Faculty

Faculty

Tim Ebneth

Tim Ebneth is an artist, illustrator and designer who lives and works in Kinderhook, NY.  Growing up in New York City, his passion for art began with visits to the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He studied Fine Art at Pratt Institute and graduated as a Fine Art and Illustration Major from the School of Visual Arts.  His art career began while attending the School of Visual Arts, illustrating and designing windows and installations for clients such as Bergdorf Goodman, Gucci and Barneys. Tim is a set designer and stylist for photo shoots, videos and commercials.  His professional work can be seen in Vanity Fair, O Magazine, The New York Times as well as advertising campaigns for major corporations.

Since moving to the Hudson Valley, his work continues to flourish. The surrounding landscape and the energy of nature, serve as newfound inspiration for Tim’s drawing, painting and mixed media pieces. Tim’s studio was created when he discovered a 150-year old barn and had it moved and reassembled on his property, and its panoramic view of the Catskill Mountains provides inspiration. Tim Ebneth’s work has been exhibited throughout Hudson, NY and the Hudson Valley at various galleries, The Hudson Opera House, select juried and invitational exhibitions, as well as in private collections. His website is: timebneth.com. Tim is the recipient of the Art School of Columbia County’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2015.

David Lesako

David Lesako is from Carmichaels, PA. He received his BS in Art Education from Penn State, and his M.ed. in Special Education from California University of Pennsylvania. He began teaching over 30 years ago, and was most recently the Art Teacher at Central Greene School District in Waynesburg, PA. David has exhibited in many solo and group shows. He was named Artist of the Year by the Frank Melega Gallery in Brownsville, PA, in 2000.

David works in pastel, watercolor, gouache, and oil, doing landscapes and old buildings. He is also a woodworker. David created and erected the wreath that was up on the grounds of the School for winter 2020.

David and his wife moved from Pennsylvania to Columbia County in 2019, and he started teaching at the Art School soon after settling in. You can view his works at www.davidlesakoart.com, or from his open air exhibition space on his property on German Church Road in Ghent.

Gary Finelli

Gary Finelli has been an artist for over forty years. His education was in Superior, Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor in Fine Arts.  Upon moving back east to New York City, he earned a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from New York University. He has exhibited in many juried shows and has won awards for his art. Much of his fine art is influenced by illuminated manuscripts which he has been re-creating in a contemporary version. His strong design for the layout of his subject matter consists primarily of abstracted versions of portraits, figure studies and landscapes. As an illustrator he has drawn political cartoons for a newspaper in the mid-west, designed greeting cards, and has illustrated two books. Examples of Gary’s portraits and fine art work may be found on his website.  Gary is the recipient of the Art School of Columbia County’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2017.

HM Saffer, II

H.M. Saffer, II launched his art career at age of six. A graduate of Temple University, HM’s life took many exciting paths, including becoming a successful songwriter and producer and the chef /owner of restaurants in Paris and Ibiza, Spain. HM never stopped painting and exhibiting his works and before returning to the United States in 1970, he completed selected studies at L’Ecole Des Beaux Arts and exhibited in Paris and Brussels, Belgium. HM’s musical career took him to Warner Brothers and, while there, he painted a forty foot mural in their Madison Avenue Headquarters.

Always looking to broaden his scope, HM studied the art of Japanese brush painting and subsequently traveled to Japan to study with Japanese masters, and there he met his wife, Hisayo. While in Japan, HM adapted his Sumi-e techniques by applying Western styles of painting. He was represented by Galerie Musee and the Artbridge Gallery in Japan, and in Hong Kong by Alisen Gallery and the Kwai Fung Hin Gallery enjoying successful solo exhibits. His style of painting shifted from exclusively works on paper to include oils. He began melding his Oriental influences with his Western styles in order to create new and different paths towards interpersonal visual expression, and his current works are a reflection of this mélange.

HM has instructed at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA, Berkshire Community College, and Columbia-Greene Community College. He currently has gallery representation in the United States and Internationally. HM and his wife live in Upstate New York.  Visit HM’s website.

Gerald Seligman

Gerald Seligman has been a photographer for over 40 years, with photos published in newspapers, magazines, in galleries and on album covers for Universal/Verve, EMI Hemisphere, Rounder, Rykodisc and other labels. He spent most of his career working in the international music industry and has lived in Rio de Janeiro, London and Berlin. Virus permitting, he travels the world every year. He posts regularly on instagram.com/geraldseligman.photo. His work can be seen in regional, national and international galleries. “In photography,” he says, “I try to find order in chaos, compassion in random encounters and the human spirit in the day-to-day. I wander and attempt to capture the moment, alternating among abstracts, geometry and the human face and form.” Gerald lives in Spencertown, New York.

Melissa Forbes, artist, a yogini, author, and world traveler is the creator of Mandala paintings.

She was the recipient of a Pollack-Krasner grant, a five-year scholarship at the National Academy Press, and was awarded the Ogden M. Pleissner Fellowship, the Nancy O’Malley Fellowship, the Ricky Fingerhut Fellowship and the Ralph Fabri Fellowship. As an Adjunct professor at the University of New Haven, CT, Melissa has shared her knowledge in other countries and cultures.

Danimarie Jones (she/her) is a self-taught, multi-disciplinary painter-poet. Her artistic practice is a continuous study of self and other, with emphasis placed on themes concerning mind and body. As a teacher, who has worked with children, Danimarie takes care to create a welcoming and nurturing environment where students feel free to take charge of their creativity in order to make way for fearless, confident and healthy self-expression.

Carol Salus received Ph.D. in History of Art from Ohio State University. She is Professor Emerita from Kent State University. Her book, Picasso and Celestina: The Artist’s Vision of the Procuress was published by Juan de la Questa Press. Carol is co-editor of Out of Context: American Artists Abroad published by Greenwood Press. She has published numerous articles for various journals. She has spoken at various conferences including the College Art Association, Creativity and Madness Conference (The American Institute of Medical Education) and the Cleveland Psychoanalytic Society.

Gerald Seligman has been a photographer since he was a kid, with many photos published in magazines, on album covers and exhibited in galleries

Rachel Sherk & Aaron Rourk, are founders of MAPS (Music Art Puppet Sound, Inc.) Rachel Sherk is a multidisciplinary artist who makes work about place, landscape, vegetation, created mythologies and story. She has an undergraduate degree from Bennington College and a Masters Degree from NYU in Puppetry and Community Activism. Aaron Rourk is an improviser and composer known for his work that blends acoustic music (flutes, clarinets and saxophones) with electronic music technologies. His projects span a range of genres, and his work is often entangled with other artistic disciplines such as dance, sculpture, film and theater. He was a MFA in Sonic Arts from CUNY, Brooklyn College. Both Rachel and Aaron taught at Saint Ann’s School from 2011-2018 before founding MAPS.

Sayzie Carr is an artist whose work encompasses painting, and textiles. She studied painting at RISD and moved to NYC, where she spent several decades painting, supporting her art habit by designing textiles and working in the textile industry. Her life-long love of textiles, sewing  and painting has been combined  (each informs the other), working with fabric has become her medium as an expressive art form. She enjoys teaching, painting  and producing “functional” art with fabric. She has exhibited her work in numerous shows in NYC, New England, UK and South America.

Dominique DeVito is a graduate of Mt.Holyoke College. In 2006 she started the Hudson-Chatham Winery. Columbia County’s first winery, it was named Best Winery in the Capital Region and in Columbia County for many years. The winery was sold in 2020. Dominique was Coordinator of the Art School from 2019 to 2021. Dominique is the author of many books, including cookbooks for slow cookers and cast iron skillets. She writes a monthly article for Main Street Magazine, as well as a “Wine of the Week” piece for their website.

Karen Martin received her BFA from Long Island University in Southampton, NY. She is a practicing artist, avid gardener and amateur chef. Her true passion is bringing out and nurturing the creative side of adults and young people. Karen’s lifelong practice of art enriches her life and those around her.

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