“Sometimes, you feel like you’re all alone in the world. That there are other people there, but either they don’t listen to you, or you just feel like they can’t understand you, what you’re feeling, or what you’ve been through. That’s what motivates and inspires me to make art, since art is the universal language.
-Daniel, ArtWorks Alum
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.
Please visit the following link to learn more about Baba’s work: www.babaisrael.com
As a theatre maker and musician, Brigitte values exchanges. Through story, we find points of connection and remember that we are not alone, while music invites us into a deeper conversation with the inner parts of ourselves. When we truly listen to another person, we are building health. With her ukulele, lyre, and wool puppets, Brigitte draws on her exchanges to bring out the stories in others. She uses elements such as moldable beeswax and long silks that add dimension, movement, and most importantly, more opportunities to collaborate in the storytelling.
At a very early age, Brigitte immersed herself in musical theatre. She has toured nationally with Philadelphia’s Enchantment Theatre in their premier of The Velveteen Rabbit and starred in the independent feature film, Chasing Home. She is the co-founder of Third Wheel Collective, a theatre company currently working on its inaugural production.
An artist and arts educator, Brooke specializes in community based art working with at-risk urban youth and children with varying degrees of learning obstacles. Her workshops act as a teaching tool for broader themes of identity and community and focus on developing the conceptual ideas behind the visual work as much as the artistic techniques. The workshops also often involve a creative writing component that goes hand-in-hand with the visual components. Brooke has been an Artist in Residence at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, Initiative for Women with Disabilities, Incarnation Children’s Center, and The Henry Viscardi School.
Please visit www.brookeborg.com to see more of her work.
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.
Please visit www.mysmallfactory.com to learn more about Chris and his work through Small Factory Productions.
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! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ns_tBCgenO4.
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.
Please visit the following link to learn more about Duv’s work:
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: http://gweneveresisco.com/
Jessica is an artist who recently graduated with a B.F.A from Cornell University. Born in Wuhan, China and raised in the suburbs of New Jersey where she was involved in the creative practices of drawing, painting, and music. She is interested in ideas of home, relationship, and identity—how home is built and changed, and the distances that are created between people and places. Her work is often process-driven, using common materials like discarded objects and used clothing, which are then woven together so that their original histories meld together to take on new narratives. Jessica is currently at the Brooklyn Hospital as an ArtWorks Teaching Artist, and is also apprenticing in the Laser Painting Program under ArtWorks Teaching Artist Deborah Dawson.
Please visit the following link to view Jessica’s work: http://www.jessicabchu.com/
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! http://www.cerealism.com/
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 at
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 here:
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
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: http://www.saoriartsnyc.org/
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 http://robynellenbogen.com/
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 at
“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:
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: http://www.garciavalerie.com/
Valeria Koutmina is an artist and dancer. Originally from Vladivostock, Russia, Valeria was educated at McGill University and The School of Visual Arts. Her artwork seeks to incorporate natural elements, found and recycled materials, and patterns in explorations of space, relationship, and the concept of beauty. Themes of recent work have included light and shadow; abstraction of pattern and shape from the natural world; transparency and layering; movement. Valeria believes that the aesthetic experience, the act of making art, is transcendent and transformative. Starting her Teaching Artist program last winter, Valeria will be at Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medical at NYU Langone Medical Center.
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.
Please visit the following link to learn more about Yako’s work: