faculty

Barbara Merfeld Campman

1barbara campmanBarbara Merfeld Campman has trained and exhibited widely as an artist, both in the US and abroad.  She co-founded River Gallery School of Art, and now teaches Art and Meditation as well as heads the Children's Studio art program.  She has been teaching art for 40 years.

Bruce Iverson

18BruceIversonBruce is an artist who has specialized in Asian Brush Painting (sumi-e in Japan) since 1972 and has studied with master brush painters Jean Shen, Ning Yeh, and I-Hsiung Ju. He has exhibited in group and juried shows throughout the United States and has had several one-man shows in New England and in Chicago.

He has traveled in China to study and gain a deeper understanding of the context of brush painting. His work is grounded in a three thousand year old tradition in which the tools, techniques and philosophy of this Asian art form have had lifelong resonance.

Cameron Schmitz

0Cameron SchmitzCameron Schmitz is an abstract painter who has a background in landscape and figurative painting. Her education includes a Master’s of Fine Arts in Painting from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Bachelors of Fine Arts in Painting & Drawing from the University of New Hampshire, and studies in Art and Art History at Studio Arts Centers International in Florence, Italy.

Donna Hawes

2DonnaDonna C Hawes is the Executive Director of River Gallery School of Art. She received her BFA from Auburn University and attended Marlboro College Non Profit Cerificate program in 2013. Donna has been working in the field of non-profit management and development for the past 20 years. She thrives on working in a creative environment that an art school can provide and takes advantage of attending RGS classes and workshops as much as possible. She has been with River Gallery School since 2004.

Helen Schmidt

helen schmidtHelen Schmidt is interested in the power art has to effect personal and social transformation. It is her belief that change comes about not just from one’s work in the world, but from turning one’s gaze inward, and she strives to evoke this internal awareness in her work as an artist and a teacher.

Jen Wiechers

29JenWJen grew up in Brooklyn, NY, where she developed a deep appreciation for the diversity of cultures, people, food, and, of course, art. She is now a Brattleboro-based multimedia artist, creating mosaics, jewelry, acrylic paintings, and encaustics. Her early art training began with a Bachelor’s degree in Art Education at Penn State University, with an emphasis in ceramics, taught by Chris Staley. While at Penn State, she taught wheel-thrown pottery to children and later helped organize and run the first children’s summer art program at the Arts and Crafts Center on campus.

Jess Weitz

41Jess weitz headshotJess Weitz lives in Marlboro, Vermont. She rus the Art for Social Change program at RGS, as well as being a teaching faculty member. She grew up in Washington DC and studied studio art and photography at Bard College. Over the years, Jess has also studied Meditation, Reiki, and Quigong. She is most interested in art as a tool for inner transformation. She combines her spiritual explorations with her artistic practice in her own abstract artwork and in her RGS classes. She teaches classes in Meditation and Art, Doll Making, Sequencing and Word/Image. Visit Jess' website.

Julia Ferrari

Julie Ferriri headshotJulia Ferrari has been making handmade books for over 30 years in the Monadnock region as a co-founder, with her late partner Dan Carr, of Golgonooza Letter Foundry & Press, utilizing the arts of letterpress printing from metal types and hand bookbinding. As an artist/ printmaker/ poet she works composing books of poetry with original art in small editions on beautiful paper. Throughout this time Julia and Dan regularly found the time to share their skills and vision with students, showing them how to set, proof and print from type. The process of acquiring skill in using their hands taught them the power of art to transform. 

Julia Jenson

0julia jensenJulia Jensen, perhaps best known for her landscape paintings, has been living and working in Vermont since 1996. Recently she has begun working and teaching encaustic. In both her landscape paintings and encaustic work, she is concerned with the dialogue of internal and external, conscious and unconscious. In both mediums it is the development of layers that give the surfaces depth and illumination.

Kim Hartman Colligan

6kim2Kim received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of South Dakota. She brings a dynamic and exciting curriculum in printmaking to River Gallery School. She has shown her work widely throughout both New England and the upper Midwest, and is included in many permanent collections.

Kim served as studio assistant and printmaker to the renowned colorfield painter Jules Olitski for several years.

Lauren Watrous

24LaurenWatrousLauren Watrous received her MFA from MassArt in 2012. Lauren works in many mediums within drawing and painting and loves exploring these mediums with children. She grew up in New England close to the rural landscape from which her paintings are inspired. Visit Lauren's Website

Leigh Niland

Leigh Niland HeadshotLeigh Niland received an MA in Printmaking at the University of the Arts, London: Camberwell College of Art in 2008. In 2005 she completed the Drawing Year postgraduate program on full scholarship awarded by The Royal Drawing School, London.

A Painter/ Printmaker, her art deals with themes of human emotional state as conveyed through landscape and the built environment.

Lydia Thomson

lydia thomsonLydia Thomson, Creative Director, has been teaching in the adult program at RGS since 1994.  She received her BA in Studio Art, and also holds an MS in Education. She works mainly in oils and mixed media, landscapes and abstraction, and has exhibited throughout New England and New York.

Lynn Zimmerman

25LynnZimmfacultypictureLynn Zimmerman is a compulsive maker of things — working with paper, paint, clay, fabric and fibers, cardboard, wood, metal, recycled materials, and objects gathered from nature — nothing is safe from her use and experimentation.

She studied drawing at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and has a BA in Fine Art and Education. She began studying classical realism oil painting in 2001. After moving back to New Hampshire in 2005, she continued those studies for a few years before joining classes at the River Gallery School. 

Marta Bernbaum

35martaFor the last few years Marta has been an artist in transition. Once having the time and space to study lines with intention and the meditational aspect of both glass and enamel painting. She has transitioned to motherhood and finding that in the brief precious time that she has to create, her process is more varied and unpredictable.

Mary Giammarino

14mary giammarinoMary’s devotion to light and color is evident in all of her paintings. While her work is influenced by the impressionist palette of the Cape School of Art, her work is less idealized and more contemporary by design. Mary’s plein-air paintings reflect her passion and devotion to capturing the exquisite drama of nature’s fleeting moods.

Paul Bowen

Paul Bowen headshotBorn in Wales, Paul first came to the U.S. as a graduate student at the Maryland Institute in Baltimore in 1972. A Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center from 1977 to 79, he has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Artists Foundation and the Welsh Arts Council. His work is included in the permanent collections of museums both here and abroad, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Solomon Guggenheim Museum in New York; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. 

Robert Carsten

17Robert CarstenAn enthusiastic promoter of the pastel medium, Robert K. Carsten is a master pastelist in the Pastel Society of America and a master circle pastelist (2013) in the International Assoc. of Pastel Societies (IAPS). He is an elected member of the Board of Governors of the Pastel Society of America and is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America, the Connecticut Pastel Society, and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Southwest Florida Pastel Society. He is a contributing writer for Pastel Journal and the Artist's Magazine.

Robyn Weisel

33Robyn Weisel Robyn Weisel is the founder of Ability Arts which is a program for adults with learning and physical differences. Ability Arts specializes in services and supports for individuals who benefit from aided and unaided forms of communication. This includes people who use and benefit from American Sign Language (ASL), aided forms of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) from speech generating devices, and individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) who may benefit from American Augmentative Language (AAL).

Ross Smart

0ross smartRoss Smart is a local artist, illustrator, and sculptor. Ross has been creating amazing drawings, paintings, and sculpture for his entire life and came to teaching about 25 years ago. He enjoys collecting ephemera and old stuff such as suitcases and cigar boxes, to create one of a kind tiny houses that are also called - Magic Houses. When Ross isn't teacing in the children's program or attending painting studio with Lydia, he teaches art to people with physical and mental differences.  

Steven Meyer

StevenMeyerA lifelong resident of the nearby West River Valley, Steven has been drawing and creating products most of his life. He has an BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design, Columbus, OH. and has taken painting workshops with Wolf Kahn, Charlie Hunter, John Traynor, Mark Boedges, David Lucier, and others. Steven is currently a member of the Rock River Artists in South Newfane and exhibits his work at the Harmony Collective in Brattleboro. He has had two shows at the Crowel Gallery in Newfane, was a longtime member of the former Windham Art Gallery, and has also exhibited at SVAC in Manchester and at Taft Hill Collection in Townshend. His art is in many private collections as far away as Japan.