Artists' Biographical Information
Carolyn M. Abrams
Carolyn Abrams has participated in numerous solo, juried, invitational, and group shows, as well as public art exhibits, throughout New York State. Her work also has been published in the Still Point Arts Quarterly, The Edge of Faith magazine, Professional Artist magazine, and other arts-related periodicals.
Abrams has been an arts educator since 2005, as well as a creativity coach, workshop leader and trainer, and fundraiser. From 2002 to 2008, she was a grants coordinator for the Arts Center of the Capital Region, Troy, New York. Her curatorial experiences include exhibitions at such venues as Stratton VA Medical Center at Mochablend Café, Brunswick, New York, and Visions Gallery, which recognizes the artwork of persons with extraordinary capabilities in creating art.
Abrams’s honors include a 2011 Strategic Opportunity Stipend from the New York Foundation for the Arts and a 2016 Award of Merit from Manhattan Arts International. Abrams is a member of Healing Power of Arts, a growing community of artists, arts advocates, and writers who seek to raise awareness of art as a positive catalyst for enhancing the well-being of individuals, society, and the environment. She holds Soul Art Guide certification.
Salma Arastu expresses her identity as “a woman, Hindu, Muslim, artist, and mother” who works “to create harmony by expressing the universality of humanity through paintings, sculpture, and calligraphy.” Drawing her inspiration from her Indian heritage and Islamic spirituality, Arastu seeks to “use [her] artistic voice to break down the barriers that divide in order to foster peace and understanding.”
Influenced by her studies and experiences of different cultures, Arastu, who resides in Berkeley, California, and has lived in Iran and Kuwait, has exhibited in nearly 40 solo shows nationally and internationally. In addition to receiving several prestigious awards, she has public art pieces on display in Pennsylvania and California and has written and published five books.
Billie Bond was born in Northumberland, North East England, and grew up in Essex, where she lives and works currently. An early career in nursing gave her an appreciation of human anatomy, which she considers sensitively in her figurative abstractions.
Bond received a master’s in art in sculptural practice in 2016 and a 1st Class Honours Degree in 3D design in 2011 from Colchester School of Art. It was during her studies that she began expressing her creative ideas in the form of figurative sculpture.
The recipient of a research residency at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, Bond sculpted in 2009 her sister, who has Downs syndrome, on the 4th Plinth in Trafalgar Square as part of Antony Gormley’s public art project “One & Other” highlighting the importance of art for everyone.
Following a residency at Chelmsford Museum in Essex, Bond’s A Portrait of Chelmsford was accepted into the museum’s collection in 2011. Comprising a series of sculptures of local people, the work represents the cultural identity of Chelmsfordians.
Bond won the Pure Arts Sculpture Prize in 2013; her winning piece, A Link with the Past, was exhibited in a curated space at London’s Saatchi Gallery as part of the Strarta Art Fair. The work now is part of the “Birth Rites” collection that resides at Kings College, London.
More recently, Bond was commissioned by Alan Carr’s “Chatty Man” (a comedy show) to sculpt a character head of Lionel Richie. Another commission resulted in the creation of five kintsugi ceramic objects that visually describe the journey of people who live with major depressive disorder (MDD). That work became part of the “Breaking Depression” campaign aimed at broadening understanding of different types of depression and working together to overcome depression for good.
In 2018, Bond became a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors.
Manal Deeb is a Palestinian-American visual artist who was born in Ramallah, Palestine, and currently resides in Fairfax, Virginia.
Deeb’s work, comprising original paintings and digital and fine photographic art, presents many identities that are indistinguishable from one another. Each identity has the same apparent memories and perceives identical surroundings, while believing, with evidence, to be representing the real self and the actual memories. Deeb’s principal subjects are humanity, global cultures, Arab women, women’s issues globally, and identity. Her passion and mission is creating bridges among religions.
Following her studies in the studio arts at the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois, Deeb earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies, with a concentration in the psychology of art, from George Mason University in Virginia.
Deeb’s artworks have been exhibited in many cities across the U.S., as well as Europe and the Middle East. They also have been featured in magazines and journals, in radio and television interviews, and in newspapers throughout the world.
Dr. Greg Dunn is a neuroscientist and an artist. His collaborator on his microetchings is Dr. Brian Edwards, an applied physicist and artist. Together, using physical and digital techniques, they create complex renderings of the brain based on deep neuroscience research and actual scientific data. Their work has been exhibited at numerous scientific venues.
Dunn describes “Brain Machine Interface” as “a piece about the interconnected future of the human brain [that] comments on both the amazing benefits and potential dangers of these powerful neural interfacing technologies.”
Stacy Ericson is a western artist whose atmospheric paintings reflect both “the wild light and fragile majesty of forgotten corners of the American West.” She views the desert as “an eternally expansive, exponentially complex counterpane embroidered in impossible grace.”
Self-taught and with a background in photography, Ericson incorporates in her work vast distances, sensuous textures, and mythic overtones.
Ericson also combines her artwork with her own poetry, examples of which can be found in the “otherthings” section of her Website. A journal artist, as well, she includes at her “imperfect journal” a printable collage and set of circles imprints that other writers can download to use in their own journaling projects.
Lisa Goesling, who began taking classes at the School of the Art Institute/Chicago at age 12, creates hyper-detailed renderings of her observations of nature using black scratchboards composed of Kaolin Clay covered with India inks. Her painstaking technique, requiring an X-ACTO knife and deep knowledge of etching and design, results in exquisitely meticulous images that erupt from the white clay. Sometimes, she adds colored inks to give luster and depth to her ecological visions. At others, she adapts nature’s lines to abstract images that pay homage to their botanic core.
Strongly passionate about her art and nature, the latter the catalyst for her work, Goesling produces series after series of acclaimed work. Over the past decade, she has won prestigious awards, artist residencies, and fellowships, and has been asked countless times to exhibit her art in solo and group shows around the country. Her art also has graced the covers of literary works and appeared on labels for a winery in Argentina.
Goesling’s art can be found in public and private collections worldwide.
A member of The Arts Club of Chicago, Goesling is represented by Vivid Art Gallery,
Winnetka, Illinois; Water Street Studios Collective, Batavia; and SAATCHI Art online.
Margitta Hanff was born in Germany, came to the United States to attend university, and eventually stayed and raised a family. After attending Northern Virginia Community College and obtaining a degree in illustration, she became a full-time artist.
Hanff is a long-standing member of the Art League of Alexandria (Virginia) and a signature member of The Virginia Watercolor Society and the Baltimore (Maryland) Watercolor Society. She also belongs to Potomac Valley Watercolorists, as well as Salon 8, a group of artists who exhibit together.
Hanff, who loves to draw and paint just about any subject matter, has exhibited her work at the National Institutes of Health, The Blue Heron Gallery (Delaware), River Farm, Green Springs Gardens, 1st Stage Theatre, St. Andrews (Arlington, Virginia), Sibley Hospital, Brookside Gardens, and Town Hall (Rockville, Maryland).
Laurie Klein’s artwork has appeared in Gallery, Somerset Studio, and Rock & Sling, as well as in various exhibit venues in the Midwest and Northwest.
Also a poet, Klein is the author of the collection Where the Sky Opens (Cascade, 2015), a chapbook Bodies of Water, Bodies of Flesh, and the classic praise chorus “I Love You, Lord.” (For information about Klein’s poetry, see the document containing poets’ profiles.)
Pauline Kusiak recently returned to painting, after years of making watercolor or sculpture her medium of choice. Instead of room-full installations, she now focuses on making small artworks and pieces that are meditative. She also creates work that is intentionally icon-like in appearance, which inspires and combines aspects of her favorite kinds of religious art — from mandalas, to stained glass, to Eastern Orthodox icons.
An employee of the federal government, Pauline lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband Dan Plafcan and their daughter Aoife, who is a budding artist. All are members of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church.
Marcus Parsons is a digital artist who paints and draws on an iPad using a stylus (and sometimes his fingers). In addition to exhibiting in juried gallery shows, Parsons presents his work online at his Website, in his newsletter, and on social media. In addition, he prints his own work. The founder in 1989 of Parsons Audio, one of the nation’s leading professional audio suppliers, he sold the company in 2010. Parsons lives in Newton, Mass.
Linda Plaisted is a classically trained American painter, fine art photographer, and encaustic and mixed media artist. She was educated at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Temple University, and George Mason University, from which she was awarded degrees in fine art, illustration, and literature, respectively. A pioneer in contemporary photomontage, Plaisted founded her Many Muses Studio in 2000 as a place to explore the marriage of her media. In addition to illustrating book and magazine covers for major publishers, Plaisted has exhibited her art in galleries and museums worldwide, and has had her work placed internationally in private and corporate collections. A resident for more than 20 years of the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Area, Plaisted currently lives and works in Frederick, Maryland.
Amy Pleasant is a figurative and abstract painter. Her work is infused with the exploration of memory, the complexity of family relationships, and generational transition. Pleasant has participated in national exhibitions in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, and has had solo exhibitions in Seattle, Washington, and Amsterdam. In 2012, she was one of 12 artists featured nationally by the Woman’s Caucus for the Arts. Her work can be found in personal and corporate collections in the Pacific Northwest. Pleasant resides in Seattle.
Elise Ritter is an award-winning member of the Arlington Artists Alliance, Arlington, Virginia. She paints with acrylics, inks, and watercolor. Her art reflects her love of luminous and opalescent jewel-toned colors and the magical properties of light.
Ritter’s work has been juried into Potomac Valley Watercolorists exhibitions and numerous statewide group and solo art shows, some of which she also has curated. Her paintings have been displayed in Virginia’s State Capitol in Richmond, as well as many galleries throughout Virginia, Washington, D.C., and New York City. In addition, Ritter’s work has been included in publications in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Portugal and is represented in collections throughout the United States, Germany, New Zealand, and China.
Tighe O’Donoghue/Ross, born in New York City in 1942, received a bachelor’s degree in fine art and a master’s degree in fine art at the City University of New York, from which he was graduated magna cum laude. A world-renowned Irish-American printmaker and sculptor O’Donoghue/Ross’s work is in the permanent collections of such prestigious institutions as The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England; the Brooklyn Museum, New York City; the Smithsonian National Collection of Fine Art, Washington, D.C.; and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France.
O’Donoghue/Ross’s oeuvre is full of symbolism and surrealism, his imagery playful yet profound. Many of his images allude to Irish and Celtic myths, although he gleans his material from all faiths, mythologies, and philosophies to compile his surreal World of O’Donoghue/Ross.
Patrick Seruwu is a self-taught Ugandan artist who currently resides in Johannesburg, South Africa. An art enthusiast since childhood, who participated in community art competitions, he did his studies at Kyambogo High School. Born in Kampala, Uganda, Seruwu come from a family of five: his mother and three sisters.
After relocating to South Africa, Seruwu was fortunate to meet a second time the Ugandan-born, South Africa-based artist, activist and arts patron Benon Lutaaya, who mentored Seruwu until his death in 2019.
Well-received by the art community, Seruwu’s work has been featured in group exhibitions during the spring salon at Lizamore & Associates Gallery in Johannesburg; displayed at corporate locations, including banks; and featured in the Turbain Art Fair and the Investec Capetown Art Fair, both in South Africa. In February 2020, Seruwu created and exhibited work for his first solo show at Lizamore & Associates Gallery.
Kari Gunter-Seymour is Poet Laureate Emeritus of Athens, Ohio, and the author of A Place So Deep Inside America It Cannot Be Seen. She is the founder and executive director of the Women of Appalachia Project.
Kathleen Stark is an award-winning artist who studied fine art and art history at The Corcoran School of Art and Design, The University of Hawaii, and Northern Virginia Community College. She took private art classes in Athens, Greece, and studied women’s art history at the University of Maryland, Frankfurt, Germany. She is a founding member of The Pastel Society of Virginia and a member of Fairfax Art League. Her art can be seen in many venues in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Stark works in many different mediums (pastel, ink, acrylic, etc.), often combining two or three in one painting, collage, or assemblage. She uses her experiences abroad as well as her life today as inspiration for her work. Making art, she says, is her life’s passion.
Jeanie Tomanek is a self-taught artist who has been called a mythic artist. She draws upon themes she first developed as a poet: exploring feminine archetypes from myths, folk tales, fairy tales, and her own experiences. Her experience growing up on a farm in New York’s Genesee Valley strongly influences her work, which is populated with trees, flowers, birds, and snow—symbols for emotional states or story elements. Dogs sometimes accompany Tomanek’s protagonist, a pale, bald “Everywoman”, as she journeys beneath a starry, moonlit sky. The ancient stories the artist tells with her paints never become old.
Poems and paintings by Tomanek grace the covers of many literary journals and poetry collections, and her work is represented in private and public collections throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia.
Tomanek lives in Marietta, Georgia, with her husband and two rescued dogs.
Note: The image on the front of the document containing the poetry is in possession of The Loft, a Marietta, Georgia, gallery. Please contact The Loft if you are interested in purchasing Jeanie’s original artwork: https://www.loftmarietta.com
Sue Turayhi was born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. After earning a bachelor’s degree of art in design from the Academy of Fine Art at the University of Baghdad, she worked at the Iraqi National Museum and later was sent to the archeological site of ancient Babylon, where she immersed herself in the study of Iraqi antiquities and history. Subsequently, to advance her studies, she migrated to Chicago, Illinois, and in 1980 was awarded a bachelor’s degree in industrial design from the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 1987, Turayhi became a fully licensed interior designer with National Council for Interior Design Qualification certification.
Turayhi participates in an annual collective art exhibit and in numerous solo exhibits. She is a member of the Buffalo Arts Guild League and the Long Grove Arts League, both in Illinois.
Angela White is a fine artist inspired by physical, spiritual, and emotional memories that create in her work both visual depth and density. Her compositions are primarily abstracts and seascapes. The latter are not literal interpretations; rather, they articulate the quiet mystery and power of the natural world. Using natural and sensual materials, such as oils and encaustic paint, she blends the edges of her paintings to create visual depth. By superimposing layers of media, she exposes varied themes and processes.
White has exhibited her oil, encaustic, and mixed media paintings extensively in juried shows across the Washington, D.C. ,Metropolitan Area, as well as in New York and on the West Coast. Her studio is at Artists & Makers Studios in Rockville, Md.
Joyce Wycoff is a writer, photographer, digital artist, active blogger, and avid maker of personal photo books. She recently completed a five-year plan at an age when most people do not buy green bananas. After days of contemplation and construction, she came up with four words: Live life in delight. She lives in Reno, Nevada, an art-filled place that calls itself “Quirky by Choice.”