A light filled studio cultivating a community of artists in the heart of Chevy Chase
Artsy Beast Owner and Operator Art is one of my earliest memories. At just 2 years old I recall creating sculptures with yarn at my mom's feet while she was sitting on a sofa, chatting with grandma over coffee. Great times, family, art, coffee. Well, as life would have it, such natural passion for creativity did not come forward for me until many decades later. My two degrees from UNC Chapel Hill in International Politics and Psychology, helped me establish a successful career in: Finance! Go figure, I can hear my parents' eyes rolling as I write this. I spent fifteen years in the financial sector. Built a beautiful family and home life. Supported my husband with his endeavors in restaurant business. All the while I was painting when I could. Taking refuge in creativity and bringing balance to hardships and challenges via art. Long before I knew what Art Therapy was, I had been leaning into art as my remedy. I paint mostly in oil but love watercolor and charcoal as well. Covid-19 disruption, which set off big changes and challenges for many of us, thrust me into a crossroad. It was here that I decided to take a huge leap of faith, leave my established career in finance and truly lean into my natural self and step onto the stage in the art world. Artsy Beast was conceptualized in summer of 2021, and created in 2022. As Pablo Picasso so eloquently said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” It is my wish and goal to make this studio a place where our community comes together to enjoy the beauty and color in life, and rise above the challenges of today’s unbalanced work and life environment. I hope it is a welcoming and warm place for all, and I look forward to seeing you there.
Ceramics Instructor Brittany is passionate about education. She is certified to teach art, yoga, and elementary education. She is currently teaching first grade in a D.C. Public School. She has been teaching, creating, and engaging children in the arts for 20 years. Brittany was first inspired to begin creating by her aunts and close family friends. She has been surrounded by the arts in some form for most of her life. Brittany's primary medium is clay but has explored the arts in many ways through the years. She is passionate about providing a safe space for students to express themselves through art, movement, and meaningful conversations.
Ceramics Instructor Although Daniel did not sit at a pottery wheel until high school, he likes to tell people he has been playing in dirt since 1998, partially as a joke but also largely in truth. Daniel grew up playing with his brother and friends in the woods and creeks of Maryland. After taking courses in high school, he continued doing ceramics at UNC-Chapel Hill while obtaining degrees in Political Science and Global Studies. After university, Daniel moved to Mungyeong, South Korea to work and study ceramics under a master potter Kim Young-Sik and his wife in their factory-esque studio, making everything from rice bowls to traditional moon jars. This was the ultimate adventure, having taken the assignment of apprenticeship without knowing where he would reside, what he would do day-to-day, nor even how to say hello in Korean. No one spoke English in town and Daniel worked 6 days a week to aid the master Kim Young-Sik. The contemplative and difficult time he spent in Korea is reflected in his work’s balance of intentionality and spontaneity, two core principles for adapting to his life and work in Korean culture. This balance lends itself to other elements of art Daniel is drawn to as well — simplicity and organicness. Emphasizing natural colors to allow the piece to speak for itself, simple glazing, and woodfiring are all things he appreciates most and is still very much a student on their journey, with loads more to discover.
Jill Ross Meltzer
Ceramics Instructor Jill is nothing short of passionate about clay. She has been a professional clay artist for over 20 years and has taught beginning to advanced wheel throwing and hand-building for over twelve years. Before moving to DC, she was an Associate at The Clay Studio in Philadelphia and a professional member of the Potters Guild in Wallingford, PA. Jill graduated with a degree in Ceramics from a cooperative program at The George Washington University and Corcoran School of Art and, over the years, has attended many clay workshops around the country. In her previous life, Jill was a practicing attorney in DC. Jill’s primary interest is in making functional one-of-a-kind serving pieces with a bent towards the decorative. She finds it an inspiring challenge to harmonize the demands of utility with those of imparting a measure of magic to everyday things.
Ceramics Instructor Amy is an Art History graduate student at American University and a ceramics instructor in DC. She grew up in the Chicago suburbs where she learned ceramics from her father and her local studio, making her a second generation ceramics artist. She graduated from Truman State University in 2020 with a minor in Ceramics. Amy specializes in wheel throwing and functional stoneware. She welcomes all beginners and everyone of all abilities and backgrounds to try ceramics.
Studio Arts Instructor An artist and art teacher, Mark Giaimo enrolled in his first oil painting class in 2004. Within two years he was accepted into the Post-Baccalaureate Graduate Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore where he completed a semester before striking out on his own. His paintings have been represented by the Fraser Gallery in Bethesda, MD and he is presently represented by Calloway Fine Arts & Consultants in Georgetown, where he has held two solo exhibitions, in 2016 and 2018. He also has exhibited in numerous group shows in NYC and the greater DC area.
Ceramics Instructor Georgia was born and raised in upstate NY, and received a BFA from George Washington University with majors in painting and ceramics. Over the years some of her greatest accomplishments were the design and creation of hand painted silk clothing that were sold and distributed in local DC clothing stores. She designed children’s fabrics for Logantex, Inc, based in NYC, created marketing ads, brochures and mailings for Wibbie’s, a local children’s clothing company. You could say her biggest achievements were teaching Art in DC Public and Charter Schools for almost three decades, precisely 28 years and grades K - 12. Today Georgia is enjoying ceramics again, focusing on hand building with concentrations on Sgraffito technique.
Studio Arts Instructor Rachel grew up outside of Boston, MA and moved to DC to go to American University for her Bachelors in K-12 Arts Education and Masters in Education Policy & Leadership. She began working at Deal Middle School as a student teacher and has stayed there ever since! In her fifth year at Deal, she now leads the art department in an innovative choice-based curriculum that includes sculpture, collage, painting, printmaking & digital arts. In her own artistic practice, she reflects on old architecture juxtaposed with new street art in her collaged series that spans Florence to DC. In her free time, Rachel loves doing DIY home improvement projects, spending time at the park and enjoying a great meal around Adams Morgan with friends and family.
Ceramics Instructor Tucker Mandigo was born in 1999 in Washington D.C into a family that likes to make things and lived a childhood of creativity and experimentation. The yearly cardboard boat race held by my moms' side of the family is a classic and a great example of this, in which we all try to build boats out of duct tape and old cardboard found in people's recycling and at dumps, and race them across a channel and back to see whose boat can make it the furthest:) He began working with clay on the wheel in 2012 at Glen Echo Park in Bethesda, MD. He continued classes there through high school and attended Snow Farm Craft School during the summers where he expanded his knowledge of other 3-dimensional art forms like glass and metal. He graduated from Alfred University Cum Laude with a BFA in 2022. While he works in many mediums his passions have remained with clay for a while now and seem likely to continue to do so. He is currently living in Bethesda, working from his home studio, and now starting to teach part-time:) He is available for commission by request with his past works visible on his Instagram @tuckermandigocraft.