Meet our Teachers

Kathryn James, Executive Director

Watercolor Instructor

Besides her deep faith and love of artwork, Kathryn brings the experience of a lifetime in the workplace to the Lighthouse Arts Center. Her artistic and scholarship accreditation includes Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from the State University of New York, primarily through long distance learning, as well as several years of personal study with watercolorist Paul Elliott in Upstate New York. She is a skilled watercolor artist and has taught classes for many years. Her thirty years working in various positions for a large corporation has given her knowledge in time management, organizational skills, employee oversight and development, customer service handling, public relations and corporate planning. And while she was doing all that, she completed the Famous Artists Course as well as wrote and self-published a biography. She is excited to enter this new aspect of her lifetime and to share her love of Christ through the beauty of art.

Sadie Personeni, Gallery Director

Printmaking and Kids Education Instructor

Sadie is a recent graduate of the University of Maine where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Art Education and Studio Art, as well as earned her Maine K-12 Visual Arts Education Certification. Sadie grew up in the small town of South Berwick, Maine and discovered a love for both art-making and teaching at a young age. While attending the University of Maine, Sadie found a passion for teaching and community based arts that she hopes to bring to the Lighthouse Arts Center through a variety of workshops and classes for all ages. She enjoys experimenting in a wide array of media, but especially loves all forms of printmaking, ceramics, and drawing.

Janalee Welch

Pastels Instructor


Prior to 2007 I was teaching in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts and living in Worcester, MA. During my twelve years there, I had the good fortune to attend classes at the Worcester Art Museum. This was a rich and rewarding experience where I saw my pastel style take shape and my work make strides.

Since retirement in 2007 and moving  home to Maine, I have worked at developing an art career, primarily painting with pastels. To date my artwork has been accepted into juried shows and I have won a number of awards for my pastels.  My pastels can be seen online and in Art Space Gallery in Rockland, Maine. My hand made books have been exhibited in juried shows in Maine.  I have also shown my work at the Betts Gallery in Belfast and at Harmon’s and Barton’s Gallery in Portland.

Sandi Cirillo

Fibers Instructor


Sandi Cirillo has been a fiber/mixed media artist for over 25 years specializing in creating artwork which pleases the eye and craves to be touched. The inspiration for her work focuses on the textural qualities of manmade and natural fibers which she incorporates into her artwork. Her work reflects her love of traveling throughout Maine where she lives and her appreciation of the natural environment around her.

Sandi is a retired art educator who gives many different fiber workshops in the Northeast and North Carolina. She teaches many of her workshops in collaboration with various arts centers throughout the Northeast. She has taught undegraduate and graduate courses at Alfred University and Nazareth College in New York State. She currently teaches drawing and fiber classes at Senior College in Belfast, Maine.

Visit her website… to see examples of Sandi’s work. You can also see her work at the Lupine Cottage in Belfast, Southwest Harbor Artisans in Southwest Harbor, River Arts in Damariscotta, Beyond the Sea in Lincolnville and the Franklin Street Gallery in Watkins Glen, New York. She exhibits her work locally and nationally and her artwork is in many private collections.

Sandi lives in Searsport, Maine where she has her studio and where she teaches many different workshops which are listed on her website.

Susan Tobey White

Acrylics Instructor


As an artist she is best known for her colorful, energetic paintings of dancers which inspire smiles and laughter from the viewer. Scenes of impassioned dancers in crowded dance halls, swinging to their own rhythms summon nostalgic times and practically dance right off the canvas. From professional dancers to dancers at heart Susan’s work is continually praised for the feeling of well being it evokes.

Her love of Maine and the area she lives is evident in her quieter paintings of landscapes, seascapes and paintings of people working and playing.

She welcomes commissions of a variety of themes enjoying the challenges they demand of her, favoring paintings of children playing, adults dancing and beach scenes.  In the fall of 2010 a series of giant vegetables and decadent food began as a direct result of illustrating The Homeport Cookbook, by Will Holtham which was released in 2011.

She has designed the 2004 and 2007 North Atlantic Blues Festival Poster and the 2008-2012 Maine Celtic Festival Poster.

In the summer of 2002 after having taught elementary art for 15 years, Susan opened High Street Studio & Gallery in a historic building of downtown Belfast where she had a seasonal gallery and taught painting workshops.

In  October of 2013 she gained the title of being a Golden Artist Educator through Golden Artist Colors, Inc. a prominent manufacturer of acrylic paint.

In June of 2017 she opened the  Susan Tobey White Studio, 234 Church Street, Belfast where she  continues to paint, teach and  welcomes visitors.


Are you interested in being a teacher at the Lighthouse Arts Center? Please send us your resume, with contact information, and images of your work. We will contact you to set up an interview. Thank you for your interest!