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.
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.
Emily Buchalski is a New Jersey-based artist. In May 2018, Buchalski 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, Buchalski focuses on sculpture and painting. She specializes in mixing different mediums and styles to create unique pieces of artwork.
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.
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.
Kate Eggleston is a mixed media fiber artist who actively participates in group exhibitions throughout NJ and NY. While Eggleston’s diverse practice includes printmaking, drawing, and sewing, her passion for indigo dye and shibori (Japanese resist dye techniques) has seeped into all aspects of her art making. She received her BA in Visual Art and a K-12 New Jersey Art Teacher Certification from Ramapo College in 2005. Beyond her studio practice, Eggleston has over 13 years of experience teaching art for all ages, skill levels, and abilities in public schools and arts organizations. She primarily teaches indigo dyeing and shibori workshops and youth fiber art classes at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey and Thompson Park Creative Center. She is also an active teaching artist with Artworks Trenton, Monmouth Arts Council, Hopewell Valley Arts Council, and the Monmouth County Park System. Eggleston lives in New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and their dog June.
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.
Ebony H. Flag
Ebony was born and raised in the north eastern part of the United States, from an early age she showed an interest in the arts by seeking to emulate the creative abilities of her parents. What was once simply a hobby, soon became Ebony’s passion. After taking a few art classes in high school, Ebony would go on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the renowned Moore College of Art and Design located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While a student at Moore, Ebony honed her gifts by focusing her studies on Illustration. Adding to an already expansive skill set, she minored in graphic design. To view Ebony’s Art you can visit www.ehfcreations.com
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.
Lorraine Goodman received her undergraduate degree from Princeton (class ‘83) and subsequently pursued a career in theatre, where she appeared in leading roles on Broadway in three Tony Award-winning shows: The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Les Miserables, and Master Class. In addition, she soloed onstage at Carnegie Hall and starred in Cats and Phantom of the Opera abroad. Her greatest claim to Broadway fame was with Terrence McNally’s “Master Class,” where she covered the role originally played by six-time Tony-award winner Audra McDonald and performed it over 100 times.
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.
Tracy has been an art teacher for over 20 years. She especially enjoys Book Arts, Drawing, Repurposed art, and Photography. She loves to get the best from her students and considers teaching her favorite art of all. Tracy 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 currently teaches in the South Brunswick School District.
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 Ellarslie, 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 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
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!
Hey there! I am Aarti, a freelance artist in various mediums, such as Oil, Acrylic, Pencil and Pen & Ink. Art has always been my passion since childhood because, I was surrounded by artistic minds in the family. I was always been fascinated by creatives and performers and can’t imagine a world without painting, music, dance, poems, theatre…. Although I am an Interior Designer, my love for fine arts compelled me to pursue a career as a painter. I recently started having more fun working with Pen & Ink and Pencil. It makes me feel calm and meditative and allows me to be more creative. Before I start my artwork, I like to set a fresh ambiance around me that awakens my creativity. Many times I look outside my window and listen to soothing music while doing my work. I believe it’s important to have a spiritual practice to align with creativity. Being a travel lover, I capture pictures from places and try to reflect them in my drawings. I am a Certified Grambacher Art Instructor and conduct classes and workshops for children and adults for over 9 years now. My paintings and drawings were recently on view at libraries and have been included in exhibitions at Community Centers. I also achieved an “Honourable Mention Award” in April 2017 for one of my paintings. Her artwork can be seen at www.aartisticart.com.
Elyse Mertz was born and raised in New Jersey where she studied classical ballet, modern, and jazz at Princeton Dance and Theater where she participated in ABT® National Training Curriculum Exams and in numerous Princeton Youth Ballet productions. Elyse graduated from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts in 2017 with a B.F.A. in Dance. In 2016 she performed at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the National Conference of the American College Dance Association. The piece, a cønversation on drowning, by classmate Javier Padilla, was selected to be performed at Jacob’s Pillow in the summer of 2016. Elyse took the ABT® National Training Curriculum Preprimary – Level 3 teacher training in 2018, instructed by the curriculum’s authors, Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens. She has also completed her 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in the summer of 2016, instructed by Blair Ritchie and Taryn Vander-Hoop and made possible by the generosity of Mason Gross and the OM Factory, NYC. Elyse teaches at the West Windsor Arts Council in partnership with Princeton Dance & Theater.
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.
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. Her crochet career began when she designed and produced a line of kid’s clothes and accessories for local boutiques. 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.
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. 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!
Barbara is a design professional with 20 years of experience in Product and Surface design. As the owner of Barbara Schaeffer Design she has produced collections for the gift and home furnishings industries. Her clients have included Lenox Brands, Macy’s, Polo/Ralph Lauren and Avon Products. Barbara has begun a second career using her sense of color and composition as a painting teacher certified by Grumbacher. Recently she has brought her skills to residents in Assisted Living residences and as a member of the Senior Outreach program sponsored by the Princeton Arts Council. She has always had a keen interest in crafting and has been teaching a craft program she designed for seniors as well as an instructor at Michaels Art and Craft store, where she has taught every age group. She brings her love of simple materials and fascination with everyday objects to the projects she creates for her students. She refines each one, so that each item can be done by those with little or no expertise. Her greatest satisfaction comes from seeing the pleasure each student experiences when they make something they never thought they could do. Barbara holds a BFA from The University of the Arts and has studied at The School of Visual Arts, Parsons School of Design, and Mercer County Community College.
Born and trained in Israel, Ifat Shatzky reached her maturity as an artist after moving to the United States in 1998. Shatzky’s medium of choice is painting with oil on gessoed wood panels. Sometimes she incorporates different media and collage techniques in her artwork, which may include wax, wire, oil pastel, charcoal, ink and acrylic crayons. Shatzky’s art is in many private collections in the US and around the world. Shatzky went to school at the following institutions: DeCordova Museum School, Ceramics studies, Lincoln, MA, 2001-2002, B.F.A. in Art Education, Ramat Hasharon School for the Arts, Israel, 1988-1991, Art classes, Jordan Valley College, Israel, 1986-1988.
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.
Jennifer Yuan was born and grew up in Shanghai China. She came to the United States to study advanced science and technology. She worked as an IT professional and lived in the Philadelphia suburb for over twenty years. She started to learn Chinese brush painting from Mr. Huangxin (Derek) Wang at Guanghua Chinese School in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. Over the years, different styles of artworks have given her inspiration to her art practice. Nature is her favorite theme. She has painted a variety of subjects including peony, rose, plum blossom, fish, trees, mountains, and water.
“There are feelings, emotions, and ideals in nature. Traditionally, they are perceived to symbolize character traits, good fortune, or dreamland. I find that they are still quite relevant today.”
Jennifer uses traditional Chinese painting brushes, ink, and a limited color palette to paint on very delicate rice paper. Her artwork was shown at various exhibitions in the Philadelphia area in the past. Recently her paintings were shown at the Cultural Heritage Exhibition at West Windsor Art Council gallery.
Jennifer currently lives in West Windsor. To find more about her artwork, please visit: jenyuanart.com.