Teacher Artists


Iman Zafar, Reporter

Double Walled Collection

“I’ve always loved making things, when I was little I played a lot with legos because I liked to build. As I grew older, I took a lot of classes in art and loved it. I have always loved the ways in which different materials are used to build structures. I am inspired by how things grow and change, and I’m interested in breaking things down into the most simple forms. I create forms out of hand built and wheel thrown porcelain. I make a lot of planters because I spend a lot of time thinking about the structure of plants. I run my own business. I have a studio in Easthampton where I work everyday starting at noon. I sell my work online at Carataylor.com. In addition, approximately 20 stores around the country sell my work as well.” – Cara Taylor, BFA in Ceramics, University of Delaware. Masters in Art Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst


“When I was four, I fell in love with art. Actually, I fell in love with the materials. I fell in love with the idea of making something from nothing. While experimenting with careers is a part of growing up, I never really lost the love of the sounds, smells, feel, and look of art and its related materials. When you fall in love with the materials, it’s hard to devote yourself to just one. Luckily I learned my favorite media is truly my students. I ADORE teaching because I ADORE learning with and from new people. In 20 years those people have been 4-year-olds in summer programs, middle school students building parade floats, high school students exploring creative college options, college students considering teaching, and the esteemed WSPS art faculty. Students, people willing to learn, are expressive, challenging, hilarious, dedicated, and thoughtful no matter who or where they are. I share what I know and they turn that into their own expressions. They create new ideas, symbols, and meaning everyday.” – Anne Charron, Westfield State College, BA Art Education. UMass Amherst, MA Art Education


“When I was a freshman in high school, I decided that art was my path. It was the most fun part of my days in high school. 20 years later, that is still true! I am inspired by animals, humor and excitement! If my work doesn’t make kids smile, I feel like I am doing it wrong. I am a customer and a sculptor. I’m a mixed media artist. I make costumes for live performances and some photography work. Check it out! My work was in one of the last print issues of LIFE magazine. Students may not be familiar with it, but for me, it was a big deal. I’ve also been a part of filming three television pilots! My etsy shop has some teaching examples from ceramics class, and other studio odds and ends. Cups, bowls and other studio products ship right out of my home studio in the forest.” – Andrew Bell, BFA in Sculpture,Umass in Dartmouth. Masters in Fine Arts, Boston University.

100 Name Series

“My parents were incredibly encouraging of creativity during my childhood and we grew up very humbly. The resourcefulness very much stuck with me, being an essential imprint on my life. I am really inspired by connections, whether they are people connections or connections that I make in the world. I always have two sketchbooks on me, an am always writing down things people say or how I hear them. I love playfulness in materials. I’m also a disciplined and routine- oriented person which is reflected in my art work. Most of my work derives from writing or drawing. I love the book of geometry and flora, from the plant work. I enjoy mixed media, drawing, painting, sewing, and working with small paper sculptures. My work has been included in exhibits at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, the Fitchburg Art Museum, The Sarah Doyle Gallery at Brown University, Greenfield Community College, Katonah Museum of Art (NY), the APE Gallery, and more. I was one of the two main illustrators for the Unbored series of activity books for tween aged kids. The books were published by Bloomsbury which is the same company that published the Harry Potter series.” – Heather Kasunick, BFA in Art Education, Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Masters of Fine Arts, Umass Amherst.

All Is Forgiven

“I am extremely fortunate to live in Western Massachusetts – it’s truly one of the most amazing places in New England. Daily, I observe natural beauty – wild and pure. Whether it is watching a caterpillar nest come to life or listening to a barred owl’s song in the middle of a summer’s night, I am inspired. These experiences leave me with a vision – a moment in time – which I hope to never overlook. My attempt to recreate these ‘moments’ takes the form of woodblock and linoleum block prints and photography. In the past, I worked for six years as a graphic artist, two years in Colorado at the Summit Daily News, and the remaining four years locally at the Daily Hampshire Gazette. During this time I also created t-shirt and logo designs for Mantis Graphics, my husband’s screen printing company. I have been teaching Fine Arts and Photography at West Springfield High School, as well as advising the school’s recycling program, since 2000. I joined the ECA+ committee in January of 2013. My collaboration with the Easthampton district art teachers has helped to display more student artwork within the community.” – Rachel Lepine. BFA with a Graphic Design concentration, Bridgewater State University. Master of Art Education, University of Massachusetts Amherst