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.
Teaching artists: learn more about opportunities at West Windsor Arts Council …
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.
Peter Bisgaier began working as a professional actor as a child in Haddonfield, NJ. He earned a BFA in theater from the University of Southern California in 1994 and then spent several years working in theaters around the country before settling in New York City. There, he founded the Empire Theater Company and produced several successful plays including the World Stage Premiere of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs” which he also adapted for the stage. Mr. Bisgaier is also as a screenwriter and won a grand prize for his screenplay “Klaus” which is currently under option. Additionally, Mr. Bisgaier is an artist-in-residence with theater groups and schools and works as the Production Manager for the West Windsor Arts Council.
Eloise Bruce BFA, MFA, M Ed. is member of the poetry group Cool Women and is an editor at RavensPerch Magazine. She has worked with the national recitation contest Poetry Out Loud since 2006 and has been a teaching artist for 40 years with Young Audiences, Writer’s Theatre and the NJSPA Foundation for Educators as Scholars, she was the first education director for the Asolo State Theatre, directed for the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, is founder Idaho Theatre for Youth, was Artistic Director of Creative Theater in Princeton. NJ. and has had various roles at the Frost Place Center for Poetry and The Arts. Her book Rattle was published by CavenKerry Press.
Kimberly Ducote-Schimmel has been a successful commercial photographer for over 25 years and taught photography for 10 years. She holds a BS in Studio Art from SUNY at Stony Brook, with a minor in Photography. She began her photographic business in NYC photographing for advertisements, brochures, catalogs, magazines and editorials for major corporations, local businesses, and the media, working both in the studio and on location. Her work has been exhibited and won several awards. She is currently teaching at Middlesex County College, Rutgers State University, and West Windsor Arts Center. Throughout her years of teaching, she attempts to inspire students by imparting to them the technical knowledge they need to create the photograph they desire.
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.
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.
Katelynn Kilcommons is a local artist that graduated from the University of the Arts with a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Illustration. For the past few years, after earning her teaching certification in K-12 Art, Katelynn has been teaching in various educational environments. On the weekends, she can be found face painting at local events. She has also started a company called Hues that focuses on teaching art within the comfort of people’s homes. Katelynn has been working freelance and her art will be featured in the “If Picasso” series this coming year.
Tracie earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts from St. Peter’s College, a small Jesuit college across the river in NYC, and spent much of that time in the New York City museums. She has been a teacher for 18 years, specializing in elementary art for 12 of those years. She currently teaches in the South Brunswick School District and is currently exploring the art of photography and the folk art of sewing. Other artistic interests include book arts, environmental arts, repurposed arts, muraling, and pencil drawing, although anything creative is likely to raise her interest.
Nelly Kouzmina is a self-taught fiber artist who loves the process of felt-making, sometimes more than the results! Kouzmina loves to experiment with different fibers, objects, dyes, and more. For her, felting is a liberation, passion, and love.
Nelly has won several awards including the 2014 Best in Fiber Show Award at Trenton City Museum at Ellaslie, the 2014 First place in Highland Park Art Show, and First place, Best in Show at New Hope Arts & Crafts Show. More on Nelly can be found here.
Anne Kullaf is a contemporary painter working in a variety of media. Her paintings utilize the principles of drawing from direct observation combined with efficient brushwork and a limited palette. She is a faculty member of the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, the Hunterdon Museum of Art, and the Center for Contemporary Art. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Bridgeport, Connecticut, she received a Bachelor of Science in graphic design and fine art and also studied painting at The Art Students League of NY. In 2014, she was painter-in-residence at Bryan Park, NYC and was recently invited to teach a watercolor workshop at the Princeton University Museum of Art.
Judy Langille is a nationally acclaimed fiber artist and experienced art educator, who has received grants from the Geraldine Dodge Foundation. She has taught at a variety of levels, including K-8 in several New Jersey and New York school districts, college level at William Paterson University and adults at the Newark Museum. Judy has received numerous surface design awards for her quilt art and hand dyed fabrics and has had many pieces accepted at the most prestigious shows, such as Quilt National, Visions, and Art Quilts Philadelphia/Elements. She has had her work published in numerous publications, most recently in the Surface Design Journal, where she co-authored an article called, “One Cloth, One Fabric: Whole Cloth Composition”. In February 2009 she was the Artist of the Month on www.jerseyarts.com. She continues to work in her studio, show her art and teach in artist in residence programs around the country.
A resident of West Windsor, Lori Langsner has recently retired after a rewarding career in arts education in the NYC Public Schools. 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.
Lori’s paintings were recently on view at Princeton Arts Council, and have been included in exhibitions at Mercer County Community College, Mercer County Library, and Prallsville Mills. Lori has been not only a classroom practitioner but is currently a facilitator of a learning community of other visual arts teachers around best practices and teacher effectiveness in the arts program at www.Startchr.nyc.
Lori is excited to reconnect with her own personal art as an “en plein air” painter in oils, surrounding herself with nature and art. She looks forward to sharing her passion for oil painting with those who want to start their own personal quests into the world of art.
To preview her paintings please visit www.lorilangsner.com
Eleni Litt is an artist-teacher who tells a story or expresses a feeling with line, color, and form. She loves making art in the community and offers workshops and short courses to people of all ages. She has a Certificate in Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design, a Certificate in Creative Arts Therapies from The New School, a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the London School of Economics (UK), and a BA in Art History from Reed College. She shares and shows her work in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. A long-term resident of West Windsor, NJ she commutes daily (with many of her neighbors) to New York City, where she works at The New School as Associate Provost of Faculty Affairs. She often makes art on the train during the NJT and MTA commutes!
Aarti Mantri is a freelance artist in acrylic and mixed media paintings based in New Jersey. Art has always been a part of her since childhood; she was inspired and encouraged by her mother who is an artist in India. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and worked for over 5 years in the field, specializing in stained glass and landscaping. Nonetheless, her passion for fine arts forced her to pursue a career as a painter. Most of her work is on canvas with various techniques and mediums that adds texture to a painting. Aarti conducts classes and workshops for children and adults, and is a certified Grumbacher Art instructor. Her goal is to train her students with the easy skills of painting at the same time encourage to use their own imagination and ideas.
Her artwork can be seen at www.aartisticart.com.
Elyse Mertz received her dance degree from Rutgers University (focusing on dance and improvisation). She is currently an instructor for the young dance division of Princeton Dance and Theater. Elyse‘s teaching method is not only influenced by her ballet training at Princeton Dance and Theater, but also reflects her background in yoga. She is very excited to bring her knowledge to the West Windsor Arts Council!
About Princeton Dance & Theater: Our purpose is to provide the community with the highest caliber yet nurturing dance training with great respect for individual talents. Our highly respected ballet program provides authentic training for preprofessionals and the necessary base for most other forms of dance. Whether a student desires to train for a professional career or takes ballet for fun and fitness, PDT’s ballet classes are among the best in the country. Our classes follow the ABT® National Training Curriculum, a program which consists of a comprehensive set of age-appropriate, outcome-based guidelines to provide the highest quality ballet training to dance students of all ages and skill levels.
Princeton Dance & Theater is also affiliated with the not-for-profit corporation Princeton Youth Ballet. Their mission is to give talented young dancers the opportunity to perform in professional level productions and to invite the community to fall in love with classical ballet through our inspired storytelling, magical productions, and uncompromising artistry. For more information regarding PYB please visit: http://princetonyouthballet.
A native of West Windsor, Susan Mitrano is a certified K-12 Art Teacher who has taught in Princeton, Bridgewater and Montgomery schools as well as community art centers in NJ and PA. She has a BFA from Syracuse University in graphic design with a minor in photography. After a 15-year career as a designer and art director, Ms. Mitrano earned her BA in Art Education at The College of NJ. She is long time watercolorist, studying with Robert O’Brien, AWS in Vermont and others locally. She studied ceramics with Ursula Kaplowitz and enjoys working in many kinds of clay. She is also an avid printmaker and loves to share her knowledge of art history and art-making with the children she teaches.
Paul Mordetsky has been teaching adults and children throughout Central NJ since 1991. He has had solo and featured shows at the Artists’ Gallery, The Morpeth Gallery, The Trenton City Museum, the Peddie School, Mercer County Community College, and at the Gross McCleaf and Rosenfeld galleries in Philadelphia, PA, and he exhibits regularly in group shows. His works are in many public and private collections, notably, The Trenton City Museum, Cigna, NYNEX, NJ Bell, Dupont, Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission and Educational Testing Services. Mr. Mordetsky received his B.F.A. in painting from the Philadelphia College of Art in 1976. Mr. Mordetsky currently teaches drawing and design at Mercer County Community College as well as general art and art history at the Princeton Latin / Princeton Science Academy.
For more about Mr. Mordetsky’s art, please click here.
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.
Anastasia Popova is an accomplished crochet designer with works published in numerous books and magazines. Anastasia brings that crochet expertise and passes it on to others through her offered classes, ranging from instruction for complete beginners to advanced students. Her classes cover various crochet disciplines such as Irish and Tunisian crochet, as well as designs that incorporate both knitting and crocheting together.
To see more about Anastasia’s classes and designs, please click here.
Jane Craven Proulx
Jane has worked in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Schools as an art teacher since 2003, and for the West Windsor Arts Council during the summers since 2011. She holds a BFA from Moore College of Art & Design in fine arts, 2&3D, and an MFA from the University of the Arts in Sculpture.
Jane loves working with people, working hands-on and experientially, and looks towards the natural world for inspiration, enlightenment, and direction in her work and teaching.
Pratibha is an artist and a visual art teacher. She received a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts (Painting) in 1998 from India. Since then she has been practicing and teaching painting in different styles. She has worked in many different schools, including St. Paul`s English School and Oakridge International School, India and Hindi USA in Piscataway.
She has recently been working on an Indian art form called the Mysore Traditional. This art form began in India around 16th century. These paintings are done with watercolors and have a unique technique, which involves using pure gold on the painting. She learned this art from her father S. Krishnananda Raju and grandfather Y.Subramanya Raju, who was the Palace artist in the Mysore Kingdom. This technique has been passed down in the family for generations and now is a part of the fine art curriculum in some of the art colleges.
Pratibha also works on figurative compositions and is presently working on Landscapes in oils and watercolors in an attempt to capture the zest of Nature. She has exhibited her paintings at libraries in Long Island NY and Piscataway NJ.
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. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Tyler School of Art, Temple University and works primarily in photo/video arts, digital art & design, as well as in flow & circus arts such as hoop dance. Jessie has several hoop dance videos featured on www.hooping.org, and a background working at various companies doing all things creative; from copy writing to digital editing & archiving to hoop dance and beyond!
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 was previously an Associate Professor at Pratt Institute and 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.
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 and the Summit Art Center. 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.