Visiting Artists

Larry Berk Arts & Cultural Programs presents: 

VISITING ARTIST — James E. Ransome

students visting the Broken Monarch exhibition

February 23 – March 8

The SUNY Ulster Visiting Artist Series brings the work of local artist James E. Ransome to the Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery on the Stone Ridge campus from February 23 to March 8. An opening reception will be held on Friday, February 23, from 4 - 6 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit, A View from My Window, is a retrospective spanning Ransome’s 34-year career as an acclaimed illustrator of more than 70 notable and award-winning children’s books. With mediums ranging from oils, acrylics, watercolors, and collages, his work has taken on many forms, from books and posters to paintings and murals.

James E. Ransome earned his BFA from Pratt Institute and a Master’s from Lesley University in Massachusetts. He has been honored with the 2023 Children’s Literature Legacy Award by the American Library Association, the Coretta Scott King Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, ALA Notables, a Jane Addams Award, and NAACP Image Award.

James E. Ransome’s journey in art began in the rural South, devoid of direct exposure to art galleries or museums, yet fueled by a deep-seated passion for storytelling and illustration. His career is a testament to the power of perseverance and talent


VISITING ARTIST — Marielena Ferrer


students visting the Broken Monarch exhibition


Broken Monarchs Exhibit: March 10 - April 14 
Artist Lecture/Opening Reception: March 10
Community Art Workshop: March 23 

Marielena Ferrer is a socially engaged artist who serves as the chair for both Kingston City Arts Commission and the Alianza Cultural de Kingston. Originally studying architecture at Central University of Venezuela, Marielena later earned a certificate of distinction in “Leadership and Empowerment” from Spain’s Polytechnic University of Valencia and a diploma in “Gender Leadership” through the EQUAL Transnational Cooperation Community Initiative of the European Social Fund. Additionally, Marielena sits on the Family of Woodstock Board of Directors, Arts Mid-Hudson Advisory Board, and is a teaching artist at the Department of Regional Art Workers, the D.R.A.W., in Midtown Kingston. Art is a growing part of Marielena’s larger desire to aid people in awareness of themselves and their environment. Marielena is currently  pursuing her MFA in Sculpture from SUNY New Paltz.

students visting the Broken Monarch exhibition



Martin Wittfooth

Thursday, September 12 – Friday, October 18 • Vanderlyn Hall 265 
Opening Reception • Slide Show & Lecture: Thursday, September 12 • 7:00 p.m. 

Martin Wittfooth is an artist whose paintings, drawings, installations and sculptural works investigate themes of the intersection and clash of industry and nature, and the human influence on the environment. Many of his works explore the theme of shamanism - rituals and practices as old as our species - through which we have attempted to dialogue with nature: the nature outside of ourselves and the nature within. His creative language uses the combination of allegory and symbolism to convey visual narratives. Martin Wittfooth was born in Toronto, Canada in 1981. He currently splits his time between two studios, Savannah, Georgia, and the Hudson Valley. He earned his MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2008. Wittfooth’s work has been exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide, including the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Akron Art Museum in Ohio, and La Halle Saint-Pierre in Paris, with solo exhibitions in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Montreal. His paintings have also appeared in numerous publications, including Juxtapoz, American Art Collector, and Vice, and cover features in New American Paintings, Hi- Fructose, and American Artist Magazine. 





conductor with tuxedo


Tuesday, March 19, 7:30 p.m. Quimby Theater, Vanderlyn Hall

Dutch composer and conductor Johan de Meij joins the SUNY Ulster Wind Ensemble as guest conductor. The performance will feature works by de Meij and others. There will be a Q&A session at the performance.

Johan de Meij studied trombone and conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague.  His award-winning oeuvre of original compositions, symphonic transcriptions and film score arrangements has garnered him international acclaim. His Symphony No. 1 The Lord of the Rings (Sudler Composition Prize) has been recorded by The London Symphony Orchestra, The North Netherlands Orchestra, The Nagoya Philharmonic and The Amsterdam Wind Orchestra, among others. His symphonies have been enthusiastically received at many of the world’s finest venues.

Johan de Meij currently maintains posts with both the New York Wind Symphony and the Kyushu Wind Orchestra in Fukuoka, Japan as their principal guest conductor. Johan is founder and CEO of his own publishing company Amstel Music, established in 1989.

For more information contact Chris Earley, Chair of the Arts, at or (845) 688-1949. 


VISITING ARTIST— Andrew Zuckerman

Andrew Zuckerman, Photographer, Filmmaker, and Curator

Show dates: October 11 – November 2, 2018
Slide Show and Opening Reception: Thursday, October 11 
7:00 p.m.
Muroff Kotler Visual Arts Gallery

Visiting Artist Andrew Zuckerman is an award winning photographer, filmmaker, and curator. Much of his work is concerned with the intersection of nature and technology. His immersive investigation of the natural world has produced multiple books and exhibitions collected in three volumes Creature (2007), Bird (2009), and Flower (2012).

Zuckerman’s ongoing portrait practice utilizes both photography and filmed interview formats to examine human perspectives. With the support of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, he released Wisdom in 2008 as a book, a feature length documentary film, and a global traveling exhibition.

For this exhibition, Andrew will show a selection of works from his series "A Message from the Exterior," an installation of photographic works from his continued investigation of the human relationship to the natural world. Through a systematic and objective approach to live subjects, presented in extreme resolution and clarity, his intention is to celebrate these subjects in a way that makes them feel new and somehow undiscovered.





Past Visiting Artists

2017 - Rita MacDonald

November 3 -  December 13, 2017

Rita MacDonald artwork


Rita MacDonald is a visual artist exploring two related bodies of work. In one, she works with images of decorative patterns found in architecture to make large-scale wall drawings that are temporary and site-specific. In the other, she uses images of decorative patterns found in clothing to make small-scale, often highly detailed, graphite drawings on paper.

She has exhibited at Wave Hill and Lehman College in the Bronx, Smack Mellon and Storefront Ten Eyck in Brooklyn, The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, MN and The John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, WI. MacDonald has completed several public art commissions including two permanent mosaics in subway stations. Through The Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY she received a grant to publish an artist book which is now included in several large collections, including the libraries of both the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. and Yale University in New Haven, CT.


Rita MacDonald artwork


2016: Kevin Hays  

Kevin Hays

Master Class: Thursday, September 8, 2016
4:00-6:00 pm, Quimby Theater

Concert: Thursday, September 8, 2016
7:00 pm, Quimby Theater


Kevin Hays is internationally recognized as one of the premier jazz pianists of his generation. Many of his 15 recordings as leader have received critical acclaim from publications such as The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and Jazz Times, as well as a “Coup de Coeur” from the Académie Charles Cros (France). A prolific sideman appearing on over 60 records, Hays’s long list of notable musical associations include records with Chris Potter, Joshua Redman, Nicholas Payton, and Al Foster.

Kevin’s performance will feature a combination of material from various sources and genres. Being an improviser, he decides on much of the program as he goes along, but it will likely include his original songs, spontaneous interpretations of jazz standards, and improvisations on classical, folk and blues themes. Kevin considers the audience to be a participant in the process and one can expect many delightful surprises along the way.



Past Visiting Artists (by year)

Fall 2016: Kevin Hays
Spring 2015: Janaki Patrik 
Spring 2014: Tim Rowan
Fall 2013: Keiko Sono
Fall 2012: Julianne Swartz
Spring 2012: Scott Freiman 
Fall 2011: Linda Montano
Spring 2011: Michael Dickman 
Fall 2009: Thomas Nozkowski
Summer 2009: Martin Olstad, Woody Pirtle, Tim Rowan, Judy Sigunick, Ed Smith
Spring 2009: Larry Grenadier
Fall 2008: Woody Pirtle
Spring 2008: Donald Brenner
Fall 2007: Will Cotton
Spring 2007: Christopher O'Riley
Fall 2006: Portia Munson
Spring 2006: Jonell Mosser
Fall 2005: Gillian Jagger
Spring 2005: Justin Kolb
Fall 2004: Ford Crull
Spring 2004: Judy Pfaff
Fall 2003: Ben Katchor
Spring 2003: Vivian Bower
Fall 2002: Milton Glaser
Spring 2002: Joan Snyder
Fall 2001: Martin Puryear
Spring 2001: Gwen Fabricant
Fall 2000: Henrietta Mantooth
Spring 2000: Grace Wapner
Fall 1999: Mary Frank








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