Yura Adams holds an MFA and BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and has taught for many years at IS183 and Columbia-Greene Community College, as well as a stint in the painting department at the Rhode Island School of Design. She has been the recipient of two National Endowment Grants, was a 2009 New York Foundation for the Arts Mark participant and recently received the 2010 Individual Artist Grant from Greene County (NY) Council of the Arts. She is represented by John Davis Gallery in Hudson, NY.
Karen Arp-Sandel, Visual Artist and inspirational art educator, is known throughout the Berkshires for her fresh, playful approach to mixed media creativity. With a background in education, graphic design and a BA from University of Massachusetts, Karen ignites the creative process in her adult classes and workshops, in Learning through Arts Programs and IS183 Summer Camps. She specializes in collage, artist books and watercolors. Her artwork can be viewed in local galleries, in private collections and internationally. In addition, she is the Cofounder of FeMail and engages in a worldwide network with mail artists. Karen’s current work is fueled by the momentum of teaching children in Jamaica and India, a Canadian collage collaboration, ABAD Australia, and immersion in the Penland School of Crafts (NC) community. Her passion is to illuminate the transformational power of living a creative life.She specializes in collage, artist books and watercolors. Her artwork can be viewed in local galleries, in private collections and internationally. In addition, she is the Cofounder of FeMail and engages in a worldwide network with mail artists. Karen’s current work is fueled by the momentum of teaching children in Jamaica, a Canadian collage collaboration, ABAD Australia and immersion in the Penland School of Crafts (NC) community. Her passion is to illuminate the transformational power of living a creative life.
Joe Baker is primarily a plein air landscape painter working in oils and pastels. He is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Connecticut Pastel Society and has exhibited widely in national juried exhibitions; his paintings are held in private and corporate collections. Joe’s other occupations include computer programming and playing in a contradance band. Earlier, he was for many years an instrument-maker. His violins, violas da gamba, and hardanger fiddles are owned and played by musicians on three continents, as well as being included in university and museum collections. He has a BA in biology from Princeton University and worked for five years as a cowboy in Wyoming before moving to the Berkshires in 1974.
Originally from Pittsfield, Erin Barry graduated from Skidmore College with a Bachelors of Science in Studio Art and a minor in Art History. Her areas of interest are printmaking, digital media and painting- specifically large-scale (wall-sized!). Her current position is as resident printmaking faculty artist and studio tech at Breckenridge Creative Arts in Colorado. Her recent work, inspired by her grandmother's reflections on her childhood landscape, is a series of reductive woodcut prints.
Daniel Bellow has studied with Mary Risley at Wesleyan University and Tom White in Northfield, MA. He learned to fire kilns with Jim Dugan at the Vermont Clay Studio, and moved to the Berkshires to establish Daniel Bellow Pottery in Great Barrington in 2002.
Chaya L Stone Berlstein is an artist and teacher, she studied psychology at Reed College, is an AMI Primary Montessori teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience. She began her art teaching career in the 90′s as an art therapist in a domestic violence shelter in Seattle. She developed programs for adults, teens, grade school children and toddlers. Through this experience she came to believe that we all have something to important to express. Through creating art we can explore and share our diverse and similar human experiences. As an arts educator she feels a big part of her job is to help students quiet their inner critical voice, and inspire them to take all kinds of expressive risks. She loves to experiment with many different mediums and believes that every surface is a space for art. She is currently working in fiber, collage, and photography.
Michael Boroniec is a Pittsfield-based artist who uses ceramics as his primary medium. After receiving a degree in ceramics from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2006, he retuned to his native Berkshires to teach and work. His vessels are wheel-thrown and then deconstructed, creating unusual textures, ribbon effects, and a different perception of gravity. His pieces have been featured locally, at the Berkshire Museum and the Ferrin Gallery, as well as in New York City at the Lyons Weir Gallery. Michael's work has been selected for the New York Ceramic and Glass Fair for the past 3 years.
Lorimer Burns came to ceramics from the world of downtown modern dance where she earned her BFA from NYU. She took her first wheel class at IS183 Art School of the Berkshires and was immediately hooked. She has since studied with masters such as Malcolm Davis, Sue Browdy and Val Cushing, as well as many other inspired hands. She maintains Borealis Studio/Lorimer Burns Ceramics in Housatonic, MA.
Valerie Carrigan is the proprietor of Messenger Press. Her art studio is located in an old industrial mill in North Adams, Massachusetts where she produces prints and artist books focusing on monotype, relief and letterpress printing. She was recently awarded the Martha Boschen Porter Fund, a grant through the Berkshire Taconic Foundation, to purchase an etching press for her studio. She also received the Pyramid Atlantic Book Fair Juror’s award in 2014. Her work can be found in the Smith College Book Arts Collection, University of Denver Special Collections, and George Mason University Collections among others.
For 31 years, Leslee Carsewell, educated at Carnegie Mellon University and The Minneapolis College of Art and Design, was an award winning graphic designer. Her work has been profiled, garnering numerous awards internationally, as far away as Japan. She was often asked to judge national competitions and speak across the country. Leslee's work has been featured in the New York Times, The LA and New York Art and Type Directors Annuals, as well as Communication Arts Magazine. Her clients included The San Francisco Symphony, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, a host of corporations and Fortune 500 companies as well as a diverse group of universities. Moving to the Berkshires 14.5 years ago, Leslee rekindled her childhood passion for photography and fine art and used the skills developed in a long career to augment her means of artistic expression. She has taught design, typography, photography and art, both in the classroom and privately. She has had several one person shows in the area and her work is represented in numerous private collections, often working on private commissions. A long time art collector herself, she has a strong, broad knowledge of contemporary art and has a passion for museums and classical music, both well satisfied living in the Berkshires with proximity to New York City and Boston
Lucie Castaldo lives and works in the beautiful Berkshires; working primarily in cut paper, photography, and installation, which she often combines. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a BA in Art History and Education. Lucie draws inspiration from medical drawings, animal skull and bone samples, and architectural remains. Peeling back exteriors shows that in the end, we all have the same foundations
Robin Catalano is the managing editor and senior copywriter for The Annie Selke Companies, where she creates content for the popular Fresh American Style blog and the company’s multiple social media platforms. She has worked as a professional journalist, copywriter, and editor for nearly 20 years, with articles appearing in Gourmet, Culinary Trends, Berkshire Magazine, Stage Directions, Let’s Live, and Berkshire Living, among others. She has edited more than three hundred fiction and nonfiction titles for publishing companies such as Penguin Putnam, Simon & Schuster, The Harvard Common Press, and Workman. Robin lives in upstate New York.
An educator with an eye and ear for storytelling, Joey Chernila has taught classes on comics, mapmaking, picture books, pop-up books, cut paper, screen printing and zine making in the Berkshires for the past 15 years. Joey’s playful approach to line and image is a combination of naivety and wonder, with a dash of salty humor thrown in for good measure. Joey is also the host of two local storytelling shows, Inkless in West Stockbridge, and (with co-host Sheela Clary) Fuel Story Slam in Great Barrington. Joey has taught at the Montessori School of the Berkshires since 2005.
Paul Chojnowski’s work has evolved over the years through an early period of geometric abstraction to incorporate his figurative academic training. Throughout his career a distinguishing characteristic has been the use of nontraditional media and tools in his art making. His current work, images burned into paper and wood evolved as a result of his conscious effort to embrace art historical traditions while rejecting the traditional processes. Chojnowski began burning and scorching wood and paper to create his images in the early 1990’s. Since then, his fire drawings have been shown in group and solo exhibitions in art centers, museums and galleries nationally. His work was part of the set decoration on the Scott Hicks film No Reservations, starring Catherine Zeta-Jone and Aaron Eckhart and the Nancy Meyers film It's Complicated starring Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. A documentary titled AGLOW about his life has been shown at film festivals around North America recently. His work is presently on view at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY. The title of the solo exhibition is Paper, Plywood & Light. He is showing new drawings on plywood and his new illuminated drawings.
Tom Ciaburri an award-winning director and cinematographer. His passion for storytelling has led him on a journey of documentary, narrative and commercial filmmaking around the world. His work has been featured in film festivals as well as on national television. Currently he's is directing a feature-length documentary about international peace and reconciliation workshops. Tom holds a BA in narrative and documentary storytelling from Hampshire college.
Sarah Clark received her BFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design and her MA in Art Education from New York University. Before becoming an art teacher, Sarah worked as a textile designer in New York City. For the past 10 years, Sarah has worked as an elementary art teacher in the Central Berkshire Regional School District. Her specialties are weaving, painting and drawing.
John has taught with IS183's Learning Through Arts program for many years. He works with many media — oil paints, pastels, and pencil were his main tools for many years. He has become an accomplished iPhone photographer and teacher. Painting with light, his photographic work can be mistakenly viewed as pastel or charcoal drawings. John is represented by Sohn Fine Art of Lenox, and his work has been shown at the Berkshire Museum, The Katonah Museum of Art, Geoffrey Young Gallery, the Joyce Goldstein Gallery, the Isha Nelson Gallery, and Deb Koffman’s Little Gallery.
I am driven to paint by color and shape. When I approach a blank sheet - I clear my mind. I begin by making marks -- usually with a color that I find annoying or unsettling --just to throw myself off. That color demands another more mitigating color and the adjacent colors begin to form a shape. I rotate the canvas 360 degrees and all stations in between in order to search for the beginning of life, which usually manifests itself with a line, a gesture or an edge. Just a glimpse, really. Then the work begins. So, each piece I paint is a surprise to me --revealing more of its own truth as I work.
Michael is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts in NYC and received a BFA degree from Queens College, NY. As an instructor, he spent a decade teaching special education in NYC often using his art skills to inspire the creativity in his students. Michael enjoys working with oil on canvas and gouache on paper. He paints directly onto the canvas with no preliminary drawing. For the most part, his paintings are representational. The emotions they evoke are powerful, yet subtle allowing the viewers imagination to be drawn in.
Tony Conner is dedicated to the medium of watercolor. While primarily expressing and interpreting the landscape and seascape, his paintings reflect an interest in a variety of subjects, and exhibit a wide range of representational expression. Most of his work is completely focused on the quality of light itself. Tony’s paintings are widely exhibited in juried, group and solo exhibits. His work has been included in a number of national juried exhibits including the New England Watercolor Society National Biennial, Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, and the Hudson Valley Art Association Annual National Exhibition, among others. Tony is a Signature Member of both the New England and Vermont Watercolor Societies and an active member of several other watercolor and art societies and an Artist Member of the Salmagundi Club. He is profiled in “100 Artists of New England”, Schiffer Publishing, 2011, “Best of Artists’ – American Landscape”, Kennedy Publishing, 2012, and in “Three Who Nurture The Arts”, Southern Vermont Arts & Living Magazine, Summer 2013 and “Learn From What Isnt’ Working”, Plein Air Magazine Aug/Sep 2015. A native of Winchester, Virginia, Tony currently works from his studio in Bennington, Vermont. Much more at tonyconner.com
Lisa Daria Kennedy grew up along the northeast edge of the Hockomock Swamp in Massachusetts. She received her BA from Roger Williams University (1995) in Graphic Design and her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Illustration (1998), and her MFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2D (2013). Kennedy has worked as a product and surface designer and illustrator in the international giftware industry. She is affiliated with Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI as the Design Editor for the literary publication, Mount Hope and is an Assistant Professor at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, MA.
Artist and art critic, Carol Diehl was, for over 20 years, a Contributing Editor for Art in America, where she wrote cover stories on Robert Irwin, Wolfgang Laib, Christian Marclay and Olafur Eliasson. Her writing has also been published in ARTnews, New York, Art & Auction, and Art & Antiques (Contributing Editor 1984-1995), among others. In 2011 she received a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation grant for her blog, Art Vent. An early slam poet, her writing can be found in the anthology, Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, winner of the 1994 National Book Award
Karylee holds a BFA in photography but has spent the last 17 years working in art quilts. Her work is shown in local galleries as well as national and international shows. It has been published in national magazines and books on fabric art. She is an Adams resident and currently working as an art instructor at Gabriel Abbot Memorial School.
Mary Beth Eldridge is from Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A native, she returned to the city in 1992. An artist and teacher, she’s taught art at every level from Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Connecticut and Massachusetts public schools. She facilitates professional development for county arts educators, and volunteers in the arts locally in various capacities. In 2016, she was named Massachusetts Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the Massachusetts Art Education Association. She’s recently made the switch from full to part time teaching, giving her time for her own artistic practice. Mary Beth considers teaching art a responsibility and a privilege. To her, engagement with the arts is a part of being fully human. Every child has the need, and deserves the chance to a wide view of the world through the arts.
I was born in Los Angeles and when I was nineteen I picked up a hook and started to crochet. At that point in my life I was hitch hiking all over the US. I crocheted along the way and used my handmade hats and dolls as currency. I dodged student loan debt while discovering my craft. After about six years traveling, I settled down in the Berkshires and started a family. In 2010 I began working in a larger scale of crochet. I developed a new technique of making armatures and crocheting directly onto them. This created a structure to my wearable art. I began making masks, and the response was invigorating. Now I am working on an even larger scale. These days I am stepping out of my studio and into communities to discuss concepts of identity and empathy. These community collaborative arts projects result in fully crocheted creatures, standing almost 5 ft tall, with wearable heads.
Berkshire based artist Ben Evans grew up in the Hudson Valley region of New York and received his BFA in Ceramics from the State University of New York at New Paltz. His recent work focuses on geometry and structure in architectural and nautical themes. The geometric pieces consist of repeating shapes to create a form, paired with surface treatments that allow the viewer to interact with the piece as a whole. The nautical inspired work focuses on distilling complex forms down to basic forms, to explore the beauty of subtle curves and lines.
My work is what it is; ambiguous, uncanny, and secretly familiar. I rely upon an internal exchange of questions and responses based on intuition and experience. I view experience not as a singular moment, but as a conglomerate of emotion and time. I am exploring ideas of formlessness in conjunction with the coexistence of form, in order to create feelings of cognitive dissonance. These ideas are my tools or vehicles to express my emotions through the use of objects instead of narratives.
Kim Faler has an MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Her installations, sculptures, photographs and drawings have been featured in national solo and group exhibits. Beginning with many ideas found within architecture and design, her work considers the small, quiet moments of our everyday lives, asking the viewer to look harder, wider and longer at what they deem as true or real.
Diane spends much of her time making and teaching art. Nature is the inspiration and source of almost all her work and everything she produces is taken directly from her photographs. She is currently working on a year long project involving single, and multiple photographic images manipulated in photoshop titled “366 iPhone” which, when completed, will be a creative representation of the year 2016. Working with image transfer has been an adventure and great wellspring of creativity and joy. When Diane is not making art, she is a Black Belt Nia instructor, and has been practicing Nia since 1995 and teaching Nia for almost 20 years; a holistic movement practice that allows freedom of expression, playfulness and attention to detail, all qualities she brings to her art making.
In high school during my ceramics class, I would spend my time making jewelry. My teacher never redirected me to the required coiled vessel assignment, but rather recognized the importance of giving me the time and space to play and learn about the potential of the material. This was liberating and set the path for my career in the visual arts. I strive to bring a sense of excitement and wonder to the classroom, as students explore the potential of a material, arriving at their own answers. Helping to guide students through this experience of self discovery through artistic expression is truly rewarding.
There came a point of clarity in my life where I saw that if I wanted to understand the visual arts on a deeper level, I would have to devote myself to teaching it to others. Whether it is working in visual arts, grappling and sparring in our mixed-martial arts program, or walking with a group of students on our land, each moment of our lives is a teaching/learning moment. My “down time” is spent with my family, making art, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and learning as much as I can.
Jim Frangione is an actor, founder of the Stage Company in Boston, and co-artistic director of the Berkshire Playwrights Lab, founded in 2007 as the area’s only theater dedicated exclusively to encouraging, developing, and presenting new plays. He’s performed in the NY premiere of several David Mamet’s plays, regularly with NY’s Atlantic Theater Company, in on and off Broadway productions, as well as in theaters around the country. On television and in film Jim has appeared in such varied productions as Law and Order, Brotherhood, Spartan, Heist, The Unit, Frozen Impact, and Homicide.
Jared Gelormino is our Ceramics Studio Manager. Jared completed his MFA in Ceramics at Indiana University in 2014. His work arises from a multilayered approach to art making. The finished product is a catalyst for a dialogue concerning perceived notions of good and bad in relation to art, craft, and popular culture. He explores the transmission of artistic traditions, styles and ideas, from their beginnings to the cultural crevices in which they currently reside. These explorations are often expressed using historical and handmade ceramic objects because of the strong ties every culture has or has had with this versatile material.
Photography is in Ogden's DNA. He literally grew up in a successful New York photography studio. His father, Ormond Gigli, was one of the city's most sought-after fashion and portrait photographers. Ogden would often come home from school to find a fashion shoot in progress or a Broadway star having a portrait taken. Ogden got his early training when Dad would let him help at the studio. Of course this didn't always go completely without incident. One day during a Time magazine cover shoot, Ogden blew up his father's light meter by plugging it directly into a 110-volt wall outlet instead of the strobe system. In addition to apprenticing with his father, Ogden also worked in the studios of some other top New York photographers, including Arthur Schatz, Laslow Stern and David Kennedy. After apprenticing, Ogden opened his own successful studio in New York City for 6 years. In 1988, Ogden relocated to the Berkshires, where he and his family had vacationed in the past. Ogden's photography studio is located in Pittsfield, MA. He considers himself very fortunate to be able to make a living in a field that he feels so passionate about.
Stephen Glantz has been a writer and screenwriter for over 25 years. He's written for all the major studios and networks in the 15 years he lived in Los Angeles. For the past 10 years he has been working for CCC Film Kunst in Berlin and producer Artur Brauner. His German language films, including The Last Train and Wunderkinder, have won numerous awards, including the Audience Awards at the Berkshire International Film Festival and festivals in Palm Springs, Sao Paolo, Copenhagen, Los Angeles, Giffoni Italy, and many others. His Holocaust memoir which he co-authored with survivor, Clara Kramer, has been published in 21 languages and was named a Sophie Brody Honor Book by the American Library Association. Currently, he teaches screen writing at Emerson and has also taught at Williams and Brandeis where he was a Scholar in Residence in 2008 and 2010.
I have been working with clay for thirty years. After completing my MFA degree in ceramics from Southern Illinois University, I first settled in New York City and became a member of a pottery Co-op in lower Manhattan. In 1984 I became the resident potter at the Vermont State Craft Center in Middlebury .This position provided a studio and many teaching opportunities with community members and classes for Middlebury College. In 1991 I became the resident potter at the Shelburne Craft School where I remained through 2001, when I married the lovely Karen Totman and moved to western Massachusetts. We live in a wonderful old farm house with an attached pottery studio. I am a full- time studio potter and occasionally teach workshops on Raku and pit-fired pottery. I continue to hone my craft in an environment where Karen's family has cared for the land over many generations. The refinement of organic elements into classical forms of the vessel vernacular has fascinated and driven me as a potter. Managing clay's malleability and fire's ephemeral effects on forms and surfaces continues to ignite my decades-long creative investigations.
Ellen Grenadier has been making tableware and custom tiles and murals for over 30 years. After receiving a BA from Connecticut College she studied salt glazing under a grant from the Tiffany Foundation and went on to become a co-founding member of Clay Dragon Studios, a clay cooperative in Cambridge, MA. Twenty five years ago, she moved to Monterey, MA where she maintains a studio and gallery and was head of the Ceramics Department at IS 183, Art School of the Berkshires for twelve years. She has shown her functional clay work and custom tiles and murals throughout the United States and participated in retail shows including Craftboston, the ACC Wintermarket, the Philadelphia Craft Show, the Minnesota Pottery Tour and the Asparagus Valley Pottery Tour
Kristin Grippo is an educator, writer, and performer living and working in the Berkshires. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, grades Pre-K-6 with a concentration in Art History from SUNY New Paltz, and a Masters in Literacy from Walden University. Kristin worked for ten years in public education, primarily as a fifth grade teacher, always finding ways to integrate art, movement, and collaboration into her classroom. Kristin’s current endeavors include working with homeschoolers, supporting children and families through literacy instruction and childcare, and teaching art after school for IS183's Learning Through the Arts program. In recent years, Kristin has been honing her story-telling skills throughout Berkshire County, often accessing personal memoir via rampant honesty and humor.
I began quilting in the early 1980s, and soon discovered a love for dyeing fabric, using Japanese shibori, an ancient form of tie-dye. Shibori allowed me to find my voice in landscape quilts, using fiber-reactive dyes, as well as indigo. My sense of place emerged in New England, where I’ve lived since 1979. My quilts are in corporate, private and museum collections. They have been exhibited nationally and internationally and appeared in various publications, most recently in Mary Schoesser’s Textiles: The Art of Mankind. My best critics are my husband of 50 years and my crit group of over 25 years. I’ve made my living from my quilts, from shibori-dyed wearable art, from teaching and from bookkeeping. I belong to the Quilters Connection, Studio Art Quilt Associates and Surface Design Association. My studio is in my home in Cambridge
Adam Gudeon is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books living in Great Barrington MA. His debut picture book, Me and Meow, was published by HarperCollins in 2011. He is presently at work on picture books for Holiday Books for Young Readers and Boyds Mills, and is represented by Stimola Literary Studio. Adam has a fine arts degree from Pratt School of Art and Design.
A native of Becket, MA, Nathan Hanford is a trained dancer and visual artist who has been involved in numerous creative collaborations with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, international performance artists, and local art venues such as the Norman Rockwell Museum. His hand-embroidery technique on vintage linen connects to a long line of family members who worked with thread as tailors, in the woolen mills of Pittsfield, or in the home, demonstrating love, commitment and patience through the process. He was recently honored as one of DzThe Berkshire 25dzby Berkshire Magazine for his work as artist in residence with Soldier On, a private non-profit organization for veterans in the Berkshires.
Teaching with IS183 in summer programs and LTA since 2010, Amanda is an artist and arts educator. She holds a Master of Education from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Maintaining a dual teacher's license in Visual Arts and Early Childhood Education, she teaches Art full-time in a local public school system. She was born and raised in North Adams and has been active in the local arts community since returning in 2006. A painter and illustrator at heart, she currently is expanding her artistic interests by learning how to tapestry weave.
Angel Fraser Heffernan is an artist, crafter, mama and teacher living in Sheffield, MA. She has been working with children as a preschool teacher and art educator for the past 15 years, as well as sharing the joys of crafting, sewing and all manners of fiber arts with adults through classes and workshops. Angel is also a certified yoga teacher and herbalist.
A native of the Berkshires, Ali Herrmann is a mixed media painter, jeweler, science and nature lover whose work explores the beauty of the landscapes around which she lives and travels. She pursued geology at Colgate University and received a BFA from Bennington College with a focus on painting and printmaking. She has been awarded numerous grants, including a residency at the Vermont Studio School and a Berkshire Taconic Foundation Martha Boschen Porter Fund grant. Her work isin multiple collections and has been featured throughout the Hudson River Valley, the Capitol region, and Columbia County, NY.
Cecilia programs all studio and camp offerings for IS183. Her BA, from Bowdoin College, was a combined degree in Art History, Religion and Visual Communication. She followed this with a MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has taught for over 20 years in a wide variety of public and private schools and colleges, and has also led visiting artists workshops at all levels from elementary through college. In her teaching, Cecilia encourages students to express and celebrate their singular perspective; this is especially rewarding with the multi-generational student body at IS183. A native of France, Cecilia is an enthusiastic supporter of multilingualism, cross-cultural experiences, and the universal, impactful language of the visual.
For the past 20 years, Serra Hirsch has built props, puppets and original craft pieces for theater, film and television companies all over New York City. She has appeared and competed on the Style Network's Craft Corner Deathmatch, created original puppets and prop pieces for Comedy Central’s Colbert Report (most notably, a 12' papier maché Stephen Colbert puppet at the 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington, DC to an audience of over 250,000). An annual Halloween enthusiast, Serra is frequently featured on television in her costumed creations, and has won countless of costume contests such as the Today Show, Live With Kelly and Michael!, as well as “Best Costume” for the 34th Annual Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. As a puppet builder and performer, Serra's work has been featured in the Great Small Works' Toy Theatre Festival, St. Ann’s Warehouse, HERE, PS122, Dixon Place, Theater for a New City, Manhattan Children's Theatre, 59E59 Theater, in both National and International puppetry festivals as well as numerous commercials, music videos, film shorts, PSAs and television promos. Her full length puppet play, The Dalì Project, toured to the Detroit Institute of Art, and her latest family audience piece, Vrooom!, received a Jim Henson Grant for further development. Serra also works as a voice over artist for TV/Radio/Animation, a prop stylist, and just ended a 2 year stint teaching prop building at LaGuardia High School of the Arts.
Mark Hohlstein studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Obtaining his degree from Umass Amherst. Concentrations include animation, electronic music, metal sculpture and figure drawing. Mark enjoyed a successful career as a large scale, collage portrait artist. His welded steel dinosaur recycling container resides at the Great Barrington Coop. Mark enjoys acting and directing and creating sets and props for stage and film. Mark has performed his own clown pieces all over Berkshire county. Mark’s passion is the creative process whether on his own, collaboratively are in the role of instructor.
Nicole’s work is a curiosity charged quest through life about life itself; bridging the visual link between microcosm and macrocosm. Informed by historical sources as varied as Surrealism, Baroque, Kitsch and Folk art movements Nicole’s artworks address contemporary themes such as space exploration, excess, feminism, utility, spirituality and our consciousness with a fresh and playful sense of experimentation. With inspiration from her emotions, childhood, nature, the metaphysical and cosmic curio Nicole uses assorted media as a vehicle to question traditional roles of material employment. The science fictional and fantastical elements of her work provide an escape, an alternate reality, away from our present cultural, political and commercial atmosphere. The curious topographical nature of Nicole’s sculpted paintings serves as a metaphor for navigating her thoughts, life experiences and emotions.
Wendy Jensen has been an award winning professional basketmaker living in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts for 25 years. She exhibits her work at juried craft shows and galleries nationally. She teaches basketmaking at many craft schools, museums, and private facilities, as well as her home studio. Her work has most recently been published in Lark Books "500 Baskets." She has also been chosen for Early American Life's Directory of Traditional American Crafts.
Gillian Jones has been a professional photographer since she began her career as a photojournalist at the North Adams Transcript in 1992. Since 2014 she has been a digital visual journalist at The Berkshire Eagle. Gillian is also an adjunct professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and operates a freelance photography business. Born in Queens, NY, Gillian grew up on Long Island and has lived in the Berkshires since 1982. She graduated from Mount Greylock Regional High School and earned her bachelor's degree from MCLA.
James Kennedy received his BFA from the University of Michigan where he studied sculpture, photography and metal-smithing. James founded Collective Metals, a modern jewelry business in NYC. His work is sold in galleries across the country. Eight years ago, Kennedy moved to the Berkshires and learned how to restore and build airplanes and old houses. His current projects include large mural paintings and original platinum wedding rings.
Born and raised in Rochester NY, Michael King has earned a MA degree in Leadership Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso. He is currently pursuing a MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University. Michael retired from the US Army in 2015 after 21 years of active federal service at the rank of Sergeant Major. His work in leather, sculpture and mixed media is a reflection of experiences as a member of the military Police Corps and his successful deployments to Iraq.
My life changing experience brought me to the Art of painting on Silk. Upon graduating from Ohio State University, 1966. I spent three years as a US Peace Corps volunteering in the Philippines. Afterward I went to Java and studied under Indonesia’s Master Batik Artist Bambang Oetoro. The opportunity to live and work with a master craftsmen quite literally opened me to my life passions. The love of textile arts and the connection of art in my spiritual direction. 35 years later, I am in my studio in Sarasota Florida, I can still see that young person that sat down to study Batik in Indonesia. Today, I still feel the same creative spirit in the world of silk and I am delighted to share this with you. Commissions: Chrysler Bldg, NYC, TRW Cleveland, OH, Columbus 1 Bldg, Columbus, OH, Aish Ha Torah, Library Jerusalem, Israel, Turnery Isle Country Club and Carnaval Tours, Miami FL
Ann Kremers thrives on the practice of painting and drawing. Much of her work expresses her love for our beautiful surroundings while she also explores more introspective themes. Teaching others the skills necessary to pursue their own interests in painting and drawing has become an integral part of Ann's practice. She delights in the beginner's first successes as well as working with many students for years, encouraging their growth. Ann has shown her work throughout the area and is also and accomplished calligrapher with clients such as The Clark Art Institute and Williams College.
I hate taking pictures, I love to create images. I believe that photography needs to be viewed as an art form that bridges the analog and digital world of art and when linked to pre-visualization, technological know how and your inner creative talents you too will create images and stop taking pictures. My role is not so much as a instructor, but as a mentor, a person that is leading the class to provide you with the motivation to move forward and challenge your skill set, creative and technology capabilities. I work in, film, digital, view/field camera, pinhole, smartphone/tablet formats and more.
“For me, painting the world that I live in is a way to re-create it and possess it in a loving, empathetic way. My approach is to build up an assemblage of markings that coalesce into an image that cannot avoid reflecting my emotional response to what I see. Michael Molino, writing about the poet Seamus Heaney, commented: ‘Seeing things involves the realization that whatever is real must invariably be imagined, and that whatever is imagined is then quite real.’” Bob Lafond attended the Boston Museum School, and has an undergraduate degree in Art History (summa cum laude) from Princeton University where he studied under painter Esteban Vicente. He worked at the Princeton University Art Museum for almost twenty years. For the last several years Bob has painted both oils and pastels of country and city landscapes, concentrating on the Berkshires and Brooklyn
Jana Laiz is the author of the triple award-winning novel, Weeping Under This Same Moon, Moonbeam Silver Medal Winner, The Twelfth Stone, Elephants of the Tsunami, the co-author of "A Free Woman On God's Earth, The True Story of Elizabeth "Mumbet" Freeman, The Slave Who Won Her Freedom" optioned to be a feature film, Thomas & Autumn andSimon Says ~ Tails Told By The Red Lion Inn Ambassador. Jana has been invited to speak about writing all over the world. She is passionate about our beautiful planet and endeavors to make a difference in the world and to work with others who feel the same. She is the very first Writer-In-Residence at Herman Melville's beloved Arrowhead. She lives in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
Stephan is the owner of Lefty's World Famous Tattoo Parlor in Pittsfield, MA.
Zohar Lazar has worked as an illustrator since 1997. His Illustrations have appeared in The New Yorker, Wired, GQ, and many other national and international magazines. He has created book covers for Penguin, Random House, FSG and W.W. Norton. His paintings and drawings have also been exhibited in New York and the Berkshires. His narrative images lean toward the humorous and are achieved in a variety of styles and media. As a teacher at School of Visual Arts, he encourages his students to explore the techniques and works of past artists in order to expand their visual vocabulary and enhance their ability to communicate effectively.
Peter is a painter and printmaker. He graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in 2D Fine Art. His work draws from the aesthetics of Mexican Renaissance mural painters, Bolshevik propaganda, Abstract Expressionists and American Hardcore music to create painted collages of post industrial decay, social unrest, and economic disparity. The paintings mix the flattened space of screenprinted posters and graffiti with physicality of oil paint in a clash of styles that is at times chaotic and disorientating.
Lucy MacGillis has been painting and drawing in Italy since 2000. She grew up in the Berkshires and studied figure drawing at IS183 while she attended Pittsfield High School. MacGillis then studied painting at the University of Pennsylvania with John Moore and with Nicolas Carone at the former International School of Art in Italy. Upon graduating from Upenn, she received a post-graduate grant to paint in Italy. There she began to create a series of landscape, interior and still-life paintings which she exhibits at the Hoadley Gallery in Lenox, Massachusetts and at the Galleria Ca’d'Oro in Rome. She teaches locals to paint their own landscape in Montecastello and teaches annual seminars in traditional Italian painting with earth colors at the Sommerakademie di Hohenaschau in Germany and the Kunstfabrik in Vienna. She lives with her son Vito in an old farmhouse she recently restored in Umbria. Lucy is represented in international private and corporate collections.
Maggie Mailer studied English and Fine Arts at Columbia University, and privately with painters Ben Tritt and Jim Peters. Her work employs landscape as a platform for exploring ranging attitudes about the painting process. She is well known in the Berkshires for founding the Storefront Artist Project in Pittsfield, MA, an artist residence program (2002-2012) that offered a transparent boundary between the artist at work and the public sphere, and is credited with helping start the revival of the city of Pittsfield. In 2009 she became the first Artist in Residence at the Berkshire Museum. She has received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, A.R.T. Grant. Maggie’s work is in various international and corporate collections, and she is represented by Ober Gallery in Kent, CT.
Erica Manville is an artist and art educator and has lived and worked in Berkshire County since 2006. She is the Vice-Chairwoman of the North Adams Public Arts Commission, which she helped to found and organize. She is currently the Third Grade teacher at Pine Cobble School, and she brings to this position 11 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings K-12, a Masters degree in education from MCLA, and a background in the arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University. She has been working in North Adams for a decade, both at BART Charter School and North Adams Public Schools. In that time, she has formed strong partnerships with MCLA, Williams College, Kidspace at MASS MoCA, and other area organizations, connecting students with the wider community. She has a particular love of project-based arts integration, and she seamlessly weaves together subjects for total mastery of learning for students. Understanding children and how they learn is what Erica is all about.
Over the past 10 years I have become an expert in creative process. I hold my BFA in Communication Design. My coursework included Information Architecture, Design Research, and Design History with a focus on design thinking, interaction design, and human factors. My thesis was “curation as an expression of identity”. I grew my career in the advertising industry, working as a Planner for some of the most recognized brands: LeBron James, Panera, Staples, Adobe, and Luxxotica. In 2013 I packed up an SUV and drove across the country from Boston to LA to start my own consultancy where I built a client roster that included icons like Apple, Beats by Dre, The Viper Room, and Microsoft. Influenced by the city’s creative community, I became a 1-woman hub for insights on millennials and youth culture, growing a loyal following for my trendspotting and curatorial work. Over the years I broadened my skill set to include a teaching certifications in both Visual Art (MA K-12) and Yoga (200hr Yoga Alliance certified). I have been also been working as an instructor for General Assembly since their inception. In search of more space (literally & metaphorically), I landed in Austin, TX at the end of 2016. I am currently in the process of building out a home studio and live/work space for workshopping and retreats.
Wit McKay graduated from Williams College and received his MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked in New York City for 27 years as both an artist and a free-lance commercial photographer specializing in large format still life work, primarily for the fine and decorative arts industry. His most recent artmaking is focused on panoramic landscapes of Road Cuts, a ubiquitous and overlooked example of mankind’s violent interaction with the natural world.
Born in New York City, Ellen McKay is a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She continued her studies at Pratt Graphics Center and the School of Visual Arts, N. Y., Her paintings have been shown in group shows in galleries in the Hudson River Valley, including Mark Gruber, New Paltz, NY, Carrie Haddad, Hudson, NY, Emerge Gallery, Saugerties and many others. Teaching experience includes watercolor classes at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, painting and drawing workshops in her studio and various other venues in upstate New York. After fourteen years of living in Argentina, she has now returned to make her home in the Hudson River Valley, NY. Ellen McKay’s art work is represented in private collections in the United States, Argentina and in Europe.
Born and raised in Colorado, at an early age Thomas demonstrated a healthy curiosity for textures, forms, process and organic shapes. His mother, an oil painter, nurtured Thomas’ innate thirst for creation and remained an inspiration for Thomas throughout his life. Thomas is an inspiring artist whose work is characterized by purity and character. Thomas often experiments with the integration of method, technique and material. “What is most essential to me as a sculptor is the creative process. Sculpture for me is a living art. I believe sculpture must be touched to be fully experienced. This is why my focus is bringing it into people’s homes.” Thomas began his studies in fine art at the Art Institute of Colorado, Metropolitan State College, and with local, established sculptors. Thomas has nearly twenty years of experience in all areas of fine art casting, from the mold process through installation. He has worked on hundreds of public and private installations across the globe. Such public projects as: Korean War Memorial, Atlantic City, N.J., Coors Brewing Company, Golden Colorado as well has private commissions. His private works focus on bringing art and sculpture into people’s homes through bronze tables, bowls, doors, door knockers, and figurative works. Thomas Mesquita currently lives in Western Massachusetts and works at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.
Patti Mollica delights in painting the world around her in a bold, confident style, with hues that are vibrant, energetic and contemporary. Her work is known for its fearless use of color and expressive brushwork, while still blending a delicate balance between impressionism, abstraction and realism. Patti has been commissioned by, and is included in the private collections of American Express, Sheraton Hotels, CBS & RCA Records, Penguin Press and many others. Additionally, she is a Certified Teacher for Golden Paints and conducts workshops throughout the U.S., covering topics such as “Innovative Acrylic Techniques using Golden Paints”, as well as “How to Paint Fast, Loose and Bold”. Patti’s original artwork is represented in several galleries throughout the US. Published prints and posters can be found in retail chains worldwide. Patti is the author of 3 books, “Modern Acrylics “, “Color Theory”, and “Acrylics - Getting Started”, as well as 3 instructional painting DVD’s, “Value, Brushwork, and Color Techniques”, published by Northlight Books. Patti lives in Nyack, New York with her husband - a jazz musician, their dog, 3 cats and 4 polish chickens.
An artist and media producer based in Williamstown, Massachusetts and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Julia Morgan works primarily in painting and time-based media but often the concept of the work requires an interdisciplinary approach. Her work has been screened and exhibited nationally and internationally. She says, DzMy paintings and time-based works examine everyday gestures and the potential of an ordinary action. Whether in a domestic space, a site where individual intersects community, or a seemingly untouched landscape, human endeavor sets in motion a series of unfurling gestures. My work examines aspects of this unanticipated choreography.
Anna Moriarty Lev is a writer and cartoonist currently living in Williamstown, MA with her husband, their kid, and another on the way. Her comics and other art can be found online at www.levhardware.wordpress.com. Her short stories have been published in various lit mags, online and in print, including Bateau, Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, and The Hairpin. Anna's work is inspired by her life, and she lives by her mother's motto of "bricolage: make well with what you have." Also, she makes really good popcorn.
Julia earned her BA at Bard College and her MFA in creative nonfiction from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. She is working on a memoir about race, love, country, and the life, loss, and legacy of her father—a pulp fiction writer who worked under seven pseudonyms before his suicide in 1980. She lived in Zimbabwe, Botswana, and several US cities before settling in rural Massachusetts, where she now lives with her husband and sons.
Chris Newbound’s short stories and articles have been published in a number of publications, including Seventeen, Variety, California Magazine, Berkshire Living, and Berkshire Magazine. Chris also teaches creative non-fiction writing and playwrighting at MCLA. His play, Birthday Boy, was produced in 2011 at Berkshire Theatre Group and was later published by Samuel French. And two of his one-act plays have been produced by Barrington Stage Company as part of the highly successful 10X10 New Play Festival. This past summer, he was one of three playwrights selected to be part of the New Play Reading series run by the Dorset Theatre Festival. He is also an active and enthusiastic participant of Barrington Stage Company’s Playwright Mentoring Project (PMP), which helps teens at risk dramatize their stories.
Fay O’Meara has a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art. She has studied at the Fine Arts Work Center, Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. She maintains a studio in Norfolk, CT where she works with textiles both on and off loom, and makes sculpture with found wood. She is the mother of two sons.
Marilyn Orner Cromwell received a BFA in Painting from California College of the Arts and an MEd. in Creative Arts in Teaching from Lesley University. A life long teacher and learner, she lives and works in Berkshire County. Color, reflection, transparency, and the beauty of the everyday and the extraordinary all inspire her. Each painting informs the subsequent ones, providing new problems to solve and ideas to investigate. She loves witnessing the moment that new understanding shines on a student's face. Her work has been in group and solo shows throughout the country.
Born and raised in NYC, Nicole Peskin got her B.A. in sculpture from Wellesley college and participated in outdoor sculptural interventions with MIT’s Reclamation Artists. Having been exposed to metalwork in graduate school she sought further training at Wentworth Institute of Technology and the Penland School of Crafts for blacksmithing. She has her MFA from Johnson State College. Nicole has been living and working in the Berkshires since 2000, first from her Pittsfield studio where she participated in Pittsfield’s Storefront Artists, and now in her Stephentown studio where she works in sculpture, installation, video, teaches, and grows corn. She has received two Pittsfield Cultural Council awards. Her work is in private collections in the United States and abroad.
Jim Peters graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a BS in Atomic Physics and MIT with an MS in Nuclear Engineering. He began painting while serving on the aircraft carrier USS John F. Kennedy, and using the GI Bill, graduated from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1977 (MFA Painting). A painter and constructionist, he has exhibited regularly in New York City at CDS Gallery and ACA Galleries, in Cambridge, MA at Pierre Menard Gallery, and in Provencetown, MA at artSTRAND Gallery. He has been awarded numerous fellowships and his work is included in many collections world-wide, including the William Benton Museum, University of Connecticut, Flint Institute of Art, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York City.
Amy Podmore teaches sculpture at Williams College. She was the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Artists Fellowship in Sculpture, an Artist’s Resource Trust Grant, and the Lillian Heller Curator’s Award. She has been published in the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Art New England. She holds a B.S. from the State University College at Buffalo, and an M.F.A from University of California at Davis. She has attended several residencies including the Skowhegan School of Art, the Ecco Museum residency in Cadiz, Spain and the artist residency at Chesterwood.
Marc Pollack is a visual artist who has lived on four continents. He studied classic art with Robert Beverly Hale at the Arts Students League of New York, where he is a life member, and Contemporary Art at Parsons the New School where he met many of today's most famous artists. He continues studying art education at MOMA. He has exhibited art in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Dakar,Phnom Penh and Madras. While his personal work is very contemporary, his teaching specialty is academic drawing where he concentrates on developing simple shapes, light and dark, optical illusion, handwriting, perspective, composition and content.
Brielle Rizzotti is a collage/mixed media artist, arts administrator, art educator, and crafter. She studied Art and Arts Management at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and has exhibited her work throughout New England. Brielle is also the creator of “Pooties” - quirky, handmade plush creatures who have traveled the country in private collections. As an arts educator, Brielle has had the distinct privilege of introducing young artists to new mediums, igniting curiosity, and instilling the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with the creation of artwork. Through the design and implementation of inspiring visual arts curricula, Brielle strives to empower students to achieve confidently, creatively, and to proudly self-identify as artists.
Anne Roecklein holds a BA from Carleton College, an MPS from Pratt Institute, and an MFA from Indiana University. Her work has been exhibited at the Begehungen Art Festival in Chemnitz, Germany; Daniel Cooney Fine Art, New York, NY; the Lexington Art League, Lexington, Kentucky; christopher west presents, Indianapolis, IN; PrintRoom, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Gallery NoMINIMO, Guayaquil, Ecuador; and other national and international venues. She lives and works in North Adams, Massachusetts.
I have loved illustrating children's books for over 30 years. You may recognize my work in your home library- I have illustrated the "Ramona" and "Henry" series by Beverly Cleary, as well as countless other picture and chapter books. I was the youngest of six children in a family of artists. By the time I was in high school, it was very clear to me that I was going to have a career in art. I went to Rhode Island School of Design to study painting, but I switched to illustration halfway through my sophomore year. I loved illustration! I had great teachers like David Macaulay and Chris Van Allsburg. I didn't decide on children's books until well after I finished college. I had tried lots of different types of illustration, including magazine, newspaper, advertising, store windows and even scrimshaw. I chose children's books because it seemed to be the most fun and offered lots of room for creativity. When I am not working on a book, I make paintings, mostly in oil. I like to experiment with different media. Right now I am into reverse scratchboard with ink, acrylic, watercolor. the scratchboard allows me to use tools to take the color back off. I also like to make tiles and throw pots. Working in 3D is a nice change from making flat pictures and I LOVE to get my hands dirty! When working with children, I like to introduce them to new materials, then let them explore the materials in their own way.
Augusta Rose is a New England-based documentary photographer + filmmaker. In addition to freelancing, Augusta has produced several short documentaries and educational films on subjects ranging from land preservation, women’s reproductive health, mindfulness curriculums in elementary schools, and education opportunities in remote Nepal. She aspires to connect with each subject to co-create work that leaves an emotional impact and produce intentionally honest imagery.
Ariel Rosenblum holds a B.F.A. from Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and M.A. in Material Culture Studies from the Bard Graduate Center. She has been teaching and facilitating arts experiences for over a decade in classroom, workshop and gallery settings. In her studio practice, Ariel works with traditional textile processes including feltmaking, weaving and dyeing. She combines these historical textile production techniques with unconventional materials as a means to explore sensory perception and traces of time—and sees learning from the past as a way to situate her self in the present.
I am in the midst of a self-guided exploration into the many facets of oil painting, including an in-depth study of materials and techniques employed by painters from the High Renaissance to modern masters. During this research, I have found that I prefer the working methods of the Italian, French and Dutch Masters (Michelangelo, Sargent, Caravaggio, Klimt, Bouguereau, Rembrandt and more), many of whom utilized warm underpaintings, subtle glazes, and thick impasto to create complex jewel-like surfaces and deep shadows. I think these methods have largely been forgotten by today’s painters. Using this knowledge as a foundation or stage, a wide range of subjects from multi-figured compositions to landscapes to the still life are translated and explored in each painting. References from varied sources (classical paintings, sculptures, erotica, tattoos, etc.), inhabit shared spaces offering new meanings in their juxtapositions. I am naturally drawn to darker imagery and I allow my imagination the full freedom to engage in a visual dialogue to expand my own sphere.
Jim Schantz received his Master’s Degree in Painting at University of California, Davis and his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts at Syracuse University. He also studied at The Hornsey School of Art, London and at the Skowhegan School in Maine. His works are in numerous public collections, including: The Berkshire Museum, The Center for Spiritual Life at Emerson College; Lowe Art Museum, Syracuse University; The Art Complex Museum, Duxbury MA; Nelson Museum, U.C. Davis; Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University; Skidmore College; Simon’s Rock of Bard College, and University of Massachusetts. Jim has had several solo exhibitions at Pucker Gallery in Boston. His work has also been featured in exhibitions at the Berkshire Museum, The Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, The Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, The Albany Institute of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. He currently resides in Glendale, MA.
Phil and Gail Sellers graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute, studying painting and industrial design and developing their passion for pottery after studying with Ken Ferguson. They founded River Hill Pottery in 1978. Over many years their interest has shifted from wheel throwing to hand building, creating a signature series with unique extrusions and weaving patterns. These baskets have unusual carved rims that look like wood and are signed and dated. As the demand for their woven baskets has grown, so has River Hill Pottery. Today their woven baskets can be found in numerous shops and galleries around the country, and have been featured in various publications and textbooks on extruding and handbuilding.
Paula Shalan is the second in three generations of potters. Educated at Sarah Lawrence College and The Art Institute of Chicago, she exhibits nationally at galleries and retail shows, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and The Smithsonian Craft Show. She recently received a national award for sustainability at the Smithsonian Craft Show. Participating as an artist-in-residence at both Acadia National Park and The Dune Shacks on the Outer Cape has inspired her current work. "My work is a quiet tribute to the details found in nature."
Lynn Sisler was born in Rockford, Illinois, lived in Decatur, Georgia for 20+ years, and now lives and works in the Pioneer Valley area of western Massachusetts. Sisler works predominantly in mixed media paintings, inspired by natural history and the innate beauty of unusual animals and birds to create personal narratives using various materials including acrylic paints, wax, oil pastel, and paper collage on wood. These materials convey an organic depth of layers, reminiscent of ghostly histories, spiritual energy and glimpses of the artist’s psyche. She also creates clay sculptures that have been fired through Raku, outdoor pit firing, and a variety of other glazing techniques. Sisler is currently working on an installation of 100 specimen birds.
In May 2011, Alicia graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with her BFA in Illustration and a Creative Writing Minor. In May 2013, she graduated from Lesley University with an MEd in Community Arts, Visual Arts Concentration.Her studies and work as an art educator in both museum and classroom settings have enabled her to organize and carry out community arts projects such as The Norman Rockwell Photovoice Project (Norman Rockwell Museum, December 2011: http://nrphotovoice.blogspot.com/).Her Graduate Thesis Project involved creating a children’s book about creativity based on her own family research an interviews. (See “Family Creativity” in the “Children’s Books” section of her Illustrator Portfolio site: asoosart.wix.com/portfolio/, and her Thesis Research Blog at arsoos.tumblr.com/.) She hopes her illustration works positively to undermine and replace negative media messages, and that her education work will improve the ways we currently see the world and ourselves.
Wednesday Nelena Sorokin (professionally Nelena Soro) is a professional painter and teacher. She received a BA from Smith College and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from James Madison University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and was a founding member of the Hestia Art Collective, which conceived and executed the mural “The History of Women in Northampton, MA from 1680-1980.” She lives in Becket.
Mel Stabin is an internationally known teacher, author, and award-winning watercolorist. A graduate of Pratt Institute, Mel studied the art of watercolor with Edgar Whitney. For over thirty years Mel was an award-winning art director and creative director for major advertising agencies in New York City. He is a signature member of prestigious art societies including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, North East Watercolor Society, Georgia Watercolor Society, and New Jersey Watercolor Society. For over twenty-five years Mel has conducted watercolor workshops with groups on location throughout the country and abroad, and for numerous art societies. His paintings have been the recipient of national awards and have been represented in major exhibitions including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Butler Institute of American Art, National Academy of Design, and Watercolor West. Mel has had seventeen one-man exhibitions of his watercolors. His paintings are in many private and corporate collections. In addition to being a juror of selection and judge of awards for numerous national and international watercolor exhibitions, Mel was a director/juror of selection for the American Watercolor Society’s Annual International Exhibition. He received the honor of Master Status from the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, was named one of the “Top Ten Watercolor Masters of Today” by the art website www.artmatch4U.com, and was invited by the American Watercolor Society to do a demonstration for their “Watercolor Evenings” during their 144th Annual International Exhibition. Mel has written numerous feature articles for American Artist, The Artist's Magazine, Watercolor, Watercolor Magic, & Watercolor Artist and is the author of two popular books, Watercolor: Simple, Fast, & Focused and The Figure In Watercolor: Simple, Fast, & Focused both published by Watson-Guptill. Mel’s work can be seen on his website at www.melstabin.com and on The New American Gallery at www.newamgallery.com.
Laura weaves together justice work with creative spiritual actions. She has worked with people of all ages in schools, community centers, neighborhood backyards, religious institutions, senior centers, orphanages, and hospitals. She has Polish roots and lived for 5 years in Warsaw Poland in her mid 20's. Laura Evonne is currently the Director of Religious Education for Children and Families & Artist in Residence at Arlington Street Church (ASC), a Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Boston. She also facilitates art creating at Parts & Crafts in Somerville and works for Hazon -Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center in the Berkshires running adult and kid programing infusing nature, spirituality and art.
Diane Sullivan is an artist who creates in clay and print making. She has a B.F.A. in Ceramics from Massachusetts College of Art and a M.F.A. in Ceramics from University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA. Diane has taught at the college level and also worked with children at various afterschool programs and art centers throughout New England.
Hope Sullivan was the Executive Director of IS183, Art School of the Berkshires from 2005 to 2017. During her tenure the art school has restored its' historic 1870 second-century Victorian facility, more than tripled its' reach through the development of new tactics to achieve the mission and, doubled the budget through the development of new sources of funding including significant support from the State Department of Education and several nationally-based, family foundations. Hope has an extensive background in fundraising, program development, finance, marketing and advertising at Barrington Stage Company, Goldman Sachs & Co., Sharpe Partners and Second Stage Theatre. She holds a BS from Ithaca College, a MFA from Columbia University and lives in Pittsfield, MA with her daughter and dog.
While pursuing a degree in photography, my interest in ceramics grew after taking a wheel throwing class as an elective. The tactile nature of the medium and being able to manipulate and alter forms with my hands is what really made me want to continue pursuing ceramics. Process oriented mediums compliment the way I enjoy making my art from the functional to non-functional works. I knew early on in my days as an undergrad that I would like to teach others. I enjoy sharing knowledge and watching others manifest their artistic ideas into real life. I successfully completed my BFA in Ceramics and Photography, Art History minor, in 2010. Currently, I am living in New Ashford, Massachusetts with hopes of furthering my artistic practice and home studio.
Lara Tupper, MFA, is the author of A Thousand and One Nights, an autobiographical novel about singers at sea. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize; her work has appeared in Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak, The Believer, Nowhere Magazine, epiphany, fivechapters, and other literary publications. A graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College (fiction and memoir), Lara taught creative writing for many years at Rutgers University and now presents writing workshops throughout Western Massachusetts. A jazz/pop singer, she released her first full-length album, This Dance.
Originally from California, Natalie Tyler is an internationally exhibiting artist, whose work has shown in museums and galleries across the United States and Europe. Drawing inspiration from nature, she casts its essence into the elements of metal and glass. She combines masterly cast bronze and glass sculpture to make truly inventive and original artwork.
Filtered through memory, my work examines the mysterious forces of the physical world and investigates our fragile position in the universe through the intersection of natural and technological modalities. I construct places, worlds, cosmologies that are represented both in the outer world of nature and the inner world of the psyche. Creating a multi dimensional collision of realms, the glimmer of unexpected openings provides inspiration for the process of painting. My painting process relates to the process of transcendence and transformation in which magic occurs through abstraction.
I am a born and raised native of Pittsfield, Massachusetts and received my BA in Art from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. My paintings fuse images and words together that speaks out and creates stories. Being part of IS183, I have been given the great opportunity to teach the next generation of creative, problem solving artists. I enjoy engaging with students and their interests while helping them find ways to succeed, learn, grow, and discover their inner artist.
Maggie Vescio has been teaching children of all ages for over 20 years in Massachusetts and New York State. Specializing in the non-traditional classroom, she seeks to create motivating environments that energize students as they learn applied science and math through the eyes and hands of the artist. She has designed environmental curriculum for a variety of customers including the National Parks Service, Girl Scouts of CNY, Becoming an Outdoors Woman, Nature’s Classroom and others. She has a BFA in Sculpture and Painting from SUNY College at Oswego, and currently lives and works in West Chesterfield, NH.
Michael Vincent Bushy, a native of Cape Cod, relocated to the Berkshires a few years ago with his wife, his dogs and his presses. Michael received his BFA in 2D Studies/Printmaking from University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2002 and has spent the time since assembling his etching studio, which is currently in Pittsfield. Along with etchings, monoprints, monotypes, block prints and silk screens, Michael also draws large-scale figures and binds books. Michael is currently an art teacher at Hillcrest Educational Centers where he was named a 2010 Educator of the Year.
After obtaining degrees in Geology from both Amherst College and U. of Colorado Boulder, Bradley Wakoff expanded his career interests by studying photojournalism. He covered daily news in the Denver area for a decade. His fine art images explore themes of loss, change, beauty and imperfection, and the passage of time. In the editorial world, he has been commissioned by major educational and non-profit institutions and has been published in leading international news outlets.
Kim Waterman holds a BFA from Parsons School of Design, an Art Education certification from Bank Street College, and an MSEd from Hunter College. She has been teaching adults and children of all ages in a variety of settings for over 30 years, including the past 20 years at IS183. Kim is an educator, artist and dancer, bringing the creative arts into local schools and into the lives of Berkshire families year round. Her choreography and art have been shown in NYC and Great Barrington.
Eric Weiss is a teacher, puppet builder, & the owner of Homeslice Puppetry. He specializes is in building custom puppets and teaching puppetry classes and workshops to both children and adults alike. Eric has a degree from SUNY Buffalo and has won an award in professional puppet building from BJ Guyer and the Stan Winston School of Character Arts. He has also been a teacher and program coordinator with Nature’s Classroom for 13 years. Although primarily self-taught in the field of puppetry, he has been building and teaching puppetry for around 12 years, and is an active member in both the Connecticut Guild of Puppetry and the Puppeteers of America. Eric began his company as a way to turn his craft and passion into a career, and as a way to bring this passion to a new audience who want to learn how to make puppets. The thing that Eric loves the most about puppetry is how it is an art that draws from so many different art forms and inspires boundless amounts of creativity.
Holly Wren Spaulding’s poems, articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Michigan Quarterly Review, Witness, The Ecologist, and in the book We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-Capitalism (Verso, 2003). Alice Greene & Co. published IF August in 2017 and Pilgrim in 2014. The Grass Impossibly was selected by Fleda Brown and awarded the 2008 Michigan Writers Cooperative Press Chapbook Award. She founded Poetry Forge in 2012, where she offers online and in person workshops for poets and contemplatives, and she is a member of the creative writing at Interlochen College of Creative Arts. Through her writing, courses, and private sessions, Holly Wren Spaulding creates spaces for people to experience a sustained encounter with a way of being that fosters a sense of calm sufficiency, and where a depth of intellectual and creative inquiry prevails. Her commitment, in each of these areas, is to make a space for the radical imagination at a time when creative thinking, boundary crossing, and greater empathy is needed in all areas of private and public life. She lives in Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
Bill Wright was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and graduated from the Colorado Art Institute in 2000. He is currently a resident of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. After working in the commercial photography industry for a decade, he embarked on a monumental artistic project on American Veterans that became VETS. Other projects include Papermakers, a portrait series of the employees of Crane Paper Company, and ongoing projects such as The Answer is Never the Answer, and Chefs & Farmers. He shares his time between personal art projects and other commissioned work. His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the U.S. Bill Wright, is also a member of IS183 Art School’s esteemed faculty. He is actively involved in the improving the quality of life in the Berkshires through cultural, political, and social engagement.
Carrie Wright is a Berkshire born native working and living with her growing family. She graduated from Colorado Institute of art with a Commercial & Fine Art Photography degree. Carrie has been curating and marketing in and around the Berkshires for several years. Carrie is runs Marketing and is a Faculty Artist for IS183 Art School of the Berkshires. “More is more and less is a bore.” -Iris
Arthur Yanoff studied at the Museum School in Boston and privately with painter Jason Berger. His work is in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Rose Art Museum; the Currier Gallery; the Detroit Institute of Arts; Yeshiva University Museum; and the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe. He also participated in a traveling exhibition, Rural Artists with Urban Sensibilities, and his work was commissioned for projection by the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company during international performances. In summer 2009, his work was featured in a solo show at the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA.
Robin Yuran grew up in Norfolk, Connecticut. In the course of her many careers she has been a librarian, language/visual arts teacher, artist, poet, columnist, coppersmith, jeweler, garden designer and nightclub singer. She holds a B.A. with a concentration in literature from Charter Oak State College where she graduated with honors for outstanding achievement. Robin pursued her M.L.S. at Southern Connecticut State University and also has an M.F.A. from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.Robin lives with her husband Kerry, daughter Castle and three cats, Jade, Lily and Silver in a nut brown cottage at the edge of a forest. Her hobbies include writing, painting, reading, cooking, gardening, bird whispering and baking bread. She has published her poetry in a number of newspapers and magazines including The Shy Librarian, Library Journal, Verbatim Language Quarterly and Carousel Magazine. Her first collection of illustrated poetry, The Shelf Life of a Mouse and Other Tales was published in 2003. Robin’s research on Mark Twain in Norfolk was featured in the Spring 2007 issue of the Mark Twain Journal. She received a grant from the Artists and Writers Educational Development Foundation in order to publish her second volume of decorated verse in 2009. Tales Told by an Idiot was nominated for a Connecticut Book Award in June 2010. Robin teaches poetry workshops and visual arts for children in local schools.
Jeff Zamek received both BFA and MFA degrees in ceramics from Alfred University, College of Ceramics, NY. He taught ceramics at Simon’s Rock College, Great Barrington, MA and Keane College, Elizabeth, NJ. In 1980, he started his own ceramics consulting firm and has contributed articles to Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, Clay Times, Studio Potter and Craft Horizons. His books, What Every Pottery Should Know, and Safety in the Ceramics Studio are available from, Jeff Zamek/Ceramics Consulting Services, 6 Glendale Woods Dr., Southampton, MA 01073.