Photographer and curator
Kenneth C. Burkhart
Ken Burkhart is a fine art photographer and curator who came to Ithaca from Chicago where he served as Curator of Photography and Exhibitions at the Chicago Cultural Center. He has continued his work as an independent curator for over 100 exhibitions both in the US and abroad, including his current project “Chicago Calling: Art Against the Flow”. Ken has served on the boards of Intuit: The Center for intuitive and Outsider Art; the Illinois Arts Council Visual Arts Panel; the Chicago Artists Abroad Panel, and other art organizations in Chicago.
His artwork has received several visual arts grants including awards from the Illinois Arts Council, Chicago Architecture Foundation and The Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago among others.
Ken received his BA in studio art from Mercyhurst University and an MFA from the University of Chicago. His photography resides in both public and private collections.
Alex Chertok is a poet and essayist living just outside of Ithaca with his wife and greyhound. He was named Ithaca Festival Poet in 2014, and has received a fellowship from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. He has a BA in English from the University of Virginia and an MFA in poetry from Cornell, where he was also a Lecturer. Now he teaches part-time at Ithaca College in the Writing Department and through the Cornell Prison Education Program.
Artist, Gallery Director
Nancy Rose Gossett
Nancy Rose Gossett is a visual artist whose figurative painting focuses on themes of physical mobility, social inequality, and the destruction of the environment. After receiving her BA in French Literature with honors from UC Berkeley, Nancy relocated to New York — and to visual art — becoming a full-time artist both freelance and by commission. Over the past twenty years she has left a trail of art in LA, Paris, Ithaca, NYC, and finally, Oneonta, NY, where she now lives with her husband and two children.
In addition to painting, Nancy works as the gallery director at the Community Arts Network of Oneonta, a non-profit dedicated to promoting the arts and supporting the artists, musicians, and writers in her city.
Bill Hastings is a visual artist that works primarily in sculpture with themes inspired by nature and environmental issues. He received a BA in Planned Studies with Honors in Art from Ithaca College and a MFA in Sculpture from The University of Connecticut.
Bill lives and works in Ithaca where he is a part-time professor of studio arts at Ithaca College as well as co-owner of FOUND, a multi-dealer antiques business. Bill’s artwork has been exhibited locally and throughout the United States.
Being a board member of the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts continues his interest in the Ithaca arts community. Bill co-founded the Greater Ithaca Art Trail, has been a member of the State of the Art Gallery, volunteers at the Community Arts Partnership of Tompkins County, and is currently the director of the Gallery @ FOUND.
Fundraising professional, treasurer
Michelle Houle Hitz
Michelle Houle Hitz is a fundraiser and writer who worked in the non-profit arts field in New York and Philadelphia before returning to Ithaca to work for Cornell University, where she is Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs and Development for the College of Arts & Sciences.
Prior to Cornell, she enjoyed working with performing arts organizations that supported the development of new work, including PlayPenn, Vineyard Theatre, MCC Theatre, and Jeanne Ruddy Dance. Other interesting jobs include having served as an adjunct professor at Drexel University’s Westpal College of Media Arts and Design and the manager of the front of house staff for the New Yorker Festival.She has also written seven non-fiction books for children that have been published by Enslow Publishers.
Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in English and classics from Cornell and a master’s degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives in Ithaca with her husband, Scott Hitz, a director and puppeteer, and their two children.
Aimée Lehmann is a fiction writer who came to Ithaca via a circuitous route that began in Michigan and looped through Kenya, South Sudan, Germany, Brazil, and North Carolina before finally arriving here in 2001.
She started her professional life as an English teacher but ended up with a Master in Public Health and spent many years working in refugee camps and with international health projects before returning to her first love, writing.
Aimée divides her life between lovely Ithaca and the city of Berlin.
Bob Proehl is a fiction writer, former bookseller, former bartender, occasional DJ and one-time record store owner.
He has a BA in English and Philosophy from SUNY Geneseo and an MA in English from Boston University. He was a 2012 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Fiction and a 2013 resident at the Saltonstall Arts Colony.
He has written for the 33⅓ book series and worked as a columnist and reviewer for the arts and culture site PopMatters.com. His first novel, A Hundred Thousand Worlds, will be published by Viking in June 2016.
Bob currently lives in Ithaca, New York, with his wife, stepson, and daughter.
Alice, Connie’s younger sister, is a local jazz/improvisational singer who earned her Bachelor of Music degree from Syracuse University. She has collaborated with various local musicians, most recently with Jayne Demakos who produced the CD “Beauty Crowds Me” for Hospice.
Alice is the mother of four children. She loves the Saltonstall Colony and would like her sister’s legacy to grow and continue to support the artists and writers of New York State.
Norah Selig is a fundraising analyst and consultant who works for Cornell University’s division of Alumni Affairs and Development. She returned to Ithaca in 2012 after living abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark for a year where she fell in love with Danish design sensibilities and aesthetic.
Prior to Cornell, she spent seven years working primarily with human service organizations in the Denver metro area, including the Adoption Exchange, the National Sports Center for the Disabled and Girls Inc. of Metro Denver. In addition, she has enjoyed volunteering over the years for arts and civic organizations such as the Community Arts Partnership and Denver Young Nonprofit Professional Network (YNPN).
While not currently an active artist or musician, she spent fourteen years playing the violin and viola, earning All-County and All-State (NY) Orchestra recognition and performing in the Long Island University/C.W. Post Chamber Music Festival.
Norah holds a bachelor’s degree in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell and lives in Ithaca.