The Arts Council of Princeton’s highly regarded instructors have impressive credentials in professional training, experience and exhibitions on regional, national and international levels. Their dedication and commitment are cornerstones of the quality programs we offer.
Handy tip: Press Command + F to search by name.
John Abbott studies jazz guitar and the business of music at the Berklee College of Music. Besides combining his passions for music and education at the Arts Council, John leads his group, The Perfect Alibi Quartet, in conserving the Great American Songbook. When not teaching guitar or performing, John maintains John’s Guitar Studio, a guitar setup and small repair business. A novice composer, he is also a member of BMI. A profound believer that musicians should contribute and give back to the community, John performs in ad hoc groups playing jazz, blues, oldies, and Motown classics in open mics and in benefit shows for local charities, including as a member of the Princeton-based Einstein Alley Musicians Collaborative. John also serves as the volunteer chapter coordinator for Guitars For Vets, a national nonprofit organization providing free guitar lessons for military veterans afflicted with PTSD and other distress at the Lyons VA New Jersey Health Care System. A former college instructor and reporter for two NPR member stations, John holds an M.Ed from Rutgers.
Maya Adams-Smith is a ceramic artist who has worked extensively in both ceramic sculpture and pottery for over 15 years, and has taught ceramics at the undergraduate level. She holds BAs in ceramics from Lewis and Clark College and The NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and holds an MFA in ceramics from Clemson University.
Susan Antin’s work expresses the joy of life through the use of vivid colors and fantasy themes. She uses a variety of media, but primarily acrylic paint, colored pencil and ink. Her images express playful, child-like ideas in a surreal, abstract style. Susan is an experienced artist and business person. She received a BA in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. While continuing to develop her artwork, Susan established a career in corporate training and marketing. Her paintings and drawings can be found in numerous private collections. Susan has been represented in many exhibitions, including the Westmoreland Nationals, Westmoreland College (Pennsylvania), Montgomery Center for the Arts (Montgomery, NJ), Johnson & Johnson Corporate Gallery (Skillman, NJ), the Arts Council of Princeton and Williams Gallery (Princeton, NJ). Susan is the Artistic Director for Gallery-NJ, an online gallery that exhibits and sells fine art of New Jersey Artists (www.gallery-nj.com). She is an Executive Board Member of Arts on Division in Somerville, NJ and is a member of the ACP in Princeton, Farmstead Arts Center in Basking Ridge, NJ and The Printmaking Center of New Jersey in Branchburg. Additional programs include completion of training for Senior Arts program 2012 (joint project between National Endowment on the Arts and Center on Creative Aging). www.antinart.com.
Megan Becker received her BFA in Illustration from the University of the Arts. As part of the Philadelphia and New Jersey community, she has volunteered for the Philly Fringe Festival, Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, and Trenton Art All Night. Additionally, she has studied fine arts under the instruction of Tim O’Brien at the Pratt Institute. She has worked under Alumni Veronica Cianfranco, creator of Philadelphia’s Cher Pop-Ups, and was an art director at a summer camp for three years. Currently, Megan is a freelance illustrator and teaches illustration at the Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster. She has also been in juried exhibits throughout the Stockton/New Hope area.
Meghan Blair graduated from New York Institute of Technology, where she received a BA in English and culture. She has studied ceramics as a student at Texas A&M International. Meghan has continued her studies at the ACP where she has been an active volunteer for the past five years, assisting with ceramics classes and studio operations.
Bill Blanchard got his start as a public relations photographer for a leading New York City studio in the mid ’70s, covering everything from elephants marching through the Lincoln Tunnel for Barnum & Bailey to the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. Starting his own business in the early ’80s, Bill has been privileged to work for Sun Chemical, Goldman Sachs, George Street Playhouse, Seton Hall University, Rutgers, and The Make A Wish Foundation, to mention a few. Recently, Bill has turned much of his attention to the more artistic side of photography using multiple imagery, surreal infrared landscapes, HDR techniques and extensive use of Photoshop to make his point. This has resulted in a new way of seeing and shooting, taking the ordinary and transforming it into something beautiful and totally unexpected. Bill also relies on his experience working with the New Jersey Historical Society when it comes to his archival photo restoration work. “There’s nothing like the expression on someone’s face when you hand them a fully restored photo of their great grandparents on their wedding day.” Visit Bill’s website at: www.billblanchardphoto.com
Lisa Botalico Lisa Botalico is currently Associate Artistic Director and Principal Dancer/Choreographer of The Alborada Spanish Dance Theatre. She was a featured artist on the Emmy Award winning documentary, The Spanish Guitar, which appeared on NJN’s Images/Imagenes, produced by William Sanchez. Among her numerous NJ performances are concerts at NJPAC, George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre and The Community Theatre in Morristown. With Alborada, she is on the roster of Young Audiences of New Jersey and Pennsylvania and MorrisArts. She toured the USA as Director/Principal Dancer of La Compañía Folkorica Latina under the auspices of the National Theatre of the Performing Arts. Lisa’s photo was included in the Lincoln Center Library of the Performing Arts 2012 exhibition, 100 Years of Flamenco NYC. Visit Lisa’s website at: www.lisabflamenco.com.
Harry Bower “Push beyond that place where you have settled…” has been Harry Bower’s mantra throughout his career. After graduating with a teaching degree in Visual Art Education, from Rowan University and while teaching art for 29 years, in grade levels K-12, Harry continued to push himself in new directions. Through international travel, receiving a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts in Education, from Rutgers, taking and giving workshops in Book Arts, Basket Making and sculpture, Harry’s own art work has transformed. While pursuing new techniques, Harry’s focus was finding his own “voice” in the material selection, and combining traditional techniques with contemporary sculptural forms. Mr. Bower has received three Geraldine Dodge Fellowships, a Fulbright grant for Educators, two teacher of the year awards from the Toms River School District and High School Art Teacher of the Year for New Jersey award from the Art Educators of New Jersey. Harry has displayed his art throughout the United States as well as in Italy, Japan and China. His work has been in a variety of art shows, including Fiber shows, Book Arts shows and outdoor installations of his sculptures. Harry has been involved with Art in the Open, in Philadelphia, for the past three exhibitions. After completing a book arts workshop at Peters Valley School of Craft, Harry started on a new journey. He combines textile design, weaving techniques and 3D forms with book structures. He also incorporates printmaking, weaving, photography, and painting in his various projects.
A graduate of Moore College of Art, Gail Bracegirdle began her art career in textile design and worked in that field for over 20 years. In 1992, ready to explore new challenges, she made the decision to focus her time and creative energy on working in watercolors. Since 1993, Gail has been sharing her artistic enthusiasm through teaching watercolor classes and workshops. Among her diverse assignments, she has had an ongoing painting group which calls itself “Watercolor Anarchy” – and is also involved with the “Arts for the Manor” program at Neshaminy Manor Long Term Care Facility in Warrington, PA. She is a member of the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, NJ, and a signature member of the Philadelphia Water Color Society. Her paintings are actively exhibited in juried, group and solo shows throughout the region, have won awards and are held in private collections in the USA, Europe and Australia.
Ray Brown is a graduate of Alberta College of Art in Calgary, Canada. He later studied Printmaking at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Montreal and Storyboarding for Animation at the American Animation Institute in Los Angeles. He taught at Otis College of Art and Design, Associates Art in Sherman Oaks, and The Scottsdale Artist’s School in Arizona. He worked as a storyboard artist in animation for Columbia Tristar, Warner Brothers, Disney Imagineering and other studios. Raymond continues to freelance while pursuing his first passion for painting and drawing.
Susan Carlowicz holds a BA in studio art and art history from Seton Hall University and studied fine arts education at Rutgers graduate school. She also studied at DuCret School of the Arts. She holds New Jersey certification to teach art (grades K-12) and currently teaches middle school fine arts. Susan studied with Pier Consagra for three semesters at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in their “Drawing with the Masters” education program. Susan has been teaching elementary and high school art for over 15 years. Prior to that, she was a creative director in a Public and Governmental Relations firm for 10+ years, where she was responsible for concept development, graphic design and implementation of production projects for several accounts including the Department of Energy, NJ statewide recycling promotional campaign and the DEP. Susan studies and occasionally performs the art of tap dancing, and has taught musical theater to children. Studying the works of the Masters and the visual impact of realism inspires Susan.
T. Mark Cole studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from West Chester University. He also studied Art History and Fine Arts abroad with Villanova and Rosemont University. For twenty years, Mark has instructed fine arts classes covering watercolor and oil painting, pastel and drawing, and 3D design and architectural history to high school and adult students. He has also worked with galleries and museums in curating exhibitions. Mark has been a member of Chester County Art Association (CCAA), Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM), Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts (DCCA), In Liquid.com, and the National Trust. Architecture and the landscape of the region are the inspiration of Mark’s work both traditional and abstract. He has exhibited at various galleries throughout the Philadelphia region and in New England as well as private art collections.
Peter Cook studied photography at the School of Visual Arts in New York where he did independent work with Arnold Newman and Ralph Gibson. He has worked as a freelance photographer for 25 years. Cook’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Visual Arts Gallery in New York, Pleiades Gallery in New York, and the Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Peter’s work has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Sunday Magazine and VIP Portugal to name a few. Currently, he is working on a long-term collaboration with artist Howard Siskowitz entitled DOUBLE TAKE: A PORTRAIT PROJECT.
Ruth Tietjen Councell is an artist and illustrator who has specialized in drawing and painting, children’s illustration, and botanical art. She studied art at the University of Redlands, and at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and botanical illustration at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Morton Arboretum, and at the New York Botanical Garden. She is the illustrator of six books for children, several of which earned national honors. Exhibitions of her art include Michelson’s Gallery in Northampton, MA, the Seabury Western School of Theology in Evanston, Illinois, and the Straube Center in Pennington, NJ. Ruth now lives and paints in Pennington. Ruth offers classes in two distinctly different methods of watercolor. For Watercolor Explorations classes, a loose, fun approach is taken, allowing for the unexpected and the spontaneous. In her Botanical Art classes, the more formal, accurate and controlled English watercolor technique is used. In 2012, Ruth was awarded the ACP’s Katherine M. Kapoor Artist-in-Residence award.
Sandra C. Davis is a photographer whose haunting imagery is about capturing remembered moments from the past, exploring history through photographing what remains from previous eras. She prints these images using a variety or historic photographic processes. She received a BFA from Moore College of Art and her MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking from The University of the Arts where she has published several artist books. Sandra has been teaching various photography processes for over ten years including darkroom and digital photography and alternative processes. She currently teaches at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Mercer County College in New Jersey and Peters Valley in Layton, NJ. She has also taught at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia and Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. She has contributed to A Non-Silver Manual by Sarah Van Keuren and has work published in The Book of Alternative Processes, Second Edition by Christopher James and Why Photographs Work by George Barr. Her award-winning images have been exhibited internationally and are in public, corporate and private collections. To see more visit www.SandraCDavis.com.
Barbara DiLorenzo is the author/illustrator of Renato and the Lion (Viking Children’s Books, 2017). She studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and painting at the Art Students League of New York. In 2014 she received the Dorothy Markinko Scholarship Award from the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature. She is a signature member in the New England Watercolor Society as well as the Society of Illustrators. Currently she teaches at the Arts Council of Princeton, and is co-president of the Children’s Book Illustrators Group of New York. Barbara is represented by Rachel Orr of the Prospect Agency. She lives in central New Jersey and has an amazing 13-year-old son who is the inspiration for many of her books. To see more of her work, please visit www.barbaradilorenzo.com.
David DiMarchi is a multi-disciplinary printmaker and teaching artist working in letterpress, papermaking, silkscreen and book forms. He received his BFA in Printmaking and Books from the University of Delaware and has continued to teach and study across the New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania area for the past 10 years. He maintains a small collaborative studio and art space in New Hope, PA working closely with artists to master artmaking techniques and instruction. He is also the owner or 9 in Hand Press, a pre-press graphic design studio concentrating on unique, hand-built graphics, typography and illustration. More information about Dave’s work can be found at www.9inhandpress.com.
Edward Dippolito believes art is an absolute necessity for people that cannot contain their imaginations any longer. They need some way to channel the fantastical sights that live within their minds. Edward found his medium through way of graphic novels and comics. Finding it to be the perfect marriage between image and word, he jumped headfirst into the world and has not come out since. Edward graduated from The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale with a degree in Illustration, Animation and Design. Edward went on to self-publish his first comic series, FRANK N. STEIN in 2012. In 2014 he teamed up with NYC publisher, Pronto Comics, to create and write the superhero/horror mashup, Pound of Flesh. In 2015, he began the manga styled web comic, Paradigm Shift Inc.
David Eural is a writer, producer and musician of the Christian Rock band Fresh Fire. This William Paterson University Graduate discovered his passion for music and other performing arts through church, family, friends and the Willingboro music program. He was one of the top drummers in his high school jazz band; which took 1st place consecutively for three years at the Berkley School of Music Jazz Competition in Boston, Massachusetts.Currently David is a musician at First Baptist Church in Princeton, NJ playing alongside recording artist William D. Carter III, Minister of Music. David also teaches private drum lessons in the Burlington and Mercer County area. Fresh Fire has recently released a new single called, “Your Love”. Check it out by visiting their website www.freshfirepro.com for more information.
O’Sheila Eural graduated from Rowan University with a BA in Art and a BS in Marketing. Her artwork has been exhibited in Winans Hall of Rowan University and was in a featured article in RowanToday. O’Sheila has been working with children as a camp counselor, youth leader/advisor and teacher for arts & crafts and music at VBS for various non-profit organizations over the past 8 years. She continues her work in different mediums such as ceramics, sculpting, drawing and painting at the Arts Council of Princeton and at home.
Chrissy Fellmeth is an animator and Illustrator from Brooklyn, NY. She studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and received her Bachelors of Fine Arts. In the animation world, she has worked on several shows for Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, Cartoon Network, and PBS including Sesame Street, Speed Racer: The Next Generation and various Adult Swim projects.
Clem Fiori is a freelance photographer, artist, writer, and environmentalist, based in Somerset County (NJ). A life-long resident of the area, Clem has paired his artistic talents with his passion for the environment. His book, The Vanishing New Jersey Landscape (published by Rutgers University Press in 1994), features his photographs of New Jersey’s Piedmont region. His recent fine art photography is mostly abstract, focusing on minute details of landscape and the natural world, isolating forms and patterns. These newer works show close focus views of ice in small streams, details of wood grain and patterns of bark on trees, rock formations and textures of stone, and weathered ancient masonry. Examples of his work are highlighted on his website: fioriworks.com.
Carolina Firbas is a native of Peru and moved to the United States over 20 years ago. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education from Universidad Catolica del Peru. She first got involved with the ACP when she moved to Princeton 15 years ago looking for classes for her two kids. Carolina has been a local vendor in ACP’s Sauce for the Goose holidays craft sale with her Fine Knits collection, and has also served as a volunteer in many different children events. She grew up in a family of knitters and seamstresses and learned the skill from her grandmothers, aunts, and her mother as well as fashion magazines, patterns, and sewing projects as a child.
Stacy Greenblatt received a dual BA in Theatre Arts and Creative Writing from Brandeis University and earned an MA in Educational Theatre from New York University. She is a theater teaching artist for George Street Playhouse and the McCarter Theatre Center. Stacy also teaches drama in after school programs in East Brunswick and Highland Park. Stacy believes in the strength and collaboration of the ensemble and loves bringing out the actor in every child!
Debbie Gwazda, known locally to many in Princeton for her active volunteer leadership, has taught art to generations of students at Stuart Country Day School and Princeton Academy, where as a founding faculty member she created a lively and enjoyable art program. She has exhibited the Art of Scherenschnitte (which means “scissor cuts” in German, the art of papercutting design), her specialty, in two one-woman art shows at Stuart and the Present Day Club. She promotes fun as an important element for students learning artistic skills.
Deborah Hockstein graduated with a Bacholars degree from Barnard College and a Masters degree from Yale University. She grew up among artists, studied painting in college with Milton Resnick and has learned from many area artists, including Margaret Kennard Johnson, Mel Leipzig, Elizabeth Lombardi and Marie Sturken. Preferred media include works on paper, printmaking, mixed media, watercolor, and found object. Personal sources of inspiration include Louise Nevelson, Andy Goldsworthy, Maya Lin, Joseph Cornell, Georgia O’Keeffe, Abstraction and German Expressionism. Deborah received the Hilla Rebay Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum /Learning Through Art Program.
Susan Hoenig is an ecological sculptor and painter. She received her MFA from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, and her BA from Bennington College in Vermont. Susan has taught at the ACP for many years and also presently teaches in the Art-Reach Program through the ACP and Princeton Young Achievers. Susan has received a Sculpture Fellowship from the NJ State Arts Council. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Susan works at the Featherbed Lane Bird Banding Station, Sourland Mountains, NJ. Check out Susan’s website at www.susanhoenig.com.
John Irving of Princeton has monitored the ACP’s Monday night life-drawing workshop for over 20 years. He enrolled in art classes as a student at Kenyon College, sketching exclusively in pen & ink since then. Over the years, he has studied with local teachers Mel Leipzig and Jacques Fabert. Mr. Irving is an editor by trade.
Dar (Hosta) James is an award-winning children’s book author, illustrator and educator who is known for her picture books, her presentations on creativity at national educational conferences, and her programs and residencies at elementary schools throughout the country. She is an annual presenter at the American Horticultural Society’s Children & Youth Garden Symposium and the International Reading Association, and a member of the Growing Good Kids Book Award Panel. Dar has published over 60 books written and illustrated by children and teachers, and these books can be seen at Blurb.com. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Missouri, a language arts education certification from Cleveland State University and has been working with children and adults in education since 1992.
Bob Jenkins studied painting and sculpture at the Art Students League and the National Academy of Fine Arts in New York City. He has exhibited his work regularly both at schools and in private group shows in the metropolitan area. He divides his time between teaching at the ACP and working with other artists in after school children’s programs in public and private schools in the Princeton area. In 2014, Bob was awarded the ACP’s Katherine M. Kapoor Artist-in-Residence award.
Scott Kalison graduated from Clark University in 2009 with a BS in Studio Art and Communications. Since then, he has worked as a freelance Animator and Illustrator. He has done work for a wide variety of companies including the Philadelphia Eagles, HP and J&J. He recently did some work for the Georgia Dome featuring Kenny Chesney. Scott is currently pursuing his Masters in Animation from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has worked on many different types of projects ranging from advertisements and educational videos to music videos and comedy sketches. His work has appeared on TV, on the internet and in print. In addition to his commercial work, Scott has written, directed, starred in and produced many of his own animated shorts.
Uma Kapoor is a theatre educator who believes in the right of all children to dream. With an MBA from a top Indian business school, she has worked as a consultant before her passion for children and imagination initiated her into theatre. She has trained in voice-overs, dancing, story-telling, and drama. Her workshops have an approach of interaction, exploration, and discovery with an aim to delve into individual abilities and interests and create a platform for dreams to take off. India’s top daily newspaper, The Hindu, interviewed her for their segment, “Dreaming Big,” a column featuring those who choose to veer off the beaten track. www.treasuretreearts.com
Faraz Khan explores contemporary themes in Islamic art and modern art. His technique embodies a collage of Arabic script and modern ideas, while utilizing ink and acrylics as his medium. Faraz has given many presentations on Arabic calligraphy and has displayed his work and taught seminars at New York University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, Wesleyan University, Cotsen Children’s Library (Princeton University), Princeton University Art Museum, and Rutgers University. In a recent art seminar at Princeton University, Faraz advised participants in a collaborative group project: a mural transliterating into Arabic calligraphy more than 200 names of the college’s buildings and famous students. His artwork was covered by the Huffington Post: “Warhol, Pollock … Khan? American Muslims in the Arts”. His work is available online www.FarazKhanArtStudio.com and faraz-khan.artistwebsites.com.
Amy Kisbyattended Palm Beach Atlantic University and obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Performing Arts, Theatre and Dance, embracing the arts as a form of ministry. She has served as a resident artist and outreach specialist in Hawaii and in the Northeast & Southeast regions of the United States. She also trained in yoga, meditation, and non-violent communication techniques at the Himalayan Institute. She obtained her Master of Science in Leadership Degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University and was awarded The Outstanding LDR Graduate Award of Excellence in Academics, Student Life, and Community Service. She currently works as a professional leadership consultant, focusing on servant leadership practices. She also works for Princeton University Athletic and Recreational Department and as an onsite instructor and art consultant for Arts Council of Princeton’s Art & Healing outreach program (CC Psychiatric Hospital and the UMCPP’s Acute Rehab & ACE/ Hospice Unit) and has been trained to serve for Hospice Home-Care. She also has Professional Certifications in Digital Design Production Technologies from the Advanced Center for Design, Digital Arts, and Film at New York University and in Management Development from Princeton University through McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. She continues to support FBI Outreach, NJSP, Lewis Center for the Arts Outreach, The United Nations CCOI, Screen Actors Guild, and The Hawaii Art Alliance.
Christine Lafuente is a widely exhibited painter and Pratt Institute instructor. She received a BA in English from Bryn Mawr College, a Certificate in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia and a MFA in Painting from Brooklyn College.
Debra Lampert-Rudman holds a B.A. from Kean University and M.Ed. from Pennsylvania State University. She is an award winning artist/writer creating custom animal art in watercolors and ceramics. Her ceramics and watercolors have been featured in a one-woman show at world-renowned William Secord Gallery, NYC, the Morris Museum, the Dinnerware Museum, among many other juried shows and publications. She recently received the Dog Writers Association of America’s highest award, the Maxwell Award and is the author/illustrator of “Iris the Architect”. Her work may be seen at www.debralampertrudman.com and www.facebook.com/potterypup.
Janet Keller Laughlin is a multidisciplinary artist from Hopewell, NJ, who works as a painter/sculptor, decorative artist, illustrator, graphic designer and garden designer. She holds a BFA in Illustration from Moore College of Art & Design. She also holds a Certificate in Painting & Sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Studio for Advanced Study program). In New York and Philadelphia, Janet worked as an illustrator in television, advertising, book publishing, and theater for companies that include: WPVI-TV, Macy’s Special Productions, Silver Burdett & Ginn. Janet’s love of nature and the botanical world evolved into multi-media work with natural mediums of encaustics, fiber and botanical materials. She attended a botany & plant science program receiving a Certification in Clinical Aromatherapy. She has won numerous awards for her hooked rug design featured in the “Magnificent Landscapes” chapter in Rug Hooking Magazine’s Celebrations XX. Janet works in her studio, located in the heart of the Sourland Mountains, surrounded by forests, aromatic gardens, and wildlife. She exhibits in regional and national shows, including at the Grounds For Sculpture and the Philadelphia Flower Show. Her work is in private & public collections throughout the US.
Philadelphia based recording artist John Francis Maher (JF), has released two critically-acclaimed records, The Better Angels, and Strong Wine & Spirits. His record The Better Angels was produced in the studio of Johnny Cash, by his son, John Carter Cash. It reached the top 20 on Americana charts. He has also worked with Grammy awarded producer, Phil Nicolo who has created music with artists such as Ms. Lauryn Hill, Bob Dylan, and John Lennon. JF is the recipient of two national songwriting awards from the American Society of Composers (ASCAP). He tours extensively, and has performed with Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, George Jones, Mavis Staples, Rufus Wainright, Suzanne Vega, Amos Lee, Ray Lamontagne, Rickie Lee Jones, Indigo Girls, and Sinead O’Connor. JF’s most recent work Maria, I Would Dance With You but My Hands Are On Fire was produced in Nashville by original Wilco / Uncle Tupelo drummer, Ken Coomer and will be released in Spring 2017. To learn more about John Francis, visit his website at www.johnfrancismusic.com
Press quotes about JF:
“Like the best story-songs from Springsteen, the tale and the telling haunt the listener.”
~ Sojourners Magazine
“Ripe with the honest questioning we used to count on guys like John Prine and Bob Dylan to deliver.” ~ Philadelphia Inquirer
“Great songs about real stuff. It’s rare enough these days, a very talented songwriter.”
~ Arlo Guthrie
Eva Mantell works with everyday materials to create sculpture, works on paper, drawings and video. Exhibitions include “Overflow” at Mount Airy Contemporary, “Fictional Fabric” at J&J in New Brunswick, “Cutters” at Hunterdon Museum, and other exhibitions at Brodsky Center at Rutgers, Brooklyn Museum, Jersey City Museum, P.S. 1 anƒd Artists Space. Eva teaches Art for Caregivers, Art at the ACE Unit and the Arts Exchange program. Her goal is to make art accessible to a wide audience through direct and personal encounters, hands-on experimentation and discussion. Eva has a BA from Penn and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Her website is www.evamantell.com.
Rod Martino studied ceramics under Helen Weisz at BCCC and has been working professionally in the educational, industrial and private sectors throughout the field of art and ceramics since 1992. A craftsman from Bucks County, he sells his ceramic work at various shows.
Kathleen Metaxas initiated her formal training as an artist after raising a family and spending a long career in real estate and mortgage financing. Her particular interests in printmaking, papermaking, and book arts began with art classes at Bucks County Community College and Bennington College, as well as participation in various workshops with distinguished artists. She finds the “hands-on” direct processes that produce results not possible through other mediums particularly appealing. In addition, she finds that her mediums of choice allows for freedom of experimentation and “accidental discovery” of beautiful affects that can be wildly expressive, elements missing in her previous dealings in careers demanding precision and detail. She has taught programs in printmaking (woodblock and monotype), papermaking, and books arts at the Grounds for Sculpture and the Printmaking Center of New Jersey. Kathleen’s work is displayed at Canal Street Grill in Pennsylvania and has recently been purchased for the set of the current television show “Madam Secretary”. In 2013, Kathleen was awarded the ACP’s Katherine M. Kapoor Artist-in-Residence award.
John Scott Murdoch attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and continued his studies at Atelier LeSueur in Excelsior, MN. His teaching experience includes the Halstead Portrait Academy in Evanston, IL, and the Art Station in Hightstown. His work has been displayed in Europe and the US, locally at the Ellarslie Museum in Trenton, the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, NJ and Mercer County Community College. Articles featuring John and his work have appeared in American Artist Magazine, The New York Times, the Times of Trenton, and Time Off.
Anna Neis is an artist, educator and lecturer. Neis is a representational artist of contemporary myth working in a classical realist tradition. She holds MFA degrees from Moscow Art Academy and New York Academy of Art. With over 20 years teaching experience, Neis founded Gemma Art Foundation in 2005. Gemma Art Foundation is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to the education and promotion of fine arts. Her works have been shown nationally and internationally including New York, San Francisco, Paris and Tokyo. Her work is in private collections, as well as the permanent collection of Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, New York. “Teaching art is unique. Blending the didactic teaching of technical skills with the abstract idea of creativity is the most important part of helping students reach their potential.” –Anna Neis
Robert Orlando is the President/Director of Nexus Media. His most recent film, Silence Patton, will be released in 2017 and is a documentary that digs into the pages of WWII history. Orlando is also working on a TV series of documentaries called “Crisis” that explore key turning points in History. Orlando has worked for over 20 years as a digital media producer, director, and editor with a variety of commercial and corporate partners including American Express, Unilever, the Wall Street Journal and Conde Nast. He has taught at the School of Visual Arts and has given talks at several universities including the University of Edinburg, University of London, and Princeton University. He has also studied with Amy Taubin of the Village Voice, and with screenwriters Jeff Kitchen and John Truby. Learn more about Robert and his work at the Huffington Post, IMBd and his website Nexus Media.
Veronica Olivares-Weber has been an active member of the community since the day she arrived in Princeton. Her international experience spans two countries and two languages. A former businesswoman turned full-time mom, she has followed her passion of teaching kids, and helping the community where she lives by volunteering her time at several local educational and non-profit organizations (Princeton Public Library, Princeton Public Schools, the Arts Council of Princeton, LALDEF, HIP, and the Red Umbrella, among others). The Arts Council of Princeton recognized her volunteer efforts by giving her the Volunteer Award of the Year in 2009. Veronica has collaborated with the Princeton Nursery School as the Family Literacy Coordinator and is teaching Spanish at Princeton University League. Veronica is also in her third term on the Princeton Recreation commission and she is in her first year on The Housing Initiative Princeton board.
Diversity in media and materials is integral to Donna Payton’s creative process. A native of St. Louis, MO, she began collecting discarded items and assembling them as a young child. In Los Angeles, where she received her MFA from Otis Art Institute in sculpture and painting, her mixed media work expanded to include constructions of building materials and salvaged architectural parts. Payton is currently creating high relief collages as well as installations combining recycled objects, natural materials and constructed sculptures. She also makes photographs using the human form as a sculptural base for parts of her disassembled sculptural constructs. Payton received the New Jersey Print and Paper Grant from the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University. She has exhibited in galleries and museums in California, Florida, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Washington, D.C. and New Zealand. Payton’s work is in private and corporate collections, including Southeastern Banks, Citibank of Florida, Cleveland Clinic in Florida, Novo Nordisk, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, AtlantiCare New Jersey, New Jersey State Museum, Jersey City Museum, Zimmerli Art Museum, New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Hunterdon Museum of Art.
Visit Donna’s website: www.donnapayton.com.
After 15 years in NYC as a prop designer, builder and shopper for theatre, film and TV, Ruthann Perry moved to central NJ and began teaching art. She taught in school for a number of years and remains very involved with many local arts communities: The ACP, Grounds For Sculpture, Princeton Adult School, Habitat for Humanity, Maidenhead Studio, and Lawrenceville Main Street Artists Network (founding member). Ruthann is a sculptor, using found objects for her work, particularly old architectural elements and bits of weathered wood. Using the skills she learned as a prop maker, she often recreates animals, particularly horses. She has shown both nationally and locally and has won several awards. She was asked to jury a small show at the Grounds For Sculpture this past year, which was a great thrill. She continues to work from her home studio in Lawrenceville, NJ.
Debbie Pisacreta is an artist specializing in plein air landscapes. She has been painting for over 20 years both in watercolor and in oil. Her goal in painting is to create a visual story that communicates the feeling of a particular time and place. She discovered her love of art in college where she received a B.A. in English with a minor in Fine Arts from The College of New Jersey. Since college she has studied drawing and painting extensively, taking classes at the Art Students League of New York and the Arts Council of Princeton as well as workshops by nationally known artists. Her work has been exhibited in many of the local juried art shows as well as at the Artists’ Gallery in Lambertville, where she is an active member, and at the Arts Council of Princeton where she was recently part of the “Close to Home” Exhibit in January 2016. Visit her website at www.debbiepisacreta.com
Konstantin Popdimitrov is a career exhibiting artist and art educator, descending from the century-old tradition of Auguste Rodin’s School of Sculpture. He earned his two MFA degree equivalents in fine and applied arts at the University Paris VIII Saint Denis in Paris, France, and at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. His wide range of creations in Europe and the US include numerous 3-D and 2-D government and private commissions: monumental and studio sculptures, murals, interior and exterior design solutions, paintings, portraiture, as well as solo and group exhibits. Konstantin has been teaching drawing, painting, sculpture, and ceramics in private and public art institutions for 30 years. His solid classical “renaissance” education, complemented by his encounters with different cultures and art movements throughout Europe and the US, enable him to lead his students from the basic steps of art to mastery. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Preziosi holds a BA in studio art, art history, and arts management from Sweet Briar College. She continued her studies at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts in New York. Since 1991, she has assisted in the development of children’s programs and taught children’s and adults’ ceramics classes. She also serves as the ACP’s Ceramics Studio Manager.
Libby Ramage hails from Youngstown, Ohio, and is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where she majored in painting, printmaking, and video. She has exhibited at and been a member of galleries in Boston, New York City, Chicago, Youngstown, and Princeton. She has worked with public school children on murals, teaches in the ACP’s Art Reach programs at Princeton Nursery School, and has taught at the ACP for many years.
Carol Sanzalone graduated as a studio art major from Douglass College of Rutgers University. After 14 years of teaching art, she earned a degree in Graphic Design from Tyler School of Art and pursued design on a freelance basis. Carol left teaching to assume a position as Art Director at Pharos Studios in Princeton, while continuing to exhibit her work in solo and juried group shows. She left design to pursue her art on a full-time basis and maintains her studio in Lambertville, NJ. Over the years, she has worked in painting and printmaking and is fascinated by graphic images involving surface textures and washes of local and reflected color. Her current work is in watercolor and acrylic on paper and canvas. Teaching watermedia classes at the ACP, as well as individual workshops, Carol is an active exhibiting member of the Artists’ Gallery at 18 Bridge Street in Lambertville, NJ and continues to exhibit in juried and solo shows throughout the area.
Lian Sawires is a Master Silk Artist (granted master craftsman status by the PA guild of Craftsmen in 2014) who creates dramatic wearable art, using soft materials to express movement and emotion. With work displayed in craft galleries around the country, her passions are artistic aging and the power of clothing to transform how we think, act and feel about ourselves. Trained as an abstract painter, she engages in Japanese dyeing, layering, painting and discharging all types of silk to create complex one-of-a-kind/one-of-a-series pieces. Whether working in her Bucks County studio or teaching silk painting, dyeing or Indigo, Sawires is captivated by the aliveness of color, material and visual potential. Sawires attended the School of Visual Arts in NY, the Brooklyn Museum Art School and Moore College of Art, and is a member of the American Crafts Council, the PA Guild of Craftsmen, Silk Painters International (SPIN) and the National Center for Creative Aging. Visit her website at www.artisticaging.com.
Ifat Shatzky is a mother of three who moved to the United States from Israel 15 years ago and for the past eight years has been living in Princeton. She earned her BFA in Art and Education in Israel and has been teaching children. Ifat has painted professionally in Israel as well as in the United States. Also, she has done work as a graphic designer, has been in numerous shows and is currently represented in four galleries. Ifat considers herself a mixed media artist. She loves working with different mediums and likes experimenting with new materials. Visit Ifat’s website at www.ifatshatzky.com.
Madelaine Shellaby received her MA in painting from the University of California Berkeley after she received a BA in Humanities from Scripps College in Claremont, California. She has actively exhibited her work while teaching art in California, Louisiana, and New Jersey. She has received several Fellowship grants from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts; Dodge Foundation grants and Artist Residencies in Virginia and California; an NEA Services to the Field grant and an NEH grant for teachers. She has worked for ETS on test design and assessment, coordinated education programs for the University Art Museum, Berkeley and the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, and was the Considine Gallery curator for fifteen years at Stuart Country Day school where she presently teaches Upper School students.
Nancy Shill sees the concept of new and dynamic relationships as welcome in this disposable society. She brings together unrelated materials from their previous existences. She often works acrylic paint under and over her collages, creating true mixed media. She was fortunate to have been exposed at an early age by an artistic family to MoMA and great middle 20th Century abstract expressionists such as De Kooning, Kline and Gorky. She studied acrylic painting and collage with Roy Lichtenstein at Douglass College in 1961, just before he became a high profile artist. She was challenged by his irreverent attitude. She thrived on the no-limits approach of manipulating unlikely detritus with their inherent combinations of colors & textures. In addition to paints, she amassed selective quantities of paper, plastic, paint chips, metal, fabric and string to get maximum variety for her pallet. Ink and charcoal were added into the mix giving even further options. She has participated in and won many prizes in the Bucks County PA/ Lambertville, NJ area in juried shows and galleries. Her work can be seen as an installation at the Princeton Municipal Building on Witherspoon Street and at the Trisha Vergis Gallery in Lambertville, NJ in the “Lace Works” Building.
Born and raised in a traditional Chinese family, Wen H. Shui became fascinated with the visual arts and music early in her life. She holds a BA in music and has studied Chinese Brush Painting under different artists for many years. With these teachers, Wen has studied a diverse range of subjects in Chinese Brush Paintings such as flowers, insects, birds, animals, landscapes, and figures. She is a member of Sumi-e Society of America. She also teaches Chinese Brush Painting at the Princeton Chinese Language School. Ms. Shui has participated in numerous local Chinese Cultural events to introduce the ancient Chinese culture to the western general public.
Colby Cedar Smith holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Colorado College and an EdM in Arts in Education from Harvard University. For the past fifteen years she has worked as a freelance editor and taught creative writing workshops in high schools, art museums, community centers, university classrooms, and corporations. Colby is the author of two chapbooks: Seven Seeds of the Pomegranate (The Penny Press, 2006) and Transplanted (Bokbinderigatan Press, 2013). She has been a finalist for The Iowa Review Poetry Award, the New Letters Poetry Prize, the Marica and Jan Vilcek Prize for Poetry, and the Colorado Prize for Poetry. Her poems have been published in Bellevue Literary Review, Harper Palate, Potomac Review, Saranac Review, and The Iowa Review.
Karen Titus Smith has been exhibiting work since the late 1980’s. In 1992, she won a fellowship from the state of New Jersey and she has been privileged to receive two NJ state residencies. She has exhibited in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Ms. Smith’s career painting (often mural sized) for a Major New York design firm has placed her work in exclusive four and five star hotels and corporate spaces throughout the United States. Karen earned a BFA from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA and continued her studies at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She has taught Visual Art courses at University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, Mercer County Community College in Trenton, NJ, Artworks in Trenton, NJ, and Burlington County Community College in Pemberton, NJ. She currently teaches Fine Art at The Arts Council of Princeton, Paul Robeson Center for the Arts in Princeton, NJ and Studio Classroom in Pemberton, NJ. Examples of her work and career information can be found at www.karentitussmith.com
Dressler Smith is a nationally acclaimed American artist and author whose unique works on paper and stained glass windows designed for churches touch the human spirit. Her artwork is included in the private collections Oprah Winfrey, former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham, and Coretta Scott King. Dressler is currently coordinator of Adult Programs for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA, and has taught visual art at Camden County College for over 20 years. She authored Celebrating LIfe Through the Arts: The Inspirational Journey of Dressler Smith. Visit her website at www.dresslersmith.com
Steve Smith attended the School of Visual Arts where he received his BFA in 1977. He went on to work in NYC theater, film and television, painting scenery for the next thirty years during which he also worked doing illustrations for newspapers and magazines, including Sports Illustrated, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Steve also did courtroom art for network television. Steve’s caricature sculptures were featured in the Society of Illustrators Annual 3D Show. He has shown extensively in area galleries including The Phillips Mill Annual, The Pastel Society of America annual pastels show at the National Arts Club in NYC, and the Butler Museum annual Pastel Show in Youngstown, OH. Steve’s work is in the permanent collection at the Ellarsie Museum in Trenton, NJ.
Artist Armando Sosa’s hand-woven, brilliantly colored tapestries and other textiles present themes and images of Guatemala, where he grew up. In them, he employs symbols and images derived from dreams and memories of traditional icons and figures, both religious and secular – some dating back to his native Mayan or pre-Columbian heritage, others to actual memories of a Central American childhood. Additional visual influences incorporated into his designs include African textiles, European Jacquard patterns and Renaissance tapestry details. His tapestries are in the collections of the Newark Museum, the Princeton Public Library, Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters, ad the new Capital Heath Systems Hospital in Pennington, NJ, as well as private collections nationwide. In 2004, he was a featured artist of Rutgers University’s “Transcultural New Jersey”, exhibiting his work in museums throughout the state, as well as being featured in the NJN Public Television special “The New America Art” (Jan. 2005). Various awards he has received include “Artist of Exceptional Ability” from the United States Government.
Christina Stadelmeier approaches her color photography from a fine art perspective. Christina earned her MFA in painting from the City University of New York, Queens College and her BA in painting with minor studies in sculpture and printmaking from Philadelphia College of Art (presently the University of the Arts). As an Assistant Professor of Fine Art at The University of Chicago, Ms. Stadelmeier taught undergraduate photography, printmaking, drawing and foundation courses and acted as Graduate Thesis Adviser to the MFA Candidates. Christina also taught Photography and Foundation courses at Swarthmore College and Foundation courses at Moore College of Art. Her fine art color photography has been shown in art galleries, colleges and universities in the US since the late 1970’s. Her work is also in the Corporate Collection of Novo Nordisk in Princeton and in the permanent collection of The Mercer County Heritage and Cultural Commission.
Gwen Sylvan has over 20 years of experience as a designer, producer, and director in the field of computer graphics, animation, and new media within a 30-year career in general graphic design, fine arts, and illustration. She received a BFA in printmaking and painting from SUNY Buffalo and completed graduate work in computer graphics at NYIT. She began working with a focus on printmaking and exhibited in galleries in New Mexico. Her career moved into the commercial art and design arena when she began working in computer art and animation. After working in the industry for over 25 years, she now teaches art at Piscataway High School. Traditional and new media are utilized in her work.
Piroska Toth is a self-taught fiber artist, who has been involved in feltmaking for more than 15 years. She has worked with feltmakers around the world, mostly in Europe and North America. She has been an instructor of local felting classes for adults and children for many years. She exhibits regularly as a member of the North East Feltmakers’ Guild.
Nancy Troske is trained in classical jewelry making techniques, such as enameling, granulation and chain making. She has taught jewelry making for over 20 years. Nancy has a BFA in Fine Arts, as well as many years of professional training in New York City and San Francisco. She was a commercial bench jeweler and diamond setter for several years before returning to the East Coast. Nancy moved to Princeton in 2009 where she teaches metalsmithing along with creating her unique pieces of contemporary jewelry based on ancient techniques. Her work has been featured in art galleries around the country. www.nancytroske.com
Charles David Viera is an artist and educator with an MFA from Brooklyn College. Formerly an adjunct associate professor at Long Island University, he has also taught at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, the New York Figurative Academy, the Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute. In 2011, Charles was awarded the ACP’s Katherine M. Kapoor Artist-in-Residence award. His paintings have been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums including the Brooklyn Museum, the Nassau County Museum, First Street Gallery and the Adam Gimbel Gallery, and can be viewed at www.charlesdavidviera.com.
Mickey Waring is currently Art Director and Art Teacher at the Westerhoff School of Music & Art. A graduate from Princeton University and Beirut University College, she has illustrated for magazines in the United States and abroad. Her work, which includes puppetry and jewelry design, is influenced by a lifetime of travel abroad in Europe and the Middle East. A member of the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission and recently contributor to the Visual Arts Connection, Ms. Waring has been a driving force in the arts community of Metuchen over the past 22 years. Ms. Waring’s recent work includes illustrations and small works on paper in watercolor, acrylics, oil, and gouache.