Francene J. Levinson, who was born in Brooklyn, is a digital artist based in Portland, OR. She has transformed modular, three-dimensional origami into fine art. She draws inspiration from nature, with series on birds, oceans, and plants. For fifteen years, she taught art in New York and Florida.
Amy Kanka Valadarsky is a photographer based in Even Yehuda, Israel. She was born in 1964 in Romania, where she spent the first eight years of her life before moving to Israel with her family. After graduating as a software engineer, she worked twenty-five years designing and implementing software solutions throughout the world. In 2014, she left the telecommunications industry, starting a new chapter as a fine art photographer.
Terri Witek’s most recent book is The Rape Kit (2018). She is also the author of Body Switch (2016); Exit Island (2012); The Shipwreck Dress (2008), a Florida Book Award winner; Carnal World (2006); Fools and Crows (2003); Courting Couples, a winner of the 2000 Center for Book Arts Contest; and Robert Lowell and Life Studies: Revising the Self (1993). A native of northern Ohio, she earned a PhD at Vanderbilt University, and now holds the Sullivan Chair in Creative Writing at Stetson University in central Florida. At Stetson she has received both the McEniry Award for Excellence in Teaching and the John Hague Award for Distinguished Teaching. She has worked with visual artists throughout her career, and her collaborations with Brazilian new media artist Cyriaco Lopes have been featured in galleries and site-specific projects in Seoul, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, New York City, and Los Angeles. Witek also teaches with Lopes in Stetson’s MFA of the Americas Expanded Field program. She is married to the comic-book scholar Joseph Witek.
For the past thirty years, Bette Ridgeway has worked full-time as an artist, painting colorful canvases in large and small studios. Most recently, she converted a 14′ x 14′, light-filled bedroom in her Santa Fe home into a working studio. She removed doors from a long closet and put in three large metal bookcases to store art supplies. This allows her to preserve floor space so that she can create paintings as long as 130 inches. For large commissions, she also has access to a big warehouse with a 13′ ceiling.
Nancy McTague-Stock has worked in various studios, both here and abroad, including in an old castle in the Champagne-Ardenne region of France last October. She received the Denis Diderot grant, which funded part of her stay, in a tiny village surrounded by green fields and forests. There, working in a small studio, she was inspired to work on small photographic pieces and works on paper instead of large paintings as she would back in her Connecticut studio.
Ken Collins is a professional photographer and artist in New York City. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including American Theater, New York Magazine, The New York Times, ARTnews, Newsweek, Orion, and Lenswork. Umbrage Books published his award-winning portrait series, In Their Company: Portraits of American Playwrights. His work has been shown at solo and group exhibitions and included in private and public collections. He teaches at the International Center of Photography in New York. He graduated with a BFA in Photography from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
Gordon Leverton is a self-taught Canadian artist who was awarded honorable mention at the 2014 Juried Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. He received first place awards in the Junction Juried Art Exhibition and the Riverdale Art Walk in Toronto. His work is in corporate and private collections of Dr. Ivan Selin, founding chairman of the National Museum of American History; C.C.H. Pounder, actress; and the city of Toronto. He recently completed an ad campaign for FirstOntario Credit Union, in which his work was prominently featured in the bank’s thirty-four branches. Press coverage includes spots on CBC Nightly News and Global News at 6, as well as in the newspapers The Hamilton Spectator and The Globe and Mail. He lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife and two children.