Mara Thomas (President/Secretary)

“I have the greatest admiration for what Kristin, Joan, and Rosanna have created in Art Explorers:  a thriving community of artists where each person is nurtured and mentored in his or her diverse talents.  I love that Art Explorers is so much more than an art program. It is a joyful place to be. Friendships have taken root and flourished there for more than twenty years.
The mutuality and reciprocity of teaching and learning that goes on among the teaching staff and the intellectually disabled is a very special aspect of Art Explorers.  The place is a cauldron of growth for everyone involved: artistic, personal, communal.  The intellectually disabled often have difficulty expressing themselves verbally.  Art Explorers enables each artist to discover and develop his or her own artistic language to communicate with the world.  And the art is fabulous!  It is an honor and a privilege to serve on the board.”

Kristin Otwell (Vice President/Treasurer)

“I am pleased to have been a part of Art Explorer’s formation and daily operation for over 20 years, and now look forward to witnessing the program’s new growth and expansion by serving on the Board of Directors. I know first hand the magic that happens in the studio – where students find the joy of self-expression and true camaraderie – where staff members encourage and nurture each student with skill, patience and love – where visitors feel the excitement of the place while they delight in the amazing artwork.  Art Explorers is a vital asset to our students and also to our community; life is richer and kinder because of it.”

Arla Smith Evanoff

“I’ve been the Board since the beginning, and I realized then what a valuable asset Art Explorers was to this community. I have seen students grow leaps and bounds, both personally and artistically.  Art Explorers is a treasure.”

Joan Burleigh

“As the co-founder, former co-director, and current substitute teacher, I have been involved with Art Explorers for over 20 years.  I have seen, and continue to see first hand the joy and increased self esteem our students exhibit through their participation in the program.”

Arlene Reiss

“I love that Art Explorers offers  a safe and nurturing space for their students to truly explore self expression through exposure to a wide variety of art making mediums and inspirations.  I also find myself,as an artist, being inspired by their work. The directness of their expression is quite moving and powerful.  I have seen students gain in self confidence and pride as a result of the gentle guidance they receive.  I also, so appreciate  seeing how the environment that  Art Explorers maintains fosters much caring and support between the students.  I am happy to be associated with this outstanding program which is run with a clear vision and commitment to the well being of it’s students.”

Sandy Weaver

“My daughter has been attending Art Explorers for over ten years.  Her two days there are the highlight of her week. Not only has the program provided her with artistic and creative skills, but also a rare social opportunity.  I greatly admire the dedicated staff.  They are always so sensitive,  patient  and caring towards the needs of each participant.  Their dedication is inspiring, their program a valuable asset to our coastal community.”