Board of Directors

Helen Thomas, President

Helen Thomas has lived in Avon for over 30 years and served on the Board of Trustees at The Cobb School, Montessori on and off for over 20 years and was Board Chair from 2006 to 2011. Helen began as a student at FVAC in 2013 and joined the Board in 2014 as the Board Secretary, Chair of the Governance Committee, and President of ARTFORMS, a program focused on making "art accessible to all." She enjoys art, sewing, cooking and watching baseball.

Aaron Wartner, Vice President
Aaron Wartner is a member of FVAC's Clay Co-Op and a potter for over 20 years. He taught ceramics at Capital Community College in Hartford for nearly ten years, is a former curator, and has worked in marketing at several area arts and culture organizations. Aaron is currently the owner of BuzzEngine Marketing & Events.

Linda Howard Sorrell, Secretary/Treasurer
Linda Howard Sorrell is an exiled Scot, and now US citizen, who has lived in the Farmington Valley with her family for over 20 years. After retiring from her career as a Human Resources Executive with several global companies, Linda has become involved with the Boards of several local, not for profit organizations. Her particular interest is in ensuring that the FVAC can realize its full potential to become a true leader in the Arts.

Meryl Dann
Meryl Dann has long been involved with the arts, including her own passion for ceramics and explorations with paper jewelry and weaving. She brings to FVAC an extensive history of serving on the Boards of many Chicago not-for-profits, including the Hyde Park Art Center where, in addition to her Board duties, she hung shows, chaired the Schools Committee and introduced new classes and workshops. Meryl is well versed in the challenges faced by small NFPs, which offer vital services to the community and their residents. She says of FVAC that she "has now found an arts home with talented instructors, a committed Board and management, and engaged volunteers" and is eager to assist FVAC as it moves forward.

Nine Dechamps

Nine’s passion for the arts began in theater. In her pre-children and pre-America life, she was Assistant to Artistic Director Peter Zadek at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, Germany (“the hands-down best job anyone could ever have!”) When she moved to the States, Nine was able to continue her love for theater with the Acts Factory Players. There she directed plays, designed and built sets and tried her hand at costume designing. She also served for two years on the Board of New Britain's Hole in the Wall Theater. Nine is very excited to become part of FVAC and hopes to help support and nurture this beautiful art community.

Cynthia Mellon
Cynthia Mellon joins the FVAC Board with a lifelong passion for the arts and a newly found enthusiasm for painting. A classically trained mezzo-soprano, she has performed in concert and opera and has served on the boards of Simsbury Light Opera and Connecticut Choral Artists, where she was also Development Director and is still a performing member of the ensemble. By day, Cynthia enjoys her other passion – her love of animals – as a Veterinary Technician at Advanced Veterinary Care in Farmington. The Arts Center has become her home away from home, and she is excited for the opportunity to serve and promote it and the artists who also call FVAC home.

Melissa Meredith
Melissa Meredith is an intaglio printmaker with a much-loved studio at the FVAC where she both works and teaches. Her artwork is in museums, numerous private and corporate collections, and can be found in several New England galleries. An avid gardener, Melissa lives in Bloomfield.

Sue Nooney

Sue Nooney is a jewelry artist and a resident studio artist. She has always considered herself to be creative and organized, having worked as an Administrative Assistant for 39 years. Sue has served as President of the Employees’ Activities Association at her workplace and says she was in charge of ‘Fun’. Sue is the President of the Studio Artists Association at FVAC and is retired and living in Unionville.

Kara Zablotsky
Kara comes to the FVAC with a lifetime of involvement in the arts. As a child, Kara danced ballet with the Albany Berkshire Ballet and toured with the company through high school. While in college, Kara studied anthropology, traveling to India as part of the School of International Training’s program in Arts and Culture. There she studied Rajasthani folk dance and the tradition of silk sari production in the city of Varanasi. Kara is now a clinical social worker and has utilized arts and expressive therapies in her work with children and families. She became involved with FVAC as a ceramics student and is now a member of the clay co-op. Kara holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.S.W. from Simmons College. She is the mother of two and lives with her family in Simsbury.

Carol Kaplan, Executive Director
carol.kaplan@artsfvac.org
860.678.1867