RAC is comprised of a dedicated group of arts professionals.
Tami Gagné, Instructor
An Illinois certified art teacher with experience in curriculum writing and development. She received her B.S.Ed in Art Education from Northern Illinois University and also holds an A.A.S. degree in Multimedia and Computer Imaging. She has sold her artwork in the U.S. and internationally.
Claudine Isé, Freeark Gallery Director
Claudine Isé brings a range of experience in contemporary art that spans teaching, writing, exhibition curation and arts administration. She has worked as an assistant curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles and as associate curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University. She’s written art criticism for the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Magazine, and teaches in the Museum and Exhibition Studies program at the University of Chicago-Illinois.
Natalie Jacobson, Gallerist
Natalie Jacobson received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her paintings and works on paper have been exhibited at such venues as The Hyde Park Art Center, The Rockford Art Museum, the Arena Gallery, and Dogmatic Gallery. In 2015 she co-curated Finding Prospect in Myth, at the Hyde Park Art Center, as part of the Curatorial Practices Course conducted by HPAC and The University of Chicago. Jacobson is also the recipient of a 2003 Illinois Arts Council Grant. She currently lives in Oak Park, IL.
Jen Kryczka, Instructor
Jen Kryczka received her BFA in Graphic Design from UIC and her AAS in Illustration from the American Academy of Art, as well as studied painting at the University of North Carolina and the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. Jen’s award-winning work has exhibited in several national juried competitions including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, Westmoreland Arts Nationals, and Quincy Art Center among others, and exhibited in her first solo show at the Tavern Club Chicago. Jen has completed numerous portrait commissions and her work is in several private collections around the country.
Theresa Paris, Instructor
Received BA from DePaul University with a focus in Studio Art and Marketing. Theresa was a Senior Art Apprentice for the City of Chicago’s Gallery 37 and a designer for business development, marketing, and special events for multiple businesses. She has completed large-scale design installations and paintings at commercial locations throughout greater Chicago. Beyond the 15 years experience as an artist and designer, Theresa has trained and worked with respected art directors, activity directors, art therapists, and Educators. Her personal passion is employing art to empower others. For more than five years, Theresa has volunteered as an early childhood docent for the Chicago Zoological Society, where she is proud to help facilitate the internationally recognized NatureStart education Initiative.
Marianne Poulos, Instructor
An Illinois Certified Teacher with an endorsement in Art, she holds a Master of Arts degree in education from St. Xavier University, Chicago. Marianne is an oil painter and has exhibited nationally at various galleries, venues, and in private collections. She has a Bachelors degree in Communication Arts, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Tariq Tamir, Instructor
Studied at Columbia College Chicago and has been involved in the fine arts for over 10 years. Tariq has taught young adults ages 14-21 with Chicago’s Gallery 37 and the Boys and Girls Club. In addition to being poetically inclined, Tariq uses art as a medium for self-growth and empowerment.
Shawn Vincent, School Manager, Instructor
Received a B.S. degree from Western Illinois University with majors in both Fine Art and Biology. She spent many years working as an art director for an advertising agency and has also freelanced. Finding her true passion, Shawn has worked in ceramics for over 22 years and has been teaching for 18 years. She has exhibited her pottery at various galleries and venues throughout the Chicago land area and her work is collected nationwide.