Board of Directors
Linda Dubin Garfield, President
Linda Dubin Garfield, award-winning printmaker and mixed media artist, creates visual memoirs exploring the mystery of memory and the magic of place, using hand-pulled printmaking techniques, photography, collage and digital imaging. Her abstract and dynamic works use multiple layers of ink that waver between background and foreground creating a fusion of surface design and abstract expressionism. She also creates installations that include public participatory art, especially when she is exploring themes relating to women in today’s culture. In 2005 she founded ARTsisters, a group of professional artists who empower each other and their community through art. In 2007 she started smART business consulting, helping emerging artists reach their goals and their audience by providing consulting and coaching on the business side of art through individual sessions, small groups, and workshop experiences as well as providing opportunities to exhibit work. Today she serves on several non-profit boards and appreciates her good fortune to be able to make art every chance she gets.
David Acosta, Vice President
David is a poet, writer, and curator. His writings have appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. Among the most notable are Mayrea, The Evergreen Chronicles, The Americas Review, American Poetry Confronts the 1990s (Black Tie Press 1990), The Limits of Silence (Asterion Press 1991), Poesida (Ollantay Press, 1995), and Floating Borderlands: Twenty-Five Years of Latin American Poetry in The United States (University of Washington Press, 1998). He is also included as a contributor to Queer Brown Voices, the first anthology of Latino LGBT history in the United States and Puerto Rico published by University of Texas Press, in 2015. He has served on the literary panel of the PA Council on the Arts, the board of the Asian Arts Initiative, Taller Puertorriqueño, Spiral Q, Cosa Cosa Art at Large, and was co-founder of the Working Fund. He is currently on the advisory committee for the Will Cox Jr. Archives at the William Way Community Center one of the largest LGBT Archives in the United States. David has curated several shows including Rooted in Ancestors at Semilla Arts; Witness, 30 Artists Respond to 30 years of the AIDS Pandemic at the Asian Arts Initiative; M.A.D. Mutual Assured Destruction, at the Crane Arts Gallery; and Critical Paths Towards Liberation, a historical exhibition on the life of the Philadelphia activist Kiyoshi Kuromiya at the William Way Community Center.
A nationally recognized AIDS, health care and LGBT rights activist, he is the recipient of numerous awards for his long time work on LGBT civil rights, HIV/AIDS and health care advocacy. He was the founder and Executive Director of the GALAEI Project from 1987-1997. From 1997 to 2105 he was the Coordinator of HIV Prevention Programs for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s AIDS Activities Coordinating Office, stepping down in 2015 to focus on community arts and his own writing. He is currently Artistic Director for Casa de Duende.
Mark Conti, Interim Treasurer
Born and raised in the Philadelphia suburbs, Mark Conti graduated from Germantown Academy in 1971. Went on to graduate from Juniata College in 1975 with a BA. He started photography seriously in college and continued to work freelance for a time after graduation. In 1978 he joined a technical sales company owned by his Father! He has worked in and managed the same business successfully for over 40 years and expanded It both in personnel and scope significantly over the years. He has served on several industry councils and boards and on the board of the former Philadelphia Chapter of the Victorian Society in America (for 10 years). He also currently supports The Crossing Choir www.crossingchoir.com and 11th Hour Theater www.11thhourtheatrecompany.org.
Ona Kalstein, Secretary
Ona Kalstein is the illustrator of the First Edition of Stories We Brought With Us, Beginning Reader for ESL (Prentice-Hall, 1986), for which she did the cover and sixty- one drawings. She studied children’s book illustration under Carolyn Croll at the Philadelphia College of Art, now University of the Arts. She received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from Temple University in 1966 and M.S. in L.S. from Drexel University in 1967. She is the former Assistant Head of the Art Department of the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Central Library, retired in 2004. She has been a member of Philadelphia’s Da Vinci Art Alliance since 2007, board member since 2008, and became secretary in 2014.One of her drawings was in Art in City Hall’s “Likeable Art” show in 2008, and she has been a member of its Exhibitions Advisory Committee since then. She has also served as a juror for various AICH exhibitions. She continues to exhibit her drawings in Da Vinci Art Alliance members’ and other shows. Her work, including her popular caricature portraits, is also in private collections.
In her drawings, she attempts to capture a subject’s essence in terms of line, color, composition and humor, often employing her own calligraphy as an integral part of the overall design. She works in ink and colored pencils on vellum.
Christina is a lifelong resident of South Philadelphia and currently serves the community as a Realtor® with Coldwell Banker Preferred in Center City. Previously, she worked in property management for high-end condominiums and luxury apartment buildings. She graduated summa cum laude in 2008 from Cabrini College with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology.
Sean Cohn is a Philadelphia-based glass artist whose work includes aquarium sculptures and functional decor inspired by nature. Through years of independent study and apprenticeship under several notable glass masters, Sean cultivated his affinity for glass working. In 2006, he began studying glass blowing at Hot Soup, a glass blowing studio in Old City, Philadelphia. What initially began as a hobby quickly developed into a passion, and over time, became a successful business venture.
In early 2010, Cohn created an Etsy shop to sell and showcase his early decorative and functional glass pieces. With custom orders from Juicy Couture and Instyle Magazine came the confidence and success needed to take his designs in a more personal and fulfilling direction. He began to integrate his enduring childhood love for marine life into his glass designs. Shortly thereafter, Sean created the series, “Glass Reefs,” in collaboration with an aquarium supply and maintenance company based in Wilmington, DE.
Sean Cohn’s glass marine life sculptures are the result of seeing the underwater world through the lens of vibrant color and whimsical design. Each-one-of-a-kind, hand-blown piece is a fusion of stylization and natural subject matter. Ultimately through these pieces, Cohn wishes to depict the wonders and majesty of marine life, to garner attention and support for the strained marine ecosystem around world, and to join the spheres of art and nature.
Alden grew up on a farm in Dayton, Maine in a family of religious rightists. Senior year in high school he took a sharp turn to the left by attending Rhode Island School of Design in Providence where he earned a BFA in Apparel Design. In 1968, after a couple years working for Uncle Sam stateside, he moved to New York City - the city of his teenage dreams - where he planned to become rich and famous. After eleven years transitioning from fashion designer to fashion illustrator to book-cover illustrator to graphic designer, and becoming neither rich nor famous, he tested the adage "You Can't Go Home Again" by returning to his roots in Maine. The phrase proved true; so after two years living in the country, he moved to Portsmouth NH, which became the next 'city of his dreams' for four fascinating years. Philadelphia beckoned in 1986, reintroducing him to the delights of being a little fish once again, swimming in a big pond. He’s been here ever since, keeping a roof over his head by working in advertising, and in his spare time transforming the row-house at 717 Federal Street in South Philadelphia that he bought in 1991, into a work of art - a museum dedicated to Truth, Love and Beauty. By appointment: 215 334 3021
Jenn is an award winning graphic designer and fine artist. In 2009, she launched Hallgren Creative — with a focus on helping locally-owned businesses and not-for-profit organizations create a vision and voice that connects with their audience. Select clients include Friends of the Free Library, A Second Chance, ProMedia Group, Temple University, the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion, and the Museum Council of Greater Philadelphia.
An award winning oil painter, Jenn earned full scholarships to study art at the Chautauqua Institute (Chautauqua, New York) and to study art & art history at Webster University (Vienna, Austria). Recent shows include the Athenaeum of Philadelphia’s 200th Anniversary Art Exhibition: Historic Buildings, and The Art of the Flower at the Philadelphia Sketch Club. Jenn has a BFA (Painting, Minor in Art History) from Wright State University (2000), an MBA (Marketing Strategy) from Temple University (2011), and a Certificate (Principles of Fundraising) from Villanova University/Association of Fundraising Professionals (2012).
Rose Adeline Irvin
Rose Adeline Irvin originally from Wilmington, Delaware, fell in love with Philadelphia ten years ago and has been here ever since. She grew up in a creative household, forming the foundation for her support of arts and culture. Rose has a B.F.A. in Design from Moore College and a M.A. in Geography and Urban Studies from Temple University. She enjoys using her multidisiplinary background to approach creative problem solving and strategic design thinking. Currently, she is the Marketing Manager at WRT, an award winning design and planning firm.
Ah Young Kim
Young serves as the Manager of School Visits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and has experience in museum education dating back over 15 years. As a Manager of School Visits at PMA, she oversees the development of teaching resources, the coordination of community outreach, and school group learning experiences for the Museum’s Education department. BFA Parsons School of Design. MFA Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. MA in Museum Education, University of the Arts
Sandra is an artist and an artist educator. She has over thirty years experience working with others in various creative capacities. Her artwork is primarily abstract and composed of intriguing layers, similar to the layers of her life. Sandra exhibits her work in competitive galleries, art centers, hospitals and universities both locally and nationally. Her work has won numerous awards and is held in private collections. She is a certified K-12 art teacher and encaustic instructor. Sandra conducts workshops at art centers and in her Woodstown, NJ studio. She serves on several non-profit boards, including DVAA, supporting visual and performing arts as well as
After earning her Associates Degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Sandra earned a BA in Art and a BA in Art Education from Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ. She added a minor degree in Early Italian Renaissance Art History at the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy. Most recently, Sandra graduated with her MA in Art Education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA.
Shawn M. Lacy, J.D..
Shawn M. Lacy holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Franklin and Marshall College and a law degree from Rutgers University. She is a graduate of the Baldwin School, Bryn Mawr, has been an active member of the Baldwin Alumnae Executive Board, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Love To Langa. She was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by Baldwin in May, 2006. She is also the recipient of the Lucy Sayre Community Spirit Founders Award in 2009 from Public Citizens for Children and Youth in honor of her continued long term commitment to parents and children. In July, 2017, Ms. Lacy was tapped as the new Vice President of Human Resources at Elwyn by the new leadership who assumed the helm there in April, 2017. She was brought on to develop a new HR Department and in the process, lead an organizational culture shift that would capitalize on newly energized core values of integrity, transparency, compassion, servant leadership and communication.
Prior to moving to Elwyn, Ms. Lacy served, from 2006 until 2017, as the Executive Director for Family Support Services (FSS). There, she led the agency through a major strategic planning initiative, enhanced marketing expectations, updated FSS’s mission statement, and invested additional resources in fundraising and technology. She shepherded the $8-million-dollar organization through fiscal hardships as a result of missteps in the fiscal department to a much stronger and healthier organization that is thriving to this day. She also led the charge for art and music programming to be included as critical components of successful intervention for children with developmental disabilities and families experiencing residual impacts of trauma. Finally, she worked very closely with her executive team and her Board of Directors to facilitate a strategic partnership with Elwyn; FSS became an affiliate of Elwyn in June, 2016. Shawn M. Lacy previously served as the Assistant Chief of the Philadelphia Defenders Association, Child Advocacy Unit and has had over 28 years representing dependent children in Philadelphia. For three years she presided over dependency cases in the Family Court system. She has been a leader in the Defenders and Child Welfare community, and has spent her career empowering families to rise to meet the many challenges of parenting despite poverty and other stumbling blocks.
Sandi Neiman Lovitz graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor's degree in Art Education and taught art in the Pittsburgh public school system for two years. She attended summer art classes at Carnegie Tech and was a juried member in the Pittsburgh watercolor society before moving to Philadelphia. She was President of the Tri-State Pennsylvania Artists Equity for two years and continued to serve on the executive board. She is also involved in ARTsisters, a group of women who are professional visual artists that not only support each other, but also reach out to women and children in the community. Sandi was juried in to the Centennial exhibition at the Delaware Art Museum by John B. Ravenal, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. She was also juried into the Berks Art Alliance at the Reading Art Museum and was awarded an honorable mention by Lisa Tremper Hanover, curator of the Michener Museum. She participated in the Square Foot Art Basel Miami and was awarded the Nolan Painting Award at the Main Line Art Center in Haverford, Pa. by Moe Brooker, and was awarded feature artist on Artsy Shark, founded by Carolyn Edlund, Executive Director of the Arts Business Institute (Artsy Shark). Sandi is on the faculty at the MAIN LINE ART CENTER in Haverford, Pennsylvania and paints full time in her studio.
Jamie Brunson - Executive Director, First Person Arts
Moe Brooker - Artist and Faculty, Moore College of Art and Design
Jim Cipar - Senior Human Resources Business Partner, Independence Blue Cross
John Hayden - Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Harcum College
Jessica Jane Julius - Artist and Faculty, Tyler School of Art
Erica Minutella - Social Media Consultant, self-employed
Mark Squilla - Councilman, District 1
Hani White - Commissioner-Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs
Rachel Zimmerman - Executive Director, InLiquid