Visual & Performing Arts » Artists in Residence List

Artists in Residence List

Profiles of the accomplished artists and the role they play on campus:
 
Paschal Frisina III '96 - an alumnus and member of the Social Studies team, Paschal also teaches Intro to Theater and Advanced Drama. He takes on the large role of director of the school's fall drama and spring musical. Mr. Frisina graduated from Niagara University and is a well known performer in the WNY theater scene and numerous touring companies.
 
James P. McCoy - adjunct teacher of Photography and Digital Arts. Mr. McCoy is a professional sports photographer for the Buffalo News and works freelance in photography and website design.
 
Toni Marie Dentico - creative assistant in choreography for Swing Choir, choreographer for the spring musical, and assists in the direction of the fall drama. An award-winning dancer, Ms. Dentico earned the title of Miss Jr. Dance of WNY 1980, Miss Dance of WNY 1981, and Miss Dance of America 1982. She has performed at Artpark and Kleinhans, and has taught, performed, and judged dancers both nationally and internationally. 
 
Nadejda Nigrin - works with the String Ensemble. Nadejda is a professional violinist and freelance musician in the WNY region. She has been performing with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra since 1999. In addition, Nadejda performs with the Arts Nova Chamber Group and Camerata Di Sant Antonio as a member and a soloist. She also plays with the Sarasota Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic. Prior to coming to the United States, Nadejda held positions at the Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil; Orchestra of the Nations, Germany, Europe; and Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra, Bulgaria, Europe. She has played in the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra as principal second violinist and was part of Slee Symphonetta. You can enjoy one of her performances here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UubARalT9cQ
 
Gary Rutkowski - assists with the Percussion Ensemble. Mr. Rutkowski has a professional career as a percussionist with the Maelstrom Ensemble and teaches at Villa Maria College.
 
Larry Griffis III '70 * - conducts a mini-sculpture course for students. Mr. Griffis, an alumnus of St. Joe's, is a local sculptor and locally known for his sculpture park in East Otto, NY. He studied in Italy early in his career and works primarily in life-size bronze sculptures, some of which adorn the HSBC Arena, John Carroll University, Canisius College, and many private collections. His employment experience includes positions at Fisher-Price, Hasbro, and Toy Biz. 
 
Skip Battaglia '66 * - presents student workshops on film and animation. Mr. Battaglia has taught film and animation at the university level, retiring from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He has created animated films including Parataxis ('80), How the Frog's Eye Sees ('84), Pigment Forest ('85), Geologic Time ('89), Restlessness ('94), Second Nature ('00), Crossing the River ('06), and Car Crash Opera ('12). His films and animations have been honored with awards from around the globe.
 
Zachary Cain '98 - presents each year as part of a panel about careers in graphics and design. Mr. Cain, works freelance in Motion Graphics, Illustration, and design for notable clients such as 43North and Grasshopper. He studied Graphic Design at the University of Buffalo.
 
Stephen Caruana '86 - demonstrates his unique wood burning design process to students during a workshop. This St. Joe's graduate and Buffalo State College instructor's highly realistic pyrography pieces have been exhibited throughout WNY. He carried over his realistic style to an interesting process of wood burning.  
 
Joe Brancato - runs workshops to improve the professional performance skills of our keyboard players. Mr. Brancato is a respected educator in Western New York and active as tutor/evaluator at Empire State College. He has recorded two CDs on the QRS label, When I Fall In Love and Broadway Revisited. He is also featured as a co-leader on the Hidden Treasures CD release from the Dave Schiavone/Joe Brancato Quartet.
 
Randy Kramer - runs two valuable workshops for our students annually. Mr. Kramer is the Artistic/Executive Director of Musicalfare Theater. His workshops, built from his real world experience, open the eyes of aspiring young actors to the business side of running a theatrical production and the process of professional auditions. 
 
The Darwin Martin House Complex - a representative from the complex joins us each year to work with students in the Studio in Art class. Students create designs based on Wright's stained glass windows and are offered a tour of the complex.
 
A.J. Fries '90 - visits our students to share information on his latest projects. Mr. Fries, a local painter and alumnus, is well known for his ultra-realistic renderings of everything from Twinkies to water droplets. The Twinkies painting can be seen as part of the permanent collection at the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery, and he has a painting hanging in the Albright-Knox permanent collection. 
 
Brian Grunert '88 - works with our students on Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop techniques. Mr. Grunert is a professional graphic designer focusing his talents on designing CD packaging through his own business, White Bicycle Design. He won a Grammy for his CD Design "Evolution" with Ani DiFranco, and was nominated three other times.

Guillermo Izquierdo '88
- conducts workshops on graphic and web design. Mr. Izquierdo is a multi-talented individual in the areas of music and art. He has performed with several local bands as guitarist, and has a graphic and web design business called BrightiDesign. 

Matt Knight -
leads workshops on voiceovers and how to film a soap opera. A graduate of Niagara University, Mr. Knight has been working and living in New York City since 2003. As a voiceover artist, he has recorded hundreds of TV and radio commercials. Some clients include MTV, Travel Channel, HGTV, Spike, McDonald's, Wendy's, Subway, Smirnoff, Miller, Amex, Midas, AdCouncil and Rockstar games. 
 
Milo Kowalski '06 - discusses graphic design with our students both in class and Art Club. A graduate of Pratt Institute for Graphic Design, Mr. Kowalski is the in-house designer for the NYC Football Club - a professional soccer team. His experience is extensive in both design and PR.   
 
Todd Piotrowski '06 - shares his knowledge of what it means to be a designer of interior spaces. Mr. Piotrowksi studied Interior Design at Villa Maria College and is currently a designer at Carmina Woods Morris. A highlight of his work in the WNY area includes being on the team involved with the restoration of the Hotel Lafayette.
 
Vincent O'Neill - as a guest in acting class, shares his perspective of professional theater and mime. A Dublin-born, internationally-acclaimed actor and former member of Ireland's celebrated Abby Theatre, Mr. O'Neill came to WNY in 1985. He founded the Irish Classical Theater and continues as its director. His work also includes an affiliation with the University of Buffalo's Theater Department. 
 
Paul Michalski '96 - joins us each year as part of a panel about careers in graphics and design. Mr. Michalski runs his own design firm - PDM Studios. His work includes package design and branding, tee-shirt design and printing, including some items for St. Joe's. 
 
Dave Saracino '05 - presents to students about success as a professional illustrator. Mr. Saracino graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University and taught foundation design as an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. He currently freelances and lives in New York City. His work has been featured in high profile publications like The New Yorker and The Washington Post - and online on Facebook.
 
Patrick Tuoti '02 - participates on the annual panel about careers in graphics and design with other alumni. Mr. Tuoti is Design Supervisor for Fanatics, and owner and creative director for Playhouse - a design company. After graduating from St. Joe's, he attended the Rochester Institute of Technology to study graphic design. 
 
David Jackson '05 - works with students to elevate their video production skills, recently utilizing Adobe Premiere and Adobe Special Effects. Mr. Jackson received his B.S. in Communications from Canisius College and currently works as a Motion Designer for Pegula Sports & Entertainment. He has also produced his own films through Hate This Films, a Buffalo-based production company.  
 
Ben Spitler '06 - introduces students to modeling software to turn their designs into 3D digital projects. He and his wife, Katherine, founded Realtus Creative, an architectural and graphic design firm in Buffalo. Ben is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Architecture. 
 
* Fine Arts Wall of Fame Inductee