Executive Director

Karen Barthelson

Karen was appointed Executive Director of MAC in 2006 after working several years as MAC’s Exhibition Coordinator. Professionally and personally, Karen has always been involved in art on a variety of levels, coming from a family of artists and taking classes at a young age at the Art Students League in NYC.  After graduating cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a BFA in Painting and Drawing, she worked in the graphics field, in publishing at Soundings, Inc., in computer drafting at General Dynamics, as well as doing detailed computer imaging for a company that created four-color separations for wallpaper.  Karen continues to take enrichment classes at Mystic Arts Center, Rhode Island School of Design and elsewhere to continue her personal and professional growth. She lives in Stonington with her daughter Kate and dog Penny.

Director of Finance

Judith Flora

Judy has been with MAC since 1998 starting as a part-time bookkeeper and progressing to full-time Director of Finance by acquiring extensive knowledge of financial operations of the organization. Judy came from a restaurant background; she co-owned and operated a local restaurant, Joni’s Place for many years. In addition to financial responsibilities, Judy enjoys designing unusual floral arrangements for MAC’s events and has recently become an Elected Artist member through her love of photography.

Director of Education

Dawn Salerno

Dawn grew up suffering through Mystic Disc owner Dan Curland’s rants about how if she really wanted to hear some good music, she should exchange her Duran Duran “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” for “Pet Sounds.” When the Green Marble opened, she was grateful to have a café in town that didn’t throw out loiterers. When Dawn started at Boston University, she had no clue she’d end up in museums. She found her way to art by studying Classics and Ancient Religions. When she’s not giving a school tour or mixing a martini for Artini Hour at MAC, Dawn can be found at a board meeting of the New England Museum Association or the Fitch High School Alumni Foundation, visiting other New England museums, and teaching kickboxing at the local YMCA where she first met MAC’s Executive Director, Karen Barthelson.

Marketing Coordinator

Catherine Dzilenski

Catherine has loved creating and pondering art since childhood. Her education at The University of Connecticut led to a semester abroad in Florence, Italy where she studied the masters throughout Europe and graduated with a degree in Art History. Like many of her kind, Catherine finished school and was released into the vast empty chasm that is the art job market. She refused to resign to living in a carefully curated cardboard box, and tried her hand in consumer banking, tropical vacation destination hospitality, inevitable restaurant work, entrepreneurship and healthcare research consulting. The siren song of her true calling led her to Mystic Arts Center, where she couldn’t be happier. She can be found running on the beach with her wild black labrador, peddling vintage clothing online, or fiddling over dress forms at RISD.

Special Events Coordinator

Candice Traskos

Hailing from the wilds of the South African plains, Candice Traskos has a passion for events. After almost failing an accounting class while working on her marketing degree at the University of Rhode Island, she realized that event management was her true calling. Unfortunately, that wasn’t on offer so she did what every other URI business school dropout did and switched to communications. Graduating with bachelor degrees in Communications and Public Relations, Candice had the opportunity of a lifetime to work back in her home country for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. After two and a half years in the hospitality industry at the Ocean House and Weekapaug Inn in Westerly, RI, she joined the MAC team in October 2013. Married to a handsome native Rhode Islander, Candice loves traveling, skiing, crafting, reading and her two adorably mischievous dogs.

Office Administrators

Kristen Scherer

Kristen joined Mystic Arts Center as its Office Administrator in January 2011. After receiving her BA in Marketing from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, Kristen lived on Nantucket and traveled before settling in Boston. Her prior work experience includes marketing for Winston Flowers and Inc. magazine. Moving back to the area in 2003, Kristen is enjoying raising her two children in Mystic with her husband Mark.

Carrie Sheridan


Graphic Designer

James Kaczman

James is not, as has been reported elsewhere, a squirrel, a monkey, or a rabbit. He is, in fact, a human being. He has been an illustrator and graphic designer for almost thirty years. In that time, he has illustrated and graphic designed for publications, such as Newsweek, The New York Times, Time and The Wall Street Journal, and corporate and educational clients, such as AT&T, Boston University, Harvard University, and Microsoft. He has written, designed and illustrated children’s books, including, most recently, Lucky Monkey, Unlucky Monkey, which was published by Houghton Mifflin Company. He has been the graphic designer at Mystic Arts Center since early 2010. His hobbies include climbing trees and collecting acorns.

Development Manager

Andrea Frickman

Since the summer of ’76, Andrea’s mom would pack her and her three brothers, black lab, and all of their bikes in an old woodie station wagon and drive 6 hours to Groton Long Point every July. She can still remember rolling down the windows as they drove by Esker Point to smell the salt air.  That smell, the wonderful memories of those visits and meeting her husband Thom brought Andrea down from Boston to Mystic year-round in 2005, after Thom proposed on a sailboat in the Sound just off of Morgan Point.  She started at MAC in January 2012, bringing her 15 years’ experience in public schools, universities, and museums. When Andrea’s not at MAC, she’s usually chasing after her 2 boys; her three-and-a-half-year-old son TJ and 4-year-old Boston Terrier, Murphy.

Studio Programs Manager

Carlene Bermann

A New England transplant since 2010, Carlene hails from Hampton, VA. She received her BFA in Craft/Material Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2009. Her post-college years were spent in environmental and museum education, serving as an AmeriCorps member at the Grays Harbor National Wildlife Refuge in Washington State and later at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in RI. She then joined the staff of the Providence Children’s Museum and the interpretation staff of the Slater Mill Historical Site. When Carlene is not immersed in MAC’s studio-based education programs for children and adults, she enjoys swing dancing, exploring outdoors, traveling, ceramics, metalworking, drawing, writing, cooking and gardening. She has been a vegetarian for nearly 20 years and shares her home with 2 cats, 1 dog, 1 lizard, 1 chicken (who lives outside), 1 human and a lot of plants.


Board of Directors


Mary Anne Stets

Vice President

Cynthia Palmer


Paul LeBeau


Alex Bancroft


Gwen Basilica
Todd Brady
Andrew Halsey
Rhona Heyl
Barbara Holland
David Madacsi
Bill Middleton
Christina Morse
Caleb Rose
Joe Selinger