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: Michele Liebler


Michele Liebler is a highly experienced fine artist whose work has been featured in museums and private collections both nationally and internationally. She began teaching in 2002 and has years of experience teaching courses and workshops at the National Academy Museum & School, Art Students League, Brooklyn College, Artspot, and other places around New York City. She received her BFA in painting and drawing from SUNY Purchase and her Master in Fine Arts from Brooklyn College. Prof. Liebler spent her early years working in publishing for Penguin Books and Harper Collins as a graphic designer to support herself as a fine artist. She is a native New Yorker and continues to work in her studio in Brooklyn to produce works of art for her upcoming exhibitions.

Website: micheleliebler.com

Michele Liebler teaches:
HSX 018 Pop Art Painting

Teaching Philosophy:
I tell students that it is important to develop their own visual language. Allow yourself time to experiment with different mediums and techniques to find your own style. Be disciplined, paint every day, and let your enthusiasm show through your work. I always share my professional experience with my students to help them grow as artists.

Industry Experience/Recent Exhibitions:

  • Exhibited in such venues as Parrish Art Museum, Arnot Art Museum, National Academy Museum, Butler Institute of American Art and private collections internationally.
  • Received numerous awards including Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant, GIP Grant, Horlick Painting Award, and Arnot Art Museum Award for Painting.
  • Represented by First Street Gallery in New York City.

Featured work by Michele Liebler: