Congratulations to the Artists Selected to become the Art League’s first Resident Artists Members!
Six Long Island artists were selected to become the first ever Resident Artist Members of the Art League of Long Island’s new Resident Artist Membership Program (RAMP) aimed at supporting artists by offering opportunities to more fully develop their skills, learn to teach their craft, and become leaders in the creative community.
The exuberant and lively group of artists gathered together for orientation in late May, brimming with ideas and creative energy to bring to the inaugural group of Resident Artist Members. The six selected artists are Beth Atkinson, Adrienne Lauren Catanese, Simon Fenster, Diane Ferraro, E. Craig Marcin, and Angeli Zankel.
The program, conceived by Art Education Program Coordinator Andrea Manning, offers Resident Artist Members access to the Art League’s state of the art studios through open studio time and 50 free hours of class time each semester. In addition to strengthening their skills with studio and class time, they will experience what it is like to assist behind the scenes in a busy not-for-profit art center and will share what they learn with each other at RAMP meetings and with the public through monthly blog posts. The membership runs June 1, 2018 through June 1, 2019, culminating in the opportunity to teach a one-day workshop in the summer of 2019.
About the Resident Artist Members:
Beth Atkinson is a retired art educator and department coordinator, having worked in the Hicksville School District for 32 years until her June 2018 retirement. Beth earned her Master’s Degree at Queens College and has exhibited in regional exhibitions garnering awards along the way. She has also been a NY State Art Teachers Association workshop presenter over the past 12 years. Beth says of her expectations in the program; “My focus in retirement is to develop my craft and vision as an artist and continue to explore as many new art adventures as possible. I consider myself primarily a printmaker working in etching, woodcut, linoleum, silkscreen and monotypes but I also work in book arts, collage and sculpture as well… I hope to teach a class at the culmination of the residency in either book arts or printmaking, two of my loves in the art world and become a vital contributing member of the Art League.”
Adrienne Lauren Catanese is a self-taught photographer who caught the photography bug three years ago. After earning her Associates Degree at Suffolk Community College Adrienne became an adjunct writing tutor at her alma mater, and along the way earned a BA in multi-disciplinary studies at Stony Brook University. Of the program, Adrienne states, “As a portrait photographer, I draw inspiration from connecting with others in my community. And in my “day-job” as a Writing Tutor at SCCC, I use my skills to educate the community of students I serve. The Resident Artist Membership at the Art League of Long Island represents the perfect marriage of my two loves: community and education. From artists and community members I will meet while studying and volunteering at ALLI, to the students I will teach in my Summer 2019 workshop, connecting with others in LI’s creative community is, to me, the most valuable element of the RAM Program.” Read Adrienne’s blog here.
Simon Fenster on why he applied to RAMP: “Art has been part of my life since childhood. My mother painted, so for me the aroma of linseed oil is the counterpart of madeleines for Proust. I was told that as a child I made “incredible” drawings of streetscapes below our apartment window. But academics prevailed over art and I attended The Bronx HS of Science rather than The HS of Music and Art. Though majoring in physics, my art manifested in photography and I did my own darkroom work – and was chosen to be Photography Editor of the yearbook.” While working as a teacher, I sporadically studied art, including at the schools of The Brooklyn Museum and MoMA. The demands of graduate school and career advancement derailed my artistic endeavors. However, I was motivated to return to photography when I served as an administrator at LaGuardia HS for Music & Art and Performing Arts. I retired earlier than many of my peers and returned to photography… In 2016, I started painting in order to better express myself and was gratified to evolve rapidly with the guidance of a superb teacher. While I wish to continue painting, I am anxious to expand to other media and start making up for lost time in developing my voice as an artist.” Read Simon’s blog here.
Diane Ferraro has 20 years experience as a non-profit professional in business development, fundraising and event planning. She has been teaching yoga to the general population and underserved communities since 2008, writing since a very early age, and making jewelry for the past three years. Diane earned her B.A. in English; Creative Writing Concentration from S.U.N.Y. Plattsburgh and international studies in Chester, England. On her artistic viewpoint, she says, “Art, like joy, thrives through freedom. My creations are born from that very purpose: to celebrate freedom of expression. Our wholeness and ability to love ourselves is the gateway to joy and wellness, and nature is my muse… The Earth elements and animal totems in my work are reflections of my divination and Shamanism studies, honoring Spirit in its many forms… I encourage people to express their individuality through the making and wearing of jewelry.” Read Diane’s blog here.
E Craig Marcin is a looking forward to creating art and communing with artists in his post-retirement stage of life. Craig worked for the majority of his professional life in optics and optical design with the world famous Schneider Optic of Germany. During that time, he was involved with all aspects of imaging with an emphasis on large format photography, television and film. He worked in various aspects of imaging/photography with many famous photographers and clients in the motion picture industry. About RAMP, Craig says, “I hope to carry what I have learned in this program forward to my own work and the creativity of others. Art is about sharing emotions, personal joys and tragedies and commitment. I have found that every thing related to the arts which I learn or am exposed to helps me to develop my own artistic voice, and evoke emotions in others through my creations…I have found that spending time with artists and others involved in art is both joyful and rewarding.” Read Craig’s Blog Here
Angeli Zankel was taught from an early age to look at the world through the eyes of an artist. Art was highly encouraged in her home, as her father was an accomplished illustrator and advertising art director. Angeli received an Associates Degree in Advertising and continued her education in Fine Arts at New York Institute of Technology. After a 15-year career in advertising and marketing, she is now focusing on her life long passion of fine art. Angeli’s work exhibits strength in style with an emphasis on abstract composition and color to enhance emotion and visual impact. On her reasons for joining RAMP Angeli says, “After a long and successful career, I decided to follow my dream, painting. I love everything about art…” Read Angeli’s blog here.