Founder & Executive Director Emeritus
George J. Robinson
George J. Robinson, formerly an art dealer, has organized and curated gallery and open-studio exhibitions, represented artists working in all styles and media, and collaborated with gallery owners and directors, critics, curators, corporate art buyers, and private collectors.
Executive Director & Chief Curator
William Penrose is an advocate for providing direct support to artists across all disciplines. He joins us from his position as Director of the Rema Hort Mann Foundation. Previously Will was at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council for five years where he was responsible for managing artist cohorts, studio spaces, and other aspects of LMCC’s Workspace, Process Space, and residency programs. Will began his career at Scottsdale Cultural Council, working for both Scottsdale Public Art and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Upon relocating to New York in 2007, Will was the registrar at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, based in Chelsea with international galleries. Additionally, Will has consulted at the Research Center for Arts and Culture (RCAC) for research projects on living artists. He is a contributing author to the RCAC’s reports Still Kicking: Aging Performing Artists in NYC and LA Metro Areas and Art Cart: A Feasibility Study for a National Model. Will has lectured at NYU, Drew University, and Parsons: The New School for Design. He was also an inaugural participant in NYFA’s Emerging Leaders Boot Camp and has served on the Junior Committee for Dance/NYC. He holds an M.A. in Arts Administration from Columbia University, as well as a B.S. in Economics, B.F.A. in Drawing, and Minor in Philosophy from Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University.
Over the past decade, Grace McDonald has sought to make the arts more equitable through her leadership of various arts education initiatives both in New York City and across the nation. By working with public institutions such as libraries, schools and churches, Grace enables organizations to implement democratic processes into the experience of both art making and art seeing. In 2008, she founded her own arts education organization in Waco, Texas. Through her time there, she learned the extraordinary impact that exposure to the arts can have on a community. This experience led her to pursue a Masters in Arts & Cultural Management from Pratt Institute where she honed her passion for education. Grace believes that the opportunity to participate in the arts, from creating to curating, should be made accessible to all!
Public Programs Manager & Curator
Prior to NURTUREart, Ivan Gilbert was Studio Manager for Christopher K. Ho Studio and Assistant in several other artists’ studios concurrently. He was a fellow of the 2013 New York Arts Practicum and a received his BFA graduate from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2011, he was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study at Yeditepe Universitesi in Istanbul, Turkey.
Board of Trustees
Director, Sima Familant: Private Curator and Art Advisor
With a BA in literature, history, and philosophy, and an MFA in Fine Art, Asya Geisberg has worked in many aspects of the art world, notably as a writer, curator and artist. She is the Owner/Director of Asya Geisberg Gallery in New York City. Her international background has fostered a life-long interest in cross-cultural pollination, and a unique perspective on the various idioms of art.
Christopher K. Ho
Christopher K. Ho is an artist interested in the often-invisible social forces that implicate and impact contemporary production. His solo exhibition Privileged White People (2013, Forever & Today) examined the sensibility of a generation of artists who grew up during the affluent and relatively stable Clinton presidency, and his current work asks how sacrifice, responsibility, and discipline—characteristics of parenthood—can formally and materially manifest in art. In addition to his studio practice, he has co-curated exhibitions for nonprofits including the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Hyde Park Art Center, Cuchifritos, the Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning, the Dumbo Arts Center, and the Incheon Women’s Biennale. He is a critic at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Department of Painting, and served as the 2011 Critical Studies Fellow at Cranbrook Academy. His writing has been publishedin Modern Painters, ArtReview, Performing Arts Journal, zingmagazine, and Flash Art, and in exhibition catalogues from the Museo Reina Sofia and the Cranbrook Art Museum. An interest in approaching art as a civic practice and institution guides his work with NURTUREart and other nonprofits. He received his BFA and BS from Cornell University and his MPhil from Columbia University.
Rachel Klinghoffer is an artist who repurposes materials to make and remake objects that are paintings and sculptures. She received her Masters in Fine Arts in Painting with honors from Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting with course work in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recent exhibitions with curatorial projects and galleries include: Ballast Projects and Alt Esc, Brooklyn NY; SPRING/BREAK 2017, Cuevas Tilleard, New York, NY; The Willows, New York, NY; Fjord Gallery, Philadelphia, PA; Interface Gallery, Oakland, CA; Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia, PA; Ms. Barber’s, Los Angeles, CA; Trestle Projects, Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been included in New American Paintings and reviewed by Hyperallergic.com as well as Title Magazine and featured on Littlepaperplanes.com, FieldProjectsGallery.com, bullandram.blogspot.com, Zeek.com and Jewcy.com and seen on Vice.com. Observer.com named her one of the promising names on the scene. Philanthropically, Rachel is a past board member of the Jewish music and cultural nonprofit, JDub Records and currently is a board member for Asylum Arts, a nonprofit that supports contemporary Jewish culture and empowers artists and cultural organizations to create experiences to broaden the impact of Jewish culture.
Karen Marston is a painter living and working in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Her work has been seen in several solo exhibitions in NYC: Storm Watch, New Paintings at Storefront Bushwick, Breathing Room at Dam Stuhltrager Gallery in Williamsburg, Where You’ll Find Me at the Cheryl McGinnis Gallery on Madison Avenue, and Respirations, at Taller Boricua, in East Harlem. Recent selected group exhibitions include: In The Zone curated by David Gibson at Station Independent Projects on the Lower East Side, Bling, The Artist As Jeweler at the Claire Oliver Gallery in Chelsea, Montrose and Ballot, both at the Front Room Gallery in Williamsburg, and Paperazzi 1 & 2 at Janet Kurnatowski Gallery in Greenpoint among others. Originally from California, she earned her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute and participated in the A.I.C.A. New York Studio Program.
Mr. Mascera is President & Chief Operating Officer of Continuity Logic LLC, responsible for all day-to-day operations across Sales & Marketing, Product Development, Customer Service, Support and Infrastructure. Prior to joining Continuity Logic, he was responsible for Technology across Investment Banking & Client Relationship Management at the Toronto Dominion Bank Group. Before TD Bank, he served as Global Head of Sales & Investment Banking Technology at Barclays PLC overseeing all Client Management, Profitability, Sales Analytics, and Trade Capture platforms. Previously he served as Chief Administrative officer and Executive Committee member of Broadpoint Gleacher Securities Group, as part of the founding Management team grew the publicly traded firm to over 1B in market capitalization. During the span of his 25-year career, Mr. Mascera has also held various more progressively responsible positions within Financial Services including Global Head of Institutional Sales Technology at Merrill Lynch as well as Global Head of Institutional Sales & Investment Banking Technology at Societe Generale, and the resulting US spinoff the Cowen Group. Mr. Mascera started his career at Painewebber, holds a B.B.A. in Finance from Hofstra University, an M.S. in Information Technology from Long Island University and currently serves as Treasurer at NURTUREart non-for-profit, a Bushwick based art gallery which supports emerging artists and provides a broad art curriculum in several NYC public schools across Brooklyn.
Carol Salmanson is an artist working with light and reflective materials. She has had solo and two-person shows at several exhibition spaces, including Brian Morris Gallery, the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Storefront Bushwick, Dam, Stuhltrager Gallery, PS 122, and St. Peter’s Church. She has participated in numerous group shows, including “Space Invaders,” curated by Karin Bravin at Lehman College; “Rock St” curated by Deborah Brown and Lesley Heller, Dumbo Arts Festival, and “Resplendency” in Berlin. She has also created window installations for Time Equities’ Art-in-Buildings, OK Harris Works of Art, Smart Spaces at 254 Park Avenue South, and Mixed Greens, and was part of San Antonio’s 2013 “Luminaria” festival. A native of Providence, RI, Salmanson earned degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University and University of Chicago. A member of NURTUREart’s board since 2003, she was responsible for structuring NURTUREart’s development activities, and served as its first Development Chair. She is currently Vice President and Strategic Planning Committee founder and Chair.
Benjamin Tischer is co-owner of INVISIBLE-EXPORTS, a contemporary art gallery on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, and founder of an edition-by-subscription project, the Artist of the Month Club. He is a member of the New Art Dealer’s Alliance (NADA) and a member of the matrimonial art collective, Bengala, which has exhibited internationally in both galleries and museums.
Marco Antonini lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland. Currently he works as Associate Director, Project Manager for Art Sponsorship Partnerships at UBS Business Solutions AG, one of the largest sponsors in the global contemporary art area. In 2017 he served as Program Specialist for the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage in Philadelphia. From 2011 to 2016, he led NURTUREart as Executive Director & Curator. Antonini’s independent curatorial projects have been presented in New York by Japan Society, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), ISE Foundation, Elizabeth Foundation Project Space, the Italian Cultural Institute, the International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP), Interstate Projects, and Abrons Art Center; internationally by Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Venice, FUTURA Center for Contemporary Art, Prague, CCEG, Guatemala City, Cabaret Voltaire, Zurich among many others. As an independent curator and writer, Antonini has consistently championed the early work of artists who have moved on to greater and much deserved visibility and renown.
Sayaka Araki, CPA, is an independent accounting consultant with 20 years of progressive corporate experience providing expertise in business process reengineering, global expansion and reorganization. She is technology and finance knowledge collaborator who has lead the numerous strategic business plans. She also has in-depth knowledge of USGAAP,IFRS, SEC and SOX. Previously she was VP Controller, Corporate Officer of Hitachi Metals America, Ltd. Before becoming an advisory board member she was Treasurer of NURTUREart.
Catherine Hannah Behrend
Catherine Hannah Behrend is the founder of Ventures in Vision, and is an instructor at FIT’s School of Graduate Studies and at NYU’s Certificate Program in Arts Administration. From 1995-2007 she served as the Deputy Director of the Percent for Art Program in the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, following positions in cultural affairs, economic development, and public policy, and served on the Mayor’s Council on New Media/ Digital Arts. Cathie holds both an MA in Art and an MBA from NYU, and a BA in Art History from Simmons College. She is a board member of the 92nd Street YMHA, the Financial Women’s Association of New York, the Simmons College Leadership Council, and is an Art Table program co-chairperson.
Deborah Brown received a B.A. in Art from Yale, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and an M.F.A. from Indiana University. Since 1982 she has lived and worked in New York where she is represented by Lesley Heller Workspace. She has had one-person shows at galleries and museums around the country. Her public art projects include mosaics commissioned by the MTA for the Houston Street subway station in Manhattan and roundels for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Terminal at the Port of Miami for Miami-Dade Art in Public Places. In addition to her practice as an artist, she owns and directs the gallery Storefront Ten Eyck in Brooklyn, and also serves on the artist advisory board of BRIC, and Community Board #4 in Bushwick.
Bill Carroll has been involved in the New York art world for over thirty years. He was the Director of the Charles Cowles Gallery in Soho, and the Elizabeth Harris Gallery in Chelsea. Bill has also worked in non-profit at the Dia Art Foundation, the Brooklyn Museum, the Nancy Graves Foundation and presently as the Director of the Studio Program of The Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. He has curated numerous exhibitions; most recently Silhouette at EFA 20|20 Gallery in 2013. Bill teaches a course for MFA students at Pratt Institute titled Art World & Professionalism, and has lectured at the New York Foundation for the Arts, New York University, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bard College, School of Visual Arts, and FIT. He will have his fourth one-person show at the Elizabeth Harris Gallery in January 2015.
Ian Cofre is an independent curator and writer based in New York City, engaged primarily with emerging and established artists working locally and in Latin America. His main areas of interest are examining the art market, alternative economies and their modes of art production, turning the lens onto underrepresented artists and marginalized communities, and contextualizing artists cross-generationally. He also has previously worked as Gallery Director at Sue Scott Gallery, Studio Manager for Mickalene Thomas, and Director for the 2013 edition of the PINTA NY art fair. Recent projects include co-curating the exhibitions Bigger Than Shadows, DODGEgallery (New York, 2012) with Rich Blint; and both Tracing the Unseen Border, La MaMa La Galleria (New York, 2011) and Southern Exposure at Dumbo Arts Center (Brooklyn, 2009) with Omar Lopez-Chahoud. Other shows include Behind Closed Doors (2011), a curated solo project by Manuela Viera-Gallo at Y Gallery and The Doubtful Guest (2010) at Kill Devil Hill in Greenpoint, NY. Recent publications include Arte al Día and co-writing an essay with Lopez-Chahoud for the Bronx Museum’s Taking AIM! The Business of Being an Artist Today (2011) edited by Marysol Nieves. Profiles and reviews of exhibitions he has curated have appeared in The Art Newspaper, Arte al Día International, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
Christine Dobush is an independent arts manager specializing in dance. She formerly worked in public relations for the arts and entertainment industry in New York City.
Richard Fisher is an independent consultant, and has also developed the Higginbotham Museum, which houses an important regional history-based collection, and the Institute for Venture Philanthropy, the country’s only museum-based contemporary exhibition brokerage service. He has also worked in numerous capacities in arts administration and cultural advocacy over the past thirty years, including as a college art department chair, coordinating Education Services for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, directing the South Carolina Arts Commission’s Visual Artist Development Program, and directing the Visual and Media Arts Program for the Southern Arts Federation.
Ann Fensterstock holds an MA in Art History from New York University, where she specialized in Modern and Contemporary Art. A collector of contemporary art for over 25 years, Ms. Fensterstock served for ten years on the Acquisitions Committee of the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at the Museum of Modern Art, and chaired the Museum’s Print Associates for fifteen years. She is also a member of MoMA’s Contemporary Arts Council and serves on both the Officers Committee and the CAC Funding Committee. She is a member of the Producers Council at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and she was recently appointed to the Steering Committee of the George Washington University Museum in Washington, DC. She has long been a supporter of a number of not-for-profit organizations that focus on the development of emerging artists, including Momenta Art where she served on the Board. Ms. Fensterstock is a member of ArtTable In September 2013, Palgrave Macmillan published Ms. Fensterstock’s critically acclaimed cultural history Art on the Block: Tracking the New York Art World from SoHo to the Bowery, Bushwick, and Beyond.
Susan Hamburger is a visual artist and artist-educator based in Brooklyn. Visit her website HERE.
David Harper is the Director of Special Projects for leading online fine art auction house Paddle8. He was the Curator of the BAMart program at the Brooklyn Academy of Music from 2006-2013, where he oversaw both exhibitions and a development unit devoted to fundraising through visual art. He studied fine art and art history at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston (BFA, 2004) and Pratt Institute (MS, 2006). Dave has worked in various capacities at New York galleries, non-profits, and arts institutions, and as a freelance advisor, curator, and writer. He was Associate Visiting Curator at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York from 2009-2011. He was the first curatorial fellow for the noted blog, Art F City, and he has curated shows at toomer labzda gallery, STADIUM, Storefront Bushwick, and curated_by in Vienna.
Jennie Lamensdorf is Director of the Time Equities Inc. Art-in-Buildings Program in New York, NY. Art-in-Buildings brings contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists to non-traditional exhibition spaces in the interest of promoting artists, expanding the audience for art, and creating a more interesting environment for the occupants, residents, and guests of Time Equities Inc. properties. Recent projects include exhibitions and installations by, Grimanesa Amóros, Jesus Benavente, Eric Fertman, Allen Glatter, Nick Hornby, Mary Mattingly, Dominique Paul, Carolyn Salas, Carol Salmanson, and Jay Shin, among many others. She is also the curator of the Francis J. Greenburger Collection New York, NY. Lamensdorf is a Board Member of Art Omi, the visual arts residency at Omi International Arts Center in Ghent, NY.
Sarah Lehat currently serves as Communications Director at TOTAH and as Director of The Leo Bates Foundation. In addition, Sarah writes contemporary visual arts criticism and curates independently. Trained as a classical ballet dancer and as an architect, she is invested in re-defining the ‘holy’ via interdisciplinary, cross platform, mystical and wholly un-categorizable projects that brave the unknown. Sarah is a member of the Chassidic community in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Julie McKim is a New York-based independent curator who has worked at numerous venues including PERFORMA, The Kitchen, and Neue Gallery. Most recently she worked at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where she was curatorial assistant for Alexander Calder: The Paris Years, 1926–1933 and Alice Guy Blaché: Cinema Pioneer. Her most recent curatorial project was YOU ARE FREE at Tape Club in Berlin, co-curated with Daniel Kingery. She also contributed to and served as editor for the exhibition catalogue The Situation, a special project of the 2009 Moscow Biennial curated by Elizabeth M. Grady. She is one third of the curatorial collaborative Team Lab and holds an MA in Modern Art History from Columbia University.
Sarah Monteleone is currently an assistant principal at Charles O. Dewey (MS136) middle school in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. She has been a leader in reform to make education more innovative and responsive, and supports teachers with ideas for gains in student achievement, and parents with new educational choices and options. Prior to this position, she was an art, math, and ELA teacher at Juan Morel Campos (IS/HS 71) in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Hervert received her B.A in English with a Minor in Visual Art from SUNY, Stony Brook in 2000, and her Masters in Education from Dowling College in 2002. She completed her second masters in Brooklyn College’s Assistant Principal Program in 2006.
Fraser Mooney is a specialist in organizational management and development, with a multi-faceted career in the advancement of the arts, global health, human rights and social justice causes. He has brought a wealth of experience in board and staff development, strategic planning, international public sector development, and domestic fundraising campaigns to a diversity of local, national and international organizations such as The Asia Society, The Drawing Center, PS1/MOMA, Broadway Cares, The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, and The International Center for Transitional Justice. Based in New York City, he was an early member of the AIDS activist movements ACT UP/NY and Visual AIDS, and is currently a member of the Board of Directors of The New York City AIDS Memorial, and online cultural organization Triple Canopy.
Lee Pacchia is a Legal Analyst and Host for Bloomberg Law multimedia programs. He conducts interviews with leading lawyers and newsmakers on legal issues of national and global import and their implications for the business community. Prior to joining Bloomberg Law, Lee clerked for the Hon. Raymond T. Lyons in the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey. He joined Bloomberg Law in 2007. His media appearances include Bloomberg TV and Bloomberg Radio. Lee holds a JD from New York Law School and a BA from Wesleyan University. He lives in New York City.
Alexander Palmer is an accountant at Guggenheim Partners, an asset management firm based in midtown, where he provides accounting and investor reporting services. Previously, he worked as a public accountant for Deloitte and Touche from 2010-2013. Alex became a Certified Public Accountant in 2012. He holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Washington University in St Louis and a Masters degree in Accounting from Syracuse University. Alex and his fiancee currently live in Brooklyn with their pet rabbit, Scooter.
Alexander Rahul is an artist and website designer, he made a significant contribution to the design and development of our online registry. A painter, he holds a BFA from Tufts University and is currently pursuing his MFA at Pratt Institute. Rahul was a 2009 fellow in the Artist in the Marketplace program at the Bronx Museum and has been featured in BRUT magazine, Culture Pundits and ARTCAT.com. He has participated in exhibitions at Ad Hoc, AG Gallery and the Bushwick Biennial.
Sara Reisman is the Director of New York City’s Percent for Art program which commissions permanent artworks for City-owned public spaces. Reisman has organized exhibitions and written about public engagement and public art, social practice, the aesthetics of globalization, and site-specificity for the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, Queens Museum of Art, The Cooper Union School of Art, Smack Mellon, The Bronx Museum of Art, Socrates Sculpture Park, Momenta Art, Aljira, the Kunsthalle Exernergasse, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Banjaluka, Republic of Srpska, among others. Reisman was the 2011 Critic-in-Residence at Art Omi, an international visual artist residency in upstate New York, and is the inaugural guest curator during 2012-2013 at Forever & Today, a project space on the Lower East Side.
Richard Stewart of Richard Stewart Fine Art began as a collector over 25 years ago. His interest in the art world led him to join the group of young curators who created the exhibition of installations “THAW, ” as a response to a major movement of young London artists. Since then, Richard has joined the boards of non-profit arts organizations, opened what was formerly known as DeChiara/Stewart Gallery in Chelsea, and currently offers private consulting to collectors.
James E Wei
James E Wei
Katarina Wong is an artist and an independent curator who has shown nationally and internationally. She has attended numerous residencies including Skowhegan, the Bronx Museum’s AIM Program, and the Kunstlerhaus in Salzberg, Austria. In addition, she has received awards from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Cintas Foundation, among others. Most recently, Katarina was the Director of Community and Curatorial Engagement at Edelman, the largest global PR firm, where she oversaw internal curatorial and communications programs and external partnerships that helped the agency make an impact in the larger NYC community by fostering mentoring and leadership development opportunities. Katarina was also a visiting professor at the University of Iowa in the School of Painting and a docent at the Rubin Museum of Art. She received her MFA from the University of Maryland at College Park and Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School.