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Meet Our Instructors

Kathleen H. Becker

Artist Statement:  Art has been a major focus of my life since I was a young child. I love color and the natural transparency of watercolors. My watercolors capture nature’s beauty using color and light. I have recently rediscovered my love of oil painting. In watercolor, an artist works light to dark, but in oils the opposite applies. It can be a challenge at times! I enjoy exploring the different qualities and techniques that can be used with these mediums to create interesting paintings of nature in gardens as well as in landscapes. My paintings preserve memories of a time or place that is meaningful for me, and hopefully the viewer.

Bio:  Kathleen Becker graduated from Plymouth State University of New Hampshire with a BS degree in Art education, concentrating in painting. She taught in public and private schools for over 25 years. She also earned a Master’s degree in Elementary education from Plattsburgh State University of New York. During this time, Becker also spent her summers at Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains of New York assisting and then teaching the daily adult watercolor classes. In 2014, after leaving her teaching position in the public schools, Becker began to concentrate more of her time honing her skills in watercolor and oils by taking classes the York Art Association. She also teaches adults and teens at this association and exhibits regularly in their gallery. Becker’s work has been selected for several juried exhibitions in Pennsylvania as well as being shown in local art galleries in the York, Pennsylvania area and the Lake George region of New York.

Susan Davitti Darling hails from Marietta, PA with a degree in Commercial Art from Millersville University and studies at Pennsylvania School of the Arts. Her education positioned her to take on numerous projects, such as creating greeting cards and calendar art and several label designs for a local winery. 

"My approach to painting and collage is playful. I work intuitively. Exploration and experimentation keep me company. Collage satisfies the collector in me. There is an endless source of materials to choose from. A smooth stone that I found on a walk, old library catalog cards, bottle caps and feathers join papers from discarded book pages to have a new life in my work. Reuse, recycle and reinvent are the words of the day. My Inspiration comes from music, the rustling of fall leaves, poetry or the color of the evening sky. I am inspired by the company of friends and family, who love and support me. Making art provides me with Joy and Gladness. ART is the poetry of my world."

Bradley Gebhart is an award winning artist with art in galleries, museums and private collections around the world. Mr. Gebhart graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the College of William and Mary, studied graphic design at the Maryland College of Art and Design and began his Master’s degree at Arizona State University. He currently serves on the Board of the Art Association of Harrisburg, is the editorial cartoonist for The Central Voice and The Burg magazines and entertains and delights at events as a caricaturist. Mr. Gebhart has been teaching art class for over 25 years. His classes have included Japanese Anime, Acrylic, Superheroes, Political cartooning, Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain, Caricaturing and more at the Mechanicsburg Art Center, Learning Annex, Northampton Community College, Lancaster Art Association and Art Association of Harrisburg.

Susan Nicholas Gephart is an internationally recognized artist. Susan, influenced by her artist father, developed a deep appreciation of the earth and its relationship to art when she was a young child. Her passion to explore the landscape is expressed through a unique use of color, texture, and atmosphere, capturing the emotion of a moment with spontaneity and directness. Susan is an associate member of the Pastel Society of America, and a past president and Signature Member of the Central Pennsylvania Pastel Society. She also co-founded the Plein Air Painters of Central Pennsylvania. She has been instructing pastels since the mid 80’s and organizing the Hameau Farm Studio Artist Retreats for all levels and mediums. All of Susan’s workshops are supported by top national art supply companies, allowing her students to sample a variety of fine art products. Her workshops are advertised in Pastel Journal and PleinAir Magazine, and her art is advertised in Fine Art Connoisseur, and has been Plein Air Convention faculty since 2015.

Central PA Pastel Society

Hameau Farm Studio Artist Retreats Coordinator

Jack Richeson Certified Instructor

Sennelier Demonstrator

Gamblin Oil Dedicated Workshop Instructor

MultImedia Artboard Demonstrator

Farmland Preservation Artist

Plein Air Painters of Central PA Co-founder

Yesenia (Jessie) Groft began her artistic journey as a child, often drawing alongside her father as he created beautiful oil paintings. Her love for painting was rekindled several years ago while attending a paint night with friends.

What began as a simple hobby developed into a motivating passion. As an artist, Jessie continues to hone in her style and technique. As an instructor, she seeks to enthusiastically share her heartfelt belief that we all can learn to draw and paint to some degree – it just takes time to patiently learn and practice.

Her favorite mediums are charcoal on paper and acrylic on stretched or wooden canvas.

She is a proud member of the York Art Association where she teaches youth classes.

Penelope Grumbine Hornock is a native to York, Pennsylvania and a graduate of Millersville University and Maryland Institute College of Art.

After graduating from MICA's MFA program, she left her studio in Baltimore, Maryland, to participate in the Arts Community in her hometown of York, PA.

A frequent traveler, her works portray places where she's lived and explored: Taiwan, Mainland China, Japan, the Southwest United States, and the Eastern Seaboard..

"A participant in Regional and National Juried and Invitational Exhibitions, I strive to balance my teaching schedule with personal creation." - Penny

Christine Kirk earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design in Communication Design. She worked as a graphic designer for Family Circle Magazine and freelanced in the New York metropolitan area until taking time off to raise her children. She started making paper sculptures to decorate her home and has continued to explore the medium for over 20 years. Her work can be seen in many venues around York with the gallery group. In addition, The PA Guild of Craftsmen store in Lancaster sells her pieces. In recent years, Christine has received three awards from the Lancaster Art Association and has earned master artisan status from the PA Guild of Craftsmen. 

You can learn more about Christine and her art on her website,  or @PaperMeditations on Instagram. Also, check out these recent features on All Things Paper and Trendy Art Ideas.

Sue Marrazzo is an award-winning experimental artist who works in collage, mixed media, acrylic, sculpture, and encaustic painting. Sue's art tends to be influenced by fashion, interior design, and art history. She believes, "Art is about learning to see." Sue's strengths as an artist are with color theory and composition. She describes her art as : "BOLD, COLORFUL, EXPERIMENTAL, and INDIVIDUALISTIC."

Sue Marrazzo has exhibited in numerous local, regional, national and international juried shows, and exhibits. She currently teaches collage, abstract painting and experimental mixed media.

Linda Benton McCloskey enjoys discovering creative ways of expression and totally keeps traditional rules of painting out of the picture. Since she loves to vary her palette of colors and new approaches, Linda's most recent works are experimental water media (abstract), mixed media, cold wax and oil and encaustic (beeswax) with lots of texture and exciting color. Diversity with all its fascinating choices, intrigues her and is evident in her work. Since Linda begins a new work without a preconceived outcome in mind, she simply begins painting and then intuition, love, desire, and experience take over. As she begins to see images, she develops them further. No matter what the results, the works take Linda to a new destination. After changing careers and researching her family's history, Linda discovered that Thomas Hart Benton (an American Regionalist Painter 1889-1975) was her great uncle. She has a Nautilus membership with International Society of Experimental Artists, and a Signature membership with Baltimore Watercolor Society, Philadelphia Watercolor Society and also Pennsylvania Watercolor Society. Linda is an instructor of acrylic and cold wax has a studio and gallery at The Millworks in Harrisburg, PA.

Savannah “Van” Pafchek (b. 1997) received her Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2020, where she studied drawing along with taking biology courses at Johns Hopkins University. In the studio, much of her time is spent drawing and studying the figure from life using graphite, charcoal and conté. Her figure drawings place emphasis on structural anatomy and using value to reveal complex forms. On the side, she explores methods of wildlife illustration, with a particular focus on regional bird species and their habitats.

Nature, movement and color have long been Anita William’s inspiration. Anita seeks to find the magical element in nature, whether it is in trees or flowers, waterways or twisting vines.  She hopes to transfer her sense of beauty to her audience.

Anita grew up in on the New Jersey shore. She met her husband while living as a young adult in Philadelphia and moved to York County in 1984.  She earned her Bachelors in Art Education at Millersville University. Anita taught Art at Spring Grove Area School District for 15 years. While teaching, Anita earned an M.S. in Education from Wilkes University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Wilson College in 2017.

Anita retired from public school teaching in 2019 and has been painting in her studio above the Handsome Cab restaurant in York. She currently teaches painting at the York Art Association and the Adams County Arts Council.

Anita has participated in many juried exhibitions and won several awards. In 2020 she won an “Award of Excellence” for the Healing Power of Art from Manhattan Arts International.  She also won “Best of Show” at the Yorkfest Adult Juried Exhibition.

Lynne Yancha  A.W.S. has received national recognition for her luminous watercolors: beautiful paintings of children, animals, still-life, and landscapes. Yancha’s sensitivity to her subjects, superb drawing, painting, and timeless realism is captivating.

Lynne resides in Mifflinburg, PA and has been conducting watercolor workshops at YAA for years. Her three day workshops are always well attended, inspirational and a good time. 

"I always begin my work with musings. I am not sure that the work is so different from years past… what I am sure of is that I am different. I use the same techniques as always in a layered, lost and found way. My media continues to be mixed: watercolor, white acrylic, ink, lead and colored pencils. I like contrast, edge-to-edge interest, and a story: yours and mine. Mostly, I am absolutely in love with the mystery of inspiration and how it affects the process. I have a painting that is entirely different from the image with which I began. It tells its own story!"  - Lynne


Deb Watson is a self-taught artist. Although she displayed an early talent at art, her parents discouraged it. She spent her adult life working as nurse and raising a family, but continued to paint in her spare time.  As her work began winning awards and selling, Deb quit nursing to become a full time artist and teacher.

Now, her paintings have been exhibited throughout the U.S. in major art competitions and museums. Deb's watercolors have been published in national magazines and she's a recognized teacher, with how to paint books and a Craftsy class on Pet Portraits. After a bout with cancer, Deb became serious about creating her best work. She added oil painting as a medium, and began a new series of western art. 

"Living in the East, I limited myself to painting what I saw. Now, I'm traveling and enjoying the process of exploring the west, the ranches, the people and the wildlife. It's opened a door to an exciting new leg of my artistic journey."

York Art Association 220 S. Marshall Street, York, PA 17402 717-755-0028

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