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Meet Our 2019 Artists
Alita Abruzzese—Alita’s artwork is mostly representational, however, her intent is not to only copy what she sees. She tries to capture the mood in each scene. Alita’s favorite subjects are nature and people. As an art teacher in the Methacton School District for 23 years, she not only taught the children, but learned from them. Their fresh look at the world was always an inspiration. Alita has a BS in art education from Kutztown University, a BS in math education from West Chester University, and has taken graduate courses at the Tyler School of Art, Bennington College, Penn State University, and the University of the Arts. She has worked under the tutelage of Joseph Sweeney in oils and pastels and Carol Goldman in watercolor.
Laurel Arbogast—Laurel works in numerous media, but currently is enjoying the alcohol inks. Her works can be seen throughout Berks County and surrounding areas. By teaching and exhibiting her alcohol inks, Laurel hopes to share with others how exciting and powerful this new medium can be.
Elayne Baker—Elayne’s earliest memories involve crafting—needlework, quilting and lots of paly dough. About 15 years ago she started takng pottery classes for work related stress relief, and shortly decided the best stress relief would be to get rid of the job and keep doing pottery. She now uses her graduate degrees in science and business to put a whimsical spin on functional items in her Spring City home studio.
Elaine Briner—Born and raised in Berks County, Elaine has always had crayons and art supplies on hand. A member of Berks Art Alliance, she attends workshops and en plein air painting events regularly. Elaine media is usually pastel on paper, but she paints on slate and canvassette with acrylics too.
Mary Burke—From a very young age creating art has been important to Mary. She was constantly drawing, painting, and creating things in her youth, and for as long as she can remember her desire has been to be an artist.  Mary attended the Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork, Ireland where she graduated with honors in Printmaking. After moving to the United States, Mary attended Rhode Island College to pursue a degree in Art Education. In 2010 Mary began to study painting with Bruce Becker at The Warehouse Studios, and ultimately fell in love with oil painting.  Lately she has begun to explore watercolors, which allows her to express her ideas though a very different creative process. Mary paints in a very realistic style using a variety of topics.  She draws inspiration from the simplicity of everyday life that surrounds us and her desires to have people see the ordinary in an entirely different light. She is inspired by the early Dutch painters, especially by their use of light and subject matter. Mary is a member of The Warehouse Studio, Say Cheese, along with work in private collections.  She also teaches at Wider School and Community Home School of Elverson. .Mary has been accepted as a member of Oil Painters of America.
Mary Button—In her art, Mary tries to show the excitement felt the moment that something captured her attention. Her goal is to make that instant—it’s mood, its emotion—last forever. The subjects that Mary loves most are her grandchildren and her garden. They give her the delightful challenges of witnessing and expressing visual changes in the sam subjects over time. Painting in acrylic and oil, and sculpting in clay, are the media that Mary enjoys. The most influential style for her is Impressionism, because of the emphases on light and bright color.
Arline Christ - Arline grew up at the Jersey Shore. Her B.S. and M.A. are from Kutztown University. She has over 40 years of teaching teenagers. Her retirement goal was to practice what she taught. Any day may find her working with colored pencils, watercolor, acrylics, calligraphy, pastes or oils. Painting animals for Pottstown’s Carousel has been a long-term effort. Her work is infused with brilliant colors.
Joanne Dietz—Joanne has been painting for over thirty years. Her predominate medium is acrylics; however, she also creates art work in watercolor, colored pencils, watercolor pencils, ink, alcohol ink, and mixed media. Most of her paintings are very realistic; drawing inspiration from the environment around her locally and while exploring the world. Animal portraits, landscapes, and still lives are Joanne’s favorite topics; but sometimes, she enjoys playful experimenting with the paints and art tools.
Diane Dobbins - Diane crafts garden inspired pottery in her Thorton, Delaware County home studio. Her recent shows include Chester Springs Holiday Sale, Chaddsford Days, and Mount Gretna Summer Craft Show. Diane has drawn inspiration from the beauty of the natural surrounds while studying at Peters Valley Craft Center and Chester Springs Studio.
Irene Dobson—Irene is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology with a major in apparel design and fashion illustration. She worked in the fashion industry designing lingerie. While living in New York she attended The Art Students League. After getting married and moving to Berks County, she continued to study watercolor and oil by attending workshops conducted by nationally known artists. A signature member of the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, her works hang in many private and corporate collections, and have been widely exhibited in juried art exhibits.
Wendy Fox—Wendy is an award winning amateur photographer. She has a passion for floral design and her photographs have been part of a blue ribbon exhibit at the Philadelphia Flower Show and she also won a Botanical Arts Award from the National Garden Clubs, Inc. Wendy has generously donated works to many local and international non-profit organizations.
Liz Griesser—Liz paints in oils ina a traditional manner. Many of her paintings have animas as her subjects. She says, “Animals paint themselves, I just hold the brush as they come to life.” Liz has also been enjoying landscape painting as a plein air painter. With her paintings, she hopes to give others a view into her world. Her works are in numerous private collections throughout the Northeast regions of the United States.
Liam Harkins—Photography by Liam is an artistic endeavor by Liam. He has turned to digital photography, mostly processing his works on metal papers or solid metal. Liam captures the inspiring yet simplistic designs of natural elements. His most immediate achievements are in the area of abstract, artistically using macro lenses. Liam’s photos capture aspects of nature or emulate the characteristics of abstract paintings.
Carl & Linda Horner—Carl and Linda’s interest in art is mainly derived from observing the wonder of nature and people in the world around them. Contributors to this never ending and always growing pursuit are books, classes, birding, gardening, travel to 28 countries, Berks Art Alliance and many encouraging artistic friends. Carl’s focus is on wood and photography. Acrylic and watercolor are Linda’s choices of media at the moment and she paints many of her subjects from Carl’s photos.
Gale Horner—Gail has loved to draw and paint since being a small child. She majored in fine arts in Montclair State College and Long Beach City College. Gale painted as a hobby until retirement in 2013. She especially enjoys painting local scenes and nature. Gale’s works are original acrylic painting. She uses her talent to benefit many community organizations. Gale’s paintings have been displayed at many localities.
Paula Kay—Paula is an acrylic painter from Phoenixville. Her main focus is on landscapes and wildlife paintings. She occasionally works in oil and watercolor. Her semi realistic style has an almost illustrative quality.
Dennis Laub—Dennis is an acrylic painter from the New Holland area. The unexpected joy of painting has found its way into his life. It has changed his thinking and seeing, producing a new way to explore the world around him.
Susan Moore - Susan has been a Hobby Potter for 28 years. Her children’s art teacher involved the students in pottery and extended her interest and motivation to her. That was in 1973. In 1982 Susan took classes at Tyler School of Art and was introduced to wheel throwing, low fire colorful clay and Raku. On her retirement in 2011, she was able to focus on her work in clay and now produces in her studio the variety of pieces that she offers for sale.
rudy Moore—Trudy is a self taught artist whose watercolors and acrylics appear in businesses and homes across eight states. Her landscapes, seascapes, and floral themes are popular, but her portrayals of birds have earned her the title, “The Bird Lady.” Trudy has been the Featured Artist twice at the Tri County Art Show and she has won several awards at other local art shows. She has started to venture into the abstract and one of her acrylic pourings won second place at the Millar Center. In addition to her painting, Trudy is also the co-author and illustrator of the children’s book, “Kelly Kapers.”
Jill Moyer— Jill has been making pottery for the past eleven years. She has studied at Chester Springs and at the GoogleWorks.
Beverly Nuzzo—Beverly’s yard is spectacular, that’s why she leans toward botanical photography. Her husband was a great teacher in capturing the beauty of a plant or flower. Beverly’s greatest treasure is her great grand daughters. She also repairs antique dolls. “Life is wonderful.”
Joni Peters—Joni works with a variety of media—oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor, and alcohol inks. She likes to convey emotion in her work with vivid colors, bold expression, or subtle texture, sometimes injecting a touch of humor. Joni currently resides in Pottstown and accepts commissioned work.
Ellie Pfautz—Ellie holds a B.A. from Penn State in Graphic Design. Retired from a career as a graphic designer, she is now pursuing "real art". Ellie enjoys working in pastels and acrylics. She studies, exhibits, wins awards and is in many private collections.
Karen Powell—Karen is an award-winning artist who has been painting since she was a child. Her impressionist oil paintings cover many subjects, but her love of the outdoors shows in most of her paintings. For 18 years Karen studied with professional artists in Denver, CO and returned to this area in 1998 where her murals business took off. Powell Studios murals can be seen in many schools, restaurants, and homes. Recently she returned to her true passion of oil painting.
Lisa Prinzo—Lisa’s most recent work has been in oils, but she enjoys watercolor and pastel as well. In all her work she tries to capture the subtleties of the subject matter, paying close attention to contrast. Lisa is a board member of Healing Art Works, a nonprofit organization which places art in patient spaces in order to promote healing.
Jay Ressler—Jay explores boundaries—boundaries between consciousness and unconscious, between reality and imagination, between certainty and skepticism.” Many of his photographs are composites based on his original captures put together in multiple layers to produce stunningly original, interleaved images. Jay extends his multi-layered approach to encaustic mixed media creations. He cooks his own recipes off beeswax and damar resin to produce an exquisite patina when combined with photographs.
Martha Ressler—Martha sees her quilts as impressions of place—real or imagined. She likes to include items discarded by humans as a kind of archeological thumbprint. An object discarded or lost might merge with pages of timeworn books or sheet music, or swatches of rescued embroidery, linens or clothing. Along with “found images” and fabrics, they are reborn in a stitched story about human imprints on the earth, evidence of new and old secrets there to be discovered or imagined. Martha is a Juried Artist Member of Studio Art Quilt Associates and her main method of construction is called “raw edge applique.”
Gail Savage—Gail has been painting and drawing for her whole life. She has been learning by close observation of the birds and animals that share her woodland home in the heart of the Blue Mountains. “I am an artist who spends a lot of time in the woods. I poke around. I turn things over, but mostly I just observe. No matter what chaos is going on in the human world, life goes on in the woods, busy, quiet, and mostly unnoticed. Painting the birds and small animals that I love allows me to study the miracle that is nature, and if a viewer feels that kinship I have done my job. There is no hidden meaning in my art. I love my subjects and all I ask is that you see what I see … delight in the wonders in nature … and be charmed by the gentle resident of Savage Woods. Visit, and Facebook page, Gail Savage Nature Art.
Susan Styer—Susan is a contemporary fine artist painting abstracts, landscapes, animals and still life. She paints directly, spontaneously and intuitively, responding to her rural surrounding in Northern Chester County. Currently she can be seen outside, painting “en plein air”, directly from life the beautiful rural area that she loves.
Carol Sumner—Since 2005, Carol has been exploring with watercolors, acrylic, and collage. Recently, her focus is abstract mixed media with texture and bright colors. Carol has taken numerous courses and workshops at The GoggleWorks and The Yocum Institute for Art Education. She has won several local awards and been accepted in the Berks Art Alliance juried show at Reading Museum and the Art Gallery . Art has opened Carol’s heart and mind and given her permission to be a risk taker.
Matthew Whiteman—Matthew resides in Morgantown with his wife and son. He is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He likes to hunt and fish, as well as photograph when not working and painting.

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