Instructor Profile: Greg Pizzoli


Studying English literature at Millersville University, Greg Pizzoli minored in Fine Art and first took a screen printing class the last semester of his senior year. He immediately fell in love with the process and has been constructing his life around making work ever since.

After graduating, Pizzoli became an AmeriCORPS VISTA Volunteer and served first as Program Director at Island Arts Center, a non-profit community art center in Newport, RI, and then a second year at the Center for Intergenerational Learning at Temple University.

Pizzoli described his time in Rhode Island as a learning experience that taught him a lot about how to keep himself and others motivated to make work. “Printmakers such as James Quigley from Providence, Seripop from Montreal and Zeloot from Den Haag [Netherlands] were all incredibly nice and helpful and their encouragement really kept me going at times,” he said.

Now, Pizzoli is a 2009 MFA Book Arts/Printmaking graduate from the University of the Arts. He has shown work in the Netherlands and Canada as well as San Jose, Chicago, East Lansing, MI, and locally.

In 2009 he exhibited in the 83rd Annual International Competition: Printmaking at The Print Center in Philadelphia as well as at the Athenaeum’s Enchanting Simplicity: Children’s Book Art Past and Present.

His work ranges from the political—a street art project personalizing Philadelphia’s homicide rate with the name, age, race, sex and death date on a sticker that says, “Hello My Name Was,” for all 406 people murdered in 2006—to a quirky review guide of 30 local pizzerias made in collaboration with Ansley Joe called, The Pizza Book: An Illustrated Guide to Philadelphia’s Best and Worst Sites.

Pizzoli likes solving problems, telling stories and making things by hand. “I prefer to have about a million (sometimes more) projects on my plate at once,” he said, “because I find that all the different processes like illustration, design work, printmaking, installations, writing and teaching (to name a few) all inform each other in exciting ways.”

Visit www.doctorpizzoli.com to learn more about Pizzoli’s work.

Courses: The Screen Printed Poster, Zine

Instructor Profile: Amanda Elizabeth


Amanda Elizabeth teaches Jewelry in Continuing Education and the Pre-College Summer Institute. A graduate of the University of the Arts with a BFA in Metals/Crafts, Elizabeth has also studied at Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC and Peter’s Valley Craft Education Center in Layton, NJ.

Currently working out of her studio in an old lead factory, Amanda Elizabeth Jewelry started in 2004. While Elizabeth dreams of one day hiring a staff and owning a larger studio to see more of her visions come to life, she has spent the last few years developing her jewelry line and finding her voice. “The simplicity of form and subtle movements that occur within nature drive my work,” she said. “I work for my jewelry to interpret the nature that surrounds us; I am inspired by the intricate structure of plants which I then abstract into broader shapes and simple lines.”

Elizabeth loves that every project is a problem solving game, and finds the evolution from original design to finished product exhilarating. She also loves teaching so that she can meet new people and see their new twists on a process that has been around for thousands of years. “I have had neonatologists, architects, ballerinas, nurses, chefs and bartenders bring their life experiences to the table and try their hand at something completely new,” she said.

Elizabeth received the Emerging Artist award from the Peter’s Valley Craft Fair in 2008. She has also won the ArtForms Gallery Tenth Annual Emerging Artist Competition, the William E. Ridgeway Memorial Award in Jewelry and Metal Design as well as the InLiquid: DiscrimiNATION competition.

In 2008 alone, her jewelry was featured in Labella Brides, Philadelphia Brides Magazine, Inside Weddings, Special Events Magazine, Metalsmith Magazine and American Style Magazine.

Most of Elizabeth’s work is comprised of limited edition and one-of-a-kind pieces. “I have a passion to create jewelry that in transcending time also nods to vintage and modern art,” she said. “It is important to me that my work is wearable and desirable, that it satisfies that craving for something different and unique.”

Visit www.amanda-elizabeth.com to learn more about Elizabeth’s work.

Courses: Jewelry Design + Metalsmithing, Jewelry Design: Chains and Charms

Instructor Profile: James Moore + John Staack


Located just 10 blocks from the Allegheny Avenue exit off I-95, Staack Woodworking is a huge, professionally-equipped facility with multiple workstations. Free on-street parking is available, Home Depot is within walking distance and a production studio outfitted with modern tools and equipment is on-site.

James Moore earned his BA from Temple University with a concentration in Arts. While at Temple he worked as a finisher for Maxwell and Kelly, a small company that specialized in solid cherry furnishings. There, he met John Staack. When Mike Maxwell relocated to Virginia, Moore began a nearly five-year working apprenticeship with Michael Hurwitz.

Since 2001, under the name James Moore Furniture, Moore has designed and built one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and cabinetry for commercial and residential settings. He was even featured as an emerging artist in Art and Antiques magazine. Moore is currently represented by Wexler Gallery in Philadelphia.

John Staack fell in love with furniture and woodworking at the age of 15 when he worked in an antique shop repairing and refinishing antique furniture. A graduate of the Woodworking program at The University of the Arts, Staack is Founder and Owner of Staack Woodworking. He designs and builds custom furniture, residential and liturgical furnishings. Designing in Auto Cad and running a computer automated router system, he incorporates modern technology while utilizing traditional techniques.

Staack has completed projects for Society Hill Bed and Breakfast and The White Dog Café, as well as Rodeph Shalom, Holy Trinity, Trinity Church and St. Martin’s in the Field. He is a member of the Philadelphia Furniture Society and Partners for Sacred Places. His work has been published in the book Historical Sacred Places of Philadelphia.

Moore and Staack both enjoy sharing their woodworking skills with others, watching student’s ideas develop and helping them figure out their technical problems. While Staack says his greatest strength as a teacher is his depth of understanding for the material and his ability to simplify it, Moore says patience is his biggest virtue as an instructor. “I also enjoy the adrenaline boost in teaching and supervising students while they work with heavy machinery for the first time,” Moore said.

Visit www.staackmoorewoodworking.com to learn more about James Moore, John Staack and Staack Woodworking, LLC.

Courses: Woodworking: Design + Build, Woodworking: Process + Technique

Instructor Profile: Bruno Circolo


Bruno Circolo teaches for all three Continuing Studies programs – Continuing Education, Pre-College Programs and the Professional Institute for Educators.

He is a graduate of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts with a certificate in Painting, and his oil paintings are represented in private collections throughout the Philadelphia region.

Employed by DSC Advertising for over 25 years, he is currently a Senior Art Director. Circolo’s account responsibilities include concept design and the development and production of print ads, brochures and tradeshow graphics. He collaborates with programmers to develop and maintain websites, and he manages copywriters, photographers and freelancers. He is also involved with art services such as illustration, photo shoots, photo manipulation and prepress production.

In 2002, Circolo devoted himself to the study and practice of yoga. He enrolled in the Dhyana Yoga teacher training program so that he might share his love of yoga with others and deepen his practice.

Whether teaching yoga or the art of design, Circolo wants others to experience the excitement he has for what he does. “I just want to give it away,” he said.

Having taught for UArts Continuing Education as well as Pre-College Programs and the Professional Institute for Educators, Circolo said the enjoyment of teaching comes when students amaze themselves. He enjoys when students tell him they used something at work or at home that they learned the week before in class.

Learning skills they will use in the real world is important to Circolo, and he finds Continuing Studies students particularly inspiring. “They are making changes in their lives, career changes, coming back after having kids, finding a new job or furthering their careers,” he said. “I think their courage inspires all of us.”

Visit www.brunocircolo.com to learn more about Circolo’s work.

Courses: Adobe Photoshop for Teachers, Adobe Photoshop for Web Design, Adobe Photoshop Weekend Workshop, Mac Basics Saturday Workshop, Yoga

Instructor Profile: Alex Gartelmann


Alex Gartelmann earned a BFA in Sculpture from The University of the Arts and currently works as UArts Shop Supervisor in Sculpture.

Interested in art since the age of 12, Gartelmann credits his parents for exposing him to culture and creative opportunities. The Robert Rauschenberg retrospective at the Guggenheim museum was also influential. “That show opened up the expansive possibilities that art presented to me,” he said. “It really made me take the world in differently.”

Gartelmann was awarded the Foundry Prize from UArts in both 2006 and 2007. He was also selected as the United States representative to The New and the Young II International Sculpture Symposium in Turku, Finland. He has shown work in Turku and Lisbon, Portugal, as well as Boulder, New York and locally.

Gartelmann is Director of My House Gallery and Art Context Philadelphia, and he is on the Philadelphia Sculptors Board of Directors. Recently, he was selected as one of the founding members for Little Berlin Gallery’s collective of artists. He has plans to curate shows at both Little Berlin and My House Gallery in 2009.

When teaching, Gartelmann finds the best moment as the point of synthesis when students truly understand the steps in making something they had previously envisioned. In order to get to this point of successful creation, he finds it important to make his students feel comfortable with their abilities.

“With my courses, some of the equipment and processes can be intimidating and difficult,” Gartelmann said. “I really try to make sure that the initial phase of apprehension about working is appeased right away so that [students] can get the most out of the classes.”

Visit alexgart.blogspot.com to learn more about Gartelmann’s work.

Courses: Metal Casting: Bronze + Aluminum, Metal Sculpture: Forging + Welding

Instructor Profile: Eileen Cubbage


Growing up in Suburban Philadelphia, Eileen Cubbage earned her BFA in Illustration with concentrations in Painting and Ceramics at Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts. After a ten-year career in New York as an illustrator, art director and designer, Cubbage made the decision to pursue her MFA at the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Marlyland Institute of Art. She says both her life and her art are more challenging now, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Nothing stimulates my brain more than seeing art, talking art and making my own art,” she said.

In her current work she creates intimate clay and mixed media sculptures that are juxtaposed with meticulous silverpoint drawings. Cubbage says this body of work has an intense focus on sensory flux and personal narrative. Her interest in the personal artistic process is reflected in her teaching philosophy.

“In addition to advancing solid technical skills…, the projects I develop will require students to think critically about the world around them, how they relate to it, and in turn, how their artwork will progress with these investigations.” She believes her strength as an instructor is her own artistic curiosity and visual intuition. A voracious reader, Cubbage admits using this visual intuition and color coordinating all her books since she was a child.

Cubbage was a 2008 nominee for New Insight Art Chicago and has exhibited in New York City, Philadelphia and most recently at the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts 2008 Vote Art! exhibit. She was also a 2008 recipient of a summer fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, where she started a new body of soft sound sculptures complete with costumes and looping voice tracks.

“I am interested in triggering levels of empathy in the viewing audience, striking odd notes between intimacy and anxiety,” she said. “Watching the forms shake, wail and sob, the viewer is aware of boundaries previously unnoticed within themselves about capacities to negotiate facets of the human condition.”

Visit www.eileencubbage.com to learn more about Cubbage’s work.

Courses: Sculpture

Instructor Profile: Deb Hoy


Earning her undergraduate degree in Sculpture at the Chelsea School of Art in London, Deb Hoy worked as a public artist in London until she was awarded a Thouron Scholarship and moved to the United States in 2006 to begin her MFA in Sculpture at the University of Pennsylvania.

She has numerous exhibition credits including several shows in the UK as well as Philadelphia, Washington DC, New York City, Rhode Island and Vermont. She has completed commissions for The Royal Festival Hall and Hackney Marshes, both in London. In 2008 she received both funding from the Laise Endowment to attend a one-month residency at the Vermont Studio Center and the University of Pennsylvania Clay Fellowship to study with Jimmy Clark at Peters Valley, NJ.

Hoy’s working practice uses both industrial and natural materials to address social and environmental issues. In 2007 Hoy lead a workshop at the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center as part of World Water Day. With the help of several local Girl Scout Troops, Hoy built a temporary installation called “Water Bottle Falls,” a cascading sculpture created from discarded water bottles.

“We got so much done and created the 16ft sculpture in one afternoon,” Hoy said. “It was rewarding to see them come in with bags full of empty bottles, and for us all to leave with a beautiful sculpture in place.”

She also finds writing a great way to raise awareness about issues and is a Fine Art Correspondent for Via, a design journal published by Penn. She solicits art essays, conducts interviews and writes reviews.

“I am enthused by a relentless belief in the potential for change,” Hoy said, “and this fuels my approach to teaching.” In the classroom she strives to create a supportive learning environment that is suited to each student and hopes her enthusiasm and passions come through.

Courses: Designing Public Art and Site-Specific Sculptures

Instructor Profile: Cordelia Francis Biddle


Growing up in Philadelphia’s suburbs, Cordelia Francis Biddle was born to a family deeply connected to Philadelphia history. She attended Shipley School, Miss Porter’s School and Vassar College. Always interested in writing, Biddle’s career path first took her to New York City where she was able to work with awardwinning director Jerry Zaks and had a recurring role in the daytime drama, One Life to Live. It was during this time that she came up with the idea for her first novel, Beneath the Wind. “I discovered that my training in the craft of acting and my ability to slip beneath the skin of other characters gave me an unusual perspective as an author,” she said.

Biddle has also written The Crossword Mystery Series with her husband, Steve Zettler. Starting in 1999 with The Crossword Murder published under the pen name Nero Blanc, they have collaborated on twelve books with titles such as A Crossword to Die For, Another Word for Murder and Death on the Diagonal.

In 2007, Biddle published The Conjurer, the first in her Martha Beale Series. Set in 1842 Philadelphia, the novel focuses on the suspicious disappearance of a famed Philadelphia financier. The financier’s daughter, Martha Beale, joins forces with a homicide investigator and together they uncover sinister connections between the city’s most affluent and its most destitute.

In her review of the book, Julia Spencer-Fleming said, “A first-rate mystery featuring rich period authenticity and beguiling characters, The Conjurer succeeds on all levels—as top-flight historical fiction and as a classic whodunit.”

The second book in Biddle’s Martha Beale Series, Deception’s Daughter, debuted in August of 2008. Biddle is currently publicizing her book on a national book tour and working on the third novel in the series. She recently received The Distinguished Literary Voice Award presented by the Haverford Township Free Library.

As an instructor Biddle said she is able to inspire others to dig deep into personality and motive, both of which she believes are imperative when dealing with people of evil intent. “Without a thorough understanding of a human being’s innate desires—whether for good or ill—an invented character has no life.”

Visit www.cordeliafrancesbiddle.com to learn more about Biddle’s work.

Courses: Writing Roundtable