We are proud to share with you our Teaching Artist roster. Each of these practicing artists are accomplished in their fields and ready to mentor each student to achieve their personal best.
New Teaching Artists: apply for opportunities to teach at West Windsor Arts Council HERE
Zakia Ahmed has been teaching for over 25 years and is excited to offer classes at the West Windsor Arts Center, bringing her local loyal following with her. Ms. Ahmed has a Master’s of Fine Arts from the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Her works are on exhibit in the Bangladesh National Museum, Bangladesh Shilpkala Academy, and in many private collections worldwide.
Milee Ahn has many years experience as an interior architect and an ongoing interest in craft. By combining her training in design with her love of handmade decor, she creates beautiful items to adorn the home and the individual. Through her classes, she is pleased to share her many years of expertise to nurture and incubate personal creativity and talent while teaching the basics and fundamentals.
Rich Coppola has been teaching at Thomas Grover Middle School since it opened in 1999. For the past 20 years he’s been teaching video and television productions to 7th and 8th grade students. He has also instructed video production summer camps and workshops for the past 15 summers at Grover Middle School and Village Elementary. Mr. Coppola’s passions are film, music and spending time at the Jersey Shore with his wife and daughter. With over 20 years of teaching and production experience Rich Coppola provides an exciting and well rounded experience for all who participate in his summer programs.
Rashad Malik Davis is a local award-winning author and illustrator from Lawrenceville, NJ. He is a graduate of Tufts University, where he majored in Anthropology and minored in Mandarin Chinese. He is also currently pursuing his Masters in Animation at the Savannah College of Art & Design. Davis is the illustrator of the best-selling children’s book Sunne’s Gift: How Sunne Overcame Bullying to Reclaim God’s Gift, and illustrated the book cover to Shaping the Future of African American Film: Color-Coded Economics and the Story Behind the Numbers. Carefree, Like Me!: Chapter 1 – Root the Brave, which won the 2017 Best Indie Book Award in the Children’s Category, was Davis’ debut venture into publishing his work. The seven-part series is drawn from his own life experiences with his real-life best friend Nina, his connection to his spirituality, and his love for adventure tales. For additional information, please visit ramalikillustrations.com.
Anna Evans gained her Master of Fine Arts from Bennington College. Her poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, The Atlanta Review, Rattle and 32 Poems. She has been nominated five times for a Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for both the 2005 and 2007 Howard Nemerov sonnet award, and for the 2007 Willis Barnstone Translation Award. Anna is also the Editor of The Raintown Review and of the formal poetry e-zine Barefoot Muse.
Ryan Gilleece is a 2015 graduate of the Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Arts currently working on the webcomic, Artificial Tears. He specializes in sequential art and character design, and both traditional and digital media. He is an aftercare counselor and a summer enrichment instructor for the Piscataway School system.
Levi Guerrero, also known as Cacique de Ramos, has practiced the art of Capoeira for many years and is an instructor affiliated with Grupo Senzala from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil under the guidance of Mestre Zumbi. Mr. Guerrero has been teaching Capoeira since 2006 in various locations in central and southern New Jersey. Primarily, he seeks to develop the mental and physical capabilities of young people through Capoeira while simultaneously exposing them to the cultural heritage of Africa and Brazil.
Shira Hofmekler Gregory
A resident of West Windsor and recently retired as an arts educator in the NYC Public Schools, Lori has now put her personal focus back on oil painting. Surrounding herself with her love of nature and incorporating travel memories, and sights in and around Mercer County, Lori enjoys painting “en plein air”. Lori has an MA in Special Education from Brooklyn College, a BA in Art Education from Queens College, and has continued her studies at the Art Students League, Princeton Arts Council, and Mercer County Community College. To preview her paintings please visit www.lorilangsner.com
Yun Li is currently an artist member of the renowned Salmagundi Club in NYC, Oil Painters of America, and other national professional artists organizations. She has exhibited at national exhibitions in recent years including Salmagundi Club and Oil Painters of America exhibitions, and won various awards for her portrait paintings.
Eleni Litt (EZL Studio) is a teaching artist in Central New Jersey and the Inaugural Artist-in-Residence at The Athena Advisors. She has Certificates in Fine Arts from Parsons School of Design, and Creative Arts Therapies from The New School, as well as a PhD in Social Anthropology from the London School of Economics. Her approach to teaching creates communities of creative practice for artists and non-artists alike that encourages inquiry, curiosity, and play.
Tim is a member of SAG-AFTRA and holds a B.A. in Theater with a double-concentration in Acting and Directing/Stage Management from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He has been teaching acting to ages varying from 6 to 18 for over a decade.
Tim has performed on camera and on stage throughout the tri-state area. He has worked in comedy, drama, musical theater, Shakespeare, and sketch comedy. Credits include Arsenic and Old Lace (Mortimer), 12 Angry Jurors (Juror #8), Moon Over Buffalo (Paul), Romeo and Juliet (Capulet), You Can’t Take It With You (Tony), The Last Place on Earth (Curtis), and It’s a Wonderful Life (George Bailey).
Y’vonne Page-Magnus is originally from Philadelphia and a member of the board of directors for ‘Main Line Art Center.’ Y’vonne’s passion for the Arts has acquired her an Associates Degree in Fashion Design Technology in Philadelphia. After studying French and taking several art classes at ‘Community College of Philadelphia,’ Y’vonne had a strong desire to live in Europe. While there she completed a B.A. in Fine Arts at ‘AIU’ London, England. After graduating Y’vonne returned to the U.S. and moved to Manhattan in New York City. Obsessed with high fashion, Y’vonne began working for ‘Barney’s New York,’ ‘Tiffany’s & Co,’ ‘Heri Bendels’ and, ‘Hermes,’ This is where she soon developed a passion for beautiful jewelry, precious and semi-precious stones.
After learning so much about the jewelry business, Y’vonne accepted a position with ‘Tiffany’s & Co’ in London, England. Just one year later Y’vonne and business partner Max launched ‘Von & Magnus,’ Limited Corporation jewelry Company in the U.K. Y’vonne and business partner Max quickly learned how to operate in the favor of God. Shortly after, the ambitious duo captured the attention of the late ‘Jill Strieder.’ A fashion Icon and, Director of ‘Fenwick’s’ of Bond Street. ‘Von & Magnus’ was signed on almost immediately with a very generous Contract. The concession was strategically located on the first floor next to ‘Gerrard Darrell.’ Y’vonne began dressing ‘Ladies of London’ in ‘Made to Measure’ jewelry out of semi-precious stones and freshwater pearls. “Fenwick’s will always be the birth place of ‘Design Your Own Jewelry’ formally known as ‘Von & Magnus’ no matter where we go,” says Y’vonne. While there she was able to create a Client base and a strong following of the brand. When introduced ‘RESTRING/ RENEW/ REPURPOSE’, receiving a write-up in the ‘London Times’ the little quintessential Company took-off. Celebrities began using the services, such as ‘Nina Garcia’ from ‘Project Runway’ and, the editor of ‘British Vogue.’ Whilst making several buying trips to Paris and sourcing the most gorgeous of stones in ‘Rue De Temple.’ They began traveling the globe for inspiration to places such as Palma, Italy, Brussels, Amsterdam, Canada, Bermuda, New York and, the South of Spain. ‘Von & Magnus’ was soon picked up again, this time by ‘Mohammed Al Fayed’ longtime owner of ‘Harrods’ department store in ‘Knightsbridge,’ London, England. You could find Von & Magnus conveniently located in the designer jewelry department on the ground floor. Sleep deprived, long retail hours and, just six employees they were able to manage both concessions successfully!
Y’vonne is currently working full-time on her brand by providing new and, exciting upscale workshops in the most beautiful places. This amazing niche Company is packed with excitement and, opportunity! You can now find Y’vonne teaching appealing ‘W O R K S H O P S’ for various Boutiques, Libraries, Universities, Arboretums, Vineyards, Art Galleries, Art Centers and, anywhere beautiful in the U.S.
Natalie has a degree in vocal music education from The College of New Jersey. She has performed in musicals since she was in elementary school, and started singing opera while in college. She’s held lead roles in TCNJ’s Lyric Theater productions (musical theater and opera) and chorus roles in La Boheme Opera Company’s productions. Natalie is currently a general music and chorus teacher at two elementary schools in Hamilton Township.
Pratibha Raju is an artist and a visual art teacher. Pratibha earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts specializing in Drawing and Painting in 1998 from India. Since then she has been practicing and teaching drawing and painting in different styles and mediums. She has exhibited her paintings in oil and acrylic at the College Annual Art Shows and at the Coram Long Island and Piscataway libraries. Her watercolor landscape paintings were selected for the Plainsboro Preserve juried art shows for the last two years. Pratibha has completed many art and teaching courses online from the British Council and Coursera. She has taught in many schools for the last 20 years including the IB school in India with emphasis on holistic teaching. Click here to know more http://enjoying-paintings.webnode.com/
Ellen Renee’s proven musical theatre teaching method combines structure in a challenging and fun way. A performing arts industry veteran, she has been on stage since age 6. Ellen Renee got her start under a Julliard trained professional and has performed professionally for many years on stages in New Jersey, New York (Radio City), and Atlantic City doing roles in musicals Pippin, Cabaret, and Oklahoma, to name a few. Ellen Renee teaches novice through professional levels and was the director of a 450-student Academy of Performing Arts for over 10 years. Ellen Renee has trained and placed many artists in lead roles on Broadway in “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera”, as well as star performances on the “Main Stage at Walt Disney World, Florida.” Her students have gone on to professional venues & stage performances, appeared in commercials, print work ads, and on major channels.
Marsha Rudolph MA, RYT, has been teaching Breath Awareness for the last 20 years and Yoga for the last 10 years. Her specialty is working with people who may feel too intimidated to take a more challenging yoga class, especially those who may be struggling with their weight, have some physical limitations, are at mid-life or beyond, or just want a class of gentle stretching and postures to increase flexibility or compliment a more vigorous exercise routine. Marsha works as a Community Health Educator at Capital Health System.
Anusha Saran is a mixed media artist from West Windsor, NJ who is best known for her multi-media paintings with intricate fine line pen details. Her work has been exhibited and won several awards in India and US. She has a BA in Architecture and Masters in Design from National Institute of Design (NID), India, specializing in Ceramic and Glass Design. She started teaching art to children and loves to share her knowledge of design experience to help them explore their creative edge.
Jessica Schadt is a lifelong artist, athlete & fitness enthusiast with a professional creative background. She has been teaching and performing circus arts since 2010. Jessie also teaches studio arts/crafts classes and camps for kids. She has experience teaching students of all ages, from kids to adults. To learn more please visit her website: www.jessieshoops.com
Steven Smith has been teaching acting and improvisation to young performers since the 90’s starting with his own theatre camp at the ripe age of 19. He has a BA in Theatre from James Madison University and studied at both the Upright Citizens Brigade and People’s Improv Theatre in Manhattan. He has taught at-risk youth in after school programs in Los Angeles as well as weekly improvisation clubs in Princeton and Lawrenceville. Steven has performed locally at the Kesley Theater and has done extensive work in broadcast and streaming video production.
Sarika Soman holds a Masters Degree in Fine Arts ( Painting Specialization ) from India. With over 15+ years of experience in drawing and painting she is Best known for her colorful and vibrant watercolor landscapes, still life and abstract paintings. She has participated in showcasing her work in group shows as well as done Solo Exhibitions. She is passionate about art education and believes strongly in teaching both children and adults the skills that can enable them to draw and paint realistically. Favorite quote of Claude Monet : The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration.
Lisa received a BFA in Fashion Design and Illustration in Brooklyn at Pratt Institute. Her first job out of college was creating and styling windows display for Macy’s NY. After Leaving Macy’s, she started a business in fashion design and created many fashion illustrations for publications such as WWD, DNR, Vogue as well as many design and fabric companies such as Cotton Inc., Speedo, Abercrombie & Fitch.
Lisa is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Pratt Institue and was previously an Adjunct at Parsons School of Design within the Fashion Design Departments. After relocating to NJ she started teaching at Philadelphia University and working as Program Coordinator and Senior Adjunct Professor in the Fashion Department at Rowan College at Burlington County. Lisa has an extensive knowledge in teaching Textiles, History of Fashion Design, and Fashion Illustration. She has created many fashion workshops for teens and youth interested in fashion. Lisa is the author of “Beginners Guide to Sketching the Fashion Figure”, published by Fairchild Bloomsbury 2/20/20 https://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Steinberg/e/B0849ZPH5N?ref_=dbs_p_pbk_r00_abau_000000
Katie Truk received her BFA from Alfred University. She has been teaching multi-media classes to children and adults of all ages and levels since 2001 through personal lessons, visiting artist grants and in places such as Creative Hands in Madison, Let’s Create in Boonton, Messy Artist in South Orange, Visual Art Center in Summit, and the West Windsor Art Center in West Windsor. In her studio the medium of choice is pantyhose. She combines the translucent and sensual nature of pantyhose and the rigidity of wire to create sculptures of complex depth and personality. These sculptures have been featured around the tri-state area.
Emily Vaspory is a New Jersey-based artist. In May 2018, Vaspory earned her BFA, cum laude, with a concentration in sculpture, from Mason Gross School of the Arts. For years, she has gained experience teaching individuals of all ages with all different types of mediums, always making her student’s artistic needs her number one priority. She earned a position as a visual arts adjunct professor at Mercer County Community College. In her own artistic practice, Vaspory focuses on sculpture and painting. She specializes in mixing different mediums and styles to create unique pieces of artwork.
Elissa Verso is an accomplished ballet dancer and certified instructor based in northern and central New Jersey. She received her early training with her parents, both former professional dancers, at their studio, The Dance Center of New Jersey, and later, went on to study at Princeton Ballet School and in her final years of study, at the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet in New York City as a full-time student. In 2015, Elissa earned her certification in Levels Pre-Primary through Level 5 in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum and has since brought her passion for dance to students throughout NJ. Most recently, Elissa has earned her Mat I and Mat II Certifications through Power Pilates and is excited to be able to incorporate Pilates and developmentally-appropriate principles of core training into classes for students of all ages.
Audrey Yeager began her formal dance training at New Jersey School of Ballet under the direction of Carolyn Clark, and went on to join New Jersey Ballet’s Junior Company where she danced various roles, including Clara in The Nutcracker. In 2008, she was named a New Jersey Governor’s School Dance Scholar. In 2013, Audrey graduated summa cum laude from Rider University. During this time, she studied dance with Dr. Kim Chandler Vaccaro, earned the Mildred C. Hawkins Dance Scholarship, and served as the president of the Rider Dance Ensemble, choreographing for and administrating performances for a group of 100 dancers. Audrey currently balances her time between work as a dance educator at Princeton Dance Camp; Theater Studio, arts manager, and professional ballet dancer. In 2018, she joined Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater’s professional company led by Gabriel Chajnik, dancing soloist roles in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Jungle Book, and The Nutcracker Rocks. She has also performed with Verlezza Dance and Artbysolo. Audrey is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level Three of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is excited to share her experience and love of dance with students at the West Windsor Arts