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MEET OUR Teaching Artists

George Apotsos

George Apotsos is a painter, ceramicist, sculptor and installation artist. He has created community art projects for the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Mural Arts, the Philadelphia Corporation for the Aging and the Center for Emerging Visual Artists, Philadelphia. He has shown his work through out the Mid-Atlantic region including the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, the University of the Arts, Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show and the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg. Of Greek heritage, he was born in 1961 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and graduate from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Philadelphia College of Art in 1985.

Jim Bongartz  

James Bongartz began his passion for art during formal childhood lessons at the Carnegie Institute and continuing at Carnegie-Mellon University following a BSEd in art education from Edinboro State University of Pennsylvania. He has painted for over thirty years, exhibiting in galleries and juried shows throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Many of his works are in private collections. Most paintings are responses and interpretation from his own photography. Mastering the use of color and brushwork as a form of processing imagery and evoking experiences are current inspirations. James is a member of Art+10, a Princeton based artist group and AOY. A portfolio of Jim's paintings and further details about current and past exhibits can be seen on his website:

Renee Pelletier Egan

Renee Pelletier Egan is an award winning artist and a founding member of the Artists of Yardley who recently retired from the New Jersey public school system where she taught art to Middle School and High School students for 18 years. Renee’s dedication to her students helped propel them toward success throughout the years, wherein; they won many awards in both county and state competitions.

During Renee’s early career at an ad agency in New York City, she worked as an art director for print ads and TV commercials. She was educated at the Paier School of Art in CT and the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Later on Renee went back to school and earned a degree in Art Education from The College of New Jersey.

Renee continues to show her paintings throughout Bucks County and eastern coast venues. Currently, she has several private students and teaches Teen Drawing and Painting at AOY Art Center on Thursday evenings.

Leigh Ferello

Leigh Ferello is a graphic designer and teaching artist. She served as Creative Director for the third largest non-chain health and wellness facility in the country, focusing on brand management, and has used her design abilities to create spaces for local businesses in the area. Her favorite medium is mixed media because there are fewer confines on creativity. Leigh has taught at local parks and recreation centers, the Southampton Free Library, ARTWORKS of Trenton, and has served as a summer camp art teacher. She began teaching art to her own children at a very young age and has expanded to teaching multi-generational art classes in Bucks County. Leigh has her bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute.

Anne Gannon  

Anne was educated at the Traphagen School of Fashion, NYC and at the School of Visual Arts, NYC. Early on, she worked as an Illustrator for Well Being magazine in San Diego, then at Hammacher Schlemmer in NYC, where her drawings were published weekly in The New York Times and in the Wall Street Journal. She also designed licensing artwork for Merrill Lynch and other Wall Street firms. In 2003, Anne started teaching art classes while beginning a new career as a surrealist and an abstract painter. Recently she has had much success with her Encaustic work. Anne has been with the AOY since their inception in 2004, serving on the board and in various other areas of the organization. An award-winning artist, Anne’s work has been shown locally, in east coast states and abroad."

Dorothy Hoeschen 

Dorothy Hoeschen grew up in Marietta, GA, and in grammar school always seemed to be the  one the teacher assigned to do the bulletin board. She did her first painting at age 11 and much  later attended Georgia State University where she received her Bachelor of Visual Arts. 

She has always exhibited a strong affinity for landscape, though still life and portraiture also  figured in to her subject matter. Dorothy has received quite a few awards and her works have  made their way into a number of corporate collections, as well as many private ones. 

In 2011 Dorothy decided to try “plein air” painting; painting in the open air. It opened a door to  new possibilities and she enthusiastically promotes plein air’s ability to increase artists’ skills,  knowledge, and abilities. In addition to her plein air work she continues her studio work and  enjoys exhibiting in galleries and participating in plein air shows. 

Dorothy’s latest works can be seen on instagram at @dhoeschenart. 

Lisa Kennedy

After attending the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Lisa worked in advertising creating newsletters and other printed material. There she stayed for most of her adult life working for local companies and freelancing.  To continue her fine art skills Lisa found a small atelier run by John Murdoch. John is an American painter, portraitist and teacher.  John became Lisa’s teacher and mentor at the Bucks County Classical Arts Center in New Hope PA. There Lisa’s training focused first on drawing, then grisaille painting. She moved on to limited color and, finally, full color painting applied to realism in art.  Since her training, Lisa has exhibited at the Ellarslie, Artsbridge, New Hope Arts, Phillips Mills, Salmagundi in NYC and the Philadelphia Sketch Club and has won several awards. Her work hangs in homes and businesses across the United States.  Lisa teaches students young and old privately, at AOY Patterson Farm and the Bucks County Classical Arts Center.   Follow her on Instagram: Drawingtidbits and Lisa_kennedy_art & Facebook: Lisa Kennedy artwork .

Nelly Kouzmina 

Fiber Artist & Instructor, Feltinelli LLC, Member of International Association of Feltmakers IFA,U.K, Member of Northeast Guild of Feltmakers, U.S. and Member of Surface Design Association, U.S. I am a self taught fiber artist working with natural fibers and dyes creating variety of pieces from wall art to wearable art exploring the broad possibilities of felt making. All of my work is original and one of a kind. It is my passion, hobby and love. I share my knowledge and experience with students of all age groups. I participate in various juried art shows in New York City, New Jersey, Pennsylvania., email: .

Jill Tressel

Jill studied studio art while an undergraduate student at Muhlenberg College, PA. She focused continuing studies on her preferred medium: watercolor. A thirty year resident of Bucks County, PA, she earned an MAT from the College of New Jersey. After a teaching career in public schools, Jill became a member of Artists of Yardley by way of a thoughtful retirement gift from her children. She studied with AOY’s teaching artists and mentors, Anne Gannon and Jo Ann Osnoe. She recently participated in PAFA’s Master Class with watercolorist, Eileen Goodman. Jill is an Open Studio artist at AOY. She enjoys painting with a talented group of members and shows her work locally. Jill teaches “Exploring Watercolor Painting” for beginning students. She hopes to encourage others to explore this lovely transparent medium.

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949 Mirror Lake Road

Yardley, PA 19067


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