AVA Faculty

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Derek Bell received his BFA in Painting in 2008 from the Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Painting and spent three of his years there as a Teaching Assistant. As a painter, Derek prefers landscape, portraiture, and animals, as well as an occasional still life. Since graduating from RISD, Derek has worked primarily in oils, watercolor, gouache, and more recently egg tempera. https://www.instagram.com/perfectpoultryportraits/

Jennifer Brown began her art career at a young age making woodblock prints in her family kitchen. She majored in Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University and earned a degree in art and education from Vermont College as a parent and working adult. Most recently she has taken painting and printmaking workshops at Art New England in Bennington, VT, as well as continuing to study oil painting with painter, Peter Granucci. She uses watercolor and gouache to explore nature, landscapes, and figures in the landscape.

Cooper Dodds is a photographer and book artist living in Lebanon, New Hampshire. He received a BFA from Carleton College in 2013. His first monograph, Jumper: Flying in the Heartland, was published by Daylight Books in 2019. Cooper has a decade of experience working as a commercial photographer and he currently balances his time between commissions, personal work, and teaching.

Amber Geneva Erkiletian received her BFA at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago where she gained a passion for working in large-scale steel sculpture. Her curiosity about the range of materials available for sculpture caused her to pursue diverse fields that feed her professional development and her application of technical knowledge. Amber’s experience ranges from casting aluminum and bronze for art and industry to fine woodworking and fiberglass construction to refining microscopic precision components for the Mars mission. As an artist, Amber is drawn to the minute subtleties of expression in human body language. Her art practice uses welded steel and Pal Tiya Premium, a unique sculpting cement, to create chimerical animal sculptures for outdoor installation. As an independent art teacher, Amber considers it her mission to ensure that everyone who wants to make sculpture can, at any scale and for any environment. For more information about Amber, please visit her website.

Fred Faudie works out of his studio in Norwich, Vermont where he lives with his wife and teenage son who share his painting, photography, and design studio: SeeingMind. He has exhibited his drawings, prints, and paintings in numerous juried shows across the country, including having his work accepted to group and one-person exhibitions in Washington, D.C., Andover, Massachusetts, Boston, and New York City. He is a Professor Emeritus with the Art Department of the University of Massachusetts Lowell where he taught studio courses for thirty-four years. During his tenure there he taught basic, intermediate, and advanced studio courses, various art history courses, set up several analog darkrooms, and taught the first computer art course. He was a key player in developing their accredited B.A. and B.F.A. degrees. Fred Faudie holds an A.B. in Art History from Cornell University, an M.A. in painting from the University of Iowa; participated in post-graduate studies in photography at the University of Iowa, and holds an M.F.A. in Illustration from Syracuse University.

Nick Gaffney received his M.F.A. in Fine Arts/Photography from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, in 2002. Since then he has taught Photography, Studio Art, and Digital Media at various places. He has exhibited his photography throughout the country, including solo shows at AVA and the Vermont Center for Photography, in Brattleboro, VT. He is currently on the board of the Vermont Center for Photography and is also a member of the Lebanon Arts and Culture Commission. He lives in Lebanon with his wife, two daughters, and dog Ruby. ngaffney.net

At the age of eight, Olivia Janna Genereaux took her first after-school art class painting. She learned to paint from life and to mix colors. She loved the control of building her world and found her place. She chose to attend Rhode Island School of Design, where she studied textiles and illustration, majored in painting, and graduated in 1986. Four decades later in 2014, she earned a Master’s Degree from Lesley University, College of Art and Design. Her love of art is a gift she gives to herself and shares with others every day.

Stephanie Gordon received her BFA from the University of Michigan. Stephanie taught art at Hanover High School for 18 years before retiring. She currently teaches community art classes for adults and teens. Stephanie has most recently been making encaustic paintings. She exhibits work locally and regionally and her art is in many private collections. sbgordonart.com

Joan Hoffmann paints impressionistic oil and watercolor landscapes and birds in plein air. She is dedicated to painting, teaching, and preserving the wild landscapes that she explores. Joan lectures on the History of American Landscape Painting, National Parks, Public Lands, and the Art of Landscape and teaches and exhibits her work in UT, CO, CA, and at her studio in South Royalton. www.joanhoffmann.com

Mike Howat is a New Hampshire-based painter and printmaker. His work explores themes of urbanization, Americana, and collective memory. Since earning his B.F.A. from the New Hampshire Institute of Art in 2014, he has been actively engaged in the growing New England art scene. He exhibits regularly with Kelley Stelling Contemporary and Mill Brook Gallery & Sculpture Garden and has shown with Chase’s Garage, Rochester Museum of Fine Arts, and Nahcotta, among others. He is the current artist-in-residence at Kimball Jenkins School of Art, where he teaches classes and workshops in painting, printmaking, and drawing. mikehowat.com

Michael Kraatz holds a BS in Art from the University of Wisconsin and an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. He has been a roster artist with the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts for many years, completing numerous Arts in Education residencies in public schools. He works in 2-D and 3-D and is particularly known for his blown glass. Kraatz’s work has been shown nationally and regionally, including at AVA. www.kraatzrussell.com

Maggie mayfly Kundtz Joseph: Visual artist; AVA studio tenant since 2013; AVA instructor.  Strives to nurture & empower young and old in the creative process.  Earned a BFA from the University of Michigan in painting & photography; Master’s in photography from Maine Media College.  Early life, worked in the gallery/ museum arena and NYC photography scene; Currently, immersed in art making and raising a family.  Created the artist persona, mayfly, to better embody the ideas of ephemerality and transformation in her art. Read more about Maggie mayfly Kundtz Joseph’s life and work here.

Sue Martin majored in art at a teacher training college in Ripon, Yorkshire, England. Currently retired as a classroom and reading teacher, she has time to rekindle and expand her artistic interests to include stained glass. She finds great delight in incorporating found objects into her work and she has exhibited her stained glass panels, in the Upper Valley.

Chris McGrody has been building custom furniture and handcrafted cabinetry professionally in his shop for 15 years. Before starting his shop, Chris worked for several years at a local furniture studio building high-end traditional Shaker furniture. While working there as a craftsman, he also ran the workshop program and taught week-long and weekend workshop courses. Chris also instructs regularly at the Dartmouth College Student Woodshop. Chris enjoys passing along his knowledge of woodworking through project-based classes. www.chrismcgrody.com

Robert O’Brien received his BA from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo and has worked in watercolor for 40 years. Since moving to Vermont in 1977, he has focused his work on the landscape and architecture of New England. He studied with James Whatford, Tony Couch, and Marshall Joyce. He is a member of many watercolor societies and has won numerous awards. www.robertjobrien.com

Tracy Penfield has a history with AVA going back to 1985. She exhibited her fiber art, taught and modeled at AVA until founding SafeArt in 2000, based in Chelsea VT, where she resides. She passed SafeArt on to the next generation in 2020 and has a private practice in trauma healing at the Center for Integrative Health in Hanover and in Chelsea. She is also a dancer and the Artistic Director of the Passing Project: www.passingproject.org.     Kärin Rothwell became a student of clay under the tutelage of Karen Williamson at the Davidson Pottery at Dartmouth College in 1981, followed by post-grad classes at UNH and workshops at Haystack Mountain School in Maine and ‘Phoenix’ with Gerry Williams in Goffstown. Surrounded by the rich history of strong clay cultures while living in the Middle East, Holland, Spain, and Mexico in her early years led to her desire for personal exploration in the medium. Kärin was a teacher/trainer at Dartmouth for many years and began the children’s program at the League of NH Craftsmen in 1984.

Meredith Smith holds a BFA and MAT from the Rhode Island School of Design and did postgraduate study in costume and theater design at Brown University. She has worked as a costume and jewelry designer, college professor, and owner of a London-based clothing company. Meredith is a juried member of the League of NH Craftsmen.