MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS
Beth BlanchardOil Painting & Homeschool Art
A lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, Beth developed her love of painting and teaching through local artists and instructors like Cleta Norcross, Wayne Fulcher, and Robert Lemasters. Beth believes that every person has an artistic bent, and it’s her goal as a teacher to help her students discover the art they were created to make. Whether she is teaching a four year old how to draw, encouraging the teenager to let go and enjoy the process, or guiding the adult student back to the basics, she loves equipping and encouraging others in their artistic pursuits just as she was encouraged by her former teachers. Beth has taught students drawing, acrylics, oils, watercolors, printing, collage, clay, weaving, calligraphy, and art history, but oil painting is her passion. Beth has taught privately, at her church, and as a K4-12th grade teacher at Suffolk Christian Academy.
Denise BrownBeginner Line Dancing
Denise Brown holds a BS in Health and Physical Education from ODU. She has taught in Norfolk Public Schools for 2 years. She has been a YMCA exercise instructor and line dancing instructor. She has also taught line dancing at enlisted club in Yokosuka, Japan and several session at the Suffolk Center. Currently, she is working full at Lake Prince Woods retirement community teaching a variety of exercise classes.
Jordie DiFernandoKids Art/Creative Writing
Jordie’s hunger for art has been part of her as long as she can remember! From taking years of art classes as a child, to writing on every available paper she could find, art has been her go-to form of self-expression for more than 20 years. Though she studied nonprofit leadership in college, painting and writing have been long-time passions of hers, and are a very influential part of her life. Jordie is a skilled abstract artist, and she can be found using many different mediums in her work. She paints mostly with acrylic, but is also very skilled in watercolor art, as well as thin-line drawings and hand lettering. Additionally, Jordie is an extremely gifted writer. She has been published in various online forums, and is passionate about creative writing and storytelling. Jordie earned her B.S. in Nonprofit Business Management from Southern New Hampshire University. She is the Founder & Executive Director of Compassion Cards, a local organization that utilizes the beauty of handwritten cards to encourage and empower thousands of people across the United States each year.
Christine Dove was awarded her certificate to teach Hatha Yoga on July 5, 1980, by the Integral School of Yoga. She continued her studies in Hatha Yoga, attending many seminars and yoga workshops under the direction of Satchidananda and his disciples of Integral Yoga, Amrit Desai and his disciples of Kripalu Yoga, and the disciples of BKS Iyengar Yoga.She has taught at Body Works in Norfolk and the Eastern Shore Community College and Maryview Hospital for the Wellness Program, as well as privately in the communities. She taught at the Cancer Center at DePaul Hospital and at the Mind-Body Health Institute for ten years from 1995 through 2005. She began teaching at The Suffolk Center For Cultural Arts in 2006 where she continues today.She has also been teaching community classes in in Churchland for the last twenty eight years where she continues today . Christine served as president of the Board of Directors of The Whole Foods Co-op for seven years and as a board member for an additional five years. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University with B.A. in Social Work and has twenty two years of experience in this field.
Alicia began her dance passion at the age of 5 in Yonkers, NY, taking up Ballet, Jazz and Tap. For over 15 years Alicia has performed as student and teacher in various locations all over the United States. Studying at Washington Adventist University, she was sought out to perform with Acro-Airs team performing all over the east coast. She has worked with numerous community groups teaching lyrical dance for churches and community programs. Alicia’s love for dance did not wain after marriage and children. With a belief that lifelong learning is essential for all, she began to expand her repertoire to include dance forms such as belly dance, African traditional, African modern, Mexican folklorico. Upon relocating to El Paso, TX, Alicia was scouted by the professional dance troop the Sun City Girls and also taught dance fitness in the El Paso Independent School District. In 2016 she relocated to Hampton Roads and she is still sharing her passion with the community.
Gavin HarperChildren's Chorus
Gavin earned his M.M.E. in Applied Conducting from Old Dominion University and his BA in Church Music and Vocal Performance from the University of Valley Forge, graduating Cum Laude. He has taught elementary music, college choir, and private music lessons. He has performed in Carnegie Hall with the ODU Concert Choir as well as toured Italy twice with the UVF Concert Choir. He is also active in his community as the section leader in the choir at his church and is participating in numerous musical productions in the area. He currently is the Education Manager at the Suffolk Center and directs the Suffolk Center Children’s Chorus.
Harriette has been working with clay since she was seven years old. As an educator, Harriette has taught for over 40 years in public school and at Tidewater Community College. After her retirement, Harriette helped to form the clay program at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in 2006. Harriette says that “Mud pies are a lot of fun!” She welcomes anyone who still likes to play in the mud to join her!
Genevieve holds a BFA and MFA in Painting and Drawing from the University of Iowa. She comes from a long line of artists and writers and was surrounded by art from an early age. She has taught both at the University of Iowa and The College of Charleston and lived all over the country with her husband and two children. Having recently moved to the area, she is looking forward to discovering the many artists and opportunities that Hampton Roads has to offer.
Professional photographer in Tidewater for over 30 years specializing in black & white portraiture and weddings. Hometown raised in Chesapeake with eight grand children. Other interest: running, family, church, cycling, playing trombone in orchestra & big band jazz. Teaching photography at SCCA since 2005.
Tammy ShaiaCard Making/Stamping
I graduated from Longwood University with a BS degree in Elementary Education and Library Science. I taught in Chesterfield County Public Schools until our first child was born. I was a stay-at-home mom until our children graduated from high school. I attended a rubber stamping class some 13 years ago and my love for card making and paper crafting was born! I enjoy inspiring others to create handmade cards using rubber stamps, ink, and paper! I can teach you, too!