Studio Art Instructors

Caitlin Albright lives and works in North Jersey. She graduated cum laude with a BA in Art Education from Montclair State University and also studied at the Art Students League of New York and the Rhode Island School of Design. Caitlin enjoys volunteering in the arts and wrote a grant that was selected by the Dodge Foundation which allowed urban high school students to host a series of art exhibitions for their community. She uses charcoal and graphite in her own work to explore the connection between nature and psychology by translating thought processes, dreams, and memories into landscapes. Caitlin’s work navigates back and forth between the inner workings of the mind and their physical manifestations in order to show how we can be as deeply rooted in our thoughts as we are in a place.

Artist’s Statement: My work explores the connection between psychology and the environment. I translate psychological thought processes, dreams, and memories into landscapes by playing with the idea of scale and grounding them in elements of nature. Our surroundings can have a direct influence on our mindset, which is why I use the environment as a way to delve deeper into psychological phenomena. Our minds consider infinite possibilities, especially during sleep when there are fewer restrictions on the thoughts, feelings, and memories that we are attempting to process. However, these possibilities are often lost upon waking. My drawings reflect on the ephemeral nature of these dreams and memories to recover that which can so easily be lost or forgotten.


Kelly Bogucz is in her senior year at William Paterson University. She is working on a dual major in Fine Arts (BFA, Concentration in Drawing and Painting) and Secondary Education (K – 12). She has been teaching kids art since she was 18, starting with graffiti (off-the-wall!)  and has branched out to teaching the fundamentals of drawing animals and fantasy figures. Kelly was recipient of two awards in 2013:  Best in Show for a water color illustration piece, and William Paterson University’s prestigious 2013 Battcock Award, whereby the university purchased one of her paintings and has it currently on display on campus.

Artist’s Statement:  I have a strong love for teaching art and plan to pursue it as a career. I am currently focusing heavily on watercolor paintings in my fine arts concentration at William Paterson.


Peggy Dressel is an illustrator and portrait artist working in watercolor and pastel. She studied    at Pratt Institute, National Academy of Design, NY, and Moore College of Art, PA. She has exhibited in numerous juried and invitational shows and is a consistent prize winner. Her portraits and paintings are represented in over a hundred private collections. In addition, companies such as Marshall Cavendish, Prentice-Hall, Dial soap, Macmillian/McGraw-Hill, Macy’s and Vogue have published her work in advertisements, books, posters, calendars and periodicals. She has illustrated four children’s books: Hoops! (Rigby), The Marble Jar, (Zaner-Bloser, Inc.), The Magic Attic Dolls – The Adventure Begins (Reverie Publishing Company) and Emily’s Bracelet (Cook Communications Ministries).  A 2007 article in Watercolor Magazine – The Basics of Watercolor Paints I & II, features Peggy’s paintings, as well as her knowledge of color theory and her watercolor palette.

Artist’s Statement:  My challenge is to try to paint the ordinary everyday places, things and people and make them unordinary. To achieve this, I enhance my subject matter with vibrant colors, a strong sense of light, and a unique point of view. I also hope that my work will evoke a sense of emotion or bring back memories. To reach this goal, I have developed a personal style and process of painting.


Patricia Flaherty has been using charcoal, oils, and pastel to react to the world around her for the past thirty years. She was inspired by the French Barbizon artists who worked outdoors, and began working outdoors near her home. Her earliest training was at the Art Students League in New York where she studied drawing, pastel, and oil painting, often working in Central Park.  Her landscape lessons were with John P. Osborne at the Ridgewood Art Institute. She travels New Jersey, New York, and New England painting landscapes. She has been participating in plein air events since 1989.  Pat has earned awards for her art in numerous juried shows around the New Jersey – New York region.

Artist’s Statement: What I enjoy about art is the chance to experience a different world. It is making a design using imagination, nature, and color. Painting outdoors is extremely stimulating and calls on one’s resourcefulness. Your joy and creativity are multiplied.  Peace comes back to you. You can share your art-making and ideas with everyone, either while you are creating or afterwards. I am grateful for the happiness that art brings to me, and try to give that opportunity to others when I teach art classes.


Annette Hanna is a portrait and landscape painter working in oil, pastel, charcoal and graphite. She has studied with John Howard Sanden, Daniel Greene, and Burt Silverman. She has won numerous awards in pastel and oil, including: five Gold Medals in Painting; Finalist in Artist Magazine’s National Competition for Portrait and Figure, for a portrait in oil; Honorable Mention in Pastel Journal’s National Competition for 100 Best Pastels of 2006; and an Award of Merit at the Northwest Pastel Society exhibition in Washington State.  She is the author of a book, How to Paint Portraits in Oil, and has been featured in American Artist magazine, Portrait Highlights, The Best of Pastels II, International Pastel Artist magazine, and in 2010 was chosen as one of the Best of America Pastel Artists.  In 2013 she was chosen to exhibit in a “Paint the Parks” exhibition at the Coutts Museum in El Dorado, Kansas.  The exhibit will embark on a multi-city tour in 2014.  Annette spends summers in Washington State, on Whidbey Island with her husband, and enjoys painting landscape in the Northwest as well as the East Coast.

Artist’s Statement:  I love the act of painting, whether it is in oils or pastel. Painting people has always been a challenge and a fascination. Conveying a mood and suggesting inner thoughts has always been the goal when painting portraits or figures in a situation. Every individual is different with their own inner life. Landscape and still life are also wonderful subjects. There is much beauty in nature and it is a joy to go out and paint it.


Laurie Harden is an illustrator and painter, and has been, it seems, all her life. It is her first love and abiding passion. She works in oils, gouche, pastels, charcoal and pencil. Laurie studied at Kansas City Art Institute and Rhode Island School of Design, where she graduated with a BFA in Illustration.  Her work is widely exhibited, awarded, commissioned and collected, by both a domestic and an international clientele. Laurie exhibits widely in the Tri-State region, and has been teaching art for over twenty five years. Illustration clients include Harper & Collins, McGraw Hill, Houghton Mifflin, Holt Reinhart & Winston, Grossit & Dunlop, Pearson Learning, Lerner Publishing, Antheneum Books, Globe Fearon, Cobblehill Books, Avon Books, Aladdin Paperbacks, People’s Publishing Group, Scholastic Magazines, Cricket Magazine Group, Time/Life, Dell Magazines, Science Fiction Age, Redbook, NY Times, NY Daily News.

Artist’s Statement:  I endeavor to capture people and places as they are at the moment. I strive to portray the emotions and concerns that traverse all cultures, societies and races. I am fascinated by the ethnic and cultural differences while embracing the universality that connects all of mankind despite the differences.  I try to express more than a physical likeness. Whether it is a mood passing over a face, or an atmospheric change that settles over a landscape, there is an aura that is radiated. This aura is as much a part of the person or place as their outright appearance. It is this totality of persona that I strive to preserve in my figurative and scenic works.

I’m compelled to paint, to try to understand the way light falls on a person or object, and depict  it.  I wish to express the mood or fleeting emotion of a scene in such a way that the viewer can experience the feeling that captured me and caused me to put brush to canvas.


Alice Harrison creates works of art in a variety of mediums – wood sculptures as well as paintings in oil, acrylic, watercolor, transfers, prints, photography, encaustic, found papers and a variety of found objects, both natural and man-made. In each work of art there may be one or many mediums combined. Alice’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries and universities throughout the United States, and has been shown in Europe, Mexico, South Africa, Israel and New Zealand. She has received several grants from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, as well as a grant from the Soaring Gardens in Pennsylvania.  Her work has been recognized with numerous awards and can be found in many private collections, as well as in the collections of the Noyes Museum and Johnson & Johnson Corporation.

Artist’s Statement: The creative process for me is intuitive – starting with materials and/or marks that I make. I like putting things together – sometimes pieces that seem not to go together. Combining things with a former life with new materials is a wonderful challenge.  I work in layers, technically, intellectually and spiritually, to create images and sensations of movement, color, harmony and joy. Much of my work is inspired by the various materials I have collected, as well as by traditional materials in my studio.


Diane E. Israel holds a BA in Fine Arts from William Paterson University. She has been involved in the making and presentation of fine art for over 25 years.  She has served as the President of the West Essex Art Association, Exhibition Chair for the Miniature Society of New Jersey, and has been a past President for the Essex Chapter of the NJ Association of Women Business Owners. She is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Salvation Army in Montclair.  Diane’s art includes photography and specialized stationery in addition to her creation of fine art miniatures.


Robert Kogge studied at the Parson’s School of Design and has been a visiting artist at the Maryland Institute College of Art.  He has received numerous fellowships and awards, from institutions including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Adolf and Esther Gottleib Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Ludwig Vogelstein Foundation, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.  He has had numerous solo exhibitions at galleries in New York, San Francisco, Nashville, and Birmingham. His work is in the collections of the Yale University Art Gallery, Ivan Karp, New Jersey State Museum, The Hunter Museum, Chase Manhattan Bank, Prudential Insurance Co. of America (Newark, NJ), American Interactive Media (Los Angeles, CA), Rutgers University (Newark, NJ), and several other institutions.

Artist’s Statement:  As a result of preparatory drawings developing beyond their purpose into finished works, I began drawing directly on unprimed canvas with graphite, and currently am using colored pencils and ink wash on canvas. This is an approach which fuses painting and drawing into a single process. The materials I use elect the heavy weave of the canvas to be the dominant, but impersonal, unifying mark throughout each work. This aspect of the images results in an even distillation of positive and negative space including a particulate profile of the atmosphere. These works present what is recalled in the mind’s eye, aspiring to hold the viewers’ attention for reasons beyond what is being depicted. In this way, I hope meaning will emerge from the viewers’ own impressions, with vision less encumbered by what we think we know.  More generally, I try to draw the commonplace to an uncommon state by stressing issues of balance, harmony, order and calm.


Debra Livingston has a BFA in printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. She currently teaches art to elementary school children, adults and seniors. She is a docent at the Visual Arts Center of NJ and a mentor in their Arts Immersion Mentorship program. She is a member of the Book Arts Roundtable. Over the past six months Debra has had her monoprints and handmade books in several shows in New Jersey, including the Pierro gallery, the Printmaking Center of NJ, the Visual Arts Center of NJ, and the Metrowest JCC gallery. She also had two books in a juried show at the Abecedarian gallery in Denver Colorado.

Artist Statement: I am a printmaker and handmade book artist. My prints are primary large abstract monoprints. I enjoy working with many kinds of structures in my books including pop up, altered and computer generated books.


Sandra Lupo, with a background in fine jewelry and silver smithing, has been a jewelry artist for over 20 years, and has been teaching wire techniques in jewelry making for the past 10 years. She spends some of her “design time” writing wire projects as “how-to” articles for national magazines, such as Step by Step Beads and Step by Step Wire. Sandra has been a contributor to Lark Books’ Beading with Crystals and Beading with Pearls, and has worked as a technical editor for several publishers on project-oriented books.  Her passion for gemstones, pearls, and other materials is only matched by a desire to teach technique and share her explorations with students. Weaving design, function and material together into a lovely, versatile finished piece is a delight for all in this do-it-yourself craft.

Artist’s Statement:  Designing jewelry is a natural part of my day and working with tools and gadgets is a daily exercise for me. I create wire and bead jewelry that is inspired by my surroundings and my travels and influenced by those jewelers who have taught me. I feel my designs are steeped in traditional methods, and styled with color and a mix of old and new materials. I attempt to design my wearable art as “feel good” as well as “look good” pieces. I love gemstones, pearls, crystal, glass and just about anything that could be wired up and worn.     


Fran Mann Goodman is an alumnus of Chouinard Art Institute where she studied under the guidance of Robert Chuey, in the style of realism. As a student, Fran exhibited her paintings, heavily texturized with spackling paste, in galleries in Los Angeles and Colts Neck, NJ. After college, Fran brought her artistic skill to the makeup field, where she taught photographic techniques at a renowned modeling agency in Toronto. In addition, she built a thirty-year career inspiring women to see their faces as “art.” Her unique approach, coupled with her workshops, seminars and support groups, earned her national and international acclaim. Today Fran paints in the style of Abstract Expressionism preferring to create mood and emotion over concrete images, and she texturizes with molding pastes and gels. Her paintings have been exhibited in juried shows around the tri-state area and are in private collection in New York and Hollywood. Fran is a member of the Morris County Art Association and the New York Art Students League.

Artist Statement: I paint with an invigorating freedom to breath color and dimension into my canvas with no perceived notion of what the painting will ultimately look like. I do this with the use of layering techniques — finding a life force in even the most minute structures. As an artist, my mission is to funnel the observer deep into worlds that beckon to the eye, the heart and the soul. As a teacher, my passion is to translate these ideals to my students.


Abby McBride holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Fine Arts and English from Wheaton College, and a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Lesley University.  She is a certified Art and Elementary school teacher in New Jersey, and has taught studio art classes and workshops, as well as designed curriculum for various museums, art councils and historical societies.  Abby works as an oil portrait painter and gouache illustrator.  Her expressionist portraits are in private collections throughout the country.

Artist Statement: As a painter I take inspiration from my subject.  I use line and vivid, unexpected colors to convey a sense of emotion, depth and nuance in my paintings.


Joe Morelli is Creative Director at Kraig Kalashian Architecture and Design, in Chester, NJ.  He earned his Master’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.  Joe’s thesis exhibition featured award winning sculpture and was recognized by the University as one of the finest in the program’s history. As Creative Director, Joe is responsible for all custom design and overall brand consistency for KKAD.

Artist’s Statement:  Central themes running through all of my work, no matter what the medium, are information design, science, and attention to detail.  I’m driven by a need to create, organize, and classify data into manageable pieces; to try and come to some semblance of understanding of the natural world.  Both sculpture and 2-D graphics are my favorite ways to go about doing this.  Likewise, having a foot in both the worlds of fine arts and graphic design allows me to explore how one discipline informs the other.


Nina Nemeth received her BFA from Southampton College, Long Island University, and her MFA from Pratt Institute, NYC.  She has worked as an atelier assistant to Yoshi Higa (Weston Press). She has also worked as studio assistant/intern to Thomas Allen (Illustrator, Sag Harbor, NY) and Michael Knigin (Fine Artist, Circle Gallery, NYC).  Nina enjoys working in as many different mediums as possible. Her artistic style has been described as vividly colorful and wonderfully textural. More recently, she has been exploring collage, painting, drawing, and mixed media, and has been working in fluid acrylic and collage landscapes. This more recent work has been a particular source of joy.  Nina has been teaching art for over ten years. Sharing her passion with her students is something she thoroughly enjoys.

Artist’s Statement: The idea is to always let the materials lead… never a specific goal in mind, but rather a direction that is inspired by the materials and the moment. The results are multi-layered and textured. The process involved in making the artwork makes the journey as meaningful and fulfilling as the final outcome.


Eleanor Parr-DiLeo is a mosaic artist who has been creating her unique works of art professionally for over ten years. She designs and constructs back-splashes and wall art pieces on commission, as well as works that are displayed at art and craft shows. She continually hones her skills by attending intensive mosaic workshops. Eleanor’s works of art are exhibited around the region, and she has been the recipient of awards for her mosaics at several juried shows. She has two publications, Mosaic Art 5 and Mosaic Art 6 out on CD.

Artist’s Statement:  I have a passion for mosaic and have made it my profession for over 10 years. I have been an artist and designer all my life, though creating outdoor spaces is my true passion. I find tremendous satisfaction in making something whole from fragments of common everyday items.


Francesca Pelaggi is a graduate of the School of Visual Arts, holding a BFA in Illustration, with a concentration using acrylics and pastels. She has over 20 years of professional art and 8 years of teaching experience. Upon commencing her career as an Artist her interests turned toward mural painting using acrylics, monument engraving and for her personal work, pastels and watercolor. Her murals decorate many residential and commercial spaces throughout NJ and her fine art pieces are held in private collections. Her teaching experience ranges in all levels from beginner to advanced, and age groups from kindergarten to adult. Francesca has instructed classes in pastels, oil, acrylic and watercolor paints and all drawing mediums, as well as conceptual illustration classes, perspective, basic fundamentals in form, value, atmospheric and light effects as well as composition.

Artist Statement: As an Instructor I enjoy working with students as they discover their artistic abilities and I look forward to fulfilling my interest in enhancing the lives of students through creativity, conceptual thinking as well as self-discovery.


Ed Potters is a graduate of Hunter College, City University of New York, and holds an MA in Fine Arts, with a concentration in Drawing and Painting. 

Ed Potter Artist Statement:  My primary motivation for making art is to reexamine the visual information that surrounds us all as we negotiate the minutia of our daily lives. By turning an eye toward seemingly insignificant details, I play with the notion of subject. My process begins with a specific image, for example, various fragments of the human face, or the foliage of a thick ground cover. Through the use of tight cropping and altering point of view, I am able to concentrate on the visual elements of line, form, texture and space that shape each subject. Focusing on the malleable shell of skin of the human face, or the heavily texture leaves of undergrowth, allows me to construct ‘topographical maps.’  Though the source material for my drawings is very real, my principal concern is what happens to the images during a process of examination and manipulation.  I continually find myself taking a closer look at objects, always finding something I hadn’t noticed before. The interplay of disparate textures … produce an inexhaustible vocabulary of visual relationships.