Jamie Silvestri

Program Director / Art Therapist / Founder

Jamie Silvestri is the founder of ArtVan and has directed the organization since its inception in 2004. She holds a Master’s of Expressive Therapy, a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and is a certified Art Therapist.

Jamie has over 20 years of both community and psychiatric care experience working with inner city youth, people with AIDS, women and men in corrections, and children and adolescents with mental illness.

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Julianna Nelson

Therapeutic Arts Assistant

Julianna Nelson has years of experience making art and working with youth in a variety of settings, including behavioral health agencies, schools, and summer camps. She received her BA in Psychology with a minor in Studio Art from USM, combining her interests in mental health and the creative arts. 

Julianna has witnessed the creative empowerment that art-making provides, and she believes in the healing power of art, having experienced it personally and with youth artists. She first joined ArtVan as a volunteer, and now as a Therapeutic Arts Assistant she strives to inspire young people to express themselves and find healing and growth through art.

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Jalin Coleman

Contract Teaching Artist

Jalin Coleman is a Contract Artist with ArtVan roots. She got involved shortly after moving to Bath in the seventh grade. At the time, her mental health was worse and being offered a safe space through ArtVan’s after-school program helped make the transition easier. Art brings her joy even back then.

Jalin is the artist behind our promotional materials, hand-painted cards, poetry journals, and whose paintings are featured on ArtVan’s fundraiser of Wilbur’s chocolate bars. Whether it’s brainstorming next week’s project or putting together appeal packets, she’s always happy to help keep ArtVan rolling.

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Shannon Els

Executive Director

Shannon Els comes to Maine with years working for nonprofits
in experiential and collegiate education environments. She believes in the power art has to heal, through storytelling and harnessing our creative and critical thinking. With a Master’s in Social Entrepreneurship, she is a natural connector and an environmentally-conscious crafter who loves how ArtVan projects are often earth-themed and affordable. She is excited to tell ArtVan’s story using interactive media + print channels, and hopes to inspire others who may not see themselves as artists to explore their inner creative.

Internships

We are always excited to work with talented, creative individuals with an interest in art therapy and youth development!

updates coming soon

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Blair Atherton
  • Rebecca Quigg
  • Patty Cousins
  • Miriam Fraga
  • Jen Harkins
  • Cathy Connolly
  • Matt Walsh

ADVISORY BOARD

  • Patty Kimball
  • Keith Spiro
  • Kelly Hrenko
  • Andrew Lardie
  • Paul Cooleen
  • Miranda Gowell
  • Peggy Kapisovsky
ArtVan Youth Artist, Celia (center) with Jalin and Bailey