Coed, independent, PK-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Celebrate the Arts

Art instruction is interwoven throughout the Shorecrest curriculum. To celebrate the lessons and skills taught all year, we open the campus to the community for a week each spring during Celebrate the Arts. Shorecrest hosts visiting artists-in-residence in The Experiential School through Middle School. Community members with careers in painting, sculpture, opera, culinary arts, dance, writing, floral design, architecture and much more share their talents and create experiential opportunities for our students.

Student artwork is also on display around campus, with a juried art show for grades 9-12 in the Student Activity Center and Janet Root Theatre Lobby.

The week wraps up with a Friday afternoon performance in Lower School for parents, and our phenomenal Upper School spring musical. This year, our thespians will be performing "The Phantom of the Opera", April 14-16, 7pm in the Janet Root Theatre. Tickets are $10 for students and $20 for adults, and are available for purchase at the Box Office April 11-15 from 8am - 4pm, and 90 minutes before each show.

Wayne Berman

Wayne Berman was raised in Northvale, NJ. Being near NYC made it possible to meet, work and study with, some of his personal heroes in music and the arts. Wayne was fearless about introducing himself to great artists. He once saw an orchestra concert of original works in Lincoln Center, he thought it was the best he had ever seen. Wayne snuck backstage and introduced himself to Gheorghe Costinescu (one of the two greatest Romanian composers in the past 100 years) and ended up studying very deeply, weekly lessons for seven years in composition, harmony, theory, and counterpoint.

Wayne went to Bard College, in Annandale, NY. where he received his BA in music composition and performance. He was awarded many times, especially in music. The President of the College created a new award for Wayne in his senior year, it read, “for the student who contributed most to the general welfare of the college”. Wayne never contributed money, his contributions were in the form of bringing many great artists to the college and creating programs for education and interaction. He continued in the same way at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he received a dual MA degree in music composition and theory.

When he first moved to Pinellas County, he became the president of the Tampa Bay Composers’ Forum (at that time it was the second largest composers’ forum in the world). He has since worked at many private schools, churches, and theaters. He is the proud owner of Wayne Berman Music Studios and The Rise and Shine Performing Arts Camp and Mobile School.

But guess what - at Shorecrest he'll be leading our students through a session on improv comedy!

Gordon Bonnett

Gordon Bonnett is a graduate of the University of Tampa. He sang with Opera Tampa chorus in "Carmen" and "Rigoletto", and sang twice with the chorus in the Tampa performance of Andrea Bocelli’s National Tour. In addition, he leads after-school choral programs at both dePaul School for Dyslexia and the Arts Conservatory for Teens.

Gordon held the position of music director for the music fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia for three years, sang with the nationally assembled Men of Song Chorus, was a part of the University of Tampa Chamber Singers for two years, and currently sings with the Pass-A-Grille Beach Community Church choir. He has composed, arranged, and edited music for dance; and is inspired by all genres of music from pop to baroque and jazz.

Bonnett looks forward to meeting and working with Shorecrest students.
His session will focus on the innate power of music by discussing the history of choral and group singing as well as the physics of sound. Students will then go through a series of vocal warm ups and choral practices, and sing through a couples passages of music as a group.

Karleigh Chase

Karleigh Chase is an actress/writer who is most well known for her two original one-woman shows, "Memoirs of a Painted Woman" and "LESS," for which she was a recipient of the GenYes Grant funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Karleigh's credits include film, stage and television work throughout the Southeast region. She recently completed filming the Fox Searchlight movie "Gifted" premiering in 2016. Her many stage credits include the role of Caroline in "I & You" at the Mad Cow Theatre in Orlando. She also received the Tampa Bay Action Film Challenge Best Actress award for her performance in "Salvage." Karleigh is co-owner/founder of Ideal Reels, a demo production company for actors. She is the Teen and Child Instructor at the Andi Matheny Acting Studios in Downtown St Pete. Learn more at

Karleigh will be presenting Acting and Improv to Shorecrest students.

More about Teen and Child Acting Classes at the Andi Matheny Acting Studio:
Ages 8 - 12, Saturdays 10am-Noon starting January 9.
Ages 13 - 17 Wednesdays 4pm-6pm starting January 6.
10 class package: $270; 8 class package: $235.
To enroll or for more info email

Amanda Conklin

Will be sharing her talents in painting and drawing.

She is available to teach groups of children, teenagers or adults using any drawing, mixed media, or paint media, with various subject matters. She also teaches "Learning to Read Through the Arts" for students in grades 1 - 7. She has experience helping high school students put together art portfolios for college or art school applications. You can reach Amanda at

Amy Hammond

Amy Hammond is a St. Petersburg-based writer who believes that forming a collegiate allegiance early in life can lead to academic success. Her books are featured at Barnes and Noble, and specialty retailers. When she’s not writing or running, Amy enjoys boating with her family, teaching her two future Gators about the University of Florida and writing for such publications such as Scary Mommy, Tampa Bay Moms Blog and 83 Degrees Media.

Amy Hammond is the author of a collegiate children's book series, including the popular titles "When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Gator," "When I Grow Up, I'll Be a 'Nole," "When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Bull," "When I Grow Up, I'm Bama Bound" and "When I Grow Up, I'll Be a Tiger." She will speak to our students about book writing and publishing. 

Enjoy her spirited stories at

Alex Harris

ALEX, a Soul/R&B vocalist and actor, is no stranger to the entertainment scene. He has a growing following world-wide because of his #1 hit singles "Hope for Us" and "Love Line," and top 20 Billboard success from "Don’t Walk Away" with his brothers, A7. ALEX has performed for 2 of the Presidential Inaugural Galas, Premier of Bermuda Gala, Premier of Ireland Gala and many other prestigious galas, schools, colleges, corporate events, and festivals world-wide. In addition, ALEX co-founded and is CEO of the performing arts afterschool academy, Arts Conservatory for Teens (ACT) in St. Petersburg.

With Shorecrest students, ALEX will blend vocal performance and acting. He'll also bring an assortment of musical instruments such as drums, guitar and piano.

Find out about his upcoming performance schedule on

Jenny Hasbun

Jenny Hasbun was born in Lima, Peru, and emigrated to the USA in 1972. She studied Art in The Catholic University in Lima, Peru. She has been working with clay for the last 30 years, and is presently teaching clay hand building at the Clay Center of Saint Petersburg and at Azalea Community Center. Jenny's work has been exhibited at the Saint Petersburg Art Center, Dunedin Art Center and Queens University in Charlotte, South Carolina. She earned the Leslie Potts Smith Award in ceramics at Dunedin Art Center, and won an Etching competition in Lima Catholic University.

Jenny loves to teach ceramics to persons with disabilities at The Inspired Studio at PARC. "This activity is very rewarding to me and the students usually display amazing abilities," she says. In addition, Jenny has a study space at The Clay Center Saint Petersburg. Jenny will be throwing clay on the wheel with our Lower School students while visiting Shorecrest. 

Jon Hoefer

Jon Hoefer has been a creative professional in the graphic design and illustration industry for over twenty years. During this time, his work has been published in many periodicals and trade magazines. In 2011, Mr. Hoefer illustrated a book written by former NYC Mayor Ed Koch entitled "Eddie Shapes Up." This children's book focuses on eating habits, bullying and how to believe in yourself.

Mr. Hoefer is a graduate from the VPA / Illustration program at Syracuse University and currently resides on Snell Isle in St. Petersburg with his family. He is coming to work with Lower School and Middle School students. Find his work at

Rim Karnavicius

Rim Karnavicius has appeared in over 35 opera productions in the Tampa Bay area as a principal, comprimario, understudy and chorus member, most recently as Noah in productions of Britten's "Noye's Fludde" in Sarasota and St. Petersburg, Florida. Rim has served as President of the St. Petersburg Opera Board of Directors and continues his service to the company with community outreach and educational programs.

Rim has returned to Celebrate the Arts at Shorecrest year after year to share his vocal talents with students of all ages.

Ya La’ford

The passion of Ya La’ford’s transformation of spaces (be it a museums, canvases or minds of our youth) with signature geometric patterns and contours, including her highly regarded infusion of hypnotizing lights, are traveling across St. Petersburg and the world. You may have seen her transformation of the tunnel by Rays Stadium. She partnered with the Holocaust Museum and created a Blue SUN-nel Storytelling series with her 85-foot, blue lighted mural tunnel. She painted geometric lines paralleling the rise and fall of the sun in St. Petersburg, educating over 250 students from Mt. Zion and Shorecrest

Ya La’ford is is a professor​, visual painter, installation artist, muralist and community advocate. In her practice, she explores human interconnectivity, community,​ evidence, and manipulation. La’ford’s paintings are included in corporate, private and public collections, and she has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her artistic practice is a quest to find a universal language, a true community advocate that merges her art practice to impact and creates community change. 

Most recently her artwork was included in Miami Art Basel, Harlem Art Flux, Solo-show Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Quantum-Inhabited Space, Dunedin Fine Arts, Large Scale Install, Illuminated Silence, Asia Contemporary and Jamaica Biennial. Her "Known Unknown" Project captured community moments through photography and displayed them in places where the audience might otherwise not experience art, serving areas including Pinellas County Urban League, Pinellas County Jail, Pinellas Safe Harbor, Pinellas Hope and Mycroschool.  

Ya La’ford recently won the MUSE Arts Ambassador Award that recognizes a beloved St. Petersburg artist who is a stellar representative of the “City of the Arts” to the world. In the upcoming months she will be the spotlight artist in June at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg for the The Contemporaries Lectures; also her anticipated Solo Show at TECO, Tampa Florida, followed by a Solo-show at the Chihuly in July. She was also awarded St. Petersburg Art Alliance 2015 Individual Artist Grant, First Women in African-American History (where she was presented with keys to the city), New Jersey Public Utilities Project, The Washington Art Project, TBBCA Cultural Encounter Art Award and Creative Loafing Best of the Bay  - among others.

At Shorecrest, Ya La’ford will be creating an interactive wall mural in the MSAS (7/8th grade building) hallway. 

Diana Lucas Leavengood

Diana Lucas Leavengood studied filmmaking and photography at CalArts. She is the recipient of a Florida Individual Artists Grant as well as a two-time grantee of a Pinellas County Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. Her work is in the permanent collection of the University of Florida, Bright House, and the State of Florida. Leavengood's work is also part of the Morean Arts Center's show "Orange State" opening this May.

Diana is returning to Celebrate the Arts, and this year her focus with the students will be photography.

Marc Levasseur

Born in Charleston, S.C., Marc Levasseur was raised for the most part of his life in Atlanta, GA, where his art focus began. He is a self taught artist, and has learned from experimenting with paint and found material. In Marc’s words "I have been very fortunate to learn from other artists and teachers I have crossed paths with. My paintings are about the experience of light and shadow, color and texture—the play between the seen and unseen. I am inspired by bright colors, textures and life experiences. Using different mediums in my painting, I create textures and shapes for abstracts and figurative paintings. I want my painting to be playful. Life is not perfect, and I project subtle imperfections in my paintings."

Marc was also involved in a theater experience called "The Quiet Callings." While musicians Fred Johnson and Daniel Kelly played inspiring music on stage, Marc was also on stage placing sound on canvas - providing a visual experience. "The Quiet Callings" world tour was launched in the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida, on May 22, 2012.

In addition to painting based on his own inspirations, Marc works with children and allows them to express creativity and frustration through art. He is an Art instructor at Creative Clay, a Non for Profit Studio/Art Gallery that teaches remarkable people with physical impediments such as autism and other ailments. He has been teaching all levels of children how to paint based on who they are and what they enjoy for over 10 years. Through his painting classes, he also helps adults connect with their inner child and express themselves. You can find his classes at The Morean Art Center in St. Petersburg, at Painting with a Twist in St. Petersburg, or contact Marc for private lessons:

Shannon Lipan

Shannon Lipan has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Florida. She taught at Shorecrest Preparatory School for 6 years and has been the Owner and teacher at The Wonder Studio for 4 years. Inspired by the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy, Shannon believes that children learn best through meaningful, hands-on experiences. 

Through Wonder Studio, Shannon provides an environment that allows very young children to have opportunities for repeated problem-solving experimentation. Something similar will happen for our students during Celebrate the Arts, through a variety of open-ended, creative, artistic, expressive experiences which may include: Drawing, Paint, Collage, Paper Sculpture, Carpentry, Printmaking and the use of Light and Sound.

Michael K. Lyman

Michael K. Lyman is founder and creative director of Magnum Arts, which provides web and graphic design, marketing, art instruction, illustration and photography services. Michael Lyman is also involved with The 501st Legion, a global Star Wars costuming organization, and has organzied numerous high-profile events in that capacity. He also conducts presentations for entrepreneurs and small businesses on their marketing efforts.

At Shorecrest, Michael will conduct a 5-Minute Drawing Lesson. The concept behind 5-minute drawing lessons is to emphasize that it is the process and mindset that is most important when creating art - not the end result. Participants are given a quick explnantion and demonstation of sketching without caring, then encouraged to do the same. By the end of the 5-minute lesson, most participants realize they can draw even if they never thought they could. Examples of his artwork will also be displayed.

Find Mr. Lyman's art and drawing classes at the Morean Arts Center.

Maureen McDole

Maureen McDole was born in St. Petersburg, FL. She is a direct descendant of carnies, carpenters and fishermen. This do-it-yourself ethos in her DNA infuses every area of her life. As far back as she can remember she loved to write. Her first book of poems, “Exploring My Options,” came out in 2006. This was the first title from Summerfolk Press, which she founded with Gabriel Garling. In December 2008, Maureen graduated from USF-St. Petersburg with a BA in English Literature. Her second poetry book, “Longing for the Deep End,” was released in December 2011. Maureen is currently working on her third collection of poems. In 2013, she graduated from the National Speakers Association’s Speakers Academy. She is the recipient of St. Petersburg Art Alliance’s 2016 MUSE Award for Literary Arts.

Maureen has been leading workshops and speaking about creativity for over 15 years. She will conduct a writing workshop with students while at Shorecrest. She founded Keep St. Pete Lit because she believes wholeheartedly in the power of literature to change the world:

Patricia Tierney Moses

Patricia Tierney Moses will introduce our Middle School students to Blind Contour Drawing - where an artist draws the contour of a subject without looking at the paper. "This as an essential activity that artists need to engage in to lead them to their goal of drawing successfully." With a black marker and paints or pastels, students will exercise this process by drawing their own hands, then they will be partnered with another student to do a blind contour portrait drawing. This will then be painted or colored in.

Melissa Mudd

Melissa Mudd is an artist, teacher, and researcher who echoes Emerson's assertion that "every artist was first an amateur." Her background includes teaching in the pre-k through 12, university, and adult/community education settings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Art Education, a Bachelor of Fine Arts, a minor in Art History, a Masters degree in Education, and over 80 hours in post graduate Art Education.

Melissa is the creator and owner of makeme studio in St. Pete. "I have a strongly democratic view of the arts," she says, "and genuinely believe that art should not be limited to works in prestigious galleries – but should be a part of making our every day extra ordinary. Helping people connect to their own artistry and expression – whether they consider themselves “talented” or not – is my personal mission."

Melissa will guide Lower School students through a craft arts project while at Shorecrest.

Charlie Parker

Charlie Parker’s ceramic career began in 1967 at the age of 14, when he joined Minnesota Clay Company as a part time clay mixer. From 1971 to 1975, Charlie studied with Warren Westerberg at Westerberg Pottery in Minneapolis. During his apprenticeship with Westerberg, he focused on form and expression as well as glaze application and firing techniques.

In 1996, Charlie partnered with Russ Gustafson-Hilton and Stan Cowan to establish St Petersburg Clay Company. St Pete Clay began as a small studio with 12 members, a ceramic supply store and gallery. In 2002, St Pete clay moved to a new 33,000 square foot location in the historic Seaboard Coastline Train Depot, now the Morean Center for Clay.

Through his experience, Mr. Parker has established himself in the clay community as both an artist and educator. In November 2010, Charlie sold his shares in St Pete Clay in order to fulfill his life-long dream of owning his own studio, Charlie Parker Pottery. Located in the Warehouse Arts District in St Pete, his studio spans over 3600 square feet. It is a clean, open environment that comfortably sits over 25 people for workshops and classes. The studio currently has 18 members and conducts classes daily. The gallery features Charlie’s work as well as the work of the talented members of the studio.

Charlie has won numerous awards in several juried shows such as CarftArt and the Morean Art Center. He has been featured in Ceramic’s Monthly and PBS/WEDU Arts Plus. His work can be seen in the Raymond James art collection as well many galleries though out the US and private collections.

Charlie returns to Shorecrest to help our students get some wet clay under their nails and understand the basic concepts of using a wheel. 

Dee Perconti

Dee Perconti's passion is combining arts and therapy to help others. Dee helps wounded children in the following ways: 
  • TO STOP CHILD TRAFFICKING by being an advocate for Rapha House. Rapha House is a nonprofit which provides safehouses for girls who have been rescued from trafficking, exploitation and slavery. At Rapha House girls are loved, counseled, educated and prepared for productive lives.
  • TO MAKE THE ARTS ACCESSIBLE TO ALL, including those with developmental, physical and emotional disabilities. As Vice President of the Board of Creative Clay I worked to raise awareness and funds for our non-profit including The Good Folk Gallery (where artists with disabilities take classes, display and sell their art.)
  • TO FOSTER THE ARTS IN HEALTHCARE. As an Artist in Residence at All Children's Hospital I make art with children at their bedside to provide therapeutic relief during their long treatments. I encourage their creativity and sense of accomplishment with interesting art projects. My goal is to give them a better day in the hospital.
During Celebrate the Arts, Dee will be working with our Middle School students.

Karan Porter

Through our weekly Celebrate the Arts program and private lessons, Karen Porter has had a hand in helping many Shorecrest students express themselves through visual arts. Her technique classes focus on drawing, but her work with Lower and Middle Schools duirng our teach-in will involve group-effort mural paintings.

Learn more about her classes at or to view some painted elephants of hers, click here.

St. Pete Music Factory

The St. Pete Music Factory is coming back to Shorecrest! Marty Fouts (Co-owner/instructor) and Hannah Hoyt (Piano/voice teacher) will be bringing stringed musical instruments, guitar, ukulele, mandolin, violin/fiddle and a banjo. While at Shorecrest, they hope to inspire kids to talk about music and look at music in a new way. 

Learn more about their music lessons for children at: or

Kimberly Cook Stone

Kim Stone was born in Florida, grew-up in Virginia, and lived all over the south. She has a degree in Photography, and had a successful jewelry creation business. Then she "smelled and felt paint." After studying under several internationally know artists for years, she has won some awards for her work. She also teaches classes and paints murals - and has even painted animation cells. Kim's artwork is hung in corporate offices and restaurants as well as galleries.

"Painting without Risk taking is boring. I make marks. I paint intuitively. Be Brave, Live your Truth, Trust the Journey." 

Kim will make brushes and explore mark making with Lower and Middle School students. "We will look at big to small and other relationships on the canvas. All done in an abstract way in a safe -no fear- environment."

Natalie Velez

Having a cultural and fine-arts background, as well as being a seasoned traveler, gives Natalie Velez an eclectic perspective in her handmade designs. Natalie studies watercolor, oil painting and jewelry making. After a stint in the fashion industry, she gained a deep appreciation of the accessories that complete an ensemble. This inspires her Bella Unica (Uniquely Beautiful) designs. Sometimes European, sometimes tropical, but always unique. Each piece is truly a one-of-a-kind conception that only you will wear and own.

We are excited to see what Shorecrest Lower School students think of her polymer clay jewelry. View
 her creations at

Don Williams

Don Williams was born to be an artist, and teaches that it can be a wonderful career as well as a hobby. He works along with Cristina Williams to create beautiful raku ceramic pieces. Each one is thrown by hand and totally unique. 

With our students he will be throwing pottery on the wheel. You can view samples of his work at

Gray Wise

Mixed-media artist Gray Wise is returning to Shorecrest for the umpteenth time. In addition to dedicating his time to Celebrate the Arts, Gray teaches our Middle School students each year how to create upcycled figures from household items such as plastic grocery bags, cereal boxes, egg cartons, hangers, and more. The creations take on new life when painted, and are lightweight so students can easily manipulate them. They become mythological beasts that light up or move with electrical switches!

Gray also sells his sculptures in custom colors and sizes. Most are animals, fairies and carousel horses. Some are weather resistant for outdoor use. 

Featured Artist: Mark Gonzalez

Mark Gonzalez is a sixth generation native Floridian artist. He was educated at University of Florida and University of South Florida. A lifelong love for photography has led Mark to the current mixed media style of art he has developed;  combining elements of photography and digitization, sketch, clip art, fractal geometry, collage and print.

After 25 years as an executive in the music and advertising industries, Gonzalez reached a mid-life crossroad where he felt it vital to re-evaluate his future dreams. While visiting the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, in 2007, Mark made the commitment to follow his love and passion for photography + art, taking it to a new level as an artist. He then commenced a journey, uploading thousands of favorite photographs taken throughout his life. He began teaching himself the art of digitization. These digitized photos have become nucleus of the multi-layered, inner dimensional, surrealistic puzzles that are the work of Mark Gonzalez.
His work is created in the ambiance of FotoMorphs Studio in Tampa, where it is showered in over 80 multi-colored LED lights, fueling the animation & life of Mark Gonzalez' unique art.

Mark is an active member of the Tampa Bay Art Community through charity work with his project “ART FROM MY HEART TO TAMPA BAY” where recently he donated over 30 pieces of his original works to Bay Area Charities. 55 pieces of his work were on display in the VIP Lounge of the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg throughout 2013. Gonzalez presented his first solo show in September 2014, Navigating the Kaleidoscope, at USF’s Centre Gallery, which featured 62 original pieces of his work. This multi-media show was thoroughly enjoyed by the students & staff of the University of South Florida.

Gonzalez began 2016 with a kinetic art exhibition, ABSTRACT ATMOSPHERE of ART, which was on display at The Gallery in Carrollwood Cultural Center from January - March; featuring 139 original works.

"Create Every Day!" Mark says. "Art from the heart + soul can be seen and felt across the spirit of our universe; beyond all boundaries of borders and time. I hope the function and flow of my work provide you soul soothing happiness and light through my shared vision."

Mark will be a special presenter to Lower School students early in Celebrate the Arts week. He has long supported arts in education at Shorecrest.
To see art by Mark, please visit

School Information

Shorecrest Preparatory School
5101 First Street Northeast
St Petersburg, FL 33703
Phone: (727) 522-2111  |  Fax: (727) 527-4191

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Shorecrest Preparatory School is a private, non-sectarian, coeducational, college preparatory day school for students preschool through high school, located in St. Petersburg, Florida.