Our Teachers

Valerie Jay,
Valerie Jay is a self-taught watercolorist from Houlton, ME. It wasn’t until her mid-twenties that she discovered the magic of watercolor and quickly fell in love with it. Val stumbled across a how to draw a floral wreath tutorial and on a whim decided to color it in with Crayola watercolors... and so the adventure began! Valerie loves to paint landscapes, animals, or really anything as she is always striving to learn more and hone her skills.
Hope Sablone,
Classic Oils, Acrylic, 
Indigenous art

Born in Denver Colorado Hope attended shoreline school of art and music from 1990 - 94. She went on to Gain a Degree in commercial/advertising, graphic design, and painting with numerous mediums. Hope has beenvcreating art since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Hope uses art as an escape from everyday life's stresses. 

Hope teaches acrylic classes, sometimes joined by her child, Kai.  The two of them offer classic structure with modern material, and show you that amazing art is within the grasp of everyone.

Hope also teaches our little artists class, and the kids love her energy and aura. 

As a member of the Miꞌkmaq and Penobscot tribe Hope uses her background to create dream catchers and other culturally significant arts. 

Courtney Russell,
Charcoal, drawing, sculpture, digital art,

Courtney was the first artists to approach our center.  Courtney Russell is a local Houlton artist who started her journey as a self-taught sketch artist. She first started working with graphite and charcoal, then moved onto learning digital art, photography, acrylic, and further art studies at the University of Southern Maine and MECA.  If you can't draw a face, hands, feet, or people in general, Courtney will show you how! 

We also plan on having her teach a little artist class for drawing 101!

Mary Hartnett,
Folk art and Craft

Mary gained her appreciation for the arts during the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1980's and 90's.  She easily mastered line work and color arrangements allowing her to make a living doing what she loved, teaching and selling Crafts and Folk Art.   Mary's skilled hand will be teaching a weekly painting class on Wednesday nights, as well as Big and Little artists classes for kids and their guardians to enjoy time together. 

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Dani Hartnett,
Stained Glass, Project Classes
Dani majored in Applied Arts and Art History in college.  After meeting her husband she was taught Stained Glass and fell instantly in love.  She and her husband own Mill Creek Stained Glass and Restoration and both are still in love with glass, history, and creating art. 

Dustin Hartnett, Wood Working, Stained Glass, Pencil Sketch

Dustin grew up in a household full of Art, he worked beside his mother as she taught classes and attended events.  As an adult he learned Stained Glass and taught it to his wife.  Dustin is well known as a detailed woodworker.  He is also a musician and in charge of Open Mic night at the center. 
Laura Tomah,
Faux Finishing
Cultural Affairs

Laura is a Maliseet native and has over 30 years experience in

Home and furniture restoration and in fine faux finishes and will be doing specialty classes in Venetian plaster, faux finishes and furniture restoration.


Cricket Griffith,

Cricket Griffith has been doing pottery since 2006. She trained at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.  She creates functional and sculptural work and is inspired by Maliseet roots to explore the art.
In 2019 she began to pursue her passion as a potter and ceramic artist. She lives in Houlton, Maine with her husband and son. She creates functional and sculptural work and is inspired by Maliseet roots to explore the art.