The New England Art Therapy Association (NEATA) is an affiliate chapter of The American Art Therapy Association (AATA).

We invite you to explore this site to learn more about art therapy in New England.

Objectives of NEATA:
· To encourage the use of art therapy as an effective treatment modality.
· To improve the skills of those engaged in the practice of art therapy through meetings and workshops.
· To encourage the development of professional training opportunities.
· To provide art therapists of New England opportunities for inspiration, connection, networking and support.


All NEATA Board members can be reached at contact@neata.us
For questions related to membership or joining NEATA, inquires can be directed to membership@neata.us

Kara Dembowski


Kara Dembowski, LMHC, ATR is a licensed mental health counselor, art therapist, and artist. She graduated from Lesley University in 2009 with a Master’s in Art Therapy and Mental Health Counseling. Kara currently works as a day school clinician at a therapeutic school for students with social/emotional and behavioral needs. She provides individual counseling, case management, and crisis management to students and families utilizing a strengths based and solution focused approach. She looks to incorporate art therapy throughout her work using a variety of media and has experience leading art based groups for children, teens, young adults, and parents focusing on areas such as anxiety, emotional regulation, coping skills, self advocacy, and self care. She has taken part in school wide initiates such as implementing the suicide awareness program, anxiety psychoeducation, and self care with students and staff. She also has experience working with CBT, mindfulness, play therapy, collaborative problem solving, trauma informed care,  and the ARC framework. Kara is an avid artist who carves out time for personal art making as a form of self expression and  to promote self care.  She is excited about being involved with NEATA and the art therapy community.

Jana Nadolski, LMHC, ATR, graduated from Lesley University in 2011 with a degree in art therapy and mental health counseling.  In 2011, Jana began working at the Solstice Program, a therapeutic day school and residential program. She began as residential clinician, before transitioning to her current role as the art therapist where she provides group and individual therapy within the school setting, as well as supervises graduate level interns.  Her clinical experience also includes inpatient psychiatric treatment, equine assisted therapy, and trauma-informed yoga.   Jana is also the Assistant Director of Therapeutic Programming for F-R-E-E, an international NGO that provides experiential workshops and trainings for children and caretakers in orphanages in Bosnia-Herzegovina.  Along with her clinical experience, Jana coaches high school girls varsity soccer for PMA in Methuen, and teaches art classes at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence.

Jana Nadolski


Briana Chalker


Briana Chalker, LMHC, ATR-BC, Licensed School Adjustment Counselor and Counselor Educator, is a graduate of the art therapy program at Lesley University. She currently works at a group art therapy practice with a wide range of clients.  Briana believes in the importance of working from a client-centered, strength-based therapeutic approach. Through incorporating mindfulness, internal family systems, play and expressive modalities into her practice, she works to create a therapeutic process that is designed specifically to each individual. Through art therapy, play therapy, yoga, as well as psycho-education, she strives to create more opportunities for art therapy to be used as a consistent approach in a variety of mental health settings. In addition, she has an interest in cross-cultural art therapy and interventions and has had opportunities to do this work in both Guatemala and Cuba. She hopes to continue this collaborative work abroad.


Jen Kray, ATR, LMHC, is a 2015 graduate of Lesley’s Art Therapy program. She has been working as a clinician at the Cape Ann Adult Behavioral Learning center since July of 2015.  Prior to joining the field of art therapy she worked in health care as an Emergency Department technician.  She currently still volunteers in New Hampshire as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician.

If you are interested in submitting information for the quarterly newsletter, Jen can be contacted at newsletter@neata.us

Jen Kray

Newsletter Chair

So Hee Ahn

Director of Programs & Events

So Hee Ahn, ATR, LMHC, graduated from Lesley University in 2015 with her Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy. Her clinical work is primarily with at-risk youth, with the goal of connecting this population with the arts as a means of expression and communication. Her clinical experience includes working with patients at the Cancer Center at Mass General Hospital; DMH/DCF involved adolescents providing community-based wrap around services; and with juvenile delinquents in a DYS detention unit. She is currently the Clinical Director at a DCF STARR program for latency aged children, providing individual therapy, case management, and crisis management. So Hee hopes to use her involvement with NEATA to connect with more art therapists in the area, and ultimately bring more awareness to the art therapy field.

If you are interested in registering for, organizing, or hosting events and workshops, So Hee can be contacted at events@neata.us

Katie Racanelli, ATR-BC, LMHC, is energized and enthusiastic about the possibility of creating an art therapy-specific clinical license in Massachusetts, as well as staying up to date on art therapy legislative processes across the country. She is a board certified art therapist and licensed mental health counselor working as the assistant director of a day treatment program, providing clinical care and group therapy to adults with chronic mental illness and substance use disorder. Katie strives to provide trauma-informed, empathic, person-centered care by meeting individuals where they are. Katie studied painting and sculpture at Haverford College. She went on to complete her master’s degree in Creative Arts in Therapy with a concentration in Art Therapy at Drexel University. Katie enjoys art making, laughing, listening to music, and being outdoors in her spare time.

For information regarding legislation updates or to become involved in the legislative process, Katie can be contacted at legislative@neata.us

Kathryn Racanelli

Co-Legislative Chair

Sarah Davis

Membership Chair

Sarah Davis, ATR-P, is a mixed media artist whose work varies from contemporary glass work and neon to screen-printing and digital design – her work explores an interest in the paranormal. Sarah earned her B.F.A. at Alfred University in 2014 and she graduated from Lesley University with an M.A. in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and a specialization in Art Therapy in 2017 with the hope to use her fine arts knowledge to assist in her clinical practice. Sarah currently works as a clinician for Lahey Health Behavioral Services and is passionate about BFRBs (Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors), using art to explore recovery and the de-stigmatizing of substance use disorder, sex-positive education, and LGBTQ support and advocacy. Sarah also enjoys kayaking, knitting, and taking occasional trips to Germany.

For questions related to membership or joining NEATA, inquires can be directed to Sarah at membership@neata.us

Kaitlyn Coppola, MA, is an artist and emerging clinician originally from Philadelphia, PA and is excited to be considered for the position of exhibition organizer.  She recently completed Lesley’s graduate art therapy program, studied fine arts in undergrad, then pursued an MFA in ceramics.  After graduating, she spent a few years teaching art in various settings, including colleges and community art centers.  She has exhibited her art work in a variety of settings, including solo, duo, and group exhibitions.  She has also worked in a few galleries so is familiar with every aspect of an exhibition organizing- from curating, advertising, unpacking/packing, and hanging.  She has clinical experience supporting growth and well-being in children, adolescents, families, and is deeply passionate about disability rights and LGBTQ+ rights. Kaitlyn recently started as a staff clinician at South Bay Community Services, doing outreach work in Salem and surrounding communities. She is also deeply passionate about the healing and community building potential of art making.

For information on upcoming art shows, Kaitlyn can be reached at arts@neata.us

Kaitlyn Coppola

Art Show Coordinator

Mary Ellen Hluska

Legislative Co-Chair

Mary Ellen Hluska, Ph.D., LCPAT, is an Artist and Art Therapist working and living in Springfield, Massachusetts. She moved to Massachusetts from Maryland in August 2016 after accepting a position at Springfield College. Mary Ellen is originally from New England and still has family in the region. Last year Mary Ellen completed her PhD in Expressive Therapies from Lesley University. Her research had to do with the art making aspects of art therapy and how it impacts practice and identity in art therapists. As an artist Mary Ellen will continue to make and exhibit her artwork locally. While living in Maryland, Mary Ellen worked for 18 years at The Johns Hopkins Children’s Center as the Art Therapist in a Child Life program with children and adolescents in acute medical and psychiatric care. She also had a successful private practice as a Licensed Professional Clinical Art Therapist (LCPAT) in Maryland, where she worked with children, adolescents and families. Mary Ellen was a member of The Maryland Art Therapy Association, where she was the membership coordinator for a short time, and served on the local arrangements committee as volunteer coordinator for the 2016 ATAA conference in Baltimore. Merry Ellen is happily living in Springfield where she is setting up a studio and living with a small herd of animals.

For information regarding legislation updates or to become involved in the legislative process, Mary Ellen can be contacted at legislative@neata.us