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The Art Center was organized in 2014 to allow the rural community to gather and learn arts from each other and professional art instructors. TAC has brought together artists of varied experiences with programs that are so successful that most artists return for each new session. TAC offers both children’s and adult art classes and camps and sponsors exhibitions from both, as well as an annual RUSD art exhibition.


Mission Statement

The Art Center is an inclusive community art space where art as a process is paramount and where the community and the artist are put into direct contact.


Vision Statement

We are interested in creating a rural community art space where Traditional, Expressive and Conceptual Artists come in contact with each other and the larger community. Envision a place where the art is paramount and the atmosphere is intelligent educational and welcoming, a professional place where Local Artists, Visiting Artists, Emerging Artists, and Established Artists mingle. Our goal is to build an artistic community through socialization, thereby removing the often-isolating effect of working as an artist in a rural area. Imagine a large space for artists to work, classes to be taught, exhibitions, and art talks to be held. The Art Center should have a salon atmosphere where deep conversations about art as a verb could be had. It would be a place where you don’t just walk through, but you hang and process what has been seen and made, a place where you can come away with more of an understanding and appreciation of all art. Through this portal, we will strengthen the Artistic and Economical places of all the Arts in the local Community.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Statement

The Art Center believes that art can bridge cultures and promote social cohesion by cutting through the barriers of all socio-economic conditions. No person, regardless of age, creed, ethnicity, or orientation, will be excluded from the Art Centers activities.

The Art Center has implemented a zero-tolerance policy toward hate speech or activity. In addition, TAC is pursuing partnerships with the BIPOC and LGBTQ communities and all marginalized communities. The Art Center believes that art can expand opportunities for understanding one another, promoting a sense of belonging and worth.

Meet Our Team

Helen Wilson (she/her)

Founder / Director

Helen is a Fine Artist and educator with a Master of Fine Arts from The San Francisco Art Institute and a Bachelor in English from the United States International University, which she attended in San Diego and Bushey England. She also attended the Free Academy of the Arts in Den Haag, The Netherlands. She has taught Design & Composition, Introduction to Art, Drawing I, II & Figure Drawing, Sculpture I & II, and Foundry at Palomar College. She is the facilitator of the Artists Group Tuesday Nights. Helen is actively pursuing a full and equitable creative life for all.

Cindy Dodson (she/her)

Board Member

Cindy’s degree in Sociology and her studies of the Arts has been a benefit to The Art Center and she brings an understanding of how human nature, cultural beliefs, and the arts affect communities. Cindy is involved in social justice action and has taken leadership roles in teaching others about the causes and consequences of social injustice. Her travels throughout Asia have given her a broader appreciation of all cultures. Cindy identifies as mixed ethnicity from indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Charlene Pulsonetti

Board Member


Charlene received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University. She has participated in shows from coast to coast, including a solo show at The Gallery at Warner Springs, and has served as Artist-In-Residence at Petrified Forest National Park. Her work can be found in the collections of the Boston Public Library, the Petrified Forest National Park, and the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Park. She is also a self-published author and an award-winning journalist with a background in small business marketing.

Heidi Schlotfeldt

Board Member


Heidi likes to say she proudly represents the voice of the absolutely amateur artists in the community.  Her degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social Work supports her passion for considering a diversity of perspectives and the impact of art on human beings.  Art is an integral part of her day job as a Middle School History, English, and ELD teacher where she is constantly amazed by the talent, courage, and creativity of young artists and writers.

Claudia Dufresne

Board Member

Claudia has enjoyed teaching and making art for over 30 years. She began teaching school art programs and was soon working in elementary schools developing art curriculum based on the current area of study. After receiving her BFA in Sculpture Claudia taught classes to both children and adults. Her skills include ceramic and metal sculpture, bronze casting, fiber arts, batik, leatherwork, and jewelry making.

Hillary Griffith

Board Member

Instruction Coordinator

As the Instructor Coordinator for The Art Center, Hillary creates and maintains the class
schedules for multiple concurrent projects. Her background as Director of Operations for
nationwide companies combined with her Bachelor of Arts degree and Teaching Certification
lend to her ability to appreciate the importance of personal growth and development for
everyone. Hillary served as the Julian StarFest Coordinator for several years, introducing the
community to free public star parties. Her work as a Therapy Dog International team (her and
her dog) increased her awareness of the significance of community enrichment.

Dawn Sardinas

Board Member

Social Media Coordinator

Dawn Sardinas graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Voice and took her first job after university in marketing & promotions for an independent Celtic and World Music record label. She moved to NYC to pursue her singing career and left 15 years later, after establishing a successful martial arts school on the Upper East Side and earning her 5th degree black belt in traditional Taekwon-do. Her entrepreneurial spirit brought her to Southern California in 2014. She continues to train and develop herself personally and professionally, focusing on online marketing and event management.

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