Teacher Bios

Teacher Bios

Teacher Bios

Bill Angresano had a successful career as an illustrator working in publishing and advertising, producing paperback covers, storyboards and sports art. All the while showing fine art in shows nationwide. Presently Bill paints for corporate and private  clients, as well as teaching, demonstrating, and conducting workshops. Portraits and the landscape are two areas of major concentration.  Bill received honors in both local and national juried shows. Most recently,  he received Honorable  mention, for  a figurative    piece at  the Oil Painters of America National 2018 juried show held in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Bill continues to be inspired to paint the natural world around  him.

Sue Barrasi: After graduating from the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Bronx born artist Sue Barrasi traveled Europe soaking up the Impressionists, especially Claude Monet  and Joaquin Sorolla who remain major influences on her work. Upon returning to New York Sue dove head first into the competitive world of commercial illustration immediately landing work with McCall’s Magazine, Ad agencies, and various publications. She studied at the Art Students League and the Ridgewood Art Institute  where her work garnered numerous awards in juried shows, grants, and residencies and was featured in galleries and museums throughout the U.S. Barrasi teaches in New York and New Jersey,  serves as juror for National and local Art Shows and continues to compete in Juried Exhibitions. Barrasi is a resident member of the Salmagundi Club, American Women Artists, Oil Painters of America, Hudson Valley Plein Air Painters, Ridgewood Art Institute, Hopper House Art Center, Life time member of the Art Students League and a Fellow member of the American Artist Professional League.  She is currently represented by several galleries in the tri state area.

Marilyn Benkler has been teaching art for 40 years as owner and CEO of Marilyn Benkler Art Studios and partnering at Ziegler/Benkler Studios in Englewood, NJ and New City, NY. She served as Director of Art at Moriah School of Englewood, NJ and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School in Teaneck, NJ. Marilyn has a BA in Psychology and minor in Art at Ramapo College, NJ. She went on to become certified by Manhattan College in Advanced Placement College Art Portfolios. She is Board Certified by Columbia University Teacher’s College and The American Association of Drugless Practitioners in Holistic Health, Nutrition and as a Lifestyle Counselor. Her accolades include the Ziegler/Benkler Art Studios being honored at the Arts Council of Rockland Executive Awards. As an actress and singer who studied techniques of Tai Chi, movement, breathing, dance, exercise, meditation and mindfulness, Marilyn Benkler realizes that with experiences of creative and physical expression you prepare the whole body for clearer thought and health. She brings an holistic approach to learning Art. marilynbenkler.com.

Don Bradford Professional Potter. Artist-in-residence in New Jersey schools with "Project Impact." Exhibitions: NJ State Museum, Morris Museum and others; BA in Art Education from Montclair State University. MA in Visual Arts from William Paterson University. Independent Studies include: Tuscarora Pottery School, The Aegean School of Fine Arts and Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts.

Diana Cabouli Painter MFA, BA, CUNY Queens College, NYC. Recipient of a Mid Atlantic Art Foundation Regional Arts Fellowship and an NEA grant. She currently teaches at Dominican College in Orangeburg, NY.  

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. 

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.

Marisol Diaz is an art educator of 21 years and is currently serving as the Chair of the Dwight-Englewood School’s Fine Art department in Englewood, NJ. She is a graduate of the high school of Art & Design in NYC. She received her B.A. from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio in Painting & Sculpture. She received her Master’s of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, @ the Hoffberger School of Painting under the guidance of Grace Hartigan, an American Abstract Expressionist from the 50’s. Marisol is primarily an illustrator, and figurative artist, with prolific sculptural and glass-technique. She has exhibited her work nationally from Chelsea, to Harlem NYC, across the nation to Seattle, and internationally to Madrid, Spain and Tijuana Mexico.  Her work is in both private and public collections.  She often uses mixed-media and the-more-accessible-than-glass, ‘bar-top resin’ to cross 2d and 3d boundaries. Most recently, Summer 2017 she was the first art resident @ Bell-ans Creative Art Center in Orangeburg NY and concluded the experience with a large solo exhibit. She lives in a little moon cottage by the Hudson in Nyack NY, with her artist partner, Bill Batson and her dog named Chica.

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 at 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 KWEdelmann.com/gallery.

Daly Flanagan is currently the Executive Director at the Rockland Center for the Arts. She has over 20 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 Museum of Art and Design (formerly 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.

Collette V. Fournier is a luminary in the world of photography, with a long and celebrated career. She has worked as a staff photographer for The Rockland Journal-News and The New York Post, and has worked in the television industry. She is currently the staff photographer in the Campus Communications Department, and has been an adjunct professor in the Photography Department at Rockland Community College since 1992. She is also part of the RCC Speaker’s Bureau. Collette is an active member of the NYC-based Kamoinge Inc., an African American photography collective, as well as the University Photographer’s Association of America (UPAA).  She has received a number of honors and awards, including the 2008 Artist of the Year Award by the County Executive Arts Awards of the Arts Council in Rockland County. Collette’s photographic achievements were recently recognized in Nyack’s News and Views, a local-interest digital newspaper. 

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. 

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: Mks-art.com

Sally Lipton Derringer was a book manuscript finalist for the 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 Cider Press Review Book Award and Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes. She was a finalist for the Jeff Marks Memorial Poetry Prize, Arts & Letters Prize, Kay Murphy Prize, Phyllis Smart Young Prize, New Millennium Fiction Award, Tampa Review Danahy Fiction Award, 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 received honorable mention in Nimrod’s 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, december magazine, New Millennium Writings, 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.

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 Art Center, 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.

Eleanor Miller is a classically trained artist, Eleanor Grace Miller 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, and 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.  Eleanorgracemiller.com 

Patti Mollica has been a professional illustrator and fine artist for over 30 years. She has been commissioned by, and is included in the private collections of American Express, Sheraton Hotels, CBS and RCA Records, Penguin Press, Mellon Bank and many others. Her artwork is known for its fearless use of color and uninhibited brushwork. She delights in painting the world around her in a bold, decisive style, with hues that are intense, brilliant and contemporary. She is represented by several galleries in the U.S. Patti teaches "How to Paint Fast, Loose and Bold", as well as a variety of workshops on how to use Golden Paints, Gels and Mediums. For more information visit: www.mollicastudio.com.

Marilyn Benkler has been teaching art for 40 years as owner and CEO of Marilyn Benkler Art Studios and partnering at Ziegler/Benkler Studios in Englewood, NJ and New City, NY. She served as Director of Art at Moriah School of Englewood, NJ and Ma’ayanot Yeshiva High School in Teaneck, NJ. Marilyn has a BA in Psychology and minor in Art at Ramapo College, NJ. She went on to become certified by Manhattan College in Advanced Placement College Art Portfolios. She is Board Certified by Columbia University Teacher’s College and The American Association of Drugless Practitioners in Holistic Health, Nutrition and as a Lifestyle Counselor. Her accolades include the Ziegler/Benkler Art Studios being honored at the Arts Council of Rockland Executive Awards. As an actress and singer who studied techniques of Tai Chi, movement, breathing, dance, exercise, meditation and mindfulness, Marilyn Benkler realizes that with experiences of creative and physical expression you prepare the whole body for clearer thought and health. She brings an holistic approach to learning Art. marilynbenkler.com.

The Nerdy Duo are Erin Cardullo and Melissa Weiland, new media artists, specializing in digital video production.  Their involvement in a wide array of projects like projections for community theater (Gypsy, Man In Snow), producing props for the steampunk scene (as seen at the 2018 Community Organized Gathering of Steampunks), video installation art (most recently featured with The Woman’s Storytelling Project at the 2018 Garner Arts Festival), short films (Bait, Bearing Existence), Internet video courses (The Intelligent Divorce), music videos (for artists Bjork, Bebe Buell, JaRule, Papoose, Kelly Jones, Eli August, and more), reality television (House Hunters, Divorce 911, RokDok, Hampton Angels), videos for nonprofits (Rockland Center for the Arts, Hudson Valley Boy Scouts of America) and even a long-running informational show on QPTV (The Wine Show, winner of a QPTV Excellence in Broadcasting Award), has given them the opportunity to learn a wide variety of skill-sets and an expertise in speedy problem solving.  As life-long lovers of learning, sharing what they have learned from doing is an important part of their core values and they are excited by the opportunity to help other artists—be they professionals, amateurs, or aspiring—learn, grow, and develop.

Kanitra Perrault studied at Cooper Union and Pratt Institute, majoring in film/animation. For the past ten years she has taught multicultural 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 watercolor 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.

Barbara Pollitt Designer has won a Drama Desk Nomination for her design of Caucasian Chalk Circle and an Obie Award for her performance in Epidog. Her masks have been seen on Broadway in The Tempest and Jelly’s Last Jam. She recently exhibited her masks at the Carter Oak Cultural Center in Hartford, CT. Her work was exhibited at Lincoln Center as well as other venues in New York City. She was an artist-in-residence for the past two years at Nyack High School and has also taught at Manhattanville College.

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 handbuilding classes at Rockland Center for the Arts.

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.

Adrienne Sloane is a contemporary fiber artist with a political focus, who deeply explores all forms of sculptural knit structures out of her Lexington, Massachusetts studio. As a hand and machine knitter, her work often addresses timely but universal issues while remaining mindful of the rich historical context of her medium.  Sloane exhibits and teaches internationally and has also worked with indigenous knitters on economic development projects in Bolivia and Peru. Sloane’s work has won many awards and has been published in both magazines and books including Fiber Art Now, the Surface Design Journal, The Culture of Knitting; Textiles, The Art of Mankind and Knitting Art.  Sloane has work in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Goldstein Museum of Design, The Kamm Collection and The American Textile History Museum as well as private collections. Sloane’s curatorial work includes the sculptural fiber exhibits Beyond Knitting (2008) and Primary Structures (2010) at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles and Metaphoric Fibers at the Textile Center in Minneapolis. She also enjoys writing regularly for the magazine, Fiber Art Now, the American contemporary textile art publication.

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.