The School + Faculty
The School at Guilford Art Center serves over 2,000 students annually, from preschool-aged through senior citizens, in four semesters of approximately 400 classes. Classes and workshops are held in bright and expansive (newly) renovated classrooms, a ceramic studio, metalsmithing studio, and a blacksmith forge. Subjects taught include blacksmithing, ceramics, jewelry, metalsmithing, weaving, glass, drawing and painting, fiber, stone carving and more. Tuition assistance is available to help ensure that the Center’s programs are accessible for students of all means.
Our faculty is a diverse group of professional artists who work across a variety of media, providing our students with high quality instruction and helping them to experience, expand and embrace their creative potential.
A good number of our instructors have taught at GAC for decades, while others are newer. Their personal style, technique and approach can attract students to study with them. But what makes them good teachers is their ability to balance the tenets of their own work with meeting students’ needs and creative interests.
Phillip studied at Fashion Institute of Technology and has been working in the fashion industry for more than 20 years. Phillip worked as a sample-maker, cutter and pattern-maker. He created his own design firm right out of college scoring success, by selling his first collection to some of New York’s premiere department stores. After two seasons, Phillip tried his hand as Senior designer/consultant for major apparel and sleepwear companies, where he worked with head-designers to develop new collections and re-define their brand. Phillip worked with these companies stateside and overseas learning the business of production and importing. Phillip has worked, as a graphic artist quickly moving up the ranks to assistant Art Director were he honed his skill around product development and branding. Phillip is now developing his own product line of menswear.
Greg has been part-time/hobby blacksmith for 14 years. He has taken classes all over New England from some of the top blacksmiths in the US. He has worked as an interpreter blacksmith at numerous museums including working four years at Mystic Seaport. Greg works full time as a machining instructor at a Connecticut technical high school.
AMY J. BARRY
Amy facilitates expressive art and writing workshops on the shoreline. A professional writer, she writes arts features and theater reviews for weekly and daily newspapers and magazines in Connecticut. She is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle. She is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and has won more than a dozen awards for “Excellence in Journalism” from SPJ-Connecticut Chapter, garnering eight First Place awards for her popular column, A Parent’s Eye View. Amy is the author of A Child’s Grief Journey, a picture book to help young children cope with the death of a parent. The book was selected as one of the best five books for 1999 by Education World. She is a Hospice-trained bereavement support group facilitator, and has also facilitated parenting and caregiver support groups. Amy graduated cum laude from University of Hartford in 1978 with a BA in English literature and a minor in mass communications. She received a certificate in the Expressive Arts from Salve Regina University in 2010 enabling her to facilitate expressive arts workshops and programs for children and adults.
SHANNON GRACE BLENCOWE
Shannon holds a BFA from Montserrat College of Art. Shannon also studied in Japan at the Niigata College of Art and Design. She has won numerous awards in creative writing and for her artwork.
holds a B.S. Ed. degree from State University of New York at Geneseo, a M.S. Ed. degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, and post-graduate certification from the University of Connecticut. She is currently studying at Rhode Island School of Design. Marsha maintains her own studio and exhibits nationally and locally, most recently at Kehler Liddell Gallery and Ely Center of Contemporary Art, both in New Haven. Her work with upcycled materials has been featured in juried craft shows, including at Creative Arts Workshop’s Celebration of American Crafts in New Haven.
Robert has always been fascinated by metalwork and traditional crafts, particularly in how they connect to history. Robert began studying blacksmithing under James Hoffman at the age of thirteen, learning the American colonial style of blacksmithing. He then went on to learn the craft of bladesmithing, joining the American Bladesmith’s Society (ABS). Robert has worked full time out of his shop creating knives, woodworking tools, and historic reproduc-tions for the past eight years and is based in Massachusetts.
Betsy is the owner of Woodside Pottery in Clinton. She teaches special programs in the Clinton School system and ex-hibits in the Northeast.
Alice holds a BFA degree from the University of Hartford and a MALS from Wesleyan University. She has studied at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, The Penland School of Crafts and Alfred University. She maintains her own studio and for the past five years has participated in the Shoreline Arts Trail. Her work is in the collection of the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, China and private collections in the UK, Australia and the US. She exhibits throughout Connecticut.
Sandra is a metalsmith and kaleidoscope artist. She received her BFA from Parsons School of Design in NYC and studied in Paris. She started creating stained glass kaleidoscopes in 1991 and silversmithing in 1998. Her work has evolved through the years as she combined her kaleidoscope glass work with her love of metalsmithing. She has taught at Parsons School of Design and the Silvermine Artists Guild and Hudson Valley Silverworks. Her work can regularly be seen in shows along the CT Shoreline and at the International Spectrum Kaleidoscope Exhibit at the Strathmore Arts Center.
Lucienne holds a BS from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She teaches at Creative Arts Workshop and Wesleyan Potters. Coifman has been published in Handwoven, Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot. Coifman exhibits nationally.
Katie has been working and selling leather working pieces for the last five years. Her interest stemmed from a background in blacksmithing, over the past nine years.The first project of significance was a sheath and belt for a sword she made through Mace Vitale’s sword making class at GAC. Katie has her own business creating custom leather working pieces including: journals, sheaths, belts, checkbook covers, portfolios, bracelets, keychains and mixed media pieces.
Andy is a graduate of Brown University and has studied with master craftsman, Giovanni Bedini, in Carrara, Italy. He was a student at the Rutland Carving Studio in Vermont. He teaches at Brookfield Craft Center and Snow Farm. Andy has received numerous commissions for his work including those from Sarah Lawrence College and The National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. His work is in a collection of the Hillel Jewish Student Center at the University of Cincinnati. Drawings by the artist have been displayed in galleries in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions and shows in Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut and Italy. Davis’ sculpture (Mountain, River, Sea) is on permanent display in the Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta, Italy.
Susan began creating pottery at a very young age. Throughout her life, she has continued to attend ceramics classes and workshops and has been a GAC pottery studio assistant since 2014. For several years she has taught pottery privately and for an arts program designed for adults with special needs. Sue enjoys sharing her knowledge and excitement for ceramics to fuel interest and exploration of the material to her students.
Linda holds a MFA and BFA in metals, and a BS from Kansas State University. She has taught at Wesleyan Potters, Creative Arts Workshop, Albertus Magnus, Southern Connecticut State University, Central Connecticut State University and Kansas State University. Represented in an invitational show at the Kehler Liddell Gallery, New Haven, CT and exhibits nationally.
LIZ ALPERT FAY
Liz holds a BA. She studied at both The Program in Artisanry at Boston University and the Philadelphia College of Art. She now uses her years of teaching children as inspiration for approaching her dynamic and vibrant artwork. Her work can be found in many collections including the White House and the Museum of Arts and Design. Liz’s work has been featured in Fiberarts Design Book 7, The Art Quilt, American Craft Magazine, the Surface Design Journal, the New York Times, HGTV and Country Living as well as many other publications.
David holds a BA from Goddard College and studied at Wesleyan University. He teaches at Creative Arts Workshop and Wesleyan Potters as well as in outreach programs in the Guilford and Madison school systems. Frank exhibits nationally.
Justin graduated with honors from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2008 and received his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in ceramics. Justin also received his K-12 art education teaching certificate in 2010, as well as his MFA from Bowling Green State University in 2017. Justin maintains an education license in the state of NH and CT. Justin has been making ceramics for 15 years; he works predominantly with the potters wheel making large scale vessels, inspired by classical forms, graffiti, and hip hop, while also exploring numerous decorating techniques and firing processes. Justin co-found Behind the Wheel Pottery llc in 2008. Justin managed Wesleyan Potters in 2008 and 2009. Currently Justin is the ceramics Professor at Salve Regina University in Newport Rhode Island, he also is an instructor at Guilford Art Center and Stonington Community Center, and has his work represented by Creative Hands Gallery in Massachusetts. Justin has exhibited, conducted workshops, lectures, and demonstrations nationwide.
Laura Berkowitz Gilbert
After graduating with a BA in History from University of Pennsylvania, Laura moved to New York City and immersed herself in the world of design while receiving her BFA in graphic design from Parsons School of Design. While working at various design firms and then her own company, Laura entered the world of fiber through knitting and ultimately felting. She launched Tocco Studio in 2016 with hand-knit felted vessels and votives. She soon began incorporating her natural dyeing practice into her fiber work. While she loves all natural dyes, indigo is her true love. She is excited to introduce her students to this wondrous dye that is rich in color and history.
Anita holds a BFA from Tulane University. She also studied at the New York College of Ceramics, Alfred, and has professional training in industrial design, mold making and slip casting at a pottery studio in Kyoto, Japan. She is a full time potter and Principal of It’s Only Mud, a commercial pottery of her original ceramic objects. Her work has been commissioned and exhibited widely throughout the USA. She teaches at Southern Connecticut State University and Creative Arts Workshop, and has taught at Wesleyan Potters, Brookfield Craft Center, and through the Visiting Artists’ program of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. She taught travel workshops on Native American pottery processes in the American Southwest, and Spanish tile-making in Seville. She has also served as juror for local and national arts organizations.
Louise first learned to make pottery at the Project Community Art Center in Cambridge, Mass. She has taught at Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven since 2000 and has led workshops at schools and art centers around the U.S. Louise maintains a studio in Bethany, CT. Her wood-fired stoneware can be found in kitchens around the country.
Nancy holds a BS from Albertus Magnus, and PMC Guild Certification. She has taught jewelry making at schools and art centers throughout her 35 years as a professional jewelry artist. Nancy has been published and exhibited extensively, and her work has recently been featured in several new books on PMC. She sells her work through her New Haven, CT studio, N. Karpel Studio LLC, where she produces a line of contemporary jewelry.
Moki is trained as an architect (graduate of Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art) and is a long-time member of the Society of Scribes and the International Association of Master Penmen, Engrossers and Teachers of Handwriting [IAMPETH]. Moki Kokoris has been a freelance calligrapher, illustrator and graphic designer for over 40 years. Though she devotes much of her time to environmental advocacy and stewardship through her 90-north outreach education programs, she is equally passionate about visual arts, particularly calligraphy in its classical forms. In many of her high-end commissions, she uses authentic animal skin parchment, and quills* or reeds she collects and cuts herself. Moki is a Ridgefield, CT resident (and a confirmed chocoholic). *No swans are ever harmed in the making of her calligraphy quills.
Anna attended Pratt Institute for a BFA in Jewelry and has worked at Peters Valley School of Craft, Atlas Forge, Touchstone Center for Crafts, Spirit Ironworks, Inc., and Center for Metal Arts. She has also taught blacksmithing at a variety of craft schools and is currently traveling and working as a teacher and blacksmith. Anna has a passion for educating and showing beginner smiths the many different possibilities blacksmithing has to offer. Her personal work focuses mainly on tool and utensil making, and combining functionality with a refined, delicate aesthetic.
Marcy studied art at SCSU and works in the mediums of mixed media painting, clay and metals. Her work in all three mediums has been included in regional and nationally juried shows. She is a key member of the Wesleyan Potters in Middletown, CT and a member of The Connecticut Women Artists. She is a teaching artist at the New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, CT, and on the faculty at Wesleyan Potters, Middletown, CT and at the Guilford Art Center. She is represented by the Wesleyan Potters Gallery Shop and the Shop at Guilford Art Center.
Michael is a contemporary visual artist and metalsmith whose artistic practice in metal spans nearly 10 years. He resides in Connecticut. In addition to his ongoing studio practice, he teaches introduction to jewelry and metal courses at Southern Connecticut State University.
Stephanie studied Fine Arts and Art Education at Manchester Community College, Central Connecticut State University in New Britain and Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. She works and teaches in a variety of mediums and styles including painting, drawing, ceramics, and mixed media. Stephanie has worked at schools, galleries and museums including Hartford Academy of the Arts, MAC650 in Middletown, New Britain Museum of Art, Westport Arts Center, and Darien Art Center.
Stephanie has conducted workshops at Brookfield Craft Center, Silvermine School of Art and Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY. She has been published in La Vie Claire magazine and sells her work at the Park Avenue Armory in NY and through her website.
Dodie holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. She conducted further study at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Institute de San Miguel in San Miguel, Mexico. She’s on the arts staff at CT Hospice. Her work appears in collections at the Slater Museum and the Yale School of Nursing. She’s produced commissioned sculptures for patrons in CT and CA, and work for private collections in the US and Germany.
WEBSITE: abcfantasy.com can be visited to view the alphabet series of paintings available in print form.
Claudia holds a BS in Art Education from Kutztown University and teaches a wide variety of youth classes at Guilford Art Center, Wesleyan Potters, Arts For Learning CT, Lymes Youth Service Bureau and at schools and libraries throughout CT. Claudia has a passion for new and vintage textiles and teaches youth and adult quilting, sewing and textile printing classes. Claudia sells her sewn creations throughout CT. Visit her website: claudiamathison.com
LEXI MCCRADY AXON
MFA from C.U.N.Y. Hunter College where McCrady was a student of art theorist Rosalind Krauss and Robert Morris, McCrady’s awards and exhibitions are from Guild Hall Museum East Hampton NY, Smith College, Artspace NY, New England Foundation for the Arts, Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Lady is a painter involved in color theory. She teaches courses that are step-by-step and skills-based, and offers positive critiques and problem solving to encourage group discussion.
Denise began studying taiji over twenty years ago, first with world push hands champion Stephen Watson, then with Cheng Man Ch’ing’s senior student, Maggie Newman. She has also been heavily influenced by work with Rick Barrett, Ken Van Sickle, Robert Mann and Wei-Ming Chen. Her talk at the 2018 International Daoist Conference in Beijing was subsequently published in the Journal of Daoist Studies (edited by Livia Kohn, PhD). She led a 2-hour workshop exploring space at the 2019 International Daoist Conference in Los Angeles. She has been certified to teach in the Cheng Man Ch’ing lineage by Maggie Newman and Ken Van Sickle.
Eileen has been a stained glass artist for over 20 years. She attended the University of Hartford, Adelphi University, and Paire School of Art. She teaches at Vijon Stained Glass Studio in Old Saybrook.
Matt is a self-taught blacksmith and sword maker. He graduated from the manufacturing technologies program at Vinal R.V.T.S. where he learned forming, machining, fabricating metal, heat treating and metallurgy. His studio, Falling Hammer Productions, produces custom knives and swords, high-end railings, furniture and hardware.
Bob holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire. He has been a full time potter since 1971, working in domestic stoneware and numerous forms of architectural ceramics. He has taught at Creative Arts Workshop, Wesleyan Potters, Brookfield Craft Center, Horizons and Pratt Institute in NYC. He exhibits and sells internationally.
Scott has more than 40 years experience as a painter. He has shown extensively in Connecticut and California and has work in many private collections. He has taught art in a variety of venues and has a wide range of knowledge about painting styles and technique.
Stasia has worked as an exhibit designer at Harvard’s Mineralogical Museum, and completed an internship in illustration at the Entomology Department at the Smithonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. She was also a Scientific Illustrator and Graphic Artist at the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from University of Rhode Island and a Master of Science degree in Zoology from University of New Hampshire. She earned a Certification in Scientific and Technical Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design. She has been a potter for over 25 years and is Studio Assistant at the pottery studio at Guilford Art Center. While in graduate school, teaching became a passion for her and she is fortunate to have been able to combine her interests in science with her love of art into a career in teaching both scientific illustration and pottery.
Amy is an author and illustrator who lives in Madison. She teaches at Guilford Art Center and the Eli Whitney Museum. She studied art history at Bryn Mawr College.
Connie received her MFA from Rochester Institute of Technology in upstate NY and a BA from Southern Connecticut State University. She has extensive teaching experience with a number of schools including Creative Arts Workshop, Wesleyan Potters, Rochester Magnet School of the Arts, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Jewish Community Center. Connie is a sculptor, metalsmith, and installation artist and a co-founder of City Gallery in New Haven. She maintains a studio in East Haddam, CT and exhibits widely.
Eva holds an MFA in Visual Arts and an MA in English and Linguistics. She pairs fiber with clay and works with colors derived from plant materials. She grew up in Hungary, but she’s been living and teaching in the US for twenty years. She still feels suspended between two worlds: this and the other side of the Atlantic, but she definitely feels at home when she can express herself through thread and mud – stitching clay, dyeing thread and weaving cloth.
After completing studies at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where Dahlia studied painting, she took a summer workshop and fell in love with weaving. Through the help of workshops from exceptional artists, and her own experimentation, she learned her craft. Her work has been featured in many publications, including The Hartford Courant Sunday Magazine, The Boston Globe Magazine, Hartford Magazine, American Handcraft Magazine, and she was interviewed on local public radio. Dahlia participates in juried craft shows throughout the country.
Joy is one of the youngest craftspeople to be accepted into the League of NH Craftsmen in 1986 after completing a BFA from RISD and a MFA from UMass Dartmouth, focusing on flatware (and earned the nickname “Spoon Lady”!). After a short stint as a bench jeweler for several fine jewelry stores, repairing jewelry, she went back to making flatware full-time after winning an Individual Artist Fellowship from the NH Council for the Arts in 1995. Winning the Individual Artist Fellowship gave her the boost to go sell her artwork throughout the US doing fine craft shows. In 1996, she started teaching jewelry making/metalsmithing at a local art college and branched out to teaching all over NH, MA and CT. She’s also a creative teacher, teaching a broad range of jewelry and silversmithing techniques at various schools in New England. She’s currently working full time as a metalsmith in her studio, teaching metalsmithing and working as a goldsmith for a local gallery.
Shilo holds an MFA from Academy of Art University, San Francisco, California and a BA Design, Curry College, Milton, Massachusetts. Shilo is represented by Bryant Street Gallery, Palo Alto, CA and MIKA Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel. Her paintings have been exhibited from coast to coast and included in numerous publications. She has taught both on the west and east coast.
Julia has taught at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and art classes privately. She has had numerous recent solo exhibitions in CT and Hawaii. She holds a BA from Princeton University; certificate in Painting and Drawing from the New York Studio School. For many years, she was the head draftsman at the San Francisco Opera, and later worked as an interior designer in New York. Julia also had an earlier professional training in ballet at George Balanchine’s School of American Ballet.
Julie holds both a MS from Southern Connecticut State University and a BFA from Boston University in the field of art education. She is an accomplished educator who currently enjoys teaching visual art at the middle school level. As an artist, Julie has extensive experience in a variety of media, including oil paint, watercolor paint, printmaking, and ceramics. Julie’s paintings are characterized by bright landscapes, cityscapes, and a variety of signs and symbols. Julie integrates these subjects together in unique ways using a variety of mixed media. She recently completed an artist residency through the Skopelos Foundation for the Arts in Skopelos, Greece. She has also completed private painting commissions in addition to participating in group exhibitions within the state.
Sharon holds a BFA in painting from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She works in pen and ink, watercolor, acrylics, and mixed media. These works are energetic and expressive; it is the opposite direction from the many years she spent working in technical illustration, medical illustration, and graphic design. She now spends her creative energy sketching on location, painting, illustrating, and teaching. Website: www.sharon.gallery. To see ongoing urban sketches follow her on Instagram @artwork_sharon.
Harold is a well-known photographer and respected teacher in the New Haven area. He has been a full time professional photographer for nearly 40 years. Also, he is Photo Department Head at The Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, where he has been teaching since 1984. He taught for four years at the University of New Haven and offers special workshops at Milford Photo. For over 30 years he has been photographing for Yale University, where he has the pleasure to work with the Yale Law School, School of Music, School of Medicine, Graduate School or Arts & Sciences, School of Management among other departments. He graduated from The New England School of Photography with Honors in Color & Portraiture. He received the American Hospital Association Volunteer Award for his work playing music for patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Ginger Calhoun Volunteer Service Award from SARAH – where he helped adults with Down Syndrome explore their world with photography. He also received the Arts Award, given annually by the Arts Council of New Haven and is an Associate Fellow at Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University. He has used photography & music to reach people in need and shares this with many of his students.
Lynn has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Miami and is a professional writer, author and teacher who found another creative outlet through designing and crafting jewelry. Over the years she has learned all the techniques: stringing, knotting, bead crochet, Kumihimo, bead stitching, wire wrapping and weaving, precious metal clay, chain maille, drilling and setting crystals. She has led workshops in these disciplines both private and public at venues along the Connecticut Shoreline. Her designs are one of a kind and her jewelry collections can be found at local art galleries including Guilford Art Center Gift Shop. She also sells her jewelry online. She makes her home in Madison.
Claudia holds a BA in Ceramics from Southern Connecticut State University. She has taught courses in Adult Education, Branford After School Program and at Guilford Art Center. Claudia has been a long-time studio assistant at Guilford Art Center and has exhibited in both Oregon and Connecticut.
DEBORAH STAUB LUFT
Debroah is a long-time teacher and studio potter specializing in wheel-thrown domestic pottery. She has earned an M. S. in Reading/Language Arts from Central Connecticut State University, an M.Ed. from Goucher College, and an A.B. from Bryn Mawr College. In addition to Guilford Art Center, she teaches at Wesleyan Potters and Gateway Community College.
Marsha holds an MFA in Sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design. She teaches sculpture and metal working at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. She also runs NYC’s only blacksmithing classes through her studio, She-Weld. Marsha and her work have been featured in the New York Times, Real Simple, New York Daily News, Provincetown Arts, and on NY1, among others. Recent commissions include a banister for Designer Cynthia Rowley, litter baskets for the New York City Department of Sanitation, the bread display for Amy’s Bread, and the world’s first solar-powered chandelier, at Habana Outpost in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Cheryl holds an M.S. in Education from St. Joseph University and a B.S. in Applied Art from Charter Oak State College. She is a certified art education teacher for preK-12 and is a full time high school art teacher. In addition to teaching, Cheryl makes jewelry, pottery and paints.
Mace is a Bladesmith/Blacksmith as well as a Coppersmith. Mace has a background in architectural precast concrete. He is a Journeyman Smith with the American Blade-smith Society.
Jonathan is a photographer, silkscreen printer and graphic designer. Following strong interests in both computers and photography, Jonathan attended Syracuse University in New York and studied Photojournalism and Photo Illustration at the Newhouse. Jonathan holds a BFA in Art Photography and Graphic Design from Colorado State University. He is an instructional designer, art director and production director of large K-12 educational projects for both print and interactive.
Lisa holds a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, BFA from Alfred University. She has taught at RISD, Hartford Art School, Hunter College, Connecticut College, University of New Haven and Albertus Magnus College. Connecticut Artist Fellowship recipient in 2002. Wolkow exhibits nationally.
Lilly holds a MFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado, and BFA in Ceramics with an Art History minor from The Pennsylvania State University. Zuckerman’s work has been made possible by residencies at The Archie Bray Foundation, The Anderson Ranch Arts Center, The Clay Studio of Missoula, and The Clay Studio in Philadelphia. She has exhibited nationally at Trax Gallery in California, The Clay Studio in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, The Archie Bray Foundation in Montana, The Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado, The Clay Arts Center in New York, and in the ArtStream Nomadic Gallery. Her work has been published in Ceramics Art & Perception, Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated, and most recently, Mastering Hand Building by Sunshine Cobb. Zuckerman is an artist and art educator currently living in New Haven, Connecticut.
Watch for details on our Calendar of Events for these and other special events!