Meet the Artists
Tiffany Carmouche- Visual Artist
Best Selling Author, Social Conscious Sculptor and Internationally Acclaimed Advocate, Tiffany
Carmouché, reveals how art and creativity can be a radical form of healing for ourselves, for our communities, and for social change. She uses the arts to help people ignite creativity as she empowers individuals to embrace self- expression, innovation and living life without regret. Her art, words, service and passion have touched and inspired people worldwide. Tiffany has spoken in front of national and international audiences, led powerful workshops and retreats and has used a variety of the arts (Performance, Sculpture, Music, Dance, & Canvas) to convey her message for human dignity, perseverance, empowerment, and justice. Through the arts, she encourages people to find strength, perseverance and emerge from their brokenness to celebrate life.
Turner Houston, Visual Artist, Writer, Knitter
Turner Houston blogs about creativity, creates a photographic dreamscape of her life, paints, and teaches and knits with Project Knitwell at the Schar Cancer Institute. She writes both fiction and nonfiction. She holds a BFA in Visual Communication from George Washington University, and an MFA in Writing from Bennington College.
Sandi Goldman, Fiber Artists
I am an art quilter with a deep appreciation for traditional quilts. I work intuitively to create varied constructions that can be minimalist or complex in their design aesthetic. Quilting, both by hand and machine gives me a sense of connection to my Grandmothers’ who knit, crocheted and embroidered. My devotion to fiber and creating is rooted in this history of women who make beautiful things for the people they love.
Hilaire Henthorne, Visual Artist/Writer
Hilaire Henthorne is a juried, professional artist formerly affiliated with the Workhouse Arts Center. She specializes in acrylics and mixed media. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, George Mason University; Wine & Art Fest (Vienna, Va.), Taste of Kingstowne (Alexandria, Va.), Manassas City Hall, and the Tackett’s Mill Holiday Show, Occoquan, Virginia. Recently, she held her first solo art show in Clifton, VA. Two of her paintings, “Pueblo Palette” and “Southwest Soul I” were juried and chosen for the May 2017 Textures and Patterns National Juried Exhibit at the Fredericksburg (VA) Center for the Creative Arts. In April 2016, her acrylic painting entitled “Fleeting Beauty” took first place in the People’s Choice contest held by the Associate Artists at Lorton Workhouse Arts Center. In addition to being a visual artist, Hilaire is also a slam poet. She has performed at Busboys & Poets in Shirlington, VA and at the Metro Stage in Alexandria, VA
Anthony Hyatt, Medical Musician
Violinist, singer and dancer, Anthony is a teaching artist and medical musician working in partnership with many Washington, DC area health and human service organizations. He plays music of many genres and is a student of improvisation practices who believes that “The Art of Presence” promotes the emergence of healing experiences. For 22 years Anthony was co-director of the Arts For The Aging Quicksilver senior citizen improv dance company. He served as a master trainer for the National Center for Creative Aging and is a presenter at international creativity conferences around the globe. His performance credits include the Imagination Stage production of Rumpelstiltskin. Anthony has had an article, “Creative Aging with Quicksilver”, published in the UK based Creativity & Human Development Journal and now is working on a book about his Arts in Healthcare experiences. He does additional consulting and facilitation work through his own organization called Moving Beauty.
Gary Lloyd- Storytelling Artist
Gary has told stories to more than 1.2 million listeners over the last 21 years. He is into his third career after first running the in-house management consulting office for the Army Corps of Engineers and then becoming a Fairfax County Childrens’ librarian. He has won numerous awards and performed on national television. From personal stories to classic fairytales to myths and legends, Gary does it all. He is a member of the Healing Story Alliance of the National Storytelling Network and former two term president of the Virginia Storytelling Alliance.
Urvashi Prakash (Tinu), Visual Artist
Tinu is a contemporary artist. Her paintings include landscapes, portraits, plein-air and abstract works of art, in oil and acrylic. She has been passionate about art since childhood and has been painting as a professional for the past few years. Her paintings have featured in juried exhibitions in Virginia and Maryland. She has sold paintings to private individuals and does commissioned work. Tinu is a graduate of The Compass Atelier’s Master Artist Program in Rockville, MD and has undertaken art instruction from master artists Steven Assael, Alyssa Monks and Roberto Osti. Originally from India, Tinu holds a BFA in Commercial Art and a BA in English Literature. She and her husband moved to the US three decades ago and reside in Virginia. Website: www. tinufineart.com
Monica Savasta, Visual Artist
Monica Savasta’s career as a designer prepared her well for her current passion: drawing,
painting, and teaching art to children and adults. For the past five years, she has been teaching arts and crafts to children. Ms. Savasta is known for her statement, “When you teach children art, you teach them to see.” Now, as an Artist in Residence at Inova Schar Cancer Institute, she has realized that doing art can be a healing experience as well.Monica Savasta is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Drexel University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Interactive Multimedia. She is also an alum of The Art Institute of Pittsburgh. Ms. Savasta has excelled as a designer, illustrator, and certified usability analyst. Her success as a multimedia designer includes the Silver Inkwell Award (first place) for an interactive annual report from the International Association of Business Communicators, and an award for Best Electronic Newsletter Design from the Cooperative Communicators Association. In addition to teaching art, Ms. Savasta has created several Science-based images, one of which hangs in the Biological Science Building at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). She has provided commissioned pieces for scientists, tech experts and attorneys.
Ilene Gast, Knitter
I have been knitting since childhood, learning when I received a knitting kit as a gift. Knitting allows me to combine color and texture, transforming long strings of yarn into aesthetically pleasing, functional items. I knit all manner of objects, but my favorites are wild colored socks and unusually shaped shawls. Although finishing a knitted object is satisfying, it is secondary to the process of knitting. The rhythm of knitting is relaxing; it never fails to relieve stress. At the end of graduate school, I not only completed a degree, but also created a series of “dissertation sweaters.” Knitting also lets me take leave of myself. When I am knitting for someone else, which is often, I can virtually spend time with that person. Or, if I use yarn acquired in a special place, I am transported back in time and space. Add portability to these benefits—I can take it with me! However, most of all, I enjoy sharing the art and craft of knitting with others. I am fortunate to have discovered Project KnitwelI, an organization dedicated to bringing the benefits of knitting to people in stressful situations. I am doubly grateful to be part of the Schar ISC Artist in Residence program.
Susan Snell, Knitter
I am a knitting instructor working with individuals who are experiencing stressful situations. Knitting with people in medical, academic and community settings brings them a sense of calm and periods of focused attention that help manage stress. I appreciate the process of knitting with its history of hands-on, creative and productive qualities. Although traditionally thought of as “women’s work” knitting cuts across age, gender and cultural differences uniting us with its texture, color and social connections.
THE GOOD LISTENING PROJECT
Listener Poet Elizabeth Pringle explores language and the human experience through theatre
and film, arts and media education, leadership coaching, and professional development. She works in theatre and media as a playwright/lyricist, actress, teacher, and director and has written and directed plays, film scripts, musicals, as well as adapted full-length operas and zarzuelas. She has collaborated with groups, large and small, in urban and rural areas, to create original poems, plays, and films that reveal the unique and universal nature of our shared humanity. Elizabeth is a Listener Poet and produces The Good Listening Podcast.
Scott Stoner - Smith Center AIR Consultant
Scott has devoted his career to advancing the arts as a catalyst for social change, conflict
resolution, and healing in communities nationally and internationally. He developed
Artist-in-Residence programs for Smith Center for Healing and the Arts at cancer centers in
the Washington, DC area, including Washington Cancer Institute at Washington Medstar Hospital; Howard University Hospital Cancer Center; Holy Cross Health Cancer Institute; a program for wounded warriors at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD; and the Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax, VA. He recruited, trained, and supervised teams of artists (ranging across arts modalities) for the above programs, in addition to developing arts-based professional development opportunities for clinicians, staff and caregivers. He also guided program evaluation and research, including a study in partnership with Georgetown University Hospital. Although an accomplished pianist and percussionist, Scott is primarily interested in creating multimedia visual art work.
Tamara Wellons, Consultant
Tamara Wellons is a professional vocal music artist with over a decade of experience in the recording industry and a profoundly diverse career as a performer and a recording artist. She shares her authentic style and voice on stage and in healthcare settings.
Tamara is the Program Manager for the Artist in Residence (AIR) Programs at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts. Since May 2019, Tamara has supervised the AIR Program at Inova Schar Cancer Institute supervising the resident artists and bringing healing and hope to every patient. Prior to Smith Center, Tamara worked as a singer-in-residence for the Arts and Humanities Program (AHP) at Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at MedStar’s Georgetown University Hospital.
Rendering music as a service and in performance has been both incredibly fulfilling and significant in her life and the lives of 1000's of individuals. Tamara is a member of National Organization for Arts in Health (NOAH) and is Vice President of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Recording Academy. www.tamarawellonsmusic.com
Artist Log Entry- Anthony Hyatt, Violinist Smith Center/Washington Hospital Center
I played quietly strolling violin in the center hallway and was gesturally invited into a couple of the patient rooms. One gentleman (right side as you enter the unit - probably the second or third door down) had his female caregiver open the door so that he could hear better. I went into the room to play and sing for him. I observed that his fingers were working while I played. Afterward he told me that he wished he had his trumpet with him. He loves music and hearing me led him to find the notes in his hands. :-)
My first visit was a long and extraordinary one which I felt exemplified the benefits of palliative care. The visit started with my strolling violin music in the hallway. I saw that the patient in room one was engaged by the music. We had good eye contact and she was trying to remember the words to my melody, Irving Berlin's "Blue Skies". I went to her door and sang them. I should say, "We sang them together." When we finished we had a conversation. She did most of the talking. I listened and responded as she shared important stories from her life.
The nursing staff repeatedly asked me to play more. They said that it helped them to feel better and that the music is particularly beneficial for their neuro patients.
I couldn't believe how fast the time went! It was 6 PM so I was done for the day. I took note that this was a healing experience for me too. My state of mind going home was dramatically improved over what it had been earlier in the day. I loved repeatedly hearing patients tell me "You made my day." That made my day.