The Operations of C.R.E.A.T.E
Heather Hutchison, MA, ATR-BC, LCAT
Heather Hutchison is a NYS Licensed Creative Arts Therapist and Board-Certified Art Therapist. She has been in private practice for 8 years with 12+ years in the field of Mental Health, Art Therapy & various community art locations. She received her master’s degree in Counseling Psychology & Art Therapy from Naropa University. While Heather specializes in counseling & creative arts therapies with children & families, she has worked with all ages and developmental levels, including the autism spectrum, physical disabilities, and dementia. Heather believe that through art people can overcome struggles to reach their fullest potential.
Aili Lopez, LMHC, ATR
Aili Lopez is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in New York State. She received her master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling & Expressive Arts Therapy at Prescott College. She grew up in rural New Mexico, followed by many adventures working in places like Juarez, Mexico and Mongolia. Aili recognizes that art is a natural way to connect with others across cultures and languages. It also offers all members of the community a way to tell their stories, heal from trauma, and advocate for social change. Aili’s goal as a therapist and artist is to help individuals use art to make personal and social changes in creative ways. She primarily works as a therapist at Four Winds Hospital in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Charlotte Mack, BA Art history
Charlotte Mack grew up in New York City and is now local to Schenectady. She obtained her bachelors in Art History from Bard College in the Spring of 2014. She has always been strong believer of equal housing opportunities, (aesthetics specifically) and when she found CREATE she felt a strong connection. Since graduating she has done a fair amount of traveling and worked a variety of jobs. She is bringing her focus back to the roots of her education and pursuing further into the arts world. She has always loved making art herself and working with kids and is very excited to bring the two worlds together.
Julianne Lewis, M.Ed
Julianne Lewis is an artist, NY State certified teacher and friend of community arts organizations. She grew up in Colorado participating in music, visual and performing arts and specializes in photography. She received her Masters degree in Childhood Education here in New York State and has taught all ages and abilities for 10+ years.
Most recently, Julie has been working with children and various art mediums in spiritual and therapeutic settings. She believes that people of all ages can heal and connect through the practices of Expressive Arts.
Founders of C.R.E.A.T.E.
Heather Hutchison, Aili Lopez, Julie Lewis and Camille Grec.
Welcome to CREATE Community Studios! My name is Marion Leap. I grew up in the Capital Region and attended Niskayuna High School where I realized my love for creating art. At the College of Saint Rose, I studied under some fantastic teachers and graduated with concentrations in painting, silkscreen and drawing. For 34 years, I taught K-6 art, first in the Coxsackie-Athens School District and the last 25 years in the City School District of Albany. In 2013, I retired and began pursuing my passion in creating art. As my husband put it, I was “retired but not tired”. I also have three children who I am proud to say also make use of art in varying degrees to express themselves.
Colleen Wygal is an energetic poet and teacher of literature. She has worked with children and adults of all ages and is skilled at coaxing even the most timid writers to wield their wisdom.
Celeste has been knitting since childhood and is currently pursuing Level III of the TKGA Master Knitting Program. She began teaching classes in 2008, using her graduate training in fine arts and education to provide high quality instruction to her students. Celeste’s patterns have been featured on the cover of Interweave Knits magazine and in special issues including The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, Jane Austen Knits, and Holiday Gifts, the Knitting and Crochet Pattern-a-Day Calendars. Her books are Knits of a Feather and Baby & Me Knits. She regularly teaches knitting, spinning, and crochet lessons throughout the northeast.
Through the always-unfolding creative process, Camille works with adults and adolescents to collaboratively rekindle connection to wholeness. This is accomplished through a focus on recalibrating damaged or damaging belief structures, reflective reframing, growing a resilient sense-of-self, and moving towards powerful acceptance of self in community. Camille is in private practice as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in Saratoga Springs, New York. She earned her Masters Degree in Art Therapy and Counseling at Southwestern College, a consciousness-centered graduate school in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition, she is a practicing participant of the Amenti Noegensis Mystery School.
... is an educator, artist and currently a graduate student at Lesley University where she is pursuing her degree in Clinical Mental Health with a concentration in Expressive arts therapies.
I am super excited to be a part of the C.R.E.A.T.E. community. I will be leading various workshops from preschool art playdates and birthday parties, to special edition holiday art and craft classes. My background is in Environmental Studies therefore nature is an underlying theme in many of my classes. Let’s create together in Schenectady!
Victoria O. Milne, MSEd, CSC
Victoria O. Milne is excited to join Create. She has a passion for finding the extraordinary in the ordinary. She holds a Master's Degree in Multicultural Education and is a NYS Certified K-12 School Counselor, Licensed Interfaith Minister, Bereavement Practitioner, and is an Ecclesiastically Endorsed Clinical Chaplain. She has been leading children and adults at schools, colleges, hospitals, and workshops to Wellness of Mind, Body and Spirit through the discovery of life's meaning and hope in times of transition. Victoria is the owner of Sanctuary of Heart and Spirit, which can be found at www.sanctuaryheart.com.
Jennifer is a NYS licensed creative art therapist and board certified art therapist with experience working in a variety of settings with adults, children and adolescents. She brings to her practice a deep understanding that all people need a safe way to explore what may be troubling them and not everyone communicates best verbally. Jennifer believes that the creative process found in art therapy, along with the therapeutic relationship, provides a safe way to explore areas that may be too difficult to talk about or for which words don’t even exist. Jennifer is board certified by the American Art Therapy Association (ATR-BC) and has a Master’s degree from New York University.
I’m an artist that focuses primarily on fantasy illustration, portraiture, and character design. I graduated from Skidmore College in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in fine art, and began my freelancing career in 2010 doing both graphic design and illustration projects for various clients. In July of 2015 I began teaching at the College of Saint Rose’s Summer Academy for Youth, and I continue to teach my classes every summer to children in grades 6-10.