Center For Arts & Equity

Wednesday Morning Figure Drawing Group

The Northampton Center for the Arts Wednesday Morning Figure Drawing Group includes the following artists:

Elizabeth (Betsy) Stone is a visual artist working from her home studio in Florence, Massachusetts. The human figure and portrait are her focus. Betsy's work has been shown regionally and nationally and can be seen on her website: Betsy has been an advocate for the arts and artists in Western Mass on the Northampton Arts Council, the board of the Academy of Music Theatre, as an arts reporter on WHMP radio, and as an organizing member of the ArtSalon. She is currently on the board of Historic Northampton and reviews artists' grants for the Community Foundation of Western Mass. Betsy has taught drawing locally and has curated exhibits at Deerfield Academy, APE Gallery, and the University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMass.

Jeanne Kowalewski has lived in Florence for most of her life. Drawing and dogs are her abiding passions. For many years she had her own business as a dog trainer, but never succeeded in teaching them how to draw. Instead, she drew them. Thanks to weekly figure drawing she has expanded her repertoire to humans. She loves nature, is an avid reader and an enthusiastic rock, mineral and gem collector. "Enjoy our show. We love what we do and welcome you to our little corner of the art world."

Gloria Nicholls used to ride her horse to school in Florence, MA, where she was born and raised. She had five children and did graduate work in speech pathology at UMass and Lesley University. After 50 years as a speech pathologist in local schools, she is now happily retired on her farm in Ashfield with her daughter and pet dogs, cats, and horses. Throughout her life she has been interested in art as a means of self expression. Currently she is working with pencil and clay to create everyday scenes exemplifying the human body in motion.

Harriette Block

Harriet Pollatsek has tried her hand at drawing, painting (oil and acrylic) and pastels on and off (mostly off) since her first sabbatical leave. She particularly enjoys attempting to capture the endlessly interesting human figure on the page. Her day job was teaching mathematics at Mount Holyoke College, which she did for over 40 years.

Mary Wilson grew up in Cleveland as a card-carrying member of the 3 Stooges Fan Club. Nonetheless she got a PhD in history from Oxford University and taught the history of the Middle East at the University of Massachusetts. After retiring in 2016 she took up drawing and painting and studied with wonderful artists here in the Valley. Owing to her late start, her work is, by definition, experimental.

Although Ruth Bauman has had a life-long interest in art, especially painting, she was late in discovering the joys (and the discipline, oh my!) of drawing. Yes, as a teenager, she was an art student at New York’s Music and Art High School, but that was SOOOO long ago and she was SOOOO young. Now she gets weekly inspiration from the Northampton drawing group. In recent years, Ruth’s jobs usually involved communicating about science and medicine. After residing in Cambridge MA for four decades, she moved to Northampton in 2020 to be closer to her kids and grandchildren.

From Mississippi to Massachusetts, artist Bobby Turk has been drawing and painting with the group since 1994. Bobby is mostly self-taught with a little formal training. His solitary goal is to improve his artistic abilities so that he may express his experiences and imagination with drawing, painting and sculpture.

Bobby has always considered rendering the human body for the pinnacle of artistic achievement. The materials he renders the form changes with the seasons, currently it is red and white chalk on buff paper for drawing and bonded bronze for sculpture.

Mary Gilman began painting at an early age, when she took courses at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh every Saturday morning. She followed her artistic dreams to a painting fellowship in Skowhegan Maine, and spent time with legendary painting teacher Philip Malicoat in Provincetown in the late `70s. She majored in painting at Rhode Island School of Design.

In 2010, she picked up her paint brushes after a long hiatus working her career as an occupational therapist in elementary schools. Her plein air painting was guided by instructor Mary Giammarino, in outdoor group lessons in Truro and Provincetown. She paints in her Greenfield studio as well as outdoors today, and has truly enjoyed the friendships and drawing practice that the figure drawing class has provided her over the past year.

Iris Wheaton paints landscapes outside with the bugs and the bulls, climbing on rocks, and falling into creeks. She never studied art in school and it has grabbed her by surprise that art is everything to her. Thank goddess for a passion like this, something to get lost and found in. She found this Wednesday drawing group last year and now she's addicted to drawing humans too and hopefully painting humans soon. You can visit her art at

Steve Stankiewicz, the current director of the drawing group, studied illustration at New York City's School of Visual Arts, mainly focusing on etching. He moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2010, after thirty years in New York, and makes etchings, artist's books, and paints in his studio in Eastworks, in Easthampton. He has been doing figure drawing regularly since 1981.

Dominique Thiebaut, a member of the Pioneer Valley figure drawing community for over 20 years, presents his artwork in the current exhibit at Bombyx. With a background in computer science, Dominique began his artistic journey with charcoal, conté crayon, ink, and watercolor before transitioning to the exclusive use of a digital palette. This blend of technical knowledge and artistic exploration shines through his use of digital media and collage techniques. His involvement in the drawing group provides continuous inspiration, challenges, and valued friendships.

Emily Schmalzer always liked drawing, but felt she never showed much talent. The career path she chose was okay, but one day she realized she had had it. So she asked her family if they could afford for her to quit, and they said, “What would you do?” She thought fast and said “paint.” She took some lessons at School for Visual Arts in Manhattan, which was just a step away from their apartment, and learned a lot. Not that it made her (or the family) anything but happy, but isn’t that what it’s about?

Christopher Sullivan, a native of Boston, is a western Massachusetts painter. He received a BFA at Massachusetts College of Art and MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He is a recipient of a 2022 Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant for Painting and in 2017 received the Guggenheim Museum Curators Award. Sullivan has taught Drawing for many years at Massart and maintains a painting studio in Holyoke. His work is in private collections on both the west and east coasts. @christophersullivanpainting

John Darby creates his art in the thriving arts hub of Easthampton, Massachusetts. From his studio in an old mill building surrounded by other artists and craftspeople, as darbyartisan he designs custom furniture, wood carving, acrylic paintings, drawing, digitally-enhanced photography, graphic art, and wood sculpture.
Art Institute of Boston 1967-1969
San Francisco Art Institute 1970-1971

Jane Bradley was born and educated in England, and went to secretarial school to learn a trade. She came to the US to help her sister with a new baby in the ‘60s, and joined the Washington DC Ski Club, biggest in the US and furthest from snow. She won the Pennsylvania State downhill skiing one year, and traveled the US and ended up running the ski shop in Arapahoe Ski Basin, Colorado for a winter season, then joined the Breckenridge Ski School for another season, before moving to Boulder and working at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at Colorado University for several years. She moved to Amherst, graduated from UMASS with degrees in Chinese and Japanese, before working in the Geography and Geology Dept. at UMASS. She eventually retired, walked the camino across southwest France, and turned right to cross northern Spain to Santiago de Compostella. She rode horses competitively (eventing), continued skiing, then turned to watercolor and now life classes. She is currently living in Leverett.

Pamela Bartlett lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. She has a lifelong interest in visual art, and has been attending the Northampton figure drawing group for a number of years. Her background as a musician initially led her to train as an Alexander Technique teacher, which has deepened her appreciation and love for the human form. She has taken many art classes and workshops with teachers in the valley, primarily focusing on still-life in pastel and oils, and she continues to work and explore these and other subjects and media in her studio.

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