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Meet the Teachers

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Carlise Azmitia

Carlise Azmitia is a semi self-taught felter. It all started 12 years ago during a quest to introduce her daughter to new creative outlets. Since then, she has been teaching felting, along with classical art, paper quilling, watercolor painting and meditative art.

Recently, she was hired as the new art teacher at Orange-Ulster Boces Adult Continuing Education in Goshen NY. Carlise is a 2008 graduate of New York Institute of Photography Professional Studies Program and is a member of Northeast Feltmakers Guild, Arts Mid-Hudson and has been seen at a few local craft festivals throughout the years.

Carlise runs a local Hudson Valley felting club with over a dozen members. She learned about Garrison Art Center through Arts Mid-Hudson and is absolutely thrilled to share felting with the community.

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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!

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Greta Corens

After a career as a sought-after fashion designer in New York City, Greta Corens taught
life drawing, watercolors, and architectural perspective at the Reilly League of Artists where she became president, and the Northern Westchester Center for the Arts. More recently, she became a teacher in Watercolors at the Ossining Cedar Lane Art Center, the Greenwich Art Center, and the Garrison Art Center.

Corens received an MFA in Architectural Design from the St. Lucas Institute of Architecture Div. St. Imelda in Brussels, Belgium where she developed her love for watercolor painting. She studied oil painting at the Antwerp Royal Academy, drawing at the Los Angeles Animation Institute, and classical painting at the St. Petersburg Art Academy in Florence, Italy. Her realistic watercolor flower paintings and pastel portraits are in
private collections in the USA, Europe, and Saudi Arabia.


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.


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!

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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.”

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Laura Lanchantin

Laura Lanchantin is a fine artist and maker of organic watercolor paints based in New Paltz, NY. Laura blends the line between abstraction and landscape in her plein air oil paintings.

After completing her BFA in Painting and Drawing from SUNY New Paltz in 2014, she has completed several artist's residency programs, many in national parks. Laura has created her own earth pigment library made from Ochre minerals and clay from around the country, and now spends most of her time teaching online and in person classes.

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Amanda Light

Amanda Light is a self-taught and community mentored artist, curator, and creative facilitator from the Hudson Valley.

Amanda began teaching paper making in 2017 and has taught multiple paper making workshops at a variety of facilities, learning and sharing new techniques and information throughout her teaching experience.

As a new participant at Garrison Art Center, Light looks forward to fostering creative relationships, sharing her artistic experience and skills, and learning from fellow teachers and the greater community.


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.

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Ed Murr

An Illustrator for over twenty-five years Ed Murr has been creating illustrations for a wide range of clients. Starting off at the Marvel Comics Bullpen in the nineties working alongside legendary cartoonists and moving over to the Topps Company, Murr immersed himself in the study of
storytelling and illustration the entire time.

Other applications of his craft included work as Storyboard Artist for various advertising, film & television productions for live action and animation. As a licensing artist, worked on paint masters for toys, illustrated calendars and worked on style guides.

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology’s MFA in Illustration Program the body of work and path of an Illustrator continues. Currently, Murr is a Freelance Illustrator and also a Professor of Illustration at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Montclair State University and Pratt Institute.


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.


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.


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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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!

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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.


Ellen Dinerman

Ellen Dinerman holds a CA Teaching Credential, an MFA in Sculpture from Claremont Graduate School, and a BA from Antioch University. When she was in high school, she recalls visiting an art fair at Garrison Art Center, where she bought a ceramic cup and knew she had to become a potter.

After studying ceramics and sculpture, Ellen became a practicing artist and has been teaching art for over 30 years, mostly in Los Angeles, California. Currently, Ellen works in mosaics and teaches adults in a social enterprise program called Piece by Piece in South Los Angeles. She looks forward to joining the Garrison Art Center!


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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Gerry Katzban

Gerry has a diverse background in multimedia design, environmental education, and fine art, along with deep interests in science and nature. His projects for private and corporate clients include graphic design, motion graphics for
broadcast television and exhibits, and industrial design for surgical environments.

Projects for film and video productions have been seen on several PBS programs and permanent displays for museums in the US.

For more than 25 years, Gerry has been teaching college-level design, media production, and photography courses at Westchester Community College. Landscape, nature, bird, and wildlife photography are personal passions. The Hudson Valley is a favorite region for hiking with a camera in all seasons, solo, and with his photography students.
Gerry has a Bachelor of Industrial Design degree from Pratt Institute and Masters degrees in Environmental Education and Studio Art - Printmaking from NYU.


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.

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Sheryl Levine

Sheryl Levine is a mixed media artist incorporating elements of printmaking, fabric, paper collage and hand stitching into her work. Sheryl received her Master’s Degree in Art Education from Manhattanville College, and attended both Hunter College and the Fashion Institute of Technology for her undergraduate Art Education.

After retiring from teaching Art at Brewster High School in 2016, Sheryl has had the opportunity to work full time as an exhibiting and teaching artist. Sheryl continues her involvement in Art Education at the state level as the Co-Chair of the New York State Art Teachers Association, Region 7. Sheryl began teaching at the Garrison Art Center in the mid 1990’s starting with figurative sculpture and has also taught at the Summer Arts on the Hudson, the Summer Art Institute and the Mentor Program for many years. 

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Daniel Graham Loxton

Daniel Graham Loxton received his BFA from School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2009. His work has been the subject of numerous group and solo exhibitions in the US and abroad.

He is currently pursuing his MFA at SUNY New Paltz and has been teaching intro and basic painting classes there. Having moved to Cold Spring in 2018 and visiting the Garrison Art Center for numerous exhibitions and artist talks, the time felt right to share his knowledge and experience in art with his community.

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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.

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Sharon Rubinstein

Sharon Rubinstein specializes in portraiture, but enjoy many artistic subjects and media. Rubinstein completed her BFA at the University of Michigan and has taken additional art classes at Cornell University, the Corcoran School of Art, and the School of Visual Arts.

She has exhibited in many New York locations including the Bethany Arts Community, the Field Lirary in Peekskill, and the Jefferson Valley Mall. Rubinstein is a strong believer in life-long learning, and continues to keep her own knowledge fresh while teaching others.

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Lori Sanford-Ross

Lori Sanford-Ross was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Flushing, Queens. Lori recently taught her first class at Garrison Art Center, Learning to Draw Again, and she is happy to be a new member as well.

She has exhibited in countless solo and group shows throughout the United States and the UK. Lori has received two artist grants from Queens Council on the Arts, as well as an NYC Artist Corps Grant, funded by the New York Foundation for the Arts.

In 2016, Sanford-Ross received her MFA from the acclaimed New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, and she has studied at the Art Student’s League of New York. A lifelong New Yorker, Lori recently moved from Queens to beautiful Beacon with her husband, Sid Ross, an actor and playwright, and her daughter, Rachel. 


Beth Tango

Beth Tango holds a BS in Industrial Arts Education from SUNY Oswego and an MS in Health Education from Hofstra University. She is a proud member of the National Sculptor Society and the New England Sculptor Association. She has held past memberships in the Pastel Society of America and the Northeast Watercolor Society.

Beth is excited to share her love of art and creation with students motivated to explore their individuality and artistic spirit.


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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