Jill Leary is a practicing artist and a New York State certified arts education teacher. She has both a BFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics and a BA in Art Education from Syracuse University. She has also earned her Master’s Degree in Fine Arts. Jill worked for the Brewster Central School District for 11 years as an Art Teacher for ages 8 to 13 where in addition to her regular classes, she inspired children in the Enrichment Creative Arts Program which hosted exhibitions for their talented students throughout Brewster and at the Katonah Museum of Art.
Since leaving teaching, Jill has been heavily involved in charity work and fund raising. 7 years ago she developed the very successful charity fundraiser called “Crafts for a Cure” where kids enjoy participating in various art projects as a part of a fun-filled fund raising event. This program has raised over $100,000 for childhood cancer research and Jill has been honored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for her incredible work. Jill also created the “Healing Hugs Happy Hearts” program which collects over 1,000 handmade Valentine’s Day cards prepared by local schools and kid workshops to then be handed out to in-patients in various hospitals on Valentine’s Day. This program has now been copied in various other town’s and school districts to great success. For 5 years Jill volunteered as the chairperson and designer of the Fulmar Road School yearbook where she utilized both her art and organizational skills to great effect. Her interest in volunteer work and fund raising will continue through RailYard Arts Studio.
She is a skilled artist who enjoys working along side of other creative people in a variety of media. Jill loves to knit and crochet, paint with waterbased oil and watercolor, and is a accomplished ceramicist. Currently, she is showing her work in our local community.
Elizabeth Barksdale is a practicing artist with an emphasis in sculpture and photography. She has both a BFA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and an MFA from Georgia Southern University at Statesboro. Her thesis was in outdoor cast metal sculpture with preliminary work in welding and cast bronze figurative works. She has taught for several types of organizations including businesses, colleges, universities, and museums in addition to her own private teaching. Her public works began with the Birmingham Museum of Arts mural outreach program involving local children in the beautification of their own communities. In the New York area, Elizabeth has worked with local groups, municipalities, and organizations such a Historic Hudson Valley to create temporary outdoor sculptures open to the public. She has been on both sides of grant writing, being a grant recipient many times and having served twice as the grant coordinator for county and state grant programs. Elizabeth lives locally where she enjoys time with her family and sharing the beauty of art with others.