Board of Directors
Angela Lowden, B.S. ED- AST
Founder/Executive Director, Art Expression, Inc.
Art has always been important to Angela and she believes that it can change lives. Beginning at a very young age, she used art as a way to bolster her own self-esteem and used it to solve problems. Art helped get her through a childhood that she describes as challenging, with early parental loss.
The idea for Art Expression germinated a few years after Angela and James became parents in 1986. As Angela watched her son James interact with his peers, she noticed that some children lack the social skills to join in school activities and make friends. The goal of Art Expression is to help children develop social skills through art.
Art Expression began in the middle schools of the Mt. Lebanon School District and quickly expanded to nine schools by 2007. Today, the program serves 11 school districts located in five counties throughout southwestern Pennsylvania, in addition to providing workshops in 12 area homeless shelters and in a variety of community organizations through its various partnerships. As of 2016, over 8,000 children have been served by Art Expression’s inclusive programming.
Angela holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Duquesne University and a degree in Applied Specialized Technology from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh.
Lisa Heap, M.A. ATR-BC
Board Certified, Registered Art Therapist
Cheryl Silinskas , M.A.
Being part of the Board of Directors allows me to learn about the different aspects that go into running the foundation, and helps me to select projects that are a good fit for my experience. I have helped pilot the HCEF program and professional development series, designed logos, and worked on some of our STEAM programs.
Most of all, I enjoy working with the students and co-facilitators. I am inspired each time I work with our participants and the triumphs they see in their artwork. At the heart of it, what Art Expression offers is something very meaningful at all levels of involvement.
Don Klins, C.P.A.
Certified Public Accountant
Executive Vice President of Military Family Network
Assistant Superintendent, Keystone Oaks School District
Program Specialist, Allegheny County Department of Human Services
My involvement on the Board of Art Expression has been a very rewarding experience. This outstanding art related program creates exceptional, safe opportunities for mentoring, peer-to-peer socialization and enhanced self-confidence.
It also has helped many students achieve success and provide a springboard for becoming a leader. It is no doubt one of the finest organizations of its kind in the nation.
Glenn Smartschan (Advisory Board Member)
Retired Superintendent, Mt. Lebanon School District Educational Consultant
Art Expression has helped hundreds of students find a voice and an identity through the arts. As a result of the program I have witnessed students dramatically improve their interpersonal relationships with their peers and use the Art Expression experience to enhance academic performance.
I am proud to be a member of the Board and to be a part of a program which has changed the lives of many students.