Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery



The Yellow Barn Studio & Gallery is Glen Echo Park's painting and drawing residency.


Director Walt Bartman’s goal is to provide a place where those interested in painting can have the opportunity to meet, collaborate, and display their work. They Yellow Barn Studio provides a variety of classes in watercolor, oil and acrylic for students at all levels representing a diversity of philosophies and approaches taken by the faculty. The Yellow Barn Gallery hosts individual and group art exhibits year–round and the studio provides an array of programs. Download their Fall 2017-2018 newsletter.




Resident Artist/Instructors & Classes:

Walt Bartman

Walt teaches landscape, still life, and figure painting classes and workshops, locally and abroad.  His career spans four decades. He received a Master of Fine Arts in Painting and Art History from American University and  was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Belgium and Holland. His painting philosophy centers on personal interpretation and a unique approach to the ordinary. He works with all levels of students and challenges them to "see" more.  Walt's own work is representational in subject, but with an abstract approach to seeing and expressing his thoughts on canvas. 


W. Michael Bartman III

W. Michael Bartman III received his degree in art education from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where he concentrated on teaching and painting. Later, Mr. Bartman served as director of the largest Advanced Placement Art program in the Montgomery County Public School system.  Today, he is the Assistant Director of the Yellow Barn Studio and the painting instructor at the Landon School, a private school in Bethesda.  He is  a two-time Outstanding Teacher of Excellence recognized by the Maryland Art Education Association and the Landon School.


Vian Borchert

Borchert is an award winning contemporary artist who has shown both internationally and nationally in many group and solo exhibitions. The National Gallery of Art in Amman, Jordan and The Jerusalem Fund Gallery, Washington, DC have her artwork in their permanent collections. She is a graduate from The Corcoran College of Art and Design, Washington, D.C. and has a Master Web Design degree. Vian’s expressionistic and abstracted art illustrates a poetic mood and a thoughtful journey in the world of painting.





Jordan Bruns

J. Jordan Bruns graduated with a BFA in Painting and Illustration from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2004 and an MFA in Painting from Indiana University in 2007.  Currently, he is the resident artist in the Chautauqua Tower at Glen Echo Park.  He has received many awards; most recently, he was a finalist for the Bethesda Painting Awards in 2011 and received an Individual Artist Grant from Montgomery County in 2010.  His work can be seen at the Chautauqua Tower and at Longview Gallery, downtown D.C.





Lesa Cook 

Lesa Cook grew up in South Carolina and received a degree in studio art from the University of South Carolina in 1987. In 1990/91 she pursued graduate work in computer graphics at George Mason University. She continued her fine art studies part-time at the Maryland Institute College of Art and The Corcoran. For 10 years she studied at The Art League in Alexandria, Virgina. She continues to pursue her studies and thinks of herself as a perpetual student. She has been teaching for the last ten years throughout the Md/Va area. 







Tory Cowles

BA from Bennington College. Cowles is attracted to the process of abstract expressionism because it is an expression from the heart, a visual stream of consciousness. "I’m interested in the tension between chaos and discipline in a painting, creating as much spontaneity as possible with just enough discipline to hold the composition together. I like the interaction between strong, bold gestures and subtle textures and color juxtapositions within a painting with both holding their own. Paintings should invite a person to fall into them and travel around inside them, seeing and enjoying different things depending on their mood." 



Denise Dittmar

Denise has been teaching art at classes and camps for four years at Glen Echo. Long involved with design and art education, she now focuses on children’s art at the Crystal Pool Studio and a teen drawing and painting class through the Yellow Barn. Adult, and Adult/children’s classes include collage, drawing and painting in deconstruct books, and block printmaking. In addition, Denise works part-time at Little Echoes and Playgroup in the Park.








Mary Fanning

Mary Fanning is a watercolorist who studied at the Ontario College of Art and has been painting watercolor for over 20 years. Her interest in art began as a teenager when she decided that she wanted to paint in watercolor and began to study art and painting. She took time off for medical school and a career, but returned to art school and has since leveraged an international career to paint all over the globe showing and selling her work. This is her debut as an instructor and she adds a unique approach to using this wonderful medium – working to emphasize shapes and optimize the impact of rich colors.





Gavin Glakas

Gavin is a professional artist who studied at Washington University in St. Louis and the Slade School of Fine Art in London. His portraits hang in the United States Capitol and Georgetown University, and his work is featured in galleries throughout the country.





Barbara Gruber

A native of Baltimore, Barbara Epstein Gruber received a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art, studied in the graduate fine arts program at the University of Pennsylvania and earned her MFA from Brooklyn College. Her work can be found in private and corporate collections throughout the US, Europe and the UK and has been featured in numerous local and national publications. Ms. Gruber has won Best in Show by such esteemed jurors as Klauss Kertess of the Whitney Museum, Bernard Chaet, Samuel Hoi, George Gurney of the Smithsonian and Doreen Bolger of the BMA. She is currently an instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art, The Johns Hopkins University and The Yellow Barn. 



Arlette Jassel was born in Cuba and studied art at Hunter CoHege in New York City, the Corcoran, the University of Maryland, and Montgomery College. She obtained a BFA in painting from Hunter College and a Masters degree from University of Chicago in art education. She is an art teacher in the Montgomery County Public School system. She painted the scenery for production of “The Little Mermaid" at Joe‘s Movement Emporium.


Christine Lashley

Christine Lashley studied as a teen in Paris at the Parsons Art Institute and the Sorbonne, continuing on to earn her BFA at Washington University in St. Louis.  She worked for several years in the fashion industry in Europe, then as a muralist and graphic designer, but turned her interest to fine art soon thereafter.  Christine's paintings have been shown nationally and internationally, and continue to win top awards.  Her work has also been featured in American Artist Magazine, The Washington Post, and North Light Publications.





Bonny Lundy

Bonny Lundy teaches Flowing Watercolor and Plein air Watercolor at Yellow Barn. She has been teaching painting and drawing for all ages for thirty years. Bonny holds a BFA in Painting and works in several other mediums including, batik, oil painting and clay at Pleasant View Studio. Her art is exhibited widely and included in private and public collections.  Bonny paints in an expressive style, focusing on color and pattern in still life, landscapes, florals and figures.  She encourages her students to develop personal style through experimentation and to find freedom in working with the challenging and rewarding medium of watercolor.



Christopher Madden

Christopher Madden is an internationally known Engraver and Artist. Mr. Madden is the Lead Banknote Picture Engraver at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington DC.Much of his engraving work may be found in your wallet. In 2009, Christopher had the honor of engraving the official portrait engraving of President Barack Obama. Mr. Madden has appeared on the National Geographic’s “Inside the Fed", the Learning and Discovery channels, and in numersous print media interviews.




Gita Mirshahi

Gita Mirshahi earned her BFA in drawing & sculpture from Trinity college and her MFA from George Washington University. She works in a wide range of two and three dimensional media - from drawing to print making and painting, to creating sculpture, ceramics or jewelry. Gita has focused of late on spontaneous, free flowing, vibrant paintings, which, though based on the physical world are near calligraphic abstractions. She has taught many disciplines and her hallmark is helping the student develop their own vision and techniques. This means taking risks, investing yourself in the process of discovery, and watching your subject reveal it self.




John Murray

John Murray is a contemporary oil painter. His subject matter includes figure, landscape, still-life and portraiture. Inspired by the classical masters as a boy, his traditional training and artistic development has lead to work of quality. His paintings carry an appealing sense of clarity and color. Murray was educated at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (PAFA) in Philadelphia. In 1991 he studied at the John Michael Angel Studio in Florence, Italy. He then became one of four banknote designers at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, where he drew presidential portraits and worked on currency designs for 16 years.



Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro

Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Valencia, in his native Spain and followed courses at many prestigious schools, including the University of Toledo, the University of Alcala de Henares, the Foundation of Contemporary Art and Artists and the Taller del Prado Academy. He has been working as a professional artist and art instructor for more than 16 years helping students of all ages and levels to build solid artistic foundations and discover their unique creativity.





Katherine Nelson

"My drawings spring from the inspiration of living and traveling in some of the most spirit-embodied places in the world. My preferred medium is charcoal; with it I’m able to explore the interplay of light and shadow, softness and edge." Nelson earned a Master of Arts from SUNY and has exhibited drawings in many solo, invitational, and juried exhibitions in the United States and Europe. 






Karen Norman

Watercolor painting and teaching are what Karen Norman loves to do. She graduated in studio art and went on to receive her MFA at the University of Maryland in College Park in color lithography. After graduate school, Karen began to explore watercolor and became fascinated and captivated by its subtleties and possibilities. Her award winning paintings have earned her signature membership in the Baltimore Watercolor Society and Potomac Valley Watercolorists. She is also a member of the Washington Watercolor Association, and other art organizations in the metropolitan DC area. She is president of the Olney Art Association, where her mother was a founding member.



Ricky Sears

A native of Chevy Chase, Ricky Sears, MFA Fine Arts, BA Studio Art cum laude honors, has five years college teaching experience in studio art and currently teaches drawing and painting at Landon School. He provides encouragement and shows examples to ensure students do their best in his fun and engaging classes. 



Martha Spak

Martha Spak teaches a still life oil painting class at the Yellow Barn working with students of all levels. She explores techniques of master painters to create dramatic works using simple subjects. In her own work, Martha is drawn to atmospheric art with layers of glazes that convey rich tones and depth.






Lida Stifel

BA Ohio Wesleyan University, Corcoran School of Art.  Lida has taught figurative painting and drawing at the Yellow Barn for 20 years.  She has exhibited in galleries locally and nationally.  Her work includes landscape, figure, and still life. "As a perceptual, I let the painting process take me beyond the literal subject matter and and into another dimension of reality without actually losing sight of the subject."




Maud Taber-Thomas

In her drawings and paintings, Maud Taber-Thomas strives to capture the vibrant light and color of far-off places and distant time periods. She draws inspiration from classic literature, especially that of the Romantic and Victorian Eras, and also from her European travels. Her paintings range from miniatures to larger than life portraits. Many of her works feature sensitive and evocative portraits. Educated at the New York Academy of Art, Bowdoin College, and Oxford University, Taber-Thomas now lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and teaches at the Yellow Barn Studio at Glen Echo Park.





Elisabeth Vismans

Elisabeth was born and raised in the Netherlands, and after a successful career in the corporate world she chose to follow her life long passion for painting. Sheparticipated in group and solo shows in Denver, Longmont, Louisville in CO, Rockville, Frederick, Baltimore in Maryland, Berryville, Waterford in VA andNew Orleans, LA. As a certified life coach and founder of Quality Within she is now devoting her time to empowering women with expressive painting. Her classes are for all skill levels. Elisabeth will gently guide you through the painting process, freeing yourself from negative voices, connect to your intuition and experience the healing powers of expressive painting, from within and without judgment. 




Jane Walsh


Liz Wolf

Liz Wolf has shown her work internationally and nationally. She has an MFA from Queens College, City University, NY. She was an adjunct lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University teaching printmaking. She has taught at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, MD, the Virginia Museum of Fine Art Outreach program and the Lee Art Center, Arlington, VA. She is a fellow at Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA. 





Marcie Wolf Hubbard

Marcie Wolf-Hubbard received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Studio Art and studied Fine Art and Illustration at the Maryland Institute, College of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited widely on the East Coast; she has illustrated for magazines and books and worked as a courtroom artist. Marcie and her husband David are currently working on a book of David's short stories and poems and Marcie's encaustic (hot wax) paintings, which have inspired David's writing. 





Anka Zaremba

Anka Zaremba has a degree in literature from The School of African and Asian Studies at the University of Sussex, UK. This was followed by study at Warwick University and Leicester, where she discovered her passion for education in the arts and particularly how we communicate across generations and cultures.

She has lived and worked as a teacher in Papua New Guinea, the Sudan, Hong Kong, the UK and the US, and had a childhood filled with family visits to Poland and France. Painting and drawing became Anka’s natural lifeline, way of always having a piece of home with her to share in each new place.