for Summer Program and Staff
has been an island resident since 1991. Her very first job on Nantucket was at NISDA and she has been involved in the school ever since, as an instructor, consultant and on the Board of Directors. Although art is her passion, she has used her creativity to better the island though many venues – including the world of printed media. She has worked as Advertising Director and Circulation Manager at The Inquirer and Mirror where she conceived and started the Halloween Parade & Costume Contest on Main Street, an annual, cherished island tradition where her family is still invited each year to hold the banner leading the parade. She was publisher of Nantucket Magazine and has also been instrumental in the start of Nantucket Gay Pride, an annual month-long series of events on-island each year in June. Denese has done theatre costuming, set design and stage management for Theatre Workshop, the Dreamland & NHS plays. She holds a BA from Providence College in Math & Art, and an MA from NYIT in Communication Arts and has served the Town of Nantucket in business management roles certified in procurement law. Recently she has been instrumental working as a consultant for NISDA as Project Manager for all of NISDA’s Historic Restoration projects including re-building a silo, moving a Heifer Barn and re-locating & restoring the Artist Residency Cottages. Denese is a Certified Zentangle™ Teacher (CZT), and she incorporates her zen-drawing of patterns into her favorite form of art-making in her mixed media pieces. With the philosophy that there are no mistakes, only opportunities, she believes that everyone is an artist, and that what’s important is the creative process of art-making – with the finished product being just an added benefit.
Born in and raised outside of Boston, Mark has traveled America and the world, performing and teaching magic and music, volunteering and studying. Mark came to Nantucket via Los Angeles to launch his idea for an after-school media literacy course in 2004. When he isn’t teaching, he writes songs and produces large scale participatory artworks through his production company, 108Arts. (Example: wishesfrom.org) Now, twenty years later, in partnership with NCTV18, The Nantucket New School, Nantucket Boys & Girls Club, Nantucket Community Music Center, and more, he is again producing his media literacy course, The Olivia & Oliver Diamond Show!, on Nantucket. Mark is excited to spend time in the woods and on the beaches teaching at NISDA, as well as sharing his stories and projects through lectures and special events.
Emmy-winning Writer, Producer, and Director, Donick Cary got his start writing for Late Night with David Letterman. He continued writing for Dave at The Academy Awards (but not the Oprah-Uma joke) and served as both Head Writer and “The Guy in the Bear Suit” on Late Show with David Letterman. After five years in late night, Cary moved to The Simpsons, where he served as a Co-Executive Producer for seasons seven through eleven, winning an Emmy and penning many memorable episodes including “D’oh-In The Wind,” “In Marge We Trust, (Mr. Sparkle) and “Hell Toupee” (Homer gets the hair transplants of a killer.) Cary has since served in the same capacity on Just Shoot Me, Bored to Death, New Girl, Silicon Valley, AP Bio and Parks and Recreation where he also played the character Vern Palletta. Cary has produced pilots for and developed with: Brillstein Grey, Sony, Happy Madison, Conaco, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, FX, HBO, the WB, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central (where he was EP on The Naked Trucker and T-Bones show) and MTV where he had a hand in creating The Osbournes. In 2004 Donick created the animated series Lil’ Bush for Ampd mobile cell phones. The show was quickly picked up by comedy Central and became the first web series ever to move from the Internet to television. To handle the animation, Donick co-founded Sugarshack Animation with offices in Sofia, Bulgaria. Over its 16 years, Sugarshack produced and aired hundreds of hours of animation for everyone from Fox’s “New Girl” to Netflix’s “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics” to music videos for the likes of Moby and Yo La Tengo. In 2007, after a rash of teen suicides in his hometown of Nantucket Island, Donick founded Musack.org, 501-c-3 charity that provides musical Instruments and classes to under-served youth around the world. Donick also serves on the boards of The Nantucket Film Festival, The Nantucket Comedy Festival, The Nantucket Dreamland Foundation, and The Songbirds Foundation. 2020 brought the release of Cary’s feature directorial debut: “Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics,” which was selected by SXSW and debuted on Netflix in May, remaining in the top ten for over a month. Currently Cary is wrapping up the first season of “This Country” with Paul Feig and Jenny Bicks for Fox television and Executive Producing the animated show “Carol” with Dan Guteman for Netflix. Cary is also in production on a new documentary, “Hail to the Breadsticks!” a very personal look at team mascots, fatherhood, racism and what it means to be Native American in America today.
Ann Conway Jennings
is a native of Roanoke, Virginia. She earned a BA in English Literature from University of Oregon and an MFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design. She has been a year-round resident of Nantucket since 2019.
NISDA’s Founding Board Member with wife Kathy Kelm, and Seymour Berman. NISDA evolution photo documentation and facilities development and maintenance oversite. Naturalist, photographer, Nantucket Water Garden designer and construction of water features, ponds, raises lotus water lilies, koi fish. Photography for special occasions and “Underway” boat photography. Lectures Discover Nantucket History Culture & Environment. Taught Photography in Landscape for RISD summer session and Marine Vocations for Nantucket Public Schools. Project Engineer for Boston Whaler and Consultant for Victory Films, Garcia Corp. and Walt Lee Films. Photo essay on Marine Fisheries for Congressman Gary Studds. Among photographic illustrations in New York Times, National Geographic, Christian Science Monitor, Yankee, Boston Globe, The Inquirer and Mirror. Aerial Photography. In films “Small Boat Big Fish,” with Lee Wulff, Newfoundland, “Where the Strippers Are” Victory Films… and avid fisherman.
a NISDA Board of Director, owner of Nantucket Lightscapes. BLA, Landscape Architecture, RISD, Resource Management, Sterling College, received National Landscape Architects Association Award for Academic Excellence in Landscape Architecture, private clients, Assoc, Nantucket Water Gardens, and has traveled to Japan studying gardens,
“water features,” and temples.
MJ Levy Dickson
is an artist and educator. She has created an extensive body of work spanning oil paints, acrylics, watercolor, charcoal, pencil, pen and ink, glass, and re-purposed materials. MJ has taught at MIT, Wenzhou-Kean University in China, and is teaching in the Studio One Program of Fountain House in New York. She explores global interconnectedness and has discovered a deep affinity with the natural world. In nature, she finds patterns of color, light, moods, texture, sound, and subject matter that transcends boundaries. For example, boundaries between sight and sound, land and water, or time and space. She has exhibited internationally, was an Artist-in-Residence in Tangier, the Perkins School for the Blind, The Farm in Jaipur, and set up the art studio for a Graphic Design Department in China. Her work finds, records, and is inspired by the similarities of all global cultures and she celebrates the differences.
Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
NISDA advisors and graphic design projects 2009 — to the present
NISDA Summer Program Coordinators 2009 — 2011 and 2018
Collaborating artists with works in the collections of The Museum of Art & Design, NYC; Baltimore Museum of Art, Philadelphia Museum and the Universities of Nebraska, Wisconsin and Maine.
was raised in Winter Garden, Florida and got her BFA in ceramics from West Virginia University. She has taught and worked all over the United States, including The Archie Bray Foundation. Allyson is a functional potter who portrays the personalities and characteristics of clay through cartoons. She draws inspiration from growing up surrounded by the art of Disney. Allyson creates humorous comic book-style storylines on her vessels, utilizing bright colors, and pop art techniques. Clay, underglaze, and glaze become her storytelling tools – turning everyday wares into their own characters, similar to the brooms coming alive in Fantasia.
attended the Silvermine College of Art and the Art Institute of Boston before earning her degree in Ceramics at RISD. She also did graduate work at Lesley University in “Integrated Teaching Through the Arts.” Throughout her work life she has been engaged in the creative world, whether it be studio life, teaching, or as part of a design/business collaboration. In her mind it all flows together, one strand informing and supporting another. The greatest reward of art making is the realization of one’s creative thinking. Her students will be coached through skills & techniques, encouraged to lean into their intuition and imagination as they engage in the work. Laura has taught clay, nature drawing, and 3D design to children and adults. She has produced mixed media drawings, made vessels, sculptures and mobiles, and shown her work. She has written grants and entered urban art installation competitions. She has designed and built theatrical sets, renovated five houses, designed and built out a restaurant, made quilts, and made Halloween costumes – including a Santa Claus outfit that has been worn for 36 years. She likes to spend time in nature. At NISDA she serves as a special-projects coordinator, a teacher, and as a member of the Board of Directors.
Fiber Artist. Diane has been painting since she could hold a paintbrush and eventually attended the Museum School. Her grandmother owned an art gallery in the Back Bay of Boston and was one of the founders of the Copley Society. Diane has shared her talents at NISDA for 30 years! She is a member of the administrative team focusing on bookkeeping and fundraising.
has an MA from NYU in Teaching Asian Studies, did graduate studies in China, Hong Kong, India and Japan, and has taught in Mexico, Japan and South Korea. He has both journalism and poetry published in several of these countries as well as in the U.S., and loves passing on ideas and cultural understanding.
Leyah Jensen Marshall
Leyah holds a BFA Honors degree from the Rhode Island School of Design. Her studies have taken her to the Danish Design School, the Pacific Northwest College of Art and to Artist Residencies in India, Haiti, and Nepal. She is the recipient of a National Gold Medal in Art & Design (VICA), a New York Book Show 1st place award, and #1 bestselling pop-ups (New York Times). She has earned the Chase Plein-Air Award, and enjoys sharing her broad fluency in art mediums through teaching while working as a fine artist and children’s book creator in Nantucket.
is NISDA’s Founding Director. Rhode Island School of Design, BFA/Fine Arts. RISD Assistant Professor; Textiles, Art-in-Environment, Art Ed; Cultural Expressions: Interdisciplinary Curriculum at Providence Campus and founded Nantucket RISD Summer Session 1973 – 1978 which birthed Nantucket Island School of Design & the Arts, founded in 1978 through affiliation with Mass Art Boston.
In 1973, with Larry Cronin, began 1st Sand Castle Day, orchestrated NISDA’s program facility rentals: Islander homes for housing, Public High School classrooms, Academy Hill, Coffin School, Historic Association’s Lightship Nantucket, to purchase of 71 Washington Street Artist Residency cottages, Seaview Farm Dairy Barn, Long Shed and gifting of 55 Wauwinet property and house for Residency. Taught at SMU, University of Mass, Berea University, KY, Nova Scotia School of Art & Design/NEA Conference. On “Art Smart Panel” at Brown University. Kellogg National Fellow VI; Cultural Arts and Education Community research in states and travel to USSR, China, South America attending US Seminars in Peace and Foreign Policy, Argo-Ecology, Entrepreneurial Leadership, Global Community Building through Artist-Educators Residency Exchange to be realized with NISDA’s OAR – Offshore Artist Residency on Nantucket. Nantucket Public Schools K-12 programs, middle school “Start with Art” and Elementary School Cultural Curriculum (with John Miller, Principal) integrated into mandated curriculum, Cape Verdi, Africa, China, South America, Japan. Program received National Teachers Association Award and published in Drawing from the Well. Professional Experience: Textile Designer (Vogue, NY Times), Costume Designer, Ellen
Stewards “Café La Mama”, “Play Box Theatre”, “EAT” Experiments in Art and Technology – Founded by Engineer Kluver, Waldhauer and Artists Rauschenberg and Whitman.
BFA Candidate 2024 Rhode Island School of Design. Elizabeth is currently earning a BFA in Illustration with a concentration in Literary Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design. As a Teaching Assistant for the RISD pre-college program, she has mentored students in courses like the Illustration, Intro to Drawing, Critical Studies in Art, and Children’s Books. Elizabeth is an illustrator for Brown Political Review, and works as a Special Collections assistant in RISD’s Fleet Library. Additionally, as a 2021 fellow at No Reply Press, she hand-printed and bound a self-illustrated book about ghost bikes and pedestrian memorials in Portland, Oregon, which was awarded the American Printing History Prize at RISD’s annual artist book competition. In her free time, Elizabeth loves to horseback ride with the RISD Equestrian Club, bike around Providence, and spend hours at the RISD Museum. Hailing from Portland, Oregon, Elizabeth has never been to Nantucket and is excited to explore the island!
NISDA’s visiting Artist-In-Residence lives In Minneapolis, MN. She teaches painting and drawing, and is an adjunct faculty member on campuses that range from Liberal Arts, State Universities and Community Colleges. Jennifer has taught workshops in Minneapolis and at the Walker Art Center. As well as teaching, she Is currently a faculty advisor for Art Club at Anoka Ramsey Community College.
a year-round resident of Nantucket since 1991, and Nantucket’s renowned “Recycle Artist,” Matt takes other’s discarded items and turns them into colorful art that you see popping up across Nantucket. He is a skilled carpenter by trade and has contributed his talents to building over 300 birdhouses across the Island, also made from recycled materials, to assist bringing bluebirds to Nantucket helping mosquito control. You can often find him driving across the Island in his bubble-making automobile, bringing smiles to all who are lucky to follow behind him!
A NISDA Board of Director, Carol has instructed college level courses in Papermaking, Drawing & Painting. Managing Director of Grass Roots Art & Community Effort (GRACE) in Hardwick, VT from 1990 – 2015 – a nationally recognized non-profit Community Arts Organization, where she worked in Development on grant writing/research for federal, state, corporate and private foundations, grant reporting and compliance, annual donor appeal and special fundraising events; oversaw statewide workshop programs, trained workshop artists/interns local and international training, Capital Campaign management for historic facility, responsible for all financial reporting, annual budget and tax compliance. Program Coordinator for Vermont Studio Center in Johnson, VT, where she founded the largest international artist and writers’ residence program in the US. Carol is a consultant for Clarke Galleries in Stowe, VT / Palm Beach, FL and for Newport Art Museum in Newport, RI.
is the J. Bernard Schultz Endowed Professor of Art and area head of ceramics at West Virginia University School of Art & Design, and Coordinator of the School’s Ceramics in China program. He has taught at Indiana University, Hope College, and Central Michigan University. Shoji has served as one of the Directors-at-Large for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) Board. He was a co/on-site coordinator (NCECA Pittsburgh 2018), and he currently serves in the NCECA Presidential Cycle from 2023-2027. Shoji has conducted workshops, given lectures, and exhibited nationally and internationally. His most recent activities have been included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, a group exhibition at Red Lodge Clay Center, a solo exhibition at the Eutectic Gallery, and the Taiwan International Ceramics Biennale. He is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics. His residencies have included numerous locales in China, Japan, Canada, and the United States. Shoji, in addition to teaching, maintains an active studio practice with studios in West Virginia and Jingdezhen, China.
is a native Nantucketer. He graduated with a BFA in painting from Massachusetts College of Art & Design in Boston. His brightly colored mixed media paintings are inspired by what he calls modern mythology.
holds an MS in Dance/Movement Therapy from Hunter College. She is a Certified Laban Movement Analyst (CMA).
Eve Christa Wetlaufer
is an island artist inspired by the hues, flora, and fauna of Nantucket’s singular beauty. As a professional potter, Eve creates functional wheel-thrown ceramic art in forms and colors meant to both delight and soothe. Eve is taken with the healing and grounding power of clay. She embraces pottery as an active meditative practice, one which she decided to embrace three years ago after an education and career in animal and environmental justice…passions she hopes will find their way into her art as a “sense of peace.” Her interest and early clay education began at NISDA’s Long Shed Studio. Recently she was an Artist Resident at Anderson Ranch. Eve offers her Eve Christa ceramics at the Sustainable Nantucket Farmers & Artisans Market on Upper Cambridge St. every Saturday. Locally she serves on the board of Nantucket Island Safe Harbor for Animals. Eve received her Master’s degree in Animal Studies from NYU.