Meet Our Volunteers
John Gagne, Social Media Content Writer, Distribution Coordinator, Events
John is an advertising creative director, an educator of professional design groups, an art collector and book collector. For several years he traveled the world as a filmmaker and typographer. He is the founder of artworldNYC.com, bringing new collectors to artist studios and galleries, sharing his passion for art and art history across this city's cultural wealth. He is far too fond of a quote by Gerhard Richter: "Art is the highest form of hope.”
David Kutz, Grant Writing and Online Listings
After receiving a Bachelor of Fine Art from Rochester Institute of Technology, I moved to New York City and became the eleventh employee at the newly-founded International Center of Photography. During my 2 years at ICP I hung exhibitions, built darkrooms, participated in master class workshops, and taught photography. I worked as an independent photojournalist from 1976 to 1980, with assignments from the New York Times, Life, Look, and Time magazines.
For the next three decades I worked in film and television as a director, producer, and media executive. In addition to commercial and industrial assignments, I created the award winning documentary, The African Burial Ground: An American Discovery (1994) and was a senior executive directing the launch of VOOM-HD, a package of 15 high definition cable channels distributed in the USA, Europe and Asia.
In 2013, I decided to return to photography as an art form, and earned an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2016. I am now actively engaged in making work and continuing my research into geography, urban planning, travel and globalization. I am a member of Soho Photo Gallery, a cooperative gallery in New York City, the International Panorama Council, and recently participated in the Gowanus Arts open studio weekend.
Julie Mashack, Press Coordinator
Julie Mashack is a Senior Producer for the 92nd Street Y where she manages several of the landmark culture institution's new initiatives, including American Conversation, 7 Days of Genius and the Ben Franklin Circles. Prior to joining 92Y, she worked in public radio and television, producing content for both PBS and NPR and contributing to Michael Moore's Academy Award nominated documentary Sicko and the WNET original film Sacred.
Marcy Orchard, Fundraising Coordinator
Marcy has lived in Brooklyn for nearly twenty years. She started volunteering with Arts Gowanus because of her love of the Gowanus Open Studios event. She still enjoys walking into the industrial buildings throughout the neighborhood and discovering that inside is really wonderful local art. She also collects art, primarily from Brooklyn artists. When not volunteering with Arts Gowanus, Marcy can typically be found at a New York Islanders hockey game.
Dara Oshin, Advertising Coordinator
Dara Oshin is an interdisciplinary visual artist, living in Brooklyn, NY.
She received a BA from Allegheny College with a concentration in English Literature and Studio Art. Dara spent a decade living and traveling overseas where she studied painting, drawing and ceramics. In 2015, Dara Illustrated a children’s book which won a Bronze Moonbeam Award. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows in Paris and New York including The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in Paris, The Invisible Dog Art Center and The Ground Floor Gallery in Brooklyn NY. Dara joined Arts Gowanus in 2016 as way to stay connected to a strong artist community and to help give back to the organization that supports local artists.
Tracy Penn, Sponsorship
Tracy Penn works in mixed media, encaustic, and found material. She earned her undergraduate degree from Boston University and received her Masters Degree in Visual Arts Administration from New York University. After many years of working in the advertising industry, both in New York and internationally, she studied black and white photography at the International Center for Photography. After working at the Guggenheim in the public programming department, she curated an event featuring over 75 artists for the City of New York in celebration of the women’s suffrage centennial, Declaration of Sentiments: The Remix.
Sarah Nicole Phillips, NYC Government Liaison
Sarah Nicole Phillips is a Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist. She received her BA, in Visual Studies from the University of Toronto and her MFA from Brooklyn College with a concentration in printmaking. She participated in a year-long artist residency at the Lower East Side Printshop where she continues to teach. She’s been awarded residencies at The Blue Mountain Center in upstate New York and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska. Sarah exhibits widely in Canada and the US and has recently been included in shows at the Queens Museum of Art in New York, the International Print Center New York, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). In early 2014 she had a solo exhibition at McKinley Arts and Culture Center in Reno, Nevada. In October 2014 she had a solo exhibition at Court Tree Collective in Brooklyn. She is a 2009 & 2014 recipient of Brooklyn Arts Council grants.
Robin Roi, Art Events Coordinator
Robin Roi, though born locally in Far Rockaway, Queens, grew up in Fayetteville, North Carolina, a VERY small town. She received her B.F.A. in printmaking from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.F.A. in painting from Claremont University in southern California. She has always worked in the arts from her first job as an Artist in Residence with the N.C. Arts Council to The Drawing Center, The American Crafts Museum, and The Heller Gallery here in New York. From there she began a more than 30 year long career as Director of Decorative Painting with Evergreene Architectural Arts, an architectural restoration, mural painting and decorative arts company working on projects across the United States as well as internationally. Since retiring in 2015, she has been able to devote herself full time to her career as a ceramic artist and painter as well as being active in various community arts organizations. She LOVES BROOKLYN!
Mahalia Stines, Social Media