Teacher Bios

Teacher Bios

Natalia Arbelaez is a first generation Colombian American born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.F.A. from Florida International University and her M.F.A. with a concentration in ceramics and sculpture from The Ohio State University, where she received an Enrichment Fellowship. Natalia has participated in several residencies, such as, Art South Homestead, Florida and Belden Brick Factory Sugarcreek, Ohio. She was awarded the Inaugural Artaxis Fellowship that generously funded a residency at Watershed Center for the Ceramics Arts Newcastle, Maine. Her work has been exhibited nationally, in museums, galleries, and included in various collections. She currently lives in New York where she is a Barbara Rittenburg Fellow at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York. 

Julia Breer is a New York University graduate with a Masters in Art and Education.  As a teacher with over 35 years experience, her artistic sensibilities foster and inspire creativity and individual expression in her students.  Presently working as a homeschool teacher and private tutor in all subjects, Julia continues to explore her own creativity as an artist in multi-media college.

Jayne Conte is a graphic designer, painter, and artist. She is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology and has taken classes at the Art Students’ League of New York City. She worked as a creative director for Pearson Education, where she designed and managed both the interior and cover design for textbooks in the college division. Jayne specializes in watercolors and has held several exhibits at local venues in the Hudson Valley. She is passionate about sharing her artistic talents with others and teaches watercolor classes in Rockland County.

Jane CoCo Cowles is a freelance writer and artist with a background in business law.  Jane has taught business law at the European School of Economics and has advised many individuals in areas of personal and professional development.  Jane recieved a B.A. in Fine Art and English from Drew University, a law degree from Pace University and a Masters in taxation from New York Law School.  She has worked for corporations like Ernst & Young as well as in the fashion industry, galleries and as a creative professional.  She specializes in organization, writing, and illustration.  Her most recent projects include writing for the Elephant Journal, acting as a communications coordinator for the Village of Nyack, advising private clients and managing media and events for a jewelry gallery.

John Creagh has worked as a designer and painter for over 20 years. He has studied at the prestigious Arts Students League in New York City and has a MFA from Lehman College of the City University of NY. John has taught at the Pelham Art Center, the Wallkill School and at the Westchester Art Workshop in Peekskill. A native of the Bronx and long-time resident of the Hudson Valley, John's paintings, including his urban works and his plein air pieces, have been influenced by the work of Edward Hopper. He incorporates his lifelong experiences in the visual arts into his classes and shares his unique vision and expertise with his students.

Sally Lipton Derringer was a book manuscript finalist for the 2016 Tampa Review Prize, as well as for Fordham University’s Poets Out Loud Prize and the New Issues Poetry Prize, and a semifinalist for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes. She was a finalist for the Arts & Letters Prize, Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry, Phyllis Smart Young Prize in Poetry, and Glimmer Train Poetry Open, a runner-up for the William Dickey Memorial Broadside Contest and Grolier Poetry Prize, and a semifinalist for the James Wright Poetry Award and the Paumanok Poetry Award. She also received honorable mention in Nimrod’s Pablo Neruda Prize and the poetry competition of the National Writers Union. Her poems have appeared in Poet Lore, The Los Angeles Review, Sentence, Bellevue Literary Review, The Prose-Poem Project, Memoir, SLAB, The Quarterly, The New York Quarterly, Tampa Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Far Out: Poems of the '60s, and other journals and anthologies. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University and has taught in the English Department at SUNY Rockland.

Dan Dugan A former assistant to Professor Roger Hendricks at SUNY Purchase, he has been widely exhibited in the NY/NJ area and taught in Montreal, Canada, Cairns, Australia and Eastchester, New York.

Karen Edelmann, painter, received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, her Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University, and today is Emerita Professor of Art at St. Thomas Aquinas College. Karen is a landscape artist who brings over two decades of college level art teaching to ROCA,  plus insight gained from teaching and planning painting and drawing programs in the US, France and Italy with Artists Abroad and Afield, Inc. Students have regularly named her to Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Her work is in corporate and private collections in the US and Europe, and is shown in galleries from New York to the Gulf Coast. She is a member of New York Plein Air Painters, the National Arts Club and other art organizations in the Hudson River Valley. You can see Karen's work at

Scott Fine brings 35 years of experience in the field of design and architecture. He earned his degree in environmental design from Parsons School of Design. After working for over 30 years in design of residences, hospitals, and other commercial projects he brought his expertise to set design at local Rockland County NYC schools for their theater productions. More recently he has brought his passion to teach to NYC students as an Artist in Residence teaching architecture and design as part of Marquis Studios STEAM programs for the elementary schools. His warmth, passion for teaching and innovative ideas spark passion in students to create, design and bring their own innovative ideas to life!

Daly Flanagan is currently the School Director at the Rockland Center for the Arts. She has over 15 years experience in art education and administration including positions as Director of the Craft Students League/YWCA and Coordinator of School and Family Programs at the American Craft Museum. She has a Masters of Science in Education and Administration with a visual arts focus from Bank Street College of Education and Parsons School of Design and a BFA in painting and printmaking from San Diego State University.

Barbara Galazzo is an award winning glass artist for the past 20 years and has incorporated mosaics into various projects and residencies. Her works are in corporate and private installation in the U.S. and she has shown in galleries and museums around the country and overseas. She has been featured in such publications as The NY Times, the Journal News, Distinction Magazine, Sunshine Magazine, American Style Magazine, and WAG Magazine. Her work is in the permanent collections of Kaiser Permanente, Mayo Clinic, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Newburgh Free Library and the Reeves Reed Arboretum.

Catherine Graham is an artist and art educator. She earned a BFA in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. And she is nearly complete with a MA in art education from the City University of New York, Lehman College. She has experience working in Manhattan in several artistic fields, including working as a gallery assistant, and working on the production design team of independent films; however, her favorite setting is the art classroom. She lived and worked in South Korea for several years, designing the curriculum for a network of Montessori kindergartens, and also teaching ESL to elementary and middle school students. She connected with ROCA by volunteering for Art Worlds, a wonderful art-outreach program, and firmly believes in social justice through education and art. In her art classroom, she incorporates art history, technical instruction, and inquiry based instruction. She believes that art education is an essential part of developing creativity, and critical thinking and encourages students to explore and follow their intuition. She lives in Rockland with her husband and two daughters.

Jane Herold  Full-time Potter.  Produces wood fired functional stoneware at her Palisades studio.  Apprenticed in England with Michael Cardew.  Her work is in numerous collections and thousands of homes.  Her ceramics have been featured in the New Yorker, Ceramics Monthly, Studio Potter, and Ceramics, Art and Perception.  BA, Sarah Lawrence College.

Rachael Klein is a local artist, crafter, and owner of Circle on the Farm, a business focused around creating a community around creative exploration.  For the past 20 years, Rachael has been facilitating groups for all ages and abilities and is currently a mental health counseling and art therapy graduate student at Caldwell University. Rachael believes that creativity is for everyone, in her classes, participants are able to tap into their inner artist with ease and most importantly, have fun! 

Marlene Krumm-Sanders BFA, Parsons The New School For Design, NYC. Also studied: American College, Paris, France. Worked for 10 years as an illustrator before turning to clay.  Ceramic Studies: Rockland Center for the Arts, N.Y., Foundation for Arts and Science, N.J. and self-development in her own studio. Has taught privately in her studio.  Currently works at Outside In Gallery, Piermont, N.Y. co-managing gallery, artist in residence. Has exhibited in many local venues, Hudson Valley, Westchester, N.J. Online:

Paula Madawick  CPSA Artist.  Apprentice to Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, studied at the School of Visual Arts, Cooper Union and SUNY where she received her BA. She has exhibited her colored pencil drawings at Castelli Gallery, Matthew Marks, The National Arts Club, Silvermine, Blue Hill Corp., and the Hopper House; is in the collection of Chase Manhattan Bank, NA, Rutgers University and the Bergen Museum. Madawick has received numerous awards and was an invitational instructor for the Color Pencil Society of America’s National Convention. She was also the former Executive Director, Edward Hopper House, Nyack, NY and former Gallery Director of Center Gallery, Demarest, NJ.

Stephanie Maddalena has a BA in Fine Arts, St. Thomas Aquinas College; also studied at Peter’s Valley Craft Center, Brookfield Craft Center, Old Church Cultural Center, taught for Syracuse University and the Craft Students League; exhibits throughout the region; owns and operates Foxcroft Beads in Haverstraw, NY.

Tenley Marshall Escoffrey is an artist and teacher dedicated to sharing how the practice of using our creativity and imagination through art, nature, and yoga encourages intuition, discipline, and endurance.  Her work and teaching has been shown and presented in the northeast area.  She holds a BFA in Mixed Media and Teacher Certification from Ramapo College, MFA from William Paterson University and an Advanced Certification in Educational Leadership from Long Island University.  Tenley currently teacher k-4 in Montvale, Bergen County, NJ.  She also spends summers directing community theater in Wayne, NJ.  Tenley has been teaching art for 15 years with students that range from 3 to 86 years young!  Currently, Tenley is designing workshops and classes for adults and children that incorporate yoga, art, and journaling techniques.  These workshops have a great focus on linking our creative and imaginative self with our mind, body, and spirit through yoga, art, and journaling exercises.  Tenley recently published a coloring book for her art and yoga workshops.  Tenley lives in Rockland County, New York with her husband, a musician and educator Eric and their two cats, BJ and Bob. To contact her or to learn about events and art work visit

Eleanor Miller is classically trained artist who received her BA from Monmouth University, where she studied under Eleanore Mikus, a vanguard Minimalist, and Bernard Aptekar, one of the original SOHO Ten Downtown. She continued her studies at the National Academy School of Fine Arts. Miller has exhibited extensively throughout the East Coast, both in fine art galleries and corporate venues, and is the recipient of numerous awards, including Best of Show at the Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, MA, the Anna Hyatt Huntington Award from the National Arts Club, and the Gamblin Artists Award from the Salmagundi Club. Her work is in both private and corporate collections. She is currently on the faculty at RoCA and the Pelham Art Center.

Howard Nathenson has exhibited his work nationally and in exhibitions and art spaces/galleries in California, New York and New Jersey. His paintings were shown in The Whitney Annual, and the "Extraordinary Images" exhibition at the Whitney Museum. Among many one person shows and group shows, Mr. Nathenson exhibited drawings and paintings in the New Talent exhibition at the Holly Soloman Gallery and exhibited his landscape drawing vignettes as part of the "New Art" exhibition at Artist Space in New York City. In 1992 Mr. Nathenson had a one-person exhibition of still life photographs at The Morris Museum, Morristown NJ. He was awarded a New Jersey State Fellowship for the arts in photography in 1993. Mr. Nathenson graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with an MFA in painting. Howard's teaching experience includes UC Berkeley, California State College at Los Angeles and the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey. He has also taught drawing, 2-D design, composition and photography at William Paterson University New Jersey, and art history at Kean College of New Jersey.

Mari Ogihara’s work ranges from female figures, functional napkin rings to colorful biomorphic sculptures. By contrasting simplicity in shape with lively ornamentation, her work speaks of duality, serenity & resilience. She received a BFA from University of Michigan (2003) and an MFA from Tyler School of Art of Temple University (2006). Mari’s artwork has been in local, regional & international exhibitions including at Hammond Museum, Aldrich Museum, and at Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan. She is represented by TransFORM Gallery located inside the Design Center in Manhattan. Her web site is

Kanitra Perrault studied at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute, majoring in film/animation. For the past ten years she has taught multi-cultural arts at Martin Luther King Center in Spring Valley, NY. In 2005, her passion for film/animation led her to develop a media arts program which currently includes video/animation and claymation production for students of all ages.

Janet Pirozzi-Riolo graduated The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) with a degree in Fashion Illustration. She has worked in the garment district designing screen prints and fashion illustrations for companies such as Healthtex and Danskin. Even though her early experience has been in commercial art in recent years she has focused most of her time in developing her fine art skills in the medium of water color pencils. Her work has appeared in collaborated shows in Nyack, Valley Cottage Library and The Ridgewood Art Institute in New Jersey. Recently she received The Best in Show, Judge's Choice and First Place Award for The St. Catherine of Bologna Patron of the Arts Association in Ringwood, New Jersey.

Michael Porfido began his lifelong journey as a potter in 1980 when he worked as Mikhail Zakin’s studio assistant at TASOC. From ’83-’87 he apprenticed with two potters in The Republic of Korea and mastered traditional techniques.  During the 90s, Michael taught pottery at elementary and middle schools, completed a BA in Arts Management and attended many workshops at Peters Valley Educational Center. From 2000-2007, he was an adult ceramics instructor at ACA of NY/NJ in Jersey City and at Bostree Studios in Sugar Loaf, NY.  In 2012 he established Porfido Pottery and continues to work as an independent artist selling his functional pottery online and throughout the region. He is currently an instructor of  throwing and hand building classes at Rockland Center for the Arts.

John Rosis Painter, has MFA from Hunter College New York, BFA, School of Visual Arts, New York. Teaching experience includes Westchester Community College, Art Students League and Rockland Center for the Arts. Exhibitions include Hopper House Art Center, Vermont Center for the Arts, Berkshire Art Museum, Holter Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Paul Sharpe Gallery and Rockland Center for the Arts. Grants include the Pollock Krasner Foundation and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Residence Program. Work in public, private and corporate collections. John is represented by the Gerald Bland Gallery in New York City. Website:

Jim Shaughnessy is a self taught potter making ceramic vessels and sculpture for more than a decade. He has studied with local, as well as nationally known clay artists. His work can be found in a number of galleries in the surrounding area. In 1999 and in 2001 his work was selected to serve as the Rockland County Executive Awards given to artists and supporters of the arts. In 2002, one of his pieces was used as an award given to Nobel laureate author Toni Morrison. In 2003, his work was featured in silent auctions to benefit the American Cancer Society and the Nuyoricans Poets Café. In 2004, the Human Rights Commission selected to use one of Jim’s sculptures in their annual fundraiser event held at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. Also in 2004, Jim’s work was selected to serve as awards for Rockland County Congresswoman Sue Kelly and Nita Lowey, as well as for New York State Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton.

Margery Theroux BA, New York University. Also studied: Montserrat College of Art, MA; NY Studio School; private study with Sam Feinstein, NYC. Former gallery committee member & curator at Hopper House, NY & Center Gallery at TASOC. Exhibited at various locations in the tri-state area & New England; included in private collections nationwide. Workshop presenter & art teacher for 20 years.

Colleen Vanderhoef started her career with an Associate's Degree in Graphic Arts from Rockland Community College. She then received her Bachelor's in Art Education, K-12 & Elementary Education, N-6 from Saint Thomas Aquinas College. In 1988, Colleen received her Master's in Art Administration with a concentration in museums, galleries & education from New York University (Paris & Venice). She currently has tenure teaching art full time at the East Ramapo School District in Spring Valley, NY. She was the co-chair to the Cultural Arts Committee & Environmental Club 2000-2011. She is also a Cultural Arts Teacher for a multi-age classroom at the Art Alliance of Haverstraw, Haverstraw, NY. Colleen has a variety of experience ranging from being Vice President of the Hopper House Art Center to many years teaching art to children as well as the Rockland Conservatory of Music's mural painting on the outside of their building. She has been a curator as well as owner/director of Colleen Greco Gallery, Inc. She won Artist of the Year in 2011 for her outstanding work in the community.

Laura Vogel has worked as a freelance botanical artist and has been teaching for 20 years. She has done illustrations for magazines, products, books and scientific publications, including the Illustrated Companion of Gleason and Cronquist's Manual of Vascular Plants for the New York Botanical Garden Press, which was awarded top bio/science book of 1998 by the Association of American Publishers, and Intermountain Flora. Exhibits: The New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, The New York State Museum at Albany, Northwest Botanical Illustration Exhibit in Washington State, The American Society of Botanical Artists, and The Horticultural Society in NYC.

Ryan Williams grew up on digital media, and has made this growing industry his focal point into his artistic teachings. With over 10 years of personal experience and Education at RCC, Institute of Audio Research, and Pace University, Ryan acquired an array of talents in both traditional and digital art creation (Photoshop), music production (Protools/Reason), and computer science (Building/Code). Utilizing the traditional arts with visual programing and software capabilities he teaches new young artists how to capitalize on their passions in a modern era.

Pamela Wood Ceramist. Received an MFA from CUNY and BFA University of Denver. She has exhibited her work at Jarice, America House, Incorporated, the Streichler Gallery and Greenwich House Pottery. Her teaching credits include Hot Pots in Colorado, Greenwich House Pottery and Earthworks in NYC and the Pottery Studio in New Jersey.