Instructor Spotlight: Melissa Starke

Melissa Starke began working at FIT in 1999 at the Counseling Center. She moved to the Fine Arts Department in 2005, and that same year started teaching Precollege Fine Arts Courses. She was the curator for Torche Galerie in Belmar NJ from 2012-2015. She is a three-time Community Development Block Grant recipient from the City of Yonkers, where she is director and curator for the not for profit arts organization and gallery, US+U.  In addition, she manages an artist residency and an education program onsite.  An artist herself, she makes abstract paintings and sculpture. She holds a Business Administration AA, a Fine Arts BFA and is a 2020 Art Market Studies MA Candidate.

Website: www.urbanstudiounbound.org/melissa-starke

Melissa Teaches:
JSX 035 Color Theory and Application
JSX 038 Multiple Media Workshop

Teaching Philosophy:
Making art is a personal process-it can be fun, playful, meditative, serious, intuitive, contemplative and so on. You have to experiment, make things you love and things you don’t like. Both are supposed to happen and will.  It’s part of figuring out your personal aesthetic/finding your creative voice.

I believe one of the most important things to acknowledge as a teacher is that everyone interprets & processes information differently. I enjoy taking the time to get to know each student, it enables me to make teaching choices that speak to the students I have in that particular class.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:

  • Gallery Curator & Director Urban Studio Unbound (US+U Gallery) Yonkers, NY 2014-present
  • Yonkers Arts Weekend Co-Producer/Art Direction 2016-2018 in Partnership with the City of Yonkers
  • Urban Studio Advisor/Fine Arts Department FIT
  • Department Coordinator /Fine Arts Department FIT

 Artwork:

Instructor Spotlight: Kiril Hristov

Kiril Hristov is an artist and illustrator whose work has been featured in galleries around the world. He was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and developed an interest in film and art at an early age. He was accepted to The National School of Fine Arts, where he completed rigorous training and improved his technique. He continued his education at the Academy of Fine Arts. Since then, Hristov takes part in shows and individual exhibitions in Bulgaria, Greece, Algeria, Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, and the United States. He has a Ph.D. in Fine Art.

 

Kiril Teaches:
HAR 016 Creating the Fashion Figure

Teaching Philosophy:
My goal is to help my students think creatively and experiment with a variety of styles and methodologies that help them discover their artistic selves. I want my students to be inspired by art history and artistic traditions, as well as by nature and contemporary events. My students search for connections between music, theatre, cinema, literature, architecture, and other mediums of expression. My teaching method is based on the classical principles of drawing as well as contemporary trends.

I believe that it is important to nurture students as individuals by showing them a variety of techniques. I help my students channel their talent and passion into an artistic product that demonstrates a rich art vocabulary.

Multiple demonstrations, repetitions, and collaborations are essential to my teaching practice. I always make sure that my students are informed about what is going on around them in the artistic, political, and social sense so that they are conscious of the outside world that they bring into their work.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:
Exhibition: Train Station for two- Fashion Illustration, Norwalk CT 2018
Solo Show: “Temporal Static” 151 Gallery, San Francisco 2017
Solo Show: “Selection of Drawings” Felt Factory, San Fransisco
“Work in Progress”, Sofia, Bulgaria 2016
Solo Show: Art 36 Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria 2015
Solo Show: “Run Away,” Norwalk, Connecticut 2014

Artwork by Kiril Hristov:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instructor Spotlight: Caroline Berti

Caroline has over 10 years of industry experience in Fashion Design and Costume Design. She is a graduate of FIT. Her work as a designer and creative consultant has allowed her to travel to places such as China and Europe.

 

 

 

Caroline Berti Teaches:
HSX 098: Wearable Technology: Fashion Meets Function

Teaching Philosophy:

Experimentation and learning are one and the same, and they both happen when you are creating. Each person has their own unique way of seeing things; as a professor, I try to provide students with the tools and foundation to bring that perspective to life through experimenting and being creative.

Experience and Work:

  • Designed for companies such as Victoria’s Secret Direct, Victoria’s Secret Pink, Warnaco, Richard Leeds, Karen Sabag, and private lines for Macy’s, Qvc, Belk.
  • Worked for some of the largest Costume companies in the U.S (Spirit, Rubies, Escante, Walmart) in addition to costume design in both film and theatre.
  • Special Projects include illustrations for an animated pilot for MTV Producer, and stop motion animation with Charged Productions.
  • Designing & Creative consulting for fashion technology projects with ‘INFOR LAB’ for companies such as PVH, Calvin Klein, Neue, and the Swedish Fashion Council.
  • Has also assisted in connecting FIT with technology makers such as SparkFun.

Instructor Spotlight: Eileen Karp

Eileen Karp began her fashion design career as a creative designer of loungewear and sportswear. She founded a business designing an exclusive maternity line whose designs sold to Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. She is a graduate of the FIT Fashion Design program, as well as the Textiles and Clothing program at North Dakota State University. She moved into various aspects of creative design and related positions primarily in the cut & sewn knitted and woven sportswear areas. Concurrently, she began teaching as an adjunct at FIT–SUNY and became a full-time professor in the Fashion Design Department in 2007. In 2008, she completed a Master’s Degree in Education from California State University East Bay. She developed a new interdisciplinary Bachelor of Science program in Technical Design at FIT that has grown steadily. In January 2014, Eileen became the Chairperson of the Fashion Design Department in FIT’s School of Art and Design.

Prof. Karp teaches:
HAP 026 Sewing for Fashion Designers
HAP 017 Introduction to Draping for Fashion Design (Level 2)

Teaching Philosophy:
The practice of fashion design constantly evolves and advances through exposure, exploration, and experimentation. Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” To prepare my students for success in this creative field and for life, it is incumbent upon me to develop in them a strong foundation that they know how to tap when, occasionally, the creative well runs dry. I have an obligation to weave into students the ability to be adaptable, flexible, and open.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:

  • Over 30 years of experience in creative design, patternmaking, fashion business, technical design at all price points and types of industry experiences.
  • Showed two original works in the annual “New Views” FIT Art & Design School Faculty Exhibit in 2016/2017.

Instructor Spotlight: Ann Marie Sclafani

Ann Marie Sclafani has been designing, making, and merchandising jewelry for 15 years. She is a FIT alumna with a degree in Restoration and began teaching in 2015. Ann Marie is also the creative director of her own jewelry line Joseph B, and is a technician for the Jewelry Design Department at FIT. Her early professional career began as a technical designer and merchandiser for large-scale wholesale manufacturers. Because of her experience in both fine and costume jewelry, her work and design style is able to encompass both worlds.

Instagram: @josephbjewelry

Ann Marie teaches:
HJD 019 Jewelry Design Studio I 

Teaching Philosophy:
I tell my students that just because something isn’t perfect, doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. Imperfections in our work always lead to discovery. Jewelry has become such a multifaceted outlet for creativity in terms of materials, techniques, fit, and construction. Engaging students in a variety of unexpected methods becomes an adventure for all of us. I encourage students to find and bring inspiration to class so we can create something that speaks to their own individual style.

Work by Ann Marie Sclafani: