Urban Arts is the culmination of a dream for me. As a child I was always drawing. At Fairleigh Dickinson University, studying art captivated me and from then on I began a life-long relationship with creating and teaching art. I have worked in advertising, created etched glass designs in commercial and residential settings, attained my teaching certificate from New Jersey City University, taught in public and private schools and volunteered for many community-based projects.
One of my most treasured memories as a child was participating in creating murals which represented positive images of Hoboken. During the celebration of Hoboken’s 150th Anniversary, I collaborated with Geri Fallo, Director of Hoboken Cultural Affairs, Stephanie Ashby, artist, and local students to create the mural on Frank Sinatra Drive. Over that year we researched the history of Hoboken and developed images the children felt were significant. Leaving a visual record filled us all with pride. Giving children a similar experience to the one I had was exceptionally rewarding.
Urban Arts is a way for me to do this on a continuing basis. The children and adults who attend our classes are really interested in learning about art, in how to draw and paint, in experimenting with media, and through this they begin a journey of self-discovery. It is an honor for me to be a part of such a giving experience.
As an art major at Montclair State University, I taught painting and drawing classes at Morningstar Community Art Center. Through my students, I discovered what a positive impact the arts have on people's lives. This experience led me into a life-long desire to teach.
While attaining my MFA at Pratt Institute I became the director of Morningstar where I coordinated diverse community projects such as: obtaining state funding from the Safe & Clean Neighborhood Act to redesign and refurbish local playgrounds; creating murals for the children's ward at the Jersey City Medical Center; designing costumes and sets for our theater company; curating art exhibitions; and volunteering art therapy at a mental health facility.
While continuing to pursue my personal artwork, I was employed as a studio assistant to the prominent artist Fran Bull, worked for the popular ceramicist Glen Appleman, did color separations for a fabric company and taught art classes in various schools.
In 2006, my friend and kindred spirit, artist Justine Uva, joined me in founding Urban Arts. I am blessed to be co-owner of a studio which provides the space for people of all ages to create in an environment with great light, great energy and lots of love.