Art and History Instructors

Jewelry creation happens in the Washington Heights Arts Center.

Performing Arts  

Gary Jugert 

Gary has been teaching community music in Lakewood for more than 10 years. He founded the Rocky Mountain Ukulele Orchestra, the Denver Guitar Orchestra, and is ready to fire up a harmonica marching band as soon as it stops being illegal. He likes cats, playing golf, attends Metro State, and does too many crossword puzzles.

Patrice LeBlanc

Patrice holds an M.A. in musical theatre and a Certificate in Music Composition from Regis University; she also holds her B.F.A. in musical theatre from Loretto Heights College. She has performed professionally for over 20 years and is an accomplished composer and playwright. Patrice is active as a director, educator and facilitator through many schools and arts organizations. 

Richard Nakata 

Richard has had a passion for magic since he was 12 years old. His late father, known as the “Great Ah-Phooey” was a comedy magician and was his first inspiration to learn the magical arts. After spending a number of years in law enforcement, and looking at a potential career change, Richard attended the McBride Master Class in January 2002. The McBride Master Class is a specialized class for magicians to become better at their craft. In October 2003, Richard made the critical decision to leave the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office to pursue his life-long dream to become a full-time professional magician. Richard is the owner of Nakata Magic and has performed at many events and festivals, including the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival and the Parker Asian Festival, to name a few. Richard teaches magic classes for the Lakewood Cultural Center.

Visual Arts, History and Specialty


Angel Estrada

Angel is a Denver based Artist and Educator. With degrees in visual art and art education he has been teaching art at the high school level as well with adults and children with different backgrounds through city and summer camp institutions. He is a current studio artist and member at Globeville Riverfront Art cent (Grace) studios. Angel has done various city art programs and has been a feature artist with the Denver Art Museum as well as the Bi-annual Month of Printmaking festivities. He specializes in Printmaking techniques and teaches book arts, book binding and metal smithing at the high school and adult levels. 

Specializing in printmaking, Angel has a particular love for landscapes and a passion love of teaching everyone how they can make fun, fast, beautiful work, with even the simplest of tools. In addition to printmaking, Angel teaches book-arts classes as well as metalsmithing!

Anne Emmons
Anne is a Colorado native, inspired by the land and people of this place as well as by her travels around the country. Her studio work is focused most on drawing and painting, watercolor and egg tempera. She also works in assemblage. Anne has taught art to all ages of students for nearly 30 years. Anne volunteered in elementary schools as her children grew up in Jefferson County. She has taught studio art and art appreciation in Colorado Community Colleges and other colleges and universities, private and public art programs, special topic workshops and lectures by invitation. 

Audrey Goodman
Audrey is excited to be teaching Painting Techniques and Mixed Media. As a lifelong artist, she truly believes in the power of creation as a form of self-expression, reflection, and healing. Audrey received her Bachelor’s in Human Development/Elementary Education with a focus on Art Education from Metropolitan State University. Throughout her career as an educator, she has had the opportunity to study and teach art in several countries and capacities around the world and work with a diverse variety of students. The only thing Audrey enjoys more than creating art of her own is watching the magic that can happen when sharing the creative process with her students. She believes art should be an integrated part of all of our lives and is so proud to be a part of a program that makes it accessible to children in our community.  

Cathy Jacobus

Cathy Jacobus has been weaving for about 25 years and has more looms than one mortal can possibly use. She also spins, makes felt, embroiders and is an avid natural dyer.

Christine O’Dea
Christine has an education degree from the University of Maine and a fine arts degree from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She shows her ceramic/mixed media installations in local galleries. 

Daniel Granitto
Daniel M. Granitto returned to his hometown of Lakewood, Colorado in 2016 after living and working in Chicago, Illinois for six years where he received his BFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Granitto’s works have been exhibited in galleries and museums spanning the western United States. Daniel currently works out of his home studio in Lakewood where he lives his wife and three kids.

Dina Pemberton
Diana is a Texas native studio artist now based in Lakewood, CO. She received her BFA Magna Cum Laude from Texas Tech University where she studied jewelry design and metalsmithing. During this time, she studied abroad in Florence, Italy where she took her first weaving class and became obsessed! After finishing her undergraduate studies, she moved to Japan where she taught English as a Second Language from 2015-2017. It was there she was introduced to and studied SAORI weaving which heavily influences her work today. In 2020, she graduated with her MFA from the textiles program at Kent State University. While in the program she was the Graduate Teaching Assistant and became Adjunct in fall 2021. Diana has exhibited her work nationally and internationally; most recently she was part of an invitation to show work at the Young Textile Art Triennial in Lodz, Poland. She currently teaches in the fibers program at WHAC as well as manages and makes for her small textile business Diana Ruth Designs.

Elaine Harper
Mrs. Harper is a Lakewood resident who teaches the cooking classes for Lakewood! She studied at MSU Denver and has a degree in Special Education. Her love for cooking grew as her family has grown, inspired to serve her family and community nutritious and sustainable food. She loves working with all ages in the kitchen and looks forward to meeting you in class! 

Gail Firmin
Gail mentors for Developmental Disability Resources Center’s Art and Soul program, teaching art classes to disabled adults. She teaches drawing and watercolor classes for the City of Lakewood. She is active with the Lakewood Arts Council and a member of its co-op gallery, exhibiting her work in graphite, watercolor, pastels and mixed media.

Holly Causey

Holly has been learning and teaching art, fiber arts, cooking, sewing, crafts and quilting for many years. In working with children she has found joy and fun, and, loves to explore their world and their openness to creativity. Holly approaches these subjects not just as a project but as a passion.

Ismael Lozano
Ismael “Izzy” is a Colorado native and has worked in the Denver Public School system for over 17 years at every grade level as well as the collegiate level at Metropolitan State University. He has taught for the Art Students League of Denver and has taught classes at the Smithsonian Latino Center in Washington. He has worked as an oil painter for over 22 years. His work currently hangs in collections as far east as Philadelphia, and has shown as far west as Diablo College, in California.

James McLellan
James has been working in ceramics for more than 18 years. Since receiving his BFA s from Metropolitan State College of Denver, where he has continued teaching and showing his work in Denver and out of state. James enjoys working in all the ceramic arts and teaching beginners on the pottery wheel.

Jay O’Shea

Jay is a watercolor artist with a background in oil and acrylics. He received several years training under Tom Berger, along with self-study and workshops. He has received several awards, including a People’s Choice award and a Most Improved Artist award at the Glenwood Springs Fall Art Festival. He also has exhibited at the Lakewood Cultural Center and the National Mining Hall of Fame art gallery in Leadville. Jay holds a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture. He is retired as a supervisory landscape architect from the National Park Service.

Jessica Lipton

Jessica Ann is a functional potter and instructor. She has a BFA in digital arts and a Master's in Mechanical Engineering. She has worked as a production potter and kiln assistant for salt, gas and wood kilns. She has taught wheel throwing classes at community studios in New York City and Worcester, MA and undergraduate ceramic classes at Syracuse University. Jessica currently teaches ceramics classes at various studios in the Denver Metro area in Colorado. Her current focuses are on functional, textured, porcelain wares with depictions of plants and animals. 

Joseph Sikora
Joseph was trained in traditional wood carving in Bavaria, Germany. He worked for 10 years as a freelance carver while in Bavaria and returned to the United States in 1991. He displays and sells his pieces at Sikora Woodcarving in Louisville. 

Katrina Hoing

Katrina Hoing has lived in Lakewood since 2001 with her husband, who is a lifelong Lakewood resident. She is a self-taught cold process soap maker and mom to a teenage boy and four cats. Katrina has been making soap, bath fizzies and other personal items for about eight years and began teaching classes for the city in 2019. Katrina believes it is extremely gratifying to make the things we use every day with our very own hands.   

Laurey Patten
Laurey is a certified PMC jewelry artist, potter and fiction writer who thoroughly enjoys teaching. She developed her lifelong interest in clay rift after grad school, while working on an archaeological dig in England.  Her work has been shown in Washington D.C. Virginia, and Colorado. In her spare time, Laurey enjoys writing fantasy novels, jewelry design, herbology and travel.

Mailin Plagge
Mailin has been a practicing artist and art teacher for several years, both internationally and in the US. She currently teaches Open Studio, Youth Digital Arts, Create With Me, and Art Explorers at LCC. Mailin graduated from St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, concentrating on figurative work in oil paint. Since then, she has greatly enjoyed honing her skills in other 2-D media, including soft and oil pastel, charcoal, and acrylics. She has had her works chosen for several nationally juried shows, most recently for the Boulder Arts Association, and has participated in the 2022 Art District On Sante Fe's residency program. Mailin’s art philosophy, in both practice and especially in teaching, centers on the belief that mistakes are a happy part of the learning process, that expression always trumps perfection, and that stretching our creative muscles is good for the soul. 

Michael Bowe

Michael Is a student of both functional and decorative ceramic work and has a special interest in low fire methods and techniques. Michael is a performing artist and writer who happily discovered a love for ceramic art in the not-too-distant past.

Norbert Nagel

Norbert has served as co-president of the Pastel Society of Colorado. Most of his work is done plein air, working to capture the feeling of a landscape more than copying it. His background includes working with regional pastel artists and at Metropolitan State College of Denver and Colorado State University. He has won several awards for his plein air paintings.

Pamela Bliss
Pamela has been weaving for about 25 years and teaching locally for 20 years. As a teacher, she is known for her sense of humor and warmth. One student said, “Pamela takes the fear out of learning something new.” She continually strives to improve her technique and broaden her knowledge so that she can share these with her students. In addition to teaching, she creates and sells her own woven and hand-dyed items at various venues.

Pam Farris

After 20 years of teaching art, Pam found a love for mosaics. Her mosaics range from historical to contemporary with the goal of elevating traditional craft into fine art. Her historical mosaics are made with the techniques of the Roman and Byzantine era, while her contemporary work strives to make you think about meaning.

Robin Wilton
Robin earned a B.F.A. with a concentration in weaving for Colorado State University. She’s been weaving for over 50 years. Robin has been teaching inkle weaving, rigid heddle weaving and beginning weaving at Washington Heights for almost 5 years. Robin has taught inkle weaving for shops and weaving guilds throughout the Front Range for many years. 

Ratha Sok
Ratha is a self-taught Colorado native mural artist who sought mentorship through his connections and community. As a West High School Alumni, Ratha was the founder of their inaugural mural club. His experiences have grown from graffiti art, gallery experience, and murals, both domestic and international. His current styles include a mix of abstract and realism and he enjoys highlighting both local nature elements and the vibrant natural colors of Colorado. As an artist, Ratha is most proud of his resilience as a first-generation Cambodian American breaking barriers in the arts. Some of his hobbies include sketching, skateboarding, and sometimes cooking. Sharing his experiences through teaching the youth is also a passion of his. He has taught graffiti summer camp sessions for the last several years. 

Slawa Radziszewska

Slawa specializes in realistic portraiture, figure painting and other representational imagery. In her classes she does art demos, which are very helpful for her students in developing drawing and painting skills. Her art in the making was presented in the “International Artist” magazine April/May 2019. She believes that we all have gifts to be shared with the World and in the process of creating art we can bring them to fruition and fulfill our potential. Painting portraits might be challenging, but it is also a very satisfying and a joyful process. 

Steve Hartbauer

Steve is a Colorado native and has been an active member of the Denver art community for over 30 years. Steve has a BFA from the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, with emphasis in art history and 3D design. He is a sculptor and incorporates metal, glass, found objects and ceramics into his work; for the past 10 years he has been covering his entire house and garage in ceramic mosaic tile. You can find Steve volunteering at a local animal shelter in his free time.

Susan Michalakes 

Susan has been an avid crafter most of her life and enjoys dabbling in a variety of different crafts. Her passions include Zentangle inspired art and knitting/spinning. She was fortunate to be able to travel to Providence, Rhode Island in April 2017 to obtain her certification as a Zentangle teacher. Professionally, she has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over 30 years and truly enjoys the wide variety of people she's been able to meet over the years. 

Zoey Chapin
Zoey has always had a love for art and teaching. After teaching in public schools in Massachusetts for 6 years, she moved to Colorado and has loved working with the wonderful ceramics community and students of all ages.  She studied sculpture and art education at Montserrat College of Art and received her master’s in art education from Boston University. Zoey is passionate about sharing her love of ceramics and art exploration with others.