Lisa Gantick – Floral Wreath Artist

My name is Lisa Gantick and I am the owner and designer for QuietCornerDecorCT.  I am fortunate that I am able to run my business from my home.  I am a wife to a wonderful man, a mother to three precious grown children, and Gramma to a very special grandson.

Visit Lisa’s website for more designs!
Lisa’s Etsy store

I have enjoyed crafting for most of my adult life.  I began by sewing clothing for my growing family and by creating matching outfits for the family for Christmas and Easter.  I then branched out and started quilting.  For many years, I enjoyed paper crafting through the creation of greeting cards and scrapbook albums.  My venture into wreath making and floral décor began in October 2017, after watching a hometalk episode for creating a burlap wreath.  The episode featured a young man by the name of Nick Kreticos of Nick’s Seasonal Décor.  I enjoyed making the wreath so much, that I looked Nick up on facebook.  I was soon hooked and realized that for all of the wreaths I was making, I couldn’t just continue to give them away, so I decided to start my small business.

In December of 2010, I suffered a compression fracture of my thoracic spine.  My world turned upside down.  I was diagnosed in February of 2011 with Multiple Myeloma, a blood cancer similar to Leukemia and Lymphoma. I am fortunate that I am a seven year cancer survivor. I have endured many cancer treatments over the years, including a stem cell transplant. I was an Executive Administrative Secretary for 24 years before I retired in 2016 due to complications from my cancer treatment.  My cancer has slowed me down, but I just develop new ways to get things done.  Creating wreaths and floral décor has given me much joy and a new focus.

Please join me in my journey and I hope to inspire you. 

2022 Scholarship Recipients

Every year the AAC awards scholarships to graduating art students at EO Smith High School – one for the performing arts, one for the visual arts and now one for literary arts. These students are chosen because they have taken two or more courses in their area; exhibited enthusiasm, interest, honesty, and integrity; and produced quality work viewed or open to the public. The recipients plan on pursuing their interest vocationally or as an avocation.

Our Artists for 2022:

MacKenzie Sherman – Visual Arts

Art is my escape. When life gets hard and uncertain, it’s what I turn to. There is nothing quite like the feeling of holding something you’ve made from scratch with your own two hands. I create to make myself, as well as others, smile. Every few months I love to look back on my old work and see how far I’ve come as an artist. I have come a long way, fighting tooth and nail against my own psyche and came out the better for it on the other side. During my time at E.O. Smith, I’ve shown my artwork at UCONN’s Dodd Center as part of the Artist As Witness exhibit affiliated with ECSU’s NEA BIG READ inspired by Thi Bui’s award winning graphic novel, The Best We Could Do. I also performed in two E.O. Smith Drama Club productions; I played Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland and Mary Warren in The Crucible. On March 12, 2022, I won an Honorable Mention in Acting at the Connecticut Drama Association Festival for my performance as Mary Warren. Now, as I stand a hair’s breadth away from graduation, I hold onto that feeling. We all need an escape sometimes and if my work makes even just one person laugh or smile, that’s all I can ask for.                         

Emma Jayne Smith – Literary Arts

I am a composer, lyricist, playwright, and director! I’ve spent the last few years pouring my heart and soul into the creation and execution of two original musicals, Oh, Fair Maiden and Antlersong. This year I’ve had the incredible opportunity to produce both shows at local schools. Through this process, I’ve learned about my interest in working with children, and hope to continue directing and teaching theater and music. This summer, I will be music directing The Addams Family at Newington Children’s Theater, and in the fall, I will be attending Sarah Lawrence College and making use of their open curriculum to study music composition, playwriting, directing, and child development. Thank you so much to all of the amazing teachers who have supported me in my endeavors, specifically Denise Abercrombie, who has been an unparalleled artistic advocate. It’s such an honor to be recognized in this community of creative and jaw-droppingly talented people!

Madelyn Bonkowski – Performing Arts

I’m a singer, actor, and director. Theater has always been exciting to me. It’s a safe place for me to go to express myself and showcase my talent. When I do theater, I am always committed to the role, mostly because I find it fun to get in character and to be different people. Every time I am cast as a character in a show, it’s like meeting a whole new person. Even while directing shows, it’s like meeting 20+ new people. The most fun part is making the characters my own. It’s very important to find a connection between you and your character so you can make your character believable. I’ve been doing theater since middle school, and I’ve always taken any chance I could to be a part of theater. I’ve taken coursework in acting, voice, and ensemble singing at E.O. Smith. I’ve appeared in several Drama Club productions.  I was in the ensemble of Guys and Dolls and The Dream Rehearsed. I played Myrtle Wilson in The Great Gatsby, Abigail Williams in The Crucible, and Brin and Ro (lead singer) in the debut musical Antlersong.  I directed Jason Pizzarello’s Alice in Wonderlandand co-directed/choreographed The Crucible with three other seniors. I was recently accepted into the New England Music Festival Association, and featured at the 2022 New England Music Festival in March. I plan to continue my studies in acting and voice and to pursue a career in musical theater. Overall, theater has helped me incredibly–even in my lowest times, theater was there for me.

Spring 2022 Zoom Poetry Workshop With Tony Paticchio

Spring (starting in April 25th, 2022) Zoom Poetry Workshop With Tony Paticchio

Dates: Workshops will be held the 2ND & 4TH Monday each month from 6:30-8:00 PM, starting April 25th.  I’d like to keep this workshop open for as long as there is interest in continuing with it.  If and as writing slots open, I’ll look for new writing participants.

Participants:  Up to 6 writing participants who are willing to share and workshop their own poems.  I will also hold up to 4 additional reading only slots for those who are interested in reading and discussing poetry, but don’t now have work of their own to share.  Please indicate your preference when you contact me.    

We’ll read and discuss our own work, as well as poems by some of our finest contemporary and near contemporary poets, including favorite poets of the participants.   Our goal is to become more accomplished readers and writers of poetry.



I wrote this poem about the arrival of Spring at my home in Westford upon being named Ashford’s Poet Laureate in March 2021 – Anthony Paticchio


Sometime in March or April,
The Mount Hope, near its headwaters
down below the house, turns river again;

grows loud each day; spills its winter stream
in a full-on cold clear silver river rush;

threads a new watercourse run
across a thick-grown marsh that once was a beaver pond;

pours out through a rock channel carved
in the ruin of an old button mill dam;
and finds its way.

©2021 Anthony Paticchio

Chair Caning Footstool Workshop

Chair Caning Footstool Workshop 4/27 & 5/4

Have you ever wanted to learn to cane chairs? This workshop offers you the entire 7-Step chair caning process by completing a 10” x 14” solid oak footstool during the workshop.
No caning or limited caning experience needed, just the desire to learn. After completing this class, participants will be able to cane chairs on their own and be the envy of friends and relatives.

  1. Register with Bob Johnson, an experienced and passionate chair caner and seat weaver at or 860-455-6503.
  2. Materials: Participants will purchase online a “Chair Caning Footstool Kit” .
    Kit cost $44.95 and contains all of the materials you will need for the class. Order as soon as possible.
  3. Class fee: free for AAC members; $5 for non-Members. (exact cash or check made out to Windham Arts Organization, In Memo line: AAC Workshop

Two-Session Workshop
Wed., April 27 and May 4, 6:30-8:30pm
Ashford Senior Center