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Diane Brown

Mixed Media

Diane Brown is an award-winning mixed media artist specializing in oil & cold Wax. She exhibits in the New England area, Oregon, and in NYC.

She is an Elected Artist at the Mystic Museum of Art, an Artist Member of The Artist Cooperative Gallery of Westerly. She is a member of Maple and Main Gallery, the New Haven Paint & Clay Club, the Newport Museum of Art, the Art League of New Britain, South County Art Association, The Allied Artists of America, an Associate Member of the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Center, Essex Art Association, The Salmagundi Club, and Lyme Art Association.

She has been commissioned by The Rose Project in Bethesda, Maryland as well as at Eastern Connecticut State University and has produced private commissions in Georgia, Florida, and 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

Sandie Daignault

Colored Pencil

Sandie has had a passion for art and art education since college. After retiring in 2011 from a 35-year corporate career, she began teaching art education in Loveland, Colorado to middle school students in after-school programs. She was a substitute teacher there for two years from 2012 – 2013.

In 2013 she came back to CT and began volunteering in the ASAP (After School Arts Program) in Washington, participating and assisting teachers in Region 12 primary school. She became involved with Washington Arts Association, volunteering at art shows and events.

Sandie began taking art classes through WAA, Silvermine Art Center, Rowayton Arts Center, Brookfield Craft Center and several other adult education programs across New Haven and Litchfield Counties. Most recently she has been with Arts Escape since 2018 taking classes in Colored Pencil and Pastel with Rita Paradis, Watercolor with Betty Ann Medieros, Acrylic with Anda Styler and Souby Boski.

Her art has been awarded prizes during the Threads member juried shows at Arts Escape in 2019 and 2020 and several pieces were published in the 2019 Fresh Ink annual journal of Naugatuck Community College. Her work has been shown at WAA and at the 275th celebration event at Averill Farm in Washington, CT.

She has self-published two books of her poetry and artwork, Poetry Expression I and II.

Sandie has two works in acrylic accepted into the 2021 Ridgefield Guild of Artists 44th annual juried show.

Kothy Hafersat

Zentangle/Silk Painting/Quilting/Crafts

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

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 & Culture

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.

William McCarthy

Oil Artist

William McCarthy is a nationally known oil artist with works in public and private collections.He shows regularly on the East Coast and has been featured in American Artist Magazine. For several years he has been teaching workshops in Rowayton, Hartford, Savannah, Vero Beach, and Farnese, Italy.

Nancy McMillan


Nancy McMillan of Bethlehem is the award-winning author of March Farm: Season by Season on a Connecticut Family Farm ( She holds a graduate degree in writing from The Graduate Institute and one in music from Lesley University, where she studied historical women composers. She also studied in the MFA program at Manhattanville College. Her essay “For the Love of Linen” appeared in the 2020 Connecticut Literary Anthology and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her essays and articles have appeared in Connecticut newspapers and magazines, and online at Fiction Southeast and The Sunlight Press. She is the Director of the Writing and Literature Program at Arts Escape. In her writing classes, she helps students embrace and inhabit their innate creativity. Find more at where she blogs about pies, writing, music, and connection.

John Munno


John Munno is a multi-talented and faceted full time professional photographer who makes his living by creating beauty through his photography.  John studied photography professional through the New York Institute of Photography.  His career started out as a Fine Art Nature and Landscape Photographer specializing in photo healing art for healing and medical environments.  He has permanent displays in UCONN, and Yale Greenwich Hospitals as well as many medical facilities throughout Connecticut.  He has a line of Connecticut greeting cards, calendars, dvds and books and his work has been featured on many magazine covers of Seasons Magazine.  His Nature photography focuses on the beauty of Connecticut and brings a sense of peace wonder and appreciation for Connecticut’s wild and scenic lands.  In addition to his nature and landscape and commercial photography, John is a full time wedding photographer shooting over 30 weddings a years and merging is landscape photography skills with his wedding experience to bring captivating, evocative images capturing the moments and telling the story of the wedding day.    He worked as a professional photo editor and has over 10 years’ experience as a professional photographer.

His love and enthusiasm for photography and teaching has helped many to go on to become accomplished photographers.

View his Nature and Landscape work at

Views his Wedding photography work at

Anda Styler

Acrylic Painting

Anda lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and began painting in acrylics when she was 16. From there she also went on to discover oil painting. Acrylics, however remain her favorite medium, which she has worked in for over 45 years. She attended Parson School of Design and graduated in 1983 with her bachelors degree. She has had many accomplishments in the art world, including, interviews with both local and national publications, such as American Art Collector (article published in June 2007), Who’s Who in America, Country Garden Magazine, Victoria Magazine, Art Speak Magazine NY, numerous awards and recognition for work as a painter. Her paintings and techniques are published in two books by North Light Publications. Her works are currently represented by several galleries in and around New England and to her credit she has had many one woman shows with great success. In July of 2007 she created 4 large paintings that are part of a permanent collection purchase by Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Her work is the cover art of the 2010 Old Farmers Almanac Engagement Calendar. Her work also appeared in the NY Times in December 2011 and again in 2015. In 2015 the new book by North Light Books – “Captivating Color” features her work. She has had several one-person gallery shows with great success, participating once again in testing new products form Chroma paints. Anda teaches in Rowayton, and now has moved her studio painting classes to the Art & Frame Gallery in Newtown, in addition she teaches workshops focused on the power of using light and shadow in the landscape with a limited color pallet.

Tina Tocco

Writing for Children and YA

Tina Tocco is a longtime member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where she has taught children’s writing and won multiple awards. Tina’s work has appeared in Highlights, Highlights High Five, Cricket, AppleSeeds, Humpty Dumpty, Turtle Magazine for Preschool Kids, Pockets, and other children’s publications. She is the author of the children’s poetry collection The Hungry Snowman and Other Poems (Kelsay Books, 2019). Tina’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have also been published in various literary journals and anthologies, such as New Ohio Review, Crab Creek Review, Potomac Review, River Styx, Sou’wester, and Best Small Fictions 2019. A Pushcart Prize nominee, Tina earned her MFA in creative writing from Manhattanville College, where she was editor-in-chief of Inkwell, the college’s national literary journal.

John Tuohy

Music Lecture

Guitarist John Tuohy, based out of Fairfield County, Connecticut and a music lecturer focusing on the artists and their lives along with live performances. John lectures and demonstrations to a diverse group of audiences on many topics pertaining to the development of musical artists and styles from the first half of the 20th century. He currently is the in-house “Music Lecturer” at Riverwalk Assisted Living in the Bronx, NY.

John has performed with many groups across multiple styles and genres over the past 20 years.  Winner of “Best Band in Connecticut,” at the 2016 New England Music Awards, the progressive rock band, Mile Marker Zero has been his main group for over 10 years.

John graduated Magna Cum Laude from Western Connecticut State University with a degree in Jazz Performance, and his work as a private guitar instructor and business owner for 20 years has given him unique insight into overcoming hurdles and challenges that come into play as a serious student of any instrument.

John has also contributed session work for various artists and companies as well as having the honor of being featured by and judging the “King of the Blues” contest at Guitar Center.

Priscilla Watson

Teen Art Classes

Priscilla Watson has been teaching for Arts Escape since 2015. She received her BFA in Painting and Art Education from Rhode Island School of Design and taught in the Connecticut public school system for over thirty-four years. She studied Adolescent Psychology and Photography at Southern Connecticut State University during her teaching career. Priscilla has a gift for working with teenagers and special needs students. She also teaches many private students for Arts Escape. Giving her students the freedom to develop their own skills and styles gives her great joy. She feels it is her job to support and guide her students on their personal creative journey.

Priscilla is a working abstract artist who has won many awards for her work.

Agnes Wnuk


Agnes Wnuk is a Connecticut native who has been studying various art mediums for the past 8 years. She sketches daily, primarily using pen and ink and watercolor, among other media. Agnes travels extensively throughout the state and further afield with her sketchbook in hand capturing people, places and events around her, taking part in the Urban Sketching phenomenon. She participates with local plein air painting groups and the New Haven urban sketching group at their local events. She is also an avid photographer and painter in pastels, watercolor and oils, for which she has won several prizes at local exhibitions. Currently employed at Yale University Library, she previously worked in textile conservation, with previous museum work experience at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Wadsworth Athenaeum.

“Arts Escape – where creativity and
learning promote well-being.

Marilyn Wald
"The teachers are encouraging, not judgemental. They always find the good in you – they hold up the mirror to you like a good friend, so you see the good. It’s the journey not the appearance of perfection that’s important."