Board of Directors
Angela Lowden, B.S ED- AST
Founder/Executive Director, Art Expression, Inc.
Angela Lowden created the Art Expression foundation with her husband James in 2001 as an expression of their passion for alleviating the social inequalities that exist among children of different abilities and backgrounds. It is a fully inclusive after-school program that focuses on developing the social skills of children through art in the Pittsburgh area.
Art has always been important to Angela, and she believes that it can change lives. Beginning at a very young age, she used art 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 1988. 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. Since 2001 the program has served over 14,000 student’s in 16 school districts, located in seven counties throughout southwestern Pennsylvania in addition to providing workshops in 12 area homeless shelters and in a variety of community organizations, and libraries through its various partnerships. As of 2023, over 14,000 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. She is currently earning her Master of Arts in Art Therapy and Counseling from West Liberty University.
Cheryl Silinskas, M.A.
Art Expression offers a way for me to do what I love most, and to give back to others who need it. I love writing and creating new art activities to inspire students.
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, CPA
Don originally got involved with Art Expression Inc. as a financial advisor. He was asked to be a Board Member because of his skill set.
As time progressed, he was able to see the results of the dedication of the art therapists and facilitators through videos and personal testimonials of the children attending the sessions.
It was heart-warming to see children developing a sense of self and building self- confidence through the projects and interaction with other children. It was only recently, when he heard a personal testimonial from a prior student, that he remembered being extremely shy growing up and realizing that Art Expression is providing a vehicle to help children overcome self-consciousness and provide a safe, nurturing environment where they can just be themselves.
Kathy Foster, Ed.D
First-hand, she witnessed the mission of this organization, the facilitation of positive socialization with children and adolescents through expressive art activities in an inclusive educational environment, come alive! The engagement of special education students and regular education students with the stimulating projects and conversations surrounding these classes was readily apparent. Enthusiastic students and staff were the hallmark of this program.
Consistently, students requested more classes and longer after-school sessions. A waiting list for the program was a testimony to its positive influence on the students. The relationship of student engagement and connectedness to school is a researched-based factor in improved achievement.
Art Expression provided the students in the Keystone Oaks School District an opportunity to become both engaged and connected through meaningful art activities which supported both academic and social growth.
Kathy is a former Assistant Superintendent of the Keystone Oaks School District. In this capacity, she had the opportunity to observe the Art Expression Program operating in two of the elementary buildings.
Jaclyn Faulds, J.D.
An attorney at Houston Harbaugh, PC, Jaclyn concentrates her practice in the areas of general business law, corporate governance, commercial and banking transactions, and business planning.
Jaclyn serves as outside general counsel to businesses in various stages of their lifecycles ranging from single owner arts organizations to fitness center start-ups, from mid-level real estate developers to multi-national third generation family manufacturing businesses. Jaclyn also serves as a business mentor and counselor for local non-profits in Western Pennsylvania.
Brad Peterson, B.A.