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Empowerment and Recovery Through Creativity!

PSA Art Awakenings is a psycho social rehabilitation program for adults and art therapy program for youth who are challenged by serious behavioral health issues and mental illnesses. Studios throughout Arizona offer therapeutic programs and expressive arts therapy in a supportive setting to promote mental health, personal growth, vocational training, and physical wellness through the performing and visual arts. Old Bisbee, Downtown Phoenix, Casa Grande and Tucson Galleries, art exhibits, First Friday and First Saturday Art Walks and other venues offer artists opportunities to sell their paintings, sculptures, mosaics, jewelry, fine art, music, poetry, and writings to benefit from art sales. Staff include art therapists, behavioral health professionals, peers, family members and volunteers.
Art Saves Lives!

Staff

The PSA Art Awakenings team believes in the healing power of creativity and all agree that: Art Saves Lives! A team of dedicated behavioral health professionals, the majority are also artists whose notoriety ranges from cities scattered throughout the United States to across the continents. Visit our parent site at

 

Sara Marriott, MS, LPC President & Chief Executive Officer, Founder of PSA Art Awakenings Program

Sara has over 40 years experience working in the mental health field. For over 20 years, she has worked for PSA and for over 16 years she has been the CEO. Sara has a broad background of experience that ranges from working with children and adolescents to the SMI population. She has sat on the Best Practices Committee of the State and has been involved in bringing new and innovative programming to PSA. Sara, along with her staff, helped create Art Awakenings, a new and creative way in working with those with psychiatric disabilities. The motto that she works with is “People, Service, Action” which has helped to expand PSA throughout the State of Arizona.

Administrative Team

  • Karen D. Puthoff President, PSA Art Awakenings

    Karen has dedicated her career to eradicating stigma and promoting recovery related to behavioral illness. Most recently the Deputy CEO of PSA Behavioral Health Agency, she offers over 25 combined years in executive level management and public relations, marketing, and fund raising. A graduate of Purdue University and St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, Karen has worked with the full spectrum of behavioral health services, from inpatient to outpatient behavioral health programs in Arizona and Indiana. She also served as chief operating officer of a foundation which restricted funds to support behavioral health programs, services, and scholarships. She is particularly honored to promote PSA Art Awakenings artists and galleries while developing services, in addition to other programs offered by PSA Behavioral Health Agency. Karen is proud to be part of the PSA Art Awakenings team and feels blessed to work with and serve such wonderfully talented individuals.Healing Through Art! http://issuu.com/richmanmediagroup/docs/ut-0114/17/

  • Michele Kaplan, Director of Clinical Training & Oversight

    With nearly 30 years experience in the behavioral health field, Michele has worked as a private practitioner and in community based agencies, both as a direct service provider and administrator. She is committed to clinically excellent and culturally appropriate service delivery and as a former, full-time artist Michele understands and appreciates the importance of art, individual creativity, and its impact on daily well-being.

  • mark-montgomery

    Mark Montgomery, Regional Clinical Director

    Mark has 20 years of diverse behavioral health experience in the state of Arizona having previously worked in a variety of settings including private, community, and federal programs. He has extensive experience in the provision of direct clinical care with GMH and SMI clients with children, adolescents, and adults including supervision of clinical programs in direct care clinics. Mark is licensed by the State of Arizona as a Professional Counselor..

  • Robert Demeter, Development & Communications Associate

    Robert offers PSA Art Awakenings and its artists a broad experience in all aspects of marketing. His interest in art and music since an early age led him to a career in graphic design. In addition to dabbling with ceramics, Robert has experience in design, sales, and direct mail. “I am extremely excited to be in this position to promote the arts and artists because I believe that art creates a powerful connection to heal and improve the lives of both artists and those in the community.”

  • David (DW) May, Art Coordinator

    David (DW) has degrees in History and Psychology and did Master’s work in Counseling. For 30 years he worked with the world’s most natural canvas, a woman and her wardrobe. He then owned an art and framing company in Scottsdale, AZ. The experience he gained through the years helps him curate the individual art produced in the Art Awakenings studios. He is an accomplished ceramicist who specializes in unique shapes and combining glass with interesting mixtures of glazes.

Bisbee & Douglas Studios plus Sierra Vista Mobile Services

    Coriana Eastman, Studio Consultant

    Coriana has held several roles in the past for PSA Art Awakenings ranging from site administrator and service provider to gallery manager and guest artist. In addition to her work in the behavioral health field, her art background is as a multimedia artist with a focus on surreal oil painting. She owned and operated a gallery for several years in Tucson, Arizona and is a former military member serving in the Air Force /Navy with as an aircraft mechanic inspector. Coriana has a Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Aeronautics but really enjoys working with Art Awakenings artists to bring out their creative nature to express themselves. “When an artist dips a brush into paint, it is like dipping into the soul…painting is like a visual diary of our hearts.”

  • Luis-Ledgard

    Luis Ledgard, Artist Behavioral Health Specialist- Respite

    Luis comes to PSA with over five years of experience as a Medical Assistant, prior to moving to the United States. After moving to the US in 1976 and then to Arizona in 2010, he has been working in behavioral health for an additional five years. Luis originally worked at Art Awakenings’ Douglas site and now primarily works with artists of the Bisbee location.

  • Pat Panther, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Pat moved to Bisbee, where most of her family lives, from York, PA. In York she worked as a caregiver, case manager and then program coordinator at a Human Service Agency for 23 years. She has begun singing since she was four years old, playing guitar since she was 14, and performing solo and in various groups since she was 15. Pat believes that music and the arts nourish the heart and soul and allow us to see beyond our day-to-day lives. She is excited to be working in such an innovative and empowering program.

  • Sean-Ortega

    Sean Ortega, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, Douglas

    Sean joined PSA Art Awakenings in April, 2017. A Douglas native, he is a Behavioral Health Technician with five years of experience working in behavioral health arena. Sean learned digital design and embroidery from his father’s family business. In his spare time he is also a multimedia artist. Sean is very engaged with artists in the Douglas studio and enjoys assisting them in exploring their creativity while working on their recovery.

  • Irene Vega, Administrative Assistant, BHPP

    Irene is excited to transfer her skills and caring spirit to the PSA Art Awakenings’ Bisbee and Douglas studios. A Certified Nursing Assistant and Behavioral Health Para-Professional, she possesses a deep level of understanding and compassion for helping others. Irene particularly emjoys working with older adults and appreciates the opportunity to apply her talents to the behavioral health field.

  • Irwina

    irma villabos

    Irma Villalobos, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, Douglas

    Irma joined the Art Awakenings team in March, 2016. As a Behavioral Health Para Professional, Irma facilitates group living skills services in the art studio setting. A caring and compassionate individual, she has three years experience as an instructional paraprofessional working in the Douglas Unified School District which included special needs children and preschoolers. Irma takes pride in her abilities to provide support in creating a safe and nurturing learning environment. She sees art as the “ability to express a person’s inner self which allows one to let go and grow”.

  • ryan-hunter

    Ryan Lee Hunter, Gallery Curator, Old Bisbee Gallery & Ceramics Studio

    An independent mixed media artist, Ryan serves at Art Awakenings Gallery Curator for the non-profit organization’s only free standing gallery in the state. A former curator in a major New York City art scene, Ryan promotes the program through the sales of its artists’ paintings, jewelry, and ceramics while helping to break the stigma of mental health through creative means. Ryan believes that through self-awareness, inspiration and creativity, the mind can heal itself. Also a Certified Peer Support Specialist, Ryan uses his artistic skills and life achievements to bring awareness to those that need a helping hand to find the healing nature of the creative mind.

Douglas Youth Studio

  • Richard Paun, Youth Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Richard is a native of Arizona, and holds a Bachelors Degree in Art Education as well as a Masters of Arts Degree from Northern Arizona University. He has over 20 years teaching experience and is currently teaching Fine Arts at Douglas High School. His students focus on Drawing, Painting, and Ceramics. “I find it very rewarding working with young artists, and feel that the creation of art helps bring balance into our lives.”

  • David Diaz, Driver, BHT

    Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Arizona and Industrial Education from the University of Phoenix, David has over 18 years of teaching experience in elementary and secondary education. Currently, he teaches Drafting and Design, Architecture, and Engineering in the Career Technical Education Department at Douglas High School. David’s goal is to motivate students to explore and learn the skills needed to lead them to enjoyable and thriving careers. “There is a productive role for every student in our society. It is our job to guide them to it.”

Casa Grande Studio

  • Aimii Martinez, Interim Site Adminstrator

    Aimii has six years of behavioral health experience with three years in an administrative role working closely with Cenpatico. Her last three years were speant providing case management and counseling services to children and their families. Aimii is very active volunteering with community partners to educate and assist families with available resources in rural communities. She truly believes “It takes a Village”. “I feel fortunate to work in an environment that empowers individuals towards their own recovery.” Aimii expresses her creativity through drawing and sketching.


  • Teresa Diaz, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Teresa Diaz has worked in behavior health as a customer service advocate for the last 4 years. She highly believes it is every person’s job to give quality care to the people they serve. She is very active in volunteering with several community partners to educate and assist families with available resources in rural communities. Teresa enjoys crafts and painting, and spends her time off encouraging her grandkids with writing and illustrating their own experiences in their lives as they grow. “I enjoy working for an agency that puts people first.”

      • Sasha Anspaugh, Peer Support Specialist

        Sasha is a Certified Peer Support Specialist with a great passion for recovery and wellness. Sasha has a firm belief that everyone can be successful in recovery and believes in support being a key to recovery for all.

      • shari-mccoy

        Shari McCoy, Behavioral Health Technician

        Shari recently graduated with her BS, Human Services. She comes to PSA with experience in behavioral health helping peers find outside employment. Shari does not consider herself an artist, but likes to express herself through crafts.

Kingman Studio

      • RebeccaSouthall

        Rebecca Southall, Site Administrator

        Rebecca offers PSA Art Awakenings a broad history of experience in behavioral health. A transplant from Massachusetts, she brings many years experience from her work at the Department of Developmental Disabilities. Rebecca received several awards for her work in human services including the RRI Lifesaving Award. She has always had an interest in the visual arts and enjoys singing as her personal therapy. You can often catch her with her group of artists breaking into song or even dance as a therapeutic tool.

      • Paul-Verburg

        Paul Verberg, Artist In Residence

        Paul VerBurg is the Artist in Residence for the Kingman Studio. Drawing and painting for over 45 years, he earned his BFA from the School of The Art Institute Of Chicago. Over the years this fine artist has shown his work from coast to coast, won many awards, and been published in several national magazines. “I have come to believe an artist’s vision is at its most pure when the veil between the conscious and subconscious states is thin and the artist is able to translate that vision of the beyond/within for others to experience. I also believe this imagery is for the most part autobiographical in the sense that at that moment the artist is honestly relaying his life experience.”

Maricopa County Phoenix, Tempe & NW Phoenix Studios

Phoenix Studio

 

  • Maria Cristina Pasos Site Administrator, Phoenix & Warehouse Studios

    Maria Cristina has been a part of PSA Art Awakenings since 2007 providing support to both staff and artists. She has seen the wonderful benefits this program can give to those who use artistic expression as their pathway to recovery. “I love to see creative people at work.”

  • Jeremy DeJong, Art Manager

    Jeremy graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and has enjoyed working in the field for over 13 years. He also has a minor in photography and art from Mesa Community College. “Working at Art Awakenings has allowed me to merge my two passions [art and social work], which I am very excited about!”

  • Linda Simpson, Recovery Support Specialist

    Linda is a trained RSS and Certified WRAP facilitator who has worked in the public health field. She is actively expanding how she expresses creativity – through art and service. “In my mid-30’s I experienced psychiatric symptoms and knew that someday I’d work to improve the mental health system. … people benefit from the assistance of those who have ‘lived experience’ – the concept of the ‘wounded healer’.” Linda expresses her creativity through crochet, creating miniatures (doll house furnishings), and has begun to experiment with various types of art work.

  • Kendall Tewers, Studio Assistant

    Kendall has always loved art. He says art has always taken him to a peaceful place. When he works on art it helps him to forget his problems, as well as the problems in the world. Kendall took every art class they had in high school claiming art was the only class he could get A’s in. Kendall was first a participant at Art Awakenings then volunteered as a studio assistant. Now he teaches art, assists in the studio and has his peer support certificate. Kendall loves the studio for how much it has helped him and others.


  • Marcia Droz, Studio Assistant

    Marcia has a lot to offer us at PSA Art Awakenings, having more than 12 years art teaching experience with a variety of populations. Droz completed two bachelors; the first was a self designed degree in art, psychology, and anthropology called, “Creative Processes and the Individual,” at Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington. Her second degree was a Bachelor of Fine Art, 2D Drawing and Painting at the University of Arizona, Tucson. She has experienced the inherent therapeutic gains from being an artist, taught expressive art, and shares from her rich experiences to give back what she feels she has gained in the arts community.

  • Lindsey Krause, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Lindsey received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with a minor in Art from Millersville University in PA. Lindsey is currently working towards a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Expressive Art’s Therapy. She has experience working in a variety of mental health settings. She has extensive experience in drawing, painting, and figurative work which has been shown at exhibits in her hometown of Harrisburg. She is dedicated to using art to promote social justice.

  • Alexander-Bunch

    Alexander Bunch, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Alexander comes to PSA Art Awakenings as an Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist. Alexander has a Master’s Degree in Psychology and has had a passion for music all his life. He has been playing music for 13 years on a variety of string instruments such as the guitar, bass, piano, mandolin and others. Alexander has worked for many years as a Therapist and before entering the field of Behavioral Health, he has had a great career as a musician. Alexander is ecstatic to have the opportunity to share his love and passion for music with PSA Art Awakenings and its artists.

  • Amanda-Rispoli

    Amanda Rispoli, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Amanda offers PSA Art Awakenings and its artists a wide-ranging understanding of the arts. Amanda’s interest in art since an early age led her to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in Painting. Amanda then pursued a Masters degree in Counseling Psychology with a specialization in Expressive Arts Therapy. In addition to painting, Amanda has experience in design, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, fibers, and photography. “I am honored to be in this position that utilizes the arts as a healing tool. Art is often an expression of ourselves, a voice to our feelings and emotions, and I believe that making art creates an opportunity for growth and a deeper understanding of ourselves, our peers, and our communities.”

  • Krystle-Miller

    Krystle Mille.r Administrative Assistant

    Krystle is a Northern California Native & Professional Photographer turned Office Administrator. Krystle came to Art Awakenings with a background in Photography. She has photographed everything from weddings, portraits, live bands, everyday life and has worked directly with an Oscar Award winning musician for their album artwork. Krystle hopes to eventually work more directly with artists and explore more in the creative world.

Northwest Studio

  • Amanda Foley, Site Administrator

    Amanda is currently the site administrator at the Northwest Studio. Amanda has personal experience with Art Awakenings as a former successful graduate of the program. Amanda is committed to her own recovery and continues to manage her symptoms by utilizing the creative process. Amanda has the unique ability to gain the trust and respect of other artists as well as teach them many different mediums ranging from pastel drawing to stenciling.

  • Marilyn_Baxter

    Marilyn Baxter, Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Marilyn came to PSA 12 years ago after 25 years in the Cosmetic Industry. Marilyn went back to college, and earned her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling and a certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Agency Counseling from Ottawa University Phoenix. Marilyn shared that God blessed her with an artistic soul, but led her first to working with people in recovery, substance abuse issues, and co-occurring disorders, along with general mental health issues. Marilyn says that her passion is working with people and witnessing that “Aha” moment within those that she serves. My joy comes from supporting and encouraging others. I am thrilled to be a part of this organization where “Art Saves Lives”.

  • Jahaziel-Linare

    Jahaziel Linare Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Jahaziel (Haziel) holds a bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies, and Master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University. In his spare time, he likes painting, learning foreign languages, and traveling with his wife. Also, in the evenings Haziel enjoys teaching cultural diversity and foundation social work courses for ASU. Haziel is very grateful for the opportunity to serve the adults in the studio, and to be part of the P1-Kids collaboration to carry out the mission of PSA Art Awakenings.

  • Nanette_Tanner color

    Nanette Tanner Teaching Artist, BHT

    Nanette offers PSA Art Awakenings and its artists a broad experience in all mediums of Art. She is presently attending ASU and will be graduating in the fall of 2016, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in both Sculpture and Painting. She has been involved with Art Awakenings for the past 13 years. “I deeply believe in healing through arts, and carrying out the purpose here at Art Awakenings. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with a strong and dedicated staff here at North West.”

Tempe Studio

  • Renee Caccamese Site Administrator, Tempe

    At age 13, Renee knew that art was the lifeblood of her being; she feels no separation between herself and what she creates. With an affinity for wood and clay as mediums, Renee describes the creative process as a “dance”. Like the interconnectedness of movement and rhythm, Renee becomes the wood…the clay…the implements used to manipulate the material into a piece that provokes emotional and spiritual peace and freedom. Renee believes that art is a powerful catalyst for expression, and her passion lies in unveiling the unique beauty and virtue in others.

  • Leslie Fort Receptionist for Tempe Youth Studio & Warehouse 1005

    Mildred Leslie Fort is originally from Florida and has since become a “native” of Arizona. Her long-time interests have been art, music, writing, and public speaking. In recent years Leslie has taken up singing and playing the piano again. Leslie has helped PSA Art Awakenings in various jobs, her latest endeavor is helping with the Tempe Youth Studio and continues to help Warehouse 1005 for First and Third Fridays.

  • Lindsey_Becvar

    Lindsey Becvar Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University (go Devils!) in Family and Human Development. She has worked with children, adults, and families for over a decade in the foster care, children’s behavioral health, and special education systems. Lindsey remembers spending her summers as a child creating her own comic strips and writing poetry with a slew of green calligraphy pens. As an adult, she has studied ceramics, mosaic, acrylic painting, mural art, and chalk art. In the past several years, she has participated in numerous street painting festivals throughout the Valley and fondly recalls her appearance on a crafters’ show on the Home & Garden Television network. Lindsey loves her work at Art Awakenings, combining her love of art with her passion for helping people to see and understand the world in new ways. Outside of the studio, she is the proud parent of two terrific teenagers.

Maricopa County Youth Phoenix & Tempe Studios

  • Nicole Gordon Director of Youth Services

    Nicole comes to Art Awakenings with 20 years of experience and a foundation rooted in art and social change. As a graduate of Western Kentucky University and Temple University School of Social Administration, Nicole has worked in a variety of behavioral and public health settings, including as a consultant facilitating cultural diversity workshops and planning community building initiatives. Nicole connects art with not only healing, growth and development but also as a tool of social transformation and consciousness raising. Helping individuals seek their path of recovery. Nicole is honored to be a part of the Art Awakenings movement of hope and change.

  • Karen Ihrig Youth Intake & Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, Maricopa Youth Studio

    Karen, a Phoenix native, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Psychology from Arizona State University. After earning her Bachelor’s degree, Karen worked as a Behavioral Health Specialist at a residential treatment center for youth. Karen then returned to Arizona State and completed her Masters of Social Work degree. She has since gained experience providing as a community and family counselor. Personally, Karen has a history of using art as a means of coping with life stressors. Professionally, she has integrated artistic expression into therapeutic interventions. She comes to PSA Art Awakenings with a passion for art, and a strong belief in the healing power of expression. She is very excited to be part of the PSA Art Awakenings team.

    • Eden Wenda Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, Tempe Youth Studio

      Eden, a Houston native, comes to PSA Art Awakenings with six years of experience working with youth as a volunteer with a community arts program in Arizona. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State, Eden completed her Master’s degree in Counseling & Psychology at Prescott College with a concentration in Expressive Arts therapy. Eden believes in the healing power of emotional expression through art and is passionate about sharing expressive art experiences with people of all ages.

    Tucson Studio

  • Janet Fuhriman Director of Youth & Adult Services

    Janet Fuhriman, MS, LPC has been providing behavioral health services for the past 30 years. Certified as a Trauma Informed Care trainer in the Sanctuary Model, Janet believes in looking at what has happened to the individual versus what is wrong with them. She strongly believes individuals are not their diagnosis, but thrive with their strengths. Janet has utilized music as a key component in her life and believes art and music have the amazing power to heal. Janet looks forward to accompanying the artists and their families as they continue their recovery.

  • George Perez Recovery Support Specialist/BHT in Tucson

    George is a certified Recovery Support Specialist and has worked in the behavioral health field, in Arizona, since 1991. He is an award-winning artist whose artwork has been exhibited throughout the Southwest. George is also the lead Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist for Warehouse 442, a Art Awakenings graduate program.

  • Irlanda Cuevas Intake Specialist

    Irlanda is originally from Nogales, Arizona, a border town south of Tucson. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2010 with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and minors in Spanish and Sociology. Irlanda is a certified BHT with previous experience working with children and youth at Casa de los Ninos behavioral health. She appreciates the importance of art, culture, and creativity and is thrilled to be part of PSA Art Awakenings and the “Art” community.

  • staff member

    Leticia Galaz Administrative Assistant

    Leticia is a Tucson native who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication with a minor in Spanish from the University of Arizona. She is experienced in the customer service field, most recently at Pima Community College with student life and cultural activities and as a former Pima County Superior Court intern. Leticia is, “Excited to work in the behavioral health field and PSA Art Awakenings!”

  • Margo-Glen

    Margo Glen Administrative Assistant

    Margo Glen came from a Construction/Engineering background and worked as a structural steel estimator for 25 years. In 2008 after weathering through a few layoffs, she used her long time personal experience in recovery to find employment in the mental health field. As a certified Peer Support, she is also the Administrative Assistant at the Tucson Adult Studio and Gallery; and has earned the position of BHPP too. Her creative spirit and attention to details has been a great opportunity to support others while being part of a team.

  • Suzy Deigan Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Suzy, a New York native, earned her M.S. in Art Therapy/ Counseling from The College of New Rochelle in New York and her B.A. in Fine Arts from Southwest University of Visual Arts in Tucson. She has experience working with adults, adolescents, geriatric, substance abuse, individuals with developmental disabilities, and individuals with severe mental illness in inpatient and outpatient settings. Suzy enjoys creating all types of art, especially drawing, painting, and mixed media sculptures. Suzy really believes in art’s powerful healing abilities for individuals and is very excited to be a part of such a wonderful team of artists and staff at Art Awakenings.


  • Ecaterina “Cat” Islas Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, Young Adult and NT19 Coordinator

    Cat, a Tucson native earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in criminal justice and chemistry from the University of Arizona. She previously worked with adolescents in a residential substance abuse program, where she facilitated creative and expressive art therapy groups. Cat is excited to join the PSA Art Awakenings team and truly believes in the healing potential of art. “I have a passion for the arts as well as helping people, through creating art and reflecting on the process, people can increase awareness of self and others, which is an amazing journey to be a part of.”

  • Jessica (JJ) Sturdevant Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Before graduating high school, “J.J.” began her artistic training with the Art Institute of Chicago Oxbow program and an intensive at Carnegie Mellon University. While attending Audubon Expedition Institute, Leslie University, she developed an affinity for the concept of experiential teaching in natural settings. At Goddard College her interests in the fine, healing and teaching arts merged, leading to her emergence as an Expressive Arts Therapist, arts educator, visual artist, and dancer. After moving to Bisbee, she expanded her training to apprentice with a local herbalist, a Mexican Indian curandero, and Reiki master. J.J. is also a graduate of Tamalpa Institute in Movement-based Expressive Arts Therapy, specializing in Ideokienisis body work and personal mythology. She has used her training to develop art and art expression classes by working with individuals and groups of all ages, with a specialization in adolescence and substance abuse.

  • Marisa-Poverman

    Marisa Poverman Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

  • Megan

    Megan LaDuke Youth Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Megan’s passion for art and helping others led to her earning of a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling, specializing in Art Therapy. She has experience with a variety of populations, but has spent much of her career in substance abuse counseling. Megan believes in helping others find their identities as artists and using the creative process to facilitate empowerment, hope, and healing.

  • Julianna-Warkentin

    Julianna Warkentin Youth Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    As a Tucson resident for over 25 years, Julianna is actively involved in the community, particularly through music, which she performs in various venues. She brings her passion for music to the Art Awakenings community. Merging her life experiences and skills as a certified recovery support specialist and behavioral health technician, she helps Artists progress on their path recovery through creativity. She began her career as a program technician in residential drug treatment centers for women and young adults six years ago.

  • Heather-Rascon

    Heather Rascon Youth Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

  • Gina Valencia Peer Respite Youth, BHT

    Gina is a mother of five children and completed Apollo College for Medical Administrative Assistant in 2000 and began a journey from pediatrics to optometry. Gina loved the administration aspect of all, but just felt something was missing. She became a homemaker for several years, reentered the workforce again in housekeeping, retail, and then landed in behavioral health. She has grown to love this work and feel it is her calling to reach out to others and relate to them due to her own past experiences. Now life has led her to work with both adults and children who receive respite which leads me to believe I’m exactly where I need to be not only to assist others, but to learn and grow with them.

  • Eric-McKinely

    Eric McKinely Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, BHT

  • Karen Wunder-Tracy Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Karen comes to PSA Art Awakenings with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Counseling Psychology. Her background and experience are that of working with youth and families in a variety of settings, and include her interest in working with substance abuse issues and co-occuring disorders, along with general mental health issues. She believes that art plays an important role in the therapeutic process, allowing for a unique opportunity for change, growth, and healing.

  • Jessica Kranz

    Jessica earned her Bachelors of Arts degree in Art and Visual Culture Education from the University of Arizona. Though her passion is painting, she enjoys creating all types of art and has found it to be significant in her own growth and healing. She is enthusiastic about making, viewing, and sharing art and strongly believes that everyone is an artist.

  • Denise Ramirez INC Respite Lead

    Denise’s zeal for recovery and wellness comes to life while working at PSA. Through instructing yoga, daily meditations, and teaching clients the benefit of alternative healing methods, she helps participants to control physical and behavioral health symptoms. She recently received the Certified Peer Support Specialist of the year award. She feels honored to have co-facilitated groups within the Peer Employment Training Program. “I am very passionate about my work here at PSA because I’ve been able to teach others the skills that have worked for myself, in my own recovery journey”.

  • Julian

    Julian Islas Youth Respite

    Julian is a Marine Corps Veteran of six years completing two deployments, with one in Afghanistan. After receiving his Associate’s degree from Pima Community College, he is studying Psychology and Government and Public Policy at The University of Arizona. Believing in art’s foundation and capability to heal the mind and soul, Julian continues to thoroughly enjoy his work through the past two years at PSA. He loves working with the youth and with the adults in the studio as well. And in his spare time he enjoys sketching with lead and ink due to its permanence once a stroke has been placed.

  • Lindsey Klingenberg BHP

    Originally from the mid-west, Lindsey moved to Tucson to expand her career in Art Therapy. She completed a Master of Arts degree in Counseling with a specialization in art therapy, working with various populations. Currently, she is interested in learning about eco-art therapy to incorporate into her practice. Lindsey enjoys working with all types of media including jewelry, ceramics, painting, drawing, and mixed media. As an artist and therapist, she believes in the potential art and creativity hold for increasing wellbeing, working on recovery, and building community.

  • John-McElroy

    John McElroy RSS INC / Youth Respite

    John comes to PSA with a background in Behavioral Health, as a Recovery Support Specialist for over 10 years, John brings a passion for recovery that offers a unique perspective to participants. John started his career in recovery through life experiences, he was offered a position in a supported employment program but made it all the way to a Lead RSS position. Since then he has volunteered in many programs such as UoA RISE Program, SMART Recovery, 12-Step recovery, and NAMI of Southern Arizona. He says, “I am blessed to be part of a team here at PSA where I am able to utilize my unique strengths and abilities to affect lives of both adults and children through the Adult INC program and the Youth Respite program.”

  • John Rodriguez Studio Assistant

  • Elizabeth-Parker

    Elizabeth Parker Studio Assistant

    Inspired by the work of Martina Shaprio and Joan Miro, Beth’s abstract, simple life forms include a personal palette of brightly colored acrylic paints. Along with creating art, Beth also enjoys working with other Artists in the Art Awakening’s studio, as they work toward recovery through art.

  • Ellen-Senoff

    Ellen (Ellie) Senoff Studio Assistant

    Ellie earned a degree in Fine Arts Education and is working as an Art Therapist and Instructor. Graduating from PSA Art Awakenings she went on to become a Certified Recovery Specialist, Studio Assistant, and Acrylics painting Instructor at the Tucson location. She brings a sense of enthusiasm for growth and recovery through the creative process, finding she learns as much as she teaches. “I am very grateful to work with such a talented and diverse group of people both staff and artists.”

  • Cheryl Emtman Studio Assistant

  • Brenda Gilkey Studio Assistant

    Quirky, elegant or just plain pretty jewelry, Brenda adores it all! She has been creating art from found objects since she was a child. Even now she see the potential to create art, like chandeliers, chimes, whirly-gigs, and refurbished furniture. Through her creativity Brenda is able to work with fellow artists in the Art Awakenings Studio. And as a previous Art Awakenings graduate she is loving every opportunity to inspire and be inspired.

  • Leon Tremmel

    Leon Tremmel Handyman

    Leon started his career in 1970 as an electrician and has since then worked for many companies becoming proficient in a variety of maintenance related jobs. After many years of experience he retired. But when Janet Fuhriman, whom he had worked and with for 14 years at AZ Children’s Services, approached him regarding a PT position as a Handy Man at PSA, he came out of full time retirement and happily joined the team. Leon also works with Kairos Prison Ministries International and is the co-owner of A New Creating Women’s clinic with his wife Sharon.

Yuma & Parker Studios

  • Patricia Quiroz Site Administrator

    Patricia has over six years in the behavioral health field, most recently as a Behavioral Health Technician and intensive case manager for the EXCEL group in Yuma. She enjoys working and helping people, “I get inspiration from watching people grow and better themselves; I’ve always been a great fan of the arts, I believe music and art are very important in peoples’ lives.” Patricia is “thrilled” to be part of the PSA Art Awakenings Team!

  • Kevin Arrant Recovery Support Specialist, Yuma & Parker

    Kevin is a trained peer support specialist who recently celebrated his 6th year of clean time. He is a recovering addict of 28 years and draws on his experience in recovery to inspire hope as a Recovery Support Specialist working with the artists. Kevin is an amateur photo enthusiast, who loves capturing the sunsets in Arizona with over 30,000 photographs. Kevin also enjoys airbrush art, and creating living miniature Faery Gardens.

  • staff member

    Kurt Fredricksen Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist, Parker

    Kurt was born and raised in Southeast Alaska and moved to Arizona with his family five years ago. He offers approximately 14 years of experience in the behavioral health field, primarily providing direct case management to serious mentally ill adults in Alaska. “I was exposed to art at an early age, as my mother is an artist and practices the Norweigan art of Rosemaling and Tole Painting.” “I love all forms of art and believe strongly in the effectiveness of art as a therapeutic tool.”

  • Fernanda-Rodriguez

    Fernanda Rodriguez Youth Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

  • Angela Figueroa Administrative Assistant / Medical Records

  • Ralph_Gray

    Ralph Gray Driver, Yuma & Parker

    Ralph has lived in Yuma since 1989 and retired in 2008 as a golf course mechanic. He have been a musician all of his life and is currently President of Yuma Community Theater. As a producer, director, singer, actor, set builder, he has seen all forms of art that has to do with live stage productions through community theater. “I truly cherish the time I have spent with these new friends who stay real, on a daily basis. As a maintenance man I may not be painting gorgeous pictures or forming awesome creations but I will strive to meet the needs of our facilities with the best care and service I can provide.

Warehouse 1005 Studio

  • Stephanie Brinkop Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    Stephanie, a native Phoenician, has completed her Master of Science in Art Therapy from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI. She is a registered Art Therapist (ATR) as well as avid painter, muralist, and graphic designer. As an Art Therapist, Stephanie has worked with a diverse population of all ages in a variety of settings and has focused most of her clinical time facilitating art therapy groups. As an enthusiastic artist Stephanie feels that art therapy and creative expression play a vital role in mental health rehabilitation as well as over all personal well being.

  • David Seleme Artistic Behavioral Health Specialist

    David has a Bachelors in Mass Communications from Utah. He has moved between Wisconsin and Utah, but has spent over 25 years in Arizona. He comes to PSA with a wide range of work experience as a case manager for Devereaux, AZ Children and Catholic Charities. He expresses himself through music and enjoys sharing this passion with the artists and musicians. David says, “I love working at PSA because every day brings something new.”