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.
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.
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!
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.
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).
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.
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!
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.