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Meet the Teachers

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Linda Barboni

Linda Barboni earned a BFA at the School of Visual Arts, and has continued to educate herself in many classes and workshops with various instructors over the past 40 years. She is a member of many professional art associations and serves as a board member for the Northeast Watercolor Society.

Linda teaches and demonstrates watercolor all over the Hudson Valley, including a Master Watercolor Class at SUNY Orange and Watercolor and Beyond at Garrison Art Center, where she has been teaching steadily for over 10 years now. The affiliation has been fruitful, educational, and, most importantly, fun! The support and encouragement Linda has been given by the staff has made her experience one I’m most grateful for. She has also participated in our annual Plein Air event, Member Exhibition, and Mentor Program for a number of years, which has been a truly satisfying experience!


Emily Bicht

Emily Bicht has been an active artist in the NYC area for over twenty years and a member of several artist groups, including The Exhibitionists and Open Ground. She received a BFA from Moore College of Art and Design and a MFA from Brooklyn College, City University of New York. In 2020 she was a recipient of the Queens Council for the Arts New Work Grant. She works in a variety of mediums exploring identity and belonging. She believes that art creates change, and that the objects we surround ourselves with have the ability to elevate our lives. There is meaning in the mundane and transcendence in the ways we spend our days.

Emily lives with her traveling companion and two small cyclones in the Hudson Valley. She is a member of Peekskill Clay Studio and Hudson River Potters. She started teaching at GAC this past summer, and is delighted to be teaching again this year!


Harry Bolick

Harry Bolick has been teaching fiddle and mandolin at the Garrison Art Center since 2011. Being born in the state of Mississippi, Harry has focused on, performed, recorded, and taught the classic fiddle tunes from Mississippi for decades. His two massive books, Mississippi Fiddle Tunes, and Songs from the 1930's and Fiddle Tunes from Mississippi - Commercial and Informal Recordings, 1920–2018 are published by the University Press of Mississippi. He has 12 recordings of his own, has toured widely in the US and Germany and has produced CDs of vintage Mississippi music for Document Records in England and the Field Recorder’s Collective in the US. A prolific composer, Harry uses his knowledge of tradition to inform his compositions.


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Kate Daley

Kate Daley is a painter, printmaker and fiber artist who is passionate about working in harmony with nature. She is the founder of Kati Did Originals, a small business specializing in eco-printed and botanically dyed textiles. Her work has been exhibited in art fairs, galleries, and in online exhibitions throughout the U.S. 


Kate has been a teaching artist in GAC's Summer Arts on the Hudson program since 2015. She also teaches adult classes and workshops throughout the year.


She studied studio art at Binghamton University (B.A.), the New York Studio School and the International School of Art in Italy. She holds an M.S. Ed. in Museum Education from Bank Street College. Kate resides in the Hudson Valley with her husband, daughter and two mischievous cats.


Alaina Enslen

Alaina Enslen is a mixed-media artist and has taught at GAC since 2020 (her first class was online during quarantine). She has a BFA from the University of Montevallo and has been teaching art and exhibiting both nationally and internationally for the last 20 years.

Her current work explores encaustic and fabric in bold designs to convey the emotive properties of cloth as experience and memory. She is currently represented by Carrie Haddad Gallery (Hudson, NY) and Design Supply Gallery (Birmingham, AL).

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Lisa Knaus

Lisa Knaus is a studio potter living and working in Gardiner, NY. She started making pots under the loving guidance of her father, a high school art teacher, and continued her studies at Washington University. She left college to work as an assistant to many production potters. After years of hitting the road to sell her work at craft fairs , she became an instructor at Garrison Art Center, eventually taking over the job of Pottery Studio Manager from Beth Bolgla thirteen years ago.


Lisa feels that being an instructor “gives me the freedom of being home with my animals and family. The pressure of selling is alleviated. But it also gives me a chance to share my love of clay and the techniques I’ve developed. My students are so receptive. It’s very exciting. I learn as much from them as they do from me.”


Maria Pia Marrella

Maria Pia Marrella earned a BA from Marymount College of Fordham University in Studio Art and Art Education (certified to Teach K-12) and gained an MFA in Painting & Drawing from Parsons School of Design. Maria Pia has widely exhibited her works in NYC and the metro area for over 38 years and has taught subjects in the Visual Arts at various institutions, colleges, and public high schools. Her relationship with GAC goes back over 10 years from mentoring High School students, giving classes to very young artists, participating in the plein air auctions, and teaching in the Summer Art Institute. She also exhibited her paintings, "Myth & Deception" at GAC in 2009. Currently, she is represented by Buster Levi Gallery. Her paintings and drawings take multiple directions - from figurative narratives to abstract compositions that encompass her interests in observation, primitive art, cartooning, and mythology.

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Michael Mueller

Michael Mueller received a BFA in Painting from the School of Visual Arts and an MS from SUNY New Paltz. A teacher at PNW BOCES, Michael has been teaching art in their alternative high school for 16 years. Previously he taught in after-school programs at Haldane Elementary School and Peekskill Middle School, as well as in summer programs at Manitoga Summer Camp, Kenneth Clark Academy, and PNW BOCES ESY.


He has worked in many screen printing businesses and operated his own fine art screenprinting business, Mueller Studio. Michael’s own artwork is nature-based abstraction, and he focuses in oil painting, watercolor painting, pencil drawing, and screen printing. He began teaching at GAC in 2014, and currently teaches screen printing classes and at our Summer Art Institute.


Malgorzata Oakes

Malgorzata Oakes is a Polish-born multidisciplinary artist, for the past twenty years, she has been residing in New York. Her prints, drawings, and paper installations have been exhibited in more than 100 exhibitions worldwide.


Malgorzata is a new addition to the great community of teachers at GAC. She teaches printmaking adult classes throughout the year at GAC in addition to teaching at Marist College and SUNY New Paltz. She studied studio art with a concentration in printmaking at the Academy of Art & Design in Wrocław, Poland where she received her MFA and recently defended her doctoral dissertation.


Laurel Shute

Laurel Shute is an abstract painter with a sculpture and printmaking background.  This is her first time teaching at Garrison Art Center.  Laurel is curiously drawn to the hand press in the printmaking loft upstairs and like everyone else, she is drawn by GAC's way of welcoming the creative in all of us! 


Laurel has been developing and teaching various styles of printmaking workshops in her freelance work as a teaching artist in Peekskill and also in Brooklyn.


Candace Winter

Candace Winter received her BFA from SUNY New Paltz. She is a Teaching Artist specializing in hand painted paper murals, with over 12 years experience. She considers herself an artist, a maker, and an all around Creative Person. Candace loves making art in any form, and focuses on collage art made by recycling hand painted paper scraps left over from children’s mural projects.


She has taught in many of GAC’s children’s programs including Summer Arts on the Hudson, to after-school programs, as well as adult workshops and Creative Happy Hour.

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Brian Beaton

Brian Beaton has a bachelor's degree in illustration from School of Visual Arts in New York City. Brian says, “Being an artist today, for me, is also being a designer. Faux finishing, decorative refinishing, scenic painting, interior design, furniture design and fabrication, exhibits design, sculpture assembly, it’s all part of being an artist today. It’s about being a creative person. That’s your ‘trade’.”


Brian will be teaching a  life drawing class for teens coming up in February. He hopes it’s the first of many different classes and workshops that he feels artists will find beneficial and thoroughly enjoy. Can’t wait to see you there!


Patricia Blanco

Patricia Blanco is an artist, graphic designer, poet, energy healer, and meditation teacher. She has a major in communications from Boston College.


Art making has been a huge passion of hers since Mrs. Connell’s class, Patricia’s 1st-grade art class. She had a graphic design career before raising her two children. While raising her children, she experimented with her deep interests in the arts both visually and poetically and published a poetry book called Pluto: Poems & Prose (2015). Patricia works with analog collage and mixed media.


She’s so excited to share her current interests with others and teach her first class at GAC.

Photo Credit: Dana Goldstein

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Ada Pilar Cruz

Ada Pilar Cruz earned her MFA in 1987 from Cranbrook Academy of Art in ceramics/sculpture and printmaking and her BFA from Hunter College in 1979. She has been an artist and art educator since 1987 when, as a graduate student in Cranbrook, she first began giving art workshops to students in Detroit and Pontiac, Michigan public schools.  Since that time, she has taught many aspects of art making in many of the US states, including Michigan, New York, California, Connecticut, Maine, and more, as well as abroad, including Mexico, Canada, France, Spain, and Nicaragua. Ada has taught Art History for 28 years; and has been a museum educator since 1990 for Studio Museum in Harlem; The Guggenheim, Museo del Barrio, The Bronx Museum, and continues to work in MoMA where she has been since 1995 and The Drawing Center since 2008. Ada is a member of Buster Levi Gallery, in Cold Spring, NY and has an artist studio in Lake Peekskill, NY. Her involvement with Garrison Art Center began in the year 2000 when her daughter participated in the Summer Arts on the Hudson program.  Since 2001 Ada has been teaching art in this same program.  Currently, she teaches hand-building and sculptural ceramic art to adults in Garrison Art Center’s clay studio.


Christina Di Marco

Christina Di Marco has been a teaching artist in the Hudson Valley for over 30 years. She studied sociology and psychology at Trinity College and SUNY New Paltz and co-founded and ran Clove Creek Artists, an art school in Southern Dutchess for 9 years where she both learned and taught.


Christina teaches the elemental arts of Turkish marbling and suminagashi, bookbinding, and many media. In addition to teaching at Garrison Art Center for years, she has taught at many camps, schools, libraries, after-school programs, art centers, and worked with patients in hospitals and medical communities. She holds a Creative Arts Therapy Certificate and actively displays her paper and book arts in galleries across the Hudson Valley.


Renee Curci Ivanoff

Renee Curci Ivanoff has been working with clay for 20+ years.  A self taught potter, she finds joy and relaxation in both hand building and wheel throwing.  Renee has taught in various schools and art classes throughout Westchester before becoming part of the Garrison Art Center. “There is a comfort and a joy in working with clay. The possibilities of what you can make, how to glaze each piece or the type of firing you can choose makes this art form truly endless.”

Renee makes modern functional pieces for the home. Gathering as friends and family has always been at the center of Renee’s life. Conversation shared over food helped Renee to focus on making pieces for the tabletop. “The art that our eye sees easily connects to the heart. It touches or connects with us from within.”  Using such an ancient art form to create modern pieces is very cool!


Danielle Lafayette

Danielle Lafayette received her Bachelor of Science degree from The College of New Rochelle in Art Education and a Master of Professional Studies degree from Pratt Institute in Creative Arts Therapy.


Danielle has spent her career teaching and working with groups of students of various ages and abilities. She brings the knowledge of art making and materials to her students while encouraging them to use their own unique voices in their artwork. She has enjoyed taking classes at Garrison Art Center in the past and has participated in the Mentor Program and Member Show. She is happy to have the opportunity to teach at the art center.


Judy Mensch 

Judy Mensch received her MFA at Tyler School of Art in Rome, Temple University, Rome, Italy and BFA at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA & Italy and has studied at Studio Camnitzer in Valdottavo, Italy, Crown Point Press in San Francisco, CA, School of Visual Arts in New York, NY and Art Quest in Nagasawa Japan.


Judy is a printmaker and painter. Her work straddles the line between abstraction and reality using prints, drawing, paintings, mixed media, and photography. She has worked as a printer for other artists, taught printmaking, and does their own work in intaglio, lithography, relief, and silkscreen. Judy is a founding member of the Manhattan Graphics Center. Her work is represented by The Old Printshop.


Judy became familiar with the Garrison Art Center through their friend David Finkbeiner who created the print shop at the GAC and taught here for many years.  After David, Judy’s friend Vijay Kumar took over David’s classes and when Vijay was away, Judy substituted for him teaching Intaglio. Later she taught Monoprint/Monotype printing. In 2020 she had a print in the Garrison Art Center’s Small Works Biennial Exhibition and participated in Post Cards from a Pandemic, 2020.


James Murray

James Murray is a lifelong working artist in New York. James is a BFA graduate from the School of Visual Arts and is also a U.S. Merchant Marine Captain. He is a sculptor that works in reclaimed wood, steel, stone, and found objects, he works in partnership with his materials.

James has been a teaching artist at GAC for more than ten years and his involvement with GAC started in 1992 when he enrolled his two children in the pottery programs. The ‘Float Your Boat’ event on the banks of the Hudson River at the GAC was one of many joys of being a part of GAC.

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Sarah Paradie

Sarah Paradie was born and raised in the Hudson Valley. Her historical exposure from an early age inspired her to study the classical art of figure drawing from local master artists and professors, as well as the fundamentals of 20th-century art history from the walls of the Vassar College Lehman Loeb Art Center. After attending Dutchess Community College for a few semesters, she decided to open up her own business that focused on the professional printing and marketing of her fine art illustrations.


Her background in history and figure drawing gave her the ability to tell elaborate, single-image stories using the simplicity of black and white, alongside symbolism and rhythmic gesture. Although she started her career using chalk pastel and charcoal, her true passion lies in pen and ink.


Sarah has been an avid visitor and admirer of the Garrison Art Center for about four years. She is excited to share her love for history and art-making through abstract art history classes for GAC students!


Kim Waldhauer

Kim Waldhauer started taking clay classes at Garrison Art Center around 1999 and immediately became a studio assistant. Her work includes agateware, which is combining 2 or more colors of clay in one pot, whether using the potter’s wheel or not. See some of her work @kims_kiln on Instagram.


Over the years Kim has taken on helping prep the galleries for shows and learned how to maintain kilns. One favorite project was a collaboration with Katie Schmidt-Feder, a former Director of the Garrison Art Center. Kim built a psychedelic sugar shack as part of the immersive show, Hello Neighbor. Guests entered through a door but had to discover their way out. She is now the Assistant Studio Manager for GAC in addition to being a teaching artist. 

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Dawn Zichko

Dawn Zichko is mainly self-taught and BA from Western Connecticut University in Graphic Design.


She has a life long involvement in art, and started drawing horses (copying from coloring books) and moved on to other mediums through-out; acrylics, oils, pastels, fiber arts, book binding, mixed-media applications.


Dawn recently started teaching at Garrison Art Center and is excited to be here! 

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