Farmstead Arts has wonderful and caring teachers to help you or your children learn creative arts, from drawing, paints & pastels, photography and more. If you are a teacher, contact us today to discuss how you can become one of our valued faculty.
Margaret Fanning: Watercolor, Gouache, Animal Portraits, Painting and Drawing from Photographs, Acrylic Painting and Fundamentals of Drawing
Margaret Fanning is an award-winning artist who has exhibited internationally. She is a realistic painter, working in oil, watercolor, ink, and mixed media. She received the NJ Chapter of the American Artists League Traditional Realism Award, and won the Alexander Portfolio Award from Savannah College of Art and Design. She currently lives and works in New Jersey.
Margaret Fanning’s website: www.margaretfanning.com
Stefano Junior: Illustration and Cartooning
NJ native Stefano Junior, a fine artist, and illustrator concentrating on cartooning and sequential art, spent five years working in the publishing division at Marvel Entertainment specifically working with collected and masterworks editions. He is drawn to the “transformative abilities of superheroes who live in a version of the real world, in which they are able to access potential which makes them better than they are. In that process, they benefit those that are around them.” He received his early training at the Ducret School of Arts in Plainfield in the youth program and is an alum of the Parson’s School of Design with a certificate in Fine Arts. He also received sculpture training at the Art Students’ League in NY and is a talented musician, performing as the front man and songwriter for the band Stefano & the Truth. Stefano’s website: www.stefanojunior.com
Bert Lams: Acoustic Guitar
Bert Lams studied classical guitar at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium, and graduated with honors in 1984. He taught classical guitar at the Music Academy in Brussels for 9 years, before moving to the United States. Bert Lams is a founding member of the California Guitar Trio. Since 1991, the California Guitar Trio has released 16 albums, and played more than 2000 concerts around the world. The trio’s output has made a major global impact, having served as the soundtrack for Olympics coverage, and programs on CNN, CBS, NBC, and ESPN. They have fans in high places too: NASA used their music to wake the crew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour. Besides the CGTrio, he has released four albums, including a solo album (Nascent) with Bach Preludes, three albums with Italian guitarist Fabio Mittino, and one album with Tom Griesgraber. Bert Lams has played concerts at the Farmstead with all these different projects, over the past six years. Since the Pandemic, Bert has been sharing his 30+ years of experience as a musician with a growing group of students, through virtual guitar lessons.
Debbie Limoli: Ceramic Artist
A self-described animal nut, teaching artist (Play with Clay) Debbie Limoli of Warren, displays her work at galleries and art shows across the Northeast. The works are called CustomCrittersByDeb as her work displays her passion for all creatures of nature. Her best ability for her self-taught art is to place personality and soul into each piece and make them affordable, handmade and one of a kind. Limoli has lived in Warren for 25 years while raising her two sons. Limoli has her own kiln and studio in her home.
Oscar Peterson: Portrait, still-life and figurative drawing/painting
Oscar Peterson was born in Harlem, New York, raised in Brooklyn, NY, and is currently a resident of Millburn Township, NJ. He has worked as a professional art director and designer/illustrator for various corporations and non-profits, and as a commissioned fine arts painter who specializes in portraiture. An alumnus of Pratt Institute and The Art Students League of NY, Peterson has studied with such leading realist painters as Nelson Shanks, Max Ginsberg, and Costa Vavagiakis. His works, both portrait and non-commissioned, are in corporate and private collections and museums across the country. He uses traditional methods and techniques while incorporating new ideas and personal observations. His preferred medium is oil, although he frequently uses many mediums. Peterson describes his paintings as “realistic with an impressionistic feel,” his artistic style is inspired by the Impressionists and the Old Masters. His approach echoes a favorite quote from Alberto Giacometti; “The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” Oscar Peterson’s website: http://www.oscarpetersonportraits.com/
Sandy Ruda: Colored Pencils & Pastels – Animal Portraits and Still Life for children, teens, and adults
Sandy has been an visual artist for her entire life and always knew she wanted to build a career around her passion for creating art. After high school she attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and majored in illustration, but always loved her painting classes. After college she was a graphic designer in retail advertising. Then she worked in the children’s book publishing industry as a book designer for many years, where she developed a passion for children’s book art which still informs her work now. In 2011 she began painting full time and exhibiting her work in New Jersey and New York. Her paintings have been featured on the covers of magazines including The Connection Magazine. She takes commissions for oil paintings and specializes in animal portraits. Her painting style is realistic and she takes great satisfaction in capturing a pet’s spirit. Her work is enjoyed in many private collections throughout the USA. They include animal portraits, landscapes, people portraits and still lifes. Sandy lives in New Jersey. Her website is: www.sandyruda.com
Doug Schiller: Drawing Fundamentals, Watercolors, Pastels, Art Sampler, Oils, and other classes/workshops for children, teens, and adults.
Doug Schiller received his BFA and MFA from the University of Pennsylvania and diploma from the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. The harmony and balance inherent in nature are integral elements of Doug’s drawings and oil paintings. A grant recipient of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Artist/Teacher Initiative, Doug has been an instructor at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey for over 20 years and an instructor at Kean University and the College of Saint Elizabeth. He initiated the College Arts Fair at the Arts Center. His work can be viewed in local and New York City art galleries and is in collections in the United States, England, and Italy. Doug Schiller’s website: http://www.dougschillerpaintings.com/
Laura Shabazz: Representational Collage from Salvaged, Upcycled Magazine and Books
Laura Skerratt Shabazz is a Bernardsville, NJ native. Although she has always sought some artistic outlet in her life, her formal education consisted of a BA in cultural anthropology from Columbia University and an AAS in interior design from Parsons The New School for Design. She is self-taught in her primary medium, which is representational collage from upcycled magazines and books. A self-proclaimed ‘terrible painter,’ Laura wanted an immediate medium – nothing between her and the image (except a glue stick) and no drying time. The sheer abundance of magazines in recycling bins also meant the freedom to experiment without worrying about using up expensive materials. In the few short years since committing to this medium, Laura has exhibited her work throughout NJ and beyond with pieces finding homes across the country and the UK. Her collages have appeared in the Huffington Post, various blogs dedicated to paper arts, and as the cover image of Connections Magazine. In her alter ego as a guitar teacher, Laura has over 25 years of experience facilitating creativity and self-expression, which she now applies to her collage classes. https://www.laurashabazz.com/gallery
Thom Williams: Photography
Thom Williams is a photographic artist currently living in Troy, New York. Thom earned a B.F.A from SUNY Oswego with studio concentrations in Graphic Design and Photography. He has taken photographs ranging from fashion editorials, portraits, architecture, athletic events and street photography. Whether a gesture, expression, or angle of architecture, Thom is inspired by capturing images not otherwise seen of ordinary moments that can have a profound reflective meaning for the viewer. As an artist, he is interested in experimenting digitally with images and more recently in presenting images in a unique multidimensional way. Thom has participated in multiple community and juried art exhibitions in the Capital District area. He was the recipient of Fence Select through the Arts Center in Troy, NY, selected for the 2016 Photo Regional and awarded one of Best In Show through the Albany Center Gallery at The Times Union Home Show. His fashion editorials have been published in Saratoga Living, The Muse and Tattoo Envy Magazine.
Made possible, in part, by funds from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.