Arts & Design

Arts & Design

Department Overview

Have you always pictured yourself shining on stage? Fine-tune your raw talent with a conservatory-based education at RVCC. Students of our Arts & Design Program create vivid visual portfolios and winning audition pieces. With these assets, they move on to some of the country’s top arts performing programs and go on succeed in talent-based careers. Our graduates have continued their education at such prestigious schools as UCLA, NYU, Parsons School of Design and Berklee College of Music. Our prime location just an hour outside both New York City and Philadelphia gives us access to teaching artists with coveted experience in the field.

Turn your passion into a career with a Arts and Design education at RVCC.

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Where Talent and Education Thrive
RVCC’s Arts and Design department cultivates top-notch talent in an academically rigorous environment. Embrace a creative and challenging education among a community of likeminded peers.a



Academic Degrees Achieved: M.L.I.S., School of Communication, Information & Library Science, Rutgers University, B.A., Rutgers University

Programming Consultant, The Comprehensive Aramaic Lexicon, NEH Grant PW-50002-08. Researcher & Manuscript Digitization, The Mandaean Book of John: Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary, NEH Grant RQ-50649-12

Area of Expertise
General Computing, Aramaic Studies, Multimedia Production, Web Development, Database Design, Digitization & Archiving

Associate Professor

Academic Degrees Achieved: M.A., Columbia University; B.S., Gordon College
Virtual reality spaces for data visualization Global Game Jam - Regional Coordinator (US) Global Game Jam - Site Organizer

Area of Expertise
Game Development, Multimedia, Web

Director of Dance

Academic Degrees Achieved:
M.F.A., The Ohio State University; B.A., The College of the Holy Cross

Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2015; Artists Fellowship Award in Choreography, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2011; The National Conference for Community and Justice Best Practices Award  - Best of Branchburg honoree, Branchburg Rotary Club, 2011;  Somerset County Cultural and Heritage Commission grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 2005; Puffin Foundation Arts Grant, 2002, 2005; Middlesex County Cultural and Heritage Commission Grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts,  1993 - 1996, 2001 – 2003; Burlington County Cultural and Heritage Department Grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, 1998, 1999; New York Foundation for the Arts Grant, 1992; Artists-in-Education Grant, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, ongoing - New Jersey Teacher Dual Certification in Theater and Vocational Arts/Dance

Area of Expertise

Coordinator Visual Design

Academic Degrees Achieved: M.F.A., Maryland Institute College of Art; B.A.,Stockton University

Gold Dragon Studios; Game Design Founding Partner, Creative Director and Content Designer - Greenman Creative; Designer and Creative Consultant - Aspect Arts;  Direction and promotion/branding of all projects including media, design photography, and music.

Area of Expertise
Visual Design, Media

Assistant Professor

Academic Degrees Achieved:  Doctor of Musical Arts, Piano Performance, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; Master of Music in Piano Performance, University of Minnesota; Master of Music and Bachelor’s Degrees in Piano Performance, Collaborative Piano, Chamber Music & Piano Pedagogy, Gnessin Russian Academy of Music, Moscow, Russia

Area of Expertise

Assistant Professor-Arts and Design

Academic Degrees Achieved: B.F.A. Rhode Island School of Design, RI
M.F.A. Montclair State University, NJ

•    Long Island Arts Council grant for Freeport public library mural
•    Artist in residence, AIR-Y, Kofu City, Yamanashi, Japan
•    Artist in residence, Marpha Foundation, Marpha, Nepal
•    Civil Society Fellowship, Artist-In-Residency, Vermont Studio Center

Area of Expertise
Foundation courses and Painting

Assistant Professor of Art - 3D Design and Sculpture

Academic Degrees Achieved: M.F.A., Rhode Island School of Design; B.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Area of Expertise
3D Design and Sculpture Curriculum and Facility within Art and Design Department.

Art Gallery Coordinator
Associate Professor - Graphic Design & Foundations

Academic Degrees Achieved: M.F.A., Cranbrook Academy of Art; B.F.A., Hartford Art School / Glasgow School of Art

2015-16 RVCC Full-Time Faculty Research Grant; 2015 Residency: NES Artist Residency, Skagaströnd, Iceland; 2013 Puffin Foundation Ltd. Individual Artist Grant; 2012 Residency: The Solo(s) Project House, Newark, NJ; 2011 NJ State Council on the Arts Individual Artist Grant (top award / painting); 2011 Residency: Salzburg Künstlerhaus, Salzburg, Austria; 2010 Residency: The Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT; 2010 Residency: Chashama North, Pine Plains, NY; 2009 Residency: Virginia Center for the Creative Arts at Mt. San Angelo, Amherst, VA; 2008 Fellowship / Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in conjunction w/ The Millay Colony for the Arts; 2008 Residency: The Millay Colony for the Arts, Austerlitz, NY; 2007 Residency: Artists’ Enclave at I-Park, East Haddam, CT; 2006 Residency: Cooper Union School of Art - Drawing & Painting Residency, New York, NY

Area of Expertise
Graphic Design & Foundations


Academic Degrees Achieved:
M.A., B.A., Madras University; M.A., Temple University; A.B.D., Freie Universitaet

Scholarships :  Assistantship, Freie Universitaet, Berlin, Germany. Graduate Exchange Student Scholarship, Temple University, Philadelphia. Graduate Scholarship for Study in Italy, Temple University. Graduate Assistantships in Art History, Temple University. Graduate Merit Scholarship, Madras University, Chennai India.  Research Interests: Literature and the Arts in the cultures of Asia- especially East and South Asia Origins and History of Mother Goddess Imagery- in the East and West Development of the Temple of the Goddess in South Indian Temple Complexes

Area of Expertise
Italian Renaissance & Baroque Art, South & Southeast Asian Art History, East Asian Art History

Professor - Theatre

Academic Degrees Achieved: M.F.A., The New School for Drama

Lifetime Membership/The Actors Studio (NY,NY); Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Fellowship Recipient for Playwriting; New Jersey Playwrights Competition - Winner (William Paterson University); Actors Equity Member; Member of the Dramatists Guild

Area of Expertise
Theatre (Acting/Playwriting)

Professor - Music

Academic Degrees Achieved: D.M.A.,
M.M.A., Yale School of Music;  M.A., Columbia University; B.A., Princeton University

Works featured on a New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensembles Concerts, 2006, 2013 2016; New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in music composition, 2014; Compositions and orchestrations featured on recordings from CD Baby, Musicians Showcase, Naxos, Centaur, Opus One and Newport Classic; Sonata for Solo Violin premiered 2010 in Mendoza, Argentina; Francesca da Bimini commissioned and premiered in the Kennedy Center by the National Symphony Orchestra, 2003

Area of Expertise
Music, Composition

Associate Professor - Interior Design

Academic Degrees Achieved:
M.S., Drexel University; B.F.A., University of Hartford

Area of Expertise
Design & Visualization of Interior Architecture, Spatial Design of Learning Spaces, Visualization Technology of Interior Architecture

Raritan Valley Community College online courses, as well as face-to-face classes, are taught by accomplished adjunct and full-time faculty.

James Adkins
B.F.A., Sculpture, Maryland Institute, College of Art
M.F.A., Sculpture, New York Academy of Art

Kathleen Amalfitano

Joanna Andriopoulos-Holusha
B.F.A., Dance, Montclair State University
M.A., Dance and Dance Education - Teaching Dance in Higher Education, New York University

Eric W. Araujo    
M.F.A., San Francisco Art Institute

Marissa Aucoin
B.F.E., Montclair State University
M.A., SUNY College Brockport

Larry Barbee    
B.M., B.A., Berklee College of Music

Lynn Barnes (Lydia Grey)
BFA, MFA, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Danielle Barry
B.A., Western Maryland College
B.A., McDaniel College

Stephanie Beauchamp
B.F.E., University of Texas Austin
M.F.A., Texas Womans University

Lauren Beirne
B.F.E., Dance, Rutgers University
M.F.A., Dance, New York University

Will Berman
D.M.A.,Voice, Rutgers University

Jeanne Brody
M.A., Temple University
Ph.D., University of Delaware 

Robert Burger
B.A., Pratt Institute
M.A., International Fine Arts College

Sharon Clarke
M.F.A., Graphic and Interactive Design, Cranbrook Academy of Art

Lisa Deo
B.A., Kean University
M.F.A.,Eugene Lang College

Robert Di Matteo    
M.F.A., Yale University School of Art

Michael Eckhart    
B.M., Northern Arizona University
M.M., San Diego State University – California State University

Colin Edgington    
B.A.F.A., The University of New Mexico
M.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Heather Favretto
B.F.A., Dance, Rutgers University

Kimani Fowlin
M.A., Sarah Lawrence College
M.F.A., University of Wisconsin

Andrea Freiwald
A.A., Middlesex County College
B.A., Montclair State College
M.F.A., Pratt Institute

Barbara A. Friedman    
B.F.A., Parsons, The New School for Design
M.F.A., William Paterson University

Elvis Fuentes
M.A., Rutgers University   

Michael Gradin
B.A., Rutgers University

Barbara Greenspan
B.A., University of California
M.A., New York University

Lisa Grimes
B.F.E., Montclair State University

Kristen Hagen
B.A., New Jersey Institute of Technology

Kate Hoffmann
M.O.D., The University of Edinburgh

Davida Hogan
A.A., Interior Design Certificate, Raritan Valley Community College
B.A., Art, Vassar College

Steve Hudson    
M.M., Manhattan School of Music

Lees Hummel   
B.F.A., M.F.A., New York University, Tisch School of the Arts

Bangalore Iyengar
B.A., Fine Arts - Visual Arts, Jaw Nehru Tech University; M.A.
Fine Arts - Visual Arts, Mah Sayajirao University Baroda

Randy James

Kathleen Kececi
M.Ed., Dance & Dance Education, Teachers College Columbia University

Heejung Kim
M.F.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook

Michael Klein
B.F.A., Illustration and Cartooning, School of Visual Arts
M.S., Learning Technology, Mercy College

William Kolatac
B.S., Rider University
M.S., Kean University

Richard Lempicki
B.Mus., Composition, Berklee College Music

John Loehrke    
B.M.E., University of Michigan

Bill Macholdt    
B.S., East Stroudsburg University
M.F.A., Bennington College

David Marcinkowski
B.A., Kean University
M.A., New School Joffrey Program

Jeffrey Mason    
B.A., Bob Jones University,
M.F.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Jeffrey McConnell
M.F.A., Photography, Temple University

Margaret Nelson    
B.M., Montclair State University
M.M., Westminster Choir College

Irina Nikitovic
B.A., Art History
M.Ed., Art Education & Supervision, Kean University

Michael Nuzzo
B.A., Music, Kean University
M.A., Education, Columbia College

Dot Paolo    
M.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Dawn Paruta
B.F.E., Kean University

Shyamal Raguso
B.S., Computer Science, DeSales University
B.F.A., M.F.A., Painting, Monmouth University

Bani Ray
B.S., Biology, Delhi University

Candace Reilly
B.A., Drew University

John Reinking III    
M.F.A., Marywood University

Jonathan Ricci    
B.F.A., Maryland Institute College of Art
M.F.A., Bowling Green State University
M.A., Eastern Illinois University

Sarah Roche    
B.F.A., Moore College of Art and Design
M.F.A., University of Pennsylvania

Ana Rolim
B.Arch., M.Arch., Ph.D., Architecture & Urban Development, Federal University of Pernambuco – Brazil

Oliver Santana
B.A., Music, Conservatory of Music
M.A., Music, Georgia State University
D.M.A., Music, Rutgers University

Kathy Schulz   
B.F.A., State University of New York
M.F.A., University of Massachusetts

Dawn Schultz
B.A., Special Education, Kean University
M.F.A., Choreography, Jacksonville University

Paulette Sears
B.A., English, Vassar College
M.A., Mills College

James Sherman
B.S., Health & Physical Ed., Lipscomb University
M.F.A., Visual Arts, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Wes Sherman   
B.S., Lipscomb University
M.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

Lynn Sichel
B.M.U.S., Antioch University
M.A., Sarah Lawrence College

Valerie Sivilli   
B.F.A., Alfred University
M.F.A., Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University

San Timur Solu    
B.A., Kean University, English Certificate, Oxford University
M.PHIL., Rutgers University

Eric Stryker
B.F.A., Art History, Boston College
M.A., M.Phil., Ph.D., Art History, Yale University

Michael Stuempfle    
B.M., M.M., Indiana State University

Eldad Tarmu
M.A., Stony Brook University

Cynthia Teeters
M.S. University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
B.S. University of California, Los Angeles

Laura Transue
B.F.E., University of Delaware; M.S., Drexel University

Whether your major is dance, theatre, music or art, there are opportunities throughout the year to showcase your talents and accomplishments including:

  • Student Art Shows
  • Student Theatre Performances
  • Student Dance Recitals
  • Student Music Recitals
  • RVCC Chorale
  • RVCC Jazz Ensemble

For a complete listing of VAPA events, click here.

Somerset County 2019 Excellence in the Arts Awards Ceremony

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