Online Silent Faculty Auction Begins Sunday!

Art League Online Silent Faculty Auction
Begins August 26 at 6:00pm and Closes August 28 at 5:00pm
Auction site: http://www.32auctions.com/organizations/4312/auctions/4770

The online silent auction of faculty work, the third event in our “30-Something” Summer Series, is only a few days away! We’re thrilled to present such a wonderful collection of works by our generous and talented faculty. Participating in the auction is a fantastic opportunity to own a masterpiece by a member of our talented faculty while supporting The Art League’s build-out at the Madison Annex. All proceeds from the auction go to fund the build-out project.

Scroll down to learn more about the instructors who have so generously donated works to the cause, and click on the images to go straight to the auction site!

Dawn Benedetto

Benedetto picked up her first torch when she was 14. She graduated with a B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1993. In 1997, she became an artist in-residence at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Benedetto is best known for a ring she invented in 2001 – a simple design with a sterling silver band and colorful beads that adjusts to fit most fingers. She has recently been rejuvenated by a find of un-circulated vintage Lucite, and instantly fell in love with the rich, colorful candy-like material. She makes silver components that complement the Lucite. This line showcases Benedetto’s fascination with color, confections, and the big top circus. The collection is both contemporary and classic and honors a special period of design history that was full of hope, optimism, bold color and modernity.

Gwen Bragg


A Step Back II – Segesta is from Bragg’s Stone on Stone series. These transparent watercolors inspired by the artist’s visits to ancient sites seek to capture the mystery and romantic allure of architectural ruins. Each civilization leaves its mark. Rain and wind tear the surfaces. Facades crack and crumble, revealing what was once hidden. This painting of the lovely Greek temple in Segesta, Sicily speaks to the strength and survival of classical forms — over thousands of years.

The technique used in this series of paintings is Bragg’s own adaptation of a flipping technique she discovered in a master class under Lee Weiss. Paint is applied to both sides of the paper while working on a large sheet of Plexiglas. Flipping the paper over and over mixes colors and creates textures unique to this process and particularly appropriate for depicting timeworn architecture.

Bragg is an award winning artist and art instructor who lives in Alexandria. Holding a BS in Art Education and a MFA in Drawing and Painting from James Madison University, she has been teaching watercolor at the Art League School in Alexandria since 1989. In addition to workshops held annually at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and Orkney Springs, Virginia, every year since 1995 she has led an international painting workshop to “someplace with interesting architecture, artifacts and rocks” including Croatia, Greece, Italy, Spain and Peru. She is a Signature Member of the National, Baltimore and Alabama Watercolor Societies, and an Artist Member and President of the Virginia Watercolor Society. Her work has been exhibited in numerous international, national and regional shows including solo shows at The Art League ’06, Strathmore Hall ’07 and US Geological Survey ’11. A solo show of her watercolors is scheduled for NIH in January 2013. Her work is included in the collections of Philip Morris, American Bank, Petersburg Area Art League, and the National Institutes of Health and the Carrier Library at James Madison University. Her work has been published in American Artists Magazine, The Artistic Touch 4 and Elan.

David Carter

David Carter received a B.F.A. from James Madison University and an M.F.A. from American University in Washington, DC. He began teaching at The Art League in 1991. Over the last 20 years he has taught courses in Drawing, Painting, Cartooning, Color Theory, Photography, and more.  He is a practicing artist and illustrator working in a variety of two-dimensional media, and has exhibited his work in solo and group shows on the east coast and across the U.S. His work can be found in numerous private collections and his work as a muralist can be seen in a variety of public spaces.  David is also Chairman of the Art department at the Germantown campus of Montgomery College. 

Danni Dawson

Danni Dawson received her B.A. and M.F.A. degrees from George Washington University and apprenticed with Nelson Shanks. A professional artist and teacher for over 25 years, Dawson has exhibited her paintings nationally and internationally, and has received many awards including the Allied Artist Award, the Salmagundi Painting Prize, the Audobon Award, and an award for painting from the national Academy of Art and Design. Her work has also been featured in American Artist, including in the Winter 2007 American Artist Workshop magazine article “Danni Dawson: Helping Still Life Painters Find An Individual Voice.”

With over 300 portraits to her credit, Dawson has painted heads of state, dignitaries, and university officials as well as senior members of the military and medical communities. Her portraits and still lifes are displayed in collections throughout the world. Dawson painted the portrait of Sandra Day O’Connor for the Supreme Court and is currently developing a sculpture bust for the Supreme Court.  She is also working on a series of studio still lifes, again using the flowers growing in her garden.  Simultaneously, she is involved with painting a series of female nudes in showers dealing with the concept of the luminosity of water rendered in oil paint, some of which will be exhibited this year.

Dawson teaches painting classes at The Art League including portrait painting and a travel workshop to West Virginia. Roses From My Garden was begun as an Art League demonstration in her garden, where she has painted many works over the years. To watch a video showing how Dawson started the painting, click here. Part 2 is here.

CMDupré

Carol Dupré’s work can be seen on her website (www.cmdupre.com) and her studio, #12, on the first floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She has been painting, teaching, and writing for a number of years, studied in art schools in Philadelphia, and in universities: Rollins College, University of Central Florida, University of Maryland, George Washington University, and Catholic University. She has degrees in art, literary studies, and philosophy, and has taught Philosophy and Literature, Philosophical Inquiry, Art Theory and Painting, and additional, rather esoteric courses, at The Art League. Her interests range over aforementioned subjects plus history, history of art, philology, psychology, sociology, and more.

She writes both fiction and nonfiction. The latest publication is a short story, “An Elemental Pose,” in Gargoyle, a literary journal. A chapter of political philosophy appears in Civil Society: Who Belongs?, and the list goes on. Dupré has also edited a number of books and journals over the years.

The latest series of paintings is The Lorenzetti Project, close to completion and containing more than 14 pieces including “X-Radiograph,” “Children’s Party,” “Transgression,” and “Station Master.” All rather spooky, strange, but interesting, even powerful.

Dupré has done numerous series including two of Alice (of Wonderland fame). The Second Alice was shown at National Harbor through The Art League. A very recent exhibition was at the Alexandria Beatley Library showing the Stories of the Universe series.

Steve Fleming

Steve Fleming has spent 25 years painting in watercolor. He is a painting instructor at The Art League and teaches painting workshops throughout the United States and in Ireland.

Fleming’s impressionistic painting style is highlighted by his combined use of glazed colors and thick passages of rich color. He works in analogous colors contrasted against complementary hues.

One of his core beliefs about art is that art is a creative process, not just a creative result. He feels that truth in art comes from getting to the essence of the subject and expressing it in a sensitive and passionate language. To do so he must know and love the craft and be willing to risk failure to gain success. Fleming’s primary artistic goal is to express a feeling of light and atmosphere in his paintings. “I feel that in order for my paintings to have a feeling of truth, I must paint outdoors and paint subject matter about which I have a strong personal feeling,” he says.

Fleming believes that light, color and shapes of Maine affords the students one of nature’s finest studios. He has acquired a reputation as an energetic, knowledgeable, giving and humorous watercolor instructor. His students feel he brings out the best in their work through his lively painting demonstrations and critiques. One of his demos from his Watercolor Studio class can be viewed here.

Michael Francis

Michael Francis studied at the Corcoran School of Art. He went on to receive his BFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. He completed his masters of fine arts at George Washington University and studied at American University. He has held positions at Trinity College, George Mason University, Northern Virginia Community College, Charles County Community College, and Prince George’s Community College. In addition to teaching at the Art League School, he has also studied and taught both individually and under the auspices of various institutions in Paris, Brittany, France, Madrid and Southern Spain, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Thailand, Cambodia and Iceland.

Francis has had numerous solo exhibitions in the Washington area including two at the Georgetown Gallery and one at the Hull Gallery as well as eight shows at Gallery K. Recent projects include a solo show of Views and Street Scenes, several group shows, AT&T collection at University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas, Osuna Gallery and American Painting. Francis is currently preparing for a solo show of more Italian paintings.

Francis tells the story of Last Pleasure Boat (above): “I’ve painted the Potomac River, from River Bend Park to River Farm, over many years.  Evolution, decay, over-building and bad architecture have attracted my visual attention equally.  The Last Pleasure Boat is a serendipitous history painting.  I was painting on the Potomac River near the old Ford Plant and was approached by a couple of elderly gentlemen (river rats); they looked at my painting, pointing to an earth red and grey, man-made form on the right.  They asked if I knew what it was.  I didn’t, and they told me it was the last of a flotilla of brothels, gambling and drinking establishments.  The party boats started in the 19th century at a time when Arlington, Alexandria and DC were attempting to clean up their acts.  These places survived through Prohibition and were eradicated with the building of the Pentagon.”

Nancy Freeman


Nancy Freeman is a native of California and lives now in Washington, DC. A lifelong artist, she paints portraits and other commissions for a living, which keep her traditional skills tuned and supports her decades-old interest in computer art. Her work, especially her digital art, has been featured in exhibitions, galleries, university shows, and museums all over the world.

For her digital work, Freeman creates hybrid images with layers of photographs and digital processes, using these elements like tubes of paint — some of this one here, a little of that one there. She also digitally draws, paints, adds or changes colors or textures, whatever the painting needs.

Although Freeman often works with photographs and photographic tools, her goal is a compelling image with the soul of a painting, evocative and richly textured and colored. Her work covers a wide range of subjects, but the real subject is the composition — the abstract shapes and colors and textures, and the relationships between them. “This is an exciting time to be an artist,” Freeman says. “Computers have given us an entirely new medium that doesn’t have to obey the laws of physics, and have largely erased the material difference between painting and photography.”

Freeman’s favorite traditional medium is soft pastel, for its speed, versatility, and richness of color. She has been teaching at The Art League for over ten years. Besides the Pastel Techniques class, she also has taught portraiture, color theory, oil pastels, and various courses about using computers as an art medium and art tool. Currently, she teaches an Apps for Artists course for artists using the new tablet computers.

Three of her photographs are currently on display in an exhibition of photographs taken with smart phones, at the Photoworks gallery at Glen Echo. Click to see the images here.

Robert Liberace


Robert Liberace received both his B.F.A. and his M.F.A. from George Washington University. He is considered by many to be a contemporary classicist, equally gifted in drawing, painting, and sculpture. He is possibly best known for his distinctive style of figure drawing. Awards for his work include both the Morris Louis Scholarship and the National Academy of Arts and Letters Scholarship while still in college. In 1996, American Artist honored Liberace with their “Emerging Artist Award.” In 2002, he received the Best of Show Award in the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition, and in 2003 he received their Grand Prize. Also in 2002, three of Liberace’s drawings were selected for exhibition in New York’s prestigious Arnot Museum of Art. American Art Collector magazine published an article on his figure painting in their March 2010 issue. Liberace teaches drawing and painting classes at The Art League School and has also led Art League travel workshops to places such as Italy and Scotland.

Liberace filmed demo videos during his March workshop on the Alla Prima Portrait at The Art League. You can watch part 1 of 3 here.

Rosemary Luckett

A native of Idaho, Rosemary Luckett graduated from Saint Mary College, Leavenworth, KS in 1964. Since then she has lived in Virginia while painting, making small collages, and constructing sculptures. In addition to maintaining a teaching studio in Prince William County, she currently teaches collage and sculpture at The Art League School, where she has taught for 13 years.

Luckett’s most recent work is inspired by the natural world and explores relationships between humanity and other living creatures. Ink, watercolor and collages reveal a reality that goes beyond the natural world we perceive, because of the atypical juxtapositions of elements within each composition. Altars and animals, for instance, or a tree made from a little book. The fun is in trying out unusual combinations of forms and solving the mysteries of the links between them.

Her work has been exhibited in many galleries and art centers including the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, Franz Bader Gallery, Catholic University, School 33 Art Center (Baltimore), Grounds For Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ), Woman Made Gallery (Chicago), Visions Gallery (Albany, NY) and numerous other galleries around the country. She is represented by Touchstone Gallery in Washington, DC.

Her work will be featured in an upcoming solo exhibition of drawings and sculpture, “Seen/Unseen,” at Touchstone Gallery.

Fred Markham

Frederick Markham has taught at The Art League for 10 years. His paintings and drawings of the Northern Virginia landscape have been featured in many regional and national exhibitions. Locally, he has won several awards including the Washington Society of Landscape Painters Award and the Jay and Helen Risser Award at the 2008 ’Scapes landscape show at The Art League Gallery.

Since 2002 he has instructed dozens of classes in basic and advanced painting, basic and advanced drawing, and landscape painting at The Art League, George Washington University, and Northern Virginia Community College where he is currently Assistant Dean of Humanities at the Woodbridge campus. Markham received his B.A. in painting and drawing from Transylvania University and his M.F.A. in painting from the George Washington University.

Joyce McCarten

Years of outdoor landscape painting and figure drawing and painting have given Joyce McCarten a rich painting vocabulary which she uses to develop her oil and mixed media abstract paintings. Through observation, interpretation, experimentation and pure imagination, she takes the familiar and alters it until it reflects her artistic vision. Rhythm and movement, structure and spatial and color relationships are the formal issues that engage and challenge her.

McCarten is an award-winning artist whose work is in private and public collections in the US, Europe, and South Africa. Many of her paintings are inspired by visits to places that speak to her own sensitivities. She has painted in the bush desert in Niger, West Africa, the bayou country of Louisana, the Tuscan region of Italy, the beaches of South Africa, the terraced fields in Rwanda, the lavender fields of the Luberon Valley in France and the wheat fields of central Montana.

McCarten is a well-known teacher in the Washington DC metropolitan area. She teaches regular painting classes and workshops at The Art League School. She has also taught young people in a school for orphans in Rwanda and university students in Beijing.

You can watch a demo from one of McCarten’s abstract painting classes here.

Blair Meerfeld
Blair Meerfeld, nationally recognized in the world of ceramics, is the chairman of The Art League Ceramics department.

Born and raised in Colorado, Meerfeld has a BA from Adams State College.  He worked for 10 years as a ceramic engineer before returning to full-time studio practice.   His work is included in international exhibits and collections, as well as professional journals and books on ceramic art.

Sara Linda Poly

Sara Linda Poly grew up near Philadelphia and has spent many years living, traveling and teaching around the US and in Europe and Mexico. She currently lives and maintains a studio in Easton, MD.

Known for her sweeping skies and landscapes, Poly has been the winner of numerous awards and a participant in many local and national shows and plein air competitions, including “Best Maryland Artist” at Plein Air Easton 2011 and an award at the member’s show at the Salmagundi Club in NYC in 2012. Other memberships include: The Oil Painters of America, The Washington Society of Landscape Painters, The Mid Atlantic Plein Air Painters of America, The Salmagundi Club, and the South Street Art Gallery Guild of Fine Artists in Easton.

Poly teaches classes in plein air and studio painting at The Art League, where she has been an instructor for 12 years. A demo video from one of her plein air classes at The Art League can be watched here.

Beverly Ryan

Beverly Ryan creates paintings ranging from expressionistic figurative works to abstraction. Her work offers rich, painterly surfaces in oil, acrylic or encaustic on canvas, wooden panels or paper. Ryan works intuitively, developing the paintings through experimentation and layering and is known for her imaginative subject matter.

Ryan holds a MS degree from Columbia University, NY; a BA degree from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA; has studied at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, NVCC and The Art League School.

Ryan has taught painting at The Art League School for 10 years and is an adjunct professor in the Art Department at Montgomery College, Germantown, MD. She has a studio in the Torpedo Factory (#333) and will have artwork in two upcoming exhibits: at Marymount University’s Barry Gallery in September 2012 and at Greater Reston Art Center (GRACE) in Reston in January 2013. She will be one of two exhibiting artists in both.

Jackie Saunders

Jacqueline Saunders specializes in watercolor and pen-and-ink figurative work.  She has taught at the Art League School for 15 years and volunteers in the Arts and Humanities Program at the Lombardi Cancer Center of Georgetown University Hospital.

Saunders’s iris paintings were on exhibit in July at Herndon ArtSpace in a show honoring the late Margaret Thomas and her lovely garden where Saunders painted irises each spring. She has a B.A. degree from the Catholic University of America, an MFA from the University of Arkansas, and her professional memberships include The Art League, The Capitol Hill Art League and Potomac Valley Watercolorists.

Deanna Schwartzberg

Deanna Schwartzberg’s interest in abstract painting began with her earliest art experience as an undergraduate at New York University. Later, her years spent studying painting at the Art Students League of New York with Vaclav Vytlacil, who painted with Hans Hofmann, laid the groundwork for her life’s work as a painter.

Schwartzberg maintains a studio in Bethesda, MD. Since 2000 she has had solo shows at Parish Gallery, Washington DC, Ozmosis Gallery, Bethesda, MD, Gudelsky Gallery, Maryland College of Art and Design, formerly in Silver Spring, MD, and Glenview Mansion Gallery, Rockville, MD. Additionally, her work has been shown extensively at Somerhill Gallery, Durham and Chapel Hill, NC, and at the Ratner Museum, Bethesda, MD. During this time she also exhibited at The Target Gallery, Alexandria, VA, Black Rock Center for the Arts, Germantown, MD, Vis Arts, Rockville, MD, Norman and Sarah Brown Gallery, JCC, Baltimore MD, Coincidence Gallery, Richmond, VA, Studio 4 West, Piermont, NY, and The Bible Museum, Safed, Israel.

Most recently several of her paintings appeared in “Woman Made,” a curated show at the Workhouse Art center in Lorton, MD. She also had a painting in the Biennial Ikebana Show at The Art League this spring.

Schwartzberg has taught abstract painting in the Washington area for many years and has taught at The Art League for over 30 years, since it first moved into the Torpedo Factory. At The Art League School, her students are both professional painters and those new to abstraction. For Schwartzberg, helping an artist shape their personal vision and exploring the painting process with her students energizes her own creative efforts.

Lisa Semerad

Lisa Semerad grew up in Chicago and moved to Virginia in 1970. Lisa’s expertise is in diverse drawing and painting techniques, in both academic and contemporary expressive styles. Her education is in Fine and Commercial Art with two years of specialization in formal portrait and figure painting and drawing. She was the apprentice of prominent DC-area painter Danni Dawson and in Philadelphia with Nelson Shanks. Since 1983 she has taught exclusively at The Art League School. In addition to teaching, Semerad was a commercial illustrator for 15 years and also does portrait commissions. Her fine art career is centered on less academic lines. She is currently working in oil pastels, encaustic and mixed media combining her draftsmanship with more symbolic three dimensional and abstract components.

You can see one of her demos for her Pencil Techniques and Projects class here.

Marsha Staiger

Marsha Staiger graduated with a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Louisville. Her work primarily consists of abstractions on canvas, board and paper.  She enjoys a variety of stimulus for her work – still life, landscapes, the human figure. In her abstract work, she often uses a repeated mark, painterly gestures, pattern, transparencies, and has an acute sense of color. She works in studio #322 in the Torpedo Factory Art Center.

Diane Tesler

Diane Tesler began her painting career in Hawaii, drawn to the quality of the light and a compelling subject: the abandoned cars scattered around the island.  These discoveries — the power of light to reveal form, and the beauty of the discarded — have remained a constant in her work ever since.

After relocating to Virginia, Tesler joined the Torpedo Factory Art Center and became a painting instructor at The Art League School. She now divides her year between studios in Alexandria and Kewanna, Indiana, where she has purchased and begun to restore a house and an 1889 Odd Fellows lodge hall, using both as studios and subjects for her paintings.

Educated at Antioch College in Ohio, Tesler has recently had one-person exhibitions at the Midwest Museum of American Art, the Evansville (Ind.) Museum of Arts and Science, and in summer 2012 at the Still Life Gallery in Ellicott City, Md. Her work is in the collection of MCI, Bristol Meyers Squibb Corporation, The National Institutes of Health, and American General Finance.

Priscilla Treacy

Priscilla Treacy studied printmaking at Oberlin College in Ohio. She spent a year at Villa Schifanoia Graduate School of Fine Art in Florence, Italy.

Treacy teaches drawing, painting, and figure drawing at The Art League School. Treacy has had two exhibitions at Arcadia Gallery in NYC, and has been featured in American Artist Magazine. In addition to painting the classical figure in oil, Treacy works in many mediums including pastel, gouache, drypoint etching, graphite drawing, monotype, and mixed media.

And more to come!

The online auction begins Sunday, August 26 at 6pm and closes on Tuesday, August 28 at 5pm. Click here to view the works available and register – you must create an account on the site to participate in the auction.

Larger images of the works are also available to view on Facebook.

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