Founder & Executive Director
Board of Directors
Saul Chernick (advisor)
Sally Chin (advisor)
About our teaching artists
Sharela Bonfield is a Brooklyn-based textile artist and educator. She has exhibited nationally and has work in the collection of the Fortune Society. She began teaching as part of a two year fellowship with the Joan Mitchell Foundation and continues to teach with the Guggenheim’s Learning Through Art program, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Studio in a School. As a teaching artist her goal is to create a learning environment that addresses the needs of a diverse population and provides students an atmosphere in which creative thinking is encouraged and developed. Sharela received a BA in Fine Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Ashley E. Chapman is a multi-disciplinary artist, educator, and art historian. Ashley loves collaborating with students and colleagues, investigating what it all really means. She finds teaching in her community especially rewarding. Ashley approaches her teaching practice through many conceptual and visual angles. She has taught dance, assisted for the Guggenheim’s Learning Through Art program, and had a past life as a photojournalist. Additionally, she has interned in archiving with the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and completed a summer curatorial internship at the Brooklyn Museum. Ashley is currently pursuing her master's degree in Art History at Hunter College, where she double majored in studio art and art history as an undergraduate. She also has a degree in journalism with a photojournalism emphasis from The University of Georgia.
Aruni Dharmakirthi is a Sri Lankan born artist and educator based in Brooklyn, NY. They received an MFA in Visual Studies at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Their textile and digital work has been shown nationally and internationally in Portland, Brooklyn, Orlando, Canada and India. Aruni has worked in education for over five years. They have taught art classes with organizations such as Studio In a School, Abrons Art Center and Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
Paul DeMuro is an artist and educator who lives and works in Brooklyn New York. He was born and raised in Philadelphia in a neighborhood with four cemeteries, where he hung out. Utilizing compacted areas of pattern, light, and expressionist brushwork as compositional structures, his recent work is comprised of oil paintings that seek to understand the complexities of the emotional and physical world that is growing increasingly dependent upon new technologies. He was educated in Philadelphia at Temple University, Tyler School of Art and in New Jersey at Rutgers University, and has been an educator with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, The Jacob Riis Settlement, Grand Street Settlement, Wave Hill, and most recently at The Ballet Tech Foundation. He is currently an MAT candidate at the School of Visual Arts.
Erin Dunn is an artist, animator, and educator, and has been a teaching artist in NYC since 2011. She currently teaches for Studio in a School’s original Long Term Program at PS 148 in East Elmhurst. In addition, Dunn leads arts classes with the Department of Education's program After-school Reading Club, a literacy initiative in located shelters across NYC. Dunn is currently working towards an Advanced Certificate of Art Education at Brooklyn College and is focused on developing digital arts curricula for English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities. Dunn's visual art and performative work has been shown at PS1 MoMA, the New Museum, MOCA, and the Kitchen and her work has been mentioned in The New York Times Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times among others. She holds a BFA from RISD and an MFA from Rutgers. Dunn believes that imagination is a powerful tool for young learners.
Stefanie Lewin is a Brooklyn-based educator and artist focused on social justice and equitable access in arts education. She holds an MA in Art Education from the City College of New York and a BA in Art/Art History and Psychology from the College of William and Mary. Stefanie came to ESScp from Creative Art Works, a youth development organization that seeks to empower young people through the visual and multimedia arts. She has taught at the Whitney Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art; planned and taught an after school Feminist Art Club for public high school students in Baltimore; was the Program Coordinator for City Art Lab, a free program for teens at City College; and spent years volunteering with Free Arts NYC. In addition to her work with children, she is an Adjunct Lecturer at CCNY and Kingsborough Community College and facilitates workshops around the city at venues including MoMA PS1, the Brooklyn Brainery, Felicity House, and Huge, Inc.
Reuben Lorch-Miller is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator with an MFA in New Genres from San Francisco State University. He approaches his own work from a perspective of experimentation, understanding that meaning can be often found within the process of doing. As a teacher, he works to be a responsive guide, creating space for trying new things and loosening the obstacles to creativity. He emphasizes cultivating curiosity, finding joy in the unexpected and constructive reflection. His goal is to help his students develop acuity over mechanical mastery. Art making can be an experiential practice that can lead to deeper understanding of the world around us, our selves, others. For the past five years, he has been an active teaching artist with the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art program, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the New York City Public Schools though Studio in a School, Eckford Street Studio and Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts. He has also worked with adults, as a visiting artist and lecturer at Illinois State University (Normal), Rhode Island School of Design, Stanford University, San Francisco Art Institute and Pratt Institute. Lorch-Miller has participated in multiple artist residencies and exhibited widely both nationally and internationally.
Kristin Melkin is a Greenpoint-based artist who believes exposure to art provides children with a critical means for engaging their world. She explains, "When students look at art honestly and subjectively, they have the opportunity to make discoveries that are personal. When students explore art processes and materials, they build their own system of understanding cause and effect. When students complete a work of art, they have created something that has a unique place in the world. When I teach, my goal is to create an environment where students learn to trust their own observations, create their own solutions, and understand their power as artists and humans." Kristin founded Eckford Street Studio in 2013. For over fifteen years she has been fostering art experiences for students of all ages in a variety of settings, including museums, public schools and non-profit organizations. She has worked as a Teaching Artist for the Guggenheim Museum’s Learning Through Art program, and was a Gallery Educator at the Noguchi Museum.
Iviva Olenick is a Brooklyn-born and based visual artist and arts educator. She is the LS (K–4) art teacher for Hannah Senesh Day School in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, and the Teaching Artist for Community Partnerships at the New Museum. As a Teaching Artist for the Studio Museum in Harlem, Iviva has partnered with the Horan School, a special needs public high school in East Harlem, since 2014, introducing weaving, printmaking, color theory, observational drawing and painting, and stop motion animation. Iviva is on the Faculty of SVA's MFA Art Practice program where she teaches Fibers and plays an integral role in mentoring students. Iviva has a BA in French Language and Literature/Psychology from Binghamton University, SUNY, and an AAS in Textile/Surface Design from FIT. Finally, Iviva has spearheaded her own public education project, growing colonial textile cash crops and leading free dye and fiber workshops at GrowNYC's Governors Island Teaching Garden; Wyckoff House, Brooklyn; and Old Stone House, Brooklyn.
Cheryl Paswater holds her Master of Fine Arts in painting and Masters in Art History from the Pratt Institute. Her work is largely comprised of paintings, prints, works on paper, as well as works in book making, sculpture, and installation art.
Her work has been exhibited at various galleries including the Pratt Institute, Artists Space, IPCNY, Cannonball Press, St. Josephs College, The Painting Center, Nurture Art and the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art. She has also been an Artist in Residence at the Vermont Studio Center, Chashama Studio Residency in New York, Cooper Union, Women’s Studio Workshop and has been various publications including Studio Visit Magazine & Whitefish Review. In addition to her own art career, Cheryl holds 20 years of Arts Education experience working in everything from public schools, after school programs, museums, non-profits, and also spent 10 years working in adult oncology as an Artist in Residence. She works and lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Gretchen Scherer received a BFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with an MFA from Hunter College. Her paintings are about the blending of interior spaces that exist, either in the past or in our minds, and the way those visualizations can be so mysterious, full and empty all at the same time. They are small oil paintings that are very detailed and meant to be intimately experienced. She is the recipient of a Graf travel grant to Berlin and has attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and The Vermont Studio Center Residency. Recent shows include Spoonbill Studio, Brooklyn, Silas Von Morisse Gallery, Brooklyn, C.Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, and Anna Marra Contemporanea, Rome. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn.
Anne Spurgeon is an interdisciplinary artist working in Brooklyn, New York and Columbus, Ohio. She holds a BFA from The Ohio State University and a MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited throughout New York City and internationally. Spurgeon’s passion for teaching includes sixteen years of experience in classroom, museum, and non-profit settings. She has worked with a wide range of audiences, including those with physical, mental, developmental, and learning disabilities. Spurgeon's teaching and administrative work includes The Museum of Modern Art, The Noguchi Museum, and Grounds for Sculpture.
Harriet Tebbetts is a New York City-based artist and educator originally from London, England. She works across many different mediums and techniques including painting, photography, and sculpture, considering memory mapping and the conversations that occur through proximity and juxtaposition. She holds a BFA from Central Saint Martins - University of the Arts London, and has exhibited her work internationally. Harriet has ten years of experience working with children of all ages and abilities, and has been at Eckford Street Studio for the past two. She teaches across ESScp programs including ARTLAB, Art After School, Summer Art Workshops, and our Artist/Family Partnerships. She believes art is something anyone and everyone should be able to experience!
Angela Tornello is a Brooklyn-based artist and educator. They received their BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, focusing on painting and printmaking, and an MA in Art History from Brooklyn College. Angela has been working in art education for the past seven years in NYC in both art institutions as well as in various schools across the five boroughs. They have taught multigenerational and K-12 programs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and Abrons Art Center. Currently, their art practice is focused on video and sound creating multi-projector installations in unexpected places. When not making or teaching art, they can be found behind a drum kit! Angela has had the privilege of being a drum instructor for the Willie Mae Rock Camp NYC.