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AIE Artist Directory

Julie Mader - certified teaching artist
*Visual Artist : Painter 
Email: julie.mader@yahoo.com

Julie Mader has been creating as well as teaching art to children and adults for the past nine years.  She is energized by sharing her 16 years of studio art experience with students of all ages from elementary to life-experienced seniors.  As a teaching artist for the PA Council on the Arts, Julie has completed eleven Arts in Education Residencies since 2015. Connecting meaning for the student to the theme/subject while incorporating into the project lessons on design, art history and medium techniques.   Watercolor, silk painting, stained glass mosaic, printmaking and mixed media experiences have been shared with school classrooms, assisted living/skilled care facilities, community senior centers and county probation services; lessons result in smiles, laughter, “ah-ha” moments, self-empowerment, artwork to be proud of and a desire to continue learning and creating art.    

Mader, a PA Wilds Juried Artisan, is a 2016 recipient of an Elk County Council on the Arts “Heart in the Arts” award and was recognized as the Champion of the Pennsylvania Wilds 2015 Artisan of the Year.  In 2013 Mader’s art collection titled Power Within (made up of her works focused on cancer-fighting plants) received Best of the Best recognition by the Pennsylvania Partners for the Arts. 


Samila Sosic
*Visual Artist : Painter/Muralist
Email: Samilas@pitt.edu

 Samila Sosic is a teaching artist for ECCOTA and Erie Arts an Culture. She has completed an artist in residence for Crary Art Gallery in Warren for three consecutive years. Sosic is also a teaching artist for Tri-County Arts Council in Alleghany, NY (former CCAC) for four years. She has taught various art classes for high school students and adults. Sosic is an assistant professor of Art at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. 


 Adam Brooks
*Music : Trumpet

PJ Piccirillo          
*Literary Arts : Writer/Poet
Email: pjp@brockwaytv.com

PJ Piccirillo’s stories and articles have appeared in journals, newspapers, magazines, and as syndicated releases, and he has won several literary prizes, including the Appalachian Writers Association Award for the Short Story. His novel, “Heartwood,” was released by Middleton Books, and “The Indigo Scarf” is forthcoming from Sunbury Press. His residencies, which help participants discover ways of writing that work best for them, are rooted in rediscovering why we write fiction and in uncovering some of the infinite places from where we can start. He often helps the writers create their fictional worlds by building outward, in steps, from simple core ideas they conceive in writing, memory, and discussion prompts. PJ also conducts programs for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council at rural libraries, promoting the value of literary art for cultural and personal insights. PJ returned to fiction after ten years in marketing communications, writing advertising, promotional, news, and technical copy. He holds a B.A. in English literature from St. Francis University and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

Susan Gobbel
*Visual Artist: Jewelry Artist
Email: silversuze2@hotmail.com

Susan Gobbel is a visual artist and retired art teacher from Warren County who has been involved in Arts Integration for most of her twenty year career. An artist since childhood, Susan has enjoyed both performing and visual arts. Her passion is in creating 'one of a kind' silver jewelry designs using fabrication, forging, cuttlebone casting, and wire wrapping techniques. Susan has a BS in Art Education from Edinboro University, and studied Jewelry Design at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Susan is a firm believer that the arts are core to the total educational development of the child and to the human spirit! The arts lend themselves to natural connections and relationships to core subjects. Current brain research validates how the arts impact learning in a positive and enriching way. It is a joy to introduce new art skills, help students make connections with core material, and watch the problem solving and creativity develop. The arts elevate learning and the spirit!


As a new AIE Partner we are currently developing our roster of professional teaching artists. Until our roster is complete we will also be utilizing the fine list of professional teaching artists that have been rostered by our neighboring AIE Partners.  

Erie Arts and Culture
IUP ArtsPath 

Artist Forms

Artist invoice

Residency Planning Guide

Interested in becoming a teaching artist? Read about it on the Become an AIE Artist page


ECCOTA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency

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Exterior of the Elk County Council on the Arts Sales  Gallery.
Sales Gallery
& Office
237 Main St.
Ridgway, PA 15853

The Elk County Council on the Arts is dedicated to promoting the cultural enrichment of the residents of Elk County by expanding the opportunity for public participation in the arts. The Council’s goal is to enhance the lives of county residents and the various local arts by offering experiences in the arts, providing educational opportunity and advice, and by supporting performers, musicians, artists, artisans and writers.

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