Through testimonials, anecdotes and feedback from our hospital partners and Young Artists, ArtWorks is proud that our programs have proven to provide a creative outlet and have a positive impact on patient health outcomes.

Meet the Artists

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - MICHAEL ALBERT

    Michael recently joined the ArtWorks team as a Teaching Artist and started his program at Brooklyn Hospital this past fall. Michael also did a recent workshop at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore for Sickle Cell Day. All art materials are collected by Michael, a process which has evolved over the years, where he turns used-consumer-packaging into his own original fine art. Michael’s first book was released in April 29, 2008 and is entitled “An Artist’s America.” Michael continues to create new art regularly and runs collage workshops at schools & art institutions. He can also be found staging his traveling Modern Pop Art Show at a variety of venues.

    Click here to learn more about Michael!

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - EITAN BARAKOS

    Eitan graduated from Emory University in 2017 and moved back to New Jersey to pursue his dreams of being an artist and Teaching Artist. Since then, Eitan held his debut, solo-show, Yesterday, featuring 30 original works in a gallery space in SoHo in 2018 and participated and curated in group shows in New Jersey and New York. All throughout and in-between, he has privately sold original paintings, limited edition prints and commissions to collectors. His most recent milestone was met in September of 2018, when Emory University’s Institute of Liberal Arts collected ’Bloom’, a 36×48 inch original painting.

    For younger patients, he would center a project around paint pouring which would enable patients to create with freedom through abstraction and color. For older patients, he would take the paint pouring concept a step further by adding a written component to the top layer of the work which would encourage patients to put their feelings and thoughts into words within the painting.

    To learn more about Eitan’s work visit his website and follow him on Instagram.



  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - JANE BLOOM

    Jane Bloom comes to ArtWorks after years as a museum educator and developer of family exhibitions. She was impressed by the therapeutic effect of SAORI weaving and wanted to share its benefits with others. She is a member of the board of directors of SAORI Arts NYC, a nonprofit that weaves with individuals who face developmental, physical and emotional challenges. As an ArtWorks Teaching Artist, Jane weaves with patients and their families at the Pediatric Oncology clinic at New York-Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.

    To see more of the SAORI Arts NYC please visit their website

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - MAURICE (REESE) CARR

    As a professional drummer and producer, Reese has been with ArtWorks since 2011, bringing his expertise and energy to our participants, and has been a Teaching Artist at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, Initiative for Women with Disabilities, Goryeb Children’s Hospital at Morristown Memorial Hospital, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Children’s Specialized Hospital at Mountainside, and Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - DEBORAH DAWSON

    Deborah comes from a creative background that includes fine arts, dance, and film art direction. She helped develop the Laser Painting Program and has been passionately working as a laser painting facilitator for the past 3 years within the NYC District 75 school system. The Laser Painting Program is designed to work with individuals who have limited mobility and limited means of communication while having the cognitive ability to make decisions. Large, acrylic expressionistic paintings on canvas are created by these Young Artists through Deborah’s tracking with a laser—affixed to a headband or glove. Whether verbal or not, communication skills are established with the painters and they make all decisions—the size of the brush, color choices, brush stroke, and when a painting is completed. Deborah recently established a relationship with MIT media lab, who is collaborating with her on laser technology. Deborah is excited to meet new laser painters as an ArtWorks Teaching Artist.

    See the program in action!

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - CHRIS DUDICK

    Emmy winning animator for “Socially Conscious Cartoons” and Founder of Small Factory Productions, Chris identifies as an illustrator, cartoonist, graphic designer, animator, writer, and editor. And taking from this great body of expertise, Chris offers a number of workshops for ArtWorks participants including computer animation, claymation, and cartooning. Chris has been an ArtWorks artist since 2012 and has been an Artist in Residence at Bellevue Hospital Center, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Harlem Clinic, Initiative for Women with Disabilities, Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.

    To learn more about Chris and his work through Small Factory Productions click here.

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - ROBYN ELLENBOGEN

    Robyn attended the School of Visual Arts (BFA), Pratt Institute (Graduate Studies in Industrial Design) and Hunter College (M.F.A.) She is a visual artist and educator whose work encompasses metal point, egg tempera, artist books, textiles, interactive installations and animation. Her work has been featured at a number of established institutions including the Guggenheim Museum and the MDI Biological Laboratories. Robyn has been with ArtWorks since 2010, an experience that has largely inspired Robyn’s professional work and belief in the power of the arts. She has been a Teaching Artist at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, Bristol Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, and Saint Peter’s University Hospital

    To see more of Robyn’s work, visit her website!

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - LINDSEY FRANCIS

    Lindsey graduated from Penn State University with a BFA in Ceramics and a minor in Psychology. She is primarily a ceramic artist and painter. She uses her personal artwork as a platform and voice for those living with chronic illness like herself.  In addition to her ongoing studio work she is a community art show curator, mural artist, an established Teaching Artist, and the Project Manager for the national creative aging organization, Lifetime Arts. She currently serves on two boards, the Ossining Arts Project and Bethany Arts Community.

    Lindsey has taught 400+ visual art classes over the past 6 years and is very excited to join the ArtWorks team this year. She would love to teach ceramics when possible and drawing or painting with various mediums. She uses drawing as an outlet for herself and would love to show others how they can do the same. 


  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - VALERIE GARCIA

    Valerie is a Dominican American from New York City and graduate from Teachers College. As an Arts Educator she is passionate about open ended exploration and, inquiry driven art lessons. She exposes students to materials and artistic goals that meet their personal needs and experiences.
    She also tailors her learning objectives for individuals so that they are appropriate and fulfilling. Her younger students will be encouraged to explore materials through play, as well as organized processes like collage making, painting, and sculpture. Lessons might involve creating favorite animals, a favorite place, a family memory, or plans from their imagination. Older students will investigate themes of identity and changing ideas about the world. Lessons might include creating anime self-portraits, representing alter egos, or realizing a dream world.

    Check out Valerie’s work here.

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - RIA HAWKS

    Prior to her work with SAORI ARTS NYC, Ria was a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner at New York-Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, and an instructor at Columbia University’s School of Nursing. As a SAORI weaver, Ria recognized that SAORI weaving could decrease stress and anxiety, as well as enhance self-expression and coping skills. From that perspective, she established a SAORI weaving program, which was adaptable to different development, physical, and emotional needs in the Pediatric Hem/Onc/BMT Center at Columbia University Medical Center. As an Adjunct Professor at Bank Street Graduate School of Education, Ria shares her expertise with Child Life Specialist students. 

    To see more of Saori Arts NYC visit their website!

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - STEVEN HAZLETT

    “Having art in my life wasn’t just a distraction—it was my strength, my confidence, my hope, and my reason to wake up each morning and live another day.” – Steven Hazlett

    Steven R. Hazlett is a professional freelance photographer, teacher, and Teaching Artist based in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree at SUNY Purchase College in 2013, and has been teaching the art of photography at non-profit organizations such as Pablove Shutterbugs and ArtWorks. Steven has been a Teaching Artist at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, and Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center.
    Steven is a brain tumor survivor and understands the hospital experience. He has been doing photography with children in the hospital setting for several years, showing flexibility, compassion, expertise, and the ability to adjust his curriculum for any age group.

    Check out Steven’s work here

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - BABA ISRAEL

    Baba is a member of Soul Inscribed. He fuses poetic Hip Hop lyrics and soulful vocals with funk, dub & jazz influenced multi-instrumentalist production, along with Teaching Artists Yako and Duv. As a master level arts educator, Baba leads workshops in beat-boxing and music production. He offers an experience of empowerment, showing participants that they can create music with just their body. Baba has been with ArtWorks since 2013 and has been a Teaching Artist at Initiative for Women with Disabilities, Bellevue Hospital Center, New Alternatives for Children, Incarnation Children’s Center, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, and The Henry Viscardi School.

    To learn more about Baba’s work click here

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - KATHY LACOTTA

    Kathy has been sharing her passion for art with children for twenty nine years as an art and photography teacher in a New Jersey public middle school. During that time she has gained an understanding of how she can most effectively enhance a child’s appreciation for expression through art.

    She earned her Bachelor of Industrial Design from Pratt Institute and her Master of Art, with a concentration in painting, from Montclair State University. Her larger than life size, full body portraits in acrylic paint on paper have been chosen for many juried shows throughout the country .

    Through sensitivity for the uniqueness of each child’s creativity, and a bit of silliness, Kathy promotes conditions in which young artists feel free to try new things. Art projects incorporating processes that yield surprising final results delight younger children. Older children enjoy creating unique crafts and two and three dimensional art projects coupled with learning about a famous artist or art movement.


    “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”—Thomas Merton


  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - ALYSSA MONKS

    Alyssa Monks is blurring the line between abstraction and realism by layering different spaces and moments in her paintings. Her latest solo exhibition “Breaking Point” was in October 2018 at Forum Gallery in NYC. Alyssa’s paintings have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions including “Intimacy” at the Kunst Museum in Ahlen, Germany and “Reconfiguring the Body in American Art, 1820–2009” at the National Academy Museum of Fine Arts, New York. Her work was featured in season 6 of the FX series The Americans in 2018. In 2015, Alyssa gave a Ted talk at Indiana University discussing her recent work, which is featured on She earned her B.A. from Boston College in 1999, went on to earn her M.F.A from the New York Academy of Art in 2001 and serves as a member of the New York Academy of Art’s Board of Trustees.

    Alyssa will encourage younger children to use color and simple imagery to express their feelings and thoughts through different projects and exercises utilizing crayons, paints and pastels. With older children, she will guide them in realizing a more finished composition according to what they wish to express using paints, pastels or watercolors. If children desire something more goal oriented and systematic, Alyssa will create step-by-step artistic exercises appropriate for their age group.

    To learn more about Alyssa visit her Instagram and her Website!


  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - CHARLOTTE NORUZI

    Charlotte has a passion for story-telling and art with an emphasis on transformation and healing through creative expression. She gathers inspiration from travel, nature, people, fashion, her own life and world cultures. Charlotte loves reading her self-illustrated and published children’s book, Grow, Watermelon, Grow to children and making art prints from watermelon slices with them as well.

    When working with a younger child, Charlotte’s projects might include painting, drawing, collage-making or creating a small weaving. Most recently, she facilitated a project in which younger children made a flower and a bee from tissue paper and colored paper.

    When working with an older child, Charlotte would encourage them to use their imagination to begin to use images and words together. She might work with them to create an illustrated book from a story written by the child themselves or based on a story they love.

    You can see more of Charlotte’s work on her website.


  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - MAURINE PACKARD

    Maurine is a retired physician whose 40-year medical career included practicing as a general pediatrician and a child development specialist before completing training as a pediatric neurologist.  In her neurology practice, a major focus was on helping children with severe developmental disabilities and brain injuries have access to conventional and alternative therapies to allow each child to reach his or her full potential.  When Maurine became involved with  SAORI weaving, she was immediately drawn to the joyful, creative freedom and was impressed with the ease of learning the techniques, the accessibility of the loom and therapeutic effects of this type of weaving.  She was delighted to join the board of SAORI Arts NYC, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to make the benefits of accessible art form available to individuals with life-limiting conditions.  As an ArtWorks Teaching Artist, she is thrilled to be a part of the SAORI weaving program at the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology/Bone Marrow Transplant Center at the NY Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital.


  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - YAKO PRODIS

    Yako is a member of the musical group Soul Inscribed. He fuses poetic Hip Hop lyrics and soulful vocals with funk, dub & jazz influenced multi-instrumentalist production. He is an arts educator who leads workshops in beat-boxing and also teaches graffiti art, the history of graffiti art, and the techniques of the art form. Yako has been with ArtWorks since 2013 and has been a Teaching Artist at Henry Viscardi School, Initiative for Women with Disabilities, New Alternatives for Children, Incarnation Children’s Center, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital.

    Click here to learn more about Yako’s work! 

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - RUSS RUBIN

    Russ Rubin is an outsider artist and writer from the suburban shadows of New York. His latest show, ‘delusionary’ at the YouTube Space NY addressed the power of non-pragmatic thinking and experimentation in self-discovery. Trafficking in space: positive and negative, interior and extraterrestrial, the work reflects his interest in the space between the space, the world within the world, the landscapes within which define each of us.

    Essential to his view on teaching is that regardless of age or ability, everyone has the capacity to create work completely unique to his or herself, and in so doing to embrace or escape their realities. Such explorations can span the spectrum from abstract drawing exercises and collage illustrations of favorite characters for younger children, to layered self-portraits in mixed media and mobile models of the universe reflecting an older child’s complex version of the world at large, all designed to inspire an unknown result, and thus the sensation of endless possibility through creation. Russ is looking forward to starting his work as an ArtWorks Teaching Artist.

    To read more about Russ, visit him here!

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - MICHELLE SAKHAI

    In 2004, Michelle received a Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors, majoring in Art History and minoring in Fine Arts from Hofstra University. She went on to receive her Masters in Fine Arts in 2010 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, CA. Shortly after, she taught Fine Art at the University of California, Berkeley. Michelle is currently represented by Slate Art Contemporary in Oakland, CA, Madelyn Jordon Fine Art in Scarsdale, NY and MiXX Projects in Telluride, CO. Michelle is a Primordial Sound Meditation instructor through the Chopra Center, as well as a certified Reiki Master. Michelle believes and trusts in the energy of the creative spirit as a healing force on the earth. She conveys this valuable message of healing through her art, her speaking engagements and teaching Transformative Art. She currently works and resides in New York City while continuing to travel the world.

    To read more about Michelle visit her on her website

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - GWENEVERE SISCO

    Gwenevere is a classically trained actress, director, and caregiver. She has trained and worked with teachers and professionals at Loyola University in New Orleans, the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford, the Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, in Manhattan. She has been working in New York City for almost ten years. Gwenevere is looking forward to doing a summer program at The Incarnation Children’s Center!

    Check out Gwenevere’s work here

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - REBECCA TILLES

    Rebecca was born and raised in Sweden and has spent the past four years living and working in NYC as a musician and caregiver. With young children, Rebecca plays the guitar and encourages the children to sing their favorite tunes in a collaborative, artistic, play environment. With older children and teenagers Rebecca collaborates to arrange, play and make simple recordings of their favorite music.
    Rebecca recently received her degree in Music and Psychology from The New School and she regularly performs in and around NYC with “Are Skwaird” – a duo that reimagines old folk tunes and outsider classics through sweet harmonies and curious instrumentation.

    Check out Rebecca’s work with Are Skwaird here!

  • ArtWorks Artist In Residence - JONATHON “DUV” ZARAGOZA

    Duv is a member of Soul Inscribed. He fuses poet-ic Hip Hop lyrics and soulful vocals with funk, dub & jazz influenced multi-instrumentalist produc-tion, along with Teaching Artists Baba and Yako. Duv has performed in venues such as Blue Note, Highline Ballroom, and The Bowery Poetry Club. He offers workshops in beat-boxing and song writing, allowing participants to express them-selves musically and through their own words. Duv has been with ArtWorks since 2013 and has been a Teaching Artist at Incarnation Children’s Center, The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, The Henry Viscardi School, and Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center.

    Click here to learn more about Duv’s work!