Hopkinton POS

Instructors

Instructors

The Hopkinton Center for the Arts offers quality fine art, music, and dance education for all ages and skill levels.

 

Ceramics

Cheska Komissar

Cheska Komissar earned her undergraduate and master’s degree in education from Boston University. A teacher in her heart, she has been experimenting with creativity her whole life and has used clay as her primary medium for over 20 years. With a background in special education, Cheska believes that, given the opportunity, everyone can be creative and turn their visions into realities. We can all find the artist in ourselves. She can often be found in her studio at home, here at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts or one of the other places she teaches “doodling" with clay, making whimsical sculptures or whistles, drums and flutes. She believes in using as many senses as possible and frequently stops her whistling or humming to test out the sounds of her clay.

I loves the ceramics community the HCA has created and works hard to maintain inclusive and supportive environments for all students.

Hana Reilly

Director of Ceramics

Hana has worked as a potter and educator for 15 years, teaching ceramics to adults and children at the Potter's Shop and School in Needham, Southborough Art Center and the Danforth Art Museum School in Framingham. She has sold her work in South End Holiday Market and other shows, Lacoste Gallery, Danforth Museum and the annual Primarily Potters showcase in Hopkinton. She is a graduate of the School of Arts and Crafts in Prague, the Czech Republic.

Acting

Alyssa Rae Surrette

With an extreme passion for the performing arts Alyssa Rea has been performing, teaching, directing, and choreographing all over Massachusetts  and Rhode Island for the past several years. Alyssa is a Boston-based actor working the past five years for companies such as New Repertory Theatre and Reagle Music Theatre. Credits include Me and My Girl, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof and many more. She is also no stranger to the New York stage as her credits include performances at Alvin Ailey and Carnegie Hall. Alyssa received her BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts majoring in theater in high school. In addition to private voice and acting, Alyssa teaches Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, and Storybook Theater here at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

Theater

Alyssa Rae Surrette

With an extreme passion for the performing arts Alyssa Rea has been performing, teaching, directing, and choreographing all over Massachusetts  and Rhode Island for the past several years. Alyssa is a Boston-based actor working the past five years for companies such as New Repertory Theatre and Reagle Music Theatre. Credits include Me and My Girl, Singing in the Rain, Fiddler on the Roof and many more. She is also no stranger to the New York stage as her credits include performances at Alvin Ailey and Carnegie Hall. Alyssa received her BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory and attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts majoring in theater in high school. In addition to private voice and acting, Alyssa teaches Hip Hop, Tap, Jazz, and Storybook Theater here at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts.

Music

Jack Byrne

Jack Byrne is a vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist based in Boston, MA. Jack holds a Bachelor’s in Music from UMass Amherst, and a Master’s in Voice Performance from Longy School of Music of Bard College. Jack is well versed in playing a wide variety of styles from Rock, Folk, Bluegrass, Metal, Classical, and Jazz. He has performed as a guitarist on tour with Indie/Pop band, “The Narrative,” and has been performing and recording his own music for about 15 years.

Jack teaches lessons in Voice, Guitar, Piano, Bass, Banjo, Ukulele, and Mandolin. His teaching philosophy is that you are the artist, and he is simply nudging you along to find your own voice. Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more seasoned player, it is Jack’s mission to help each of his students find the confidence to achieve their artistic goals through fun and upbeat lessons.

Robb Millet

Robb offers guitar, (acoustic, Electric, slide, etc) Bass Guitar, and Mandolin lessons. He started his guitar/bass-playing career in 1965 at the age of 10, (5th Grade), and has been performing as a solo artist and in bands in and about the Boston/Metrowest area since 1971. During 1978 through 1982, as a member of the Hot Dates, he wrote and recorded several songs included on the Singles and eponymous vinyl LP “Hot Dates” released in 1981, which went on to receive varied amounts of local airplay on WBCN, WERS, WAAF and several college stations – These days, the album can be found in its entirety on YouTube. In the early 90s, with “The United Snakes”, Robb (as the bassist for that band) wrote and recorded several of the songs released on the CD “Lighten Up! This Ain’t Brain Surgery” to local critical acclaim. Since 1995, Robb has been the front man/protagonist/ringleader of the Spock Goes Mental floating pick-up band. Over the course of his career as a guitarist/bassist/songwriter/musician, Robb has played in many bands of varied genres, including Rock & Roll, Metal, Punk, New Wave, Fusion, Blues, Folk, Jazz and Avant Garde. He is fluent in many styles, from Drop-C Thud to Folk fingerstyle, slap-and-pop bass, and Mandolin improv.

Robb tailors the lessons to the student’s interest and ability, from traditional sight-reading and scales, to improvisation techniques, and even song writing. Students are encouraged to bring in music they like, to work towards as a goal. Overall emphasis is on the enjoyment of making music with the instrument. As Robb likes to say, “Guitar is supposed to be fun.”

Eric Miller

HCA Director of Music

Eric J Miller is a voice teacher, sight-singing and aural skills coach, music theory tutor, bass-baritone singer, and choral conductor working throughout Massachusetts. Eric’s teaching philosophy is heavily centered around creating a challenging and fun experience, teaching with compassion and kindness, and helping singers become strong musicians with healthy vocal technique and strong music literacy skills, capable of making high quality music for their entire lives.
 
Eric is the Director of Music at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts in Hopkinton, MA, a middle school choir director in Holliston, MA, and teaches sightsinging, aural skills, and music theory for Noel Smith Voice Studio. In addition to his teaching, he performs locally and internationally as a chorister and bass-baritone soloist.
 
He completed his Master's of Music Education in 2018 and has been teaching ever since. His students range from amateurs to professionals, elementary schoolers to octogenarians, and come from all sorts of musical backgrounds. His high school private students have been admitted to top music and musical theater programs, including Berklee College of Music, Hartt, Rider, and more.
 



 

Art

Richard Denzer

Milford, MA resident Richard Denzer (Watercolor Painting from Photographs) has been painting with watercolor for more than 35 years. His love for Andrew Wyeth-like landscapes and highly-detailed architectural subjects led him in the early 1990s to establish a part-time business, Curb Appeal Portraits, creating commissioned house portraits for local realtors and home-owners. Over the years, he has shown his work regionally and been a member of area Watercolor Societies. He has taught watercolor at the Franklin Art Center and continues to do so for the Dover Sherborn Community Education Department. 

Check out Richard’s work at www.curbappealportraits.com

Chelsea Bradway

Chelsea Bradway is a photographer and teacher at Marathon school in Hopkinton, and has a Masters in Special Education from Simmons College. Ever since she was a child she believed in wonder and whimsy.  Bradway was brought up to believe that women are powerful, alluring, intelligent, kind, and endlessly capable. In her photographs, she combines magical moments with women’s empowerment for every age. Her work has been shown in Boston, Cambridge, Plymouth, Attleborough, Hopkinton, Rhode Island, and Barcelona, Spain. Bradway has a studio in Framingham, MA at The Mill Contemporary Art.

My teaching philosophy is the same whether I am teaching Photography, Art, or Preschool and that is that all children are not alike and should be honored for their uniqueness. As a teacher, I am here to guide and help steer my students towards their passion. I am not one to provide strict guidelines on how a project should be completed. Rather, I help the students to ask their own questions, and together we will come up with the answers. All students must have a stimulating environment where they can grow artistically,  emotionally, and socially. I will provide a safe environment where students are invited to share their ideas and take risks.

My favorite part of teaching at the HCA is their warm and welcoming environment. To foster growth in children, you must start with a safe place. The HCA offers this as well fabulous art supplies that can awaken any child's imagination.

N. Lee Ball

Lee is an oil painter born in Raleigh, North Carolina.  She grew up influenced by both the red clay around her home in the rural countryside of Johnston County, NC, and the opportunities of the Capitol city of Raleigh where her parents worked.  After high school, Lee studied Architecture at North Carolina State University School of Design and received a Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture.  She also earned a BFA from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, concentrating in Painting and Sculpture, and staying a little longer to earn a teaching certificate. She taught secondary Visual Art for twelve years, ten of which were at Athens Drive High School.  After relocating to Franklin, Massachusetts, Lee currently enjoys teaching students at Danforth Art School and Hopkinton Center for the Arts. Lee’s work has been juried into regional and national shows including the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh Fine Art Society, Raleigh Visual Art Exchange, Morini Gallery, Lexington Artwalk, and Cambridge Art Association. Much of her work is inspired by her interest in theatre, museums, and travel.   Although she considers Massachusetts and the Northeast her new forever home, she visits Johnston County in North Carolina often.

Art is for everyone.  Unlocking your inner voice with as much skill as possible comes from experience, practice, and exploration (and letting yourself have FUN!) I try to create an environment, in my classes and through my lessons, that allows students of all levels to explore their potential, feel comfortable with media, have confidence to start on their own,  and have the freedom to have fun doing it.  Sometimes learning to look at something in a new way is challenging.  My goal is to give as much foundational information on techniques and materials that students feel comfortable and curious about learning and improving skills on their path to sharing their inner voice.

Personal Artist Statement
I create contemporary oil paintings celebrating overlooked, mundane people, places, and things in the changing environment they occupy. Inspiration for much of my work comes from images obtained through my travels by car, train, bike, airplane, and even comfortable shoes.  I am particularly fond of unique architecture. Occasionally, I dig into my family’s archive of black and white photos of little-known relatives.  I crop and frame my images to detach the viewer from reality and to create a new narrative.  I start conversations on canvas, incorporating the natural patterns, textures, and space of an actual place into a pleasing composition of decaying Americana.  Currently, I am exploring a variety of materials, images, and experiences with works comparing man-made objects and ever-changing landscapes.

Celeste Falcone

Celeste Falcone has twenty five years experience teaching  art and working as a school library media specialist in the public schools.  She loves art and story.  She works with clay and teaches children's classes at Community Kiln in Framingham.  Her ceramic work is marked by an interest in organic, floral surface design, and her work has been recently included in several shows, including No School, at the Julie Heller Gallery.  She earned a BFA from the University of Texas in art education, and contributed lessons to the K-6 text, Art Works.  After earning a Masters from Ohio State University in Instructional Design and Technology she has worked as a school library media specialist.  Celeste loves to have fun and learn with her students.

Judith Smith

Judith Smith earned her masters of education degree and teaching certification in Special Education, in moderate disabilities, from BSU. In addition, Judith graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bridgewater State University with a B.A. in art with minors in music, education and theater, and earned teaching certificates in Art K-12 and General Music K-12. She also studied piano, French, and drawing for a year at Emmanuel College in Boston. Judith owned her own floral and special event design business, and an art lesson business under the name of Kreative Kids and Talented Teens. She has also worked at Harvard University Le Corbusier Center, Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, King Philip Middle School, and the League School for Autism in Walpole. After moving to Medway, to be closer to her grandchildren, Judith discovered the Hopkinton Center for the Arts where she has been thrilled to teach ever since.

My teaching philosophy is to “meet the child where they are that day.” All children have special needs each time you see them.  It is my job to connect with them emotionally first, so that instruction flows easily. I provide structure so that thinking and creating can take place in a developmentally appropriate way.  This means that I am well-prepared for class and able to communicate the learning objectives clearly and concisely in a relaxed, non-stressful manner.

Marion Buricatu

Life is basically a huge collection of moments. Sometimes you have no idea how everything will end up tying together - Marion Buricatu had a lot of those moments, and she definitely never expected to enjoy teaching art at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts, where she works with such a diverse group of very talented artists and art teachers.

Marion was born in France in an artistic family. Academically, she oriented herself towards science. She received a master’s in Geophysics in Paris and worked in the environmental field. In 2001, she moved to the US with her family and decided to try her hand at painting. She took classes with painting teachers before becoming one herself, earned a modern art certificate at the MOMA, became a docent at the Worcester Art Museum and continuously keeps on learning. In 2011, she became a painting teacher where she combines her love for teaching art and art history. 

From art techniques, to art history, to finding their own voice, I will accompany your children in their artistic journey and hopefully will create a lifelong interest in art appreciation, whether they become professional artists or avid connoisseurs.  With my scientific background and artistic skills, I am able to offer art students different approaches to their art making and help them feel confident in their art projects. As an instructor, I am considerate of students' desires but able to elevate them to new levels.

HCA offers to its students love and curiosity about all forms of art, a well-rounded cultured experience. In this environment, I am very proud to be part of a team of talented teachers and artists

 

Sarah Alexander

Director of Visual Arts

 

Sarah Alexander is a self-taught multi-disciplinary artist working on paper, canvas, and sculpting with steel. She is a core artist member at Fountain Street Gallery in Boston MA.  Sarah's work is in private collections and has been shown extensively throughout New England, and abroad. Her work has been published by North Light Book and is featured in Incite, the Best of Mixed Media 1, 2 &3. Sarah is the Director of Visual Arts and the Hopkinton Center for the Arts and teaches children through adults.

My teaching style is to expose my students to tools and coping skills that they can use in their art making journey. It is crucial to nurture their creative voices and to encourage experimentation and guide development in creative problem solving. I use my own experiences as a professional artist as a way to communicate real life successes and failures, and the art of never giving up. My class motto is to “keep going” and to work through obstacles and accidents, which often turn into unexpected surprises.  In my classroom, we are all artists working together feeding off of each other's unique visions.

 

The Hopkinton Center for the Arts is an incredible place to work. I love being immersed in such a supportive environment where you can see the differences we are making with adults and children in our community. I love watching the moments of discovery as my students conquer a new skill. It’s a place for people to nurture their imaginations, find their self confidence, and where they can fully be themselves in whatever way they’d like in a safe and accepting space.  

Beth Newman

Beth Newman studied fine arts from a young age, and graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design in 2003. There she learned all the facets of image making, from drawing to painting from life, to children’s book illustration. Beth studied with illustrators such as Mary Jane Begin, Thomas Sguros, and David Macaulay the Caldecott award winning author of The Way Things Work

Beth has taught in small art studios such as the Whitehall Farm Studios of Hopkinton (children and adults), independent painting workshops at Bunkhouse Creative of Holliston, and most recently at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. Beth continually develops her personal artwork, and has a studio art space in Holliston, MA. She has lived in Hopkinton for over 18 years, along with her husband, three children, and their dog Maple. 

Since my own work derives from Classical Realism, I infuse classical drawing methods and techniques into my fine art classes, taking care to ensure every student grasps the art of observational drawing as a backbone to image making. I love technical drawing, watercolor, oil painting, and exploring with fun new mediums. In my classes, I also love to explore color, collage art, painting, sculpture, and other exciting methods of visual art making. I truly strive to bring out the personality and expression of each student, and help them achieve their greatest potential as an artist. 

At the HCA I love working with a diverse body of art students, bringing out each artists’ talent so they can feel the enjoyment and satisfaction of creating their own beautiful artwork. 

Dance

Jessica Wilson

Director, HCA Dance program

Jessica began her dance training through the Royal Academy of Dance with Mary Tolland and received coaching from Herida May for R.A.D. exams. She also studied intensely with well known teacher Jacqueline Cronsberg. Jessica graduated from the Walnut Hill School (Natick, MA) and later attended State University New York at Purchase where she majored in dance and psychology and minored in philosophy.

Jessica began her teaching career in 1993 when she joined the faculty of Ballet Workshop New England. She was appointed Associate Director of the school in 2003. Jessica also held the position of Ballet Mistress with the Massachusetts Youth Ballet, where she worked closely with Sandra Jennings, Repetiteur for the George Balanchine Trust, on ballets such as Serenade, Concerto Barocco, Who Cares?, Divertimento #15, Le Baiser de la Fee, Apollo, and divertissements from The Nutcracker. That same year Jessica was appointed Artistic Director of the company.

 Jessica founded MetroWest Ballet in 2005. Her students have gone on to join companies like Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Ballet Theater of Maryland, Dawson/Wallace Dance Project, Arch Contemporary Ballet, Carolyn Dorfman Dance, and Boston Dance Theater. In 2019, Jessica joined the Hopkinton Center for the Arts as its new Director of Dance. In addition to teaching dance, Jessica and her husband run a beekeeping business. She enjoys being outdoors and making ceramic honey pots. She has been teaching for nearly 29 years.

Theresa Kniaz

Contemporary Dance

Theresa discovered her love for ballet at age ten, and began her training with Cathy Fallon. By age 16, she enrolled as a full-time student at the Boston Ballet School and later spent a year as a student at renowned Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet where she trained under the direction of Marcia Dale Weary. During her years of training, she performed extensively in corps de ballet and solo roles in productions of The Nutcracker, Peer Gynt, and Snow White, as well as annual Spring showcases. 

She also performed contemporary pieces in Boston Ballet School's production of Alice in Wonderland as the Cheshire Cat, and as a company member of SundanceX directed by David Sun.

In 2017, Therese graduated Summa Cum Laude from UMass Boston with a Bachelor's degree in Finance. After working full time as a business analyst at a fast paced start-up, Theresa renewed her passion for dance and discovered her love for teaching. In addition to her faculty positions, Theresa continues her own dance training, attending ballet and contemporary classes and workshops in the Greater Boston area, and is certified as a personal fitness trainer.

Alyssa McQuillan

Creative Dance, Pre-Ballet & Hip Hop

From the time she was three-years old, Alyssa has looked up to her own amazing dance teachers and is now thrilled to be a role model for young dancers at the Hopkinton Center for the Arts. She began her training at the Academy of Tap, Jazz, and Ballet in Bellingham, Massachusetts. While training there, Alyssa competed all over New England and won several high awards and scholarships for solos, group dances, and productions. The Academy also provided her with an opportunity to work as an assistant dance teacher with children of all different ages and abilities. This position fueled her interest and passion for becoming a teacher. Now she attends Bridgewater State University with a major in business and a minor in dance in hopes to one day open up her own dance studio.

She also is continuing her dance training at the AS220 in Providence, RI. Alyssa is a member of the Dance Teachers Club of Boston, and is excited to share her passion for dance with students here at the HCA.

Desiree Reese Mottard

Ballet

Desirée began her formal dance training in Salem, Virginia on a full scholarship with the Southwest Virginia Ballet where she was privately coached by School Director Terri Post. ​Desirée’s professional career began at the age of 17 at the Virginia Ballet Theatre where she consistently performed leading roles in such ballets as George Balanchine’s Valse Fantasie and Agnes de Mille’s Three Virgins and a Devil. In 2000 she began dancing with Ballet Magnificat and toured across North and Central America, Europe and Southeast Asia. In 2004 Desirée joined José Mateo’s Ballet Theatre in Cambridge, MA and soon became a principal dancer and had the privilege of having original roles and choreography created specifically for her. Additionally, Desirée has guest performed the leading roles in Coppélia, Firebird, Cinderella, Graduation Ball and The Nutcracker. She has received recognition for her work throughout the Metro Area both online and in print within such publications as the Patriot Ledger, The Boston Phoenix and The Boston Globe.

​She has taught ballet for over a decade at The Brookline Ballet School until she moved to Holliston. She is certified in Vaganova Syllabus for years 1, 2 & 3. She also earned her degree in Holistic Psychology and Mindfulness Studies at Lesley University. In addition to her love for teaching ballet sheis also the founder of Movement & Mindfulness and has brought her program to both public and private schools, dance schools and community centers. She is happy to be part of the Hopkinton Center for the Arts community.

Daniela Aldrich

Ballet

Although her introduction to dance was through flamenco dance as a toddler, Daniela began her formal ballet training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet when she was 6. At 13, she spent a year in Madrid, Spain training with Víctor Ullate at the Centro de Danza. When she returned to CPYB, she had the opportunity to dance in more Balanchine ballets and fell in love with the specific style. At 16 she was accepted into the School of American Ballet, where she trained and worked as a Teaching Assistant in the children's division for the next two years. She spent summers at Miami City Ballet and San Francisco Ballet schools.

Upon graduating from SAB, Daniela was awarded the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and invited to join New York City Ballet as an apprentice dancer. After 18 months of performing and touring with the company, she moved back to Carlisle, PA to get her college education at Dickinson College. There she majored in Environmental Studies and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. She is now an organic vegetable farmer in Beverly, MA operating her own farm- Dancing Harvest Farm. She is thrilled to step back into the studio and share her love of movement with students. 

Upon graduating from SAB, Daniela was awarded the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise and invited to join New York City Ballet as an apprentice dancer. After 18 months of performing and touring with the company, she moved back to Carlisle, PA to get her college education at Dickinson College. There she majored in Environmental Studies and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. She is now an organic vegetable farmer in Beverly, MA operating her own farm- Dancing Harvest Farm. She is thrilled to step back into the studio and share her love of movement with students. 

Haley Andrews

Contemporary, Jazz

Haley Andrews of Middleboro, Massachusetts graduated from Salve Regina University with a degree in English Communications, accompanied by a dance minor. Upon graduation, Andrews received the Salve Regina University Dance Award 2018. During her time at Salve Regina University, she was a dancer/choreographer for Extensions Dance Company, performed and presented choreography at American College Dance Association, and was a captain for SRU Dance Club. Her work 1,968.4 Miles of Vulnerability was one of just nine pieces selected for the Gala Concert at ACDA 2018 in which the adjudicators called her work “evocative” and praised her movement invention. That same piece was also selected to be showcased in Boston Contemporary Dance Festival August of 2018 at the Huntington Theatre.

While living in Boulder, Colorado the past two years, Haley’s piece 1,968.4 Miles of Vulnerability was selected to be showcased at Versatility Dance Festival, CO 2019 performed at The Dairy Arts Center, and at BANDchicago Dance Festival performed at Hubbard St. Dance Chicago. 

Throughout premiering her own work, Andrews danced with company T2 Dance Project, performing, choreographing, and traveling the 2019 and part of the 2020 season with them. Currently, Andrews resides back in New England instructing drop-in contemporary classes at Urbanity Dance in Boston, MA, and is an adjunct professor at Salve Regina University instructing contemporary dance for the Fall semester. Whilst instructing at various locations, Haley continues to build repertoire for Andrews Movement, her own project based company. AndrewsMovement.com

Erin Moody

Ballet

Erin began her dance training at Walnut Hill Community Dance Academy at a young age. She then went on to attend Walnut Hill School for the Arts, training under Michael Owen, Denise Lewis and Monica Lender. Erin attended the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, receiving her BFA in ballet performance and psychology. Erin spent her junior year of college studying abroad at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, where she had the opportunity to train with former and current members of the Scottish Ballet and Scottish Dance Theatre. During her senior year, Erin was selected to guest with the Dayton Ballet. Following graduation, Erin moved to Hartford, CT to dance professionally with Vivid Ballet, which became Ballet Hartford, under the direction of Elizabeth Mcmillan. She has had the opportunity to perform corps de ballet and soloist roles all over the Northeast, Ohio, and Austin, TX. In Hartford, Erin came to love the art of teaching dance as well as pilates, after receiving her pilates teaching certification. Currently Erin is in school to pursue nursing and she is more than thrilled to be on staff at Hopkinton Center for the Arts!

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