Teachers at Slowfire

Noelle Allen


Noelle Allen is a full-time, tenured professor of sculpture and ceramics at Dominican University, with over 15 years of experience teaching at the college level. Noelle holds a BA from Smith College and an MFA from School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Kelsey Wilcoxon


Kelsey Wilcoxon holds both a BA in painting and drawing, as well as an MLIS concentrating in archival studies from Dominican University. She is passionate about studio art as well as art history, and has been teaching at Slowfire for three years.

Josslyn Baron


Josslyn Baron holds a BA in both Painting/Drawing and Psychology from Dominican University. Josslyn was a Teaching Assistant to Professor Jeffery Cote de Luna in the Painting Department and a Writing Tutor for the Academic Success Center. 

Alice Arreola


Alice Arreola graduated with honors from Dominican University with degrees in art history and sculpture. Alice has been teaching children art classes through the Oak Park Park District since 2018 and has been working at Slowfire since summer 2020.

Brie Maldondo-Cru


Brie Maldonado-Cruz holds a BA degree from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. At UWM her focus was in ceramics and painting. She worked at the beautiful Milwaukee Art Museum prior to moving to Oak Park. Always creating since childhood, she is the artist and maker behind The Periwinkle Peacock here in Oak Park.  Brie enjoys many art mediums, and loves to share her passion for making with others.

Salma Jimenez


Salma Jimenez holds a BA in graphic design from Dominican University. Salma has worked as a studio assistant for Noelle Allen in ceramics and interned for the University Ministry Office, designing and creating content for print and digital publishing.



Laura is a passionate student and teacher of fiber arts. She’s interested in the various ways humans have turned plant or animal fluff into useful and beautiful objects.  Her classes include knitting, crochet, braiding, weaving, and felting. Laura teaches at Triton College. 



Gigi is a veteran of more than 30 years in children's theatre and education, 25 of those years  in  the Oak Park area.  Combining her love of theater and her passion for teaching children, she has brought the joy of the performing arts to thousands of children in the area.  Her belief  is  that theater and  fun go  hand  in hand.  Her greatest  hope is that her students gain an appreciation of the performing arts and gain self-confidence in the process. 



Holly (she/her) is a registered art therapy and clinical counselor with over 15 years of experience as a therapist.Her approach as a therapist is warm, kind, and relatable. Holly believes in a strengths-based model of service that helps you acknowledge the power you have in your life as a catalyst for change. 



Evelyn Arreola graduated in 2018 with honors from Dominican University with a degree in Psychology and minor in Painting/Drawing. Evelyn has 5 years experience working with ages 3-12 in a therapeutic school program in Chicago. Evelyn loves working in different mediums of art and is excited to head our new preschool programming at Slowfire Studios!

Tara Humphrey.jpg

Tara Humphrey

Tara (she/her/hers) is a chef, writer, and the managing partner of The Global Peel, LLC with over 25k meals provided for and made by children. She has decades of experience working with food and cultures in restaurants, events, and over a decade in the classroom. She has studied the foodstuffs around the globe including France, Senegal, India, and Mexico. The author of "God’s Last Name is Zilla", attended WSU and studied anthropology. The Global Peel’s Recipe Books are in the works and stay tuned for her upcoming poetry compilation, Threshold.

Alison Schiffner

Alison Schiffner

Alison Schiffner graduated Summa Cum Laude   from Columbia College (2020) with a B.A in Arts Management. In 2014 she was introduced to the world of public art and since has worked on many mosaic installations in and around Oak Park as well as various painted murals in the Chicagoland area. Her passion for the arts began when she was very young, and she enjoys helping others explore the endless possibilities of their own creativity! 

Shalom Borrallo


Shalom Borrallo is a multi-media artist pursuing a BA in Graphic Design at Dominican University. Some of her favorite medias are digital, photography, and painting. Shalom has helped with the design rebrand of Dominican University’s podcast, Starcast, and currently works with Dominican University’s newspaper, as a photographer. She also enjoys writing in her free time and will be published in her university’s literary magazine, Stella Veritatis, fall 2022 issue. 


Tyler Yocum

Tyler Yocum holds a BFA from Alfred University specializing in ceramics. He works diversely between wheel throwing and hand building while trying to find new ways to intermingle them. Tyler also enjoys the chemistry behind the clays and glazes that makes ceramics tick.