Our Story

TheArtRoom is a studio and gallery offering a variety of classes and workshops for adults and kids of all ages. We give all of our students access to the creative tools that promote self-expression and self-esteem through the visual arts. Classes are taught by practicing artists who work with each student on an individual basis. We provide instruction in many mediums while encouraging self-expression and a positive attitude. Our staff's background and resumes are below:

About Our Instructors

Sandy Runnion, Owner & Program Director
Sandy Runnion has owned and operated theArtRoom for 12 years. She graduated from the Art Institute of Boston. She spent several years as a graphic designer at HBM Design Group, an in-house design studio for one of Boston’s leading advertising agencies. Sandy was a founder and partner in Runnion Design for 12 years and worked with a variety of nationally known clients. Runnion Design received many design awards including those from the Boston Art Directors Club as well as the Hatch Awards. TheArtRoom was established when Sandy’s son was in preschool as a way to be home with her children and still continue to work in the arts. As theArtRoom program grew in popularity, she found working with young artists in her community very rewarding and credits the program's success to all their creative work. 

Adrienne Roberto, Instructor
Adrienne Roberto has been teaching at theArtRoom since 2006. For 11 years, she has been an art educator of middle school and high school students at independent schools and in a private setting. She earned her B.A. in Fine Arts and Psychology from Georgetown University where she was the first recipient of the da Vinci Medal of Excellence in the Studio Arts. Adrienne resides in Topsfield with her husband, three children, and spoiled dog. When she finds time, she enjoys working on her own art; drawing and painting, specifically portraiture, is her favorite area.

Timothy Neill, Instructor
Timothy Neill received his Master of Science in Art Education degree from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art from York College of Pennsylvania. He has taught painting and figure drawing classes at the Boston Arts Academy and the Summer Studios Sessions at MassArt, as well as private studio classes. Tim underwent an extensive apprenticeship and has worked professionally as an art conservator since 2005. In 2010 Tim co-founded Allied Conservation in Hamilton, MA and serves as the head conservator of paintings, frames and objects. Tim has been an artist member of the Copley Society of Art in Boston since 2004 and currently sits on the membership committee. He is an associate member of the Guild of Boston Artists and is represented by Sarah Jessica Fine Arts in Provincetown. Tim currently lives in Hamilton with his wife and son. His work can be seen at timneill.com.

Laura Coulbourn, Instructor
Laura Coulbourn has a B.S. in Merchandising/Marketing from St. John's University. She has pursued her love of art through oil painting. She is a member of the Newburyport Artist's Association and has also studied at the Rockport Art Association. She continues to take courses and workshops in a variety of mediums throughout New England. She currently lives in Topsfield, MA with her husband, two children, her dog and her rabbit. 

Sue Bergmann, Instructor
Sue Bergmann is a graduate of Drexel University with a B.S. in Interior Design. She worked at BKM Total Office in Hartford, CT and Sharp & White Assoc. Inc., Architects in Philadelphia, PA. Sue enjoys working with young children. She has worked at theArtRoom since 2002 and at Joyful Noises Preschool in Topsfield since 2003. Becoming involved in the community is very important to Sue and she has held many volunteer positions such as Youth Program Director and Teen Program Director for the Friends of the Topsfield Library. Currently she is serving on the Art Committee for the Topsfield Library.

Donna King, Instructor
Donna has a BFA in Drawing from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY.  She has worked as a Graphic Designer and an Art Director for most of her career. Donna finds her own inspiration through teaching children at theArtRoom. She says, "I love being witness to, and hopefully encouraging, these creative little beings in their development. Sometimes the littlest ones are natural abstract expressionists, their love of color and lack of inhibition is just great to see." In her own work she has focused most on figurative pastels and watercolor. She is hoping to transition from pastel to oil paintings as color and composition have become most important in her work. Donna has recently won several awards for her art through both the Danvers Art Association and the Topsfield Fair.

Catherine Brady, Instructor
Catherine has been teaching at the ArtRoom since 2013.  She graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. Catherine has worked as a packaging designer for most of her career and was a Senior Manager in the Visual Merchandising Department of Pottery Barn Kids and then a Senior Art Director at Papyrus out in San Francisco.  She moved to Topsfield with her family in 2006 and started a custom applique tee shirt business, bycathshirts.com and enjoyed raising her two daughters. Catherine loves working with children and is always inspired by their creative and fun interpretation of the ArtRoom projects.