Class Notes

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    October 2021

  • Two outdoor sculptures next to a building

    Daniel Anderson (BFA ’01)

    Dan’s XO WORLD Project unveiled two monumental sculptures in New York City on September 21 to celebrate World Peace Day: the “XO World” sculpture in front of One World Trade Center and its companion sculpture, “XO Play,” at The Oculus. “XO World,” at 285 Fulton Street, is inspired by the game of jacks, while “XO Play,” installed at Church Street/WTC/Westfield Mall, is a sculpture of children playing jacks. Both aim to promote the universal messages of equality, unity, peace, and love. The XO WORLD project will install monumental sculptures in major cities around the world to call attention to the need for peace, love, and inclusion. Learn more about the project at www.xoworldproject.com.

  • Taylor Freitas (BM ’12)

    Taylor was recently hired as a new music teacher at Victor Senior High School in Victor, New York. He directs the symphonic band and teaches brass lessons at the senior high school and intermediate school.

  • Month to Month Film Poster

    Michael Koslov (BFA ’18)

    Michael is currently in pre-production for “Month to Month,” a feature film that is scheduled to shoot later this year. He co-wrote and will co-direct the film with a close college friend (Newhouse ’18). “Month to Month” is a comedy about an aimless young man wandering around Los Angeles in search of his stolen car. He launched a crowdfunding campaign for the principal photography of the project and raised more than $10,000. Learn more about the film and the story behind it.

  • Rachel Elizabeth Zavertnik (BFA ’94)

    Rachel Elizabeth Zavertnik (REZ) created iREZonate Joy, LLC, which specializes in therapy, coaching, and mentoring with a focus on “what brings us joy.” They empower youth and adults to reach their full potential as they discover the joy of happiness. Rachel is a natural leader with nearly 20 years experience in educational and clinical settings. A passionate and skilled clinician, REZ collaborates with and empowers clients to reach their full potential. They are known for their highly, empathic heart and deeply rooted belief in self-care with a specialty in creating joy.

  • Adam J. Gaffey

    Adam J. Gaffey (MA ’08)

    Adam was recently promoted (with tenure) to associate professor of communication studies at Winona State University, Minnesota.

  • Karie Jo Barwind (BFA ’95)

    Karie Jo has been based in Europe for the past 16 years, working on the cutting-edge of ethics and compliance in both tech and healthcare. She currently works for Google as regional ethics & compliance counsel for Europe, Middle East, and Africa, focusing on anti-bribery compliance across all product areas. She was recently listed in Business Insider’s “POWER PLAYERS: 35 of Google’s top decision-makers in Europe, covering everything from cloud computing to AI and Android” (July) and “Meet 12 of Google’s politicos in Europe—influencing the debate on everything from algorithms to antitrust” (February). She lives in London with her husband and their two adorable four-leggeds.

  • The Water Mystic of Woodland Springs book cover

    Mary Pat Hyland (BFA ’77)

    Mary Pat has published her eighth novel, “The Water Mystic of Woodland Springs.” Learn more about her at marypathyland.com. 

  • September 2021

  • Noah Hudson (BFA ’21)

    Hudson is creating engaging content for social media as well as capturing and editing photo and video of school events at the Science Academies of New York, a family of public charter schools serving students from K-12 in Syracuse, Utica, and coming soon to Rochester and Buffalo.

  • A book cover for Restless Spirits and Popular Movements: A Vermont History

    Greg Guma (BS ’68)

    Guma has been a writer, editor, historian, and manager for half a century, leading businesses and campaigns in Vermont, New Mexico, and California. Work with Bernie Sanders led to “The People’s Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution.” Other books include the novels “Spirits of Desire” and “Dons of Time” and such non-fiction as “Fake News” and the forthcoming “Restless Spirits & Popular Movements: A Vermont History” in October 2021. View his Amazon page.

  • Clouds and a sunset

    Robin Brailsford (BFA ’75)

    Brailsford has a new website, www.robinbrailsford.com. Taking a break from LithoMosaics, she and Marsha Pels (MFA ’74) are traveling through Arizona in September. Arcosanti and Taliesin are in her professional sights, as well as back-country chilling with Navajo friends and Beaver College artists. Both artists will have work at Art Basil, Miami. Brailsford is publishing a book of photographs and will have a four-month jewelry show with painter partner Wick Alexander and pal Fritz Liebhardt in the largest state park in the country, Anza Borrego, starting in September. Pels was the toast of New York City with her 2021 show at Lubov last spring; see her website for New YorkTimes and Artforum raves.

  • Stephanie (Gruskin) Scalise (BFA ’94)

    Scalise is a five-year breast cancer survivor. After her first surgery her three daughters started the 501c3 nonprofit Strides for Survivors to give the gift of rehabilitation to other survivors. She invites those in Atlanta to support their annual walk each February; the sixth annual walk will be on February 5, 2022 with in-person and virtual opportunities.

  • July 2021

  • Semaj Miller (BFA ’09)

    Miller is writing and producing “More Life, ” a short film that chronicles Makai Thomas’ journey towards healing. Makai, like many of us, suffered a number of devastating losses last year, and as the world rushes to return to “normal,” he’s not ready.  He struggles with how to re-engage society and literally finds himself in a place where he must choose “More Life.” Follow on Instagram @MoreLife_Film.

  • Aviva Gold

    Aviva Gold (BFA ’62)

    Gold’s book, “Painting from the Source: Awakening the Artist’s Soul In Everyone” was published by Harper Collins in 1998. Aviva now resides in Oracle, Arizona, where she facilitates healing painting retreats and she also teaches nationally and internationally. Visit her website.

  • June 2021

  • Reid Watson

    Reid Watson (BFA ’15)

    Watson recently earned an M.F.A. in theatre-directing at the University of Alabama.

  • Nora Carrol

    Nora Carrol (BFA ’71, MS ’91)

    After careers in direct response marketing/development and adult education, Carrol is beginning a third…retirement is neither interesting nor profitable. Interests focus around digital communications, specifically their impact on knowledge diffusion and business incubation in emerging markets. She earned a second degree at Syracuse University (M.S. adult education, 1991) and just completed a certificate in public policy analysis via the London School of Economics. She is president of Educative, LLC.

  • Book cover of Avery's Gift

    Jonathan Hoefer (BFA ’91)

    Hoefer shares a timeless story of love, loss, friendship, and finding true colors, inspired by two children and the connection they forever share, in his children’s book “Avery’s Gift.” (Mascot Books, June 2021). This book is reminiscent of fables told long ago, with rhyming prose written by Hoefer, and watercolored imagery illustrated by Milana Samarskaya. “Avery’s Gift” is inspired by Hoefer’s Syracuse fraternity brother (SAE, NY Delta) Mike Toole and the health complications of his daughter, Avery, who ultimately required a heart transplant at the age of five. While “Avery’s Gift” does not talk specifically about organ donation, it illustrates how two lives are interconnected and can spark a conversation with readers of all ages.

  • May 2021

  • Marty Wimmer (BM ’86)

    Wimmer recently retired from a 34-year career as a public school music teacher, band director, and choral director. He is also a veteran classical music radio host on WNED Classical Buffalo/Toronto and an anchorman on WNED-PBS working on both local and national broadcasts. A gifted writer, he frequently blogs at www.wned.org/classical. He is also a published composer of music for school bands and choruses. His recent work titled “Through Music” is included as a competition piece in the new NYSSMA Manual. Currently he serves on the board of directors of Buffalo Opera Unlimited.

  • An open magazine

    Harriete Estel Berman (BFA ’74)

    Berman recently had an eight-page article and images about her jewelry from recycled materials in Ornament Magazine. (Jewelry from tin cans as social and political commentary.) Look for the 26-foot-long necklace from black plastic as a commentary about plastic in our oceans.

  • Leslie Bruning (MFA ’72)

    Bruning, a sculptor, has been working professionally since his first sculpture commission in 1968. Not only is he continuing to be a creative artist, he also runs a bronze foundry and fabrication studio that produces work for sculptors across the country. He still goes to his studio and works every weekday. “It is still the most fun thing I do,” he says. Visit www.bruningsculpture.com.

  • David Greenham

    David Greenham (BFA ’83)

    In January 2021, Greenham was appointed executive director of the Maine Arts Commission. At the time of the appointment, Maine Governor Janet Mills said “David knows how to work with a variety of personalities and how to get things done. He’s a consensus builder. He will lead in a good direction.” The initial appointment was made for “at least two years” by the Commission’s Board and started in March 2021. The Maine Arts Commission is the state agency that is charged with supporting artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers, and community developers in advancing the arts in Maine.

  • April 2021

  • Book cover of "My Friend!"

    Taye Diggs (BFA ’93) and Shane W. Evans (BFA ’93)

    Diggs and Evans are the writer and illustrator, respectively, of the new children’s book “My Friend!” (Feiwel & Friends), a real and rhythmic look at friendship. Diggs and Evans also teamed up to write and illustrate the children’s books “I Love You More Than….,”  “Mixed Me!,” and “Chocolate Me!”

  • Wendy Tulman

    Wendy Goldstein Tulman (BS ’95)

    Tulman makes clean-burning soy wax candles with custom wording. The elegantly scented candles are sold in boutiques in three states (featuring local zip codes and either “Home Sweet Home” or “Our Happy Place”) and online at www.jeanrosscandles.com. A portion of the proceeds is donated to mental health research at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Please follow and say hello @jeanrosscandles.

  • March 2021

  • Ken Rush (BFA ’71)

    Rush is showing “Poolside,” a new collection of work, through March 10 at Court Street Collective. Over the decades, Ken has periodically returned to pool imagery, but it took the isolation of last summer for him to embrace the work he had started in 1970.

  • Evan Weinstein (BFA ’84)

    Evan Weinstein

    Weinstein had a busy 2020, despite the pandemic. He oversaw hidden camera production for the Quarantine House Segment of the hit movie “Borat Subsequent Movie Film” and was

    showrunner for “Disney Holiday Magic Quest,” a celebrity reality competition special airing throughout the month of December on Disney Channel and Disney+ Streaming.

  • Robin Slavin (BS ’85)

    Slavin currently serves as a career counselor at Harvard Graduate School of Design.

  • Artwork displayed in a store window

    Lauren Braun (BFA ’99)

    Braun was the featured February artist for Buffalo Obscura’s Record Theatre Window Project in Buffalo, New York. The project makes art accessible to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic while maintaining social distancing guidelines.

  • February 2021

  • Patricia Cain Beyle (BM ’56)

    Beyle made her silver screen debut in the short documentary “Show Must Go On!” (SMGO). Pat, Mary Crabill, Karen Cooper, and Jane Hauser are a part of Hot Stuff, a group of 80-year-olds who perform in a comedy variety group. “SMGO” follows them as they prepare for their final performance in their retirement community. Performing in front of sold-out audiences, the ladies embrace life, discover themselves along the way, and encourage others to do the same.

  • Becki Davis (Bradford) (BS ’69)

    Davis has been working in the film industry in New Orleans, appearing in featured roles in “True Detective” with Mahershala Ali (her scene was on the Emmys), AMC’s “Preacher,” TNT’s “Claws,” Hulu’s “Looking for Alaska” and Showtime’s “Your Honor” with Bryan Cranston as well as the films “Rightful,” “Gothic Harvest,” “Abbatoir,” and “Walkway Joe” with Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

  • Charley Thompson (BFA ’76)

    Thompson has worked as a fundraiser in higher education at both the University of Vermont and Northeastern University, where he currently serves as a regional director of advancement. After years of leaving artwork behind, he rediscovered the joy of being behind the lens and took up photography again. He also took up woodworking and music, playing the bass and ukulele. He merged these two passions and now builds ukuleles from scratch. He has been happily married for 26 years to his second wife, LaVerne, and has a wonderful daughter, Ashley.

  • Lisa Kyler Winkler (BFA ’97)

    Winkler has been selected as a board member of the Art Educators of New Jersey (AENJ). She is in her 20th year of teaching art and photography at Collingswood High School in Collingswood, New Jersey. As a board member for AENJ, she co-chairs the Advisory Council, which is responsible for providing professional development opportunities for members. She lives in Audubon, New Jersey, with her husband, Jeremiah Winkler (BM ’97), and their two children.