Artist Bios

Literary Arts


David CrewsDavid Crews (davidcrewspoetry.com) is author of the poetry collections High Peaks (RA Press, 2015) and Circadian Rhythm (Paulinskill Poetry Project, 2014). High Peaks catalogs his hiking of “The 46ers” in New York’s Adirondack State Park. His poems have appeared in The Southeast Review, Berkeley Poetry Review, The Carolina Quarterly, Wisconsin Review, Stone Canoe, and others. Essays can be found in Adanna Literary Journal and SPECTRUM. Crews received an MFA in Poetry from Drew University, serves as Editor for The Stillwater Review, and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He both teaches and lives in northwest New Jersey. (Follow on Twitter at @dcrewspoetry)

 

 

 


Gustav GuantlettGustav Gauntlett is a professional teaching artist leading bi-lingual workshops around the world. Emphasizing in Theater & Hip Hop songwriting, Gustav’s process is very straightforward: Establish trust through sharing stories, build confidence with unconditional love, then create art in a safe space where everyone’s creative spirit can shine. To learn more about Gus, please visit his website at http://www.hoopsartist.com.

 

 


Carly SusserCarly Susser is the editor-in-chief of The Platform Review, and host of The Platform reading series. Her work has been featured in Word Riot and other publications. She earned her BA and MFA from Sarah Lawrence College, where she served as the fiction editor for The Sarah Lawrence Literary Review, and the nonfiction editor for Lumina. In addition to teaching writing, Carly also teaches yoga to adults and children. Visit her blog, www.nothingifnotinfinite.com.

 

 


Visual Arts


Jean Choe is an artist based in central New Jersey. She works with various media including watercolor and acrylics. Color is her biggest source of inspiration. She understands how colors in everyday life can affect people’s moods, thus she gravitates towards bright and cheerful colors. She loves to paint people, nature and abstract ideas. She also practices modern calligraphy, sews, and repaints furniture to give it new life. She holds a B.S. in Clothing and Textiles and is currently working with ARTS By The People. She runs fine art and craft workshops at Lester Senior Housing in Whippany, NJ. You can find out more about her work at instagram.com/jeanchoe or JeanChoeArtDesign.com

Julie Friedman Julie Friedman has been painting her entire life. With a BFA from the Mason Gross School of Art, Julie worked primarily in oils until she studied with Christina Debarry and Wolf Kahn and “was drawn to the immediacy of pastels as well as their color and vibrancy.” With ARTS By The People, Julie volunteers her time and studio space and mentors a group of Morristown High School and post-high school art students. To learn more about Julie, please visit her website at www.juliefriedmanart.com.

Yael
Yael Ozsinay is an animator and animation director and producer. She is the founder of Mind the Gap Animation studio, which aspires to make films that make a difference and focuses on social and artistic issues. In addition to filmmaking, Yael conducts poetry and animation workshops for youths and adults, and is the producer of the Asif Animation Competition and Events in Tel Aviv. Yael’s films have participated and won awards in numerous festivals around the world. To learn more about Yael’s work, please visit www.mindthegapanimation.com.

 

 

 

 


Dance


Jennifer SanchezJennifer Sanchez began her dance journey with The Passaic High School Marching Band as part of the color guard and is currently pursuing a Fine Arts degree at Montclair State University (MSU). Most recently she has performed under IBEX puppetry in their latest production of Ajijaak on Turtle Island in La Mama Theatre NYC. She is also a performing aerialist and teaches aerial silks at the Tribe Body dance studio in Ramsey, NJ which she now calls home. She is excited to be with ARTS By The People teaching senior citizens dance and movement.

 


katie Katie Stehura received her BFA from The Ohio State University, graduating magna cum laude with honors and distinction in dance. She received a grant to conduct dance research in Vienna, Austria, and her choreography has been presented in Ohio, Florida, New Jersey and New York. Katie has worked with established artists such as Lisa Race, Larry Keigwin, Kendra Portier, Jenna Riegel, and Tara Burns among others. As a teaching artist for ARTS By The People, she has designed and implemented dance and choreography programs for senior residents and middle school students in New Jersey, as well as choreographed and directed “Across the Platform.” To learn more about Katie, please visit her website at www.kstehura.com.

andrea Andrea Jane Dispenziere began cultivating her artistry in the Garden State (New Jersey), where she grew up dancing, drawing, painting, acting, singing, and playing piano. She holds her BFA cum laude in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She’s performed and toured the works of Alwin Nikolais, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, John Jasperse, Carolyn Carlson, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, and Danielle Russo. Andrea also creates her own freelance choreography under the name MUSE309 and teaches yoga for senior citizens. Her work with ARTS By The People, a program called “Moving Words”, stems from this love for bringing movement to seniors. In “Moving Words”, Andrea collaborates with Paul Rabinowitz to perform dance movement and spoken-word/poetry, using famous poetic works, as well as works written by the seniors in attendance. www.muse309.com.

Troy OgilvieTroy Ogilvie has danced for and collaborated with choreographers – Andrea Miller, Sidra Bell, Zoe Scofield, Idan Sharabi, Itzik Galili, Roy Assaf, Shannon Gillen, Margie Gillis, and Patricia Noworol; violinist – Liv Heym; theater company – Punchdrunk (in the role of Lady Macbeth in the immersive production of Sleep No More); and director – Peter Sellars (in the role of Mary Magdalene in The Gospel According to the Other Mary). Her solo project, PRISM, incorporates solos given to her by Ms. Gillis, Mr. Galili, and Mr. Assaf with movement landscapes performed by dancers and non-dancers who have taken her workshops. She teaches an improvisation class and is on the faculty of SpringboardX Skills + Process. The tension between text and movement is where Troy likes to tell stories and she is thrilled to continue this research with ARTS by the People’s “Stories in Motion.” She was one of Dance Magazine’s 2011 Top 25 to Watch and graduated with a B.F.A. from the Juilliard School in 2007. troyogilvie.com

Street Art


biscoBrad “Bisco” Smith is a creative professional based out of New York City and Los Angeles who focuses on music, design, art, and mentorship. In addition, he operates a boutique design studio, IV.Creative, founded in 2002, which develops branding, print, web, and mural design for clients around the globe. With ARTS By The People, Bisco brings “Arts By the Street,” a workshop that intends to acquaint its participants with modern day visual street arts through history and the use of mediums commonly found in urban landscapes around the world. He has also done Art Installation and Live Art at the Morristown High School Art and Design show. He led a street art workshop in Jerusalem in July 2012. To learn more about Bisco, please visit his website at www.biscosmith.com.

Music


Leland Baker is a New York City based jazz saxophonist who grew up in Providence, RI. He has lived and spent time honing his craft in the city of New Orleans, LA and New England. While his short time here in New York City, Leland has had the opportunity to play with Alicia Keys, and study and play with some of jazz’s titans including Lawrence Clark, Kahlil Bell and Roy Hargrove. He freelances as a musician, teaches music, and leads his own quartet by the name of The Free 5. Leland continues to pursue his vision as an artist in hopes to make a positive difference in the world by bring souls together and challenging the spectrum of superficial reality.

Nina RangelNina Rangel is a classically trained vocalist born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey. She recently graduated from Montclair State University with her BA in music therapy and is currently pursuing her masters in music education in hopes of becoming a future choral director and educator. She currently works as a private vocal and piano instructor and is the children’s choir director at St. Virgils Parish in Morris Plains. Nina has performed in a wide range of venues, from local bars with her old band to the Sydney Opera House with the MSU singers. She loves the communal power of music and loves to share, spread, and create music with others.

Ill Spokinn With a focus on staying true to Hip Hop’s roots while also propelling it toward the future, iLLspokinn has garnered a worldwide following, both through the two albums he released as the lead vocalist of the band Spokinn Movement, who was named one of the “Rawkus 50 (next important Hip Hop artists)”, and maintaining an extensive international touring schedule. Closer to home, iLLspokinn wears many hats. He is an educator/mentor holding Hip Hop workshops, a Vinyl DJ Instructor, and CEO/Host/Producer of New York’s longest running live band Hip Hop open mic, Freestyle Mondays.

Alex TremblayAlex Tremblay was born and raised in North Providence RI and came from a family of musicians who enabled him to hone his craft at a young age and study at the Hartt School of Music at the University of Hartford. There he was a student of the school’s renowned jazz department that was founded by the legendary Jazz Saxophonist/Composer, Jackie McLean. It was there that he met and studied with one of his bass heroes, Professor Nat Reeves. He currently resides in Brooklyn and is an active member of the music community in and around New York City. He has performed at many venues in New York and abroad including The Blue Note, The Cotton Club (Tokyo), Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Iridium, and Shanghai Jazz. His web site is: https://www.alextremblaymusic.com/

Horticultural Arts


IMG_0601MeganBioMegan Fainsinger is a graduate of the New York Botanical Gardens, where she studied Horticultural Therapy. Born and raised on the Indian Ocean, a native to the bounty of botanical diversity in South Africa, Megan grew up in a subtropical world of flowers and temperate African landscapes. With a background in Special Education, Megan draws on her teaching experience, passion for gardening and professional skills in floral design, to create educational, creative and enriching indoor and outdoor horticultural programs for seniors.

The touch, taste, smell, sound and sight of plant materials serves as a trigger to stimulate our inherent human instinct and attraction to what is beautiful and awe inspiring. Megan’s goal is to reconnect individuals to our collective sense of wonder in the outdoor world as a vehicle of engagement, connection and purpose, thereby enhancing the participants day to day quality of life.