Meet Our Artists
Colleen Hanly is an artist from the Shoreline area of Connecticut. Her love of painting, drawing and all things art have been a large part of her life ever since she was a little girl. Colleen pursued this love of art in college by taking foundational drawing and painting courses in order to fulfill her minor in Studio Art. Additionally, during her college years,Colleen was able to study abroad in Florence, Italy at the Accademia Italiana focusing her course work in fashion design and pattern making. For the past five years, Colleen has been with Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp where her work has been focused in the Arts and Crafts program area. In her personal time, Colleen practices yoga and creates her own art. She especially enjoys pottery and candle making.
Dina Marie Pratt is a pet artist inspired by the passion she has for animals. She has been drawing and painting since she was a child and is a full time artist with over twenty five years painting experience. She is passionate about her art and all animals. Dina illustrated a children's book and is currently illustrating her own whimsical book of Labrador Retrievers inspired by her beloved dog 'Mario. Dina leads pet portrait classes and paint parties where she shares her talent with others and helps people find their creativity. Dina is self taught and encourages others to develop their own style and make their paintings unique if they desire. Dina also enjoys painting nautical seascapes and wildlife.
When she isn't painting Dina enjoys listening to music and spending time with her dog Corri, and her friends and family. Dina volunteers her time and some proceeds to animal rescues and other charities.
Erin Nichols is a well-rounded artist from Philadelphia with a big heart and a good sense of humor. A designer, creative entrepreneur, avid tabletop game enthusiast and lover of cartoons. She enjoys bold colors, and brush strokes in her paintings that make interesting patterns and visual illusions. Outgoing and friendly, she looks forward to meeting new friends, and sharing new experiences
Jody Lynn is a multimedia artist, specializing in watercolor and acrylic. She has studied with masters in watercolor, oils, acrylics, and pastels. Jody has been teaching art and floral design locally for over twenty years and her open, approachable style is appreciated by adults and children alike. Although Jody has studied the methods of Marc Massaro, Lou Bonamarte, and Tom Lynch, among others, she has developed her own techniques and has mastered them through her joy of teaching.
Jody is a native of Old Saybrook and lifelong resident of the Connecticut shoreline. Growing up on the Connecticut River, Jody considers herself a "river rat", one of the children who habitually played and explored along the river's edge. Her home and studio are now at Weeping Cherry Farm & Studio in Killingworth.
Katie Freeman is an artist of many mediums. She is currently an assistant to a master glassblower in Mystic, Connecticut, and is working to expand on her own glassblowing skills. She is consistently working on knitting, soap making, painting and a large variety of other artistic ventures.
Katie grew up in East Lyme, Connecticut, which gave her a solid foundation and love for all things art. She graduated from SCSU with a Bachelors in Art Education, but could not give up the irresistible pull of studio arts. Katie is extremely passionate and energetic. She enjoys looking for sea glass while walking on the beach, relaxing at home, and creating art.
Mary Jo Helchowski has known she wanted to be an artist since preschool. Everything she’s done has served as an inspiration for her and her work. She created bug and fairy houses as a toddler, was awarded best artist in the school as a 5th grader, and continued her passion all the way up through high school.
Helchowski’s dreams have been consistent across her life. She is currently working towards a BFA in illustration at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, a college of the University of New Haven, where she continues working towards her dream of publishing a children’s book. She also loves teaching others, children and adults, and hopes to spread joy through art.
Helchowski lives with her family in Essex CT.
Mo Myra is a Connecticut artist inspired by landscapes and portraiture. Her work has been displayed nationally, and in many different group exhibitions. In addition to shows, her paintings can be found in many private collections as well as viewed by the public through her public art commissions. She is a graduate of the Hartford Art School, who is currently working full time as an illustrator.
Rose LaFleur is best known for intricate line work incorporated with moving color. Her works vary from realism to abstract and combine many mediums: ink, colored pencil, graphite, acrylic, oil, watercolor, pastels, spray paint and glass.
The atmosphere of beaches, forests and fields resonate in the movement of her art. She finds inspiration in anything ranging from the ordinary, to the deepest parts of her memory. Marc Chagall said it best, “If I create from the heart, nearly everything works: if from the head, almost nothing.”