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.

Dita Carley


Carley has many works in private collections across the country. While in the Northwest, Carley studied under Jacob Lawrence, known for his paintings of African-American culture, most notable, “The Migration Series.” Carley studied with Wolf Kahn, who is known for his brightly colored landscapes. Carley alternates between the whimsical and the serious, looking for connections between visual art, the written word and music. Her materials range from elegant handmade papers to altered book pages, to everyday scraps found and collected.

In Seattle, Carley led workshops at the Children’s Hospital and Medical Center on the Psychiatric Ward for non-diagnostic therapy. Carley also taught art for fifteen years at Cold Spring School in New Haven, CT. Carey has been working with the Seedlings Collaborative for the last three years. In addition she has taught workshops and classes at Guilford Art Center, Guilford, CT and at Brookfield Craft Center, Brookfield, CT, as well as in her private studio. Carley recently retired and has returned to working full time as an artist.

Lorraine Chapin

Acrylics/Oil Painting


Southbury resident Lorraine, a UCONN-trained fine artist, has taught and painted for 30 years. Lorraine says “I love to paint—I can’t stop—it’s something I was born with. I try to convey the feeling for my subject, not just record the details—I want my viewers to feel like they are there with me. ” Lorraine is an artist/member of the Board of Directors at the Fine Line Art Gallery in Woodbury and has won numerous awards in shows throughout the Northeast.

Robert Crawford


Robert Crawford is an illustrator and fine artist living in the beautiful northwest hills of Connecticut. He works in his own unique style which he says influenced by magic realism and the regionalism of post World War Two artists like Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. Robert points to some highlights in his career having most recently won first place in The Artist’s Magazine All Media competition as well as being a finalist in Southwest Art’s Artistic Excellence Competition. His work for Bank of America featured a gigantic mural on three sides of a building facing the Kennedy Expressway where upwards of a half million people a day passed by the work.

As an illustrator he has been on the cover of major magazines such as Fortune, Business Week, The Atlantic and U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek and Rolling Stone. Hi illustration work is represented by his New York agents Lindgren and Smith. He recently finished his fifth children’s book, illustrating the poems of the great American poet Carl Sandburg. Robert is also pleased to include two LL Bean Christmas covers in his portfolio. He has also shown in galleries in Florida, Litchfield County, New York City and as far away as Germany and Japan.

Robert was chosen by the German car maker, Volkswagen, to do six paintings for a book which celebrated Volkswagen’s 50th anniversary.

His work has won numerous awards from the Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Graphis and Print. His paintings have been included in many group shows. He participated in the United Nation’s sponsored show on the environment in New York City. That painting was featured on CBS’s Sunday morning with Charles Osgood. Robert Crawford has also been included in the latest SOI show on the environment, “ Fragile Earth”.

When Robert Crawford is not painting he can be found riding his bicycle around Connecticut.

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


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

Chuck Fleischman


Chuck has been an avid serious photographer since the mid 1970’s, starting with his own darkroom. As a member of the Milford Camera Club in Milford, CT he began learning how to control his cameras, composition, darkroom techniques and how to present his work. Chuck took his first Photoshop Elements course in 2002 and it opened a new world. All of a sudden he became empowered and created images that he could never create before. He became an instructor, teaching Photoshop Elements and Photoshop for the adult education program in Milford. Later he was president of the Milford Camera Club. Presently, Chuck is Vice President of Education at the Camera Club of Oxford Greens where he developed and taught “Lightroom for Beginners” to members of the Camera Club of Oxford Greens. Chuck’s work is eclectic and he draws inspiration from the work of his peers, iconic photos from the masters of photography and masters of painting. The light falling on the village elder reminded him of a Rembrandt painting. He is also an admirer of Winslow Homer, Asher Durand, Thomas Eakins, Edward Hopper and many others. Chuck has won many awards for his work at the Milford Arts Center, Pomperaug Woods Connecticut Seniors Juried Art Show, Connecticut Association of Photographers and others. A former registered professional engineer Chuck holds advanced degrees in Business Administration and in Computer Science. He resides with Norma, his wife of nearly 55 years at the Village of Oxford Greens.

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.

Jean Hansen

Theorem Painting

Jean Hansen, CT native and nationally known Decorative Arts and Theorem Designer and teacher, instructs her students in the “The Fine Art of Theorem Painting”. This technique is an advanced form of stenciling that dates back to the early 1800s and was traditionally done with oil paint on cotton velveteen or watercolor on paper. Jean has dedicated her career to keeping the art of Theorem painting alive.

Erik C Hanson

Play Writing
Erik Christian Hanson earned his MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was the recipient of an “Outstanding Writing For The Screen” certificate from the Goldberg Department. In addition, he was a finalist for Nantucket Film Festival’s Screenwriters Colony. His work has been published by Smith & Kraus and Applause Books in 5 play anthologies. More than 30 of his plays have been developed and produced in Alaska, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and
Virginia. They include: PROPERTY OF AFRICA (Boston Theater Marathon), SAME ONLY DIFFERENT (Great Plains Theatre Conference), POLISH THE TURD (Last Frontier Theatre Conference), CELEBRATION (Selection, William Inge New Play Lab), THE JANE AUSTEN EXPRESSWAY (MadLab Theatre), and BLUE LAGOONIN’ IT (Selection, Midwest Dramatists Center Conference). He has been a finalist for Lark
Playwrights’ Week, EST’s Marathon of One-Act Plays and the Sewanee Writers’ Conference; he has been a semifinalist for the O’Neill Conference, Theater Masters’ National MFA Playwrights Festival, Theatre 503’s Playwriting Award, and Fresh Ground
Pepper’s BRB Retreat. As an educator, Hanson has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses in Academic Writing, Effective Speaking, and Screenwriting at Sacred Heart University.

Lynne Henriquez

Creative 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 York and Connecticut for over 15 years.



Pat Keegan

Jewelry Design


Pat Keegan founded Celtic Pathways Studio in Bethlehem where she creates in many media, particularly painting, drawing and fine art photography. She is also a jewelry designer, whose work is available at The Jewelry Cafe Artist Co-operative in Woodbury, CT. A retired art teacher, Pat has received numerous national and state awards for her innovative teaching. she taught art at Shepaug Valley High School (Bridgewater, Roxbury, Washington) for thirty five years. Pat firmly believes that everyone is an artist : they need a supportive environment and specific strategies to find their inner voice and express their creativity. Through her approach, students of all ages enjoy success and learn to see the world in a new way.

” Creativity is contagious…pass it on.” Pablo Picasso

Betty Ann MedeirosWatercolor/Oils

Watercolor/Oils/Academic Drawing

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/Open Studio

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.

Grace Scharr McEnaney


Award winning Connecticut artist Grace Scharr McEnaney works exclusively in water media and has exhibited her work at the National Arts Club, The Salmagundi Club, N.Y., The Slater Museum and various other creative venues throughout the metropolitan area. She has received awards from The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Connecticut Watercolor Society, and other regional and national art organizations. An experienced teacher, Grace has the unique ability to simplify complex subjects for her students and to show them how to connect with their unique artistic selves. Painting in her class is a calming and creative experience where her students can’t help but move forward. According to Grace, “We all have an artist inside of us just waiting to emerge – from there it is only a mindset.”

Nancy McMillan


Award winning writer Nancy McMillan is the author of March Farm: Season by Season on a Connecticut Family Farm, published in 2012.  The book was a finalist in both the DaVinci Eye and First Horizon categories of the Eric Hoffer Book Award. Her writing has appeared in Edible Nutmeg, Litchfield County Times, Register Citizen and Republican-American, and online at Fiction Southeast.  She is co-author, with Gretchen Trapp, of the theater piece Clara Schumann: A Passionate Spirit, performed in 2003.  Nancy holds a Masters Degree in Writing from The Graduate Institute, and has studied in the MFA program at Manhattanville College.  See more on her website:

Rita Paradis

Rita Paradis

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.

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.”

Linda West


Linda West is a contemporary representational artist and teacher who specializes in portraiture and still life artwork. In pursuit of a fine art education in New York, she received a Certificate for Fine Art from the National Academy of Design, was a Merit Scholar of The Art Student’s League, studied at Grand Central Academy, and privately at the ateliers of Burton Silverman and Carlos Castano. Additional studies were at SACI in Florence, Italy. The mediums of choice are oil painting and mix media drawings receiving awards in both. Linda’s early art profession began with illustrative work for commercial clients including Young and Rubicam (Channel 13), The Wall Street Journal, Double Day Books, Mercedes Benz, etc. Her portrait clients include the late politician Jack Kemp, Johnson & Johnson family members, doctors, corporate leaders and children. Her work has been exhibited in New York at the Cork Gallery, The Salmagundi Club, the Phyllis Harriman Mason Gallery, in Connecticut at The UConn Stamford Gallery, Hurlbut Gallery, Artwell Gallery, the Behnke Doherty Gallery, and the Cudahy Gallery in Virginia.
In Linda’s journey from art student to illustrator, to portrait artist, to fine arts artist and art teacher, she continues to learn and experience the blessings and joy that creating art and observing from nature have to offer. She teaches classical art skills for a strong technical
foundation with encouragement and guidance toward the student’s creativity. You need both!