She has her BFA in Visuals Arts with a Minor in Art History. Diana has more than 20 years’ experience in management, sales and customer service. Diana believes that all children and teens need a diverse education, including arts, science and life skills. Her goal at VisArts is to create a safe, structured engaging and creative environment.
In addition to her work with campers, Diana is also proud of the volunteer program that she created. Each year Diana works with more than 200 teens who earn SSL hours in a real-world work environment. Diana is also responsible for creating a robust volunteer program for teens and young adults with developmental and intellectual challenges.
Devon Miller – Assistant Camp Director (she/her)
Devon graduated from College of Charleston in 2014 with a degree in International Relations and a minor in Spanish.
Though not formally trained as an artist, she’s always thought of herself as artistic and creative. An avid art lover and innovative thinker, Devon has spent the last five years living in Madrid, Spain, working as an English teacher for students grades 1-6. She will soon be returning to Madrid to pursue a Masters degree in Arts and Cultural Management. She has been working as the Assistant Camp Director at VisArts in the summers since 2012. Her passion for international travel and cultural exchange, her experience in a myriad of different professional fields, as well as her love for working with children makes her a unique asset to the VisArts camp team. Her enthusiasm and excitement for children’s education and artistic development are integral in the implementation of our award winning camp!
“I wanted to start a revolution, using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned.” – Yayoi Kusama
Charlotte Yang – Assistant Camp Director (she/her)
Charlotte is a student at UMD, and has been with VisArts since her sophomore year in high school
and is very excited to continue working with the summer camp team. She has grown up doing art- using it as an outlet when stressed or bored- and has always enjoyed experimenting with her artwork; her favorite medium is oil paint! She loves spending her time outdoors with friends, and can’t wait for the upcoming summer with VisArts.
Helena Aytenfisu – Assistant Camp Director (she/her)
Helena is an incoming college freshman and has been with VisArts for the past 4 years.
She grew up drawing with her mom and instantly fell in love with art. Nethuli loves volleyball, traveling, and hanging out with friends! She is excited for the upcoming summer and can’t wait to make more memories with the VisArts team!
Quinlan Le – Jr. Assistant Camp Director (she/her)
Quinlan has always been passionate about art and fashion. She has spent the last five years designing garments and participating in fashion shows.
where she’s double majoring in illustration and fiber. Belle also enjoys fashion, petting her dog, gymnastics, and makeup. This is her second year working with Visarts, and she can’t wait to be back for all the fun!
Li-Fang Tsai – Jr. Assistant Camp Director (she/her)
Li-Fang Tsai is currently a senior studying Studio Art at University of Maryland College Park and resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland.
In the past, she had worked with other summer camps for children ages 5-12, and church youth camps for girls ages 12-17. She also has piano students from ages 6 – 65. Li-Fang loves singing, sewing, drawing, painting, printmaking, casting, directing choir, playing musical instruments, and all kinds of hands-on projects. She enjoys being around others and engaging in all kinds of work. Her philosophy about work is to treat the work like playing a game.
Antonia Ackel – Camp Assistant (she/her)
Antonia Ackel is a rising sophomore attending Drexel University. She started out as a volunteer 3 years ago and is very excited to be a part of the team!
Antonia recently started painting,- using it as an outlet when stressed- and hopes to get better at it. She loves spending time playing volleyball, hanging out with friends, and thrifting, and can’t wait to return to visits this summer!
Avery Seo – Camp Assistant (he/him)
Avery is a rising freshman at Washington University in St. Louis with a focus in finance and entrepreneurship.
He has been with Visarts for over four years, first as a volunteer and now as an assistant camp director. He is very excited to continue working at Visarts alongside the summer camp team this year. In his free time, he enjoys hanging out with friends, playing spikeball, and researching stocks.
Grace Sponaugle – Camp Assistant (she/her)
Grace is a senior studying Psychology at UMBC. She had been a camper at VisArts for many years and is now returning to work for them.
Aside from her educational and work duties. Grace is also a part time content creator and streamer for an esports org. She enjoys gaming, playing guitar, singing, working out, relaxing with her two dogs, and painfully trying to recreate Boss Ross paintings. She looks forward to working with VisArts this summer!
She is an Experimental Filmmaker from New Jersey. Trained as an Animator, she has always been interested in exploring material and using it in filmmaking. She is a storyteller who focuses on excavating long-lost narratives and uplifting traditional art forms that fade away with time.
Shraddha recently created an animated film for the show “A Grand Panorama” by Theodora Skipitares at La MaMa Theatre, New York. Her work has also recently been selected to be displayed at the Oconee Cultural Arts Foundation’s Rhythm and Movement Exhibition in Georgia. This program is supported in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. Georgia Council for the Arts also receives support from its partner agency–the National Endowment for the Arts. She has always respected and valued the industry’s creative, collaborative, and passionate environment. She has been training and interning under WonderSpark Puppets for the past few months. A puppetry company based in New York City. They have partnered with brands like Bed Bath & Beyond, CAMP, NYC Public Schools, and the New York Public Library. They have toured internationally, bringing original productions and puppetry workshops to festivals in Thailand and Taiwan. Shraddha has also worked on a short Independent Experimental film as an Assistant Art Director. She along with her team is developing a unique vision to usher the audience into the intimate experience of blind-sightedness. She has also conducted workshops on Indian traditional art for kids and adults at the Urbana Public Library.
Shraddha is eager to expand her knowledge and share her creativity and experience.
Seven Ya Han Chang – Camp Assistant (they/them)
Seven is a young artist dedicated to action, using their various works to inspire new ideas within all viewers.
As an immigrant from both Burmese and Taiwanese cultures, their mission is to ensure that racial minorities in the United States are not only heard, but respected and and understood. They believe that art is a powerful language that encourages everyday people to take action if possible, and to inspire a different mindset in the audience. Due to this, Seven aspires to become an artist known for invigorating and thought-provoking projects that brings change to the world, starting from an individual basis. Joining the VisArts staff team is their first professional step towards the path they’ve always wanted to lead.
Isabella Miller – Camp Intern (she/her)
Isabella is currently enrolled at Towson University, where she just finished her third year.
She is currently working towards earning her Bachelor’s degree in Art and Design, with a minor in Business Communications. This will be Isabella’s first year with VisArts and she is super excited to get started and become a part of the VisArts community, which she has heard lots of wonderful things about. Isabella became interested in art from a young age and has had experience with lots of different medias including: painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, wood-burning, and jewelry making. As she got older, her passion for art only grew stronger and now she is more than thrilled to have the opportunity to embrace this passion and share it with others.
Christie Pandiangan – Camp Intern (she/her)
Christie (Kiki) is a rising high school senior, she has a passion for fiber arts but specially in crochet.
She has been making professional costumes for Broadway, Television, Regional and Children’s Theatres’ and The Metropolitan Opera. She especially enjoys making hats and headdresses, dyeing and fabric painting. She started her teaching journey over 20 years ago teaching Arts and Crafts at summer camps during college. She’s excited to be joining the camp team at VisArts for the first time this summer!
Dustine Hayes (she/her)
Dustine Haye’s artwork is based on personal memory, stories and found objects that she adapts and transforms into painted objects, sculpture, and mixed media.
As a collector and a sculptor, Hayes tries to uncover the meaning of life in her own work while at the same time creating a new poetic and visual context for her students. She describes ‘stuff’ she finds, collects and stores away has special memories, becoming the foundation for creating a personal narrative of artworks. Hayes has a strong affirmation and self-identity in her art, and she believes her work will project the same for viewers and learners alike. According to book artist Molly VanNuys’ philosophy, Hayes also believes that the creative process is a serious undertaking that comes from philosophy and personal experiences. As a public-school teacher for twenty-five years, she has always found that her children and students inspire her creativity and make her a better teacher.
Dustine Hayes is a High School Art Teacher in Montgomery County and has also taught at the elementary and middle school levels. Hayes graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore with a BFA in General Sculpture Studies and Master of Arts in Teaching. Attending the University of Georgia’s Book Arts Graduate Studies Abroad program in Cortona, Italy was a powerful experience for the artist and is a major influence in her artwork.
Dustine Hayes has installations in many corporate environments and artwork in private collections throughout the United States and Europe. Her work has been exhibited at the Contemporary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD; the University of Georgia, Athens, GA; Cortona, Italy; the Maryland Institute College of Art Thesis Gallery; and the Decker Gallery; Rockville Art Mansion to name a few. Dustine Hayes has been published in “School Arts” and her artwork has been printed in other publications.
“Making and Teaching Art – I love what I do, and I do what I love.”
Ellen Lafferty (she/her)
Ellen Lafferty has been an instructor at VisArts in Rockville since 2013.
During this time she has taught summer camp, afterschool programs and homeschool children, introducing them to many different art forms. During the school year she teaches art and technology to PK3 through 8th grade at Sacred Heart Bilingual School in Washington DC. Ellen looks forward to merging art and technology this summer as she will be teaching STEM classes.
Emily Fucello (she/her)
Emily Fucello has had a lifelong interest in art and has taught children’s art classes for the past 12 years.
She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2011 with a major in art and design with a concentration in painting and printmaking and a minor in art history. Emily appreciates the colors and shapes found in nature and enjoys exploring the beauty of landscapes in her art. She loves exploring a variety of media in her work, studying art history, and implementing techniques and subjects from famous artists in her own artwork.
Emily has worked at VisArts since 2012 teaching painting, drawing, multimedia, glass, and children’s classes. Emily loves teaching children about art history and famous artists. She enjoys seeing the excitement children experience when using a new medium or learning a new technique. Emily believes that there are no mistakes in art and the art classroom is a place to experiment, discover, create, and get messy. Children in her class are the artists of their work and she believes there is no wrong way to create art. She encourages children to use their imagination, think outside the box, and explore new ideas. Emily knows that art can be therapeutic and a great way for children to express themselves. She hopes to cultivate a nurturing and supportive art experience for children so they will want to continue to create art throughout their lives.
Gary Moomau (no pronouns shared)
After working in a pottery studio for a semester, Gary took his first pottery class in 2013 at Anne Arundel Community College and was hooked.
He changed his major as soon as possible and transferred to Towson University, graduating with a BFA in 2017. Since then he has kept busy working in multiple clay studios, making a forever-changing body of work, and helping upstart a local glaze company. He finds that the work he tend to make is as fun to make as it is to hold. He makes pottery with interesting deep texture and moving parts. This will be his fourth summer as a camp teacher.
“As someone who has been fidgety my entire life, I embraced it to the point that my process is often viewed as tedious and fiddly. But it keeps my hands busy, and the final product does as well, which is all I really crave in my art.”
Kevin Franco (he/him)
Kevin Franco is an artist and educator in Montgomery County, MD.
Franco received his BFA in Illustration and MAT in Art Education from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). As an undergraduate and graduate-level student at MICA, his practice evolved, responding to color, experimentation, pattern, and both local imagery of animals and abstract work. As an educator, Franco believes in the importance of choice, student-driven opportunities, and the idea that knowledge is constructed through experience and self-guided inquiry. He hopes to encourage his students to pursue an artistic path where they feel challenged and where they can continue to build skills they feel are important to their own aesthetics.
Kimberly Swanner (she/her/they/them)
Kim graduated from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri with a degree in Japanese Area Studies.
She studied ceramics under Kansas City artist Bernadette Esperanza Torres and has been teaching children and adults since 2006. Her hobbies include video games, Japanese language & anime, art, and table-top gaming.
“Teaching is something that allows me to not only enjoy the things I love to do (ceramics, drawing, painting, crafting), it allows me to share those things with others as well. I want learning to be engaging and interesting, and it makes me happy when I see students get into what they’re doing. I really enjoy teaching, and get so much fulfillment from it.”
Ryan Rakhshan (he/him)
Ryan received his Bachelor of Art in art history and philosophy from Hood College in 2011.
After teaching at VisArts from 2011 through 2014 he spent a year as an artist in residence at Brockway Center for Arts and Technology in 2015. After brief stints as an industrial kiln loader, and a production potter, he has returned to teach at VisArts. Ryan’s favorite aspect of working in ceramics is seeing how far he can push the materials that he works with and he loves sharing this enthusiasm with his students!
Sarah Sater-Murray (she/her)
Sarah is a self- taught artist who enjoys acrylic painting as well as working with a wide range of mediums, drawing inspiration from nature, the magical realm, feminism, and Mother Earth.
She has a professional background in both carpentry and sewing and has been an instructor of adult classes, childrens’ classes, and camps at VisArts since 2015. She believes that the artistic process is oftentimes just as important as the finished product and that as long as we are creating, we are doing good work. Sarah encourages her students to learn that there are no mistakes in art, only opportunities for more creativity within the process.
Her goal for each class is to create a safe, fun, and exploratory environment free from self-judgment where students can tap into their own personal experience and creativity to make exciting projects and learn new skills. She strives to help each student find their individual artistic voice and offers personalized guidance and encouragement wherever possible.
Sarah’s hope is that she can help foster a growing love of art and the process of creating art that can be carried with the students into the rest of their lives.
Viva Virtuoso (any pronouns)
When it comes to her approach at art, life, and education, Miss Viva Virtuoso has adopted the iconic words of eccentric 4th-grade science teacher, Ms. Frizzle, of the Magic School Bus book series.
Viva became acquainted with art from early childhood; growing up a performer trained in classical musica and theater gave her a foundation from with to explore creativity in diverse ways as a method of expressing herself and her passions. What started as a small series of self-portraits in a notebook, lead to a love of experimenting with media, textures, colors, and layers.
Miss Viva began exploring the visual arts in college while studying early education and has continued to expand her reertoire of media by regularly participating in creative workshops and programs. Whether she is embroidering a painted canvas, treating wood with watercolor, making wearable costums from tissue paper, or directing homemade DIY puppet shows, Viva is a never-ending source of self expression and creativity. She is energized by working with her students to help them greely and artistically express themselves!
“Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!” – Ms. Frizzle, The Magic School Bus Series
Marta Lopez Teigeiro
Marta was born in Spain and came to the United States as a teenager with the idea of pursuing her dream to become an artist. She completed graphic design and early education degrees at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland.
She currently works as a multimedia artist and teaches art to students of all ages. Her award winning work has been accepted in juried shows, and has become part of local and international art collections. Her creations are inspired by the beauty of nature, light and human expression.
“Teaching art is the best way for me to communicate the passion I feel for the creative expression we all carry within us. In the process of teaching, I learn from and work with people of all ages using a fun, positive and inspirational approach. My goal is to draw out from students their innate abilities and desire to express their ideas, emotions and life experiences, knowing that in art there are no wrongs, just FUN!”
Camp Teacher Assistants
Future VisArts Summer Camp Teachers! These young, talented artists will provide assistance and suport to VisArts Camp teachers throughout the summer.
Helena Cervantes (she/they)
Helena is a Guatemalan-American, multimedia, lowbrow artist, born and raised in Washington D.C. and now residing in Maryland.
She pursued Illustration at Montgomery College and then went on to earn her B.F.A. in Fine Arts from the Corcoran College of Art + Design. Their work spawns a sense of strangeness by combining pop culture elements such as horror and cuteness. She creates reoccurring characters with these elements and who embody Monstrous or Otherness. Much of the inspiration for their work is science fiction, fantasy, the uncanny valley, post-humanism, and Otherness. Helena brings these characters to life through sculpture, paintings, and illustrations.
When she’s not making monsters, Helena enjoys tabletop gaming, cosplay prop making, baking and watching anime.
Helena currently participates at local craft fairs, conventions along the east coast, and sells her work online.
Pursuing a BFA in Design, as well as Print Media, Byanca creates artworks with a focus on diversity and the representation of communities of color; she tackles cultural taboos specifically within the LatinX community. Her past work employs portraiture, cultural textile pattern designs, mark-making. Byanca works with a wide range of traditional mediums; acyclic, ink, pencil, oil pastel, etc… As well as Digital programs such Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Rush, etc… She also has a great interest and passion for art education, in both higher & early-secondary education, and is set to earn her MAT in Education after undergrad. Byanca is excited to return for a second summer at VisArts!
Andres Ugartechea (he/him)
Andres Ugartechea is an undergraduate student at NYU Abu Dhabi pursuing a double degree in Interactive Media and Visual Arts.
He likes combining digital art with painting and drawing. His formation as an aspiring visual artist has let him understand the importance of arts as a medium to denounce social issues. For this reason, his artworks are leading toward Queer art, which seeks to advocate for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Apart from arts, his interests include web development, learning new languages, visiting new countries and petting cats.
Our VisArts Camp Techs help bring your children’s glass, wood, and ceramics projects, to completion!
Hayden Heitzman (he/him)
Hayden Heitzman is a rising junior at Richard Montgomery High School and has several
She joined the Visarts team to help young kids have new fun learning experiences over the summer and explore her artistic side as well! She loves to spend her time painting and looking at different types of art. Gabby looks forward to her incredible time here at the visarts center!
Tori Pilpel (she/her)
Tori has been a part of VisArts for 10 years, first as a camper, then as a volunteer, and now as a tech!
This summer will be her fourth year working as a tech. Tori enjoyed taking lots of different art classes throughout high school and some throughout college. Tori is a world class ice and field hockey player.
Sydney Ruckdeschel (she/her)
Sydney Ruckdeschel has been taking ceramics classes since her freshman year of high school.
She is now a rising senior at Juniata College in Huntingdon, PA, where she is studying ceramics and psychology. Sydney works as a tech in Juniata’s studio and is president of the campus’ ceramics club.
Camila Ton (she/her)
Camila started as a camper and worked her way up, first as a volunteer and now as a tech!