Meet Our Contributing Artists…..Past & Present

Drawing of Crayons

Don Riesett is a retired advertising executive and published author. He writes about the diverse experiences of a life that has taken him from Baltimore’s Pigtown to New York’s Madison Avenue and on to become the Chief Executive of a major international advertising agency based in London, England. He has traveled the world many times over and seen his share of life’s highs…and lows, once battling a depression so severe as to require psychiatric hospitalization and electro-shock therapy, all of which has yielded Don a wealth of material for his writing and publication in numerous literary journals. Don currently devotes his time and talent primarily to writing, teaching and mentoring.

Grace Sweeney is a graduate of Baltimore School for the Arts and a Maryland Distinguished Scholar. She has an undergraduate degree in fine arts and minor in art history from MICA. In addition to her academic training, she has trained extensively in oil painting throughout Europe. She is a member artist of the Hamilton Gallery and currently has pieces on display at the Gallery and the Art House in Hampden.

Deirdre McAllister, an MFA in Theatre Arts candidate at Towson University, is a performer, playwright, director/deviser, teaching artist and musician from Baltimore, Maryland. She received her BA in Performance and Arts Administration from Suffolk University in Boston. She is focused on creating new original works that explores different modes of collaboration to encourage and promote social action, awareness, and engagement; empowering those who have not been enabled to create art to find community through expression. Her thesis will focus on drama therapy and how collaboration can assist in recovery processes. She will work with The Imagination Players at the Man Alive Treatment Center in Baltimore to develop a script inspired by various aspects of recovery. 

Kaitlin Brennan comes to the Imagination Lab with a diverse non-profit background and commitment to improving the Baltimore community. After a number of summers spent teaching art at the Friends School of Baltimore, she has continued to cultivate her own creativity through ceramics. Ms. Brennan holds a Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Baltimore.

Herb Massie has been teaching at Baltimore Clayworks since September of 2000. He coordinates teaching sites for the Community Arts Program and is the site Manager for the Clay for All Center at the Zeta Center. He participated in and led public community art projects including “Discovering Community: The History of East Baltimore” at Dunbar Middle school, the “Memorial: Tiffany Square” project, “And still I Rise” at St. Frances Academy, and “The Parkway Community” mural, among many others. He teaches the senior adult classes for Community Arts as well as youth programs. He is co-directing the Community Arts program at Baltimore Clayworks.

Christine Higgins is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars. Her poems have been published in many journals including America, Pequod, Nagautuck River Preview, PMS (poemmemoirstory) and Poetry East. She has been a McDowell Colony Fellow and recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council Award for poetry. Her chapbook, Threshold, was published in 2013 by Finishing Line Press. Recently she won an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Passenger Contest for her poem, “What Shelter, What Hope.”

Sarah Boes is a professional videographer who donated her time and talents in documenting and designing the beginnings of The Imagination Lab. She has worked for Fox 45 and is presently with the PGA TOUR Entertainment.