Meet Our Faculty
Tishreen University Syria, BA;
Saint Michael's College, MA; Applied Linguistics PhD Course Work
Bayda Asbridge is a local community artist who has the ability to work in a wide range of mediums. Since her arrival in the United States in 2007, Bayda has been added very strong element to the Worcester Art Museum's education department contributing a vast knowledge in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, weaving and a wide range of other mixed media. Her work has been recognized in several local galleries, including our faculty exhibitions and at the Fitchburg Art Museum, giving her a well rounded knowledge of all stages of artistic production; from conception through to presentation. Since 2010 Bayda has placed in the top three in several art exhibitions and has also been interviewed twice on local television networks to honor her work. Bayda continues her ever-growing career as an artist and as a member of the Worcester Art Museum faculty.
Brown University, BA
An author, artist and educator, Suzy Becker entered the world of books with what would become the internationally bestselling "All I Need to Know I Learned from My Cat." She has since written and illustrated seven books including "Manny's Cows," "Books are for Reading," and the memoir "I Had Brain Surgery, What's Your Excuse?" Her books, greeting cards and work in print and TV advertising have earned her numerous design and writing awards. Suzy also helped found and taught at the Parker School (one of the state's first charter schools). She has been leading children's picture book workshops at the museum since 2007.
Dominican College, BA; Assumption College, MA
Jim Beschta was born and raised in southeastern Wisconsin, graduated from Dominican College and did graduate work in the University of Wisconsin system before moving to Massachusetts in 1970. He received his Masters Degree in English from Assumption College and won several awards while teaching English and Creative Writing at Quabbin Regional High School. He has published over 200 book reviews for various literary magazines and has published award-winning poetry in over a dozen journals, most recently in Sahara. He is a co-author of Bone Cages, an anthology of poetry by five central Massachusetts writers and his book Cutting the Cemetary Lawn was acknowledged nationally for its merit by the American Academy of American Poets. He has been teaching at WAM since 1998.
Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts, BA; Fitchburg State University, MEd
Artist-educator Elizabeth Buck has been teaching at the Worcester Art Museum since 2005. Working in watercolor, fabric art, and paper craft she focuses on capturing moments and creating designs that portray substance and emotion. Elizabeth's goal as an educator is to help others successfully express their thoughts, experiences, and emotions through art. Through a combination of lecture/demonstration, research, guided activity, free exploration, and discussion, her focus is on helping youth and adult students achieve their own goals in art-making; whether goals of technical mastery, raw communication, or something entirely different.
Massachusetts College of Art, BA
Holy Cross, BA; Brown University, MA
Nancy Burns, Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, received her MA at Brown University with a specialty in modern European and American Art. Thereafter, she served as an Adjunct Professor in Art History at The College of the Holy Cross and Clark University. Since joining the Worcester Art Museum she has served as the curator of the exhibition “Leisure, Pleasure, and the Birth of the Modern French Woman,” which explored the relationship between economics and representations of women in France during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Most recently she co-curated the photography exhibition “Kennedy to Kent State: Images of a Generation” that includes her article “Film, Photograph, Television and the News,” in the accompanying catalogue. Currently she is working on an exhibition focused on the American photographer Garry Winogrand opening August 10, 2013.
Anna Maria College, BA, MBA; Williams College, MA
Martha Chiarchiaro has lectured on the history of art for more than 20 years. After recieving her Master's degree in the History of Art from Williams College, Martha began working in the Education Department at the Worcester Art Museum. While coordinating education programs for the Worcester community, she also began teaching in the Adult Education program sponsored by the Worcester Art Museum. Martha continues to teach a variety of art history courses in the evening at the Worcester Art Museum while serving as the Vice President of Human Resources at Clinton Hospital in Clinton, MA.
Boston University School of Fine and Applied Arts, BFA; Suffolk University
Ella Delyanis graduated cum laude from Boston University with a Bachelor's Degree of Fine Arts in painting. She further studied art education at Suffolk University. Ella has enjoyed teaching adults at the Worcester Art Museum since the fall of 1977.
Ella has been doing pastel landscapes of Worcester County for over 25 years. Her work is in many private as well as corporate collections, including Fidelity Investments and Dunn and Bradstreet. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in drawing. She has been a finalist with the Massachusetts Arts Fellowship program twice, and received the Worcester Art Museum's Kinnicutt Award for foreign travel and study in 2001.
Ella's work is represented by Artana Gallery in Brookline, MA, where she had a show last October. She is having another show of her pastel landscapes there this coming September. Past one person exhibitions of her work have occurred in galleries both in Boston and New York City.
Miami University, BSEA, MEd
Holding both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Art Eduaction from Miami University, Ellen has been teaching at the Worcester Art Museum for 23 years as a part time instructor, primarily in the youth programs. She brings a wide range of experience to her students, having worked in both public and private schools and with a variety of special needs students. In her own studio work, she paints with watercolors and sculpts using mixed media and fiber.
Antonella is an Italian native and resided in Italy for the first 28 years of her life. She graduated from Liceo Classico in Varallo ( a small and ancient town at the foot of the Alps). The education she received there focused on the knowledge of Greek and Latin Classic Literature, Philosophy, European History and Art, and Italian Language and Literature, from the origins in the 13th Century to the present. She then studied Jurisprudence at the Universita' Di Pavia , one of the oldest law schools in Europe. There, she also took elective courses in Italian Literature and Art.
BA in ART from Framingham State College
Masters of Education in Integrating the Arts into the Curriculum from Lesley University
Helen has been teaching art to children for 36 years in the Marlboro Public Schools system, also serving as the K-12 Art Coordinator. Helen is also an experience adult art instructor; teaching oil and acrylic painting at the Marlborough Senior Center and painting and drawing classes at the Post Road Art Center also in Marlborough, MA. Helen is personally working in Acrylics and has been exploring felting and Nuno Felting.
Norman E. Eggert
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, BA
Norman got his Bachelors Degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA. He has taken photography courses at The Essex Photographic Workshops, The Worcester Center for Crafts, and Harvard University.
Pratt Institute, BFA
Jenn Falcon loves color, nature, animals, and patterns, integrating them in her work. She received a Worcester Cultural Commission grant in 2009 and recently completed an Artist in Residence program at Petrified Forest National Park. She was born and raised in Worcester but has career experience spanning the country, including positions at Shemer Art Center in Arizona and Randall Children's Museum in California. Jenn proudly served two years in AmeriCorps, helping children to read and speak English. She also worked in Worcester Public Schools as a preschool and elementary educator.
Nan Hass Feldman
State University of New York, Buffalo, BFA; Goddard College, MA; Vermont College, MFA
Nan is an optimistic, energetic person whose works are stylized, yet recognizable, vibrantly colorful, often intricate, playful, enlivening, and upbeat focusing on the subjects of Interiors and Landscapes. Nan grew up in Brooklyn, New York where she took art classes at the Brooklyn Museum for 10 years. She received a B.F.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, an M.A. degree from Goddard College, and an M.F.A. degree from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Since 1982, Nan has continuously taught at the Worcester Art Museum. She has taught over 25 different art courses for all ages there and has kept up close contacts with her students over these years. Nan has also led Foreign Art Workshops for WAM in Cortona, Italy and Skopelos, Greece. Nan is one of the founders of the Danforth Museum of Art, where she has been teaching on and off since 1974 as well as an an art instructor at the deCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA and in the Framingham Public Schools and at Framingham State University. From 1999-2007, Nan ran a painting program in France. Nan has had over 45 one-person exhibits, been included in 29 museum exhibits, and has been in over 55 group exhibits in her 40 year career as an artist. Her work is in over 30 different hospital, corporate, and university collections, as well as in the collections of the Danforth Museum and in private collections in France, England, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Sweden.
Art Institute of Boston; University of Maine, BS
Rhode Island School of Design, BFA; Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, MFA
Tom Grady is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. He continues his artistic education at the Art Institute of Boston where he is completing his Master's of Fine Art in painting. He has four years of experience at the Worcester Art Museum teaching youth and adult classes. Tom's work is exhibited at the Ebb Tide Gallery in Kennebunk, ME.
Pratt Institute, BFA
Bill Griffiths graduated from Pratt Institute with a BFA and began teaching at the Worcester Art Museum over 20 years ago. He teaches over 10 classes per semester and has developed a following of students who study with him semester after semester to continually absorb the wealth of knowledge he possesses. Bill's knowledge about a wide variety of painting media (watercolor, acrylic, oils, pastel, and colored pencil) is enhanced by his extraordinary expertise in the use of color, shared each class in both group and individual critiques. The courses he has taught and still teaches include: Watercolor for Travelers; Color and Light I & II; Color and Light Extended; Watercolor classes at all levels; Introduction to Watercolor for Adults and Teens; Putting it All Together: Demystifying Old Master Techniques of Final Glazes and Scumbles; and Acrylic Painting. Bill's own work—in watercolor, acrylic, and oils—show his truly deep understanding of media, color and light, and the artist's touch!
Kent State University, BFA; Yale School of Art, MFA
Humboldt State University, BFA
Jessisa works mostly in pottery and printmaking, though she has many other interests such as; painting, sculpture, knitting, quilting, bead-work, and more recently, glass-fusing. She began teaching art to young people in January 2006.
Framingham State College, BA
State University of New York, Cortland, BA
For seven years Priscilla Harvey has been fortunate to be enjoying a second career at the museum after many years as an educator in the public sector. In addition to her work as a youth instructor; Priscilla has conducted numerous workshops for teachers, bringing them to the museum to learn techniques to incorporate art across the curriculum. She delights in what she considers to be the perfect experience for her students – gallery visits interjected with art history (her passion), followed by studio work directly related to the gallery tour. Priscilla is enthusiastically looking forward to having more time to create her own art, particularly mixed-media pieces, as her life as mother of two married children and caregiver to her elderly parents evolves.
Savannah College of Art & Design, BFA
Bret is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia (B.F.A. in Sequential Ar)t and currently resides in Spencer. He has done illustrations for "The Mystery Review," "The Berkeley Fiction Review," "Dark Horizons Magazine," "Otherworlds Sci-Fi Magazine" and the "South Boston Literary Gazette" and is currently working on cover and interior illustrations for two short stories as well as a graphic novel.
Southern Connecticut University, New Haven, BA; Fairfield University, MA
Richard Paul Hoyer is a photographer and educator who works with fine art photography in gelatin silver prints as well as the latest digital media. He currently teaches classes at the Worcester Art Museum in digital photography and Photoshop. In addition, Richard is a member of the fine arts faculty at Manchester Community College in Connecticut, where he teaches photography and digital photography. He exhibits his fine art photographs at galleries in New York and New England on a regular basis.
College of the Holy Cross, BA; University of Massachusetts, MF
Massachusetts College of Art, BFA
C. J. Kennedy
Boston University, BA
Left-handed calligrapher, C. J. Kennedy's commissions have included family coats of arms, tattoo designs and a wedding proposal written on sand dollars. She has personalized Christmas ornaments for Macy's and has scribed the history and roll call for the Worcester Police Vice Squad. A member of several calligraphy guilds and associations, C. J. has published newsletter articles on left-handed calligraphy in the United States and Australia. She is a two time winner of The Graceful Envelope Contest. BC, before calligraphy and children, C. J. was a computer programmer.
Gerry Jackson Kerdok
Framingham State College BSEd; completed four international Institutes of Lettering Artists; Year Master class with R. Ezell
As a freelance calligrapher and teacher Gerry continues to be a student of the Lettering Arts studying with Master Calligraphers from around the world. She has exhibited widely from Paris to Cape Cod and here and there in between. Gerry is celebrating her 13th win in the international Graceful Envelope competition begun by the Smithsonian Institution. Six of her earliest entries are now part of the Smithsonian collection. She and her husband live in central and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
Laurel D. King
Pennsylvania State University, BA; Emerson College, MFA
Laurel Dile King is a fiction writer and has taught writing at the Worcester Art Museum for the past eight years. She is currently starting a small press that will publish novels and essay collections. She also runs a manuscript critique and editing service, a quarter of whose profits go to Partners in Health. She has led writing retreats in Maine, Rocky Neck Art Colony, and Tuscany. Her fiction has been published in "Brevity and Echo", a Rose Metal Press anthology, "Beacon Street Review", and elsewhere. Her awards include a Massachusetts Cultural Council artist grant and a first place prize for the "Worcester Magazine" Short Story Contest. With the exception of that greasy summer she worked as a cook at Perkins Pancake House, each of her jobs—beginning as a counselor at Camp-Dig-a-Book—has dealt with serving up words in a more palatable way.
Massachusetts College of Art, BFA; Lesley College, MEd
Jane Lattimore completed her BFA at Mass. College of Art and earned a Masters of Education at Lesley College. She enjoys teaching in youth classes at WAM as well as offering art education courses. Her interests in fiberarts, drawing and painting, nature, stories, and spirituality lead her to work in a variety of media.
Framingham State College, BA; Tufts University/School of the Museum of Fine Arts, MFA
Randy LeSage enjoys teaching in various media including Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, and Mixed Media with beginner to advanced adult students. He's been teaching at WAM for over 20 years. He's also taught at various institutions since 1982, including Framingham State College, Clark University, Worcester State College, the Danforth Museum in Framingham. He's also a librarian at the Goodnow Library in Sudbury. He values the written word as well as a wide range of exploration to inform one's creativity. Randy enjoys creating in various visual media and also enjoys writing and going outdoors to draw and paint. While appreciative of various ways to make art, he considers the use of and hand and eye coordination in artmaking a vital aspect.
University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Boston, BA; Boston University, MA
Maxine L. McDonald
Tufts University BSEd; Framingham State College, BA; Master Classes in Photography at Maine Photographic and Cape Cod Workshops
Maxine McDonald has been working as a fine art photographer since 1992 printing primarily in black and white. Maxine's photography is concerned with the capture of transient light and time in relation to individuals, nudes in the landscape, fairs, flea markets, carnivals, trains, old architecture and abandoned sites. She has long been interested in creating close-ups of objects and details from old architectural sites. These ephemeral still lifes, such as buckets, barrels, belts, old rusted machinery, and time clocks stopped forever, seem to be caught in time. Her work is on display at The Lincoln Levy gallery in Portsmouth, NH and The Boulder Gallery in Fitchburg, MA on a regular basist.
Paier College of Art, BFA
Framingham State College, BA
Theresa has her BA in studio art and attended several professional teaching workshops. She has taught painting, drawing, and 3D design at the museum and in the Worcester Schools for the 21 Century program for the past 11 years. As a grant writer she received funding to teach community groups to paint murals and design and assemble mosaics in public spaces. Theresa has also teaches jewelry making classes in libraries.
Since early 1987, Scott Nelson has been one of the nation’s top freelance juvenile and humorous greeting card artist/writers. He has done freelance assignments for all the major card publishers and has written and drawn numerous children's books for many well known manufacturers including Golden Books for Children/Random House. In 2006 he won The Mom's Choice Award for his book titled "Mulch the Lawnmower" published by KRBY Creations.
After studying illustration and landscape art under the late great Alex Gazonas in the mid 1980's, Scott has continued developing his mentors teachings to this day. He enjoys plein air painting in his central MA community and the shores of ME. Working in either watercolor or acrylic, Scott can often be found on the side of the road or next to the ocean painting in his expressionistic style.
Montana State University, BFA; University of Texas, MFA
Kat O'Connor earned a Bachelor of Arts in drawing with highest honors from Montana State University in 1990 and a Master of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 1995. She has exhibited her work nationwide, including three solo shows at regional museums, and won numerous awards. Her work is included in many private and corporate collections and is currently represented by Joyce Paulson Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. O'Connor has shared her love of art with students at Southwest Texas State University, The University of Texas at San Antonio, Worcester State College, Worcester Art Museum, and DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park.
Penza College of Fine Arts, Associate; Penza State Pedagogical University, BA; Florida State University, MFA
Irina Parfenova received an academic art education in Penza College of Fine Arts in Russia, and a Master in Fine Arts Degree from Florida State University. Irina has been actively working and exhibiting for more than 10 years. Beside studio work, Irina has completed several public projects that include mural painting and logo design. She participated in more than 40 national and international art shows, and is a recipient of a number of fine art and design awards. Irina`s art works can be found in private and public collections in the USA, France, Switzerland and Russia.
Parfenova style is rooted deeply into realist art tradition. The body of artwork represents a blending of academic styles and influences from the educational background in Russia and cultural experiences and insights gained in the USA.
Emerson College, BA
Painting Studies at St. Martin's School of Art, London, England; The College of Visual & Performing Arts, Syracuse University, BFA; School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, MFA
Jill's paintings and drawings have been described as expressionist realism. Jill mostly works in oils, dry and oil pastels, even though other materials enter into my work. Jill's preferred subject matter is still life and as Jill describes below the figure and landscape come into play as well. Jill thrives on the interpretation of how realism can be represented. "My artwork has life and breath and a sense of time moving forward. Seasonal changes alter the feeling and content of my artwork. These shifts coincide with material usage. Spring and the summer are times of landscape, when the greens are warm and luminous. The dead of winter is time to be studying the figure and still life." While the correspondence is not exact, Jill finds that her desire to work in a variety of subject matter is influenced by the physical conditions under which she works: light, temperature, inside or outside the studio.
Westfield University, BA; Rhode Island School of Design; New School of Classical Art
Jo Ellen Reinhardt has been teaching adult classes at the Worcester Art Museum for over five years. A classically trained artist, she specializes in portrait, figure, landscape, and still life painting. The richly sophisticated colors of oil and the playfulness of watercolor make them her mediums of choice. Jo Ellen is the recipient of numerous awards and her work has been published in national magazines such as American Art Collector and Artist's Magazine. Inspired by the museum's great masters, Jo Ellen enjoys creating new works in her studio and teaching methods and techniques at the Worcester Art Museum.
Anna Maria College, BA, MA
Marygrove College, BFA; Wayne State University, MFA
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, BA
Brian Shea has been exploring the art of computers for years. He is currently a college student majoring in computer science. As a hobby, Brian develops video games, internet cartoons, computer art, and maintains a personal website showcasing his work. He has been with the Worcester Art Museum since 2001 and teaches classes including video game design, FLASH animation, and web design. In addition, Brian also works with the Worcester Public Schools in the field of energy conservation.
Denver University, BFA; Rhode Island School of Design, MFA
Haruo Shiga, originally from Ashikaga, Tochigi, Japan, is a local artist with a rich history in Art Education. Following his BFA at the University of Denver, he continued on to the esteemed Rhode Island School of Design in order to receive his MFA. In addition to his numerous personal showings in galleries in Denver, Rhode Island, Brown University, and even local exhibits like the Fitchburg Art Museum and WAM, he has gained experience in nearly every age group involving art education. His past work as a proprietor and Art instructor as well as his ability to work with any level of student has made him an impressive addition to our staff here at the Worcester Art Museum.
Maine College of Art, BFA; Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA
Lynn Simmons is a visual artist and teacher who lives and works in Worcester, Massachusetts. Lynn is trained and educated as a sculptor. Her work has been exhibited at the Portland Museum of Art 2007 Biennial (Maine), the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Portland, Maine, the Davis Art Gallery in Worcester, Assumption College, the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the Worcester Art Museum. In 2008, Lynn was honored with Best of Show in Worcester, Massachusetts' first outdoor sculpture exhibition "Art in the Park: An Exhibition of Sculptures by New England Artists." She holds a BFA in Sculpture from the Maine College of Art in Portland and MFA in Visual Art from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier. Lynn currently teaches at Assumption College, the Worcester Art Museum and Clark University.
Sharon Smith Viles
Assumption College, MS; Andover Theological School, MDiv
Elaine's workshops immerse advanced or beginning artists in the rich theory and practice of visual art to intensify technical skills while providing discussions of contemporary visual arts practice. Her courses provide guided experiments in image-making and advanced use of materials in "Life Size Figure Painting", "Painting Photography Film" and intensive life drawing in Narrative and Sequential Life Studies. Elaine lives and works in Rhode Island and New York City. Â A painter, she works with critical and visual theory, visual design and comparative world art history.
Rhode Island School of Design, BFA
Jennifer Swan received her BFA in Painting from RISD and has studied bookmaking, ceramics, photography, and bronze-casting, completing an apprenticeship in the lost-wax casting method in 2000. Swan teaches youth and adult programs for the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester Center for Crafts, and for the Town of Shrewsbury. In addition to teaching, she paints murals and exhibits work in local galleries. In 2001, Swan received a Kinnicutt grant and traveled to India where she completed a series of illustrations on Tibetan medicinal plants for publication in the Trans-Himalayan Journal.
Julienne A. Ugalde
Worcester State College, BS; WheelockCollege, MS
Julie has been teaching art classes for young children at the Worcester Art Museum since January of 2003. Additionally, she has taught art for over ten years at summer camps at both the Jewish Community Center and the Boys' and Girls' Club. Having earned her Master's Degree from Wheelock College in Early Childhood Education, Julie will continue to teach as she pursues her Doctorate in the arts for young children. Currently, Julie is an Early Childhood faculty member at Quinsigammond Community College.
James A. Welu
Loras College, BA; University of Notre Dame, MA, MFA; Boston University, PhD
Massachusetts College of Art, BFA; San Francisco Art Institute, MFA
Sarah Williams was born in Worcester, MA in 1975. She received her BFA from MassArt in 1998 and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005.
In 2005 she moved back to New England and currently lives and works in Worcester, MA. She has had exhibitions in both the Bay Area and Massachusetts, including a solo show at the Danforth Museum of Art in 2009. Since 2006, she has been teaching at a number of institutions, including the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Quinsigamond Community College, the Danforth Museum and the Worcester Art Museum. When not poking copious amounts of small holes into paper or throwing around clay, she enjoys boxing, a good bike ride and a glass of wine.
Keene State College, BA; West Virginia Wesleyan College
Steven Wilbur is a dedicated artist with works ranging from abstract to realism. Steven is presently pursuing a masters degree and working as an art educator. Steven's enthusiastic approach to art provides children ages five to seventeen with a fun, positive and educational studio experience. Steven's multimedia studio classes are founded on lessons from Art History and focus on enhancing creativity and technical skill for the young artist. Steven has been an independent artist with his multimedia paintings featured in galleries all over the East Coast since 2002. He believes in using art to create a voice, to educate, and to help affirm a stronger sense of positivity. This translates to any of Steven's creative studio art related classes that involve music, geography, math, history, fashion, and more.
Montserrat College of Art