Lisa Santalis

Since 2002 I have been the Assistant Director and adjunct instructor at the Westchester Community College Center for the Arts. I received my BFA from California State University at Long Beach and a Masters in Education from Columbia University in New York City. I began my career as a high school art teacher in Brooklyn, NY. As a teacher/coordinator I wrote and won several grants to design a specialized art curriculum integrating artists in residences. With a focus on contemporary art and issues such as the environment, students created original site-specific, installations challenging their peers in thought-provoking ways. As an adjunct instructor at the center, I continue to work with high school students. In the Portfolio Presentation and Preparation I have guided students to prepare artwork for college submission. Students work on a series of drawings and paintings in an intense studio environment. In the Painting Fundamentals class, I focus on giving students a basic overview of painting techniques and color usage through fun and exciting projects.

At the Center, Santalis teaches Painting Fundamentals and Portfolio Preparation and Presentation.

Images of Lisa Santalis’s students’s work:

Artist Statement:
My observations of the natural world begin as jumping off points to developing abstract compositions based on nature or the figure. Through my painting I like to explore the fine line between abstraction and reality. I am also interested in arbitrary and unexpected color as an important element in my work.

Teaching Philosophy:
Anyone can learn to paint and draw if they tap into their inner selves to develop inspiration, creativity and a discerning eye. I believe art is a discipline but also a form of meditation. Encouraging and nurturing this ability in students is important to me. My goal for students is to feel they are learning something but it is also their time to explore, invent, create, be daring and learn by doing. I try to create a warm and inviting environment free of judgement.