By Kathy L. Collins

The Crawford Studio at the SouthShore Regional Library offers a great selection of free art classes for both children (pre-k and up) and adults. The studio has 18 instructors, two of whom will be new this fall. Both are well respected and talented local artists.

Nicole Lamothe creates original artwork and teaches drawing, painting, and methods of hand building functional and sculptural ceramics to children in private schools. Lamothe received her MFA degree from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA and her BA from Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH.  Her work has been exhibited throughout New England and Tampa, FL.

Lamothe will be teaching drawing, painting, collage, ceramics and photo transfers. Laurie Burhop, Art Coordinator said, “I am very excited about Nicole joining our teaching staff.  She will bring lots of enthusiasm, creativity and variety to our art programming.”

Arthur Dillard is an accomplished artist whose studio is located in Bradenton. He holds a B.S. Degree from Florida A & M University and his work has been exhibited throughout the United States.

Dillard will be teaching watercolors to adults and teens. Dillard will conduct a two-part class teaching the students techniques. They can then go home and work further on their watercolor. The following week in class they will finish their piece.  Burhop said, “Arthur comes with many years of experience and is well-known in the area.  SouthShore Regional Library is very excited and fortunate that he is joining our art instructor staff.” Burhop added, “All our art instructors are certified art teachers or practicing artists.”

Registration is required. Class registration is available one month prior to the start of class and all information posted online on  You can register at the SouthShore Information Desk or by calling 273-3652. The Library is located at 15816 Beth Shields Way in Ruskin.


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