WAAM Board Members, Officers and Committee Chairs 2020-2021

Maxine Davidowitz, Chair

Maxine Davidowitz is a painter and printmaker, whose works have been shown in galleries throughout the Hudson Valley and in collections throughout the US. For over 40 years she served as Creative Director for major consumer magazines such as Redbook, Parents, TV Guide, Health, Prevention, More and Modern Farmer, garnering many awards from the Society of Publication Designers and The American Society of Magazine Editors.  Her consulting practice included work for Country Living, Consumer Reports’ ShopSmart, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple, and other newsstand publications.

Her non-profit volunteer efforts include a 5-year stint on the board of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, and since 2013 she has served on the exhibition committee for Gallery Lev Shalem at the Woodstock Jewish Congregation.

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Suzanne Parker, Vice Chair

Suzanne Parker has a background in nonprofit arts management as both an employee and board member. She was the Deputy Executive Director of Queens Council on the Arts (QCA) for 10 years. She was a founder and Vice President of Friends of Station Square (FOSS), an historic preservation nonprofit organization, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. She is also a published author of “Eating Like Queens: A Guide to Ethnic Dining in America’s Melting Pot, Queens, NY,” Jones Press 2006, and a food reporter and restaurant critic for the Times Ledger Newspaper Group (12 Queens weeklies). She currently gives cooking lessons locally under the name Cookskills.

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Tracy Phillips, Secretary

Tracy Phillips is a painter and a psychotherapist in private practice. Phillips considers psychotherapy an art and considers art a reflection of our intrapersonal and interpersonal worlds. Phillips’ art and psychotherapy work are deeply informed by her commitment to social and environmental justice.

Phillips received her Master’s in Creative Arts Therapy from Pratt Institute and her Master of Social Work from Fordham University. Phillips has post-graduate training from the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and the National Institute of Psychotherapies.

Phillips has been painting her whole life. She received my BFA in fine arts from Parsons. Phillips has been an active member of the Brooklyn Arts Council, The Brooklyn Waterfront Artist’s Coalition, and Nurture Art. Phillips’ resume includes solo and group exhibitions and became an active member of WAAM in 2016.

William Lanford, Treasurer

William Lanford is a Professor of Physics at University at Albany. One of his interests is the applications of physics in art and archaeology and he has taught courses on that topic at Albany and at Yale. He is a member of the Board of Directors, UAlbany Foundation. He has been an external advisor for national laboratories in the U.S. and in Canada. Dr. Lanford had a deep interest in American arts, both decorative and fine. He initiated the creation of the Riders Mills Historic District, now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. He is currently restoring a 220-year-old house known locally as the Budd Tavern. He has a 25-year interest in the art and the artists of Woodstock and has assembled a number of Woodstock paintings and sculptures, some of which can be seen on his website:

Jessica Baker

Jessica Baker is a mixed-media visual artist based in Woodstock, NY. Her artwork has been featured in an interview for National Public Radio, presented in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally, included in both private and institutional collections, and praised by critics including, notably, the NY Times. She has been awarded a fellowship and a number of artistic residencies.

Jessica also worked for a financial services company for over 20 years and currently serves as the Managing Director of Rabbit Hole Ensemble (RHE), an award-winning non-profit theater company that originated in Brooklyn and was moved to the Hudson Valley five years ago.

Jen Dragon

Jen Dragon has been involved with art and artists for over 35 years as a painter, instructor, print restorer, colorist, curator, gallerist, exhibitions strategist, and online marketer. Recently, Jen has launched Cross Contemporary Partners, a digital marketing division of Katharine T. Carter & Associates, to promote artist careers, projects, and exhibitions on the internet.

Suzannah Kellner

Suzannah Kellner has a Masters’s degree in Art history from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. She has worked for the American Folk Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Carl Hammer Gallery, Christie’s, and Chashama. She loves art, gardening, photography, tennis, and travel. She has been part of the Woodstock community for more than a dozen years.

Tracy Leavitt

Tracy Leavitt holds a BFA degree from Maine College of Art (MECA). She is the director of Visions Art Center, which is dedicated to promoting the arts and artists.  She has traveled widely designing and conducting artist residencies and workshops, including her farthest away gig at an International School in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. She produced the Hudson Valley Storytelling Festival for 7 years in conjunction with Vassar and Bard Colleges. In 2008 Tracy received a fellowship from Woman’s Studio Workshop and earlier, produced a one-woman performance piece funded by NYFA.

Recently, Tracy retired from the art faculty of High Meadow School, an independent school in Stone Ridge, NY, and is now a fulltime painter and curator. In January, Tracy mounted an exhibition at Mid-Hudson Arts Council Gallery entitled “Hot/Cold: Expression in Wax” and is planning her next curatorial project with Wired Gallery.  Tracy is an Active Artist Member of WAAM.

Iain Machell

Eight years of formal art training took Iain Machell from Portsmouth College of Art in England and Grays School of Art in Scotland to a Master’s degree in Sculpture at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His drawings, book projects, and sculptures have been shown at The Drawing Center, The Sculpture Center, Artists Space and The Center for Book Arts in New York City. Installation projects and sculptures have been shown at the Dieu Donné Gallery in New York, the ARC Gallery Raw Space in Chicago, the Islip Art Museum Project Space on Long Island, the Contemporary Outdoor Sculpture at Chesterwood exhibitions in Stockbridge, MA, and Unison Art Center in New Paltz NY. One of Machell’s books can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art/ Franklin Furnace/ Artist Book Collection. In Summer 2015 he completed an Artists Residency at the Platte Clove Preserve in the Catskill Mountains, NY and his most recent solo shows were in 2015 at Cross Contemporary Art in Saugerties NY, and 2017 at the Unison Arts Center, New Paltz NY.

Machell, who resides in Saugerties, holds the position of Fine Art Professor Emeritus at SUNY Ulster and was awarded the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012.

For 16 years he was full-time faculty in Fine Art (teaching Drawing, Life Drawing, 2D and 3D Design) and also the Program Co-ordinator for the Associate’s Degree in Fine Arts.

For 12 years he held the position of the Arts Department Chair, overseeing the Associate’s Degree programs in Fine Art, Graphic Design, Music, Theatre, Fashion Design, Communications and Media.

Laurie Marshall

Laurie Marshall is an artist, art historian, and independent filmmaker specializing in programming about art.  She was VP, International Executive Producer at Christie’s for 17 years, and previously developed and supervised departments/projects at Scholastic, Hearst, IBM/Workman Publishing, and WNET/Thirteen. Past films include Jeff Koons Speaks (featured at Art Basel); Holly Solomon: On Warhol & SoHo Story; Studio in a School (WNET/ Thirteen).


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Rick Pantell

Rick Pantell has been an Active Member of the WAA since 1977 and served on the Board of Directors three times, (Chair of Exhibitions twice and Chair of Extensions [Events]), on the Board of Trustees as Acting Chair, and on the Permanent Collection’s Acquisitions Committee. He has owned and co-owned two successful Woodstock art galleries. He also served on the Board of the Society of American Graphic Artists. Rick has been a practicing painter/printmaker for nearly 50 years with works in the Butler Institute of American Art, The British Museum, Wichita Art Museum, Museum of the City of New York, Newark Museum, and many others. He has had 30 solo or joint exhibitions, many with his wife, Karen Whitman.

Rick has authored numerous articles for the Journal of the Print World and Drawing Magazine and has been an Instructor at The Art Students League since 1996. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in America.

Janis Staggs

Janis Staggs is the Director of Curatorial and Manager of Publications at Neue Galerie New York, where she has worked for more than twenty years. She has prior experience at other institutions, including the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Walters Art Museum. Staggs has organized numerous exhibitions during her career and has lectured and written extensively on the intersection between modern fine and decorative arts with a special focus on the period of fin-de-siècle Vienna. She has a Master of Arts in the History of Decorative Arts from the jointly-administered program offered by the Cooper Hewitt/Parsons School of Design (a division of The New School), a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland, and a Certificate in Strategic Management from the Harvard Extension School.

Meredith Sternberg

Meredith Sternberg grew up in New York City and was creating art as young as age five. Having grown up in a family in the arts, she spent her childhood at museums and had access to study with artists at the Arts Students League, where she became interested in figurative art. She also studied at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where she worked in clay, sculpting the human form. She did pre-college study with Graham Nickson and Mercedes Matter at the Studio School, then studied at Rhode Island School of Design, where she majored in painting and minored in fashion. She spent many years in the fashion industry, and eventually worked side-by-side with Ralph Lauren to design and direct the Rugby line. She has returned recently to her original passion to create fine art, and her primary mediums now are oil painting and clay. Sternberg has owned a home in Woodstock for 14 years, and has recently moved here full time with her husband and two children.

Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf is a Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at Bard College.  His primary areas of research are the history of art in Woodstock, New York, art colony, and Asian American art.  Recent publications include The Artistic Journey of Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2015, “Woodstock Artists Association: One Hundred Years of Community and Art,” The Woodstock Artists Association, 2019, and “Doris Lee in Woodstock,” Weatherspoon Art Museum, forthcoming.