About Us

We are a group of Vermont art educators dedicated to promoting the essential role the arts play in fully educating our students.

We support and promote our profession by providing discipline specific professional development for our peers at our Fall Conference and workshops throughout the year. We support excellence in art education by recognizing a Vermont Art Educator of the Year in conjunction with The National Art Education Association.

VATA offers our members Rejuvenation Grants to fund special art education projects and special members workshop events. In the 2016-17 school year, our fall event was at the Brattleboro Museum and our YAM events were held in Barre and Randolph to promote our goal of serving art education throughout the State. Our 2017 Conference “Gear Up For Art” will be in Essex Junction and Burlington.

VATA advocates for art education by exhibiting student work. We host a biennial Youth Art Month (YAM) Exhibit at the Vermont Statehouse in Montpelier and other sites throughout the State. In 2018 our exhibit “Linked In” will be on display March 7-30 and we welcome participation from all of Vermont’s Art Students. We have also sponsored a Circle Painting event with Hiep Nuygen, a project with Vermont Public Radio, an exhibit with open community art making workshops and other special YAM events each March. Vermont art students create a YAM flag which is displayed at YAM Museum which is part of the NAEA Art Education Convention.

The Vermont Art Teachers Association is an affiliate of the National Art Education Association NAEA and our memberships are linked. We participate in initiatives and attend National leadership meetings to keep informed of issues that affect our field. In 2012 VATA hosted the Team East meetings in Burlington. VATA members present at the National Education Conferences and have been recognized with National Art Education awards. Our members use the NAEA member benefits of free Digication accounts and Artsonia portfolios.

We are governed by an Executive Committee and Board of Directors as stated in our By Laws. Our monthly meetings are open to any members. We welcome and need participation on our board and committees to ensure an active community that supports meaningful and vibrant art education in Vermont.

Board Members

Abigail Bartell
Abigail Bartell
Treasurer, Past President
Abigail has been with VATA as a member and in various other capacities since 2007. She is currently teaching Visual Art at Danville School in Danville, VT. Abigail is working towards her Master’s in Art and Design Education from Vermont College of Fine Art. This year Abigail will transition from President Elect to President of VATA. In addition to teaching, Abigail works in her studio as much as possible. She is a mixed media artist who is currently working mainly with visual journals and bookmaking. Abigail is extremely excited to work with Vermont’s fine art educators, preservice teachers and of course, the kids!
Rebecca Wright
Rebecca Wright
Past President
Rebecca has worked with VATA for about 10 years. She took over the treasurer position for a few years, and she was president elect for one year and president for the past two years. Rebecca has been privileged to work with amazing art educators in Vermont on conferences and YAM displays, and other professional development activities. Rebecca enjoys working with and serving art educators in Vermont. She has learned a lot about NAEA and met some great art educators through national delegate meetings held at the National Conventions. Rebecca just retired from Bakersfield Elementary Middle School after 23 years as Art Teacher/School Librarian. She am now working with the elderly population at a shared living house in Randolph Vermont. She hopes to continue to work with VATA.
Lisa Bresler
Lisa Bresler
Art teacher by day, art ninja by night. This is Lisa’s 12th year teaching art. She enjoys all mediums and most of all enjoys watching her students create. Lisa has been helping with VATA for 4 years and she is the current President.
Beth LeCours
Beth LeCours
Beth LeCours teaches K-6 Visual Art Education at Hardwick Elementary School in Hardwick, Vermont. An abstract painter and potter, Beth holds a B.F.A. degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a M.F.A. degree from Johnson State College, in Johnson, Vermont. She has been a VATA member for over 10 years and active on the board of directors as Treasurer for the past three. She is passionate about integrating the arts with all content areas and collaborates with colleagues as much as possible.
Rebecca Carleton
Rebecca Carleton
YAM Chair
Rebecca (Rebbie) Carleton has been teaching art to pre-K through Grade 12 Vermont Art Students since 1981.She has been an itinerant art teacher, arts administrator, gallery curator and public school art educator. NAEA selected her as the Eastern Region Arts Educator in 2014 and she was the 2004 Vermont Educator and a finalist for the 2004 Vermont Teacher Of the Year. She has been committed to promoting art education with VATA in many positions, most recently as the VT representative to NAEA leadership initiatives and as Youth Month Chair.
Emily Titterton
Linda Whelihan
Museum Educator Liaison
I'm the Education Curator at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. I was an art teacher in Maryland and Vermont previously and I stay connected with the art education community through my job and involvement with VATA. Art teachers are superstars! Get in touch if you're in Brattleboro! and if you have specific ideas about professional development opportunities that you'd like to attend, let me know and I'll look into possibilities of having a workshop at BMAC.
Jenny Jacobson
Jenny Jacobson
Secretary, Webmaster/Social Media
Jenny Jacobson is the art teacher at the Swanton School, grades K-6, in northwestern Vermont. She would love to hear from members if they would like to share their news on our social media pages. When she is not in the art room, you can find her roaming the hills, forests and streams of Vermont!
April Simpson
VATA Membership and Registration Chair
Melissa Kristensen
President Elect
Melissa has been a member of VATA for over 20 years and decided it was about time she took on a leadership role and is President Elect. Since the current president had to do her Art Methods classes under Melissa, it is appropriate that Lisa now gets to teach her. Melissa teaches at Poultney High School and is National Board Certified. When she is not happily creating chaos with her students she loves to paint and travel.