Our Faculty

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NOW TEACHING AT GUILFORD ART CENTER

Liz Alpert Fay
Liz holds a BA. 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 and on the Home and Garden Channel (HGTV), Country Living as well as many other publications.


Amy Barry
Amy J. Barry 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.


Marsha Borden
Marsha 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 Burns
Robert has been fascinated by metalwork and traditional crafts, particularly in how they connect to history, since childhood. 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 reproductions for the past eight years and is based in Massachusetts.


Elizabeth Chichester
Betsy is the owner of Woodside Pottery in Clinton. She teaches special programs in the Clinton School system and exhibits in the Northeast.


Alice Chittenden
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


Lucienne Coifman
Lucienne holds a BS from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. She teaches at CAW and Wesleyan Potters. Coifman has been published in Handwoven, Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot. Coifman exhibits nationally. Her website: lucienne-repweave.com.


Andy Davis
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 inlcuding 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. The Artists sculpture, (Mountain, River, Sea) is on permanent display in the Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta, Italy.


Susan Doolittle
Sue 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 Edwards
Linda hold an 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.


David Frank
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 Gerace
Justin graduated with honors from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2008 receiving 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. He continues to instruct at Wesleyan Potters and at Guilford Art Center and has exhibited, conducted lectures, demonstrations, and workshops nationwide.


Anita Griffith
Anita (Ceramics) 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 Harter
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 lead 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 Karpel
Nancy Karpel 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 Kokoris
Trained as an architect, and 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 Koplik
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 LaBella
Marcy LaBella 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 in Guilford, CT She is represented by the Wesleyan Potters Gallery Shop and the Shop at Guilford Art Center.


Michael Lake
Michael is a contemporary visual artist and metalsmith. His artistic practice in metal spans nearly 10 years. Currently, he resides in Connecticut and in addition to his ongoing studio practice, he teaches introduction to jewelry and metal courses at Southern Connecticut State University.


Stephanie Lush-Mastriano
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 Maddalena
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.


Dolores Marchese
Dodie holds a BFA from Pratt Institute. She studied at the Brooklyn Museum School and the Institute de San Miguel de Allende in Mexico. Work in collections of Slater Museum, Yale Nursing School and privately owned in USA and Germany. Arts facilitator for Hospice and SARAH, Inc.


Claudia Mathison
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 Connecticut. 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.


Lexi McCrady Axon
Lexi McCrady Axon has taught painting, drawing, printmaking since 1987 and shown work in NYC, Paris, Tokyo London. MFA City University of New York Hunter College, a student of Valerie Jaudon, Robert Morris, art theorist Rosalind Krauss. Individual artist grants from New England Foundation for the Arts, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Guild Hall Museum East Hampton NY. Exhibitions Smith College, Parrish Museum, East Village NY; Biennials of Sao Paolo and Everson Museum. Adjunct Faculty at Eastern CT State University in digital art.


Denise Meyer
Denise began studying taiji over 20 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 O’Donnell
Eileen has been a stained glass artist for over 20 years. Attended the University of Hartford, Adelphi University, and Paire School of Art. She teaches at Vijon Stained Glass Studio in Old Saybrook.


Matt Parkinson
Self-taught blacksmith and sword maker; 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.


Robert Parrott
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. Has taught at Creative Arts Workshop, Wesleyan Potters, Brookfield Craft Center, Horizons and Pratt Institute in NYC. He exhibits and sells internationally.


Scott Paterson
Scott has more than 40 years experience as a painter, 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 Penkofflidbeck
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’s 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 here at GAC. 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 Peters

Amy is an author and illustrator who lives in Madison. She teaches at GAC and the Eli Whitney Museum. She studied art history at Bryn Mawr College.


Connie Pfeiffer
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 Polizzi
“Ever since I remember, I’ve always been a maker and I wanted to become a fiber artist. But it was not even a remote possibility to study design or art in Budapest, Hungary, where I grew up in the 80s, so I studied linguistics and taught myself a range of textile techniques. After I moved to the United States almost two decades ago, though, I took classes in weaving at FIT, and I eventually earned an MFA in Visual Arts. I have always enjoyed working with very tactile materials, so no wonder that my work has expanded into ceramics and natural dyeing in the last few years. When I am asked where I am from, I realize I still feel suspended between two worlds: this and the other side of the Atlantic, but I know I am at home in my studio stitching, weaving, shaping clay or cooking up dye stuffs.”


Joy Raskin
Joy grew up deeply immersed in the arts and in 1984, took jewelry making in high school, starting her career. Joy was 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, earning 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. Since then, she has grown into a creative metalsmith, doing everything from a tiny gold ring to 6 ft welded steel sculptures. She’s also a creative teacher, teaching a broad range of jewelry and silversmithing techniques at various schools in New England, and is in great demand for her skills. These days, she’s working full time as a metalsmith in her studio, teaching metalsmithing and working as a goldsmith for a local gallery.


Julia Rogoff
Julia has taught at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY, and art classes privately. She has had numerous recent solo exhibitions in CT and Hawaii. 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. Please see www.juliarogoff.com.


Claudia Schiavone
Claudia holds a BA in Ceramics from Southern Connecticut State University. She has taught courses in Adult Education, Branford After School Program and at GAC. Claudia has been a long-time studio assistant at GAC and has exhibited in both Oregon and Connecticut.


Harold Shapiro
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 has been an active volunteer for many years. 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.


Deborah Staub Luft
Deborah 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, and in addition to GAC, teaches at Wesleyan Potters and Gateway Community College.


Marsha Trattner
Marsha holds an M.F.A. 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.


Mace Vitale
Mace is a Blade-smith/Blacksmith as well as a copper-smith. Mace has a background in architectural precast concrete. He is a Journeyman smith with the American Blade-smith Society.


Jonathan Weekes
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 Wolkow
Lisa holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and 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 Zuckerman
Lilly holds an MFA in ceramics from the University of Colorado, 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.