The success of the art studio is attributable to a distinguished staff. As diverse as the members, the staff offers a variety of abilities and talents to share with our community. The common shared principal is the belief that every person who walks through the door is able to teach as much as they can learn, is able to grow and challenge themselves beyond their perceived limits and, most importantly, to believe that everyone has a voice that needs to be heard.

Faye G.

Art Studio Manager

Faye joined the staff of the WAE center after 20 years of working with preschoolers with developmental disabilities. What a wonderful change! “I always feel like I’m learning more than I’m teaching.”

Faye has been doing all kinds of arts and crafts from a very young age; these days concentrating on fabric arts. She enjoys sharing her home with her husband Glen and her grown kids Lisa an actor and Max a young man on the ASD spectrum. Hobbies include collecting pieces of stuff for collage making and singing really loudly in the car on the way to work.

Yvette L.

Manager of Prevocational Arts

Yvette joined JSDD’s WAE Center in October 2012. During that time, she has been given the privilege to teach, build, and learn in an exciting atmosphere of creativity and love through the WAE Center members and its staff. She is thankful for the opportunity to develop, manage, and teach in programs for the WAE Center such as the after-hours program WAE Beyond, and prevocational Workability/WAE Works.

Grateful for all the life experiences that are useful in her work at JSDD’s WAE Center, Yvette is a printmaker and photographer who graduated from Cooper Union in NYC with a BFA. She also studied at Mason Gross School of the arts and The School of Visual Arts for digital art. Her background as a fine artist, graphic designer, prepress manager, business owner, and longtime board member of the local arts organization, Studio Montclair, brings a diverse set of tools to her work. “I love my work with our members who bring joy into everything we do here, their greetings from my first day made me know that I belonged with them”.

View Yvette’s work

Esther T.

Art Facilitator

Being the daughter of an artist, Esther has been making art for most of her life. She has taken painting and drawing classes and has learned from a variety of artists over her life time. Where her real interest lies is not so much in the technical aspect of art-making, but rather in the heart & soul expression she finds in creating her own art, as well as seeing it in other’s. This creative expression is what drew Esther to the work as an Art Facilitator at the WAE Center; where intuition, spontaneity, and genuineness is such a big part of the creative process. It has been a precious experience for her, over many years until this day, working with the WAE Center members in the art studio.

Lisette R.

Art Facilitator

Lisette has loved expressing herself through art and music since she can remember. She graduated from the School of Art & Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology with a BFA in Illustration. She began studying and practicing web and graphic design initially to promote her own artwork and quickly started getting freelance clients. Lisette was still searching for artistic opportunities when a little ad in the paper caught her eye in 2005. She met with Marilynn and shortly after trained with Esther at Matheny’s Arts Access program. She fell in love with the methodology, the process and the people and has loved being part of the WAE Center ever since.

Lisette was studio manager for over 3 years and trained other facilitator artists to work in the Art Studio. She continues to facilitate once a week and works as an illustrator and graphic & web designer for various clients in the NY/NJ area including the WAE Center. She created the branding and designs for the Chairs of Inclusion promotional materials. Lisette treasures her WAE family and is constantly inspired by the amazing artwork members have been creating all these years. She loves animals (real and stuffed,) watching movies and is addicted to nut cheeses and vegan donuts.

View Lisette’s work

Bill H.

Digital Art Facilitator

Bill is our newest Digital Art Facilitator. He’s an Eagle Scout, musician, social media manager, digital art extraordinaire, ex-farmer, & TBI survivor. Bill had an artistic childhood. As a teenager he taught himself graffiti, photography, & various digital mediums. Bill studied 3D animation throughout high school, but decided to pursue fine art, later taking ‘freshman art’ as a senior. He studied under scholarship at The Maine College of Art (MECA), majoring in printmaking but studying all disciplines.

Bill spent his following years living off grid at a small farm on an island, providing paraprofessional mental health support in NJ after Super Storm Sandy, then developing a broad freelance practice while working as a Social Media & Design Specialist at a farm in North Jersey. In 2017, Bill sustained a TBI during a catastrophic motor vehicle accident. His recovery brought him to the WAE Center, where he is currently developing our Digital Art Program & teaching Creativity with Nature; a remote class in our WAE to Connect programming. He has assisted in art studio classes, our Workability program, & facilitated the international Photo Pen Pal Club. In his free time he enjoys making beats, skiing, hiking, caring for plants, & cooking for his wife.

Onnie C. S.

Art Facilitator

Onnie is a visual artist, teacher, and curator. He was born and raised in Newark NJ where he continues to live and make art. He loves to teach and spent his career as an art instructor in public school. As a lifelong learner, Onnie has degrees in fine arts, arts education and administration and supervision. He works in a variety of mediums, deriving images from the media, popular music, political and social issues as well as memories from childhood and adult environment. A recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Onnie’s artwork can be seen in public and private collections and online.

In 2010 Onnie and the artist Gladys Grauer took part in the Chairs of Inclusion Project with the WAE Center. After working with the WAE family he wanted to be a part of their vison of service and inclusion. As they say, “the rest is history”. Onnie has taught various art classes at the WAE and loves every minute of it. He is inspired by the joy and creativity of the members.

Phebe K.

Photography Facilitator

Phebe had the pleasure of being introduced to the WAE center back in 2012 when she was hired to be an art facilitator. The idea of empowering artists to make their own decisions in their work and life was compelling. She liked this idea of a “hands off” approach in guiding someone’s work. At that time in her life, she was making a career shift from interior designer to photographer. The design industry had left her feeling like a cog in a machine opposed to an inspired artist. The WAE Center brought her back to life, reminding her to follow her own “spark within”.

After managing the art studio for a few years, she decided to step away from the WAE Center to focus on developing and honing her work as a photographer. She now captures lifestyle images, utilizing what she learned at the WAE Center, by stepping back and allowing my subjects to be as they are. Ten years later, Phebe was excited and proud to witness how much the WAE Center had grown. She was honored to be asked to rejoin the WAE family as a consultant, teaching the members photography. A graduate of Rutgers University’s Business School & the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Fine Arts program, Phebe considers herself a perpetual student always learning and exploring behind the lens. You can find her current photography work at