Gwendolyn Short, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT

Gwendolyn Short, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT is CREATE’s Art Therapy Director and Director of our Studio Downstairs program. Before joining CREATE in 2015, Gwen served as Founder and CEO of Cradle of Art, a community art center in Capitol Heights, Maryland and worked for the Prince George’s County Health Department for more than 30 years specializing in addictions, mental health and rehabilitation services. A member of the American Art Therapy Association’s Board of Directors, Gwen also assisted with the creation of the film Wheels of Diversity: Pioneers of Color in Art Therapy. She is a recipient of AATA’s Clinician Award for Outstanding Contributions to Clinical work with Adults.

Lisa Pascal, LGPAT, ATR-P 

Lisa Pascal, LGPAT, ATR-P is CREATE’s Art Therapy Program Manager. A mixed-media artist, emerging professional art therapist, and lifelong Montgomery County resident, Lisa began her journey at CREATE Arts Center in 2016 as a volunteer, and quickly transitioned to teaching artist, eventually becoming director of CREATE’s smARTkids™ program before going back to school to obtain her master’s degree in Art Therapy from George Washington University. Lisa has always been fascinated by the healing aspect of art and remembers tapping into its therapeutic value as a young child when she would retreat to her easel and paint to soothe herself. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Maryland and appreciates the potential of the arts to transcend language barriers and communicate across diverse cultures. She aligns with a person-centered approach and is passionate about using the visual arts to support the development and well-being of all individuals.

Melanie Sanderson, LGPAT

Melanie Melanie is a licensed art therapist and adjunct faculty(Art Therapy and Assessment) for Notre Dame University of Maryland’s master of art therapy program. Melanie has had gallery representation for egg tempera, acrylic, and oil paintings, printmaking and needle felted artworks. She wrote and illustrated a 180 page graphic novel about introductory statistics for the behavioral sciences. Melanie has experience in both acute and forensic in-patient settings working with people who have a variety of diagnoses: schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, schizotypal personality disorder and other schizophreniform illnesses, DID, c(complex)PTSD/PTSD, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and several other mental health disorders. Melanie is a level 1 certified tutor and tutored students at the University of Baltimore for three years: history of psychology, statistics, research and design methods, and general psychology. A one year internship at St. Elizabeth’s School in Baltimore was also a treasured highlight of her early career, working with children who had severe intellectual or emotional disabilities.

Tamar Hendel, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT

Tamar Hendel, MA, ATR-BC, LCPAT is a teacher, artist, art therapist, and CREATE’s Founder. Art changed Tamar’s life when she was a young Jewish girl in hiding during World War II and her mother and teachers encouraged her to make art. Years later, this inspired her to found CREATE Arts Center in 1986 to bring the pleasure and healing power of the arts to others. Tamar retired as CREATE’s Executive Director in 2010 but continues to bring her vivid and expressive techniques to enhance cognitive, behavioral, and emotional expression for art therapy clients of all ages. In 2010 Tamar was recognized with the Montgomery County Executive’s Lifetime Achievement in the Arts award.

Zemaye Okediji, MA

Zemaye Okediji, MA believes that people are the best experts on their own situations and has a person-centered approach to art therapy. Through her study at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, she has served older adults in memory care, children in school settings and adolescents seeking social justice in community settings. She is interested in the use of photography for therapeutic outcomes that uphold personal mental health and family care.


Min Shin, MA, LGPAT, LGPC, is a bilingual art therapist (English and Korean) who has worked with diverse populations in ages, settings, and goals. It makes Min feel special that she fulfilled professional Master’s training in art therapy at George Washington University with her fine art undergraduate background at MICA. She uses various creative ways of the art-making process and communicating through visual expressions that offer clients safe space, encouragements, validations, self-awareness, growth, and healing power. Min values therapeutic relationships and empathetic communications to understand one another as essential parts of interactions.


You can make a difference in our community through your donation!

Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.

Donation Total: $100.00

Join our email list »

Recent Posts