Carmen Lugo

Art Exploration, Teen Drawing

Carmen Lugo is a long time Mary C instructor and local artist. Carmen’s summer camps an Art Exploration classes have been crowd favorites. Carmen recently started an introduction for drawing for teens at The Friends of Mary C.

My artwork emerges from the moment. I create paintings by maintaining a live, stream-of-consciousness quality to my work, letting the canvas become a visual extension of my mind. I believe that making marks for communication and expression is a most natural, fundamental human instinct, and my paintings are my visual record of an ever-evolving inventory of experiences and fleeting impressions of the world around me.

Though I begin a painting with an initial concept in mind, I often surrender analytical thought, and “feel” my way through the painting spatially, working the canvas as a whole. The first brushstroke is the mark that sets the tone of the painting. From there, I build layers and make marks. Under a layer of paint, ink, or wax, there might be an assortment of scribbled pencil lines, charcoal, torn paper, broken guitar strings, or a photograph. Though I am physically creating the painting, the ultimate goal is to keep my conscious mind from interfering with the raw emotion that fuels the painting, letting the process dictate the resulting image, down to the final mark.


Upcoming Classes
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  • Summer Camps
  • Art Exploration for Kids
  • Teen Drawing and Painting

Debra L. Baldinger

Pencil Drawing Instructor

My interest in art and visual beauty created by others began as a child. I visited museums in New York City and around the USA. As time progressed, I learned how to create my own images in several mediums; in particular, watercolors, oils, pastels and pencils. Each medium has its own advantages that allow an artist to create their own world in two dimensions.

Through the years I have taken art classes from a variety of teachers in cities around the country, and have taught art classes, as well. Interacting with numerous artists of many amazing talents has introduced to me new and exciting visions of what creating art can mean.

I have resided in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Atlanta, Manhattan, Pensacola Beach, and for the last three years, Ocean Springs, and am a member of the Ocean Springs Art Association, Gulf Coast Art Association, Singing River Art Association, and the Pass Christian Art Association.

This past September, I conducted a pencil drawing workshop for the Stone County Arts Council, and will conduct a tree drawing workshop in May 2017. I have also taught charcoal workshops at the Ocean Springs library and continue to do so.

Upcoming Classes
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Matt Schnake

One on One Lessons, Guitar and Electric Guitar

Matt Schnake has been performing music on the Gulf Coast for over twenty years, and has been teaching for ten. The focus of his guitar lessons is on teaching the student exactly what they wish to learn, while implementing the fundementals of the ins and outs of theory, sight reading, harmony and chord structure for rock, jazz, blues, pop, country, or folk.

Guitar Lessons

  • Class Times: 30 minutes (4 Classes)
  • Instructor: Matt Schanake
  • Dates: Monthly
  • Days & Times: Call The Friends of Mary C at 228-818-2878 to schedule lessons.
  • Price: Members: $80.00/ Non-Members: $90.00

Sandy Starcher

Piano, Organ Lessons

Sandy has been rehearsal pianist, orchestra conductor, and/or musical director for many musical productions on the Gulf Coast. She received a Bachelor of Music Education from USM, and a Master of Music from Florida State University. She is a past winner of the Yamaha National Electone Keyboard Festival, and represented the U.S. in Hong Kong at the International competition. At Gulfport Little Theatre, Sandy was musical director for the “Trial of the Big Bad Wolf”, which won the grand prize at the Chunchon International Theatre Festival in Korea. She has been a teacher, arranger, and field representative for the Yamaha Corporation of America; and worked as an arranger of sheet music for Hal Leonard Publishing. She taught piano for many years in the music department at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. Currently, she is co-owner of Metro Models & Talent, LLC.


Private lessons in piano, keyboard, or organ include note-reading, technique, music theory, improvisation, and keyboard/performance skills. Lessons are once a week for 30 minutes for weeks and are available for all ages and levels from beginners to advanced students.

Piano/Keyboard or Organ

Call The Friends of Mary C at 228-818-2878 for more details.


Chef Robin Pate

Guest Culinary Instructor

Robin grew up loving everything from her Mama’s kitchen. She spent countless hours admiring her ability to create delicious dishes and amazing meals for her family. Robin carries on her mother’s legacy as the Culinary Arts Instructor at St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs, where for the past 20 years she has shared her knowledge and love of food to her students. She earned both her Bachelor and Master Degree in Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Robin received her culinary training from The Culinary Institute in Birmingham and The Mississippi University for Women in Columbus. In addition to her 20 years of classroom teaching, she has also worked in the restaurant and catering industry.

Upcoming Classes
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Pam Coppola

Stained Glass Instructor

Pam Coppola, is a self taught Stained Glass Artist and Instructor at The Friends of Mary C. She also is the owner of Fancy Glass by Pam.

Looking back after a 38 year career in Shipbuilding, following her passion as a stained glass artist was not part of the equation – She had to choose her career

Pam is now retired and loves her new career choice. She loves her music and it is a must in her studio and in her classes. She would love to offer a glass of wine, but not sure if a soldering iron and alcohol would be a good mix.

When you take one of her classes, you will be guaranteed to finish with a beautiful , signed piece of art that you have created.

Upcoming Classes
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Shirley Cahela

Beaded Jewelry Making

Shirley A. Cahela is a local artist who specializes in designing and creating fine Jewelry using a variety of beads, crystals, natural stones, and pearls. She has been living in Ocean Springs with her family since 2002. Since 2007, she has been creating unique jewelry pieces from a variety of beads, including glass, natural pearls, ceramics, crystals, and natural stones. She has been a member of and participated at The Friends of Mary C’s Saturday Art Markets, and other local art festivals. Shirley’s jewelry is in display at The Friends of Mary C Gift Shop, and at the Ohr/O’Keefe Museum Store in Biloxi. She repairs and restores vintage jewelry for local clients, and she shows her jewelry at private parties by invitation only.

Upcoming Classes
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Anthony Starcher

One on One Voice Lessons

Anthony Starcher attended Arizona State University for Musical Theatre and the University of Southern Mississippi for Music Education and Theatre. He has 35 years experience in Musical Theatre and Extensive training in voice, acting, and dance. In his younger years, he performed professionally with such companies as Diamond G Theatrics, WY; Flori Productions, AZ; Arizona Opera, AZ; Cast Theatre, CA; and the Musical Theatre of Wichita, KS. Anthony has 21 years of experience teaching voice and acting for stage and on camera. He is also part owner and Agent for Metro Models and Talent where he is responsible for training and sending talent to casting opportunities for film, television, national commercials, print, and runway. Anthony has also been producer and production manager for Broadway South Repertory. Broadway South has brought such musical favorites as Rent, Avenue Q, Follies, Sunset Boulevard, and Into The Woods, among others to the Gulf Coast. Anthony Is excited to join The Friends of Mary C to help continue the mission of Arts Education.


Private Voice– Suited to the individual goals of the student. Ages 7 to advanced professional. Covers vocal styles of pop, belt, musical theatre, and opera. Lessons offered in 30 min., 45 min., and 1 hr. time blocks. Each class will consist of combinations of warm-ups, ear training, sight singing, building repertoire, and basic theory. College and professional audition preparation also offered.

Call 228-818-2878 for scheduling and pricing.