool CO-OP which serves Nashua and surrounding communities. She has volunteered as an artist/painter on numerous set designs in her community and church and formerly chaired the Reflections Arts and Achievement Program in the Hollis Elementary Schools. Ellen loves to design inspiring curriculum and encourage her students to grow as artists!  She finds inspiration for her own art through nature and the world around her. Ellen and her husband have five children and reside in Hollis.

  Kathy Grossman
photo Michelle Landry

Michelle is a life long artist who has been painting and creating as long as she can remember.   After years of teaching and working in corporate positions, Michelle decided to open Creative Cottage, a small studio in Merrimack NH.   Combining art with her love of nature and miniatures, Michelle specializes in polymer clay sculpture that is used in terrariums, teacup gardens, container gardens and under glass.  She has created several lines of garden accessories that are designed to inspire adults and children to create miniature garden spaces that will spark their imagination and help them connect with nature and each other.   Michelle has a degree in Communications and Art and most recently was selected as New Hampshire’s American Small Business Champion by the SCORE Foundation.  She is an active member of the Craftworker’s Guild in Bedford.

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 Nancy Magnus

Nancy is a practicing artist and art educator with nearly 20 years of teaching experience.  As a lover of art since childhood, she studied drawing and painting at Skidmore College graduating with a BS in Studio Art and Art History followed by a Master’s of Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art.  Nancy first started teaching photography and fine arts at Blair Academy in New Jersey and then continued after graduate school at the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia..  After 10 years of teaching in the US, Nancy moved to South Africa and taught art to primary and middle school aged students at the American International School of Johannesburg incorporating components of local culture and art into the curriculum like printmaking and graffiti.  She continued teaching primary school students after relocating to Dakar, Senegal in West Africa at the International School of Dakar and expanded her classroom inspiration to include Senegalese traditional arts of painting on glass and tie-dye & batik.  Following 7 years in Africa, Nancy now lives in El Salvador with her family and is expanding her work as a free-lance photographer.  Nancy enjoys working with children, watching them evolve as creative artists, and providing them a range of art experiences and opportunities.  She links art concepts and projects to things that are real, personal and important to her students.  Nancy can’t wait to see how the Wild Salamander students express themselves in art!

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 Marie Fidrych

Marie studied interior design at Wentworth Institute of Technology graduating in 2006 and earned a Masters of Art in Teaching from Tufts University in 2013. Currently she teaches middle school art in Lowell, MA and still freelances as an interior designer and illustrator. Her passion in the arts include ceramics, art and technology and graphic design. She is always seeking out new ways to create and ways to share her passions with others.

photo Sarah Mattern

Sarah Mattern trained as an artist and designer with degrees from Franklin and Marshall College,  the Boston Architectural Center, and the New England School of Art and Design. Her love of learning has extended to the teaching realm where she now loves to share her knowledge with all ages. Her two sons eagerly await the annual birthday planning season, where she loves to use her creative talents to plan elaborate birthday parties filled with games, decorations and crafts to match a theme. Her work includes photography, watercolor, and collage and is all inspired by nature. She loves to explore bold color combinations in her interiors and collage and will chat about color with anyone who will listen.

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 Susanna Ries

Susanna Ries has been creating original stained glass for over 25 years. Her passion for glass began when she took classes at Renaissance Glassworks in Nashua, N.H. in 1990.  She is an active member of the Mont Vernon Artisans in her home town Mont Vernon.  She is also a juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.  Her work is showcased in the League store in Concord NH.  Susanna teaches workshops at the League store in Meredith NH.  All of her designs are done by hand and she gets most of her ideas from the beautiful nature that surrounds her everywhere.  Susanna likes to put colors together in a harmonious way.  

Susanna’s background in in Fine Art – she received her Bachelor of Art Degree from Colby-Saywer College in New London NH.  
Currently Susanna works as a floral designer. 

photo Gifford Scanlon

Gifford is currently a professional graphic artist with 17 years experience at Gex inc. in Atkinson NH. Prior to working at Gex he was a set designer for the Nashua Theater Guild and a cartoon art instructor at Larain's Art Store in Plaistow NH. He earned his Associates degree in Commercial Art at Norther Essex Community College and is currently working toward his Bachelor's degree in Education. Teaching the fun and imaginative style of comic art is something Gif makes entertaining and informative for all who are interested.

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!

  Sarah Barrow & Anna Birch

See individual bios above

  Renee Moloney and KC Morgan