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.
Meta Dunkly Arnold
Meta Dunkly Arnold is an assemblage and mixed media artist working and teaching in central New Jersey. Meta has exhibited at the West Windsor Arts Center, the Arts Council of Princeton, the Peddie School, and Abstract Expressions gallery in Mount Holly. Kinetic, three-dimensional pieces share the experience of discovery, inviting viewers to participate by revealing hidden layers. Find out more about Meta’s work Here.
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.
Emily Elizabeth is a New Jersey-based artist. In May 2018, Emily 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, Emily focuses on sculpture and painting. She specializes in mixing different mediums and styles to create unique pieces of artwork. Emily is currently finishing her Masters in Fine Art from Maine College of Art and Design.
Hello, I’m Vanyty and the name of my business is Karayib Flame. I am passionate about two things: sustainability and art. I am able to combine them by utilizing found or donated materials to craft artful and unique candles. I take in unwanted, discarded and burned down candles, scrape out the bottom of the jar and give them another chance. By recycling and upcycling candles, I am contributing to the efforts to keep useful items out of landfills and oceans.
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.
Luke is a New Jersey-based theater practitioner, specializing in stage direction.
His work has been focused in stage direction, teaching artistry, and technical direction. Luke has extensive experience directing for the stage from community to collegiate theatre, and everything in between. Some directorial credits include: Sweet Charity (The Livingston Theatre Company), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Porch Light Productions), Ideation (Cabaret Theatre), The Last Five Years (Ferrell Studios), Alice in Wonderland (Highland Park High School), just to name a few. His unique approach to stage direction includes a collaborative process of crafting in which the actor engages in a variety of exercises to gain a comprehensive understanding of the world of the character in the context of the actor’s own experience and truth. Luke primarily aligns his instruction and coaching with the methodologies of Konstantin Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, and Sanford Meisner but sees the value in drawing on a variety of acting methodologies to best cater to the most effective and truthful portrayal of the work.
In his work as teaching artist, Luke has taught students ages 6-18 in the areas of acting, musical theater, public speaking, and technical theatre, having coached the students of the Middletown Arts Center (Middletown, NJ), Porch Light Studios (Glen Rock, NJ), and Fresh Theatre Arts (Highland Park, NJ), just to name a few.
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.
Rich Green has been studying art for over seventeen years. He learned the medium of comics at the Joe Kubert School and Comics Experience. When Rich is not creating comics, he enjoys creating oil paintings and charcoal drawings from life. In recent years, Rich has grown in the way he approaches an illustration by pivoting from an observational form of drawing to an analytical one. Rich Green is a freelance comic book artist and a teacher of art.
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 is a recent transplant from NYC where she has worked as a professional actor and acting coach for over a decade. Shira was a member of the Original Broadway Cast of FROST/NIXON starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen, and appeared in the film Breaking Upwards by Daryl Wein; Zoe Lister-Jones (Mister Lister). Shira has been lucky enough to learn from the very best in the industry, and is inspired to lend her expertise to whomever might be curious (or serious) about acting. She is also a custom portrait artist by trade, rendering vivid and realistic portraits of families, homes, animals and children. Her personal artwork runs a lengthier gamut, exploring nature, the wild, the weird, and plumbing the Jungian jungle of her imagination. Regardless of foci, what remains consistent is making art that delves into the depths of raw emotion, and intimate moments. Shira works ambidextrously and her preferred mediums usually include graphite, charcoal, pen, watercolor, gouache, or her favorite, oil paint (however, gold foil, markers, and other mixed media have also often been employed). Shira aims to craft captivating visual experiences that transcend the limitations of intellect, inviting viewers to engage with her work on a more psychically tactile, and emotional level. She is passionate about and believes strongly in the healing power of the creative process.
Audrey Jakab has been teaching art for over 20 years and is well versed in teaching students of all ages and capabilities. She began teaching as an art teacher at Immaculate Conception School for grades K-8 for 3 years and then at Community Partnership School for grades Pre K-5 for 10 years in Philadelphia. In 2017, she began working at the Center for Creative Works, where she supplied artistic support to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. In 2019, she taught art to seniors living in a skilled nursing unit while also teaching science based art projects through the SNAP program for youth students grades 6-8. Audrey currently teaches art to adults with disabilities at Eden Autism through a partnership program with West Windsor Arts.
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.
Elaine has been a part of the art community for as long as she can remember. She has been teaching youth art classes for over ten years at various art centers. She has been a part of art committees, and participated in, as well as curated art shows and fundraisers throughout her career. Elaine is a Graphic Designer/ UX Designer by trade and has a degree in Computer Sciences in Multimedia Graphics & 2D Animation.
Elaine enjoys going to the beach with her two kids, and teaching a variety of fun art classes. Currently she teaches Stop Motion animation classes at West Windsor Arts Center. To view her portfolio visit her website at Elainemorales2d.weebly.com
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).
Yamini Pathak is the author of poetry chapbooks, Atlas of Lost Places (Milk and Cake Press, 2020) and Breath Fire Water Song (Ghost City Press, 2021). Her poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Poetry Northwest, About Place Journal, Tupelo Quarterly, Vida Review, Waxwing, and elsewhere. She is a Poet in Schools for the Geraldine Dodge Foundation, serves as poetry editor for Inch micro-chapbooks at Bull City Press, production assistant for Tupelo Quarterly, and translations reader for Lunch Ticket. Yamini has received her MFA in poetry from Antioch University, Los Angeles and is an alumnus of VONA/Voices and Community of Writers. Born in India, she lives with her family in West Windsor, New Jersey.
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
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
Maggie Sullivan is a multimedia artist, crafter & collector. She has been creating since she was young and has a BS in Cinema Production and a specialization in Printmaking from Ithaca College. During this time she discovered the art of crochet. Her love of the craft has grown over the past few years into Maggie May Craft. She now creates pieces for sale at art markets and in person at Belleville Market in Easton, PA. Along with crafting herself, she enjoys teaching these incredible arts to others.
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.
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.
Artist Clifford Ward had a number of other careers before pursuing his art full-time. He was pre-med for three years, then switched majors and received a B.A. in speech communications from Rider University. He worked for a textbook publisher, and later moved to a smaller start-up publishing company in Philadelphia. When the company he worked for went out of business, Ward channeled his energy into creating art, which had always been an outlet for him. He began working at the Johnson Atelier Technical Institute of Sculpture after first serving as an apprentice in 1997-1998; became a member of staff; and then became a member of technical teaching staff in metal chasing.
Ward also worked as part of an eight person team from Museum of Natural in NY and the Johnson Atelier Technical of Sculpture on the articulation of the biggest, most complete and most controversial dinosaur (T-Rex) ever found: SUE. From 2011-2022 Ward taught art to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities at the Center for Creative Works in Hamilton, NJ. He now teaches art to the same population from Eden Autism, which holds classes through West Windsor Arts Council in Princeton Junction. Ward’s studio is located on the beautiful 47 acre sculpture park, The Grounds for Sculpture, in Hamilton, NJ. He is a permanent artist in residence. As a permanent artist- in-residence there, he creates sculptures, paintings and enhances clothing with his art, thus exhibiting through the country.