Meet Our Faculty

meet-our-faculty-new

Christopher Khounbanam

Elaine Smollin

Pratt Institute, BFA; Pratt Institute, MFA; New York University, MFA

The figure has been central to art from the earliest civilizations. Working together with artists here at WAM gives me a beautiful new dimension to our shared artistic experience. Together we explore what the figure can mean to each of us, we learn our crafts of seeing and of image-making and preserve our personal vision. My figure classes combine drawing/painting and new perspectives on use of materials. Our understanding of the figure is expanded in my sculpture classes. Here at the WAM I first saw the extraordinary range of figurative art as an impressionable child. That early exposure inspired my career in archaeology, work in which empathy for other cultures is paramount. As a painter and exhibitions manager in New York City, (1972-2006), I studied at NYU’s Cinema Studies program to understand the impact of narrative form and the human figure. Because cinema studies is taught historically, I became an arts and film writer. I report on current exhibitions in New York City in In Vero Art and live and work in studios in Rhode Island and in the Hudson Valley just north of Manhattan. Instructor's websites: EAS Paintings and Drawings http://elainesmollinpaintingdrawing.blogspot.com/ EAS FILM AND SOCIETY http://elainesmollinfilmandsociety.blogspot.com/

Ellen Donaldson

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.

James Welu

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

In 1966, Dr. Welu received his MA and MFA from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in art history from Boston University. He received honorary degrees from the College of Holy Cross, Loras College, and Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Dr. Welu taught at Clark and at the Worcester Art Museum for several years before joining the museum staff as an assistant curator in 1974. He served as the chief curator from 1980 to 1986 before becoming the director. He served in this position for twenty-five years. Welu retained oversight of Old Master paintings and taught on a continuous basis. A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish painting and cartography, Welu organized many exhibitions including Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, the first show of the most famous woman artist from Holland’s Golden Age. In 2007 Hope and Healing: Painting in Italy in a Time of Plague, 1500-1800 was the first exhibition in North America to examine the response of the visual arts to the plague. He lectured widely and wrote such books as 17th Century Dutch Painting: Raising the Curtain on New England, Judith Leyster: A Dutch Master and Her World, The Collector's Cabinet: Flemish Paintings from New England, and Mask of Mirror. Welu served as president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and chaired the Accreditation Commission of the American Association of Museums. He was also a member of the advisory council for the art museum at Princeton University and the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame. --- Source: "Museum to Host Director," Telegraph Herald, January 17, 2012

Jamie Buckmaster

Jamie Buckmaster has basically grown up at the Worcester Art Museum. As a child, he took classes, as a teen he was hired as a Teacher's Assistant, and after graduating from Mass College of Art and touring the country as a musician, returned to The Worcester Art Museum as a member of our Youth faculty and has been teaching for the past 5 years. Jamie is becoming infamous for his impromptu exhibitions in the hallways of the Higgins Education Wing and has published multiple comics books including Target Metropolis.

Jenn Falcon

Pratt Institute, BFA Jenn Falcon loves color, nature, animals, and patterns, integrating them in her work. She received a Worcester Cultural Commission grant in 2009 and recently completed an Artist in Residence program at Petrified Forest National Park. She was born and raised in Worcester but has career experience spanning the country, including positions at Shemer Art Center in Arizona and Randall Children's Museum in California. Jenn proudly served two years in AmeriCorps, helping children to read and speak English. She also worked in Worcester Public Schools as a preschool and elementary educator.

Jules Hansberry

I am a graduate of the Kent State University BFA fashion program. Often inspired by stories, I focus on transforming narratives into unique silhouettes devoid of gender. A healthy love of plaids and alternative patternmaking characterizes my design aesthetic that invites the wearer into the story.

Martha Chiarchiaro

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

May Babcock

May Babcock is an interdisciplinary artist based in Providence, Rhode Island. Her studio techniques combine hand papermaking, printmaking, sculpture, historical photography process, and book-arts techniques, creating artwork that addresses place. She teaches and exhibits widely, blogs about papermaking at www.paperslurry.com, serves on the Board of Directors for Hand Papermaking Magazine, and is piloting Pawtucket Paper Center, a community papermaking studio. You can see more of May Babcock’s artwork at www.maybabcock.com and @maybabcock on Instagram. For further inquiries regarding artwork purchases, please email may.babcock@gmail.com.

Randy LeSage

Framingham State College, BA;
Tufts University, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, MFA
Randy Digital Short

Rebecca Duffy

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

Sue Dion

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

Susan Slepetz

Atlantic Union College, BS;
Fitchburg State College, MEd

Susmita Bando

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, over the years with the essence of American, Western, and global art. Susmita graduated from Government College of Art from Kolkata, India, and after coming to the USA, also received a BA in Art from Anna Maria College (with an Art Teacher Certification), Paxton, MA. She received her Masters Degree in Art from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Susmita worked as an art teacher with the Worcester Public Schools for 22 years. She has exhibited her work in India as well as in the US. many times, including solo exhibitions at: Worcester; Ethnicity in The Arts, by Mass council on the arts and humanities, Boston; Harriet Tubman House, in celebration of women in the multicultural arts, Washington DC; The Indian Embassy, Bethesda, MD; Gandhi Memorial Center, etc. Susmita's works are in public and private collection. Her oil painting 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 her multicultural approaches, ideas, experiences and techniques! She believes that helping to build sincere appreciation of art in the hearts and minds of the her students is very important for their complete education!