Bay School News

Teacher Update - Nan Rothwell, Ceramic Artist May 13 2020, 0 Comments

We asked our teachers what they have been doing during the quarantine

Nan was set to attend a show in Richmond in March that was to coincide with the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA).  Not long after she was finished setting up the conference was cancelled and the gallery was closed.



From Nan:  I have been selling a few pots to people who saw photos of that show and wrote to ask about buying them.  It's been great!  A real relief, given that my normal outlets for selling have shut.   If anyone is interested, I am happy to send snapshots, dimensions and prices of the pots here. 



For more info on Nan you can visit  You will find resource information and links to several short demos.

Check out Nan's online store  During May Nan will be contributing 30% of online sales to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank

Nan is also teaching online.  Her courses can be seen here

You can also find Nan on Facebook

Nan's preferred email contact is


Teacher Update - Kathleen Noffsinger, Painter April 29 2020, 1 Comment

We asked our teachers what they have been doing during the quarantine

Just Another Ordinary Day:  Kathleen Noffsinger


As I try to inspire my creative self while self-isolating during Covid-19, I remind myself that I now have lots of time to paint!  So why is my time spent doing other things?  Well it’s because I cannot seem to actually open my palette.  Instead, I am “organizing” my studio, planting my garden with flowers to photograph and paint and forgiving myself when I do nothing at all.  I have read 4 novels and revisited all of my gardening books and favorite online gardening websites.  Thankfully, I can keep up with my weekly watercolor class through our new private Facebook page!  Yes, I give them lessons and homework and they call it Noffsinger University!  I look forward to actually seeing my students in person and teaching classes and workshops again … I miss my artist friends!


I am spending lovely afternoons on our dock with my husband, Tom, feeding our freshwater fish, our pair of Canada geese (Clyde and Penelope who are expecting their goslings to hatch any day) and enjoying the antics of our resident Great Blue Heron, whom we have just named Willie Nelson to make life in isolation more fun.  Willie enjoys the pleasures of fishing as much as Tom does!  With my camera in hand I photograph Willie as he gives me new compositional ideas for my Heron paintings! 


On my easel and my newest work-in-progress is “Just Another Ordinary Day”, 24” x 24”, Oil and Cold Wax Medium - A huge butterfly on an osprey nest!  I hope to finish it by the end of April.  And I am excited to share the news that my new oil painting “Flamingo Party” has been juried into the Art Speaks 2020 show coming soon to the Bay School gallery.   





I will be posting updates on classes, shows, new paintings and prints on my website at and I invite you to visit and leave a comment on the contact page.  If you are in the market for a new painting or commissioned artwork, I would be happy to talk with you about your ideas!  And no matter how you are spending your isolation, I hope you stay healthy and have as much fun as possible!  Here’s to a very happy and joyful Spring! 

Use this link to check out the great classes Kathleen will be offering at the Bay School.

 Use this link to see the artwork Kathleen has in our galery.

Teacher Update - Cynthia Quesenberry, Metal Clay Artist April 15 2020, 0 Comments

We asked our teachers what they have been doing during the quarantine 

Before the corona virus pandemic, I was working as a full-time Art Teacher for Suffolk Public Schools, and had several Silver and Copper classes on my calendar from March through December.  Now the Public Schools are closed, metal clay classes are cancelled through May (and probably will be for June too)…sigh.  I miss my elementary school students and the enjoyment of teaching metal clay classes.  I tearfully took all my bags of metal clay supplies, and several kilns to my backyard studio for storage.  Will just have to wait this out.  I will be so happy to return to the Bay School when this is all over.

What I am doing now:  I am still employed, and spend my days checking emails and answering questions that come up through the school system.  I have a Google Classroom for Art and I post lessons, You Tube videos and Kahoot activities to my students who have access to a computer.  I’m on my fourth week of this and it’s no fun.

What I am Working on Now:

In January of this year (pre-pandemic) I was fortunate to take a silver clay class with Master Artist Lora Hart.  That was a real treat.  The challenge was to construct a hollow form inspired by ancient amphorae.  Think of the shape of a Greek urn…only jewelry sized…

The technique was very challenging.  I built my form over a solid base, cut it off of the base in two pieces, and put it back together.  That alone was a true challenge.  Once I did all of that, I faced another challenge to design/ decorate it, build a lid, and design a way to make it wearable.  Not sure if this will be a wearable piece, or a fancy vessel…. It is not finished…Ideas?

Cindy is offering some great classes at the Bay School!  Use this link to see what she has on our calendar through the end of the year.

See some of Cindy's beautiful work in our gallery with this link

Teacher Profile - Janice Moore July 31 2017, 0 Comments

Janice Moore began teaching classes at the Bay School in 2013.  Her next class, Tofu Like You've Never Tasted Before, will be Wednesday, Oct 11 10am - 1pm.  In class she will cook some fabulous dishes for your lunch, including ravioli!! And she will prepare a delicious dessert that looks and feels and tastes like ice cream, but it’s made out of tofu!


Janice is a lawyer by vocation, a cook and gardener by avocation.  Now a resident of Deltaville, VA, she has been cooking with tofu for almost 20 years, after deciding that the estrogen benefits would be worth the effort to learn about this mysterious protein- and estrogen-packed ingredient.  Janice learned about cooking with tofu from lots of research, travels to Asia, friendly Thai restaurant chefs and lots of trial and error cooking for her very patient friends and family.

A few questions to Janice:

What made you start teaching?

Valerie Adams and Grace Small did!!  Seriously, the Bay School needed new culinary courses, and Valerie talked to me about teaching when I was attending one of her classes.  


What do you get out of teaching?

I"m always thrilled to introduce people to new ideas about cooking and sometimes new foods, and I always learn something, too.  The tofu classes have been especially good for this, because so many people are curious about cooking with tofu but don't know where to start, and they ask lots of good questions.  The Farm to Table classes have also introduced people to new ways to prepare fresh produce, and it's especially nice to have Julia Dorsey from First Day Farm to tell all of us about her farming methods and the vegetables she grows.




Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

I like building things out of wood, and I have lots of tools in my garage workshop -- a drill press and a nail gun, for example.  I am by no means an accomplished wood worker, but I like learning about it and making simple things like the benches in my garden.






Teacher Profile - Bobbie Skerrett March 08 2017, 0 Comments

Bobbie Skerrett has been involved with the Bay School for the past 3 years.  Her next class, Clay Relief Tiles, is on Thursdays, March 23 & 30 6pm - 9pm.


Bobbie attended the University of Colorado from 1969 to 1971.  After that she spent time at the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles, CA.  She also taken classes at the Penland School of Crafts in Pendland, NC.  From 1998 - 2002 Bobbie sold her work at the oldest farmers market in the country in Olde Town Alexandria.  Bobbie is currently a member of the Pottery Studio at the Bay School.


A few questions to Bobbie:

What made you start teaching?

 I started teaching wheel throwing because I wanted the students to see how fun it was to move the clay.

What do you get out of teaching?

There's an expression that takes place in the class room when people catch on to what they are being told and run with it.  It is inspiring to watch students discover something new and find a connection.

 Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

Something people would probably be shocked to learn about me is that I do feminist art.

Teacher Profile - Doris Hackworth January 02 2017, 0 Comments

Doris Hackworth has been teaching pottery classes at the Bay School since 2014.  Her next class, Beginner Wheel Throwing, is on Saturday, Jan 28; Feb 4, 11, & 18 from 1pm - 4pm.  Register early to secure your spot!


Doris Hackworth discovered the joy of wheel thrown pottery in 1981 through community college ceramics classes in CA. Nearly 30 years later in 2009, she took to the wheel again and has been taking classes ever since at the Bay School, the Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Nan Rothwell Pottery in Charlottesville, The Cultural Arts Center in Glen Allen, and the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in NC. Doris’ emphasis is on form and function. She loves making pots that have a job.

A few questions to Doris:

What made you start teaching?

I have always been a teacher in my heart.



 What do you get out of teaching?

I take huge satisfaction in promoting the joy of handmade pottery and being a part of adults finding a creative outlet they enjoy.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

You might be surprised to know that I taught community college biology for a while and also worked for a language school teaching English to German speakers.


Teacher Profile - Kathleen Noffsinger June 15 2016, 0 Comments

Kathleen Noffsinger will be teaching Painting the Summer Landscape - Shimmering Beach Scenes in Watercolor! Friday & Saturday, July 22 & 23, 10am - 3pm at the Bay School.  Join Kathleen as she shares her secrets to painting summery light and shimmering color.

Kathleen Noffsinger is an award-winning professional artist and educator from Hartfield, Virginia, who expresses her talent in colorful watercolors of wildlife and nature.  From the simple design of a wading egret to the tranquil beauty of her butterfly garden, Kathleen’s works are images of nature that elicit an appreciation for the simpler things in life.                     

Having spent many enjoyable hours on the Rappahannock and Piankatank Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay with her husband, Tom, Kathleen chooses the water and its many facets as one of her favorite subjects.  Preferring to work from her own reference material, she often takes photos of the wildlife she loves to paint, capturing “close ups” that force her to use her creativity.  She labels her style of painting impressionistic realism.

Drawing and painting since childhood, Kathleen holds a BS in education from the University of Maryland and has been teaching adult watercolor and drawing classes since 1998. Her students love her organized approach to teaching art as well as her hands-on demos and one-on-one individualized instruction.  As an award-winning artist she has been featured in national juried shows locally and throughout the South including Naples and Marco Island, Florida and the Florida Keys.  Since 2007 she has led Travel and Paint workshops in Bermuda and Florida. Her paintings have been featured in numerous publications, including Chesapeake Bay Magazine (February, 2002) and she has appeared in a segment on the Chesapeake Bay for PBS.  In 2010, her painting “Pastel Cottage, Bermuda” was accepted into the National Watercolor Society Juried All-Member Show in California.  In 2016 her painting “Mangrove Sanctuary”  won an Award of Excellence at the Annual Virginia Watercolor Society Exhibition in Gloucester, VA.

Noffsinger is a member of the National Watercolor Society (Associate), Virginia Watercolor Society (Signature Artist Member), Rappahannock Art League and the National League of American Pen Women.  She exhibits her work in galleries and juried shows throughout the East Coast.

To learn more about her paintings, show schedule and classes, Kathleen may be reached at her studio in Virginia.


A few questions to Kathleen


Kathleen's Process:

Kathleen begins her paintings with a compositional plan of lights and darks in a 2” x 3” sketch and proceeds to a full-size drawing on her watercolor paper.  Working in both her studio and on location "en plein air",  she then begins adding color using both large brushes as well as a “pouring” technique.  Vibrant colors are added in layers of transparent glazes which allow the white of the paper and previous layers of color to visually mix in the viewer's eye.   Working with “purist” watercolor techniques as well as combining pen and ink and mixed-media collage with watercolor, Kathleen’s goal is to capture on paper a memorable and creative visual impression for the viewer. 


What do you get out of teaching?


I was trained to be an elementary school teacher at the University of Maryland and love to teach!  My beginner adult watercolor students often say it's a good thing I know how to teach first graders.  It is a special joy to share what I have learned in watercolor and to see artists fall in love with mixing color right on the watercolor paper and then improve their skills until they are proudly framing their first paintings.  I now have many students who are winning top awards in juried art shows and I am the one who is proud of them.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

I think people might be surprised to find out that I consider myself an absolutely terrible public speaker ...except when I am teaching an art class.  Then the spirit of this creative gift that I have been given by God to share with others just gives me all the right words.


Teacher Profile - Virginia Coyle April 07 2016, 1 Comment

Virginia Coyle teaches many classes at the Bay School.  She teaches the Art Break series of classes that meets on the 3rd Wednesday of every month 10am - 12pm.  These classes are stress relief in the daytime!  You will create fun art & craft activities - you don't have to be a serious artist to be creative!


Virginia is a Bay School teacher and artist. She is a lifelong resident of Virginia and has been a resident of Mathews for over 20 years. Her paintings are inspired by her family, nature and experiences. She is self-taught in all her artistic mediums and other skills. Her favorite medium to work with is watercolor because it is so unpredictable. Virginia loves to paint mermaids, fabrics, children, folk art scenes and sometimes something just out of the ordinary. She also enjoys being creative by drawing, sewing, and participating in other forms of artistic projects and crafts. She currently has new works in progress and resides in Bavon with her husband and 2 grandchildren who continue to inspire her every day.

A few questions to Virginia


 What made you start teaching?

I started teaching because of Wendy Wells - Bay School founder.  She took me to the Laurel Shelter to help her with the outreach program that we offer there.  She asked me if I liked going and I said yes.  She said the job was mine!

What do you get out of teaching?

I like creating art with the children more than teaching.  I like for them to create what they like verses me telling them what to do.  I like letting them get messy and mixing stuff up!  I enjoy seeing kids having fun creating art and getting their hands in the paint - just being free to create.  It doesn't matter if they make a masterpiece or a mess as long as they can be creative.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

My idea of fun is to stay home and spend time with my grandchildren.  I like to create my art and shop for art books and art supplies.





Teacher Profile - Janet Griffin February 29 2016, 1 Comment

Janet Griffin will be teaching how to Construct a Felted Animal on Saturday, March 19 9am - 12:30pm.  In this class the students will manipulate wool yarn and silk fibers to build an animal of their choice.

Janet is a retired art specialist from Gloucester County Public Schools. She taught in Hampton City Schools before staying at Petsworth elementary School for the last 25 years. She continues to be a guest teacher at other Gloucester Elementary schools. She certainly enjoyed her teaching of art to young children and has always been amazed how children can teach her! Now she looks forward to learning from adults. She grew-up in a military family, so everything was organized! Janet graduated from Old Dominion University, Magna cum laude, (that means she worked very hard and had no social life). 

Janet's own artistic work is tapestry weaving, balanced between the 60” Macomber and 30” Leclerc looms. Her favorite weaving is Theo Moorman’s tapestry technique. Janet lives in Gloucester Courthouse with her husband Jim and two crazy cats.

A few questions to Janet

What made you start teaching?

I knew I wanted to teach from the time I was a little girl. I was one of the first children in the brand new kindergarten program in Germany way back in 1959. Perhaps some of that is from bossing my younger brother around. As a eight-year-old I can certainly remember playing school with my childhood friends.




What do you get out of teaching?

Yes it's Joy. Yes it's sharing of knowledge. Yes it's knowing that my students are learning a new thing. That would be the case in young or older students, as in adults.


Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you.

I was the first person in my family ever to go to college and graduate. My dad did go and take college classes while he was in the military, however he never achieved a degree. So the surprising thing here might be that I have dyslexia. It's a mild form where I see a lot of things backwards, or even say a lot of things in reverse of what I am thinking.



Teacher Profile - Adele Castillo February 01 2016, 0 Comments

Adele Castillo will be teaching Acrylics for Beginners on Friday, Feb. 12 10am - 4pm.  This one day workshop will include information about acrylics - what they are and how they behave.  This class is perfect for beginners and as a refresher class for those who've been away from painting for a while.



Adele Castillo is an artist who is well-known for her colorful renditions of animals. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Old Dominion University, Adele taught art in the Virginia Beach School System for 19 years. After leaving VBPS, Adele began teaching adult students in Norfolk before moving to the Richmond area in 2001. She has exhibited her work in various shows, including Stockley Gardens Art Festival, 43rd Street Arts Festival, Gosport Arts Festival, several solo and group exhibits and she has a few awards tucked in her home studio, the latest being from Art Speaks on the Bay exhibition in 2015. Adele currently maintains a studio and gallery wall in Crossroads Art Center, Richmond, VA. and in the last few years has been honored to jury and judge all-media shows in Richmond and the Ocean View Art Festival in Norfolk. Always experimenting, she has also been known to share her expertise via demonstrations, critiques and art talks for various art groups and communities.
Adele also teaches painting classes and workshops in her studio at Crossroads Art Center, at For Art’s Sake Gallery and other locations upon request.

A few questions to Adele:



What made you start teaching?

I began teaching elementary art right out of college. I did it because in 1980, the attitude was still very much “ what are you going to DO with that art degree?” I learned so much during my 20 years in public schools, but I was exhausted and not making my own art and I was burned out by the system - demands that had nothing to do with teaching art. I left, then began painting, exhibiting and teaching adults a year later. It was the best move I ever made.

What do you get out of teaching?

I love teaching! I learn from my students when they bring in ideas and thoughts about their art. Working with beginners is wonderful when the light bulb goes off and they have those aha! moments or they finish that first painting and sign it with pride. I feel like I’m right there with me for the journey. I often do a little happy dance in class when students finish a particularly difficult piece. Teaching challenges me to stay on top of my game as well. I have to know what’s new and exciting so I can pass it on in class.

Tell me something people would be surprised to find out about you

I was a body builder in my late twenties. I began lifting weights for strength when living alone and fell in love with it. I was prepping for my first show when I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do. AND I was just plain hungry! It requires great discipline and dedication, both of which I had. But I no longer loved it, and I wanted to get back to simply working the weights for my health.