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: Seth Hiler

Photo by juliahembreephoto.com

     Seth Ruggles Hiler is influenced by geography and the communities of his surroundings.  He creates and records connections to people and place through painting.  Seth received a BFA from Syracuse University and an MFA from the New York Academy of Art. He applies the combination of passion for connection and expertise in figurative painting in the classrooms of FIT’s Pre-College Program and Bard College’s High School Early College in Newark, NJ.  

Website: www.sethruggleshiler.com
 
Seth Hiler Teaches:
HSX 022 Portraits for Portfolios
Teaching Philosophy:
My approach to teaching is directly aligned with that of my art practice.  Passion, discipline and community engagement are essential in both.  Teachers must share the clear concepts of their subject matter, while at the same time creating a community in which their students can express their own ideas using their newfound knowledge.
Selected Recent Exhibitions:
2017
“The Transcendence of Us,” Brooklyn Fire Proof’s ‘Gallery 104,’ Brooklyn, NY
“Art at the Abbey,” The Great Hall Gallery, Brooklyn, NY – group show, curated by Seth Ruggles Hiler
2016
“Artists Emerged: NJ Emerging Artists Series New Works,” Monmouth Museum, Lincroft, NJ
“Season of Creativity,” Palette Art Studio, Woodbridge, CT
“Personality Test, Contemporary Portraiture,” Mikhail Zakin Gallery, Demarest, NJ
2015 

“X Contemporary Exhibition,” Art Basel, Miami, FL
“Transitions,” ANNEX Arts Space, Williamsburg, NY – Solo Exhibition
“KUNSTKAMMER,” Parenthesis Art Space, Brooklyn, NY
Artwork by Seth Hiler
 

Instructor Spotlight: Maria Luisa Tamara DeSantis

Maria Luisa Tamara DeSantis was born in Barranquilla-Colombia and moved to NY as a teenager. She graduated FIT with a BA in Fine Arts and a minor in Art History. Art and education are Maria Luisa’s true passions as an artist. Diverse in her choice of mediums for her own work, she currently focuses on found objects and yarn, creating pieces full of color and life. No matter the medium, in her process she enjoys playing with layers, color, composition, and harmony and sees her pieces as paintings even when by definition they are not.
Website: www.marialuisatamara.com

Frida Flower Afro - 8x8inches

 

 

Maria Luisa Tamara teaches:

JSX 035: Color Theory and Application
JSX 037 Middle School Sculpture
JSX 038 Multiple Media Workshop

 

Teaching Philosophy:

I believe teaching is a two-way street, as well as a source of inspiration and fulfillment for me, and a way to provide the same to my students. By showing students work by artists they might have never heard of, places and concepts they have not been exposed to before, I want to spark enthusiasm for new techniques and unusual ways to mix mediums.  

Recent Exhibitions:
2015
YONKERS ART EXHIBITION, Yonkers, NY
GREENPOINT GALLERY, Brooklyn, NY
2014
INSIDE OUT – torche’ galerie, Belmar, NJ
2013
NICE TO MEET YOU, – Materilas for the Arts Gallery, LIC, Queens, NY
2013
KALEIDOSCOPE IN CONDITION, BFA Thesis Exhibition, New York, NY
2010
“40′ x 19′ x 11′” – At M55 GALLERY, LIC, Queens, NY
2009
JUNIOR ART SHOW – At FIT Great Hall   New York, NY
FINE ARTS VS ILLUSTRATION – At 2/20 GALLERY   New York, NY
FIFTY UNSPOKEN WORDS – At M55 GALLERY, LIC, Queens, NY
2008
ART IN THE CENTRAL MARKET, Florence, Italy
First and second place in the arts and design competition
THE ANNEX, CAE   New York, NY
2006
ARTS COLLECTIVE – At 2/20 GALLERY   New York, NY

Untitled-1IMG_0419

Congratulations, Gabe!

CONGRATULATIONS TO GABE PECHIA WHO WAS JUST ACCEPTED TO FIT THIS FALL FOR COMMUNICATION DESIGN !

Student: Gabe Pechia
Major: Communication Design

Courses taken in Precollege Programs include:
HSX 022 Portraits for Portfolios

Were you accepted to FIT this fall too? We’d love to feature you on the blog as well!
Email: [email protected] for more information

Congratulations Danielle!

CONGRATULATIONS TO danielle covington WHO WAS JUST ACCEPTED TO FIT THIS FALL FOR ILLUSTRATION!

Student: Danielle Covington
Major: Illustration

Courses taken in Precollege Programs include:
 Precollege High School Intern

Were you accepted to FIT this fall too? We’d love to feature you on the blog as well!
Email: [email protected] for more information