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.

Harry K.

Art Studio Manager

Harry LOVES his job!!!!! Harry began his employment with the WAE Center in April of 2012; he comes with a Bachelor in Fine Arts from New York University. He has long held a passion for working with people; when he was 16 years old, Harry volunteered for United Cerebral Palsy at a residence facility that was located in his neighborhood. Upon graduation from college, Harry pursued a career in acting. After “living the life” in New York City for over 20 years, Harry decided it was time to make the move to suburbia. Knowing that he could not get a mortgage with “actor” in the job title box of the application, Harry went corporate.

During this period, Harry developed his business savvy and administrative skills. Once his house was purchased, the corporate job was no longer in the picture. Harry was thrilled when the prospect for employment became available at the WAE Center; the Art Studio Manager position offered Harry the perfect opportunity for him to blend his artistic passion and aptitude for orderliness with his enthusiasm for working with others. Harry feels that it is a rare and special gift to be able to “come to work every day, not knowing what is in store, and have your soul filled in a meaningful and provocative way.” Harry lives with his husband and daughter in West Orange and enjoys family hikes, chocolate, and laughter.

Dean N.

Art Studio Assistant Manager

Dean has been working at the WAE Center since 2009. In his time at the center he has worn many hats including working in the art studio, driving the vans and leading music class before settling into his role as Art Studio Assistant Manager. He leads sculpture class and photography as well as facilitating individual painting/drawing sessions. Outside the WAE Center he pursues musical performance and recording, visual art and various forms of kitchen experimentation and fermentation. He enjoys the change of the seasons and his favorite TV show is Cheers.

Check out The Defending Champions

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

Faye G.

Art Facilitator

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.

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.