Meet our faculty

Bayda Asbridge

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Beginners Asian Brush, Experimental Asian Brush, Mixed Media

Tishreen University, Syria, BA; Saint Michael’s College, MA; Applied Linguistics PhD Course Work

Bayda Asbridge is a local community artist who works in a wide range of mediums. Since her arrival in the United States in 2007, Bayda has contributed her knowledge in painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, weaving and mixed media. Her work has been recognized in several local galleries. Bayda continues her ever-growing career as an artist and as a member of the Worcester Art Museum faculty. Her artistic interests lie in Asian art, culture, and aesthetics and she teaches Asian brush painting among other classes for WAM. She studied Asian brush painting under Sharon Smith Viles and Jan Zaremba, Saori weaving under Mihoko Wakabayashi, and Arabic calligraphy under Hajj Wafaa. One of her beliefs is that to be a good teacher, she needs to be an ideal student.

Susmita Bando

Faculty Specialties: Youth, Teen, and Adult Classes – Generalized Youth EducationAdult – Painting, Drawing

Government College of Art in Kolkata, India; Anna Maria College, BA; Indiana University of Pennsylvania, MA

Susmita Bando came to this country in the early eighties. She brought with her the soul of a South East Asian painter that gradually juxtaposed with the essence of American, Western, and global art. Susmita worked as an art teacher with the Worcester Public Schools for 22 years. She has exhibited her work in India and in the US many times, examples of exhibitions and exhibit galleries her work was included in are: Ethnicity in The Arts by Mass Council on the Arts and Humanities, Worcester; In Celebration of Women in the Multicultural Arts, Harriet Tubman House, Boston; The Indian Embassy, Washington DC; Gandhi Memorial Center, Bethesda; etc. Susmita’s works are in public and private collections. Her oil paintings of Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa are in the permanent collection of the Indian Embassy. Other achievements include; receiving a key to the city of Worcester for presenting the mayor Tim Cooney with a portrait of Gandhi, a citation from Gov. Dukakis for excellence in painting, and the Best Exhibit award at the Graduate Show in the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Susmita loves to teach art with multicultural approaches, ideas, experiences and techniques! She believes that helping to build sincere appreciation of art in the hearts and minds of her students is very important for their complete education!

James Beschta

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Writing

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 Master’s 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 Cemetery Lawn was acknowledged nationally for its merit by the American Academy of American Poets. He has been teaching at WAM since 1998.

Elizabeth Buck

Faculty Specialties: Youth, Teen and Adult Classes – Generalized Youth Education, Adult – Beginning Drawing, Beginning Watercolor, Elements and Principles of Art

Massachusetts College of the Liberal Arts, BA; Fitchburg State University, M. Ed

Artist-educator Elizabeth Buck has been teaching at the Worcester Art Museum since 2005. 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.

Martha Chiarchiaro

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Art History

Anna Maria College, BA, MBA; Williams College, MA

Martha Chiarchiaro has brought history to life through the art of the times for more than 30 years. She received her Masters’ degree in the History of Art from Williams College and provides a variety of art history presentations at the Worcester Art Museum, for WISE (the Worcester Institute for Senior Education), libraries, garden clubs, and other organizations. As noted on her Seeing History website, Martha’s specialty presentations related to specific periods, artists, and activities provide an in-depth look at the life and times of people through their art.

Ella Delyanis

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Pastel, Oil, Acrylic, Life and Portrait Drawing, Landscape Drawing and Painting

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 and 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 and her work is in many private and 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 the NW Barrett Gallery in Portsmouth, NH, she is a juried and exhibiting artist with the Copley Society in Boston and also represented by L’Attitude Gallery in Boston.

Sue Dion

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Painting, Watercolor

Art Institute of Pittsburgh, BA; Rhode Island School of Design, MA; certified Grumbacher Instructor

Ellen Donaldson

Faculty Specialties: Youth and Teen Classes – General Youth Education

Miami University, M.Ed.

A visual artist and educator, Ellen Donaldson brings a wealth of experience working with a variety of students to our programs at the Worcester Art Museum. She uses her experience as a storyteller to bring themes to life for her students, tapping their enthusiasm, and generating excitement for making their own art. She has worked with students from preschool to twelfth grade with Very Special Arts Massachusetts, and developed and taught the Art for Montessori students in grades K-6. She exhibits her drawings, mixed media work, and watercolor paintings locally.

Katie Doyle

Faculty Specialties: Teen and Adult Classes – Photography and Videography

Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, BFA; Lesley University College of Art and Design, MFA

Rebecca Duffy

Faculty Specialties: Youth, Teen and Adult Classes – Generalized Youth and Teen Education, Teen and Adult – Acrylics, Painting

Pratt Institute, BFA Painting, Lesley University, MEd Visual Art Education

Nan Hass Feldman

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Color, Advanced Classes

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, and vibrantly colorful. Often intricate, playful, enlivening, and upbeat, her subjects focus on interiors and landscapes. Nan grew up in Brooklyn, New York where she took art classes at the Brooklyn Museum for 10 years. Nan has continuously taught at the Worcester Art Museum since 1982, 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. One of the founders of the Danforth Museum of Art, where she has taught on and off since 1974, she also teaches at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in the Framingham Public Schools, and at Framingham State University. Nan has had over 50 one-person exhibits, been included in 29 museum exhibits, and has been in over 65 group exhibits in her 48-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.

Yetti Frenkel

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Mosaics

School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Tufts University, BA

Hal Gaucher

Faculty Specialties: Youth, Teen, and Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Graphic Novel, Digital Art, World Creation

Lesley College of Art & Design, BFA in Illustration

Tom Grady

Faculty Specialties: Teen and Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Figure, Portraiture

Rhode Island School of Design, BFA; Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, MFA

Tom has been teaching at the Worcester Art Museum since 2001. Tom’s work is exhibited at the Ebb Tide Gallery in Kennebunk, ME.

Anabel Hadad

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes- Painting and Drawing Education: East Tennessee State

University, BFA; School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, MFA

Anabel Hadad is an interdisciplinary local artist who mainly focuses on painting, drawing, and sculpture which questions the relationship between identity and the corporeal form. Anabel started her journey as an artist in the Appalachian region of East Tennessee, where she was exposed to traditional folk art that shaped her creative process. Anabel received her bachelor’s in fine arts with a focus on painting at East Tennessee State University and continued to then receive her master’s in fine arts at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. Anabel has also exhibited in many galleries across the greater Boston area including Nearby Gallery, Lesley Art Gallery, and Mission Hill Gallery. When she is not at Worcester Art Museum, Anabel works as a Library Assistant at The W. van Allen Clark Library which houses an extensive collection of artist books and zines.

George Hancin

Faculty Specialties: Adult classes – Painting, Drawing, Figure, Portrait, Landscape

Kent State University, BFA; Boston Museum School, Diploma and 5th Year Degree; Yale School of Art, MFA

George Hancin grew up in Ohio. Throughout the 90s he was a member of the Bromfield Gallery and had several solo shows there. He was in group shows at Georgia Tech University and in three galleries in New York. His paintings have been mentioned in The Globe and included in corporate collections. From 1994 to 2018 he enjoyed a career as a High School art teacher. He organized shows, taught ceramics and AP Art, designed and built sets, and helped with drama festivals. He considers it a privilege to have worked with hundreds of talented, energetic teens. He has also been involved in group shows at ArtsWorcester, Sprinkler Factory, and the Montserrat Art Gallery. Now retired from the public-school teaching, George is putting his full attention into his studio work and teaching.

Richard Hoyer

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Photography

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.

Patricia Kelly

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Acrylic, Watercolor, Abstraction, Collage, Mixed Media, Advanced Classes

Massachusetts College of Art, BFA

C.J. Kennedy

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Calligraphy, Gilding, Illumination, Book Binding/Book Making

Boston University, BA

CJ graduated from Boston University with a degree in English Language and Literature. Her concentration was in Medieval English Literature. She took calligraphy classes at the Worcester Art Museum studying with Gerry Jackson Kerdok and continues to take workshops and classes and has studied with master penmen and women from around the world. She is also left-handed.

CJ began teaching at the Worcester Art Museum in 2003. She works in ink and gouache using a variety of writing tools and enjoys the challenge of artistically interpreting text. For clients, CJ has addressed invitations, scribed poems/quotes, designed tattoos, personalized Christmas ornaments, written on sand dollars, and walls. CJ is a two-time winner of the Graceful Envelope Contest and has exhibited her work in juried art shows in New England.

Laurel King

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Writing

Pennsylvania State University, BA; Emerson College, MFA

Laurel Dile King is a fiction writer and has taught writing at the Worcester Art Museum since 2005. She has led writing retreats in Maine, Rocky Neck Art Colony, and Tuscany. Laurel is the founding publisher and editor at Garland Press, 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.

Marybeth Lensel

Faculty Specialties; Youth and Teen Classes – Generalized Youth Education

Montserrat College, BFA, Concentration in Sculpture & Photography

As a Sculptress she has shown her work nationally and internationally as well as created and installed permanent site-specific work in Boston & on Cape Cod. She has worked for Disney & Universal Studios, both in the US and abroad. As a fine artist, Marybeth enjoys using many different mediums to create work and enjoys sharing her love of art through teaching. 

Randy LeSage

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Printmaking, Figure and Portraiture, Drawing, Painting, Acrylic, Watercolor, Abstraction, Collage, Mixed Media, Advanced Classes

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 has taught at various institutions since 1982, including Framingham State College, Clark University, Worcester State College, and the Danforth Museum in Framingham. He is also a librarian at the Goodnow Library in Sudbury. He values the written word and exploration as ways 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 hand and eye coordination a vital aspect in artmaking.

Sarah (Sally) Lividini

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes – Generalized Youth Education

University of Pittsburgh, BFA; M.Ed, Art Institute of Boston/Carnegie Melon University

Sarah Lividini is a retired Massachusetts art teacher. She worked at the Museum Partnership School in Fitchburg with Middle School students and in the Shrewsbury Public Schools at both the Middle School and Elementary levels. She was on the core committee for the Museum Partnership Focus School with Lincoln Center Institute of N.Y. and worked with teaching artists to develop curriculum around drama and musical presentations from Lincoln Center. While teaching in Shrewsbury, Sarah traveled to China and India with other teachers to better understand the cultural and political landscape of these important countries. On returning she worked with staff and parents on festivals celebrating the Chinese and Indian traditions. In 2011 she received the Elementary Art Teacher of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Art Education Association.

A published illustrator, Sarah spent a number of years as a graphic designer, and has experimented in a number of art media; including printmaking, collage, painting, and quilt making.

Lisa Montanaro

Faculty Specialties: Teen and Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Figure and Portraiture, Portfolio Development

Lisa Montanaro has taught at the Worcester Art Museum and MassArt, and worked as a freelance illustrator in Washington, D.C. Clients include: U.S. News and World Report; Mondadori Publishing, Italy; The Los Angeles Times News Syndicate; The Washington Times; The Chronicle of Higher Education; The Weekly Reader Corporation.

Lisa established and ran a successful illustration business through self-representation with clients in the editorial and publishing fields in national and international markets on a freelance basis. Working in mixed-media incorporating oil painting, photography and collage, she has exhibited and won national juried competitions in Boston, New York and Washington, D.C.

Lisa has continued painting and has added monoprint printmaking to her artistic oeuvre. Because of the immediacy of the printmaking process, her work is freer with an active line quality that she welcomes. She tends to work from life using the figure, found objects or the natural world. The results have a graphic quality that Ms. Montanaro has embraced over the last five years and continues to explore today in her painting and printmaking.

Theresa Monteith

Faculty Specialties: Youth and Teen Classes – Generalized Youth Education

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.

Abby Moon 

 Faculty Specialties: Youth classes

 Clark University, BA, Smith College, MA

Abby teaches youth classes focused on a range of topics and materials, including sculpture, painting, and fiber arts. In all of her classes she aims to teach useful artistic skills through engaging and fun projects so that students feel confident and happy creating art. In her personal artistic practice, she embroiders and paints scenes from her life.

Colleen Moore

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes – Generalized Youth Education

Colorado State University, BA; University of Massachusetts, MS; Fitchburg State College, M. Ed, WAM Docent class of 1985

Scott Nelson

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Drawing, Painting, Humorous Illustration, Children’s Book Illustration

Freelance artist, author, and illustrator; clients include Hallmark and Goldenbooks for Children; Worcester Technical Institute, Certificate 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 mentor’s 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.

Alex O’Neil

Faculty Specialties: Stop Motion Animation, Videography, Video Editing, Graphic Design

Education: Fitchburg State University, BA in Film/Video Studies

Alex O’Neil is a filmmaker and photographer from Worcester that has had a long history of putting out bizarre and engaging work. For the past few years, he has helped create meaningful connections between musicians and their audiences through the music videos and other promotional content, using a variety of techniques. He is an adept editor, graphic designer, and stop motion animator. Alex works full time at a local public access TV station and regularly interviews subjects for news stories, as well as makes documentaries independently. Alex considers himself lucky and privileged to have graduated from Fitchburg State University, and can’t say enough good things about their film program.

Mark Parella

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes – Generalized Youth Education

Melissa Parent

Faculty Specialties: Youth and Teen Classes – Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media

Maryland Institute College of Art, BFA – Painting

Jill Pottle

Faculty Specialties: Adult Classes – Painting, Drawing, Oils, Acrylics, Colored Pencil

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 and has received many awards and grants for her art and community contributions. Jill mostly works in oils and dry- and oil pastels, though other materials also enter into her work. Jill’s preferred subject matter is still life with figure and landscape coming into play and she 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, my desire to work in a variety of subject matter is influenced by the physical conditions under which I work: light, temperature, inside or outside of the studio.”

Bailey Schiering

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes – Generalized Youth Education

Clark University, BA

Susan Slepetz

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes – Generalized Youth Education

Atlantic Union College, BS; Fitchburg State College, M.Ed

Jennifer Swan

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes – Generalized Youth Education

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 occasionally adult programs for the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester Center for Crafts, The Listening Wellness Center in Barre, 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.

Marta Szemiot

Faculty Specialties: Youth and Teens – General Youth Education and Digital Art

Clark University, BA

Printmaker and illustrator, Marta Szemiot has been at the Worcester Art Museum, first as a student taking classes, and later employed as an assistant in 2017. Recently graduated from Clark University with a BA in Interactive Media and Design, they adore all things game related and keeping up with recent graphic novel releases and are excited to curate a creative space with students who desire to experiment artistically through digital media.

James Welu, WAM Director Emeritus

Faculty Specialties: Art History

Loras College, BA; University of Notre Dame, MA, MFA; Boston University, PhD

Named Director Emeritus of the Worcester Art Museum in 2011, James Welu joined the staff of the Museum in 1974 as assistant curator and went on to serve 6 years as chief curator and 25 years as director, while also overseeing the Museum’s collection of European art. A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art and cartography, Welu has published and lectured widely and organized a variety of exhibitions, including Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World. Welu served as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and chair of the Accreditation Commission of the American Alliance of Museums. He remains active in numerous organizations in the Worcester community and continues to lecture at the Worcester Art Museum, where he has taught over the past four decades, and at the College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Luca Nova Webb

Faculty Specialties: Youth Classes in sculpture, painting, and mixed-media.

Coastal Carolina University, BA Interdisciplinary Studies in Psychology, Special Education, and Studio Art; Pratt Institute, MA in Art Therapy and Creativity Development

David Wesley White

Faculty Specialties: Adult and Teen Classes in sculpture, painting, and mixed-media.

Parsons School of Design, BFA; University of California, Santa Barbara, MFA

David Wesley White is a conceptual artist, born and raised in Worcester County, Massachusetts. He earned a BFA from Parsons School of Design and an MFA from the University of California, Santa Barbara. David employs skills in oil painting, sculpture, video, and performance to create work that is inspired by the queer experience, history, and current events. His course offerings at WAM challenge students to excavate their own unique life experiences to create compelling art. His work has been exhibited in Massachusetts, New York City, and Southern California.