Renee Leopardi – Renee was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. After high school graduation, she decided to immediately join the work force and continued her education by attending night school at the University of Cincinnati earning an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts while working for Proctor & Gamble. During those years, she met many wonderful people, one of which is her husband, who grew up in southern New Jersey. In 2002, she relocated to New Jersey to start a family.
From early childhood, Renee has always been interested in art and found ways to create during her free time. In 2008, she took an Advanced Painting workshop at Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia. From then on, she knew her focus had to change. She has continued to further her art education through workshops and independent study including Life Drawing and plein air painting sessions with fellow artists.
Her newest works are primarily pastel paintings. Through her studies, she realized that painting with pastels has pushed her to explore and create more than she thought she could. Working with pastels can be quick and expressive in a way she wasn’t finding with other mediums and has given her painting style a turn toward impressionism. She finds inspiration in the people and local seasonal landscapes of southern New Jersey; from the ocean and marshes to creeks and woods to farmland.
Kim Cesaretti – Kim Cesaretti is a freelance artist, designer, and art educator. Kim holds a Certificate of Eligibility in Art Education (N-12) in New Jersey. She was a graphic designer for many years and also served as an Adjunct Instructor at a local university teaching Web Design Graphics.
Kim enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of art with people of all ages. It gives her great joy to help others become the best artists they can be!
Leona Lavone – Teacher/Instructor/Workshops; Specializing in Watercolors, Acrylics, Mixed Media, Acrylic Pouring and Resin Art. Leona is an Art Teacher who loves sharing her creativity and inspiring her students. Way back when for over 10 yrs. she spent her summers being a workshop junky taking many watercolor classes. Then in 1999 Leona was invited to teach a watercolor class at the OCAG. A short time after, in 2000, Leona began handling all the visiting artist’s workshops. Teaching along with hosting the workshops gave her an extensive Art Education.
In 2014 she started to work in the activities department, along with putting together an Arts & Crafts program, for a Senior Residence Facility where her husband was living. It was another learning experience. On occasion, Alison had Leona fill in for her sessions with the kids while she was out of town. Leona has been instructing for over 20 years, all ages 5 to 100!
Alison Amelchenko – A Pratt Institute graduate teaching and painting in the Ocean County area for over 30 years. Alison is past president of the Ocean County Artists Guild and presently coordinates the Guild’s children’s art department, in addition to directing the Kid’s Art Studio, Sea Girt, NJ. Alison has exhibited at the Ocean County College, Georgian Court University, and the Ocean County Artists’ Guild.
Carol Colvin – My formal education included a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Rutgers University and employment as a social worker and family therapist. Art became a way to recharge and renew. Primarily a self-taught artist, I had taken art courses at local colleges, and participated in workshops from local and published professionals. Being self-taught has the advantage of allowing the feeling of” let’s see what happens when I do this” to develop. Starting in 2004 and for every year thereafter, I have been the recipient of many awards. I show my work at Ocean County Artists Guild, Manasquan River Group of Artists, and local outdoor venues. Two paintings were published in “Long Beach Island Rhapsody”, a collection of art from local artists Beginning with watercolor, many years ago, it became apparent that it can be an unforgiving medium. But still a favorite! The first time I corrected a watercolor with a collage piece, I was born as a mixed media artist. Over the twenty or so years I have been painting, I took various workshops that help to stir that creativity. As such, I paint in watercolor, pastel, acrylic, oil and mixed media. I never met an art medium I didn’t like.!!! Carol currently teaches at OCAG, a class where each student is developing at their own pace, using materials with which they are comfortable. Always encouraged to stretch beyond their comfort level, students make excellent growth.
Tamara Woronczuk – Tamara is retired NJ art teacher with forty years of experience in the classroom teaching grades K-12. She holds a Master’s Degree in Art Education and Painting from NYU and has won many regional awards for her mixed media work.
Kristin Woolley – I am a “self-taught” artist. In my 30’s, I attained my Master’s Degree in Education. I use that experience to instruct others via the paint party business I started in my early 40’s, Eve’s Creations Paint Party. I’ve done “Live Painting” at concert events, raising over $450 for charities. I paint what I feel, my art encompasses every style, usually full of vibrant color. I cannot be categorized into one modality, and I like it that way.