Beth Wilbur Van Mierlo is an artist and an educator. She has dedicated her professional and adult life to promoting the importance of art and education. Beth has had the opportunity to work with a variety of community organizations facilitating insightful and productive connections through the arts. Over a decade ago, Beth founded Oak Street Studios, A Young People’s Art Institute, where she serves as director, curriculum developer, and instructor. In the spring of 2013, she co-founded Side x Side. Beth holds a BFA in sculpture and drawing from the University of Southern Maine. She lives with her husband and three children in Portland.
Associate Professor of Art Education at University of Southern Maine, Dr. Hrenko’s current scholarship is within the field of integrated arts and multimodal creative literacies. She uses her position as a teacher educator in the visual arts as a place where several intersections occur; between art and culture, community and school; and interdisciplinary education. She comes from the Midwest, where she worked in public and Native American BIA schools, assisting K–12 teachers as they work to integrate the visual arts and Native cultures across curricula.
Gretchen Berg is a teaching artist/educator with more than 30 years of experience. She is known for her collaborative approach, working with educators and students to integrate theater, dance, visual arts, and classroom curriculum in New England schools, community centers and museums. She received the Maine Alliance for Art Education’s 2007 Bill Bonyun Award for her contribution to the arts in Maine schools. (more…)
Louisa has worked in youth arts and museum education for 12 years. She believes arts education is a vehicle to encourage empathy and social bridging, and to foster deep, interpersonal relationships with each other and the world. She believes each of us have something to teach and something to learn from each other. Louisa holds a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and keeps her fine art practice in her back pocket. She lives in Portland with her husband and two young daughters.
Meghan is an interdisciplinary artist and educator who enjoys working with a wide range of ages and abilities. She is passionate about using the arts as a learning avenue and recently completed a rigorous course in arts integration. Meghan holds masters degrees in counseling/art therapy and fine arts. She is an avid learner and has always been curious about resiliency and adaptability in education. Her breadth of experience supports current best practices in education including social emotional learning. (more…)
Perryn has been an artist and freelance web and graphic designer for over two decades and has a background in software design and development. Since moving to Portland in 2002, she has co-founded an online magazine, MainelyKids.com, and has worked with many of Maine’s leading nonprofits and government organizations while working for Shoestring Agency in various roles including senior web designer, creative consultant, and copy editor. She holds a BFA in painting from Boston University. Perryn enjoys living in downtown Portland with her husband and two children.
Anne earned her BA in Art from the University of Southern Maine and returned to earn her BFA in Art Education with a studio concentration in photography. Anne is a certified K-12 visual arts teacher and received the Art Education Discipline Award from USM for her approach to curriculum and her volunteer work with at-risk youth. Anne’s studio work includes black and white photography, collage, mixed media and clay.
Bronwyn is a painter and educator who has taught in a variety of settings for over 20 years. She has presented workshops to teachers in Maine and nationally on topics related to facilitating creativity in classrooms. In her work with established and aspiring teachers, she seeks to translate theory into practice and inspire teachers to become pedagogical leaders in their schools. She currently teaches in the education department at Bates College.
Joel is a lifelong Mainer who has lived in Portland for 26 years. She received her BA in art from the University of Southern Maine and has worked as an artist and in other self-employed ventures as a landscape gardener, baker, and seat weaver ever since. Photography has been her main creative outlet for the past few years and she is delighted to be able to combine her love for the medium with her work for Side x Side. (more…)
Debra Richardson Smith, Ph.D. is a researcher, educator and artist. Debra’s professional experience in education includes teaching in a variety of contexts from pre-school to graduate school; program, curriculum and assessment design; and research and evaluation. Co-director of the Program Evaluation and Research Group at Endicott College, she leads research and evaluation studies in formal and informal education settings. (more…)