Jamie Downs, Affiliate

Jamie Downs has been painting for over forty years.  For most of the time, her work has been a non-objective Jungian search of the collective unconscious; but 15 years ago it took an unexpected turn.  Very large close-up images of flowers became a part of the mixed media paintings, and that began a new direction and inspired some new work for this artist who works in series.

As a very young child Jamie was obsessed with birds – playing bird and drawing birds.  What would thirty plus years of abstract expressionist style work do to her paintings of birds?  That exploration would become a fun adventure which would expand to animals as well.

Like most artists, Jamie has had other day jobs throughout her life.  Her work as a newspaper photographer, graphic designer and web designer, arts administrator, curator, gallery operator… has provided skill sets that have become a part of her creative process.  The inspiration for several of her birds and animals comes from scanned black and white negatives from her time as a photojournalist.  Other paintings are derived from her huge collection of photographs from family trips to zoos across the US or vacations in Central America.

Her process often begins as digital and is rarely shown at that stage.  The final work on canvas or Mylar is several steps removed from this initial digital creation.  Her mixed media paintings reflect her love of materials and techniques.  Beginning with watercolor, colored pencil, water based crayon and markers, she progresses through acrylics and inks to Sennelier oil pastels and sometimes oils, using numerous mediums, metallics, glazes, pigments…producing multiple, though subtle, textures.   Layers of the process are often preserved, color field style, on the edges of the painting or in line elements.  Her colors are pure, bright and bold.

Her current series is birds and animals representing each letter of the alphabet.

Jamie’s studio is in Silver Spring, MD and is open by appointment.  She has shown through galleries throughout the Mid-Atlantic and is widely represented on-line.


Elaine Boucher Burch Taylor, Affiliate


B.A. in Fine Art, Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts

B.S.C.S. in Computer Science, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia

Study Art at Boston University, Harvard University, Montgomery College, Corcoran School of Art and The Compass Atelier

Career as a Software Engineer at NIH, National Cancer Institute

Exhibitions and Gallery Associations

Washington International Art Fair II, III, IV and V

Art Fair Gallery, North Potomac MD

Paul Rosen Graphics, Washington DC

Tidewater Artists’ Association, Norfolk VA

Montgomery County Artists’ Association, MD

United States Information Agency, Central America

Spectrum Gallery, Washington, DC

Gallery Grace, Menlo Park, CA

New York Expo, New York, NY

Art Expo West, Los Angeles, CA

Art Works, Alexandria, VA

Klevit Fine Art, Rockville, MD

Tideline Gallery, Rehoboth, DE

Strathmore Hall Foundation, Member, North Bethesda, MD

Strathmore Membership Juried Show 2007, Bethesda, MD

Strathmore Hall 25thYear Celebration Juried Show, Bethesda, MD

National Institutes of Health 2009 Juried Show, Bethesda, MD

Orchard Gallery, Group Show December 2010, Bethesda, MD

Orchard Gallery, Solo Show February 2011, Bethesda, MD

Strathmore Membership Juried Show 2012, Bethesda, MD

Resident Artist, Washington Art Works, 2015, Rockville, MD

Resident Artist, Artists and Makers II, 2016-2019, Rockville, MD

Resident Artist Group Show, Artists and Makers II, 2019, Rockville, MD

Affiliate Artist, Artists and Makers Studios, 2020-Current, Rockville, MD


Painting published by the United Nations for UNICEF card design; distribution started in 1983.


Various media and subject matter explored over the years.


Elody Crimi, Affiliate

Elody Crimi is an alumni graduate of the Washington School of Photography and is an accomplished commercial and fine arts photographer, specializing in landscape and portrait photography.  She is also a photography instructor, teaching a vast range of classes (currently via Zoom) including: PS Elements for the Painter (through the Compass Atelier), PS Elements for the Photographer and Smartphone Photography (through Washington Photo Safari), and DSLR Basics. 

Her greatest passion is to experiment with raw images, using alternative processes and techniques to assure that the “emotion of the moment” has been captured. Currently, most of her work is creatively altered using various Photoshop techniques.



Stacy Claywell A&M1

fun facts

Stacy was formally trained and has her BFA from Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia.

While in college, she of course, had great aspirations and dreamed of doing it all;

paint in France, fashion design in NY, create jewelry in Spain. But as fate would have it, she got caught up in the fast-paced world of advertising. Think redhead meets Mad Men.

Her career took her from South Beach to Madison Avenue. Having worked at some of the worlds top ad agencies & boutique design firms, Stacy has created and produced award-winning work in both the consumer and business space. She is a creative visionary with years of experience in strategy, brand-building, print, advertising, television, product launches and all things digital.

She desperately needed to break out from “behind that large box” (aka iMac) where she spends most of her time .

Picking up the brush again, exploring oils, acrylics and mixed media has allowed her to express herself beyond

the corporate limitations.

And as she always says…The Best is Yet to Come…

You can contact Stacy at thatdesigngirl@icloud.com



Stacy Claywell / artist & creative guru

Inspired by the sounds and colors of living and working in NYC, Miami and coastal Georgia.

Life experiences are expressed throughout

my work creating a mix of vibrant color as well as a subdued palette. You will find hints of music and dance and a little bit of sparkle throughout my abstractions. I love to make marks on paper, canvas and wood and I am currently working in oils and cold wax.

Stacy now resides in the DC area.

Rhea Reeves Stein, Affiliate


Virginia based mixed media sculptural painter, Rhea Reeves, started as a stone and wood sculptor in her undergraduate studies at Columbus College of Art and Design. Rhea was restricted to lighter materials while recovering from severe head and neck injuries in 2000. She was instantly inspired to work with textiles after seeing the work of Magdalina Abokanowitz. Rhea started exploring quilting materials (thread, cotton-batting, fabric swatches, wire, rafia, organza, and paint) and the combining of fragile fibers to create strong forms. She related the textile materials to the human body with her thesis show, Body in Question.

Rhea’s works are an expression of the human body, how it flows and heals, both physically, energetically, and emotionally. Her art is created within both controlled and spontaneous application processes. Reeves is inspired by trees, the psychology of color,the concept of connection, and how music can affect an artist’s movements.

Her first body of work Pursuit of Love (shown in TN) was her exploration of meditation, music and the intuitive process of what she created when holding the feeling state of LOVE. Her second body of work Surfaces (shown in KY and IN) is her expression of the fleeting aspects of our world and life experiences. Rhea’s Essence Portraits are unique works that capture a person’s nature through line, shape, and color. She interviews each subject and then creates an expression of that person from her interview.

Rhea is passionate about creating works that move people’s imaginations to explore how they respond to these new environments she has created. She is currently working on new, larger scale and assemblage type works in her studio in Vienna.

Joe Reyes, Affiliate

Joe Reyes has been making art for decades and has extensive experience in drawing and painting with a variety of mediums. His area of interest is abstract painting. He creates abstract paintings of various size in the style of abstract expressionism. Some of the mediums he uses for the paintings are acrylic, charcoal, ink, marker, pencil, graphite, watercolor, and many other mediums. His paintings range in larger sizes (10ft) to smaller; of about 10 inches and sometimes doesn’t use just canvas but other surfaces like high quality paper and other interesting types of surfaces. When painting he uses acrylic more times than others however mixed media artworks are also prevalent in his work.






Deborah Brisker Burk, Affiliate

I have been creating artwork since childhood. From a young age, I was fortunate to have been exposed to the great museums of the National Gallery in DC and to have been born into a family of musicians, dancers and writers. Over time my work has evolved from an impressionistic view of the world to an abstract practice.

In creating abstract artwork of the land, sea, sky, and figure, my intuition regarding the color, texture and shape serves as my guide. As an observer of the world around me, I strive to bring an interpretive eye to my work, based on memories, mediations and travel. Action painting, being in the flow of the here and now—a moment of time is how I am able to distill the imagery from the recesses of my psyche. Beyond that, I aim to connect to the culture and people through my work— to uplift and bring a place of serenity and inquiry to the viewer.

www.deborahbriskerburk.com debbybriskerburk@instagram.com
debby@artvistas.com  mobile: 240-432-0004


Barbara Ziselberger, Affiliate

As a painter working primarily in acrylics and Chinese ink, I am inspired by Chinese calligraphy and American graffiti. I employ gestural brush strokes and asemic marks to produce energetic abstract works with a visual language of their own. An East coast native, my work is informed by dunes of the Atlantic barrier islands and ridges and valleys of the Appalachian Mountains. I currently live and work in the Washington, DC area.


Studied under:

Nicholas Wilton

Bertrand Mao

Helene Mai Sze McCarthy


2018 Juried Exhibition, Labor Day Show, Glen Echo, MD


Private collection, Kensington, MD

Private collection, Buxton, NC

Private collection, Charlottesville, VA


My works can be found online at www.barbaraziselberger.com and at The Swell Art Gallery, Hatteras Island, NC. Current projects and experiments can be viewed on Instagram @barbaraziselberger.

website:  https://www.barbaraziselberger.com

email: bziselberger@gmail.com

Marilyn Banner, Affiliate

Marilyn Banner holds a BFA in painting from Washington University in St Louis and a MSEd from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Additional studies include 1968-9 Graduate Painting Department at Queens College of CUNY, plus art and art education classes at University of MD, Corcoran, University of Buffalo, and R&F Encaustics. Her works have been widely exhibited in more than thirty solo and over one hundred group shows, and are in numerous public and private collections.

Exhibition venues include The Katzen Museum of American University; The Corcoran Museum, Washington, DC; Ceres Gallery, New York City; McLean Project for the Arts, McLean VA; The University of Maryland Global College (UMGC), College Park MD; Hebrew Union College Museum, NYC; Monmouth University, West Long Branch, NJ: Artists & Makers, Rockville MD; B’nai B’rith Museum, Washington DC; BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD; Marymount University, Arlington, VA; Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely MD; Carroll Community College, Westminster, MD; Loyola College, Baltimore, MD; DCAC and Gallery 10, Wash DC; Shepherd College, Shepherdstown, WV; Ratner Museum, Bethesda MD; Delaplaine Center for the Arts, Frederick, MD;  Costa Rican Embassy, Washington, DC and Czech Embassy, Washington DC.

Ms. Banner is the recipient of ten residency fellowships at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweetbriar VA, and in 2012 was awarded a Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation VCCA Creative Fellows Grant. She was chosen as one of ten participants in Art Cart 2013, honoring lifelong artists of note in the DC area. Her work has been reproduced and included in Encaustic Art in the 21st Century, by Ashley Rooney, as well as many other books and publications.

Marilyn Banner lives in Takoma Park, Maryland with her musician husband Carl Banner. For 10 years she led No Limits for Women in the Arts support groups locally and traveled the east coast as a No Limits regional leader. With her husband she co-founded (1998) and helps produce Washington Musica Viva, a continuing monthly music and arts performance series. She is a member of Ceres Gallery, New York City.




Bill Johnson, Affiliate

As a little boy Bill Johnson always answered the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” with a very quick “an Artist”! As a senior in high school he was presented with the school’s art award. He went on to major in art in college. Two separate advisors told him he was wasting his money on an art degree. The logic was that you are either an artist or not and the only time a degree in art would be needed would be to teach or as a commercial artist. Not having money, he took the advice and dropped out. He did stay in school as a model for figure drawing classes. In this role he became a peer with the instructors and was able to have his work reviewed and get advice while being paid. Bill spent most of his life working with plants. At age 9 his family lived on a farm and he learned about vegetable gardening. At the time he did not know it was organic gardening, but it did shape his thinking about working with nature. Moving to Washington D.C. He spent 7 years working as a cook. He then worked as a staff horticulturist at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. After retiring from Hillwood in 2016 he finally grew up and is enjoying life as an artist.


Barbara F. Warden A&M1

Let me offer some thoughts about why I draw.  For me it is the basis of visual experience.  Its immediacy, spontaneity and directness allow for quick notations or sustained concentration in a search for resolution.  The final drawing stands as its own independent form of expression.  It is not preparation for a painting or a piece of sculpture.

In addition, I value the power of line.  A single line on a blank page can become the opening gesture that along with other marks can create texture, depth, mass and complexity.  Experimenting with materials, pushing their boundaries, discovering new textures, new spatial relationships – becomes the thrill of drawing. And the eraser absorbs memory. 

I use many traditional drawing tools and I will make new ones if necessary.  Paper – all kinds of paper – is my preferred surface.     -B.W.


Victoria Hanks, Affiliate

My work involves creating compelling illusions, as most successful two-dimensional work ought to do. I’ve always been inspired by the natural world, most specifically human and animal biological subject matter. Most works don’t copy literally from nature but use the remembered impressions of pieces of researched imagery and automatic drawing processes to build compositions. The Surrealists are obvious inspirations for process and uncommon juxtapositions. Artists like Dorothea Tanning, Max Ernst, Arshile Gorky, Frida Khalo and Rene Magritte were early influences. Later a fascination with Philip Guston for his bold and primitive use of line as well what I interpret as his ability to strip life down to the barest essentials. Maybe not the essentials we are looking for but what I took from Guston’s paintings of piles of shoes, bare light bulbs hanging in space, stubby cigarettes, etc. were a blunt and direct confrontation with life and death. These ideas I connect with as I see art as a life force in and of itself and perhaps a connection with an intangible world no one can explain.

Current work builds on unexplainable worlds by attempting to put these thoughts into reality with works on paper that layer imagery with transparent ink washes and obvious strong line that depict animals and other three dimensional ordinary things like cars and furniture. Shadows are painted into the works to insist on the viewer suspending their disbelief and “getting into” the work, while at the same time I have cut out and bent the paper so it will throw hard shadows and present itself as an object. I’m looking, in vain I know, for the 4th dimension.

Subject matter takes the idea of life, death and continuity into hard science, albeit in a simple way, as many of the animals placed in these compositions are endangered, extinct or descendants of one or more of the other animals in the work. Falling into the illusions of these works and reading the lists of animals described may reach the viewer on multiple levels. I would hope a viewer would not be able to describe what the paintings are about, no matter how hard they try. Fascination with the unexplainable goes on forever.


Paula Zeller, Affiliate


I am a classically trained representational artist. My work has been shown at the Glave Kocen Gallery in Richmond, among other venues, and has won awards from local art organizations.

I am a member of the Portrait Society of America, Montgomery Art Association, and the Rockville Art League, for which I am the Membership Coordinator. 


I am a quiet person, a listener and observer. Painting is my way of expressing the fullness and nuances of what I see and feel beyond what language can say.

The unspoken poetry and hidden narratives of small, everyday moments are what most intrigue me as an artist. I think of these as quiet connections – between the people I observe, and between these people and myself.

When people interact, I imagine what they might be communicating. When I see an individual’s face, I wonder what lies beneath. The pleasure of painting is questioning my assumptions while coaxing out life on my canvas.   


Gary Honig, Affiliate

Born in Washington D.C. in 1954, the year Elvis Presley recorded his first record, I am a child of rock and roll. Being part of the original baby boomers, I enjoyed my formative years watching the transformation of this country through the sixties. My immediate peers were heavily involved in music which included being in bands, touring and producing on various levels.

My college education did not result in graduation as my life outside University was becoming more interesting. This is fairly typical of individuals who are more into doing than being told what to do. Many years of making music, producing albums, touring on the road and odd jobs here and there eventually brought me to being a $5 an hour house painter’s helper.

Being ambitious, for the next decade I painted houses and buildings. It was during this period, I came to fully understand how proper use of applications results in a better outcomes. How to best prepare a surface, how different paint products interact with each other, I became an expert painter. My high point was painting a dozen 6 over 6 double hung windows in one day – in other words, an exceptional amount of precision production painting.

Mix this with an innate ability to seek out new connections, I eventually threw in with a group of downtown artists who were renovating buildings in questionable neighborhoods. Each of us had a particular skill, and I was the painter guy. This allowed me to expand my repertoire to include all facets of building – electrical, plumbing, masonry and carpentry. This was fantastic because we were all artists and the rule “it’s art, there are no rules,” made everything a creative experiment.

After a while, watching people create art wasn’t enough for me. So, at some point in 1990 I made my first wooden stretcher, stretched canvas on it and began painting. One of the earliest paintings I did called “A Mile Off the Dry Tortugas” hangs on the wall at the foot my bed. I wake up every morning looking at it.

At this point I can build my own canvas stretchers and do a fair amount of rudimentary framing. My main framer for many years is the incomparable Spencer Zarin in Rockville, Maryland.

Now you have a bit of early context. Inside the Portfolio on my site there are place markers with insights I made along the way. I invite you to keep reading therein.


Fran Abrams, Affiliate


Fran Abrams, Rockville, MD, has an undergraduate degree in art and architecture and a graduate degree in urban planning. In January 2000, after making a New Year’s resolution to return to her roots as an artist, she began studying and working with polymer clay. She retired from her day job in July 2010 after 41 years of public service in government and nonprofit agencies in Montgomery County, MD. She then helped to establish the Betty Mae Kramer Gallery and Music Room in the Silver Spring Civic Building in downtown Silver Spring, MD, serving as manager from 2010-2012.

Her medium, polymer clay, is a man-made substance that begins as blocks of solid colored clay-like material. The clay colors blend just like blending paints. Like many polymer clay artists, Fran uses a pasta machine to condition the clay, to blend colors, and to achieve complex designs. Her work is unusual because of what is not there. There is no paint. All of the colors come from the clay itself. The focus is not only on blending the various color clays, but also manipulating the results to express the themes of the pieces. Fran’s work includes pieces designed to be hung on the wall like bas relief as well as sculptures intended to be displayed on a pedestal or shelf. The works that hang on the wall are presented without glass in the frame, allowing the viewer to see the intricacies of the designs.

Fran’s work is shown regularly at Foundry Gallery, a cooperative, artist-run gallery in Washington, DC, where she served as president from 2014-2018.  She also speaks to local artist groups about how to get their artwork into galleries and exhibits. Her work, in competition with more traditional mediums, has been juried into and won awards in numerous exhibits in the greater DC metropolitan area as well as in other parts of the country including Brooklyn, NY. Naples, FL, Baton Rouge, LA and Wichita, KS.

Fran’s artwork also has been juried into national exhibits of polymer clay art in Lexington, MA in 2010 and in St. Paul, MN in 2013. In May 2014, her piece titled “Warmth of the Fire” won Best in 2D Art in the International Polymer Clay Awards competition that included entries from artists around the world. That piece is now in the collection of Racine Art Museum, Racine, Wisconsin.

In January 2020, Fran celebrated 20 years of working with polymer clay. She continues to explore the possibilities of this remarkably versatile material.

Contact: fran.abrams@gmail.com


Judith HeartSong A&M1

I have been working as a professional artist for more than thirty years now, after a public school education in which my focus was completely art-centric. As a child I was always out in nature, in the woods and along the creek beds of northern Pennsylvania. I developed a sense of awe and respect for the natural world early on and that devotion has never wavered. My work is often called Romantic Pop.

Special allowances were made in the course of my education to provide art instruction and the time I needed to focus on it. I studied privately with some tremendous artists and worked with every sort of material I could get my hands on to build my knowledge of mediums.

Plants and flowers fascinated me with their lush shapes and wonderful colors, and I was always interested in looking at botanical renderings and nature studies. To me they were often cold and impersonal, and that was not how I saw nature. I became captivated with trying to capture and share the world as I saw it.


Mary Vinograd A&M1

Mary sees Art as an interactive cycle supporting self-expression, learning and healing for both the creator and the viewer. Mary studied painting at East Carolina University and UNC Chapel Hill. Her artwork includes paintings in acrylic, oils and mixed media. A licensed mental health professional (MSW, LCSWc) with  specialized training in energy psychology and excessive therapies, Mary has spent the recent 10 years working in the field of mental/ behavioral health providing counseling and social services, which include the use of art for therapeutic purposes. See Mary’s line of  art for children.

Lisa V. Denison A&M1

Lisa V. Denison is an artist living and working in the Washington D.C. area. Prior to moving to the D.C. area, Lisa taught drawing and painting, studio art, and art history for Norfolk Public Schools, elementary art in Chesterfield County Schools, Richmond Virginia for a total of 16 years. Lisa received her B.S. in Art Education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania in 1984.

“I came from humble beginnings, which I am so grateful for. It taught me valuable lessons, in particular to push my creative mind, and to see things in a different light. Drawing or painting is a sacred space for me that has always allowed me freedom to play, escape, and reflect.”

Lisa’s art is a representation of ordinary life, the good, and the not so good. Many subjects include social injustices depicted through objects and arranged to depict a message. The paintings often symbolize a social, economic, environmental, or humane animal treatment message. Creating a painting that has a strong message hidden or represented by simple objects is a common thread in Lisa’s work.

In her mixed media /contemporary paintings, there are multiple symbols and hidden images woven in a tapestry of colors that tell a story or reveal a message. Lisa has created commissioned work for Restaurateurs, Advertising Agencies, Medical Offices, and private residences. Lisa is a participating artist at Compass Atelier Masters Artists Program.

“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from; we all have a story to tell – it is woven in our DNA. This is what propels me to paint.”


Amy Sabrin A&M1

In my art, I am drawn to joyous colors, bold compositions, and glowing light. Watercolors – with their transparent luminosity and purity of hue – are my preferred medium, but I also work in acrylics.  My works depict the quiet beauty of quotidian objects and the bolder beauty of nature, but my true subjects are light, color, pattern and shape.

My enthusiasm for art dates to my childhood, when my father would take me to the great museums in Manhattan.  I studied drawing and painting in high school and college, where I majored in art history. I moved to Washington, D.C., in 1974 and pursued a career first in journalism and then in law, rising to become a partner at the firm of Skadden, Arps, where I practiced white collar criminal defense law.  All the while, I painted when I could, and studied with several fine teachers, including Susan Abbott and Deborah Ellis at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia, and Walt Bartman and Glen Kessler of the Yellow Barn Studio at Glen Echo National Park in Maryland.  In 2011, I retired to travel and devote more time to developing my skills as a visual artist.   I take my paints with me when I travel, and have painted in France, Italy, Mexico, the Bahamas, and the American Southwest.

In 2015 I was selected for membership in the Potomac Valley Watercolorists, and in 2016 I became a juried member of the Touchstone Gallery in Washington D.C. (http://www.touchstonegallery.com).  Several of my award-winning works have been accepted in juried shows, including:

·      “Shadow Play,” Best in Show, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Open Show, Dec. 2017

     “Glen Echo Creek,” Best in Show (watercolor), The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Open Show, Oct. 2017

·      “Stained Glass October”, Yellow Barn Gallery Members Show, December 2014

·      “Market Baskets, Provence”, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, All Media Exhibit, January 2015

·      “Tin Box with Tulips”, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, All Media exhibit, April 2015

·      “Chinese Lanterns with Pumpkin”, Honorable Mention, The Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA Open Exhibit, September 2015

·      “Okavango”, The Art League, Alexandria, VA, “Superstition and Belief “ Show, October 2015


Tony Ventouris Photography A&M1

Born into a family of contractors, Tony Ventouris has been surrounded by architects, developers, and artists since an early age and has naturally developed a deep appreciation for the art of building. His unique background, photographic education, and lifelong devotion to the creation of artistic images has resulted in his successful career as a professional photographer.


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