The Art School of Columbia County is honored to work with these practicing, professional and experienced teaching artists among our faculty They represent what we do best in serving our mission on site at ASCC, on location at various other sites and in collaboration with other organizations and schools . We look forward to providing you with opportunities to study with them, while you explore your creative interests. If you have questions about a class or a teaching artist, please e-mail us at
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. He travels the world much of the year, every year. His work can be seen in regional, national and international galleries.
Sandra Koponen, a lifelong visual artist has focussed in the past decade, primarily on oil painting and intensified her practice. Ms. Koponen is always expanding her oevre; her paintings range in style and subject matter, from portraiture to abstraction, from small scale to large scale, and tend to have a strong color sensibility and a thick application of paint. Her paintings have received mention in The New York Times, the Times Union, Vice News and other publications. She has shown her work at Smack Mellon Gallery (Brooklyn), SLA (NYC), Ten Van Eyck (Brooklyn), Time and Space Gallery (Hudson) and many other places.
Peter Acheson received his B.F.A. degree from Yale University. He has shown his artwork at Thompson Giroux Gallery, Chatham, NY since 2011, John David Gallery in Hudson, NY. Steven Harvey Fine Arts, New York and others..
Tim Ebneth is a contemporary abstract painter and designer residing in Columbia County, New York. A New York City native, he created installations at luxury retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman’s, Gucci, Barneys NY and Studio 54 while attending art school. Tim was a sought after set designer and interiors stylist for fashion editorials, advertising and commercials. Ebneth studied Fine Art at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and The Art Students League. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan, NY. Tim Ebneth’s artwork has been exhibited throughout the Hudson Valley; New York City; East Hampton, NY; and juried and invitational exhibitions.
Tate Klacsmann is member and former council member of the Society of American Graphic Artists. His work has been shown nationally and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of the Albany Institute of History and Art and The Smith College Museum of Art, and is part of the flat files of Zea Mays Printmaking. He completed an MFA at Northern Vermont University, a Masters of Art History at University of Glasgow, and BA at Yale University. He has been teaching art and art history for more than ten years at schools including: Northern Vermont University, Augusta University, SUNY Columbia Greene, and Bard Early College – Hudson Valley and has been a visiting artist or lecturer at the Hotchkiss School, Springfield College, and New River Community College.
Artist, yogini, author, and world traveler, Melissa Forbes is the creator of Mandala paintings, artwork for meditation, awakening and grounding..As an artist, Melissa 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. In addition to being an artist, she is a skilled yoga professional. As an Adjunct professor at the University of New Haven, CT, Melissa has shared her knowledge in other countries and cultures. Melissa had the honor of accompanying U.G. Krishnamurti, a Jivamukti, in his travels during the last five years of his life. Melissa is the author of “No Teaching Yoga: The Authentic Guide”, a reflection of her spiritual journey.
David Lesako received his degree in Art Education from Penn State University. He taught for 30 years in public school and on the college level for 8 years at Waynesburg University in. PA. He has taught and exhibited his artwork as a landscape painter in watercolor, pastel, oil and he has a gallery in Ghent, N.Y.
Tia Maggio is a native New Yorker. She was formally trained in graphic design and advertising at Pratt Institute, and studied fine art and art history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She works with pastels, color pencils and most recently with the iPad Pro. Tia pulls her inspiration from nature and describes herself as a nature based expressionist. She admires German Expressionist Emil Nolde, and artist Wolf Kahn . She loves the untamed wildness of Nolde and in turn the ethereal calm of Wolf Kahn. Inspired, too, by painter David Hockney, she is excited by his fearless vision and exploration of color.
Laurie Sussman is a self-taught artist who has an ongoing practice in painting. She has worked with several different teachers to expand her skills and knowledge, including at the Art School of Columbia County. Laurie has also been an avid student of art history and of artists believing that acquiring lots of information furthers one’s own practice.
Linda McNutt is an artist and designer who works and lives in a converted dairy barn. Raised in Texas, she graduated with degrees in art, art history, and architecture from Rice University. She worked for 9 years in New York City and London, before moving to the Hudson Valley. She recently retired from her 30-year architecture practice in Columbia County, with her final project the newly renovated Claverack Free Library. She learned to embroider at age 6 from her Texas grandma and comes from a long line of women who sew and quilt and make beautiful objects from fabric. She became passionate about hand stitching, drawn to both the tactile beauty of the assemblage of textiles as an art form, and as a means of personal expression and transformation.
Karen Martin is a local practicing artist, and avid gardener, exhibiting and selling her work in Columbia County. She works in a wide variety of media and most of her inspiration comes from nature and photographs taken during the growing season. Karen earned a B.A. degree from Long Island University, Southampton Campus. She worked in advertising for 10 years before joining and retiring from a pharmaceutical company as a Business Development Manager. Her classes are a mix of art fundamentals, material explorations, music, and the inspiration to explore one’s own creative side.
Teaching at ASCC for Adult classes as well as the Art of Summer Children’s Program teacher
Mary earned her BFA at the Swain School of Design, New Bedford MA and her MFA at Queens College in NYC. Mary has been teaching children since the 90’s in programs such as the D.A.R.E. Program in NYC at the Bronx Housing Project, and at the Ancient Oaks Farm creative arts program in Baltimore MD. She organized and taught art classes at the Bapuji Orphanage in Mysore India with the children at the orphanage for many years. She has had three solo exhibitions at The Prince Street Gallery in NYC, and at numerous group shows. Two-person shows include the Joyce Goldstein Gallery in Chatham NY; Baltimore City Hall,, and at Dartmouth College ,Hopkins Center curated by Ben Moss, as well as numerous inclusions in the Jason McCoy drawing challenges.
Andrew Pellettieri graduated from the High School of Music and Art in New York City and received his BA in Fine Art from SUNY Plattsburgh. He went on to complete a four year course of study at the Art Students League of New York where he, as a recipient of the Henry E. Schankenberg Memorial Scholarship, received a Certificate in Painting. Pellettieri’s work has been exhibited widely in the Hudson Valley and Capitol Region of New York where he lives. In recent years, Pellettieri has exhibited at the Spring Street Gallery, Saratoga Springs, Albany Center Gallery, The Art Center of the Capitol Region, Troy, Time and Space, Hudson, Gallery 53, Cooperstown and The Spencertown Academy. Pellettieri’s paintings are in the permanent collections of the Arts Students League of New York, the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, Kidder Peabody & Company and numerous private collections. His mural for Amtrak’s Albany-Rensselaer Station in Rensselaer, hangs in their conference room. Pellettieri received a New York State Council on the Arts Grant to teach drawing at the former North Pointe Cultural Arts Center in Kinderhook, NY. His current work is focused on subjects of the surrounding Hudson Valley, with an emphasis on the Hudson River and its agricultural surroundings. Andrew Pellettieri previously served on the Board of the Art School of Columbia County, the Board of The Art Students League of New York, and as a Trustee of the American Fine Arts Society.
The Art of Summer Children’s Program teacher
Gayle Abrams has been an art teacher at Ichabod Crane High School since 2009. With a BFA in Illustration and an MST in Art Education from RIT, Gayle enjoys all types of art, particularly printmaking and digital art. Gayle also has her own T-Shirt company called “Shayna Punim,” where she designs and makes whimsical shirts for kids and kids at heart. This will be Gayle’s second year teaching art at the Art School of Columbia’s, The Art of Summer Children’s Program.
The Art of Summer Children’s Program teacher
Laura has been an elementary school and high school art teacher in Wisconsin and has resided and worked in Columbia County and in NYC. She received her MFA from SUNY-Stony Brook, New York.
Laura worked in Manhattan at Leo Castelli Gallery and has been a Director, Curator, and Consultant for numerous galleries in Manhattan’s Soho and Chelsea areas.
The Art of Summer Children’s Program teacher.
Ali is a mixed media artist, living in the Hudson Valley region. Ali’s decades long career is as a K-8 art educator and Art Chair in schools located in the Hudson Valley region, Connecticut and New York City. She is a community art activist and LGBTQIA+ advocate, working with NYC programs to create murals and educational programs that focus on anti-racism and bring diverse communities together.. Ali studied sculpture and set design at SUNY Purchase College, where she received her BFA degree and art education at College of New Rochelle. Ali has exhibited her sculptures and drawings nationwide in galleries and has created theater sets in professional theaters, community theater and school programs.
The Art of Summer Children’s Program teacher.
Charlotte Semmes has been crafting and creating for as long as she can remember. She received her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Skidmore College with a concentration in Textiles and Painting and a minor in Anthropology. A cross-country trip following her college graduation landed her in San Francisco where she worked for several years in the design industry-Textiles, Apparel, Graphics and Accessory Design. She holds an MFA in Textiles from UC Davis, where she was awarded a full teaching fellowship in their newly established research-driven Design MFA program. Charlotte believes having her own creative practice is essential to inspire creativity in others, and it is one of her life goals to find a balance between the two passions. After graduating from her MFA program at Davis she did a one-year teaching credential program to become a K-12 Art Educator at Sacramento State. She trained during her teaching credential at a Waldorf-inspired high school with a linked learning pathway focused on social and environmental justice in Sacramento and eventually settled in the Lake Tahoe Area where she was the Upper School Art teacher at small expeditionary learning school, Adjunct Art professor at Sierra College, a teaching artist in the public schools and through a community makerspace. She presently lives in Columbia County.