Amy Sweetman

Amy has a professional background as an architect, and maintains her two design practices in the Hudson Valley, Architectural Stylist and AGRISCULPTURE.  Amy has lectured the last three years in a row at Cornell University on the subject of her ‘exciting new genre’ AGRISCULPTURE : Farm Equipment – Lovingly Rethought.    AGRISCULPTURE Amy is thrilled to be collaborating with Wallkill River School of Art and Benedict Farm Park by giving four SCAVENGER SCULPTURE Workshops!

Antonio Mastria

Antonio Mastria works as a freelance artist, contributing work to creator owned and small
press comics. He is a graduate of the Joe Kubert school of cartoon a graphic art, where he
studied the visual storytelling medium of comic books and illustration. Experienced in several
mediums such as oil, acrylic, gouache, and watercolor painting, ink and digital media as well.
Antonio has further studied drawing and painting with several instructors at the Wallkill River

Ayanna Terry

Ayanna Terry is a talented illustrator and cartoonist.  She specializes in Japanese Anime style employing both traditional drawing and digital techniques.

Cathy DeMaio

Catherine DeMaio is a working artist and art teacher who lives in Middletown, NY. She is well-known in our region for her classes at SUNY-Orange in Cartoon Drawing for adults and children, and “Come Draw with Me” at Middletown Thrall Library. In addition, she teaches at Most Precious Blood Catholic School in Walden.

DeMaio is a member of many groups including the North East Watercolor Society, Middletown Arts Group, River Valley Artists Guild, Garret Society and the Wallkill River School. She often exhibits locally throughout the year.

Debbe Cushman Femiak

Debbe Cushman Femiak was born in the small town of Bellows Falls, VT and moved to the Hudson Valley area in 1996 (currently residing in Newburgh). She is one of the represented artists at the Wallkill River School & Art Gallery in Montgomery for 2011. She teaches fiber art classes on Wednesday and Thursday evenings and attends classes whenever time permits. Debbe is a multi-media artist and is equally comfortable with many mediums. She enjoys working with pastels, watercolor, acrylics, and drawing, as well as her long time enjoyment of knitting and crocheting. Some of her art work can be viewed via her website:

Denise Aumick

Denise Aumick is a multimedia artist who ranges from hand-dyed and stitched art quilts, to colorful abstract compositions, to highly-detailed pastels. Aumick has displayed her art quilts and artist trading cards in museum stores throughout the country. She has been featured in national magazines as well as local newspapers.

Dennis Fanton

Dennis Fanton trained at Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, Ducret School of Art, and had private instruction in oil painting, pastels, botanical illustration, and portraiture.

His style is strongly influenced by the impressionistic painters with a focus on color relationships and interesting, varied brushwork.  The balance of light and shadow are a frequent theme and his personal relationship with the changing seasonal landscapes of the Hudson Valley is reflected in his work.  Painting in ever-changing light has resulted in a focus on the emotional impact of the piece rather than simply attention to detail.  He is affiliated with Kent Art Association, Middletown Art Group, Garret Society, and Wallkill River School of Art.

Dorrie Rifkin

Dorrie Rifkin paints from her passions. Thirty years’ experience as an award-winning art director ignited and cemented a life-long love affair with typography. Her other passions – music, New York City, and family – are palpable in her work. Her paintings have won more than 40 prizes, many in international and national juried shows, and are exhibited in several private collections in the United States and Europe. Not only was Dorrie featured in the article “Ones to Watch,” Watercolor Artist (December 2010), but her work has also been selected for Splash 14: Light and Color; Splash 15: Creative Solutions; Splash 18: Value | Light + Dark and her painting, Leaving the Highland, has been selected for the cover of Watercolor Artist magazine (February 2015). She is a signature member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, the Northeast Watercolor Society, Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, and the Baltimore Watercolor Society. For more information about Dorrie, visit

Elizabeth Muise

George Hayes

George Hayes graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn with a bachelor’s degree in industrial design. While at Pratt, he studied with such notable teachers as Rowena Reed Kostellow, (three-dimensional design) and color theory with Mary Buckley. After graduation, he entered a career in the arts as a commercial artist and is currently the graphic designer at the Lycian Centre For The Performing Arts in Sugar Loaf.

George Van Hook

Janet Campbell

Janet Campbell’s watercolors are loose and transparent and her subjects are varied. Over time she has developed an affinity for the intriguing results of poured watercolor.  As well as being a perpetual student, in addition to teaching watercolor classes at the Wallkill River School in Montgomery, NY and co- teaches an annual Painting By  The Sea workshop on Long Beach Island, NJ with her friend and kindred spirit, Pat Morgan.

Jodi Doster

Jeanie Beers

Jeanie Beers has been painting for about 19 years as a Decorative Artist in most mediums, the primary one being acrylics. Jeanie has won awards for her work in West Palm Beach, FL and has had her work featured in the national Creative Arts Magazine. She is currently a member of the Hudson Valley Tole and Decorative Painters Society of Cornwall, NY where she has held many offices.

Jim Laurino

Julie Saltzberg

Award-Winning Artist, Julissie Saltzberg, resides in Campbell Hall, N. Y. Her early years were greatly influenced by her Elementary School art teacher. She would paint sets for school plays and one year designed the cover of the yearbook. In 2007, she went on to apprentice for International Artist, Linda Richichi. She currently is a member of the Wallkill River School of Art where she is a Represented Artist, a member of the Orange County Arts Council and the Goshen Art League. She is the Fine Arts Instructor for Michael’s in Middletown, NY. Julissie is certified through Grumbacher to teach beginner and intermediate Fine Arts and Drawing classes to Adults and Children. She recently held a workshop at Middletown Park Rehabilitation Center. Julissie finds great joy in working with the elderly and feels that Art is a wonderful way to lift the spirits. They have selected her to do five murals in the Alzheimers unit. Julissie is leading several projects, some of which include, “HeArt Traveling Journal” & “Creative Healing”. The Traveling Art Journal has been circulating for a year and connecting women around the globe.

“Creative Healing” is a cluster of 40 women from around the world. Julissie is a facilitator for “The Artist’s Way” workshop. She is reaching women and helping them awaken their creative side. She developed a website specifically for the women to share and grow. Wonderful friendships have developed out of this creative emergence. Julissie is enthusiastic about sharing her love of art with adults and children.

Lana Privitera

Lana Privitera is an Award-winning, self-taught artist who is known for her colorful and luminous watercolors full of intricate detail. History is her favorite subject, so all of her paintings have at least one object in them connected to the Past. Cats, old buildings and photo-realistic arrangements of antiques and fruits are currently her most representative work. Mrs. Privitera has been teaching Art for more than 15 years.

Laura Bolle

Laura Bolle grew up in a family of artist and went to the prestigious school of Music & Art, followed by F.I.T worked as a graphic artist, illustrator and painter.

Laura Lanchantin

Lester Lefkowitz

Lester Lefkowitz has been a professional photographer and teacher for over thirty years.  His work has appeared in National Geographic, The New York TimesTime Magazine, and hundreds of other U.S. and international publications.  Lester has created images for Microsoft, General Electric, IBM, General Motors, Citibank, Johnson & Johnson and many other Fortune500® companies.  He has photographed in all fifty states, twenty countries and Antarctica.  Lester is an engaging, enthusiastic teacher, and has taught scores of workshops at the International Center of Photography in New York City, lectured to numerous professional organizations, and annually teaches workshop in Italy.  He is also the author of three books on photography, established the undergraduate art photography program at Stony Brook University, and holds a master’s degree in optical engineering.

You can see some of his work at

William Vogel

Liam Vogel is the Gallery Director at the Wallkill River School.  He apprenticed under Shawn Dell Joyce and is a graduate of FIT in New York City where he completed a program in Renaissance Portraiture.  He teaches K-12 at Most Sacred Blood  in addition to his classes at Wallkill River School.  Liam has a passion for mastering new media and is well versed in most modes of painting, drawing and digital work, especially pastel painting.

Linda Richichi

May Meyers

May Meyers specializes in jewelry making and beading.

Mel Stabin

Biography of Mel Stabin, AWS   Mel Stabin is an internationally known teacher, author, and watercolorist.  A graduate of Pratt Institute, Mel studied the art of watercolor with Edgar Whitney. For over thirty years Mel was an award-winning art director and creative director for major advertising agencies in New York City.  He is a signature member of prestigious art societies including the American Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, North East Watercolor Society, Georgia Watercolor Society, and New Jersey Watercolor Society.

For over twenty-five years Mel has conducted watercolor workshops with groups on location throughout the country and abroad, and for numerous art societies.

His paintings have been the recipient of national awards and have been represented in major exhibitions including the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, Butler Institute of American Art, National Academy of Design, and Watercolor West.

Mel has had seventeen one-man exhibitions of his watercolors.  His paintings are in many private and corporate collections.  In addition to being a juror of selection and judge of awards for numerous national and international watercolor exhibitions, Mel was a director/juror of selection for the American Watercolor Society’s Annual International Exhibition.  He received the honor of Master Status from the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, was named one of the “Top Ten Watercolor Masters of Today” by the art website, and was invited by the American Watercolor Society to do a demonstration for their “Watercolor Evenings” during their 144th Annual International Exhibition.

Mel has written numerous feature articles for American Artist, The Artist’s Magazine, Watercolor, Watercolor Magic, & Watercolor Artist and is the author of two popular books, Watercolor:  Simple, Fast, & Focused and The Figure In Watercolor: Simple, Fast, & Focused.  Mel’s work can be seen on his website at

Michael Chesley Johnson

mcj_promoOne of the country’s top plein air painters, Michael works in oil and pastel in the American Southwest, coastal Maine and the Canadian Maritimes. He has been an invited artist to many national plein air painting events over the years and has competed in challenging locations such as the Grand Canyon.

Elected a Master Pastellist by Pastel Artists Canada in 2008, he is a Signature Member of the American Impressionist Society, the Pastel Society of America and a juried member of Oil Painters of America. He is the author of Backpacker Painting: Outdoors with Oil & Pastel and Through a Painter’s Brush: The American Southwest. A long-time contributor to The Pastel Journal and Contributing Editor for The Artist’s Magazine, he lives, paints and teaches on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, and in Sedona, Arizona. Michael also specializes in teaching small-size plein air workshops in oil and pastel for the intermediate and advanced level painter and for painters desiring mentoring.

Mike Jaroszko

Mike Jaraszko works as an illustrator and fine artist. His paintings grace the pages of many magazines like Cricket and publications by Scholastic and other national and international venues. He is a luminist painter in the style of the Hudson River School.

Nancy Reed Jones     [View Instructor Video]

Nancy Reed Jones InstructorOriginally from Long Island, NY, Nancy, studied at the Huntington Art League and became a well- established oil and acrylic painter.  Nancy owned her own mural business for many years before devoting all her time to teaching her skills at the Wallkill River School of Art.  She has used art therapy to help people in recovery from addiction.  Nancy holds an ongoing acrylic workshop and teaches the absolute beginner to the advanced painter.  Relaxtion techniques and soothing music are used in her workshops to help with stress reduction.

Nicole Asendorf

Nicole Asendorf is a New York State certified Art teacher and has been teaching art for the last five years.  She has earned a degree in Commercial Art, Art Education, and received a Masters in Painting and Drawing from SUNY New Paltz. Nicole’s work has been sold at several locations in New Paltz, Troy, and Poughkeepsie and online at Ugallery.

Patricia Morgan

Sarah Pierson

Sarah Fortner Pierson received a BA in Art Practice from UC Berkeley and attended Hunter College’s MFA program in NYC.  She is best known for her large, photo realistic oil paintings of plants and flowers, but she works in diverse media, including photography, printmaking, mixed media sculpture and paper collage, among others.  “The natural world inspires most of my work.  It is full of beauty, textures, epiphany and deep metaphors and themes which I never seem to exhaust.”

Sara Tomazzolli

Shawn Dell Joyce     [View Instructor Video]

Shawn Dell Joyce is the founder of the Wallkill River School of Art, a nonprofit artists’ collective with an environmental mission to save open spaces and small farms. Her artworks and writings have been widely publicized in many national newspapers and magazines like the New York Times and Mothering Magazine. She has won many prestigious awards for her work such as the “Woman of the Year” for 2009 from Girl Scouts and YWCA of Orange County. She recently won Orange Environment’s “Sustainable Art” award. She is a signature member of New York Plein Air Painters (NYPAP), and won the “People’s Choice” Award at the International Plein Air Paint Out in Niagara Falls, Canada. Her works are in major museum collections like the Museum of Modern Art and Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, France. She has been teaching drawing and painting classes for fourteen years.

Susan Wilson

William Noonan     [View Instructor Video]

William Noonan has a BFA from SUNY Purchase and has since studied at the New York Academy of Art, the Woodstock School of Art, The International School of Art – Umbria Italy, and the Art Students League of New York. He has been deeply involved in the Hudson Valley’s local art scene. He is co-creator of the Newburgh Art Salon.